When We Were

Eighty Two: Then Don’t Do This

“We could always kill him”

Lionel, who was swirling the last of his drink around his bottle, quirked a small tired smirk, turning his glance towards Jordi who sat at the bar next to him, grinning in an attempt to lighten the mood which had settled around the two of them. It had been Jordi’s idea, taking Lionel out of the house so that he and Emilia could both have some time to cool down and think, and Lionel appreciated it. “He’s Luca’s papa” he pointed out “I think he’d notice if he were gone and I think we’d probably be at the top of the suspect list, don’t you? Who could be more suspicious than the jealous fiancé of his ex-girlfriend and the ex-girlfriend’s brother who’s got form for lashing out?” he prodded as he lifted the bottle to his lips, finishing off the last few drops.

Jordi shrugged, grinning around his own bottle. “It’d solve the problem” he noted “Do you have a better idea?” he asked.

Lionel just lazily shrugged his shoulders.

Jordi stared at him, his expression clouding over with concern. “You’re not thinking of breaking up with Emmy, are you?” he prodded.

Lionel, who’d been idly twisting his bottle around on the bar in front of him, stiffened slightly at the question before he sighed, sparing Jordi a look out of the corner of his eye. “I don’t want to” he said, putting emphasis on the word ‘want’ “I just...I keep having to re-evaluate how prepared I am to be dealing with Isaac for the rest of my life. I knew it was going to be a condition of us, as soon as I saw her and Luca together for the first time, I knew that any relationship we had was going to have to handle having Luca’s papa at least part way in the picture, but he keeps trying to force himself back into focus and I...I don’t know” he explained, shaking his head.

Isaac wasn’t going anywhere. His relationship with Luca was too important, to both Emilia and Luca, that there was no chance he would just slink off the scene, and it made things tougher for Lionel to take. He was a ghost, he hung over all of the important moments of Lionel and Emilia’s relationship, and the forward didn’t quite know if he could keep shrugging it off. He had hoped for almost two years that there was nothing between Emilia and Isaac, but the day’s events had thrown it into doubt.

Jordi shook his head. “You know she loves you” he pointed out.

“I do” Lionel confirmed with a stiff nod “But she loved him once. She might still do” he added.

Jordi scoffed, nodding in thanks to the bartender who’d placed two new drinks down ahead of them. “Why the hell would you think that?” he asked.

“She never told me about him” Lionel replied “Not properly, not completely honestly. She told me things in patches. Like, for example, the year that they were together. She didn’t mention that, and only told me because Isaac threw it out at her during a dinner we’d gone to with him and some woman he was seeing. She’s always been cagey about talking about him, and I used to think it was because she was sick of having to explain it to everyone. But what if it’s something more than that? Do you think she could still have feelings for him?” he asked.

Jordi frowned around the top of his bottle, quickly shaking his head. “How the hell could she?” he asked, swallowing his mouthful of drink.

“He’s Luca’s papa” Lionel pointed out.

“And? He’s a selfish asshole” Jordi countered “I mean let’s ignore the fact that he walked out on her when she was pregnant with his son for a moment. When he came back, he wormed his way into her life seemed to convince her that he was her happily ever after, only to be found out as being a lying, cheating idiot who was stringing her along and playing on her feelings for him. He knew how she felt, and he took advantage of that and hurt her again. He keeps hurting her, how could she ever love him again?” he added, his voice growing louder in frustration. He simply didn’t see what appeal Isaac, who’d toyed with Emilia’s feelings on more than one occasion, could have to his little sister anymore.

Lionel just shrugged his shoulders vaguely, something which caused Jordi to lean over, his hand gripping onto a shoulder tightly. “Leo, my sister loves you” he said firmly.

Lionel grimaced under Jordi’s tight hold. “I’m not saying that she doesn’t” he replied.

“Then don’t do this” Jordi noted “Don’t break her heart” he added.

Lionel went to reply, but was stopped when his phone vibrated in his pocket. Letting out a sigh, he pulled it out before he felt his breathing stutter, his eyes widening at the text that Emilia had sent him. “Luca’s in hospital” he announced.

Jordi choked on his drink. “What?” he spluttered.

“We need to get a taxi” Lionel insisted as he slipped off of his stool, placing down enough money to cover their tab.

“Right behind you” Jordi insisted.


Emilia, who’d been gently talking to a sleeping Luca, turned around in her seat, offering a shaky smile to Lionel who’d stopped in the doorway, his eyes wide with panic. “Hey” she breathed softly.

“Hey” Lionel replied as he tentatively stepped into the room.

Emilia watched him before she turned back to Luca, gently pushing his hair away from his face. “I’m sorry the text was so urgent” she mumbled after a few moments of slightly awkward silence “Isaac’s call was so out of the blue that I didn’t...I just texted and then grabbed Maisie and got here. She’s with Samia, by the way. She said she’d take her home” she babbled.

Lionel stopped behind her, settling a hand on her shoulder as he leant over to kiss the top of her head. “What happened?” he asked against her hair.

Emilia closed her eyes, letting out a shaky laugh. “He was showing off” she breathed “He’d climbed all the way to the top off this climbing frame at a park that Isaac had taken him too and he was...he was boasting and he just...fell off. He broke his arm in two places, he had to have surgery to set it. Isaac got him bumped up the list” she added, still gently twining Luca’s dark hair through her fingers.

Lionel just kissed her head again. “He’s OK” he murmured.

“I was so scared” Emilia whispered “Isaac didn’t call until after the surgery and once I’d heard him say the ‘s’ word I just...god, I was so terrified that I’d lost him” she spluttered, wiping tears off of her face.

“He’s OK” Lionel repeated gently.

Emilia sniffled a little, turning up towards Lionel with a tearful smile. “He is, isn’t he?” she breathed.

Lionel nodded, smiling at her comfortingly. “It’ll take a lot more than a climbing frame to keep Luca Moretti down” he noted “He’s his mama’s boy after all” he added.

Emilia’s laugh was a little softer than normal, fragile, like she was just about to burst into tears again.

Lionel gently brushed a couple of tears off of her cheeks, pressing a kiss against her forehead.

“Emmy...Oh” Lionel pulled away, looking up at the door as Isaac’s voice filled the room. The doctor’s steps faltered, his eyes taking in the sight of Emilia and Lionel next to his son’s bed, before he fixed the most polite smile he could muster onto his face. “Lionel” he greeted.

Lionel’s entire body had tightened, but relaxed ever so slightly when Emilia’s hand snaked into his. “Hola, Isaac” he noted.

“I was just going to ask if Emmy wanted me to grab her something from the café” Isaac noted “Can I get you something too?” he asked.

Lionel shook his head. Emilia did too.

Isaac skulked back out of the door, allowing Lionel to turn back to Emilia, heaving out a soft sigh. “We need to talk” he announced “But it can...it can wait for a little while. Right now, I should go and get some balloons or something. This room doesn’t feel like it’s Luca’s” he quipped, offering Emilia a shaky smile.

Emilia smiled back at him just as shakily, nodding. “They’ve got a good selection down in the gift shop” she mused.

“Then I’ll be right back” Lionel mused, stopping only to kiss her temple gently before he walked out of the room, knowing that he had some more time to figure out what he wanted to say when he and Emilia got around to talking.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)