Burn Us Down

23: I’m Here Because I Want To Be Here

Tossing the pair of heels that she had pulled off of her feet, Olivia plopped down onto the bottom step, not caring about the clatter that her shoes made when they landed on the wooden floor. She had stuck around at her sister’s house for a while. Despite Melissa’s snide comments about Gerard, comments that had only gotten worse once she’d started to get a little drunk, and the looks from her friends, she had made a point to stay, wanting to at least make the effort to enjoy her birthday party, but eventually it had gotten too much for her, leading her to sneak out and call a taxi without saying goodnight. She had been expecting it. Everyone knew what Gerard had done, and everyone knew that they were still together, and she’d known that people would have had their opinions on it, but perhaps naively, she had hoped that that night wouldn’t be about it. She had thought that for one night, a night that was supposed to be around celebrating, the subject of her relationship with Gerard could be placed onto the backburner.

Staring at her shoes, she blinked a couple of times before she covered her face with her hands, a deep, frustrated sigh slipping through her fingers.


Reluctantly, Olivia pulled her hands away from her face before she turned around, glancing up at Gerard who’d stopped a few steps up to look down at her, his forehead creased in concern. “Did I wake you?” she asked gently.

Gerard’s lips quirked upwards like he wanted to make a joke, but he just shook his head. “I might have been listening out for my phone in case you called” he replied “I didn’t want to miss you calling and asking me to come and get you” he added.

Olivia looked him up and down, an amused look passing over her face. “You’re in your boxers” she pointed out.

Gerard glanced down at himself, laughing sheepishly. “I’d have put on trousers if you’d called” he mused.

Olivia smiled at him before she turned back around, allowing a few moments of quiet to pass between the two of them before the stairs creaked, allowing Gerard to plop down on the step above the one she sat on. Olivia watched him sit down before she shifted in her seat, positioning herself so that they were looking at each other properly.

“Was it that bad?” Gerard asked as he brushed her hair out of her eyes, tucking it behind her ear.

Olivia leant into his touch and closed her eyes, shrugging her shoulders. “I thought not bringing you would be enough” she said quietly “I thought if I…if you weren’t there, then it wouldn’t be something that needed to be talked about, but even though I was there by myself, you were still the centre of the conversation. Melissa was…well, she was drunk, but she just wouldn’t let it drop. My papa didn’t say anything, but I could see it in his face. I could see it in all of their faces and it just…I thought that they’d lay off for one night” she added, shaking her head with a rueful smile.

Gerard touched a kiss to the crown on her head. “I’m sorry” he murmured into her hair.

Olivia snuggled closer to him, her hand gripping his t-shirt. “I get it” she replied quietly “They’re angry for me, not at me, but I just wish they’d back off a little. You did something stupid, and it hurt me, but I’ve chosen to give you another chance. You’ve not manipulated me into coming home, you’re not some asshole that’s tricked me into coming back. I’m here because I want to be here” she insisted.

Gerard’s fingertips traced up and down her back gently. He had a feeling he was there more to listen than contribute.

“I stayed away” Olivia kept talking “I didn’t just take you back. I stayed at Melissa’s, the hotel. I got my head around what had happened and made a decision that I didn’t want to just…just give up on us and I just wish they’d see that. I know what you did, I know how much it hurt me, but I chose to stay with you because…because I can’t see my future with anyone else” she stumbled out.

Gerard picked his head up from where it had been resting on hers, causing Olivia to look up too. “Livy…”

“I love you” Olivia cut him off, a faint smile kicking up the corner of her lips “You were an idiot, and I can’t quite put into words how much those pictures, that kiss, hurt me, but I still see all of the things we’ve spent the last four years talking about. Don’t you?” she asked.

Gerard pushed her hair back again, nodding. “Of course I do” he replied.

They’d talked about everything. After Olivia had moved in, their conversations had swiftly turned to marriage and after they’d gotten engaged, they’d turned to the prospect of children, but as happy as Gerard was to hear that Olivia still felt the same way, he couldn’t help but be a little overwhelmed. He’d let her down before, and whilst he had absolutely no intention of ever doing it again, he worried that she risked causing problems in her other relationships by persisting with theirs. He wanted her to want to be with him. He loved her and he wanted them to do all the things they’d talked about doing together, but he didn’t want it to come at the cost of her relationship with her sister and father.

“But?” Olivia asked, seeing the look in his eyes.

Gerard’s smile softened. “But I don’t want to be a problem” he replied softly “Your papa, Melissa…you guys are so close, and I don’t want you to choose me over them. I think I might have to go and see them” he added.

Olivia’s eyes widened. “Gerard…”

“They’re your family, Livy” Gerard cut in, stopping her protest “And I’m not going to be the problem. I’ll go and see them, they can say their piece and they can throw their punches if they want to, but I don’t want to shy away from it. I don’t want you to be in a position where you have to choose between us. I messed up, not you, so I should face up to it” he added.

Olivia wanted to protest, she opened her mouth to do it, but Gerard covered her objections with a soft kiss that she melted into instead, her fingers touching his jaw softly. He knew that it wouldn’t be pleasant. Alex and Melissa were bound to be angry with him and he knew they’d make no attempt to hide it, but it was something he had to face up to. he’d messed up and he wasn’t about to let Olivia’s relationships with her family and friends suffer for his mistake.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)