When We Were

Ten: You’ll Remember Me This Time

Gently pushing the front door closed, Emilia turned around, allowing her head to fall backwards against it with a faint thump. She’d known that there was a chance that Isaac and Lionel could cross paths, with Lionel having spent the last couple of weekends with her at her place, she’d known that there was a chance that his arrival could coincide with Isaac’s departure, but still she was irked that it had happened so soon. She’d been hopeful that she could keep them apart for a lot longer. She knew that there wasn’t anything to hide, whatever was happening between her and Lionel was just that, between the two of them, and had little to do with Isaac, but she also knew that their meeting meant that she had to talk about both of them, something she didn’t quite feel ready to do.

Taking in a deep breath, she kept her head against the door for a few seconds before she lifted it, startling slightly when her stare lowered enough to land on Lionel.

Lionel watched her jump before he shook his head, smiling awkwardly down at the floor. “Sorry” he mumbled “I didn’t mean to...I was just coming through to tell you that I can go if you want me to” he added.

Emilia frowned. “You want to leave already?” she asked.

Lionel breathed out a nervous laugh, his hand rubbing the side of his neck sheepishly. “I didn’t say that” he replied “I just...I thought maybe you’d want me to go. I mean, I did show up unannounced and I thought...” he trailed off, not quite sure what to say to her.

Emilia stared at him, allowing the silence to linger between the two of them, before she shook her head. “I should probably apologise” she mumbled “Isaac shouldn’t have been so...so blunt. I’m sorry if he made you uncomfortable” she added.

Lionel shook his head. “You don’t have to apologize for him” he noted.

Emilia smiled weakly. “I’ve gotten good at it” she quipped.

Lionel let out a slightly awkward laugh before the two of them fell quiet again, something which made Emilia shift a little before she reached up, nervously pushing her hair back off of her face. “Is there any chance that we can just not talk about Isaac?” she asked “I mean, I know that we’ll have to eventually, but can we agree that it’s not tonight? Please?” she added quietly.

She knew that it was inevitable, if she and Lionel were to make anything work between the two of them, she knew that she would eventually have to tell him about Isaac and her both before and after Luca had been born, but she wanted to put it off, even if only for a little while. She didn’t want to spend one of the few nights that she had with Lionel before his departure talking about her ex-boyfriend.

Lionel hesitated for a split second before he nodded his head, offering her a faint reassuring smile. “Ok” he mused.

“Really?” Emilia squeaked.

“I’m sure that there are more interesting things for us to talk about” Lionel retorted with a little shrug.

Emilia just stared at him for a second, something which made Lionel laugh nervously before he gestured over her shoulder towards the front door. “Are you hungry?” he asked.

Emilia’s lips quirked upwards. “I’ve not eaten yet” she mused “I was waiting for Luca to go” she added.

“Can I buy you dinner, then?” Lionel asked playfully.

Emilia giggled before she nodded her head. “I’d love that” she mused “Let me just go and grab some shoes” she added before she pulled away from the door, disappearing into one of the bedrooms briefly before she reappeared, a pair of shoes on her feet.

Lionel grinned at the sight of her before he ducked his head, trying to hide his smile slightly. “You good to go now?” he asked.

“I’m ready if you are” Emilia retorted, just about stopping herself from teasing him about trying to hide his smile.

“You know” Emilia chirped as she sipped on her mug of tea “You never told me how lunch with Jordi was” she added, her foot prodding Lionel’s leg beneath the table. They felt comfortable, after they’d agreed that a conversation about Isaac could wait until another time, they’d relaxed into their familiar rapport, and Emilia adored it, even if she knew that she was just putting off the inevitable. In the couple of weeks that had passed since Jordi’s wedding, she’d grown to love spending time with Lionel.

Lionel, who’d been sipping on his own drink, grinned over the top of the cup. “Do you really want to know?” he asked.

Emilia wrinkled her nose. “He wasn’t embarrassing, was he?” she asked “If he was, I can only apologise” she added playfully.

Lionel laughed. “He was fine” he quipped “Just very Jordi. Too nosy for his own good” he added.

“It’s a family trait” Emilia retorted “You probably don’t remember my mother that well...”

“There is no forgetting Marcella, Emilia” Lionel interjected with a smirk.

Emilia arched an amused eyebrow. “You can remember my mother, but not me?” she quipped impishly.

Lionel groaned playfully. “Emmy...”

“I’m just teasing, Leo” Emilia giggled “Besides, I know that when you go back to Spain, you’ll remember me this time” she added, her voice flitting between playful and soft.

Lionel’s previously teasing smile softened into something lighter and tender. “I’d like to do a little more than just remember you” he noted.

Emilia, who’d dropped her stare down towards the table, smiled down at it, shaking her head slightly. “Do I really need to list all the reasons again?” she quipped softly.

“I know them all” Lionel replied “I just...I don’t know. There’s something here, isn’t there?” he asked.

Emilia lifted her head slightly, her eyes searching his features for a few long moments, before she looked back down at the table. “I didn’t say that there wasn’t” she murmured “But I don’t...it wouldn’t be...Can we please just not do this now?” she stumbled out.


“Please?” Emilia interrupted “I like this as it is. It’s easy and comfortable, and I don’t really want to wreck that with this conversation. Please, can we just put a pin in it for now and go back to enjoying ourselves?” she pleaded gently.

She knew what was coming, she knew that he was asking her to consider making something more out of whatever was happening between the two of them, but just as she didn’t want to talk about Isaac, she didn’t want to think about what came after he left. As it was, it was uncomplicated, they had fun together and Emilia liked that, but the thought of trying to make something more of it, and the thought of all the reasons that it wouldn’t work, was scary to her.

Lionel’s expression softened a little at the tone of her voice before he forced a small smile, nodding his head gently. “OK” he mused.

Emilia smiled back at him shakily. “Thank you” she whispered.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)