In the End

42: Look Down

Nervously pushing her dark hair behind her ear, Ariella quietly surveyed the dining room, ensuring that everything she had bought was settled into its place. It had been a few days, after her visit to her doctor which had confirmed that she was pregnant, she had opted to keep the news to herself for a little while, wanting a chance to wrap her own head around it before she shared it with Gerard. She couldn’t hide the news forever, with her doctor relatively convinced that she was only in the early stages of her pregnancy, she knew that she still had some time before she began to show, but still she wanted to let Gerard know sooner rather than later, even if her stomach did turn at the thought of him reacting badly. She knew it wasn’t something she could hide from him.

Fiddling with her hair a little more, she took a pace backwards, only for her back to collide with Gerard as he stepped into the room. Instinctively, the defender steadied her on her feet before he quirked a small impish smile, something which made Ariella shake her head, a sheepish smile of her own quickly spreading across her lips. “Sorry” she mumbled “I didn’t hear you coming. I was about to come and get you for dinner” she explained.

“I can see that” Gerard quipped “What’s the occasion?” he added as he moved to take his seat.

Ariella followed his lead, taking her own seat, before she shook her head. “I need a reason to make us both dinner?” she posed, poking a few pieces of food on her plate.

Gerard watched her mess with her fork for a couple seconds, briefly contemplating asking what was on her mind, before he shook his head, offering her a small smile. “Of course not” he noted “I’m just a little surprised is all. We both know that, out of the two of us, I’m the far better cook” he teased.

Ariella snorted playfully, but still her expression seemed slightly uneasy, something which didn’t go unnoticed by the defender. It wasn’t the first time that she had looked anxious, since he had suggested that it would be a good idea for her to pay a visit to her doctor, there had been more than one occasion where she had seemed a little distant or quiet, and whilst Gerard knew better than to push her on it, it did irk him slightly.

They’d gotten better at talking, since they’d reconciled, both he and Ariella had been more open with one another, more prepared to talk about what was bothering them, and it bothered him that there was something she was keeping back. He had thought that they’d gotten to a point in their relationship where they could talk about everything and anything that was on their minds.

Eating the meal that Ariella had cooked for him, he watched Ariella quietly eat her own meal for a few long minutes before he let out a loud sigh, setting his knife and fork down on either side of plate. “What’s going on with you, Ella?” he asked, trying to keep the tone of annoyance out of his voice.

Ariella blinked a couple of times before she lifted her eyes away from her plate, mirroring his blue ones. “What?” she asked.

Gerard scoffed. “Don’t do that” he mumbled “Don’t pretend that you don’t know what I am talking about. You’ve been weird for days, Ella, you’ve been quiet and evasive with me, and I want to know why. Is there something I am missing?” he asked, his voice softening slightly.

Ariella held his stare for a second before she dropped her eyes slightly, sparing a glance at the mostly empty plate of food which sat ahead of him. Quirking a half smile to herself, she looked back up at him before she tucked her hair back behind her ear. “Look down” she breathed quietly.

Gerard frowned. “What?” he spluttered.

“Look down” Ariella repeated, the tone of her voice difficult to decipher.

Gerard’s frown deepened, confused by what she was asking of him, before he followed her instructions, settling his eyes on the plate which sat ahead of him. Staring at the ceramic for a moment, he spotted a few letters poking out from beneath the remainder of his meal, something which caused him to lift his fork, pushing the food away from the centre of the plate to reveal a short message and a picture sketched onto the plate in Ariella’s unmistakable style. Blinking a couple of times, he pushed a little more food around before his eyes widened, making out the words ‘Guess Who’s Going To Be A Papa’ written on the plate just above a cute sketch of what he assumed to be him and Ariella, his hands on her swollen stomach.

“Are you speechless?”

Gerard didn’t flinch at the sound of Ariella’s voice, his eyes transfixed on the plate ahead of him.

Ariella, who was watching him, smiled shyly to herself. “I don’t think you’ve ever been speechless before” she mused “At least not since I have known you. I should make a note of the date” she joked feebly, trying to illicit a response, any response from him. She knew that he was surprised, given the way she had felt when she had seen the positive result, she knew exactly the way he felt, but she wanted him to say something, even if it was just babbled nonsense. She just wanted to hear something from him.

Gerard didn’t move, his gaze still stuck to the plate.

Ariella shifted a little in her seat, uncomfortable in the quiet, before she pushed herself up to her feet, gathering her own half empty plate before she attempted to step past him, something Gerard was quick to stop, his hand lightly settling on her wrist as she tried to walk past him. Tentatively, he took her plate out of her hand and set it back down onto the table before he turned back to her, taking both of her hands in his. “” he babbled out, his blue eyes looking up at her, a few tears shining in them.

Ariella breathed out a small laugh before she nodded her head, her eyes fixed on her feet. “My doctor seems pretty convinced” she mused “I mean, he made me do a test and he took some blood, just to be sure, but they both say the same thing” she added.

Gerard simply nodded, still trying to get his head around the idea.

Ariella smiled down at him softly before she gently lifted one of his hands, pressing it gently against her stomach. “Geri, I am pregnant” she breathed.

Gerard, who’d been looking down at his hand, choked out a sound, trying to hide the fact that he was crying before he shook his head. “You’re serious?” he asked, peeking up at her slightly.

“You think I would joke about this?” Ariella retorted, her own expression softening as she spotted the tearful look which had spread across his face.

Gerard quirked a tearful smile before he leant back in his seat slightly, his hand not daring to move an inch away from its spot against her stomach. “You’re really having my baby?” he breathed “I...I really got you pregnant?” he added.

Ariella merely nodded, wiping a few loose tears off of her cheeks.

“I’m going to be a dad?” Gerard questioned.

“You’re going to be a dad, Geri” Ariella confirmed with another tearful smile.

Gerard stared at his hand for a few more seconds, allowing the words to hang around the two of them, before he gently tugged her closer, capturing her in a kiss that caused her smile to widen before he pulled back slightly, lowering his head so that he could pepper the front of her shirt with soft kisses. Grinning, he kissed his way across her stomach twice before he lifted his head, looking up at her as she smiled tearfully down at him. Gently reaching his hand up, he brushed a few tears off her cheeks before he pulled her into a tight hug, something Ariella didn’t hesitate in returning, the grins on both of their faces immovable.
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Thanks to mslou1, Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)