When We Were

Twenty One: Are You A Quitter?

Quirking a sleepy smile to himself, Lionel gently laid his hand against the side of Emilia’s neck, his thumb brushing backwards and forwards to get rid of the few hairs which tickled her skin. She was still sleeping soundly, her soft snores were the only sound which disturbed the otherwise quiet bedroom, and Lionel was hopeful that it stayed that way for a little while. For as long as he could he wanted to enjoy the fact that they were together without necessarily thinking about how quickly his departure was approaching them. It hung in the air between them, even in the moments where they were excited to be together again, the thought of them being apart again nagged at the back of their minds, and for a few seconds, Lionel just wanted to revel in being there, knowing that for a long time, them being in the same place at the same time was going to be infrequent.

Lifting his hand slightly, he gently twisted the ends of her hair around his finger before he allowed to fall back into place, watching it tumble with an awed expression before he repeated the process, not quite sure that he could get enough of being able to actually touch her. He’d been itching to do it, all of their video calls had left him wanting nothing more than to be able to hug her or kiss her, and since he had arrived at her apartment, he’d taken every opportunity he could to do it.


Lionel, who’d drifted off as he absentmindedly toyed with her hair, blinked a couple of times before he looked down at her, his stomach flipping as he admired the soft sleepy smile that lit up her features. “Hm?” he asked.

Emilia shook her head, closing her eyes happily. “Nothing” she mumbled “Just wanted to make sure that you were still here” she added.

Lionel breathed out a little laugh before he leant forwards, touching a little kiss against her forehead. “I’m still here” he mumbled against her skin.

Emilia shuffled a little closer to him, tucking her head underneath his chin as a comfortable silence settled over the two of them. Smiling gently, she closed her eyes again, relishing the quiet before she felt a soft kiss land against the top of her head, causing her to let out a soft sigh of contentment. “I’m glad you stayed” she murmured softly.

“Yeah?” Lionel asked.

Emilia nodded softly. “I mean, it’s a little weird to be sharing a bed. I’ve not done that in a long time, but you know what? I didn’t hate it” she teased as she leant back slightly, grinning.

Lionel rolled his eyes good-naturedly. “You asked me to stay” he pointed out.

“I did” Emilia agreed “But only so that we could make the most of the time we’ve got before you have to...” she trailed off as Lionel let out a little sigh, rolling onto his back. Watching him, Emilia allowed the quiet to linger for a few seconds before she sat up, throwing a leg over him so that she sat on his lap.

“Leo” she murmured softly.

Lionel looked up at her for a moment before he shifted his hands, settling them against her hips so that he could hold her steady whilst he sat up slightly. “It’s hard” he mumbled “The distance. I don’t think I really appreciated how difficult it would be before I left, but it is hard, Emmy and even when we are together, I can’t seem to stop myself from thinking about going home and talking on the phone again” he explained carefully, the pads of his thumbs rubbing circles into the material of her pajama shirt.

Emilia looked down at him for a second before she leant forwards, gently pushing the tips of her fingers back through his hair. “You said it would take time” she noted gently.

Lionel closed his eyes, leaning into her touch slightly. “I know” he confirmed.

“I can’t say I loved it” Emilia mused “I mean, I missed you a lot more than I should have done given we’d only been dating for a few weeks, but this is what it is going to be like. So we either just muddle through or we quit. Are you much of a quitter, Leo?” she added, her lips tilting upwards into a little smirk. She didn’t want to underplay it, being apart from one another was hard and was probably harder than either of them had thought it would be, but it also wasn’t something which had a quick, easy fix and Emilia didn’t want to get lost in trying to figure it out. It was just how things would be.

Lionel breathed out a little laugh, something which made Emilia smile before she leant down, pressing her lips against his. Lionel’s hand moved upwards, weaving into her hair as they kissed for a few long moments, only pulling away when the doorbell sounded. Sitting up slightly, Emilia pressed her forehead against Lionel’s, waiting and hoping that the person at the door would simply disappear, but her luck was out as after only a few seconds, the doorbell chimed again, causing her to let out a soft sigh. “I should...” she trailed off as she leant down, stealing another quick kiss.

Lionel nodded, gently guiding his hand which had snuck a little way beneath her shirt away from her. “Yeah” he murmured “You should” he added.

Emilia just responded by pressing another kiss to his lips, pulling away slowly and reluctantly. Standing up, she gently smoothed out the material of pajama shirt before she quirked a grin. “How do I look?” she chirped.

“Like you just woke up” Lionel retorted with a little smirk.

Emilia scoffed. “You said that that was a good look on me” she teased.

“I didn’t say that it wasn’t beautiful” Lionel replied.

Emilia rolled her eyes, trying, and failing, to hide how quickly her cheeks had blushed pink before she turned towards the bedroom door, padding down the hall towards the front door. Taking in a breath, she pulled the door open, her eyes widening a little at the sight of Isaac who stood on the other side, pushing the frames of his glasses back up his nose. “Why are you here?” she squeaked out.

Isaac smirked. “What happened to ‘hola’, Em?” he quipped.

Emilia shook her head, gripping the door a little tighter. “Sorry” she muttered “I’m just...” she trailed off, forcing a weak smile.

Isaac nodded his head slowly. “Luca forgot his boots” he noted “I said I’d come back and get them. He’s with my mother, before you ask” he added.

“I told him to check if he had everything” Emilia noted, shaking her head slightly.

“He’s your son, Emmy” Isaac quipped “It’s definitely a trait he got from you” he added.

Emilia went to respond, but before she could get her words out, Lionel’s voice called out. “I’m going to make something to eat” he called “How hungry are you, Emmy?” he added.

Isaac’s eyebrow lifted, a little frown tugged the corners of his mouth downwards. “I thought he was in Barcelona” he noted.

“He got here last night” Emilia replied, her cheeks reddening.

Isaac made a noise in the back of his throat that was somewhere between a laugh and a scoff before he shook his head. “My mother’s got Luca” he noted “Maybe I could come in and meet the guy properly. I mean, if you’re going to want to introduce him to Luca...”


“Let him come in” Lionel’s voice cut Emilia off before she had the chance to tell Isaac no.

Emilia shook her head. “Leo...”

“It’ll be fine” Lionel interjected “Come on in, Isaac” he added.

Isaac flashed Emilia a triumphant grin as he stepped into the apartment, leaving her sighing to herself as she knocked the door closed behind him.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)