When We Were

Sixty: I’d Be Lying If I Said No

“You try and get some sleep, Ok?” Emilia whispered as she brushed a thumb over Luca’s cheek, gently brushing away the tear which had left a trail on his skin as it had slipped from his eye. It wasn’t the first time that he’d cried, since they’d dropped Isaac off at the airport a few hours earlier, Luca had been more than a little tearful, and whilst Emilia hated seeing him so upset, she knew that there was nothing she could say to make him feel better. He was going to miss Isaac, even despite the promise of near constant phone calls and more visits, Emilia knew that not having his father around all the time was something which was going to take some time to get used to, and Emilia just had to be there to support him, even if it did mean having him yell at her or Lionel at times. She knew that she had to let him get used to it in his own way.

Luca sniffled. “Can we call papa tomorrow?” he asked.

Emilia smiled. “Of course we can” she confirmed “I’ll send him a message in the morning and I’ll set up a call for you after school, OK?” she asked, gently pushing his hair out of his eyes.

Luca nodded, his eyes blinking sleepily.

Emilia’s smile softened a little before she leant over, pressing a gentle kiss against his temple. “Sleep tight, baby” she whispered “I’ll see you in the morning” she added.

“Night-night, mama” Luca mumbled, snuggling closer to his pillow as he allowed his eyes to flutter closed.

Emilia sat quietly next to him for a few moments, listening as his breathing evened out, before she leant over, kissing his head again. Sitting up, she placed a hand on her bump before she struggled back to her feet, shuffling out of the bedroom quietly. Tugging the door closed behind herself, she hesitated for a moment, debating to head back down the stairs or to bed herself, before the sound of a light cough caught her ears, causing her to pick her head up, her stare settling on Lionel who stood in the doorway of their bedroom.

“Is he Ok?” Lionel asked quietly.

“Asleep” Emilia replied “He was a bit tearful still, but he’s asleep now. What are you doing up here?” she asked.

Lionel quirked a crooked smile, gently throwing his hands forwards to show off the blanket which he held. “I was thinking we could put on a film or something” he noted “I went out and bought some of those biscuits you keep eating whilst you were at the airport. I thought we could just...just relax for a little while” he added shyly.

Emilia tilted her head, biting down at the corner of her lip to hide her smile.

“Or I could just give you the biscuits and let you go to bed” Lionel continued sheepishly “Whatever you want” he added.

Emilia brushed her hair off of her face. “A film sounds nice” she mused.

Lionel let out a little, slightly nervous, laugh. “You just want the biscuits, don’t you?” he prodded playfully.

Emilia shrugged a shoulder, a soft grin dancing at the corner of her lips. “I’d be lying if I said no” she mused.

Lionel shook his head, laughing gently. “You go down to the living room” he noted “I’ll grab the biscuits and you choose a film” he added.

“Sounds like a plan” Emilia replied.

Lazily brushing his thumb back and forth over Emilia’s bump, Lionel quirked a tired smile, feeling the familiar fluttering movements against the palm of his hand. He’d been feeling them for a while, even before their latest appointment with Valeria, Emilia had been gushing about feeling little movements, but Lionel was sure that he’d never tire of them, no matter how many times Emilia playfully chided him for fussing. Shaking his head, he spared a brief glance at Emilia’s sleeping face, before he leant his head back against the couch, closing his eyes for a few moments.


Lionel jumped a little, turning to look over his shoulder at Luca who stood in the doorway, wiping his eyes sleepily. “Luca” he breathed “What’s wrong?” he added.

“Where’s mama?” Luca asked.

“She’s here” Lionel replied “But she’s asleep. Do you really need me to wake her up?” he asked softly.

Luca hesitated for a split second before he shook his head. “No” he whispered “I just...I couldn’t sleep” he added.

Lionel stared at him for a second, briefly contemplating waking Emilia up, before he gently shuffled her feet out of his lap, allowing him to stand up and make his way towards Luca. “I was going to make myself something to drink” he noted “Do you want some warm milk or some water?” he asked.

Luca stared up at him before he spoke quietly “Milk, please” he noted.

Lionel smiled gently. “Come on, then” he noted before he started walking towards the kitchen, Luca following after him. Stepping into the room, he flicked on the light before he padded towards the fridge, watching out of the corner of his eye as Luca clambered up onto a stool. Picking up the carton of milk, he carried it over to the counter before he moved to find a saucepan, settling it on the stove.

Luca watched him quietly, rubbing his eyes gently.

“Your mama said you were asleep” Lionel commented quietly.

Luca shrugged. “I was” he mumbled “Then I woke up and I couldn’t get back to sleep” he added.

“Still thinking about your papa?” Lionel asked, his tone unsure and tentative.

Luca just nodded his head.

Lionel stared at him for a second, not quite sure what he could say, before he let out a gentle sigh. “It sucks” he mumbled “When I was little, I moved here from back home, and I had to leave behind my mama and it is...it’s really hard, but your mama and your papa are already working really hard to figure out a way for you to spend as much time as you can with both of them. I’m sorry it’s not easy for you, Luca” he added tentatively.

Luca sniffed a little, his hand wiping his eyes. “I’m going to miss him” he murmured.

Lionel stood still, not sure what to do or say, before Luca slipped off of his seat, hurrying towards him before he wrapped his arms around his waist, crying gently into the material of his t-shirt. Lionel stilled for a fraction of a second before he wrapped the little boy in a hug, his hand gently rubbing his back. “I promise you, we’re going to make this work, OK?” he mumbled gently “Your papa will come and visit a lot and we’ll go home and you’ll see him there too. I know it’s not the same, but it’s going to be Ok, Luca. Your mama and your papa, they love you so much and they’re going to do everything they can do to make sure that you’re happy” he insisted.

Luca hiccupped, sniffling a little.

Lionel leant back slightly, wiping a few tears off of Luca’s cheeks. “I’ll get you that milk, eh?” he prodded “And then we can go and see if your mama’s awake and wants to join us for a film or something, yeah?” he asked.

Luca nodded.

Lionel straightened back up, moving to pour a warm glass of milk for Luca and his own drink, before he handed the glass over to Luca.

Luca sipped at it tentatively before he looked up at Lionel, offering him a wobbly smile. “Gracias” he whispered.

“No problem” Lionel replied with a small smile as he moved to pick up his own drink.

Luca smiled at him again before he padded out of the room, passing Emilia on his way back through to the living room. Emilia watched him step past before she turned back to Lionel, smiling at his back gently before she stepped towards him, wrapping her arms around his waist. Leaning forwards, she pressed a kiss against the back of his neck before she tucked her head against his back. “I love you” she whispered softly.

Lionel let out a little laugh, more out of sheepishness than anything else, and smiled down at her hands which he’d covered with his own. “You saw that, didn’t you?” he mumbled.

Emilia just nodded against his back, hugging him gently.

“I didn’t know what to do or say” Lionel mumbled “I just...”

“You did wonderfully” Emilia assured him.

Lionel shook his head, his expression still sheepish.

Emilia turned and kissed the spot on his back where her head was resting. “I love you” she repeated softly.

Lionel turned around, wrapping his arms around her before he leant down, kissing the top of her head. “I love you, too” he mumbled into her hair.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)