In the End

74: Can You Quite Believe That?

Gently sliding the last clip into her dark hair, Ariella spared a glance towards the mirror, scanning her appearance uncertainly as the distant sound of muffled voices glided up the stairs. She knew that she couldn’t hide away forever, with a room full of both her and Gerard’s friends and family waiting downstairs to start the pre-wedding dinner that they’d arranged, she knew that it would only be a matter of time before someone came to look for her, but she keen to enjoy a few minutes to herself, wanting to try and get control of the butterflies which twitched almost uncontrollably in the pit of her stomach.

The nerves didn’t surprise her, with her wedding day the next day, she had expected that she would feel nervous at some point, but she was a little caught off guard by the strength of them, even if she was sure that it was just a little last minute cold feet. She was hopeful that the slight hint of nausea which had plagued her for a few days in the build up to the wedding would fade.

Readjusting a few loose hairs, she spared her reflection another appraising look before the sound of a low whistle reached her ears, causing her to breathe out a soft laugh before she turned towards the bedroom door, her blue eyes settling on Cesc who stood in the doorway, an amused smirk on his lips. “They sent you?” she quipped, lightly readjusting the skirt of her dress slightly.

“Gerard wanted to come” Cesc replied “But then he got sidetracked. Your mother’s already had a couple of glasses of wine and she might be a little tipsy” he added as he stepped a little further into the room, sitting down on the side of the bed.

Ariella, who’d moved to slip her feet into the pair of shoes that she had chosen out shook her head. “Already?” she asked.

Cesc shrugged. “She’s excited” he quipped “And I don’t think she can be blamed for that. I mean, it’s not every day that her only child gets married” he added teasingly.

Ariella’s cheeks flushed a soft shade of pink at the mention of her impending wedding, something which made Cesc chuckle before he patted the bed, offering her the seat at his side. Ariella lifted an eyebrow, but accepted the seat, sitting down next to him. “Aren’t we supposed to be going downstairs?” she noted “I mean, I’m half of the reason we’re throwing this party” she added playfully.

Cesc merely shrugged. “You’re already late” he pointed out “I doubt a couple of minutes more are going to matter that much. Besides, as your oldest friend, and Gerard’s best man, I thought I’d check in with you. You’re getting married tomorrow, Ella” he enthused, his voice caught between teasing and awed.

Ariella let out an awed laugh, allowing his words to hang around the two of them for a few long seconds, before she gently nodded her head, her fingers fiddling gingerly with the bottom of her dress. “Can you quite believe that?” she murmured.

“Honestly?” Cesc mused “Yeah, I can” he added.

“Really?” Ariella posed, looking up at him shyly.

Cesc nodded. “I’ve teased you a lot” he mused “And you can rest assured that your getting married will not change that, but honestly? I think you’re a wonderful match and I am very happy for you both” he added, his hand gently moving to squeeze hers softly. He knew that she was nervous, from the moment that he had stepped into the room, he had seen the nervousness on her face, and he wanted to offer her some reassurance, even if he was sure that it wouldn’t make a dent in soothing her nerves. He wanted to at least try and make her feel a little better.

Ariella glanced down at their hands for a few seconds before she quirked a small smile. “Gracias, Cesc” she murmured.

Cesc squeezed her hand once more before the distant sound of Gerard’s voice calling out their names filled the air, something which caused the midfielder to smile before he stood up, pulling Ariella up at his side. “You should probably come and put in appearance” he mused “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am a lot of fun, but I think people would like to see the bride-to-be at some point” he added playfully.

Ariella rolled her eyes before she took a pace back from him, self-consciously looking down at herself. “Do I look Ok?” she posed.

Cesc hesitated for a second, contemplating quipping back a jokey compliment, before he nodded, allowing his smirk to soften into a lighter smile. “You look beautiful, Ella” he mused “Really you do. That idiot downstairs? He has no idea how lucky he is” he enthused sincerely.

Ariella’s cheeks warmed slightly before she stepped towards him, wrapping him in a tight hug. “You’re a great friend, Fabregas” she mumbled quietly.

