When We Were

Fifty Eight: I Know What I Did

“When are we going to go and buy things for baby?”

Emilia, who’d followed Luca back into the house, smiled gently at the enthusiasm in his voice. She hadn’t been expecting it, with the news that he was getting a little sister rather than a little brother, she had expected more of a negative reaction from Luca, but whatever upset that he had had, it’d been cooled by the suggestion that he could take a key role in making decisions when it came to the new baby. It had always been Emilia’s plan, with Luca being almost eight, she knew that the prospect of having a younger sibling who was so many years younger than him could have been something that had unsettled him, and she always planned on making sure that he felt involved with her pregnancy, but she was relieved that he’d taken to the idea so quickly. The last thing she wanted was for Luca to feel out of place with the new baby on the way.

“It’s not going to be tonight” Emilia replied “Though, maybe after we’ve had dinner, we can get my laptop out and have a look at a few things” she added.

Luca grinned up at her before Lionel appeared at Emilia’s side, glancing over at Isaac who was busying himself on the other side of the hall, pulling his jacket around his shoulders. “Come on, Luca” he mused “We’ll go and get a start on dinner and maybe, just maybe, while it’s cooking, we can look at some stuff” he added.

Emilia followed Lionel’s glance, watching Isaac for a beat, before she gently touched Luca’s shoulder. “Say goodbye to your papa first” she mused.

Luca nodded his head dutifully before he hurried over to Isaac, wrapping his arms around his waist. “Bye-bye papa” he mused, offering Isaac a bright smile.

Isaac couldn’t stop himself from smile down at Luca before he dipped down, kissing the top of his head gently. “Bye, little one” he mused “I’ll see you in a few days, yeah?” he prodded.

Luca grinned and nodded before he trotted after Lionel, affording Isaac the opportunity to glance up at Emilia, his expression softening a little as he watched her tuck her hair back off of her face. “Was that even bothering you?” he asked.

Emilia tilted her head, a little crease in her forehead. “Huh?” she asked.

“I wondered if your hair actually annoyed you, or whether it’s just a habit” Isaac clarified “You’ve done that since I’ve known you” he added.

Emilia shrugged, trying, and failing, to hide the slight blush which had appeared on her cheeks.

Isaac stared at her for a few seconds, a little smile kicking up the corner of his lips, before he shook his head, diverting his stare back down towards the ground. “I...I should say congratulations” he noted “I mean, a little girl...that’s...it’s wonderful news. You and Lionel must be so...”

“Please, Isaac” Emilia’s voice was soft as she cut him off “Don’t make it more awkward that it already is” she added, lifting her eyes to meet his. Their dynamic had shifted, even before Isaac had arrived in Barcelona, things had felt more awkward and tense between them, and Emilia knew that there was no fixing it. Things had changed for her, since Lionel had entered the picture, she felt like things were different, but Isaac wasn’t and it meant that their ideas of where their relationship stood were different.

Isaac exhaled slowly, pushing his glasses back up his nose. “I mean it” he noted “A little girl is wonderful news, Em” he added.

Emilia nodded, smiling feebly. “It is” she agreed.

Isaac kept his stare on her for a few seconds, just admiring her, before he cleared his throat, pasting a pleasant grin onto his face. “I’ll get out of your hair” he mused “I’ll see you in a few days when I come and get Luca?” he asked.

Emilia went to nod, but stopped herself. “Actually” she noted “Leo had something he wanted to ask you” she added.

Isaac tilted his head. “He did?” he prodded.

Emilia nodded. “Leo!” she called.

Isaac opened his mouth to object, to insist that Emilia could just tell him what the other man wanted, but before he had the chance, Lionel appeared, a slightly confused from on his face. “Yes?” he asked.

“You had something that you wanted to ask Isaac” Emilia noted, offering him a meaningful look as she made her excuses to leave.

Lionel looked between Emilia’s retreating form and Isaac a couple of times before he nodded, sheepishly rubbing his jaw. “I know that Luca spends his weekends with you, but I was...I was thinking that maybe, if I got tickets for the two of you, he’d want to come and watch the match on Saturday. I mean, I know he’s not a Barca fan, but...” he trailed off, shrugging his shoulders in place of finishing his sentence.

Isaac just stared for a second before he shook his head, letting out a soft sigh. “I think he’d love that” he conceded “He’s really starting to love football these days. I’d guess that’s your influence on him” he added.

Lionel ducked his head, trying to keep the little proud smile that itched to light up his features under wraps. “I am not trying to get in the middle of you and Luca, you know” he noted.

“I know” Isaac replied “You’re just in the middle of me and Emmy” he added.

“There is no you and Emmy” Lionel replied “You’re both parents to an amazing little boy, but that’s about as far as your relationship goes these days, Isaac, and that’s on you, not me” he added.

Isaac pushed his glasses up his nose. “What do you know?” he muttered.

Lionel lifted his hands, taking a pace back from the other man. “I can’t profess to know everything” he noted “But I know that you...you might not think you broke her heart, because you and her were never...never really a couple or whatever you two tell yourselves, but you did when you left her and then you did it again for that year where you let her believe that she and Luca, they were all you wanted when really, they were just some distraction. Maybe you tell yourself that it couldn’t have hurt her badly because you weren’t in love with each other, but it did and you don’t seem to get that, Isaac” he explained quietly.

“I know what I did” Isaac replied firmly.

Lionel shook his head. “You were happy when she wanted to live in her shell, and now that’s she’s branched out and found someone who makes her happy, and she’s moving forwards, it irks you so you keep trying to wreck it, but I won’t let you. I don’t want to fight with you, if anything, I want things to be amicable between us because that’s the best for Emmy and Luca, but I am not going to let you ruin this, Isaac. I know you don’t like it, but I love her and I think she loves me too” he mused, his voice softening a little.

He didn’t want to fight, him and Isaac being on bad terms was something which would only make things more complicated, but he wanted Isaac to know that he wasn’t going anywhere.

Isaac kept his stare on Lionel for a few beats before he breathed out a soft sigh, nodding his head. “I know” he murmured.

Lionel offered him a tight nod. “Saturday?” he asked.

“It’s a good idea” Isaac replied “Luca will love it. I’ll bring him along” he added.

Lionel offered him a small smile. “I’ll see you there, Isaac” he mused.