When We Were

Sixty Two: Together

“You’re definitely relaxing, aren’t you?” Lionel prodded as he pulled a clean t-shirt over his head, his eyes glancing towards the phone which sat on his bed, showing him that Emilia had picked up his call. They had missed a few, with him away with Argentina on international duty and Emilia still back in Barcelona, the time difference that they’d previously mastered had caused them a little bit of trouble, but he was glad to finally get a hold of her, even if he was sure that there would be nothing amiss. He knew that spending some time talking to her would be enough to soothe the anxiety which had begun to gnaw slightly at the back of his head.

He knew that a part of her was frustrated, with Valeria having insisted that she take it easy, her previous plans to head home for a few weeks had been scrapped, and with Jordi not wanting to leave Samia, it meant that he didn’t have the chance to come and visit her, and it meant that she had been left in Barcelona by herself, something he knew got to her more than she was letting on. She missed things, people, and he knew that the fact that she couldn’t travel had gotten her down, even if she hadn’t said anything. He knew how much she had been looking forwards to seeing her friends and family again.

Emilia scoffed, letting out a little laugh. “What else would I be doing?” she quipped.

Lionel, who’d moved to sit down on the edge of the bed, shook his head as he leant down, pulling a clean pair of socks onto his feet. “We did have all that baby furniture delivered before I left” he quipped “And I know what you’re like when you get bored. I just thought I’d check and make sure that you weren’t overexerting yourself” he added, his voice caught between playful and soft.

“I’m not” Emilia noted “If you want, I can take a picture of the boxes to show that they’re just as you left them” she added.

“I trust you” Lionel replied as he slipped his feet into his shoes “I just know how restless you’ve been. Have you spoken to Luca?” he asked.

“Every day” Emilia mused “He and Isaac seem to be having a great time” she added.

Lionel smiled as he shuffled back onto the bed, taking the phone off of speaker and pressing it to his ear. “And Jordi?” he asked.

“Fussing” Emilia replied in a tone which had Lionel picturing her playfully rolling her eyes, a warm smile on her lips “He’s always been a worrier, and with Samia starting to show a little, he’s going into overdrive. Any little thing, and he’s on the phone, asking me for advice. I mean, I don’t know how Sam’s going to put up with him” she added.

“You put up with me” Lionel chirped.

“You’re not so bad” Emilia replied, her voice softening a little “And besides, I’d rather have you than not. A little fussing isn’t so bad” she added.

“A little fussing?” Lionel chirped, his voice deliberately upbeat “Am I not fussing enough, Em?” he prodded. He knew that she was talking about Isaac not being around when she had been pregnant with Luca, and he didn’t want to allow her to dwell on it, not when things between them were going so well.

Emilia breathed out a soft laugh, a sound which made Lionel smile to himself. “You know, I’ve been reading the baby name book you put in my bag” he noted after a few moments of silence.

There was a sound of movement on the other end of the line before Emilia spoke again. “You have?” she prodded.

“Yeah” Lionel confirmed “I mean, isn’t that why you snuck it into my bag in the first place?” he prodded.

“It was hardly sneaking” Emilia replied, the roll of her eyes almost audible “I told you that I was putting it in there” she added.

Lionel just grinned to himself, marveling at the sound of laughter in her voice.

“So?” Emilia prodded after a few moments “Are there any names that are jumping out to you yet?” she added.

“A few” Lionel replied “But why don’t you tell me what you’re thinking first? I mean, how did you choose Luca’s name?” he prodded.

Emilia was quiet for a few seconds before she let out a little laugh, one which was a little shaky and forced. “I really struggled” she noted “When he’d been around, Isaac had suggested that, if we had a boy, he wanted to name him after his grandfather. They’d been really close when Isaac was a kid and he’d died when he was in his early teens, but when Isaac left...let’s just say it was suggested that I didn’t have to do anything for him. My family wanted me to choose a name, Isaac’s wanted me to use the name he’d chosen, and after a lot of debating, by which I mean my mother screaming at Isaac’s mother, and Jordi getting into fights with Isaac’s brother Michael, I settled on his name. Luca Alfredo Jordi Moretti Fernandez” she explained.

Lionel wanted to change the topic, to shift it back to something happier, but before he could stop himself, he spoke up. “Moretti Fernandez?” he asked.

“Another contentious decision” Emilia replied “Isaac’s family wanted me to give him his last name, but I...he’d gone and I had no idea if I was going to see him again, or whether or not Luca was ever going to meet him, so I reversed the names” she added.

Lionel was quiet for a few moments, allowing her words to hang between the two of them, before he spoke quietly. “Maisie” he murmured.

“Maisie?” Emilia prodded gently.

“I like it” Lionel mused “As a name” he added.

“Maisie” Emilia repeated gently.

“It’s just an early suggestion” Lionel mumbled, picking at the duvet at his side “I mean, we’ve still got a lot of time, haven’t we? We’ve got a lot of time to look at names and choose one together, or maybe a handful like Luca, eh?” he teased, trying to brighten the mood slightly

Emilia laughed.

“Seriously, Em” Lionel mused “We’ll do it together, yeah? All of it, together” he insisted.

“Together” Emilia parroted.

Lionel smiled at her repetition before a knock at his door reached his ears, causing him to sigh gently. “We’ll pick this up later” he noted “Make sure that you take things easily, Em” he added.

“I will” Emilia mused “Hey?” she prodded.

“Yeah?” Lionel asked.

“I love you” Emilia mused, her smile obvious in her voice.

Lionel couldn’t help but grin too. “I love you, too” he replied.

Emilia made a small noise, one that Lionel was familiar with, before she mumbled a goodbye, ending the call. Pulling the phone away from his ear, Lionel stared down at it for a few moments before he shook his head, mumbling the word ‘together’ to himself. He knew that she still worried, despite them having been together in Barcelona for a while, he knew that there was still a little part of her that needed to be reassured that he was with her for everything, and he’d grown used to giving her the reassurance, even if she’d never had anything to worry about with regards to him. He knew that what had happened with Isaac had left her wary that things between them could just tumble down around them, and he would keep reassuring her that they wouldn’t until she stopped. There was no way that he was going anywhere.