When We Were

Sixty Three: That’s A Later Problem

Throwing the duvet off of herself, Emilia rolled onto her back, frowning in frustration up at the ceiling. It wasn’t the first time that she had struggled to get comfortable, all throughout the summer as her bump had grown, she had spent a lot of her time tossing and turning, both too hot and too uncomfortable to sleep, and whilst the temperatures had started to dip as they’d moved through September, it was something she was still struggling with. Closing her eyes, she took in a deep breath, trying to ease the lump of stress which had built up in her chest, before she felt a touch against her forehead, causing her to blink her eyes open and look up at Lionel who was propped up next to her, tenderly brushing her hair back off of her head. Staring at him for a couple of seconds, she felt a little smile tug up the corner of her mouth before she gently shook her head, letting out a soft sigh. “I’m sorry” she mumbled.

Lionel’s forehead furrowed. “For what?” he asked.

“For disturbing you?” Emilia noted “I mean, you did notice that it is still dark outside, didn’t you?” she added.

Lionel smiled before he dipped down, kissing her forehead gently. “You don’t need to apologize” he mumbled as he sat back up “It’s good practice” he added, his other hand briefly skipping across her baby bump.

“It’s the fourth time this week” Emilia retorted with a sigh “And it’s a night of sleep we both needed. I mean, having Isaac and his family around isn’t normally very fun, but when you’re this pregnant and over tired...” she trailed off with a little shake of her head.

The plans had been in place for ages, despite Emilia’s being in Barcelona, the plan to celebrate Luca’s eight birthday was the same as ever, and it meant that the next day was going to be spent around Isaac and his parents who, in addition to Marcella and David, had made the trip over to celebrate with the little boy.

Lionel spared her a sympathetic look before he gently tucked his arm behind her, encouraging her to cuddle into his side. Emilia resisted for a moment, but quickly melted, tucking her head against his chest as she draped her arm over his stomach. “You know that you can tell me when I am being a pain, don’t you?” she mumbled softly.

“You’re not being a pain, Em” Lionel replied gently, his hand gently brushing up and down her back.

Emilia briefly thought about arguing, but stopped herself, instead opting to shake her head and let out another little sigh.

“Is Luca excited about tomorrow?” Lionel asked after a few moments of silence.

Emilia, who’d been frowning slightly at a strange pain, let out a playful snort as her expression brightened. “The fact that he’s not up yet is pretty impressive” she mused “I mean, it is after midnight” she added.

“Is he excited to see Isaac?” Lionel prodded.

Emilia nodded against his chest. “He is” she confirmed “And his grandparents too. But, mostly, he’s just looking forwards to having everyone make a fuss of him and give him presents. When he’s around people he knows, he’s the most confident little boy” she fussed proudly.

Lionel smiled, leaning down to touch a kiss to the top of her head. “He gets that from you” he mumbled into her hair.

“You really think he’s like me?” Emilia asked quietly, her fingers gently playing with the bottom of his t-shirt.

“I do” Lionel confirmed “I mean, he looks more like Isaac, but I’d say he’s got some of you best traits. He’s kind of shy, not unlike you, but once you know him, he’s warm and bright. He’s a good kid, Em” he enthused gently.

Emilia couldn’t help but smile proudly, something which made Lionel smile too before he moved his hand, carefully skimming his fingertips over the side of her pronounced bump. Emilia watched his fingers, noticing how careful and light his touch was, before she glanced up at his face, marveling at the doting expression he wore across his features. Admiring it for a second, she gently touched the line of his jaw, causing Lionel to look down at her, a little crease forming in between his eyebrows. “Is everything alright?” he asked.

Emilia just nodded, smiling up at him.

Lionel offered her an odd look, but before he had the chance to prod any further, a yawn tumbled out of his mouth, something which made Emilia push herself away from him. “You should get back to sleep” she mumbled as she awkwardly sat up.

“What about you?” Lionel prodded as he helped her, earning a grateful smile in return.

“I need to pee again” Emilia noted as she shuffled towards the edge of the mattress, grimacing as she stood up “I’ll only be a couple of minutes. Get back to sleep” she added before she shuffled towards the bathroom.

Lionel watched her go for a moment before he took her advice, tucking himself back up beneath the duvet as a yawn tumbled out of his mouth.


Lionel, who’d just about allowed his eyes to close, sat up with a start, not entirely sure if he had actually heard his name or imagined it. Rubbing his eyes tiredly, he stumbled to his feet and followed Emilia’s path towards the bathroom, stopping in the doorway as another yawn worked its way out of his mouth. “Did you just yell for me?” he asked, stifling his yawn in his hand.

“You need to get my phone” Emilia replied, her back facing him.

Lionel frowned. “Emmy, it’s the middle of the night” he muttered.

“Just get it” Emilia insisted “And call my mother” she added.

“Why would I want to risk the wrath of your mother by calling her in the middle of the night? She actually kind of likes me, Em” Lionel prodded.

Emilia was quiet for a second before she turned around, the ghost of an uncertain smile on her lips. “Because someone is going to need to sit with Luca” she breathed “And it’s going to be pretty hard for that to be you when you’re going to be with me” she added, tipping her head down towards her feet.

Lionel’s forehead furrowed before he looked down, spotting the puddle on the floor. Feeling his expression soften, he stared at the floor for a few long seconds before he breathed out a shaky laugh, his hand pushing back through his hair. “Luca’s not going to like this” he spluttered out, stuck for anything else to say.

Emilia’s laugh was equally shaky. “That’s a later problem” she mused “Right now, we’ve got something else to be thinking about. Do you think you could get me a towel?” she asked.

Lionel sprang into action, almost throwing a nearby towel at her.

Emilia giggled and caught it, using it to wipe off her feet.

For a second, Lionel just stared at her, his head not quiet processing what was happening, before he jolted. “Your phone” he spluttered “The bags...Luca!” he exclaimed.

“Get me the phone first” Emilia mused “Then Luca, the bags and then you can help me to the car” she added.

Lionel nodded his head, darting out of the bathroom briefly before he came back, Emilia’s phone shaking slightly in his hand. Emilia took it before she tugged on his hand, tugging him fractionally closer. Lionel followed the movement, awkwardly trying to avoid the puddle on the floor, something which made Emilia giggle as she leant up, pressing her lips to his cheek. “I’ll be fine” she murmured “Just go” she added.

Lionel took in a deep breath before he nodded his head, scuttling out of the room with nerves thundering in his chest.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)