When We Were

Two: I Thought You’d Never Ask

Hanging his jacket over the back of his seat, Lionel spared a glance across the room, his eyes settling on Emilia who was stood on the dancefloor, smiling down at Luca as they danced. It hadn’t been awkward, despite his failing to recognize her when she’d first stepped up to the table, he and Emilia had fallen into easy conversation, and with Luca around to break the ice, whatever little silences had fallen between them had been quickly broken by the little boy. He had been expecting to feel uncomfortable, with the few memories that he had of Emilia being distant and fuzzy, he had expected that them sitting together would feel strange, but it hadn’t, even if the topics of conversation that had passed between them hadn’t strayed beyond small talk. There had been something comfortable about being around her.

Feeling his lips quirk upwards slightly, he watched the two of them for a few seconds before he shook his head, guiding his stare back down towards the table in front of him as he retook his seat.

“You know, I’ve got a few minutes free”

Lionel, who’d moved to pour himself another glass of water, smirked at the sound of Jordi’s voice, but didn’t say anything.

“I could take my nephew off of his mama’s hands for a moment or two” Jordi continued, plopping into the empty seat at Lionel’s side “Or you could wait it out for a little longer. Luca’s papa, Emmy’s ex, should be here any moment to take the little guy home” he added, playfully stressing the phrase ‘Emmy’s ex’.

Lionel rolled his eyes. “What makes you think I’d want that?” he asked, glancing towards the other man.

Jordi grinned impishly. “You two seemed to be getting along pretty well during dinner” he noted.

Lionel scoffed, but didn’t deny it, knowing that even if he did, the hue of his cheeks would betray him. “It’s good to see her” he said carefully “She’s...uh...she’s not how I remember her” he added.

“You left for Barcelona when she was about ten” Jordi retorted with a laugh “It’d been strange if she was, no?” he added.

Lionel just offered Jordi a look, something which made the other man laugh again before he lifted his hand, patting Lionel’s shoulder gently. “It’s OK” he noted “You’d not be the first one of my friends to tell me that my sister is very attractive. I’ve heard it a few times through the years” he added teasingly.

Lionel scoffed. “I didn’t say that” he retorted.

Jordi arched an eyebrow, his eyes sparking amusedly. “Are you saying she’s not?” he prodded.

Lionel spluttered, opening and closing his mouth a couple of times, before Jordi let out another loud laugh.

“Am I interrupting something?”

Lionel and Jordi both startled at the sound of Emilia’s voice before they turned around, Jordi flashing his sister an innocent smirk. “Of course not” he noted “I was just catching up with Leo here whilst Samia was busy with some of her friends. What’ve you done with Luca?” he prodded.

Emilia glanced at the two of the dubiously before she shook her head, tucking her hair back off of her face. “He’s run off with some of the other kids” she noted “But it’ll only be for a few minutes. Isaac just texted to say that he’s almost here so I ought to head outside and wait for him. I only came over to ask if you could keep an eye on Luca for a second” she added.

Jordi’s teasing smile faded a little. “Isaac’s coming himself?” he asked “I was half expecting his mama” he added.

“Jordi” Emilia warned.

“What?” Jordi replied “You know I don’t like him, Em” he added.

“I do know that” Emilia replied “But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s Luca’s padre, so could we maybe at least pretend to be civil? For your nephew?” she prodded, a hopeful smile on her face.

Isaac wasn’t popular with her friends and family, with their relationship having been messy and his reaction to her pregnancy having been to disappear for the duration only to reappear once Luca was only a few weeks old, he had alienated those around her, but Emilia didn’t want to have the same fight with Jordi that they’d had time and time again. It didn’t matter who liked him, Isaac was still Luca’s father and no amount of dislike from Emilia’s friends and family could change it.

Jordi offered her an exaggerated roll of his eyes. “Fine” he conceded with a huff.

Emilia nodded at him thankfully before she turned her attention to Lionel, smiling at him gently. “You know” she quipped “I was half expecting you to ask me for a dance. I was kind of hoping for it actually” she added.

Lionel’s eyes widened a little. “Yeah?” he spluttered.

Emilia breathed out a little laugh. “Yeah” she confirmed.

Jordi looked between the two of them, grinning amusedly as couple of beats of silence passed between them, before shuffled his seat back. “I’ve got to go and check on some...”


Jordi’s voice trailed off at the sound of another voice, something which caused him to sigh, spotting a familiar figure over his sister’s shoulder. “I really do need to do my rounds” he noted “If I see Luca...”

“Send him over, please” Emilia finished for him, offering him a soft look.

Jordi nodded before he glanced down at Lionel, flashing him a small smile before he padded away.

Lionel frowned after him for a split second before he lifted his head again, watching as a tall, blonde man made his way through the crowd, his eyes fixed on Emilia. Tilting his head, he looked him up and down a couple of times before he caught Emilia’s eye, something the brunette greeted with a bashful smile before she turned back towards the other man. “I thought you were still about ten minutes away” she noted.

“I got here quicker than I thought I would” Isaac replied “I thought you’d be glad. Surely Luca’s getting to the grumpy stage” he added.

Emilia shook her head, letting out a soft sigh. “He’s been pretty good, actually” she mused.

Isaac snorted. “Really?” he quipped.

“Yes, really” Emilia replied “I mean, he’s had a couple of moments, but on the whole, I think he’s had a pretty good day” she added.

Isaac nodded his head slowly. “Is he ready?” he asked.

“He...” Emilia’s voice trailed off as Luca came hurtling towards them, wrapping his arms around Isaac’s waist.

“Papa!” Luca announced.

Isaac stepped out of the hug slightly, wiping something off of Luca’s cheek with a little grimace. “What’ve you been eating?” he asked.

Lionel, who was watching the interaction quietly, frowned, not missing the little look of confusion that had passed over Luca’s face as Isaac had stepped back.

Luca quickly smiled again, his eyes bright and excited. “Uncle Jordi gave me a piece of cake” he announced “It was chocolate. It was amazing” he gushed.

Isaac looked away Luca, sharing a look with Emilia, before he let out a soft sigh, shaking his head ever so slightly. “We should go” he noted “Emmy, you’ll be by early in the morning, won’t you?” he asked.

Emilia bit back a comment before she nodded, flashing him a placating smile. “Of course” she confirmed before she crouched down, pressing a kiss to both of Luca’s cheeks and his forehead “I’ll see you tomorrow, OK? Be good for you papa. I love you” she added.

Luca, who’d been trying to avoid his mother’s kisses, nodded. “Love you too, mama” he cooed softly before he allowed Isaac to lead him away.

Emilia watched them away before the sound of someone clearing their throat reached her ears, causing her to turn around, her expression growing slightly sheepish as her eyes met Lionel’s. Holding his stare, she briefly thought about what to say, about whether or not to bring Isaac up, but before she had the chance to open her mouth, Lionel stood up, offering his hand out towards her. “Do you want to dance?” he asked “I mean, I’ll warn you now, I am very, very bad at it, but if you wanted to...I’d like to” he babbled, smiling shyly.

Emilia bit down on her lip, trying, and failing, to stop a smile lighting up her features. “I thought you’d never ask” she cooed before she took a hold of his hand, tugging him towards the dance floor.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)