If It Gave Us Time

31: I Know That Now

Pulling her slightly messy blonde hair out of her face, Isla pulled the roll of tape across the top of another box, sealing it up before she sat back, her blue eyes studying the array of boxes which were scattered around the room. It had been a little while, after Luna and Evan had announced their engagement, a few weeks had passed, and whilst the other couple had insisted that they didn’t mind Isla hanging around until she found somewhere else to stay, she’d opted to start shipping her things over to her parents’ home, not wanting to get in the way of the newly engaged couple.

She knew that there wasn’t a rush on it, ever since she had bought the topic up with her roommate, Luna had been insistent that Isla was more than welcome to stay for as long as she needed to, but still Isla wanted to get out of the way, knowing that both Luna and Evan would appreciate some time alone to get used to the idea of their engagement and living together for the first time.

Crossing her legs beneath herself, she stared around the room quietly for a moment before the sound of a knock against the bedroom door reached her ears, causing her to lift her head, her eyes settling on Gerard who stood in the doorway, a slightly sympathetic smile spread across his lips. Isla glanced up at him for a few seconds, admiring the smile that he wore, before she shook her head, returning her stare to the boxes ahead of her. “What’s that look for?” she mumbled teasingly.

Gerard smirked before he shuffled towards her, bending over so that he could greet her with a light kiss on the top of her head. “I can’t feel bad for you having to go back and live with your parents?” he teased “I mean, don’t get me wrong, they’re great, but we both know you’re going to be tired of it in less than a week” he added, plopping into the seat at her side.

Isla rolled her eyes. “You think it’ll take that long?” she played along as she shuffled a little closer to him, resting her head against his shoulder.

Gerard smiled and leant over, kissing her temple softly. “It’ll be fine” he mused “And hey, if you ever need a night away from them, there’s always my place. Isn’t that one of the perks of having a boyfriend?” he teased, smiling against her skin gently.

Isla closed her eyes, relishing the feel of his lips against her skin for a few seconds, before she shifted her hand, gently taking a hold of his. “I knew there had to be a reason I keep you around” she teased quietly as she messed with his fingers.

Gerard scoffed quietly and pressed another kiss against her temple before he stood up, padding across towards her wardrobe. “You need some help with this packing?” he asked “I mean, it looks like you’re having a good time as it is, but if you need a hand...” he trailed off playfully.

Isla glared up at him playfully before she shook her head, moving to hand him one of the empty cardboard boxes which sat in a pile at her side. “Try and fold things nicely” she commented.

Gerard let out another playful scoff before he turned towards the wardrobe. Settling the empty box down at his feet, he started to carefully fold her clothes into it before his eyes settled on a familiar piece of blue and red material, something which made him grin slightly before he leant forwards, gently tugging it off of its hanger. Smiling to himself, he gently turned the shirt over in his hands before he let out a scoff, his fingertips tracing the yellow lettering which was across the back of it. “Messi?” he announced.

Isla, who’d moved to start packing another box, looked up at the sound of his voice before she quirked a grin, her eyes quickly spotting the shirt that he held in his hands. “It could be worse” she quipped “I mean, I do have a particular soft spot for Isco and I’ve always thought I’d look good in white” she teased.

Gerard simply shook his head, something which made Isla giggle before she shuffled back to her feet. Stepping towards him, she gently tugged the shirt out of his hands before she folded it up, settling in down into the box at his feet. Offering him a soft smile, she stepped over the box and towards the wardrobe, rooting around inside of it for a few seconds before she pulled back, another piece of blue and red material clutched in her hand. “The other one was last year’s shirt, wasn’t it?” she asked.

Gerard nodded.

“This one is older” Isla continued “I mean, I got it in 2008 just after you...” she trailed off as a grin lit up Gerard’s face, something which caused her to shake her head, her cheeks blushing softly.

“What?” she babbled out.

“You got this when I signed for Barca” Gerard pointed out “You cared about that?” he asked.

Isla didn’t hesitate in nodding. “Of course I did” she replied as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“Why?” Gerard asked “I mean, by that point, we’d not spoken for a couple of years and you were probably pissed at me, so why did it matter to you?” he prodded.

Isla was quiet for a few seconds, her fingers gently tracing over the lettering on the back of the shirt which spelt out his name, before she shrugged her shoulders gently. “I knew how much it meant to you” she announced cautiously “I mean, yeah, I was pissed at you, and we’d not spoke for a while, but it didn’t mean that I wasn’t thrilled for you, Geri. You wanted to be a success here and coming back to Barca? I knew how much it meant to you, and I wanted to mark it in some way. Whether you were a selfish jerk or not, you’d still been my best friend, and I still wanted to see you fulfil those dreams of yours” she explained, each word carefully thought out and considered.

Gerard, who’d been watching her fingers spell out his name, smiled gently. “Selfish jerk?” he poked.

Isla’s cheeks flushed a little before she shook her head. “You know what I mean” she muttered.

Gerard chuckled a little before he stepped towards her, gathering her in a tight hug that Isla didn’t hesitate in returning, her arms wrapping tightly around his waist. Gerard smiled at the feel of her arms around his waist before he bent his head over, pressing a soft kiss against the top of her head. “I...uh...I kind of lo...”

“Are these boxes ready to go yet?”

Gerard flinched at the sound of Daniel’s voice before he pulled back from Isla, watching as Isla’s parents came to appear in the doorway.

“A few of them are” Isla quipped “Do you and mama want to take them down to the car?” she asked.

Daniel nodded. “Of course” he confirmed “Hola, Gerard” he added, offering the defender a tentative smile.

Gerard smiled weakly in return. “Hola, Daniel, Eva” he mused.

Eva grinned up at him. “I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other when Isla’s home” she mused “I look forwards to it, Gerard” she added before she picked up one of the boxes, following her husband back out of the room.

Isla watched her parents out of the room before she shook her head, turning back to look at Gerard. “I’m sorry for them” she mumbled “You were saying something?” she added as she stepped back towards him, gently wrapping her arms around his waist once more.

Gerard wrapped his arms around her before he lightly shrugged, swaying her slightly from side to side. “I was just going to say how much I love that you bought the shirt” he mumbled “I didn’t expect that you cared that much about me at that point, but I am glad that you did” he added, pressing a kiss against the top of her head.

It hadn’t been what he was going to say, if not for the intervention of Eva and Daniel, he was pretty certain that he would have managed to stumble out those three words, but, in a way, he was grateful for her parents’ interruption, almost certain that that wasn’t the right moment for him to say it. He knew he felt it, despite their relationship only being a few weeks old, it was all it had taken to reawaken feelings he’d tried to forget whilst they’d been apart, but he didn’t want to rush it. It was going well, better than he had thought it would, and he didn’t want to mess it up. He wanted to enjoy it.

Isla leant back slightly, looking up into his eyes. “I’ve always cared about you, you idiot” she mumbled.

“I know that now” Gerard replied with a sarcastic roll of his eyes.

Isla giggled before she leant up and kissed him, something which had Gerard smiling against her lips.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)