The Things That You Do

39: He’s Alright

“Is Marco going to be joining you or not?”

Alexa, who stood beside her wardrobe, lifted her head at the sound of Lionel’s voice before she turned slightly, settling her blue eyes on where he sat at the foot of her bed, a curious expression on his features.

It had been a few days, after she had shared the news of Poppy’s pregnancy with him, a little under a week had passed, and with Barcelona due to play at home against Eibar that night, she had agreed to go to the game, something she knew that Lionel was looking forwards to. It wasn’t a huge step forwards, with her and Lionel having been close for a while before they’d started to date, she had met his friends before, but she knew that it meant a lot to him, even if it wasn’t their first introduction, she knew that a part of him was more than keen to show off how well things were going between them.

“He said that he would meet me at the stadium” Alexa replied “But he warned me that he might run a little late. Isabel’s due to head out for the night with a few of her friends and Marco is dropping the children off with my mother” she added as she turned back to the wardrobe, collecting a pair of shoes from inside.

Lionel simply nodded his head at her response, something which made Alexa grin as she moved to sit down beside him, her elbow playfully nudging his side. “Are you worried about me embarrassing you, Leo?” she quipped playfully as she leant down, moving to slip her feet into her shoes.

Lionel snorted out a small laugh before he shook his head. “Of course not” he noted “I just thought that maybe you’d be a little more comfortable with Marco around. I know it’s not the first time you’ve met the guys, but you were pretty nervous to introduce me to your friends, and I thought I’d try and make you as comfortable as I can do. You can call Marco and cancel if you want to” he offered. He knew that she was slightly nervous, even despite the smile that she wore on her face, he could see her familiar nervous tells, and he wanted to offer her a little reassurance, even if it wasn’t the first time that she had met his friends. He wanted to ensure that she was as comfortable as she could be.

Alexa, who was tying the laces of her shoes, was quiet for a second before she shook her head, offering him a soft smile over her shoulder. “You thought about that?” she posed.

“Of course I did” Lionel replied as though it was the most obvious thing in the world “I mean, the guys love you, and they’re very excited about seeing you tonight, but I thought Marco being there might make you a little more comfortable, and I am all for that” he added warmly.

Alexa’s cheeks warmed a little at his words before she shook her head, offering him a light smile. “That’s pretty sweet of you” she fussed quietly.

Lionel smiled bashfully. “I just wanted to help” he mumbled modestly.

Alexa’s smile softened a little at the tone of his voice before she gently leant into him, kissing his lips warmly. Lionel, who hadn’t been expecting the kiss, hesitated for a second before he gently lifted his hand, cupping her cheek softly as he kissed her back. Alexa grinned into the kiss, holding him close for a few seconds, before the sound of his phone beeping filled the air, causing them to reluctantly to pull away from one another. “That’s my cue to get going” Lionel mumbled, tucking a few strands of blonde hair behind her ear.

Alexa, who’d shuffled away from him slightly, nodded before she reached her hand out, lightly wiping away the small hint of her lipstick which she had left on his lips. “Good luck” she mused warmly.

“I’ll see you afterwards?” Lionel posed as he pushed himself up, wrapping his jacket around his shoulders.

Alexa nodded. “Of course” she enthused.

Lionel flashed her a warm smile before he stepped towards her, pressing a quick kiss against her cheek. “You’ll be fine” he enthused warmly before he stepped out of the room.

“So, things between you and Leo are getting pretty serious then?”

Alexa, who was nervously fiddling with the scarf that she wore, startled a little at the sound of Marco’s question before she turned around, offering her brother an unimpressed look which merely served to make Marco chuckle. He could see that she was nervous, since he had arrived at the stadium mid-way through the first half, she hadn’t quite been able to sit still in her seat, and he wanted to distract her a little, even if it was only for a moment. He wanted to try and keep her mind off of the prospect of spending time with Lionel’s friends, something he knew made her more than slightly nervous.

“I mean, you’re meeting each other’s families, spending time with one another’s friends, and that’s pretty serious. I still can’t quite believe that I missed your crush on him for so long” Marco added, teasingly nudging her side.

Alexa blushed and shook her head. “I didn’t exactly want it to be obvious” she pointed out.

Marco smiled a little at her response before he gently nudged her side once more. “For what it is worth, you could have ended up with someone a lot worse than him. I mean, I am not going to be the biggest fan of any guy that’s dating my little sister, but I do kind of like Leo. He’s alright” he quipped, his voice caught between teasing and soft.

Alexa rolled her eyes slightly before she felt a tap against her shoulder, something which caused her to wheel around, her blue eyes quickly settling on Gerard who stood ahead of her, a wide grin plastered on his face. “Leo mentioned that you were going to be here” he quipped “It’s good to see you, Alexa” he added as he ducked down, pulling her into a tight hug.

Alexa hugged him back tightly before she stepped back, offering him a warm smile. “It’s good to see you too, Gerard” she enthused.

“You’re sticking around aren’t you?” Gerard posed “I mean, a few of us are heading out to dinner to celebrate the win. You’re joining us?” he asked.

“I think so” Alexa replied “As long as you don’t mind my brother tagging along” she added with a glance back towards Marco who offered the tall defender a warm smile.

“Of course not” Gerard replied “Besides, you owe me at least one dinner for playing matchmaker for you and Leo” he quipped impishly.

Alexa scoffed, but didn’t comment, instead offering him a small nod. “You’re on” she mused.

Gerard smiled at her once more before he took a step towards her, hugging her gently for a few seconds before he bounded away, making his way up towards the changing room. Alexa watched after him for a few seconds, mumbling a comment about him being strange under her breath, before she turned to Marco. “I am just going to pop to the bathroom” she mused “You’ll be alright for a couple of minutes?” she asked.

“I am sure that I can cope without you for that long” Marco quipped impishly.

Alexa offered him a mildly unimpressed look before she padded away from him, something which made Marco chuckle to himself.

“You made it”

Marco, who’d been smiling to himself, lifted his head at the familiar sound of Lionel’s voice before he nodded. “I did” he noted “I mean, the children were a little fussy when I left them with my mother, but I made it here mid-way through the first half. The goal you scored was pretty impressive” he complimented.

Lionel offered him a small bashful smile. “Gracias” he mused “Where’s Alexa?” he asked.

“She’s just popped to the bathroom” Marco replied.

Lionel merely nodded in response, allowing a brief silence to pass between them before Marco shook his head, offering the argentine a soft look. “She really loves you, you know that?” he posed.

Lionel blinked, slightly surprised by Marco’s voice, before he nodded. “I do” he noted “And, Marco, I love her too” he insisted.

“I don’t doubt it” Marco replied “I mean, you practically came running when she needed you. I don’t doubt that you have feelings for her, Leo, I think you’ve probably had them for a lot longer than even you’re sure of, and I’ll admit that I like you together, but I still want to ask you to be careful with her. She deserves the best, Leo, something which can make her happy, and I am hopeful that she can have that with you” he added, a thoughtful expression on his face.

Lionel looked at him for a second, mulling his words over, before he nodded, offering Marco a soft smile. “I want to make her happy, Marco” he mused warmly.

Marco studied him for a moment, looking for any sign that he didn’t mean what he said, before he nodded, a slight smile pulling at the corner of his lips.

“Should I give you two a minute?”

Lionel smiled a little at Alexa’s voice before he took a step towards her, greeting her with a soft kiss which made Marco smile fondly, wordlessly hoping that things between the two of them worked out. Alexa was happy, since she and Lionel had started to date, she had seemed happier, and Marco was keen to see it last.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comments :)