There Was You

26: Whatever Is Comfortable

Pulling her glasses off of her face, Riley gently rubbed her forehead, closing her eyes to stop herself from staring at the open laptop that sat open on her coffee table. She had been at it for a while, despite her having come home from work over two hours previous, she had opted to try and clear some of the backlog which had been created by the week off she had taken for the wedding and her trip to Madrid, but despite her best intentions, she had gotten very little done, too tired to focus on the work entirely. It wasn’t the first night she had spent doing it, since she had gotten back to Porto three days previous, she had spent every night sat on the floor of her living room, staring vaguely at her laptop, and whilst it was a lot, she knew that it was something she needed to do.

Rubbing her eyes, she allowed a soft yawn to tumble out of her mouth before she slipped her glasses back up her nose, refocusing on her laptop for a few seconds before a knock at the door filled the air, causing her to let out a small noise in frustration. Sitting still for a moment, she hoped that whoever was on the other side of the door merely went away, before the knocking sounded again, causing her to huff before she shuffled back to her feet. Padding across the room, she dipped out into the hall before she reached the front door, pulling it open.

Iker, who’d been waiting patiently on the other side, looked up at the sound of the door opening, a soft smile brightening his features.

Riley blinked a couple of times before she shook her head, a smile quirking the corner of her mouth upwards. “You’re supposed to be in Madrid” she pointed out.

Iker laughed before he shook his head, shrugging his shoulders slightly. “I had to come back at some point this week” he noted “I’ve got to take a preseason medical. I did text you to tell you I was back in town. Didn’t you get it?” he added.

Riley shook her head. “Sorry” she mused “I’ve been buried in work all day and I have barely glanced at my phone” she added.

Iker’s expression softened a little. “I’m interrupting” he noted “I should...”

“You should come in” Riley interrupted “Honestly? I’ve been looking for a reason to not stare at my laptop all night since I got home” she added, offering him a small smile.

Iker offered her a dubious look, something which caused Riley to roll her eyes before she reached out, gently taking his hand in hers before she tugged him inside. Iker followed her movements, allowing her to lead him into the apartment, before he nudged the door closed behind him, turning to offer her a slightly sheepish smile. “I don’t want to get in the way” he mused “If you’ve got something else you need to be doing, I can easily leave. I just...I guess I kind of wanted to see you. I know it’s only been a few days, and that we’ve talked a couple of times, but I just...” he trailed off, shaking his head to himself.

Riley watched him for a second before she stepped a little closer, her grey eyes meeting his darker ones. “You can just say that you missed me” she quipped, her voice caught between soft and playful.

Iker let out a soft laugh. “I thought that that might be a bit too much” he noted. It was the truth, despite it having only been a handful of days since Riley had headed home, he had missed having her around his house in Madrid, but he didn’t want to say it, not wanting things to feel different between them just because they’d stuck a label onto their relationship. What he liked about them was that it didn’t feel pressured, they were used to simply hanging out, and whilst their relationship status had changed, he didn’t want the entire thing to. He had grown used to how things were between them.

Riley quirked an eyebrow, slightly perturbed by his comment, but she didn’t say anything, instead opting to give his hand a soft squeeze before she let it go. “I need to go and clean my work stuff up” she noted “Are you hungry?” she asked.

Iker shrugged. “I could eat” he noted.

“There are menus in the first drawer as you walk in the kitchen” Riley replied “Or, if you’re willing to give me ten minutes to change, there’s that little café a couple of blocks over. We could go and grab something. It’s up to you” she added, subconsciously smoothing out the t-shirt she wore.

Iker watched her before he quirked a soft smile. “You don’t need to change” he quipped.

Riley scoffed a little before she opened her mouth to retort, something Iker was quick to cut off. “You look great to me, Ry” he insisted “But if you still want to change, then Ok. I’ll go and tidy your stuff up for you” he added.

Riley blinked a couple of times, surprised that he had cut her off, before she shook her head, offering him a goofy smile. “I like you” she cooed before she leant towards him, brushing a quick kiss over his cheek before she made her way down the hall.

“Have you heard anything from Marisol and Nuno?” Iker posed as he pushed a spoon around his mug of coffee, his eyes glancing at Riley who sat opposite him, trying to be subtle about the yawn she was stifling into her hand.

Riley blinked a couple of times in surprise before she shook her head, smiling tiredly. “Aside from a request to pick them up from the airport on Saturday, no” she mused “Though, I wasn’t really expecting to. They’re on their honeymoon and the last thing I want is to hear details about that” she added, wrinkling her nose playfully.

Iker smiled, but didn’t say anything, allowing a few seconds of quiet to pass between them before Riley shook her head, gently pushing her hair behind her ear. “Are you OK?” she asked gently “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to see you, but you’ve been...I don’t know, you’ve just not quite been you tonight” she added.

Iker tilted his head. “You think so?” he asked.

Riley nodded. “Is something bothering you?” she asked “Because, girlfriend or not, you can talk to me about it” she added gently.

Iker glanced at her for a second before he shook his head, letting out a little sigh. “I think I am just getting into my own head” he noted.

“About?” Riley prodded “Us?” she added.

Iker quirked a rueful smile. “We’ve been official for what, three days?” he asked.

Riley shrugged, wordlessly encouraging him to keep talking.

“You told me earlier just to tell you that I missed you” Iker continued, scratching his jaw sheepishly “And I stopped myself, even though it was true, because it just seemed couple-like. I wouldn’t have said it to you before, so I stopped myself saying it to you then because whilst I love that we’ve moved forwards, I don’t want us to hurry things. I like how we are, Riley” he explained carefully.

Riley nodded her head slowly, taking in his words, before she quirked a grin, something which caused Iker to tilt his head. “What are you smiling about?” he asked.

“You being the one to worry” Riley replied “It’s a change of pace” she added.


“You don’t think I worry about things changing?” Riley interrupted “You don’t think I’ve grown to love the way things are between us? Iker, the last thing I want is for things to become drastically different just because I call you boyfriend. But things are going to be a little different, and that’s alright. We don’t have to do things quickly, it can be gradual, but I don’t want you to walk on eggshells because something feels to ‘couple-like’. We are a couple now, no?” she asked, her cheeks glowing a soft shade of pink.

Iker smiled gently, offering her a little nod of his head. “We are” he confirmed.

“Then we can be a little more ‘couple-like’” Riley noted “And we can be how we were before. Whatever’s comfortable” she added.

Iker nodded again before he gently reached his hand across the table, covering Riley’s.

Riley turned her hand over, allowing him to knot their fingers together, before she squeezed it, wordlessly assuring him that they’d get used to things, slowly but surely.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)