There Was You

11: You Don’t Need To Beat Yourself Up About That

Hesitantly tapping his hand against Riley’s front door, Iker took half a pace backwards, watching the door as he waited for her to open it. It had been a little while, after they’d talked about what was happening between the two of them, a couple of weeks had passed, and with Real Madrid due to play again Liverpool in the final of the champions league, Riley had asked Iker over to watch the match with her, something the goalkeeper was looking forwards to, even if he was slightly apprehensive about spending the evening in Riley’s apartment. He couldn’t deny that he had been waiting for it excitedly since she had extended the invitation to him.

They hadn’t seen each other as much, with Iker having been focused on finishing the season off with Porto and Riley having been busy at work, they’d found finding time to get together a little more difficult to come by, and Iker was looking forwards to seeing her again, even if they were a little more awkward around each other after the conversation they’d had. It hadn’t changed the fact that he enjoyed being around her.

Shifting his feet, he watched the door for a few more seconds before it pulled open, revealing Riley who greeted him with a quick smile before she turned her attention back to the phone she held against her ear. “Yes, Marisol” she quipped “I did send an invitation to your sisters for your bachelorette party. Why wouldn’t I?” she asked, stepping out of the doorway to allow Iker inside.

Iker stepped past her, smiling a little as he recognized the white shirt that she wore, before she spoke again, padding back towards the living room. “They’re your sisters, Marisol” she muttered “Whether I like them or not is irrelevant. I sent them invitations because they’re your sisters and it’s you that’s getting married, not me. If they didn’t get them, then that’s their problem, not mine” she added, rolling her eyes slightly.

Iker, who’d moved to rest against the back of the couch, caught her eye before he quirked a smirk, something which caused Riley to smile a little in return before she shook her head, returning her focus to the phone. “I’ve got to go, Mari” she mused “Tell Isabella and Tessa that I’m sorry that their invitations got lost” she added before she hung the phone up, stuffing it down into her pocket.

“That sounded like fun” Iker chirped impishly.

Riley scoffed, shaking her head. “Have you ever met Tessa and Isabella?” she asked.

“I’ve not had the pleasure” Iker replied “Are they that bad?” he asked.

“They’ve never really liked me” Riley replied “I don’t really know why, but they never have, and I think they’re both a little pissed that Marisol chose me to be her maid of honor when she has the two of them. They’re now insisting that I didn’t invite them to her bachelorette party next week, which of course I did, but Marisol still called and asked if I had, which is irritating in its own way. Anyway, hi” she added, taking in a calming breath before she relaxed, offering him a small smile.

Iker grinned back at her. “Hi” he quipped “I like your shirt” he added.

Riley looked down, her cheeks flushing shyly. “It was a birthday present from my padre” she mumbled “Kroos is probably my favourite player and he was stuck for other ideas, so this landed on my doorstep” she added, turning around to show off the name which was printed on her back.

Iker admired it for a second, allowing a momentary silence to pass between them, before Riley cleared her throat, turning back to look at him. “Can I get you drink of something?” she asked “And what do you want to do about food? Personally, I will eat anything, but if you have any kind of preference...” she trailed off as Iker breathed out a soft laugh, causing her to close her eyes, smiling sheepishly.

“What can I get for you, Iker?” she rephrased gently.

“We’ll start with a drink” Iker quipped “And see where the night takes us” he teased.

Riley laughed. “You got it” she quipped before she stepped past him, making her way towards the kitchen.

~#~
“How are the plans for the big day coming along?” Iker asked as he leant forwards, settling his empty plate down onto the coffee table ahead of him. It had been a good night, any trace of tension that Riley had felt after her conversation with Marisol had faded almost as soon as they’d settled in to watch the match, and it pleased Iker who merely wanted her to enjoy herself, even if it was just a distraction for a couple of hours.

Riley, who’d been placing another serving of food onto her plate, tilted her head, a little smirk toying at the corner of her mouth. “Are you really interested?” she asked.

Iker shrugged. “Sure” he quipped “I mean, Nuno hardly talks about it. Is it all going OK?” he asked.

Riley offered him a dubious look before she shrugged, leaning back into her seat. “It’s as under control as it can be” she mused after a moment of thought “I mean, it was always going to be a lot of work when Marisol and Nuno chose a date only a couple of months after they got engaged, but I think it’s starting to get there. She took me out dress shopping a few days ago” she added.

