The Things That You Do

86: You Should Get Over Yourself

Picking at the label of the bottle of the wine which sat in her hands, Alexa spared a quiet sigh, her blue eyes briefly glancing up towards the house which stood ahead of her before they returned to her lap. She knew that there was no avoiding it, with Madeline having called a few days previous to confirm that Lionel and Alexa would be in attendance, she knew that there was no way that she would be allowed to get away with not showing up, but still she couldn’t shake the uncomfortable feeling which existed in the pit of her stomach, even if she did know that attending the dinner was the right thing to do, she couldn’t seem to shake the idea that it wasn’t going to work out.

Peeling a little more of the label off of the bottle, Alexa quietly readjusted herself in her seat before she felt a hand settle on her knee, something which caused her to shake her head, offering a sideward glance towards Lionel who sat beside her, an encouraging smile on his face. “We can’t stay out here all night, can we?” she murmured, her voice caught between nervous and teasing.

Lionel offered her a small smile before he shook his head, his hand gently squeezing her knee. “I don’t think we came all the way here just to sit in the car” he replied “You told your madre that we were going to make it and means that we should probably head in. We’re already a little late” he added, sparing a brief glance towards the house.

Alexa glanced at him uncertainly for a moment before she quietly sighed, nodding her head softly. “You’re right” she mumbled.

“I know I am” Lionel quipped, trying to lighten the mood.

Alexa offered him a half-hearted smile, something which caused him to squeeze her leg gently before he pushed his door open, allowing him to walk around the car before he pulled her door open. “Come on” he mused “The sooner we get in there, the sooner it is over with, right?” he posed, offering his hand out towards her.

Alexa eyed his hand for a second, quietly mulling his words over, before she placed her own into it, allowing him to help her up to her feet before he steered her up the path, his hand quickly ringing the doorbell. Alexa clung to his hand, shifting her feet awkwardly before the front door swung open, revealing Madeline who greeted them with a soft smile. “I was starting to think that the two of you weren’t going to show up” she quipped light-heartedly.

Lionel returned her smile politely. “We had a little trouble with Zach” he lied gently “He wasn’t exactly thrilled about being left with Gerard, but he settled down and here we are. We’re not that late, are we?” he posed, his hand gently squeezing Alexa’s.

Madeline shook her head. “Only a few minutes” she mused “But you should come in. Marco and Isabel are in the living room, you should go through. Me and Jose will join you all in a moment” she encouraged warmly before she swanned away, making her way back towards the kitchen.

Lionel watched her walk away before he turned towards Alexa, not missing the nervous expression which was etched onto her features. Quirking a small smile, he gently squeezed her hand before he pushed himself up, pressing a light kiss against her forehead. “It’ll be fine” he insisted quietly.

Alexa offered him a slightly dubious look, but didn’t say anything, instead opting to pull away from him before she padded through towards the living room, wordlessly hoping that he was right.

“So, Jose, what is it that you do for a living?” Lionel asked quietly, disturbing the awkward silence which had settled over the table. It wasn’t the first one, after Madeline had introduced Jose, the night had been littered with forced conversation and long awkward silences, and Lionel wanted to try and alleviate it slightly, even if he knew that it was likely to be futile. A small part of him hoped that if he started a conversation, then Alexa, who’d barely said a word all night, would join in.

Jose, who was quietly pushing the last of his meal around his plate, looked up at the sound of his name before he quirked a polite smile. “I own a restaurant in the city” he mused “It’s actually how Maddie and I met. She came in one night with some of her friends and we got to talking” he added, sparing a soft smile towards Madeline who sat opposite him.

Madeline, who’d been quietly staring down at her plate, caught his smile and blushed, something which made Marco scoff, mumbling a comment beneath his breath.

Alexa, who was sat next to Lionel, shook her head at the sound of Marco’s mumbling. “Why did you even bother showing up, Marco?” she muttered, glaring at her brother slightly.

“It’s fine, Alexandria” Madeline mused “We all knew it was going to be a little bumpy. It’s Ok” she added, trying to keep the mood light.

Alexa shook her head. “It’s not Ok, mama” she retorted “He’s done nothing but grumble and mutter all night. If he didn’t want to be here, he shouldn’t have shown up” she added.

Marco snorted. “Because you’ve been the life of the party” he countered “I think this is the most you’ve spoken since you got here, Alexa” he added.

Alexa spared a glance down towards her empty plate before shook her head. “Did you even contemplate giving this a shot?” she muttered “Or did you come here just to be an ass?” she added.

Marco glared at her. “You’re telling me this is comfortable for you?” he grumbled “You’re enjoying sitting here with our mother and her boyfriend, are you, Alexa?” he added.

“Marco, Alexandria, please” Madeline protested softly.

