The Things That You Do

38: Them & Us

Straightening out his shirt slightly, Lionel reached his hand out, tapping it against the door that stood ahead of him a couple of times. It wasn’t unusual, with him and Alexa still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship, it was common for them to spend evenings together, and he found himself looking forwards to seeing her, even if it had only been a few hours since they’d last been together. He was excited by the prospect of spending a little more time with her. Pushing a hand back through his hair, he attempted to straighten it out a little before the door ahead of him swept open, allowing Alexa to step into the doorway, a familiar fond smile on her face.

“You know” she quipped warmly “There was a time when we went more than a few hours without seeing one another” she added as she stepped over the threshold, greeting him with a light kiss.

Lionel smiled into the kiss, holding onto her briefly, before he ducked back. “You know you’re glad to see me really” he noted.

“I never said I wasn’t” Alexa replied warmly “I was simply making a point” she added as she stepped out of the doorway, allowing him to step past her and into the apartment.

Lionel rolled his eyes playfully before he stepped by her, making his way into the living room.

“I was planning on having a quiet night in” Alexa noted as she followed after him “I was going to order in some food and then probably curl up with a book. Did you have something else in mind?” she added as she padded towards the couch, gently settling down in the corner.

Lionel, who’d moved to sit down beside her, shook his head, offering her a small smile. “It sounds pretty good” he mused “You don’t mind me crashing it?” he posed.

Alexa playfully feigned thought for a second before she shook her head. “I don’t mind you sticking around” she quipped “I mean, I do sort of enjoy your company” she teased.

Lionel offered her a mildly unimpressed look, something which made Alexa giggle before she leant over, pressing a soft kiss against his cheek. “You know I love you really” she mused, her voice softening slightly. it still felt a little unfamiliar, the idea that they said ‘I love you’ to one and other still felt a little strange, but Alexa liked saying it, even if she didn’t say it too often, she liked the way that the words seemed to fall out of her mouth when she was around him.

Lionel smiled warmly at her words, still not quite used to hearing them from her, before he turned, pressing a soft kiss against her lips. “I love you too” he fussed warmly.

Alexa’s cheeks flushed a soft shade of pink before she ducked her head, something which made Lionel laugh lightly before he leant forwards, kissing the top of her head. “I’ll go and find us some menus” he mused before he pushed himself up to his feet and padded out of the living room, leaving Alexa smiling gently to herself.

“How was your breakfast with Poppy?”

Alexa, who was pushing her food around her plate, looked up at the sound of Lionel’s question before she smiled, offering him a small shrug. It had been a quiet night, with Alexa keen to keep things quiet and calm, they’d simply spent the evening reading and watching television, and whilst it wasn’t the most interesting evening that they had spent together, Lionel had to admit that he had enjoyed himself. He always seemed to enjoy himself when he was in Alexa’s company.

“It was nice” Alexa replied “We spent some time gossiping about you, before she dropped a pretty huge piece of news on me” she added, flashing him a slightly coy smile.

Lionel lifted a curious eyebrow. “You gossip about me?” he quipped.

Alexa shrugged. “I wouldn’t call it gossip exactly” she noted “But whenever I do go out with Poppy, she makes a point of asking how things are going between us, and I tell her that things are going well, which they are, aren’t they?” she asked playfully.

Lionel smiled at her warmly before he reached his hand across the table, offering hers a soft squeeze. “You know the answer to that” he pointed out.

Alexa simply grinned at him impishly, something which made him shake his head before he lifted her hand, lightly kissing the back of it. “You said that Poppy had news?” he asked, breaking the quiet which had passed between them “Anything you can share with me?” he added.

Alexa thought for a second before she nodded. “She’s pregnant” she revealed.

“She is?” Lionel posed, more than slightly surprised by Alexa’s words.

Alexa nodded. “She went to her doctor recently and he confirmed it for her. She’s got a midwife appointment in a couple of days that she wants me to go to with her” she explained.

Lionel nodded his head slowly, something which caused Alexa to tilt hers, a small frown on her face. “Leo?” she noted “Are you OK?” she added.

Lionel blinked a couple of times before he nodded. “Just surprised” he noted “I mean, Poppy and Danny haven’t been together much longer than you and me, and they’re having a baby. That’s a pretty huge step to be taking” he mused, sparing her a slightly shy look.

It wasn’t a conversation that they had had, with the two of them focused on enjoying the early stages of their relationship, thoughts of a conversation about their future had only been few and far between, but a small part of him was curious about what it was that she thought about, something which had only increased when she had revealed that Poppy was pregnant. He knew that it was different, Poppy’s relationship with Danny was different from his and Alexa’s, but still he was curious, even if he knew that he and Alexa would likely be more cautious when it came to making steps forwards in their relationship. He wanted to know if she had thought ahead.

Alexa caught his slightly sheepish look before she shook her head, a slightly shy smile on her lips. “We’re doing OK ourselves” she mused “More than Ok. I think things are going pretty great between us” she fussed.

“They are” Lionel agreed quickly “You know how happy I am with the way that things are going, but it’s a huge deal. They’ve only been together a couple of months longer than us, Alexa” he pointed out.

Alexa quirked a small smile. “They have” she confirmed “And what they have is working for them, and that’s great, but what we have is working for us. This is good, Leo, the little steps we’re making together is good enough for me right now, and I am not in a hurry to start rushing things just because Poppy’s pregnant. I am happy for her and Danny, of course I am, but our relationship isn’t theirs and theirs isn’t ours. Do I want to take bigger steps in the future? I think I would like to, yes, but we don’t need to run into them. I like that we’re taking our time, I like that we’re not trying to pressure ourselves, and I think we’re on the right track, aren’t we?” she asked, squeezing his hand softly.

She wasn’t surprised by his reaction, when Poppy had told her of her pregnancy, a comparison between their relationships had briefly flicked through her mind, but she had dismissed it almost as quickly as it had arisen. It was their relationship, hers and Lionel’s, and she liked how they were doing it, even if they were taking things slowly. It was something which worked for the two of them.

Lionel spared a soft glance down towards their hands before he nodded. “I like us” he enthused.

“I do too” Alexa mused “And I think that, if we keeping doing what we’re doing, we’ll get there in our own time” she added, pressing a light kiss against his palm.

Lionel smiled a little at the contact and nodded, wordlessly agreeing with her.

Alexa pressed another light kiss against his hand before she pushed herself up to her feet, moving to clear away their plates.

“Come to my next home match”

Alexa, who’d moved to place the plates down in the sink, stilled slightly before she turned, offering him a curious look.

“The guys keep asking after you” Lionel clarified “They pretty excited that we’re a couple now, and they’d like to see you. I said that I’d ask, but if you want to hold off...”

“I’d love to go” Alexa interjected.

Lionel blinked. “You would?” he asked, surprised.

Alexa nodded. “Of course” she insisted “I mean, you got through Poppy’s birthday party with all of my friends, I am sure that I could make it through an evening with Gerard” she teased.

Lionel laughed gently at her joke before he reached out towards her, wrapping her in a soft hug that she was quick to return, a soft smile on her face. She knew that they weren’t moving quickly, for a relationship that was nearing six months old, they’d taken things at a slow and steady pace, but it was working for them, and she wouldn’t have changed it. She was proud of how good things seemed to be between them.
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Thanks to mslou1 and FootieJo for the comments :)