When We Were

Sixty Four: You Have To Know How Happy I Was To Be Here

Gently pushing her fingertips through Luca’s hair, Emilia quirked a tired smile, watching as the little boy stirred in his sleep, cuddling into her side a little more. He hadn’t appreciated being woken up in the middle of the night, when Lionel had placed him into his seat in the car, he’d been grumpy and annoyed and in the midst of a tantrum, but he’d quickly fallen back to sleep, something Emilia was grateful for since getting a hold of her parents had proven to be harder than she had expected. It was still the middle of the night, by the time that the three of them had arrived and been checked into the maternity ward, the time had read a little after four in the morning, and whilst it wasn’t entirely surprising that neither Marcella or David had picked up, it meant that Luca, who should have been safely asleep in his own bed, was still laying with his mother.

Tilting her head back, she shifted slightly against the mattress before the sound of the room’s door opening reached her, causing her to sit up again, watching as Lionel carefully closed the door after himself. “Any luck?” she asked quietly.

Lionel shook his head as he turned around, just about putting his hand up to hide his yawn from her. “I tried a couple more times” he explained “But I just keeping getting their voicemail. Is he still asleep?” he asked.

Emilia nodded, gently adjusting the spare blanket that Valeria had bought in around Luca’s shoulders.

“I called Isaac from your phone” Lionel announced after a couple of moments.

Emilia stiffened ever so slightly before she looked back up at him. “Did he answer?” she asked.

“He did” Lionel confirmed, his nod a little tight “And he’s on his way” he added.

Emilia nodded her head slowly. “I...I didn’t even think of him” she mused with a faint apologetic smile “I should have done” she added.

Lionel shrugged before he leant over, gently taking her hand into his. “The important thing is that he is on his way” he mused, skimming his thumb over her hand “How are you doing?” he asked.

Emilia’s smile grew a little surer and warmer. “I’m OK” she mused “I mean, other than the pain and the fact that I’ve been awake since the early hours, I’m good. Actually, I am pretty excited” she added.

“Yeah?” Lionel prodded, his voice caught somewhere between playful and soft “What are you more excited about? Meeting our little girl or being able to have a glass of wine with dinner?” he asked.

Emilia let out a loud laugh, but quickly covered her mouth, watching as Luca grumbled a little in his sleep. Keeping her hand in place, she waited a few seconds for Luca to settle back down, before she lowered her hand, grinning at Lionel who was watching her amusedly. “Don’t make me wake him up” she whispered “If we’re lucky, he’ll still be asleep when Isaac gets here” she added.

Lionel held his hands up innocently. “I didn’t mean to” he mused “It was just an honest question” he added impishly.

Emilia offered him a playful roll of her eyes. “Meeting her” she replied “I mean, I’ve missed being able to eat and drink what I like, and I’ve missed being able to feel comfortable in bed at night, but it’s all been worth it if she comes along and she’s...she’s perfect” she babbled with a bashful smile.

Lionel marveled at her smile before he stood up slightly, pressing a gentle kiss against her cheek. “She will be” he mumbled against her skin.

Emilia held onto him, enjoying the embrace for a few seconds, before the sound of knocking reached them, causing her to pull back slightly, watching as Valeria poked her head around the door. “Sorry” she whispered “I have an Isaac here looking for you? He said something about being here to pick up Luca?” she prodded.

Emilia nodded. “Send him in” she mused.

Valeria flashed them a brief smile before she disappeared out of the doorway, reappearing a few moments later with an awkward looking Isaac trailing along behind her. Emilia and Lionel watched him into the room, allowing Valeria to carefully close the door, before Isaac cleared his throat, his hand nudging his glasses awkwardly up his nose. “How...I...” he stumbled out “Do...do you want me to wake him up?” he asked, glancing down towards Luca.

“He doesn’t appreciate that” Emilia replied with a faint smile.

Isaac quirked a faint smile, like an amusing retort had crossed his mind, but one look at Lionel was enough to convince him to swallow it. Instead, he simply offered a slightly stiff nod before he shuffled towards the bed, carefully gathering Luca up into his arms. The little boy grumbled, but relented quickly, sleepily wrapping his arms around Isaac’s neck. “Mama?” he mumbled softly.

“Yes, baby?” Emilia replied softly.

“Is it time for birthday pancakes?” Luca asked as he lifted his head, blinking tiredly.

