When We Were

Thirty Nine: Eventually


Emilia closed her eyes at the softness in Lionel’s voice before she nodded her head again, her eyes not even attempting to glance up towards him. She could feel him staring, when the word ‘us’ had fallen out of her mouth, his eyes had whipped up from the floor immediately, but she couldn’t bring herself to look at him, knowing that as soon as she did, the conversation that she had been trying to hold off on would start and once it had started, there was likely to be no stopping it. They needed to have it, even if nothing between them changed, she knew that they needed to talk about her worries, but she didn’t want to do it then, not when other people were around.

Lionel watched her nod before he shook his head, letting out a gentle sigh. “Emmy...”

“Not here” Emilia interrupted “Just...let me speak to my mama. I’ll see if she and my papa could take Luca for the night and we can go back to my place and just...talk?” she added, her voice shaking a little more than she would have liked it to be.

Lionel bit back a comment, desperately wanting to ask how she could drop something like that on him and expect him to not say anything, but he refrained, instead opting to stuff his hands into his pockets. “OK” he noted.

Emilia nodded her head once before she practically sprinted out of the room. Stepping into the hall, she glanced towards the front door before she walked towards it, offering her mother, who’d been saying goodnight to Jordi, the best smile she could push up onto her features.

Marcella tilted her head curiously. “Yes, Emilia?” she chirped.

Emilia sheepishly pushed her hair away from her eyes. “I need to ask you a favour” she noted “And I know it’s all very last minute, and that I’ve not even got a bag packed for him, but I was...I was really hoping that Luca could...” she trailed off as Marcella playfully rolled her eyes, a smirk toying at the corner of her lips.

“It’s been a while since you and Leo were along together, huh?” she quipped impishly.

Emilia grimaced, her cheeks flushing a faint shade of pink. “Mama...”

“Say no more, baby” Marcella quipped “You know that me and your papa are more than happy to have Luca” she added.

“I’ll be back first thing in the morning” Emilia insisted.

Marcella just waved a hand. “You’ll get here when you get here” she mused “Until then, make the most of it. It’s not every day that that boyfriend of yours is here” she added warmly as she wandered back towards the dining room where David and Luca had been, playing a video game.

Emilia felt the knot in her stomach tighten as she listened to her mother’s retreating footsteps before she spotted Lionel out of the corner of her eye, causing her to lift her head slightly, her blue eyes mirroring his for a split second before she forced herself to look away. “We can...uh...we can go” she stumbled out.

“Your parents are OK with having Luca?” Lionel asked.

Emilia nodded. “I just need to say goodnight and then we can...”

“We can talk about us” Lionel finished for her, forcing a shaky smile up onto his features.

Emilia returned his smile, just as shaky and fragile, before she padded towards the dining room to say goodnight to Luca and her parents.

Watching Emilia rush down the hall, Lionel let out a sigh, not for a second believing the excuse that she had tossed back over her shoulder about needing to change out of her dress. She had worn it specifically, when he’d watched her pull it on earlier in the evening, she had made a joke about it being the only dress she owned that could withstand the amount of food that she was sure that Marcella would have cooked, but he didn’t want to press it, knowing that it was just a mechanism that Emilia was using to buy herself a little more thinking time, a mechanism he was ok with letting her use. He didn’t want it to become a fight, he didn’t want to prod her into talking only to have her lash out, and if it meant waiting a few more minutes, he had resolved to be OK with it.

Toeing off his shoes, he hung up his jacket on the rack beside the door before he made his way down the hall, his hand gently knocking against the doorframe which led into Emilia’s bedroom.

Emilia, who’d sat down on the edge of her bed, looked up at the sound, a bashful smile passing over her features. “You remembered the joke” she mused.

“You looked so proud when you told it” Lionel quipped, shrugging lazily.

“My mother cooks too much food” Emilia replied “She always has done. It’s like...”

“Emmy” Lionel’s voice was firm, but not harsh.

Emilia fell quiet, fiddling aimlessly with the bottom of her dress.

Lionel stepped into the room, crouching down ahead of her so that he could meet her eyes. “I just want you to tell me what’s up” he mused, taking both of her hands into his “Whatever it is” he added.

Emilia just stared down at their hands, causing Lionel to tug one free, using it to gently brush her hair away from her eyes which had started to grow a little tearful. “Emmy” he whispered “Amor...”

“I don’t think this can work” Emilia whispered softly, her voice cracking slightly.

Lionel’s eyes widened, but he didn’t say anything.

“I want it to” Emilia continued shakily “You know how I feel about you, but I just...How much more can we do of this? Eventually you’re going to ask me to give you something I can’t...”

“Eventually” Lionel interrupted “Not now” he added.

Emilia shook her head, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. “You’re not looking at the big picture” she noted.

“And you’re not looking at the here and now” Lionel replied “You’re not thinking about how happy we make each other, how much we like being around each other. You’re not thinking about the inside jokes and the hello hugs...”

“And you’re not thinking about the goodbyes” Emilia cut in, sniffling a little “About how much I hate video chatting with you rather than being in the same room. It’s hard, Leo, maybe too hard and it’s...it’s made me think that maybe we’d be better off...”

“No” Lionel interrupted.


“No” Lionel cut her off again “It’s hard, yes, but we’d not be better off just breaking up, Em. You can’t really think that” he added.

“We’re going to hit that point” Emilia noted “The point where you want me there and I can’t be there. It’s inevitable, so why not just...”

“No” Lionel interrupted again, shaking his head defiantly “Em...”

“We’d just be postponing the inevitable” Emilia whispered “It’s better that it’s now, no?” she added, her tearful blue eyes meeting his.

Lionel took a moment, his dark eyes searching hers, before he gently shook his head. “I need some time, Ok?” he whispered “I need to figure this out and then we can...we can talk again. Please, Emmy?” he murmured.

Emilia sniffled. “Leo...”

“Please, Emmy” Lionel cut in, fixing her with a sad look.

Emilia wiped her eyes before she nodded her head. “Ok” she whispered.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)