I Know I Was for a While

42: If You Want It

“Mila, are you guys home yet?”

Camila, who was quietly watching as Oscar slept in his crib, blinked a couple of times at the distant sound of Lionel’s voice before she lifted her head, listening as his footsteps drew closer to the bedroom door. It had been a while, after she and Isabel had stopped to get coffee together, they’d spent a further hour together before Camila had made her excuses to leave, and the brunette had to admit that she was glad that it over, even if she knew that spending with Oscar was something which meant a lot to Isabel. Camila was merely glad to be away from the awkward small talk and Isabel’s questions which she didn’t quite know the answer to.

She knew how she felt, with things between her and Lionel going as well as they were, she knew that the last thing she wanted to do was disturb the comfortable balance that they’d found, but she knew that it was a conversation that they needed to have, even if it did end in them agreeing that they lived together rather than Camila and Oscar merely staying with Lionel. It was a conversation that, eventually, they needed to have.

Gently twisting a piece of her dark hair around her finger, she listened to Lionel’s footsteps reach the bedroom door before she lifted her head up, offering him a small smile. “Sorry for not answering” she mumbled “I didn’t want to shout and run the risk of waking him. I’ve only just managed to get him off again. You’re back late” she added as she turned her stare back towards Oscar, watching as he stirred a little in his sleep.

Lionel nodded. “Gerard invited me to lunch” he quipped “And you know how he is. Once he starts talking, I think it’s actually impossible to shut him up” he added, flashing her a boyish grin as he sat down next to her.

Camila rolled her eyes playfully, a soft smile pulling at the corner of her mouth, but she didn’t say anything, allowing a few beats of silence to pass between them before Lionel shook his head, his hand gently moving to take a hold of hers which messed distractedly with the bottom of her shirt. “How was your day?” he mused, happily knotting their fingers together “Did it go OK with Isabel?” he asked.

Camila, who’d watched him knot their fingers together, was quiet for a couple of seconds before she shrugged her shoulders. “It was as good as it ever is” she mused “I mean, she fusses over Oscar and then we force some pretty awkward small talk. It was pretty much par for the course” she added, her dark eyes not moving to meet Lionel’s.

Lionel watched her for a second, a small frown playing on his lips, before he gently squeezed her hand. “Are you sure about that?” he asked gently “I mean, I know that you don’t look forwards to it, but usually you’re not so quiet when you get home. Are you sure that everything’s alright?” he pressed gently.

He knew that there was something bothering her, from the moment that he had stepped into the room, he had spotted the expression on her face, and he wanted encourage her to talk to him, even if he didn’t want to press her too hard. He wanted her to know that whatever it was that was bothering her, she could talk to him about it.

Camila’s expression twitched a little at his use of the word ‘home’ before she lifted her head, her dark eyes meeting his hesitantly. “Isabel asked if I was still looking for an apartment” she admitted quietly “I mean, she was talking about her and Victor helping me out with things for Oscar, and she started to talk about him needing his own room eventually, which she is right about, and that got her onto me looking at apartments, and I guess that got me thinking. Is it something you think about?” she asked, her voice a little flustered.

Lionel blinked a couple of times, struggling to keep up with her words, before he tilted his head. “Do I think about our living situation?” he asked, wanting to be sure that he was talking about the same thing.

Camila merely nodded, her fingers messing with his timidly.

Lionel was quiet for a moment, mulling over the question, before he shook his head, a slight smile on his face. “I know that I like it” he mused “I mean, I know that when you started to stay here, it was just supposed to be a temporary thing, but I think it’s worked out pretty well, don’t you?” he asked, his voice caught between teasing and curious.

Camila’s expression brightened a little at the warm tone of his voice before she nodded, offering him a shy smile. “I do” she mused.

Lionel marveled at her smile for a second, admiring the way that it lit up her face, before he stood up, gently tugging her up behind him before he guided her out of the bedroom.

Camila frowned, but followed after him as he stopped outside a room a little way down the hall, something which caused her to tilt her head, offering him a slightly confused look.

Lionel grinned at the confusion on her face before he nodded his head towards the door, wordlessly encouraging her to open it.

Camila flashed him a slightly bemused smile before she gently nudged the door open, revealing the empty room which sat on the other side of it. “It’s empty” she pointed out as she stepped over the threshold.

“You know, I hadn’t noticed that” Lionel quipped sarcastically from his spot in the doorway.

Camila scoffed playfully before she turned around, settling her eyes on where he stood in the doorway. “Did you have a reason for showing me an empty room?” she asked.

Lionel smirked before he offered her an impish shrug. “I thought it might make a good room for Oscar” he noted “I’ve cleared out all of the old furniture that was in here, and I was thinking that I could help you make it up into a nice room for him. I know it’s maybe a little presumptuous, but this is yours, his, if you want it to be” he added, his smirk softening into a gentle smile.

Camila blinked a couple of times before she shook her head, her fingers gently pushing a few hairs behind her ears.

Lionel watched her for a second before he took a pace towards her, his fingers carefully replacing hers as he tucked her hair behind her ear. “I know it was supposed to be temporary” he mumbled softly “I know that the plan was always for you to find somewhere else eventually, but honestly, I’d rather you didn’t. I love you being here, Mila, you and Oscar, and if you need me to ask you move in with me, here it is. Move in with me” he added, his other hand gently brushing against hers.

Camila spared a glance down at their hands, trying, and failing, to hide the soft blush which had spread over her cheeks, before she looked back up at him, a soft smile spreading across her lips. “We love being here too” she admitted shyly “And if you’ll have us, I think me and Oscar, we’d love to stay. I really think he likes it here” she added, gently slipping her fingers through his.

Lionel merely grinned at her, something which caused Camila to let out a soft laugh before she stepped a little closer to him, happily resting her forehead against his as a beat of silence passed between them. Lionel closed his eyes at the touch, relishing the moment, before he squeezed Camila’s hand softly, wordlessly reaffirming to her the idea that he wanted her, and Oscar, to stay around. It hadn’t crossed his mind, since Oscar had arrived, the prospect of him and Camila leaving wasn’t one that Lionel had given much thought to, and he wanted Camila to know it. It worked for them, despite their romantic relationship still being relatively new, the living situation that they found themselves in was one which had grown to be familiar and comfortable, and he didn’t want to her to doubt that it was something that he wanted to stay the same. He loved things the way they were.
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Thanks to mslou1 and FootieJo for the comments :)