Burn Us Down

33: I’ve Got To Be Good At Something

“Olivia, if we don’t leave soon, they’ll be kicking people out by the time we get there”

Olivia, who was applying a layer of lip gloss, grinned at the mirror, clearly hearing the frustration in Gerard’s voice that he was trying to keep hidden beneath his usual cheery tone. He was excited. Barcelona had wrapped up the league title at home the night before, and with the coaches having promised them a night off, the team were due to get together for a celebration, something Gerard was looking forwards to more than most. It would be the first time in a while that he and Olivia had gone to an event together. Olivia had hesitated when he’d invited her. As confident as she was starting to feel in their relationship again, there was no denying that she was still a little anxious about how their relationship would be seen, but Gerard’s excitement had been enough to convince her. His face had lit up when he’d asked, and despite the little knot in her stomach, Olivia hadn’t found the heart to say no to him.

Studying her reflection, she took the time to make sure that her lip gloss was neat before Gerard poked his head around the bathroom door, sparing her a playful glare via the mirror. “Did you not hear me yelling?” he quipped.

Olivia grinned at him, taking the time to smooth down her hair. “I did” she mused “But I know you’re just being dramatic. We’ve still got plenty of time” she added, sparing a pointed look down towards her phone which sat on the counter.

Gerard let out a soft laugh before he shook his head. “Are you at least nearly ready to go?” he asked “I might have said we’d get there a little early” he added.

Olivia nodded her head before she stepped away from the mirror, turning around to face him. “I think I am ready” she mused.

Gerard let his eyes look her over for a few long seconds before he nodded his head, a soft, awed smile on his face. “You look beautiful” he mused.

“I know” Olivia chirped impishly.

Gerard spluttered out a slightly surprised laugh before he shook his head, grinning down at his feet. “OK” he mused “Can we go, then?” he added.

Olivia’s teasing smile faltered slightly, something which caused Gerard to slip his hand into hers, his fingers gently twining with hers. Squeezing her hand softly, he met her eyes with a warm smile, easily coaxing Olivia into smiling back at him. “You’re good at that, you know” she quipped “Making me smile when I don’t necessarily think I want to” she added.

Gerard winked at her playfully. “I’ve got to be good at something” he chirped as he tugged her out of the bathroom behind him.

“Planning your escape yet?”

Olivia smiled around the top of her wine glass, glancing up at Antonella who stood over her, grinning down at her warmly. “No” she replied, playfully rolling her eyes.

Antonella laughed. “Where’s Gerard?” she prodded, searching the room for any sign of the defender.

Olivia shrugged. She hadn’t seen him for a while. After they’d walked into the room, hand in hand and smiling, he’d quickly disappeared to catch up with a few of his teammates, and it meant that Olivia had been left to her own devices, something which had left her slightly awkward. She had been avoiding a lot of the people in the room around her. The pictures, as well as hurting her, had embarrassed her, and as a result, she had tried to stay away from people she’d grown used to being around, something she knew would make things awkward. She had tried to make conversation and she had been successful, but it hadn’t quite been enough to entirely shake the knots in the pit of her stomach.

“He disappeared a little while ago” Olivia replied “In his own weird little way, I think he was trying to help me out” she added.

“Oh?” Antonella asked.

Olivia guided her stare down towards her feet, a sheepish smile on her face. “I’ve been hiding” she announced “From my friends here, from a lot of people really, and I think bringing me here to just disappear on me was Gerard’s way of pushing me in the deep end” she added.

Antonella sipped on her drink. “Do you think he’s that clever?” she asked impishly.

Olivia laughed. “He’s smarter than I give him credit for sometimes” she mused.

Antonella smiled, allowing a beat of quiet to pass between the two of them, before she gently wrapped Olivia a hug.

Olivia startled, not quite expecting it, but hugged the other woman back softly. “What was that for?” she asked as she pulled back.

“I’m just glad to see you” Antonella mused “I’ve missed you, Oli” she added warmly.

Olivia didn’t quite know what to say to that, but was saved from having to say anything when she felt a hand settle on her waist, causing her to glance up over her shoulder at Gerard who’d appeared beside her, a lopsided grin on his face. “Hello, Antonella” he greeted politely.

Antonella couldn’t help but smile at how easily Olivia had moved into Gerard’s embrace, how much her face had relaxed when he’d appeared beside her. “Gerard” she greeted “Come to check on your girlfriend after you threw her to the wolves?” she teased.

Gerard laughed, the lightest pink flush on his cheeks. “Firstly, fiancée” he corrected “And secondly, I didn’t throw her to the wolves. I left her with her friends whilst I went and caught up with mine. Besides, she’s still in one piece, so she can’t want to kill me that much” he added, turning his glance down towards Olivia.

Olivia tried to glare up at him, but it fell away immediately as she laughed gently, something which caused Gerard to let out a little sigh of relief. As much as he had tried to play it off, a small part of him had been worried that Olivia would be irked with him and he was relieved to hear her laugh. It was a good sign that, despite her worries, she had relaxed into her surroundings.

Antonella looked between the two of them. “Fiancée?” she asked “There’s still going to be a wedding?” she added.

Olivia’s smile softened. “We’ve not talked about it yet” she mused “But we’ll get there. Eventually” she added.

Gerard beamed, his arm tightening around Olivia’s waist. “Yeah, we will” he enthused.

Antonella grinned and opened her mouth to say something, but was stopped by the sound of someone calling out Gerard’s name, causing the three of them to turn and look at who it was.

Gerard felt Olivia step away from him before his mind snapped to attention, flicking back to the moment that he’d found Olivia in their living room, tears streaming down her face. His throat went dry as footsteps drew towards him. His breathing stuttered when he felt arms wrap around his neck.

“God, it’s so good to see you” the woman chirped as she hugged him.

Gerard didn’t do anything.

“Lana” Antonella warned.

Lana stepped back from Gerard, beaming up at him. “You said you’d call me” she cooed “You just had to break up with your bitchy girlfriend, that’s what you said” she added.

Gerard didn’t register Lana’s words, but he heard Olivia’s sniffle loud and clear, drawing his attention towards her a fraction of a second too late. By the time he looked over towards where she’d been, she’d gone and all of the progress that they made, the months of work they’d put into fixing things, felt like it’d been ripped out from under his feet.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)