In the End

12: You Don’t Have To Do It For Me

Pulling the zip around on the suitcase which sat on her bed, Ariella let out a quiet sigh, her ears alerted by the distant sound of the doorbell which flittered into the bedroom. She had been expecting it, with Adrian having texted her the previous night to let her knew that he had arrived back in Barcelona, she had known it was only a matter of time before he made his way to her front door, but whilst she had been expecting to see him, she had also been dreading it, knowing that the conversation that she had to have with him was going to be less than comfortable.

She knew that she couldn’t avoid it, after the kiss that she and Gerard had shared and the conversation that she had had with her mother, she knew that talking to Adrian was something that she had to do, but still the thought of it had a knot in her stomach, even if she knew that it was the right thing to do. She couldn’t quite seem to shake the nerves which twitched in the pit of her stomach.

Ensuring that the suitcase was closed, she listened to the shrill sound of the doorbell for a few more seconds before she pushed herself up to her feet, padding through the apartment towards the front door. Placing her hand on the door handle, she hesitated fractionally before she pulled it open, her blue eyes settling on Adrian who stood on the other side, a cheerful smile on his lips. “I was starting to think you weren’t here” he quipped warmly as he stepped over the threshold, leaning in for a quick kiss.

Ariella stilled slightly at the feel of his lips against hers, something which caused Adrian to frown as he pulled away, a small crease appearing in his forehead. “You’re not happy to see me?” he quipped, his voice caught between playful and curious. She looked uncomfortable, from the moment that she had pulled the door open, she had looked less than enthused to see him, and Adrian wanted to know what it was that was on her mind, even if he knew that the answer that she would give was more than likely to be ‘nothing’. He wanted her to know that he knew that there was something on her mind.

Ariella, who’d moved to push the front door closed, let out a quiet sigh before she shook her head, her blue eyes peeking up at him briefly before they dropped back towards her feet. “I...I need to talk to you” she murmured softly.

Adrian noticed the tone of her voice before he shook his head, a half-hearted smile appearing at the corner of his mouth. “That sounds ominous” he joked feebly.

Ariella tried to smile at his joke, but couldn’t, something which made Adrian sigh gently before he took a pace backwards, resting his weight against the front door. “Just say it, Ella” he mumbled “Whatever it is that you’re trying to say, just say it. It’s not going to sound any better if you drag it out” he added, folding his arms over his chest.

Ariella glanced at him for a moment, trying to come up with the right thing to say, before she shook her head, her fingers shyly pushing her hair behind her ear. “I’m sorry” she murmured “I mean, I thought...I thought that this was what I wanted, that after what happened between me and...him, I wanted something like this, like us, but...”

“But you don’t” Adrian finished for her.

Ariella blinked a couple of times, caught off guard by the sound of his voice, before she spared him a timid glance, something which made Adrian scoff before he shook his head, a bitter smile on his face. “Is this about him?” he grumbled.


“I’m not completely stupid, Ariella” Adrian cut in sharply, cutting off whatever excuse she was about to offer him “I’ve seen the way you look at him, like he’s the best thing ever, and I know that you’re still crazy about him, so don’t insult my intelligence by standing there and telling me that this...this isn’t about him and you” he spat.

Ariella stared up at him in surprise for a moment before she shook her head, her eyes not shifting away from her feet. “We kissed” she admitted.

Adrian snorted. “Of course you did” he grumbled “I mean, why wouldn’t my girlfriend go around kissing her ex?” he sneered.

“It wasn’t like that” Ariella replied “I went there to talk to him, Adrian, to try and explain what had happened and the just happened” she added.

Adrian scoffed. “It doesn’t just happen, Ariella” he countered “if you hadn’t wanted to kiss him, then you wouldn’t have done. If you cared about me even a shred, like I care about you, then you wouldn’t have kissed him. Did I even cross your mind?” he added.

Ariella offered him a look, something which made him shake his head, a bitter laugh falling out of his mouth. “What the hell was I thinking when I asked you out, eh?” he muttered.

“I’m sorry” Ariella murmured, wiping her eyes “I’m so sorry for this, Adrian, for everything” she added.

Adrian stared at her for a few long seconds, trying to think of something to say, before he shook his head, quickly pulling the front door open before he stepped out of it, slamming it loudly. Ariella flinched at the sound of it, not quiet anticipating it, before she shook her head, gently wiping her eyes before she padded back towards her bedroom.

She knew that it was the right thing to do, after what had happened between her and Gerard, she knew that her relationship with Adrian needed to come to its conclusion, but still it stung, even if she knew that it was the best thing for them both. The thought of losing Adrian was one that hurt her. She liked him, since they’d met, she’d thought that he was funny and sweet, and whilst she knew that their breakup was necessary, part of her was going to miss him, even if it was the best thing for the two of them.

Shaking her head, she wiped a few more loose tears off of her cheeks before the sound of the doorbell ringing flittered into her ears once more, causing her to heave out a sigh before she padded back through the apartment, pulling the door open without looking up. “What?” she muttered.

“Are you crying?”

Ariella’s head whipped up, her blue eyes settling on Gerard who looked down at her, a frown on his face. “Gerard...”

“Why are you crying?” Gerard interrupted “Has something happened?” he fussed.

Ariella shook her head before she stepped out of the doorway, padding back towards her bedroom. “It’s nothing” she murmured.

