When We Were

Fifty Three: That’s My Offer

“Mama! Leo!”

Isaac, who’d been tying the laces on Luca’s boots, jumped a little at the sound of the little boy’s voice before he lifted his head up, his forehead furrowing as he watched Emilia and Lionel step towards the two of them, their hands swinging in between them. It wasn’t unusual for Emilia, on weekends when Lionel wasn’t around to take up her time, she often appeared at Luca’s matches, and it was something that Isaac enjoyed. They were more than civil, with Luca to cheer on, the two of them were as friendly to one another as they’d ever been, and whilst he was happy to see Emilia, the sight of Lionel next to her was enough to cause a lump to form in his throat. To him, it was just another intrusion from the other man on his life and the moments he shared with Emilia.

Biting back a groan, he finished tying the knot of Luca’s laces before he moved back, allowing the little boy to jog away from him, happily tossing his arms around his mother’s waist. Taking a second, Isaac let out a sigh before he pushed himself up, reluctantly making his way towards Emilia and Lionel. “What are you guys doing here?” he asked “I thought, since Leo was around, you’d have other plans” he added.

Emilia smiled, dotingly smoothing out Luca’s hair. “We needed to talk to you” she mused “But we thought we’d come and see Luca’s match first. Are you starting, baby?” she cooed.

Luca grinned up at her, nodding his head. “I am” he enthused.

Emilia cooed with excitement for a moment before Isaac gently tapped on Luca’s shoulder, directing his attention towards a huddle of his teammates a little way across the pitch. “You should probably get over there, Luca” he noted.

Luca nodded before Emilia dipped down, kissing the top of his head. “Just do your best, baby” she mused before she let him go.

Isaac watched him pad across the pitch before he turned around, his eyes briefly lingering on Lionel before he moved them towards Emilia. “You need to talk to me?” he prodded.

Emilia ducked her head, trying to avoid his stare. “It can wait until after Luca’s finished playing” she replied quietly “But you know that we need to talk, Isaac. All four of us” she added, sparing a brief glance back towards Lionel.

Isaac caught the look before he shook his head, letting out a little scoff. “We have talked, Em” he muttered as he looked at her again “And I’ve made my stance clear. I am not just going to get out of your way because you and him are having a baby. Luca’s my son, and I am not just going to bow out of his life” he added.

“No one is asking you to” Lionel said.

Isaac scoffed again as he spared Lionel a glare, but he didn’t have the chance to speak, Emilia’s soft voice cutting him off. “I am not asking that of you, Isaac” she insisted “I wouldn’t. I just...I am just asking for you compromise a little. The situation is different now, me and Leo...we’re having this baby together, and I need to try and find a compromise that fits all of us, but mostly, Luca and the baby. Luca loves you and he wants you around, but the same will be true of Leo and the baby. I am not asking you to just get out of the way, Isaac, I just need you to help me out a little. Please” she added, her eyes staring into his.

Isaac held her gaze for a moment, searching it, before he sighed, his glare softening. “What am I supposed to say here, Em?” he asked gently “Am I supposed to tell you to go to Barcelona? Because I don’t want to say that. I don’t want you to go. This works for me” he noted.

“And what about what works for Emmy?” Lionel interjected, stepping slightly closer to his girlfriend’s side.

Isaac blinked, like, for a moment, he’d forgotten that Lionel was there, before he sighed, his dark eyes meeting Lionel’s. “What is the compromise supposed to be, Lionel? She goes to Barcelona with you, Luca goes to, and I get to see him as often to as you see Emmy now? I have to make do with a few weekends a year, a couple of weeks at Christmas and the break you get for the off-season? What about his birthday?” he asked.

Lionel pushed a hand back through his hair before he let out a sigh. “I’ll do whatever I can to smooth this out” he noted “If you want to come to Barcelona, I’ll buy the flight. Emilia’s going to want to come home a lot to, once the baby has been born, I imagine that she’ll want to visit frequently, and that means Luca will to. I can’t stand here and promise it’ll be easy and perfect straight away, Isaac, I am almost certain that there is no perfect outcome here, but we need to figure something out and I’ll do whatever I can aid that” he insisted.

“Please, just think about it, Isaac” Emilia contributed softly.

Isaac’s gaze flitted between Emilia and Lionel for a few long seconds before he closed his eyes, sighing gently. “You’d have to go soon, wouldn’t you?” he prodded “I mean, you’re already twelve weeks gone. If you’re going to go before the baby comes, it’d have to be soon, no?” he clarified.

Emilia nodded her head. “It would” she confirmed.

“You’d have to figure out school for him” Isaac continued “And he’s going to be upset about leaving his friends. I mean, we both know that he’d make more in an instant, he’s an affable kid, but he’s going to hate it at first. He’ll need a new football team too” he added.

“I could get him in at Barca” Lionel contributed “And my friends have children who are about his age. They’ll know about schools. I know that the decisions will be up to the two of you, but if you need help...” he trailed off, offering Isaac a hopeful smile.

Isaac didn’t see it to return it, his eyes fixed completely on Emilia. “You want to go, don’t you?” he prodded “You’re not just going because you’re...” he trailed off with a nod towards her stomach.

Emilia followed the gesture before she looked back up at him, shaking her head. “I love him, Isaac” she murmured “And I want to do this” she added.

Isaac nodded his head stiffly. “I want to come with you” he announced.

Both Lionel and Emilia’s eyes widened. “What?” Emilia squeaked.

Isaac’s answering smirk was lazy and smug. “Not forever” he mused “Don’t worry. I have much better things to do with my time. But for the first few months, I want to be there, I want to help Luca get settled. I can take a sabbatical from work, and I am sure that you can help me find somewhere to stay for an extended period of time, Lionel, right?” he prodded.

Lionel just nodded his head, his eyes still a little wide in surprise.

“That’s my offer, Em” Isaac continued “I come with you for a few months. What happens after that, we can figure out later down the line, but if this is what you want now, then this is what it will take. Do we have a deal?” he asked.

Lionel glanced at Emilia, watching as she mulled Isaac’s offer over for a few seconds, before she slowly nodded her head. “OK” she agreed gently.

Isaac nodded before he turned, glancing over at Luca who was happily knocking a ball back and forth with one of his teammates. “We’ll tell him together, then” he noted “All three of us” he added, sparing a significant look at Lionel.

Lionel nodded in agreement, his hand gently squeezing Emilia’s in reassurance, assuring her that she had made the right call.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)