If It Gave Us Time

04: You’ve Always Been Good At Saying The Wrong Thing

Stuffing his hands into his pockets, Gerard stopped ahead of Isla’s bedroom door, trying to work up the nerve to lift a hand and knock on it. he knew that she wouldn’t want to see him, after the way that she’d left him sat in the café, he knew that it was likely that he would be the last person that she wanted to see, but he hadn’t been able to just let it slide, even if he was sure that Isla hadn’t intended to see him again. He wanted to make a better attempt at making a second first impression on her. It had surprised him, when she’d looked up at him, for a few seconds, he hadn’t quite know what to say or do, but he regretted trying to make light of the tension that obviously existed between them, even if a small part of him had hoped that whatever upset he’d caused Isla would have faded over the years. He knew that trying to pretend that nothing had happened had been an error.

Taking in a deep breath, he offered the door another brief gander before he took a half step backwards, shaking his head to himself.

“Aren’t you going to knock?”

Gerard, who’d moved his stare down towards his feet, flinched a little at the sound of Luna’s voice before he turned, offering her a quick look before he stepped forwards again, tapping his hand gently against the door. Stepping back, he waited patiently for the bedroom door to open before he quirked a faint smile, watching as Isla stepped into the doorway, cleaning her glasses on the bottom of her t-shirt. “You know that you don’t have to knock, right?” she quipped, not looking up.

Gerard smirked a little. “I didn’t think you’d want me to just walk in” he retorted, his voice caught between awkward and playful.

Isla’s head whipped up at the sound of his voice before she shook it, a slight scoff falling out of her mouth. “Did you follow me home?” she asked.

Gerard shook his head. “No” he replied “I spoke to Sofia, I asked if she knew where you lived, and she gave me the address” he explained.

“And you thought you’d just show up?” Isla pressed, putting her glasses back on “Given how badly tonight went, you thought that I’d want to see you again?” she added.

Gerard merely shrugged, offering her a half-smile.

Isla admired the look on his face for a second before she shook her head. “Gerard...”

“I just want to talk, Isla” Gerard interrupted gently “I mean, I know earlier was a bit of a disaster...” he trailed off as Isla let out another slight scoff, something which made him smile gently.

“OK” he corrected “I know earlier was terrible, but I’d really just like to talk to you. You can yell at me when I am done if it will make you feel better, but can I just have a few minutes? I promise, I won’t even call you Lala” he added, trying to keep his voice warm and upbeat.

Isla stared up at him for a moment, allowing his words to hang around them, before she caught Luna’s eye over his shoulder. Titling her head, she wordlessly asked the other woman what she thought she ought to do, before Luna offered her a small nod, something which caused Isla to nod herself, taking a half pace back over the threshold which led into her bedroom. “We can talk in here” she mumbled, stepping out of the doorway.

Gerard blinked a couple of times, surprised by her answer, before he followed her into the room.

Isla watched him step into the room, not missing how he looked around curiously, before she gently nudged the door closed, moving to settle down on her bed.

Gerard heard her move, but didn’t turn to look at her, instead curiously looking around the bedroom, his eyes settling on a board of picture which was stuck on the wall furthest away from. Quirking a faint smile, he took a couple of steps across the room before he shook his head, his fingers gently tugging one picture off of the board. “Is this Rodrigo?” he asked, turning around to show off the picture to Isla.

Isla, who’d been messing with a loose thread which poked out of her duvet cover, looked up at the sound of his voice before she nodded, a small smile reluctantly lighting up her face. “Yeah” she breathed “That’s him with his youngest” she added.

“Youngest?” Gerard asked, grinning down at the picture of Isla and her older brother who sat on either side of a toddler, pulling silly faces for the camera.

Isla nodded. “He’s been married for nearly five years” she commented “And they’ve got two boys, Arthur and Jacob” she added.

Gerard nodded his head slowly before he moved to put the picture back up, allowing a few long seconds of silence to pass before Isla shook her head. “Gerard...”

“I’m sorry” Gerard interrupted, clearing his throat slightly “For earlier. I shouldn’t have...I shouldn’t have acted like nothing had happened between us. I just...I didn’t really know what to say, or what to do. I can’t even remember the last time I saw you, Isla, and I didn’t know what to do, so I acted...so I was an idiot” he added, breathing out a soft laugh.

Isla’s lips quirked upwards into a brief smile, but she quickly stifled it, shaking her head gently.

Gerard caught her smile, even despite her attempts to hide it, before he shuffled towards the bed, settling down into the spot beside her. “I meant what I said though” he mumbled softly “You really do look amazing” he added, just wanting to say something so that the silence didn’t linger around them.

Isla merely scoffed, her fingers messing with the frames of her glasses in an attempt to distract from the light shade of pink which had gently spread over her cheeks.

Gerard watched her for a second before he shook his head, redirecting his stare down towards his feet. “I really don’t know what to say to you, Isla” he mumbled quietly.

Isla quirked a half-hearted smirk, like an amusing thought had crossed her mind, but she didn’t say anything, instead opting to merely stare down at her feet.

Gerard turned his head slightly, watching her for a few long seconds, before he shook his head. “I’m sorry” he mumbled softly “I mean, I know that that’s not enough, and I know that it’s not going to change what happened between us, but I just...I want you to know that. It really should have been the first thing I said to you earlier” he added, his fingers scratching his chin awkwardly.

Isla looked up at him, another small smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. “You’ve always been pretty good at saying the wrong thing” she teased.

Gerard let out a small laugh before he lifted his stare, his blue eyes mirroring hers. “I fucked up” he mumbled “And I am sorry that I did” he added.

Isla shook her head. “Gerard...”

“I know it’s not that easy” Gerard interrupted, cutting off what he was sure would be her telling him that his apology wasn’t going to be enough “I know that you’re still upset. I mean, it’s been years, but I still remember the face, Lala” he added, a slight grin on his face.

Isla scoffed, but couldn’t stifle her small smile, something which made Gerard’s widen slightly before he shook his head, his hand gently patting hers which sat on the duvet next to him. “Tonight sucked” he mused, disturbing the brief silence which had settled over them “But maybe...I don’t know...maybe we could...” he trailed off, offering her a slightly hopeful smile.

Isla’s expression softened slightly. “I...I don’t know, Gerard” she murmured.

“Dinner” Gerard suggested “As an attempt to make up for the date that you went on tonight. I heard that your friends did a terrible job of setting you up” he added, his voice caught between shy and teasing.

Isla didn’t want to laugh, but couldn’t stop herself, something which made Gerard grin at her. “I’m going to take that as a yes” he mused “And I am going to show up here tomorrow night, so you should probably ready. I mean, your pajamas are nice...” he trailed off as he shuffled towards his feet.

Isla shook her head, smiling despite herself, before she cleared her throat softly. “I...I’ll see you then, Gerard” she stumbled out.

Gerard’s amused smile softened slightly before he nodded. “I’ll see you then, Isla” he replied gently.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)