Cesc snorted playfully. “You should remember that you think that tomorrow when I am giving my best man’s speech” he joked, earning a laugh from Ariella.

Undoing the top button of his shirt, Gerard carefully rested his weight against the side of Toby’s crib, his blue eyes watching as the little boy slept quietly ahead of him. It had been a busy night, with a house full of guests downstairs, all waiting to make a fuss of him and Ariella before their wedding the next day, he felt as though he hadn’t been afforded more than a few seconds to himself, and he was keen to make the most of a few quiet minutes before someone noticed that he was missing.

He had been expecting it, with a lot of friends and family excited by the idea that they were so close to being married, he had been expecting the night to be long and full of fussing, and whilst he was pleased that everyone seemed to be so on board with the wedding, he was grateful for a couple of quite minutes.

Leaning forwards, he gently pushed his fingers back through Toby’s soft dark hair before the sound of a light knock against the nursery door caught his attention, causing him to turn slightly, smiling gently at the sight of Ariella who lingered in the doorway, the same slightly shy smile she had sported all night on her face. “You’re hiding too?” she joked, gently closing the door behind herself.

“I wouldn’t call it hiding” Gerard corrected “I just...they’re all very excited and I...”

“Don’t worry” Ariella interrupted comfortingly “I’ve been looking for an excuse to slip out since I came downstairs” she added.

Gerard arched an eyebrow. “Really?” he asked.

“I love them” Ariella mused with a nod “But it’s a little much and I almost regret letting my parents convince me that this was a good idea. The more I think about it, the more convinced I become that I’d have enjoyed a quiet night in with the girls” she explained.

Gerard laughed. “Tell me about it” he quipped “A couple of beers and an early night sounds pretty perfect” he added.

Ariella smiled at him, allowing a few seconds of silence to pass between them, before Gerard shook his head. “We’re getting married tomorrow” he breathed.

“We’re getting married tomorrow” Ariella repeated, her voice caught between giddy and shy.

Gerard smiled at the tone of her voice before he took a pace forwards, gently knotting their fingers together before he pulled one of her hands to his lips, allowing him to drop a soft kiss against her skin. “I can’t wait” he mumbled.

“Me either” Ariella replied “I mean, don’t get me wrong, there’s a part of me that’s incredibly nervous, so much so, I’ve felt like throwing up every morning for almost a week, but then there’s another part of me that’s just...I’m so excited, Geri” she babbled softly.

Gerard smiled against her skin before he moved to reply, only to be cut off as Cesc nudged the door open, stepping into the bedroom. “I’m sorry” he mused “But it’s getting late and I think you and I ought to get moving, Geri, unless you want to show up tomorrow looking rough” he joked.

Ariella rolled her eyes at the midfielder’s joke before she turned to Gerard, gently straightening the collar of his shirt. “I’ll see you tomorrow?” she asked.

Gerard nodded before he lifted his hands, gently cupping her cheeks. “Of course you will” he mused “Make sure that you get some sleep and don’t let your madre drive you too crazy” he added with a grin.

Ariella shook her head. “I can’t make any promises” she played along.

Gerard grinned down at her, dropping a kiss against her forehead and nose before he met her lips, kissing her softly for a few seconds before Cesc loudly cleared his throat. “You’re going to be apart for a matter of hours” he teased “You don’t have to kiss like you’re never going to see one another again” he added jovially.

Gerard rolled his eyes before he leant back into Ariella, pecking her lips a couple more times before he leant over the crib’s railing, pressing a kiss against Toby’s head. “I’ll see you at the end of the aisle, Ella” he fussed gently before he padded out of the room.

Cesc watched him out of the door before he turned to Ariella, wrapping her in a tight hug. “I’ll take good care of him” he mused “And I will make sure that he’s on time. I know how terribly he is with timekeeping” he joked before he bounced out of the room.

Ariella watched him out of the door before she shook her head, wordlessly counting down the hours that separated her from becoming Gerard’s wife.
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Thanks to FootieJo and Jayme112234 for the comments :)