When We Were

Thirty Two: I’ll Just Be Glad To Have You Here

Hearing his computer make a noise, Lionel quickly fell into his seat, his face brightening at the sight of Emilia’s name on the screen. She had missed the last couple of calls he had tried to make, since he had gotten back to Barcelona, the longest that they’d talked had been a few minutes when she’d called him a couple of days previous, and he had been looking forwards to seeing her again, even if they had left things at a slightly awkward point. The slight awkwardness was trumped easily by how much he enjoyed just talking to her.

Pushing a self-conscious hand back through his hair, he ruffled it slightly before he accepted the call, his smile widening a little as Emilia’s face filled the screen. “Hey you” he greeted softly.

Emilia, who’d been gently twisting her hair around her fingers, smiled gently. “Hi” she greeted “I’m sorry for the last couple of days” she added quickly.

Lionel dismissed her apology with a small shake of his head and a smile. “It’s OK” he noted “I mean, it happens sometimes. Besides, I am just glad to be talking to you now” he added, feeling his cheek flush a light shade of pink.

Emilia let out a little laugh, her fingers still toying with the ends of her hair. “I did try and answer” she mused “I just...I had Luca and then the other night I went out with Samia...”

“How was Samia?” Lionel interrupted.

Emilia blinked a couple of times, seemingly surprised by his interruption, before she offered him a slightly quizzical look, something which made Lionel laugh. “What?” he prodded impishly “If I didn’t interrupt, you’d just keep babbling. You missed a couple of calls, Em, it’s really not that big of a deal” he added warmly.

He knew that she had a tendency to beat herself up, since they’d started to do things long distance, he had watched her apologise for missing calls more times than he wanted to count, and he wanted to assure her that there was nothing to apologise for. They both did it, even despite their attempts at scheduling their calls, they’d both skipped out at the last minute on more than one occasion, but it was just something they had to get used to. There wasn’t always going to be a perfect moment for them to talk, and they simply had to get used to taking their moments when they could.

Emilia offered him a slightly uncertain look before she nodded her head, flashing him a small, slightly shy smile. “Samia was good” she noted “She and Jordi are still all loved up” she added.

“They’re cute” Lionel replied.

Emilia nodded her head, allowing a beat of silence to pass between the two of them, before she cleared her throat slightly. “We...uh...We actually talked about you” she stumbled out.

Lionel couldn’t stop himself from smiling a little. As silly as it was, he liked the idea that he came up in conversation even when he wasn’t around. “Yeah?” he asked.

Emilia nodded, her fingers starting to mess with the ends of her hair again. “About Barcelona too” she admitted gently.

Lionel’s smile faded a little. “I didn’t mean to freak you out, Emmy” he noted softly. He knew that he had caught her by surprise, the way that she had stilled and then proceeded to pretend as though he’d not said anything told him that it was a topic that she wasn’t quite ready to talk about, and he had opted against pushing it, knowing that if Emilia felt like she was ready to talk about it, she would do it without him backing her into a conversation she wasn’t ready to have.

“I know” Emilia replied.

“I just...this is a big part of my life” Lionel spluttered “I want to share it with you” he added.

Emilia stared into the camera thoughtfully before she tipped her head forwards, rubbing her forehead slightly. “I want to come” she admitted “I just...this is serious now. Once I come there, and I meet your friends, this...us...it’s serious, Leo, and I’ve not had serious before” she explained, frowning a little at how she’d fallen over her words.

Lionel’s expression softened. “What about...?”

“It’s different” Emilia interrupted “We tried, mostly because I was pregnant, but it’s not the same” she added.

Lionel nodded his head slowly. “I don’t want you to be afraid, Em” he mused.

“I think I am probably always going to be, Leo” Emilia replied, a rueful smile on her face.

“Is there anything I can do?” Lionel prodded.

Emilia smiled gently into the camera. “Tell me they’re nice” she noted “Tell me that they’ll think I am a good fit for you” she added.

“They’ll obviously think that” Lionel retorted “I mean, how could they not?” he added warmly.

Emilia shook her head, laughing gently.

“And of course they’re nice” Lionel continued “They’re itching to meet you, too. They’ll be more than happy to tell you how giddy I get whenever you call or text” he added.

“How many would you want me to meet?” Emilia asked.

“Just a couple” Lionel replied “I was thinking we could have dinner with Luis and his wife” he added.

“Like we did with Samia and Jordi?” Emilia prodded.

Lionel nodded his head eagerly. “We could do it at my place” he agreed “I mean, I am not much of a cook, but I am sure that I could rustle something up here if that would help you to feel a little more comfortable” he added.

Emilia tilted her head, grinning timidly. “I think I can get a week off” she noted “It’ll be in a few weeks, probably towards the start of December, but I think I can get five days off of work. I still need to talk to Isaac about him having Luca, but Samia’s already offered to take him if Isaac can’t. I think I should be able to get there” she added, pushing her hair behind her ear.

“I’d really like that, Em” Lionel breathed out with a hopeful laugh.

“I’ll confirm the dates with work and get back to you, then” Emilia replied “Just...I don’t know, don’t expect me to be myself right away” she added softly.

Lionel sighed, wanting nothing more than to be able to press a kiss against her lips and tell her that it was going to be fine. “I’ll just be glad to have you here” he noted.

Emilia offered him a slightly dubious look before the sound of Luca’s voice calling out to her filtered down the line, causing Lionel to smile gently. “I’ll let you go” he noted “Let me know when you need a ticket booked. I’ll be more than happy to get it for you” he added.

Emilia shook her head. “I’ve got some money put aside” she noted “I figured we were going to get here eventually” she added.

Lionel smirked. “You’ve been saving up to come and see me?” he prodded impishly.

Emilia offered him a playful roll of her eyes. “I’ve got to go” she noted.

“I know” Lionel noted “I’ll talk to you soon, Emmy. I love you” he added.

Emilia’s face noticeably brightened. “I love you, too” she replied.

Lionel offered her small wave before she hung up the call, leaving him staring at the blank screen for a few seconds before he shook his head, hoping that he could at some point soothe the nerves which appeared in Emilia from time to time.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)