Burn Us Down

15: I Guess This Is Goodnight

“Are you warm enough?” Olivia asked as she gently tugged Max’s hat down over his ears.

It had taken a little work to convince Melissa to allow her to take Max to the match. With her sister still wary of Gerard and what was happening between the two of them, she had been more than a little reluctant to let him go, but when Enzo had swooped in and suggested that they could use the night as their first date night in forever, Melissa had given in, even if she had fixed Olivia with what was quickly becoming a familiar look of scepticism. It meant that Olivia had Max with her to try and alleviate some of the awkwardness which now accompanied her interactions with Gerard, something she was more than a little grateful for.

They were still working on finding a balance. It was obvious that they wanted to be around one another, but when they were together, things still felt a long way away from being normal, and Olivia knew that it was only going to get better with time. They needed time together, they needed to keep talking, even if they did run the risk of having a few more fights, and if they kept going, then Olivia was hopeful that they’d eventually find their way back towards what had become normal for them.

Max squirmed away, his eyes focussed on the pitch. “I’m fine” he replied.

Olivia leant over and adjusted his scarf, making sure that he was wrapped up enough against the cool breeze.

Max again tried to wiggle away before his face lit up. “Tío!” he squeaked, causing Olivia to jump slightly before she turned, watching as Gerard ambled slowly across the pitch towards them.

Feigning spotting Max, Gerard allowed an impish smile to brighten his features, something which made Olivia smile too before he came to a stop ahead of them, resting against the railing in front of them. “Max!” he greeted enthusiastically “It’s good to see you. No mama or papa tonight?” he added, directing a look towards Olivia.

“Date night” Olivia replied “So it’s just the two of us. We’re having a sleepover later, aren’t we, Max?” she prodded.

Max grinned as he nodded his head. “Will you be there too?” he prodded, his eyes fixed on Gerard.

For a brief moment, the defender didn’t quite know how to respond. There was no way that Max knew what was happening between him and his aunt, and if he did know that there was something wrong, Gerard knew that there was no good way of explaining to him that he and Olivia weren’t living together, and it meant he didn’t quite know what to say, something Olivia seemed mirror when she looked up at him, the same uncertain look in her eyes. Taking a second to think, he held Olivia’s stare before he looked back at Max, offering him a small, apologetic smile. “I don’t think so, buddy” he said sadly.

Max’s expression fell. “Why?” he asked.

Gerard again looked to Olivia, wordlessly asking her to help him out.

Olivia opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, not quite sure of what to say, but when she caught sight of look on Max’s face, she let out a quiet sigh. “He will be there” she said gently.

Gerard’s eyes widened almost as much as Max’s as they both looked at Olivia. “Really?” the little boy pressed.

“Yeah, really?” Gerard pressed, trying, and failing, to hide his curiosity beneath his impish tone.

“Unless you’ve got other plans” Olivia replied, her cheeks flushing sheepishly “I mean we wouldn’t want to impose on you” she added.

Gerard couldn’t stop himself from smiling. He knew what it was. He knew how much Olivia hated disappointing Max, and he knew that agreeing was just the easier of the two options, but still he couldn’t stop the grin from making its way across his face. As much as he knew what it was, it was also an opportunity to have Olivia spend the night at home, something she’d not done in weeks. “I’ve got no other plans” he mused “I’d be happy to join the two of you” he added.

Olivia smiled up at him as Max let out a yelp of excitement, something which made Gerard grin goofily before a coach called out his name. Rolling his eyes, he held his hand out for a high five from Max before he looked at Olivia, his expression growing less certain. Hesitating for a second, he seemed to go through all of his options before he leant over the railing, brushing her cheek with a soft kiss. “I’ll see you afterwards?” he asked.

“We’ll see you then” Olivia replied.


Olivia, who’d been pulling the door of one of their bedrooms closed, nodded her head gently before she turned around, offering Gerard a soft smile. “At last” she replied “I blame you for getting him all excited, you know. He should have been in bed almost two hours ago” she added, trying to goad him into keeping the conversation going. It had stuck a few times, even with Max around to break the silences, things had still felt awkward and stilted, but neither one of them had let it bother them too much, especially since Max had made it his mission to make as much chaos as he could since they’d gotten back from the match.

Gerard laughed. “He wanted to make a fort” he replied, holding his hands up innocently “And he pouted, and you know how useless I am when he pouts. Don’t you remember how badly I freaked out when he cried while I was holding him for the first time?” he asked.

Olivia smiled tenderly at the memory. He had been so unsure about holding him, despite Max being a year old, Gerard had still been so scared that he would end up doing it wrong, and when Max had started wailing, he had paled, babbling about how he’d known the baby would hate him. “You almost cried too” she replied “And you were practically shaking when you gave him back to Enzo” she added.

“I told you he’d hate me” Gerard quipped “His mama had probably spent some time poisoning him against me” he added, giving Olivia a look which let her know he was just teasing.

“I’d not put it past Mel” Olivia replied “But he doesn’t hate you now” she added.

Gerard’s smirk softened into a proud grin. “He’s a good kid, Livy” he mused.

Olivia nodded her head in agreement, allowing a moment of quiet to stretch out between the two of them before she gently cleared her throat. “I think I am probably going to…to try and get some sleep too” she stumbled out “I mean, it’s been a long day and I’ve got to get Max back to Mel first thing” she added.

Gerard nodded his head, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “Do you want me to take the spare room?” he asked.

“It’ll be fine” Olivia replied “I put sheets on when you and Max were playing, and I got some of my pyjamas out. I’m all set up” she added.

Gerard let loose a soft sigh before he nodded his head, smiling as best he could. “I guess this is goodnight, then” he quipped.

“Goodnight, Gerard” Olivia mused, offering him a slightly awkward wave before she slipped past him and disappeared into a bedroom down the hall.

Gerard listened for the sound of the door closing before he shuffled towards their bedroom, pulling the door closed with a louder thump.

Pushing her hand back through her hair, Olivia let out a shaky sigh, staring up at the door ahead of her as she tried to rationalize pushing it open. She had struggled to get to sleep. She had tossed, and she had turned, but despite it all, she couldn’t bring herself to feel comfortable in the spare bedroom, something which had led her to their bedroom door, debating whether or not she ought to cross the boundary and go inside. She wanted to. When she had said goodnight to Gerard, she had half wanted him to insist that they didn’t have to sleep apart, and she had been disappointed that he hadn’t tried, even if she knew why. Part of her just wanted to sneak into their bed and cuddle up against him. She missed it.

Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath before she nudged the door open slightly. Shuffling her steps, she edged inside and pushed the door to behind her before she turned towards the bed, watching Gerard, who looked sleepy, blink up at her in the dim glow afforded to him by the tablet in his hand. Furrowing his forehead, he opened his mouth to say something, but stopped himself at the last moment. Instead, he moved to settle the tablet on the end table before he lifted the duvet up.

Olivia didn’t need him to say anything. Without hesitation, she padded across the room and climbed in next to him.

Gerard lowered the duvet around the two of them before they both adjusted themselves into a familiar position. Gerard’s arm around Olivia’s waist, his hand splayed out over her stomach, and their legs intertwined with each other’s. Neither one of them said a word as they settled. Neither asked what was going on, why the other was there, or what things would be like in the morning, they just settled like they always had, enjoying one perfectly comfortable moment.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)