“It’s not nothing” Gerard countered “You’re crying, Ella” he pointed out, his voice softening slightly.

Ariella sighed as she stopped in her bedroom’s doorway, briefly contemplating telling him what had happened between her and Adrian, before she shook her head. “What are you doing here, Geri?” she posed.

Gerard spared her a look, briefly contemplating pushing her to tell him what was bothering her, before he sighed. “I found some of your stuff” he mused “I was clearing some stuff out of my bedroom and I found a few things of yours. I thought I’d bring them over and see if you wanted them rather than just throw them out. The box is out in my car” he explained.

Ariella nodded. “Bring it up” she mused “I’ll take a look through it” she added, stepping into the bedroom.

“I’ll be back in a second” Gerard quipped before he strode out of the apartment, returning a couple of minutes later with a cardboard box in his hand. Stepping into the bedroom, he offered it out to Ariella before he plopped down at the foot of her bed, his blue eyes fixed on the packed suitcase which sat in the centre of it.

“You don’t have to stick around” Ariella quipped, rummaging through the box’s contents “I can probably go through this myself” she added, a crooked smile pulling the corner of her mouth upwards.

“Are you going somewhere?” Gerard posed.

Ariella blinked before she looked up, following the line of his stare towards the bag on her bed. “Uh...yeah” she spluttered “I’ve got a couple of weeks off and I am going to go to Madrid to see my papa. It’s been a while since I visited” she explained.

Gerard quirked an eyebrow, sensing that there was something that she wasn’t saying.

Ariella caught his look, but opted to ignore it, instead refocusing her attention on the box which sat in her hands. Shuffling the contents around, she scanned the array of items briefly before she dipped her hand into the box, pulling out a hoodie which was easily too big for her. “Isn’t this yours?” she posed as she settled the box onto the floor, allowing her to unfurl the large sweatshirt.

Gerard frowned, slightly annoyed that she had changed the subject, before he nodded. “It is” he confirmed “But it is the one I gave you. You always got cold first thing in the morning and so I’d put that around you and I guess I started to think of it as yours. I don’t think I’ve worn it since you and I got together. I can take it back if you want me to” he offered.

Ariella hesitated before she gently shook her head, returning the sweater to the box as a moment of quiet passed between the two of them.

Gerard watched her for a moment before he shook his head. “You don’t have to get out of Barcelona for my sake, Ella” he murmured.

Ariella shook her head. “Gerard...”

“We’re adults” Gerard interrupted “And yes, things are pretty terrible between us right now, but I don’t want you to go out of your way to make me feel better. Contrary to popular believe, I am not made of glass, I won’t break down in tears every time I see you or we’re in the same place. It is shitty right now, and I don’t know how long that will last, but I know that I don’t want you to have to go out of your way to make sure that I am Ok. I can look out for myself” he insisted gently.

Ariella quirked a faint smile. “I don’t doubt that” she quipped “But I still think me getting out of here for a couple of weeks is a good idea. We need space, both of us, and I should be the one who takes the step back to allow for it. I mean, there’s no denying that this is whole mess is my fault, and if one of us needs to take a step back, then it ought to be me. It’s only a couple of weeks and my papa is more than excited about seeing me. It’s been a while since I saw him and his family” she explained gently.

Gerard merely frowned her at her, something which made Ariella shake her head before she padded towards the bathroom, mumbling something about having a few more things that she needed to pack before her flight the next morning. Gerard watched her duck out of the room before he pushed himself to his feet, stepping into the doorway. “You don’t have to go” he mumbled.

Ariella nodded. “Yeah I do” she countered “If you ever want to move on, I need to give you space and this is me giving it to you. I know I’ve been a shitty girlfriend, and a shitty friend to you in the last six or seven months, but I don’t want to keep being that. I know that I ruined us, and that that means that it’s very, very unlikely that we’re ever going to go back to normal or anything close to it, but I still want to help you move forwards, Gerard. If anyone deserves to find something amazing, it’s you” she explained, her voice faltering slightly at the prospect of him finding someone else.

She knew that she had no right to be upset about it, after the way that she had been so quick to move on with Adrian, she had absolutely no right to turn her nose up at the prospect of him moving on with someone else, but still it hurt her to think about it, even if she did want to see him find something or someone who made him happy. The idea that it wasn’t going to be her produced a dull ache in the pit of her stomach.

Gerard shook his head. “We had something pretty amazing” he quipped, a faint smile briefly flashing over his face.

Ariella smiled at him sadly and nodded, agreeing with him.

“I don’t want you to go” Gerard mumbled after a moment of quiet.

Ariella’s stomach flipped before she gently shook her head, tucking her hair nervously behind her ear. “I want to go” she countered “I need the time too, to get my head straight, and I am going take it. I hope it does us both some good” she added as she attempted to step around him.

Gerard held his ground for a moment, briefly contemplating reaching out to touch her, before he stepped aside, allowing her to pad back into the bedroom. “I hope so too” he mused quietly, offering her a faint smile.

Ariella returned his smile gently before she turned her attention back towards her bag, something Gerard took as his cue to get going. Stepping around the bed towards her, he pressed a lingering kiss against her cheek before he took a pace backwards. “Adios, Ella” he murmured gently before he made his towards the door, hoping that she was right about the time apart doing them some kind of good.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and mslou1 for the comments :)