Burn Us Down

25: If You’ll Let Me

Hearing the soft sound of Olivia’s voice as she sang to herself, Gerard quirked a small grin to himself as he leant back slightly, peeking around the open bathroom door towards where she stood, getting herself ready for bed. He was surprised to see that she was so relaxed. After their conversation with Melissa and Alex, Gerard had gracefully ducked away, not wanting to impose his presence on a room full of people who still, despite their attempts to clear the air, looked like they wanted nothing more to do with him, but Olivia had stayed behind, something he had assumed would upset her. There was no hiding that there was still tension, when Gerard had left, he’d been dealt another one of Melissa’s glares, but he was relieved that Olivia seemed content. He knew that he could handle the tension and awkwardness with her family if it meant keeping her happy.

Shifting further back against his pillow, he watched as she swayed her hips slightly, singing along to the song which emanated away from her phone, before he moved to stand up. Quietly, he stepped into the bathroom doorway, taking a few moments to just watch her. She looked relaxed. For the first time in weeks, the smile on her face seemed easy and light, and Gerard couldn’t get enough of seeing it, even if he knew getting ahead of himself would be naïve. There was still a long way to go. The awkward silences still came too easily, and whilst he’d seen Olivia’s family, there were still other people around the two of them that they had to reacquaint with the idea that they were a couple, but he wanted to take that night, even if it was just the calm before another little storm.

“Is the music bothering you?”

Gerard blinked a couple of times, breaking out of his thoughts, before his eyes lifted to meet Olivia’s. “Hm?” he asked.

“You looked like you came to say something” Olivia mused “Is it the music?” she asked.

Gerard smiled sheepishly before he shook his head. “I was just being weird and staring at you” he replied.

Olivia, who’d started to pull her hair up, laughed. “You’re just going to admit that now?” she quipped.

“We’ve been together for more than four years” Gerard replied with a nonchalant shrug “Why should I bother hiding the fact that I think you’re beautiful?” he asked, a slightly cocky grin on his face.

Olivia grinned at him via the mirror, shaking her head amusedly.

Gerard held her stare in the reflection, allowing a moment of quiet to pass between them, before he ducked his head, shaking it gently. “You seem like you’re in a good mood” he mused “I’m just…I’m just glad to see it, is all. I didn’t exactly expect you to look as happy as you do after I left you with Melissa and your papa” he added.

Olivia tugged her ponytail into place and checked her reflection before she turned around to look at him. Lifting her shoulders in a lazy shrug, she lifted herself onto the counter, a slight grin on her face. “I feel good” she said “Things aren’t entirely back to normal, they’re probably not going to be for a while yet, but I just…I feel like we’re getting somewhere and that’s a relief. When I first saw those pictures…”

“Livy” Gerard breathed his warning softly, cutting her off. As far as he was concerned, they didn’t need to go over painful ground again, not when things felt like they were really starting to look up.

Olivia offered him a reassuring smile. “I’m not trying to dredge up the past” she mused “I just thought that this…that we’d just gone away. We’ve been walking around on eggshells for weeks, both of us have been too in our own heads and worried about saying something, anything, that could upset the other, but the last week or so, it’s felt better. I’m glad” she added.

Gerard hesitated for a second before he stepped towards her, stepping between her legs as his hands landed on the counter either side of her. “I’d walk on eggshells for the rest of my life if it meant we’d still have a shot” he said softly, his blue eyes searching her hazel ones.

Olivia lifted a hand, twining her fingers through his hair before she guided his face towards hers, touching their lips together. Gerard made a soft noise, one that was soft and surprised, and it made Olivia smile against his lips before she gently moved her other hand, the tips of her fingers slipping beneath his t-shirt to lightly touch his stomach.

Gerard flinched at the contact, pulling out of the kiss slightly. “Livy” he said softly “Nena, maybe I ought to buy you dinner first?” he joked, hoping to alleviate a little bit of the awkwardness which had started to tinge the atmosphere around the two of them.

He knew where things were heading. He and Olivia had been intimate for long enough for him to know each and every little hint and move she made when she was trying to instigate something, and he wanted to try and slow her down. As good as things felt between them in that moment, he knew that they were still a long way from where they’d been, and he didn’t want them to rush things, not when the little things still didn’t feel entirely natural. He didn’t want them to find themselves in a more awkward situation afterwards.

Olivia blinked up at him, a small crease in her forehead. “What?” she asked.

Gerard exhaled a soft sigh as he guided his fingers through her hair, holding her forehead against his. “We’re better” he noted “We’ve come so far in the last few weeks, and I am thrilled about that, but I just think that we should wait a little while before we…” he trailed off with a glance down towards her hand which was still partway underneath his t-shirt.

Olivia’s frown deepened as she slowly slipped her hand away. “I thought you’d want to” she murmured quietly.

“I do” Gerard replied without hesitation “I just think we might need to give ourselves a little more time. We’ve taken a lot of big steps backwards and I think we need to almost…almost act like we’re near the beginning again for a while. Does that make any kind of sense?” he asked, worried that his thoughts were a little confusing.

Olivia stared at him, her eyes boring into his, before a small smirk quirked the corner of her lips upwards. “You want to buy me dinner?” she asked playfully, hoping that he’d catch the reference to the first time he’d asked her out.

Gerard’s eyes lit up at the memory before he laughed. “Yeah, I do” he confirmed “If you’ll let me. I like you” he added.

Olivia giggled, guiding him into a soft kiss. “That’s pretty forward” she played along as she pulled away.

Gerard smiled, losing himself in the memory for a moment, before he smoothed her hair back from her forehead, making space for him to touch a soft kiss to her skin, mumbling the same words he’d said to her the first time he’d asked her out. “I like forward” he quipped.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)