In the End

34: You’re Better Together

Settling her bag down onto the bed ahead of her, Ariella let out a quiet sigh in relief, glad that she was within sight of being able to relax for a while. It hadn’t been the longest flight, the trip from Barcelona to London had only lasted a couple of hours, but still Ariella was glad that she had arrived, even if she had gotten a little sleep on the plane. She was more than looking forwards to relaxing for the evening. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, she quietly slipped her feet out of the trainers she wore before the soft buzzing of her phone reached her ears, a sound which caused a small grin to spread across her features.

Pushing herself back to her feet briefly, she moved to slip the phone out of her pocket before she spared a quick glance down towards the screen, her smile widening a fraction at the sight of Gerard’s name. Shaking her head, she retook her seat on the side of the bed before she pressed the phone against her ear. “You know, I’ve barely been at Cesc’s for five minutes” she quipped “And I saw you this morning before you left. Did you really miss me that much already?” she teased.

Gerard snorted, a sound which made Ariella confident that he sported a warm smile on his face. “Sorry for wanting to make sure that you got in safely” he retorted sarcastically.

Ariella giggled softly, her fingers gently toying with the ends of her hair. “It’s sweet of you” she replied “I mean, I would have liked to sit down for longer than two minutes before you called...” she trailed off playfully.

Gerard huffed out a lighthearted sigh, allowing a comfortable silence to pass between them for a few seconds, before he spoke again. “How was the flight?” he asked, his voice softening a little.

Ariella, who’d moved to get a little more comfortable, shrugged. “It was OK” she mused “It was pretty comfortable and I managed to get about an hour’s sleep. What about you?” she asked.

“The flight was fine” Gerard retorted “And the hotel is pretty nice. You’re spending the night at Cesc’s, aren’t you?” he posed.

“I am” Ariella confirmed “I mean, I did suggest that I rent a hotel room for a night, but he was pretty insistent that I stay with him seeing as I am only in town for one night” she added.

“It makes sense” Gerard replied “I mean, he’ll never admit it, but I think a part of him misses you when you’re not around” he added.

Ariella smiled gently. “It’s nice to see him and Daniella” she mused.

Gerard hummed in acknowledgement of her comment before the sound of someone else’s voice slipped down the line, something which made Ariella shake her head gently. “You have to go?” she asked softly.

Gerard spoke quietly for a second, clearly talking to the person who was in the room with him, before he let out a soft sigh. “Lo siento” he murmured “But I have to get going. We’re due down for dinner and I don’t think they’ll appreciate me being late. I’ll call you first thing in the morning?” he asked.

Ariella smiled. “Try not to make it too early” she quipped.

“I’d hate to disturb your beauty sleep” Gerard played along.

Ariella let out a soft laugh before she shook her head. “Buenos noches, Geri” she mused.

“Buenos noches, mi amor” Gerard replied tenderly before he hung up the phone.

Ariella’s cheeks flushed a soft shade of pink as she gently pulled the phone away from her ear, a soft smile still stuck on her face.


Ariella, who’d been quietly smiling to herself, startled at the sound of Cesc’s voice before she lifted her head, her blue eyes settling on the midfielder who stood in the doorway, a curious smile on his lips. “Huh?” she spluttered.

“Was it Gerard on the phone?” Cesc rephrased “I mean, you have been here for all of ten minutes” he added with a grin.

Ariella rolled her eyes, but nodded her head, her hands fiddling with the bedspread. “He just wanted to make sure that I had gotten here OK” she mused quietly.

Cesc quirked a small smile, watching her hands for a couple of seconds, before he shook his head. “You two are still going strong?” he posed curiously.

Ariella nodded. “I like to think so” she replied “I mean, we’ve been together for a few months now, and things seem to be going pretty well. I think we’re both happy with what’s going on between us” she added.

