When We Were

Fifty Two: You Tell Them That Things Are Different

Tucking her messy hair back off of her face, Emilia shuffled out of the bedroom, following the sound which was emanating away from her kitchen. It was early, usually too early for Emilia who, with Luca having gone to Isaac’s, would be keen to make the most of the opportunity to lay in, but with Lionel around, she had ensured that she had woken up early, determined to make the most of the time that they had together before he had to depart back to Barcelona. It was time they needed, since they’d found out about her pregnancy, they’d not had the chance to be in the same place, and although it was only going to be a couple of days, it was something they needed. They needed to talk, they needed to fuss, and they needed a chance to bask in the idea that they were only a few months away from welcoming a baby together.

Tugging her dressing gown around herself a little more, she padded into the kitchen doorway before she stopped, a soft smile blossoming on her face as her eyes landed on Lionel who stood with his back to her, fussing over the plate in front of him. Taking a moment, she just watched him, still a little in awe of the fact that he was there, before she stepped a little deeper into the room, her arms gently curving around his waist as she pressed a cheek against his back.

Lionel laughed gently. “I thought you were still sleeping” he quipped as he turned around, drawing her back into their hug.

“You’re a noisy cook” Emilia replied, grinning up at him impishly.

Lionel scoffed, playing along. “I was trying to do something nice for you” he noted “I mean, I even asked Jordi what would be best to make for you. I didn’t want to trigger your morning sickness by accident” he added, his voice softening slightly.

Emilia’s teasing smile softened before she leant up, brushing her lips over his. “You could have asked me” she murmured “I’d have been more than happy to tell you” she added.

Lionel shrugged, smiling bashfully down at their feet. “It’d have ruined the surprise” he mused.

Emilia gently cupped his jaw, pressing another soft kiss against his lips, before she pulled away, ducking around him to collect the plate of food which he had left on the counter. Picking it up, she carried it over towards the table before she looked up at him with a grin, tipping her head at the empty seat which sat opposite her. “Join me?” she quipped.

Lionel hesitated momentarily before he stepped across the room, taking the empty seat. Keeping quiet, he stared down at the floor for a few seconds before he turned, his lips quirking upwards as his eyes met Emilia’s. Shaking his head, he felt his cheeks flush a light shade of pink before he let out a soft sigh, picking absently at a thread on his shorts. “I am thrilled, Em” he murmured “The baby...I am thrilled about him or her. I want you to know that. I know that it’s not exactly going to be straight forwards, but I don’t want you to doubt that, OK?” he prodded.

Emilia nodded, a shy smile on her face. “I know that” she confirmed.

Lionel nodded his head slowly, taking a few moments to think about what he wanted to say next, before he looked over at her again. “You remember Christmas?” he asked.

Emilia gently set down her cutlery, nodding her head gently as she brushed her hair behind her ear again. “I do” she confirmed “And I think I know what’s coming, but I don’t know what to say to you. There’s no solution to this that keeps everyone happy, Leo” she added, peeking up at him gently.

Lionel sighed, closing his eyes for a second before he turned back to look at her, his dark eyes soft as they mirrored her blues. “I don’t want to miss out, Em” he noted “Listening to you talk about going to your first scan with Jordi was bittersweet for me. I was thrilled that everything was OK, I was thrilled to see your bump, but knowing that I hadn’t been there, that I was hearing that wonderful little heartbeat for the first time myself whilst you’d heard it before...I don’t want to keep doing that. I don’t want to hear whether we’re having a boy or a girl when you already know. I don’t want to see my baby come into this world on the screen of my phone, and I know working out what to do isn’t exactly the easiest thing, but we have to do it. We just do, Em, no matter who gets upset” he added.

Emilia fiddled with her cutlery for a moment before she shook her head. “It’s not just us I have to think about” she noted “Because you’re right, the scan...it was bittersweet. It felt like it did the first time, and it shouldn’t have done, because you and Isaac, you couldn’t be more different in how you feel about this. But I can’t just pack up my stuff and hop on a plane, Leo. Isaac aside, Luca’s life is here and I can’t just uproot him without any kind of notice. I’d need to talk to him, and to Isaac” she added.

“Then talk to them” Lionel replied.

“And say what?” Emilia asked.

“That things are different now” Lionel retorted “The distance, whilst it was never great, worked before. I’d gotten used to the video calls and only seeing you for a few days at a time, but it’s not going to be good enough now. I don’t want to see our baby on a screen, Emmy, I want to be able to hold him or her, and kiss the top of their head when I put them down to sleep whenever I want to. I don’t just want to see them when I can, Em, or you. I want a front row seat to watching that beautiful bump of ours grow” he insisted gently. He knew that she was stuck between a rock and a hard place, both he and Isaac, in a sense, wanted the same thing, the chance to be around their child at every available opportunity and he knew that keeping the both of them contented was something Emilia was going to struggle with, but he had to say it. He had to let her know just how much he wanted her and their baby where he was.

Emilia’s glance drifted down towards her stomach and lingered there for a few seconds before she looked up at Lionel, her blue eyes mirroring his. “You’ll come with me to talk to Isaac?” she asked “I mean, I don’t know what good it will do, you being there, but I’d feel better if you were. You’ll come?” she added.

Lionel reached for her hand, squeezing it gently. “If that’s what you need, then of course I will” he mused.

Emilia spared him a small smile before she laced her fingers through his, squeezing his hand back. “I love you, you know that?” she cooed.

Lionel lifted her hand and kissed the back of it, mumbling the same three words in reply before he looked up. “Where is Isaac likely to be now?” he asked.

Emilia glanced up at the clock on the wall. “He’ll be getting Luca ready for his match. It kicks off in an hour” she replied “Why? Do you want to go now?” she asked.

Lionel’s answering smile was crooked, caught between teasing and anxious. “No time like the present” he replied.
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Thanks to FootieJo and mslou1 for the comments :)