When We Were

Five: That Sounds Like Him

“So, where is Isaac?”

Emilia, who was busy running a brush through her hair, sighed, glancing back at Jordi who stood in her bedroom doorway, his arms folded over his chest. She hadn’t wanted to call him, when Isaac had called her earlier in the day to tell her that he wouldn’t be able to pick Luca up until the next morning, she had tried a few friends and her parents before she had dialed Jordi’s number, but she was grateful that he had shown up, even if it had been accompanied by his usual complaining about Isaac. A small part of her had been dreading picking up the phone and telling Lionel that she couldn’t make it to the dinner that they had planned.

She didn’t want to admit how much she was looking forwards to it, with his departure back to Barcelona inevitable, Emilia knew that whatever was happening between them, if it was anything, would only be temporary, but she couldn’t quite get a grip on the butterflies in her stomach, even if she did keep reminding herself of the situation. She couldn’t stop herself looking forwards to seeing Lionel again.

“His shift got swapped” Emilia replied “Normally he works Friday mornings, but they were short staffed or something tonight so he agreed to work. He did apologise” she added, twisting her hair into place.

Jordi didn’t even try to hide his scoff, causing Emilia to sigh. “Jordi...”

“He takes advantage, Emmy” Jordi interrupted “He knows that you want him in Luca’s life and he just keeps messing you around. He’s done it for years” he added, his voice softening a little.

Emilia was quiet for a second, briefly mulling over what to say to her brother, before she shook her head. “Luca’s already eaten” she mumbled “He’s in his room now, playing, but in about an hour...” her voice trailed off as Jordi let out another scoff, turning to walk out of the doorway. Sighing, she listened to his footsteps retreat towards Luca’s bedroom before she turned back towards the mirror, messing with her hair aimlessly for a few seconds before the sound of the doorbell filled the air.

Stiffening momentarily, she listened to Jordi’s footsteps head down the hall before she heard his muffled voice greet Lionel, something which caused her stomach to flip a little before she moved, quickly gathering her jacket before she made her way out of the room. Hurrying up the hall, she rushed into the living room, something which caused both Jordi and Lionel to look up. “Hola” she squeaked.

Jordi smirked amusedly, but Lionel’s smile was softer, shier. “Hola” he greeted gently.

“I just need a couple of minutes to say goodbye to Luca” Emilia mused “Is that alright?” she added.

Lionel nodded his head. “Of course” he noted “I don’t mind waiting” he added.

“I’ll be more than happy to keep him company” Jordi chirped impishly “It’ll give me a chance to dust off my stern big brother speech” he added.

Emilia rolled her eyes. “Be nice, Jordi” she mumbled as she walked away.

Jordi smirked. “I’m always nice, Emmy” he called after her.

Lionel, who was shifting slightly awkwardly next to Jordi, laughed. “You know” he quipped “I don’t remember a lot about you two as children, but this...it feels pretty familiar” he chirped.

Fiddling with the lining of his jacket’s pocket, Lionel looked ahead of himself, his eyes landing on Emilia who paced a little away from him, her phone pressed against her ear as she talked with Jordi. Dinner had passed quickly, with two of them eager to trade stories and make jokes, the three courses that they’d shared felt like they’d passed in a matter of minutes and not the couple of hours that it had been, and he was glad that Emilia didn’t seem in a hurry to get home. He was enjoying himself.

Tilting his head, he watched her roll her eyes at something Jordi said before she glanced over at him, flashing him a bashful smile which made him smile softly in return before he looked away, staring down at his lap.

“I’m sorry that that took so long” Emilia announced as she fell into the seat next to him a couple of moments later.

Lionel shook his head. “It’s fine” he mused.

“I just wanted to make sure that Jordi had actually gotten Luca to sleep” Emilia noted “He’s babysat for me a few times over the years and he’s got a habit of letting Luca stay up too late, leaving me with a grumpy child the next morning” she added, shaking her head amusedly.

Lionel smiled. “That sounds like Jordi” he quipped.

Emilia shrugged. “He’s good with him” she mused “He has been since Luca was born. He was great to have around at the beginning when....when I needed someone” she stumbled out, correcting herself halfway through the sentence.

Lionel noticed the stumble, but didn’t question it, instead opting to offer her another small smile. “Is he asleep?” he prodded.

Emilia blinked a couple of times, surprised that he hadn’t pushed, before she nodded her head, a soft laugh falling out of her mouth. “So Jordi says” she mused “He did ask me when we were going to be back, though. I think he’s probably a little bored” she added.

“We can go” Lionel noted with a small shrug “If you’re in a hurry” he added.

“Do you want to take me home?” Emilia countered, her eyebrow lifted amusedly.

“I didn’t say that” Lionel replied, laughing gently.

Emilia laughed before she shuffled back to her feet, extending her hand back behind herself as she took a couple of steps forwards. Lionel didn’t hesitate, knotting their fingers together before he fell into step beside her. For a few minutes, they walked in silence, their hands happily swing between the two of them, before Emilia looked up at Lionel, preparing to say something only to turn her head away again, shaking it to herself.

Lionel watched her amusedly before he stopped walking, causing her to stop too and turn to look at him. Quirking a small smile, he tentatively moved to tuck her hair back off of her face before Emilia took a step backwards, shaking her head gently. “Don’t” she murmured.

Lionel blinked a couple of times before he nodded his head slowly, swallowing the lump which had formed in his throat. “You’re...you’re probably right” he stumbled out “Probably not my best idea” he added, forcing an awkward laugh out of his mouth.

Emilia opened and closed her mouth, trying to say something, before she shook her head, looking down towards her feet. “Maybe I should go home” she mumbled “If you still don’t mind taking me. I mean, I can get a...”

“It’s fine” Lionel interjected.

“Really?” Emilia prodded.

Lionel forced the best smile he could up onto his features. “Really” he confirmed.