When We Were

Sixty Seven: I Might Know What You Mean

Allowing Luca to duck under his arm, Lionel pushed the front door closed, his lips quirking a small smile as the warm sound of Emilia’s laughter filled the air. He had been expecting it, despite Marcella and David’s insistence that their visit would be a short one, he knew that they’d still be sat on his couch when he got home with Luca, and whilst he was always a little anxious when they were around, he knew that both Emilia and Luca had been looking forwards to having them around. Emilia hadn’t seen them face to face in months, with her having cancelled her trip home in the summer on Valeria’s advice, she hadn’t had the chance to visit them at home, and whilst she had playfully scoffed and rolled her eyes at the prospect of her mother’s arrival, Lionel knew how much it meant to her. He knew how much Emilia missed her parents, but equally how much she wanted to show them that things were going well for them.

Tossing his keys down, he watched Luca throw his backpack off of his shoulders and kick off his shoes before he ran towards the living, something which made Lionel laugh. Shaking his head, he moved Luca’s shoes and bag out of the way before he slowly followed after him, pausing for a second in the doorway.

“Nana, grandpa. Have you met Maisie yet?” Luca squeaked as he ran towards Marcella, wrapping his arms around her.

Marcella accepted with hug without any hesitation, scattering kisses over the top of Luca’s head.

“We have” David confirmed.

“What’ve you done with Leo?” Emilia prodded, clearly oblivious to Lionel who quirked a smile to himself over her shoulder.

“He was coming” Luca protested as he turned around “He’s behind you, mama” he added.

Emilia turned in her seat, her cheeks turning a slight shade of pink. “Oh” she mused.

Lionel let out a little laugh before he shuffled a little deeper into the room, greeting Marcella and David with a slightly awkward wave. “It’s good to see you both again” he mused.

David smiled and stood up, greeting Lionel with a firm handshake. “Congratulations” he mused.

Lionel’s smile was timid, but still proud. “Thanks” he mused.

“She’s gorgeous” Marcella cooed as she gently pulled Luca onto her lap, cuddling him happily “Though, I don’t think that it was ever in doubt that she would be. Half you, half Emilia, it’s a beautiful combination” she added.

Lionel just grinned, a faint flush of pink on his cheeks.

“Mama” Emilia complained, rolling her eyes.

Marcella scoffed. “What?” she mused “You’re a very attractive woman, Emilia, and Leo’s a good looking man. It makes sense that your baby would be gorgeous too. I mean, look at what you and Isaac made” she added, playfully pinching Luca’s cheek.

Emilia rolled her eyes before she offered Lionel an apologetic look, something he was quick to bat away with a grin. It wasn’t like he wasn’t used to talk about her and Isaac, and he couldn’t really argue the point. Luca was a cute kid, and there was no denying, when you looked at him, that he’d inherited a lot of his looks from his father. Aside from a couple of traits which were all Emilia’s, her son was almost a clone of his father.

Marcella caught the look between the two of them before she shook her head. “I touched a nerve, didn’t I?” she asked.

Lionel quickly shook his head, smiling at the older woman warmly. “No, you didn’t” he mused.

Marcella looked at him doubtfully, but the moment was broken when Maisie, who’d been happily snoozing in her Moses basket, let out a loud cry.

Emilia jumped up to her feet and made her way towards the little girl, her nose wrinkling slightly. “Someone needs a nappy change” she mused as she leant down, gently picking Maisie up “I’ll be right back. Luca, why don’t you go and get your paintings to show nana and grandpa? I’m sure that they’d love to see them” she added.

Luca nodded his head enthusiastically before he shuffled out of Marcella’s grasp, moving out of the living room with his mother and sister trailing slowly behind him. For a moment, Lionel sat and watched after them, listening as Maisie’s cries got further away, before he turned back towards David and Marcella, offering them a slightly shy smile. “How’s Jordi?” he asked.

Marcella smiled, shaking her head amusedly. “He is a nervous wreck” she mused “Samia’s still months away from actually having the baby, but he worries about every little thing” she added.

