In the End

69: Maybe I’m Just Optimistic

Letting out a small sleepy groan, Gerard cautiously blinked his eyes open, his ears filled with the silence which echoed throughout the bedroom. He wasn’t surprised by the quiet, with the season having ended the weekend previous, Gerard had been quick to suggest that he and Ariella take a weekend away just for the two of them, and whilst it had meant leaving Toby with Estella and Stefan for a couple of days, the defender was glad that they’d done it.

It had been a busy few weeks, with a lot of people keen to fuss about their engagement and them having started to make preliminary plans for their wedding day, it’d been a busy time for both him and Ariella, and he had wanted to take a break that was just for the two of them as a couple, even if it was only a couple of days. He wanted him and Ariella to enjoy a peaceful couple of days to themselves.

Blinking his eyes tiredly, he grumbled at the amount of bright sunlight which slipped through the partially open curtains before he turned onto his other side, frowning a little as he spotted the empty spot beside him. Staring at the empty spot for a few seconds, he frowned to himself before the distant sound of Ariella’s laugh caught his attention, causing him to shuffle towards the side of the bed.

Pushing himself up to his feet, he took a couple of seconds to stretch before he padded out of the bedroom, his eyes quickly settling on Ariella who sat on the couch, giggling at the screen of her laptop which was lit up with Estella and Toby’s faces. Stopping in his tracks, he quirked a small smile to himself before he took a pace backwards, leaning comfortably against the frame of the bedroom door.

“So” Estella mused “How is the romantic weekend away treating you?” she asked.

Ariella, who was quietly fiddling with the zip of Gerard’s sweater that she wore, quirked a soft smile before she shrugged, something which made Gerard, who stood quietly behind her, smile too. “It’s been good” she mused shyly “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I miss Toby like crazy, but it’s been nice, it just being the two of us. It’s been a while” she added, sheepishly pushing her dark hair behind her ear as a soft blush spread across her cheeks.

Estella smiled dotingly before she shook her head. “You love that guy” she teased.

Ariella rolled her eyes, but didn’t say anything, instead offering her mother a nod.

“I’ve always said how good he is for you, baby” Estella chirped boastfully.

Ariella let out a small laugh before she nodded her head. “You have” she quipped “And you were right about him, mama. I don’t think I could have done much better than him” she added, her voice softening slightly.

Gerard, who was still stood quietly behind her, smiled a little at her words before he cleared his throat, something which caused Ariella to whip her head around, her blue eyes widening as they looked up at him. “Gerard” she spluttered “I...I didn’t hear you get up. Did I wake you?” she added, her words rushed.

Gerard shook his head as he took a pace forwards, waving a little at the laptop’s camera. “Hola, Estella” he greeted warmly.

Estella blinked a couple of times, surprised to see him without a t-shirt on, before she waved back at him. “Buenos dias, Gerard” she greeted, not so subtly sparing a glance down at his chest.

Ariella rolled her eyes, catching her mother’s stare, before she shook her head. “I will call you tonight, mama” she mused “Give Toby a kiss from us, yeah?” she added.

Estella blinked and quirked a crooked smile before she nodded, offering her daughter a wink before she signed off, ending the call. Ariella shook her head before she closed the laptop down. “I’m sorry about her” she mumbled “I woke up a little while ago and I thought I could call to check in on Toby. I didn’t wake you up, did I?” she asked.

Gerard, who’d plopped down onto the couch beside her, shook his head. “You didn’t” he quipped “I just woke up” he added.

Ariella spared him a dubious look, wordlessly asking if he was sure, before she nodded her head, allowing a couple of beats of silence to pass between the two of them before Gerard quirked an impish smile. “You couldn’t have done better than me?” he quipped boastfully.

Ariella let out a groan, hiding her blushing cheeks in her hands. “You heard that?” she asked.

Gerard nodded. “I did” he confirmed “But honestly, I am not that surprised. I’ve always said that I am a catch” he teased.

Ariella shook her head, something which made him chuckle before he leant forwards slightly, taking both of her hands into his. “Hey” he mumbled, trying to coax her into looking up at him “You know that I am pretty crazy about you too, right?” he added, dipping his head slightly so that he met her stare.

Ariella nodded, offering him a shy smile. “I know” she mused.

Gerard smiled back at her softly before he leant into her, sneaking a soft kiss before he leant back, gently re-tucking her dark hair behind her ear. Smiling at her gently, he lightly traced his thumb along her cheekbone before he moved to push himself up to his feet, something which Ariella was quick to stop, her hand gently wrapping around his wrist. Gerard spared a look down at her hand before he lifted his head, offering her a slightly confused look.

“I’m glad it’s you” Ariella mumbled, her eyes not shifting away from their hands which she had moved to lace together.

Gerard frowned. “What?” he asked.

Ariella smiled shyly. “I am glad that you and I...I’m glad that we figured things out” she babbled softly “I mean, I don’t regret anything as much as I regret what happened between us before. Things got really messed up and I know that a lot of the blame for that has to be on me. I panicked and tore through something which, in hindsight, was wonderful, and I really thought...I thought that that would be it. I treated you so badly, Geri, and I thought that I’d really lost you as both my friend and my boyfriend” she explained carefully.

Gerard shook his head. “Ella...”

“I really hurt you, Geri” Ariella interrupted softly “And I don’t know that I ever said sorry for that, but if I didn’t, I want you to know that I am. I know how badly I screwed up, but still, somehow, we ended up here and’s amazing. I am crazy about you, Geri, I think I probably have been all along, and I am glad that we are where we are. I love you” she breathed, a giddy smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. They didn’t talk about it a lot, with things having gone so well for them since their reconciliation, any conversation about their previous relationship and its messy end had been infrequent, but she wanted him to know that she regretted how things had ended between them, and that she was exceedingly grateful that they’d given things a second shot.

Gerard stared at her for a couple of seconds, mulling over her words, before he gently shook his head, a soft smile pulling at the corner of his mouth. “I’m sorry too” he mumbled “I mean, I can’t sit here and pretend that first time around, I was a perfect boyfriend, but I don’t think I’ve ever doubted that we’d figure it out eventually. Maybe I am just optimistic” he added, shrugging impishly.

Ariella smiled at him, her fingers gingerly playing with his. “I like how optimistic you are” she mused “It balances out my worrying” she added.

Gerard, who was watching their fingers, grinned gently before he leant forwards, mumbling a soft ‘I love you’ as he pressed a soft kiss against her lips. Ariella smiled into the kiss and wrapped her arms around him, fussing wordlessly about how far they’d come after the mess of their breakup.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)