“And?” Iker prodded.

“Her dress is stunning” Riley replied “I mean, it took us hours to find the right one, but it’s really worth it. Nuno’s not going to know what hit him” she added, her voice softening a little as she glanced down at her plate.

Iker tilted his head, noticing the change in her voice. “That’s a good thing, no?” he prodded gently.

Riley nodded, not looking up at him. “Of course it is” she mused “I just...I was just thinking about something. It’s nothing” she added, shaking her head.

Iker scoffed playfully. “Do we really have to go through this again?” he chirped warmly.

Riley sighed, messing with the cutlery on her plate. “I was just thinking about Ben” she mumbled “I know I shouldn’t have been, but...I don’t know. I guess I kind of thought that Marisol was right about us, that he’d see Nuno propose to her and then he’d start getting ideas about us doing the same and I guess it kind of...it’s selfish, but I guess that makes all of this a little harder. Don’t get me wrong, I am so thrilled for Marisol and for Nuno, but...”she trailed off, shaking her head to herself.

She didn’t like that she still thought about him, since they’d broken up, she was almost certain that she wouldn’t have crossed Ben’s mind once and she hated that he still crossed hers, especially when it made something which should have been so exciting more difficult than she wanted it to. She had thought about the prospect of an engagement, after four years of dating and a lot of teasing from Marisol, she had let herself believe that Ben was thinking about asking her to marry him, and that made their breakup harder to take. She had been thinking of their future, and he had been looking for an escape hatch.

Iker’s expression softened a little before he shuffled a little closer to her, hesitating slightly before he lifted a hand, tucking some of her hair which she had allowed to fall over her face behind her ear. “You don’t need to beat yourself up about that, Riley” he murmured “You were with him for four years, and there’s no harm in having thought that you’d have a future with him, or in being upset that you don’t. It’s going to make things hard, and that’s OK” he insisted, lightly brushing the pad of his thumb across her cheekbone.

Riley closed her eyes at his touch before she shook her head, looking up at him gently. “Really?” she asked.

Iker smiled reassuringly. “Yeah” he quipped.

Riley kept her eyes on his for a few moments, noticing how close they were to one another, before she tilted her head down, shaking it softly. “Sorry” she murmured “You didn’t come here to listen to me complain about him. We should be celebrating Real’s win” she insisted, shuffling back to her feet so that she could put a little distance between them.

Iker didn’t try and stop her, instead opting to grin up at her. “What’ve you got in mind?” he asked.

Riley, who’d busied herself with tidying away their plates, shrugged. “I don’t know” she mused “We could go to a bar or something” she added.

Iker nodded. “Sounds good to me” he quipped “One condition, though” he added.

Riley lifted an eyebrow. “What?” she asked.

“You buy the first round” Iker quipped impishly.

Riley laughed, but shook her head. “I’d love to” she mused “But I’ve got to save my money. Marisol’s bachelorette party is next weekend” she added.

Iker scoffed playfully. “Nice excuse, Ry” he teased.

Riley tilted her head a little, something which caused Iker to frown. “Something I said?” he asked.

Riley just shook her head, not wanting to admit that her stomach had given a little jump when her nickname had fallen out of his mouth so casually. “Sorry” she muttered “My mind wandered. Now, are you buying me a drink or not, Casillas? Because if you are, I need to go and get changed” she added.

Iker rolled his eyes good-naturedly before he nodded. “Sure” he mused.

“Great” Riley replied “I’ll be right back” she added before she jogged out of the room, returning moments later in a vest top that she was pulling a check shirt over the top of.

Iker smiled as he admired her before she caught him looking, something which caused his cheeks to flush as he looked away. “You good to go now?” he asked, stuffing his hands in his pockets.

“Depends” Riley replied “Do you think I look alright? I thought about changing my shorts. Do you think I need too?” she asked gently.

Iker shook his head. “You look gorgeous, Ry” he quipped, liking that she hadn’t stopped him from using the nickname like he had expected she would.

Riley felt her stomach give another little jump as her cheeks flushed pink. “Thank you” she mumbled.

Iker shrugged, smiling at her softly. “Just being honest” he quipped “We going?” he asked.

Riley nodded, collecting her bag and keys, before she stepped towards the front door, Iker following close behind her.
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Thanks to mslou1 and FootieJo for the comments :)