Lionel nodded his head. “I’ve heard him on the phone with Em” he noted.

“He’s excited, though. They both are” David mused “And they send their love to you guys. Jordi was gutted that he couldn’t come over and be here for Emilia” he added.

“How is she?” Marcella asked, her expression softening a little.

Lionel’s forehead furrowed slightly. “You didn’t ask her?” he asked.

“Of course” Marcella noted “But you know how it goes. I ask how she is, she says that she’s fine. You must have played that game with her when she was still at home, no?” she asked.

Lionel didn’t want to admit it, but the look on his face gave him away, leaving him with no choice but to briskly nod. “I might know what you mean” he noted.

“So?” Marcella prodded “How is she, Leo? Really?” she added.

Lionel looked between the older couple before he shrugged, a slightly awkward grin on his face. “I like to think that she’s happy” he noted “I mean, these past few days with Maisie, they’re probably the happiest I’ve seen her. She’s thrilled by how well Luca has taken everything, and now that Maisie’s here, I think she’s a bit relieved. The pregnancy was straightforward enough, the birth too, but I think...I think she misses home and I think Valeria’s advice not to travel home in the summer...I think it got to her. Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s happy here, or at least, I really hope she is because I am so happy to have her, and Luca and now Maisie, here, I just...I think, sometimes, she’d rather be talking to Jordi in person” he explained, his words carefully chosen.

He knew it, even though Emilia had never complained, even though she tried to hide it, he knew that there was a part of her that still longed for home, and he knew that that wasn’t something which was just going to go away. She felt like she was missing out. Whilst she had made friends in Barcelona, it wasn’t quite the same, and he wanted Marcella and David to know that he was aware of it. He didn’t want them to think that he was naïve or simply ignoring that there was something that meant that Emilia wasn’t entirely happy.

Marcella nodded thoughtfully. “He misses her, too” she noted “Samia too. I know they’d have loved to have her around for the pregnancy” she added.

Lionel sighed, rubbing his jaw gently. “Do you think she’s happy here?” he asked quietly.

David and Marcella shared a look. “Do you doubt it?” David asked.

Lionel answered them with a little shrug and an uncertain smile. “A lot has happened since Jordi’s wedding” he noted “And it’s been mostly great, but it is pretty obvious that most things have changed for Emilia and less have changed for me. I just...she’s not completely straightforward with how she feels sometimes, and I just...I don’t know. I guess I am hoping to hear that she’s as in love with me as I am with her” he babbled sheepishly.

Marcella’s expression softened. “She is” she noted.

“Of course she is” David added.

Lionel smiled at the two of them sheepishly before the sound of footsteps running back towards the room reached them, causing him to turn and watch as Luca ran back into the room, a pile of papers clutched in his hands. “Where’ve you been?” he prodded.

“I helped mama pick out a new outfit for Maisie” Luca announced “But I’ve got my pictures now, nana and grandpa. Want to see them?” he prodded.

Marcella grinned and nodded, ushering Luca towards her so that she could look at his pictures.

Lionel watched the two of them before he heard Emilia sit down next to him, causing him to glance at her before he reached his arms out, allowing her to place Maisie into them. “Luca’s got good taste” he mused as he cuddled the baby close.

Emilia nodded, smiling at him softly. “You’ve missed cuddling her all day, haven’t you?” she prodded.

“I’d be lying if I said no” Lionel replied “I kind of got used to it with the couple of days I had off” he added.

Emilia leant into his side, her head on his shoulder as one of his hands settled on her thigh, his thumb stroking it gently. “My parents didn’t scare you off, then” she mumbled quietly, her eyes fixed on her parents who were eagerly fussing over Luca’s drawings.

Lionel shook his head before he gently rested it against the top of Emilia’s. “I think we’re too far gone for that” he mused.

Emilia laughed and cuddled into him a little more, fussing over Maisie quietly.

Lionel listened to her, smiling fondly, something which made Marcella, who was watching the two of them nod, smiling at the sight of them. Lionel had his worries, Marcella was sure that Emilia had them too, but just one look at them was enough to assure her that there was something between them that was wonderful.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)