Alexa spared her mother a soft glance before she shook her head, returning her eyes to her brother. “Of course I am not entirely comfortable with it, Marco” she murmured “Of course it is strange to be sat here with Jose instead of papa, but it is how things are now and I think you need to get your head out of your ass and accept it. I know you miss him, Marco, and I miss him more than anything. He never got to meet Zach, he’ll never meet this baby either, or walk me down the aisle, but it isn’t something we can change, no matter how much we wish we could. Papa is gone, Marco...” she trailed off tearfully before she pushed herself up to her feet, quietly excusing herself from the dining room.

The room stood quiet for a few long seconds before Lionel pushed his seat back, gathering himself up to his feet. “I should probably go and check on her” he murmured “I’m sorry, Madeline” he added, sparing a brief look towards his future mother-in-law.

Offering her a small apologetic smile, he ducked out of the room, allowing it to stand in silence for few moments before Madeline pushed her seat back, her eyes glaring at her son. “I hope you’re happy, Marco” she mumbled as she walked out of the room.

Resting against the headboard of her childhood bed, Alexa let out a quiet sniffle, her thumb gently brushing away a few loose tears from underneath her eyes. She knew that she had overreacted, despite his grumbling and muttering, Marco hadn’t actually said anything which could have caused offence to Jose, but it had irked her, even if she knew that he had been right when he’d pointed out just how uncomfortable she was. She was annoyed that Marco couldn’t seem to see that Jose was someone who made their mother happy.

It hadn’t been comfortable for her, since she had arrived at her mother’s home, she had barely said two words, but it didn’t mean that she hadn’t seen how happy her mother looked. Madeline was glowing, she looked happier than she had in a long time, and Alexa had little doubt that it was Jose who made her so. They looked wonderful together.

Letting out another sniffle, she gently wiped her eyes with the sleeve of her dress before a soft knocking reached her ears, something which caused her to shake her head, her blue eyes briefly glancing up at Lionel who stood in the doorway. “Hormones” she teased feebly, still wiping her eyes.

Lionel let out a gentle laugh before he stepped into the room, settling down on the bed beside her. Alexa glanced at him briefly before she leant towards him, quickly wrapping him in a hug that he didn’t hesitate to return. “You Ok?” he posed quietly.

Alexa shrugged, contently resting her head against his chest. “I ruined dinner” she mumbled “And I probably upset my mother in the process, so it’s not been my best night” she joked before another soft sniffle fell out of her mouth.

Lionel gently squeezed her. “I’m sure she’ll get over it” he mumbled “Besides, Marco’s got to take his fair share of the blame” he added.

Alexa scoffed before she gently shook her head. “I shouldn’t have said anything” she muttered “I mean, he was acting like a child, but he hadn’t actually said anything. I should have just let it slide” she added.

“No, you shouldn’t” Lionel replied.


“You stuck up for your mama” Lionel interrupted “You stuck up for her and for Jose, and that was the right thing to do, even if it wasn’t necessarily the right way to do it. Someone needed to tell him to get over himself” he added, offering her a comforting smile.

Alexa spared him a slightly uncertain look, something which caused Lionel to lean forwards, gently kissing her forehead. Alexa closed her eyes at the feel of his lips against her forehead before she moved her head, resting it against his shoulder as she cried quietly into his shirt.

Lionel brushed his hand up and down her back, murmuring soft words of comfort before the sound of someone clearing their throat reached his ears, causing him to spare a look over his shoulder, catching sight of Marco who stood in the doorway, his hands sheepishly jammed into his pockets. “I’m sorry” he murmured “I was you think me and Alexa could...?” he babbled out, his eyes briefly peeking down towards his sister who hadn’t looked up.

Lionel followed his glance, admiring Alexa’s tearful face, before he let out a soft sigh. “Maybe it’s best to leave it for a little while” he mumbled.

Marco’s eyes widened a little, surprised by the response, before he nodded. “Of...of course” he spluttered “I’ll just...”

“Don’t go” Alexa interrupted “We...we need to talk” she added.

Marco stared at her in surprise for a few seconds before he nodded. “We do” he noted “Is now OK?” he asked.

Alexa, who’d moved to wipe her eyes, nodded, something which caused Lionel to gently rub her arm. “You sure?” he asked.

Alexa merely nodded.

“You want me to stay?” Lionel asked.

Alexa shook her head. “I’ll be fine” she mused “Why don’t you go and wait downstairs?” she posed.

Lionel offered her a dubious look, wordlessly asking if she was sure, before he conceded, pushing himself back to his feet. “I’ll be right downstairs” he mused, pressing a soft kiss against her forehead before he padded away, hesitating momentarily in the doorway as he walked past Marco. Looking up at the taller man, he wordlessly warned him about upsetting Alexa further before he stepped past, allowing Marco to step into the bedroom. Marco stepped into the room tentatively before he spared Alexa a soft look, trying to come up with the right words to say to her.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)