Emilia bit her lip, feeling her heart drop a little. “Not yet, baby” she mused “You’re going to go back to Papa’s and in the morning, he’ll make you some, yeah?” she added.

Luca rubbed his eyes tiredly, too sleepy to argue.

“I’ll make sure he gets them” Isaac noted “And I’ll explain what’s happening when he’s a little more with it. It’ll be fine, Emmy” he added, offering her a soft smile.

Emilia looked at him dubiously for a split second before she felt another contraction build, something which caused her to searching for Lionel’s hand, seizing it with a tight squeeze.

Isaac looked at them, watching Emilia’s face tense and Lionel whispering into her ear, before he shuffled towards the door, trying to ignore the ache in his chest.

“We’ll call” Emilia spluttered “When the baby’s here. We’ll call and he can come back and meet her. I’ll send Leo to get a cupcake or something so that I can sing happy birthday to him” she insisted. It wasn’t a choice that she had made, her waters breaking when they did was something she didn’t have any control over, but she still felt bad that it had happened on Luca’s birthday. If things moved along quickly, which they already were, then the chance were that Luca’s birthday would be shared with his little sister, something Emilia wasn’t entirely sure how he’d react to.

Isaac smiled weakly and nodded his head, adjusting his grasp on Luca slightly. “We’ll see you later, then” he noted “Good luck” he added before he ducked out of the door.

“Can I have her back yet?”

Lionel grinned playfully, lifting his head to look up at Emilia who was already grinning back at him, her hands gesturing to the tiny little girl who was snuggled happily in his arms, completely oblivious to the excitement which had gone on around her. The birth had been without complications. Not more than a couple of hours after Isaac had arrived to pick up Luca, Emilia had pushed the newborn into the world, and whilst it was still just Emilia and Lionel in the room, their excitement was palpable, something which had gone completely unnoticed by the little girl who snoozed happily in her father’s arms.

“She’s asleep” Lionel retorted “I don’t want to disturb her” he added.

Emilia’s smile widened. “You can just say you’re smitten and don’t want to give her back to me” she mused “I mean, I know that’s the real reason” she added.

Lionel just grinned at her, his eyes bright and warm.

Emilia held his stare for a moment, her grin still as wide, before she ducked her head, gingerly tucking her messy hair off of her face. “You know” she whispered “I kind...I kind of want to say thank you” she added.


“I know what you’re going to say” Emilia interrupted “You’re going to insist that she...she’s your little girl and that you’d not have wanted to be anywhere else, but it’s...it’s still huge for me that you’re here. Last time was so...it was messy and it was fraught, but this...you...” she trailed off with a bashful shrug, her eyes growing tearful.

Lionel’s expression softened as he reached up, gently brushing a stray tear off of her cheek. “If I did anything to make it better, I’m glad” he mused “But you have to know how happy I was to be here, how I would have given anything to share this with you” he added.

Emilia smiled tearfully. “I love you” she whispered.

Lionel leant up to kiss her forehead. “I love you too” he mumbled.

Emilia leant against him for a second, just basking in the moment, before the baby let out a cry, causing her to lean back slightly, wiping her cheeks with the back of her hand. “She’s awake” she mused.

Lionel breathed out a laugh and nodded, carefully moving to place their daughter into Emilia’s arms. “I’m going to go and start making calls” he noted as he stepped back “I’ll start with Isaac and see if he can get Luca back here before visiting hours are up. I’ll even get him to bring a cupcake so that we can sing to him” he added.

Emilia, who’d been settling the baby, looked up with a grin. “Really?” she asked.

“Of course” Lionel replied “I mean, it’s his birthday too and I’d hate for him to think we’ve forgotten. He’ll have to wait for his presents, but we can still mark it, can’t we?” he prodded.

“I’d really love it if we could” Emilia gushed sheepishly.

“Then we will” Lionel mused.

“Thank you” Emilia noted as Lionel made a move for the door “For dealing with Isaac, for making sure that Luca doesn’t feel left out...for just being an amazing boyfriend, really” she added with a shrug she hoped came off as nonchalant rather than awkward and tearful.

Lionel turned and felt his face light up at the sight of Emilia and their daughter. He’d already fallen head over heels for it. “For you, it’s nothing” he quipped before he stepped out of the room, leaving Emilia grinning tearfully behind him.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)