She wasn’t surprised by the question, with her and Gerard having been together for a while, she knew that people would be keen to check on how things were going between them, wanting to ensure that things were still going well, and whilst she didn’t like the idea of people having their doubts about them, she knew it was inevitable after the way things had ended before. They had been happy before, up until their breakup, things appeared, on the surface at least, to be going well, and she couldn’t blame people for checking in that time around, even if she didn’t like it. She knew that people were only trying to look out for Gerard.

Cesc, who’d moved to sit on the edge of the bed beside her, nodded his head thoughtfully before he turned, flashing her a soft smile. “Good” he mused.

“Good?” Ariella queried.

Cesc nodded. “I know I teased you a lot” he mused “Both you and Gerard, I teased the two of you a lot about getting together, and about taking so long, but I was happy for you, Ella, and I am happy for you now. You guys are both my friends, I love the two of you, and I like you together. I think that you two are better together than you are apart” he explained softly.

Ariella offered him a soft look, but didn’t say anything, something which made Cesc shake his head quietly. “I don’t want to intrude” he continued “And I am not trying to upset you by raking up a past that I am sure that you and Gerard are trying to put behind you, but you know how badly you hurt him, right?” he posed.

Ariella nodded quietly, her eyes not even attempting to meet his.

“You broke his heart, Ella” Cesc noted, his voice soft “I mean...I’ve never seen him quite as hurt as he was after you broke things off with him. He loved you so much, Ella, and he still does. You know that, right?” he asked.

Ariella nodded. “I do” she mused simply.

Cesc sat quietly for a couple of seconds, trying to find the right words to say to her, before he let out a quiet sigh. “I don’t know what went wrong” he murmured “I don’t know what it was that made you think that breaking up with Gerard was necessary, and I don’t really want to know what it was, but I do want to know that you’re not going to run into the same problem this time around, Ella. I want to know that you’re not going to screw this up again” he added, his brown eyes catching her stare fleetingly before she diverted it back to her hands which had moved to fiddle shyly in her lap.


“I know he wasn’t perfect” Cesc cut in “I’d be an idiot to think that the blame laid solely with you, but still...I know you can’t make promises but...”

“I don’t want to mess it up again” Ariella interjected, peeking up at him shyly “I know what a mess I made of this last time, and I know why people are wary. If I were in your place, I’d be wary too, but I am really trying to make this work this time around. I can’t change what happened, it’s always going to be a part of our story, but I want it to be a story that continues. I do love him, Cesc, even if I haven’t always gone the best way about showing it, and I...I will do everything I can to make sure that this keeps working, because being with him is something which makes me happy, and I think it makes him happy too” she added, a tentative smile pulling at the corner of her lips.

She had been expecting it, from the moment that she and Gerard had gotten back together, she had been sure that it was only a matter of time before one of their friends of families warned her about the prospect of her hurting Gerard for a second time, and she wanted to reassure Cesc that he didn’t have anything to be worried about, even if it was only early days between her and Gerard. She wanted him to know that she had no intention of going anywhere anytime soon.

Cesc offered her a look, quietly mulling over her words, before he nodded his head, a soft smile pulling at the corner of his mouth. “I’m happy for you both, you know” he murmured “I mean, you’re one of those annoyingly adorable couples, but you are good together and I am glad that you’re giving it another shot. There was a reason that I introduced the two of you” he added, his smile transitioning into a playful smirk.

Ariella scoffed. “You’re never going to let me forget that you introduced us, are you?” she posed.

Cesc shook his head. “Never” he quipped.

Ariella rolled her eyes playfully before she gently reached over, offering him a brief hug. “Gracias” she mumbled quietly before the sound of Daniella’s voice calling for the two of them filled the air, causing the brunette to push herself up to her feet, quickly padding out of the room. Cesc watched her out of the door briefly before he followed after, wordlessly hoping that things did work out the second time around.
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Thanks to mslou1, FootieJo and Jayme112234 for the comments :)