Burn Us Down

43: I Can’t Overstate It

Awkwardly shifting his hands on the steering wheel, Gerard spared a look out of the corner of his eye, glancing at Olivia who had curled up into the passenger seat, staring out of the window quietly. She had been quiet for a while. After their first session with the relationship counsellor that they’d found, they were both a little emotionally spent, and it meant that Olivia hadn’t said a word since they’d gotten back into his car, creating a silence that Gerard didn’t quite know how to break. They had both wanted to do it. Gerard couldn’t bear to lose Olivia without a fight and Olivia didn’t really want to let him go, but they were both aware that the fractures in their relationship weren’t just going to fix themselves, something which had led to the two of them finding someone else they could talk to, hopeful that an outside perspective would help them to put things back together again.

Steering the car through the familiar route towards their home, Gerard allowed the silence to linger for a couple more minutes before he cleared his throat gently.

Olivia seemed to startle before she turned to look at him, her head tilted to one side. “Are you OK?” she asked.

“I’m fine” Gerard replied, quirking a little smile “I was just wondering if you were hungry or anything. I mean, we’re pretty close to home, but we could always take a detour. If you’re feeling up to it, of course” he added, the tops his cheeks flushing a soft shade of pink as he babbled sheepishly.

He knew that it was a long shot. The morning had been a long one, an emotional one, and he was almost certain that Olivia would want nothing more than to go home and curl up in bed for a while, but still he wanted to ask. He wanted to try and make the atmosphere feel a little less stifling between the two of them.

Olivia’s eyes softened at the hopeful smile he wore, something which made Gerard shake his head, a nervous laugh falling out of his mouth. “You can say no” he quipped “I won’t be that offended” he added, trying to keep his voice bright and cheerful.

Olivia shook her head, fiddling with the bottom of the dress that she wore. “I could eat” she said quietly.


The surprise was obvious in Gerard’s voice, something which caused Olivia’s lips to quirk upwards before she nodded her head gently. “I didn’t eat enough at breakfast” she admitted “And I know I should have done, before we get to the lecture” she added, offering him a playful glare. As she had predicted when she’d told him about her pregnancy, Gerard was a worrier.

Gerard held up a hand innocently. “I wasn’t about to lecture you” he quipped “I was just surprised that you wanted to go. It’s been a…a strange morning” he added, wrinkling his nose at his choice of words. ‘Strange’ didn’t feel like the right word to use.

Olivia smiled at him warmly. “I’m eating for three” she quipped “You’re offering to take me for food. I am not going to turn that down” she added, her voice matching the bright smile she wore on her face.

Gerard laughed, mostly out of relief, before he flicked the indicator on, taking a diversion away from their route home.

“Are you done now?”

Olivia grinned around the top of her glass, her shoulders lifting in a playful shrug. It had been slightly more relaxed between them since they’d found a restaurant. The visit to their counsellor, whilst still on both of their minds, had been pushed to the side for a while, and it had allowed the two of them to relax a little, starting little conversations which were based around things that the two of them could talk about easily. There was no denying that the elephant still sat in the middle of the room. Olivia had flinched and pulled her hand away when Gerard had tried to take it on the walk into the restaurant, and Gerard had tried to play it off with a tight forced smile, but things still felt a little easier, even if they were still a million miles away from being as easy as they’d been before.

“I’ve still got room for some dessert” Olivia chirped “Why? Are you in a rush?” she asked.

Gerard shook his head, smiling as easily as he had done in a while. “Nope” he quipped.

Olivia lifted an eyebrow, but stopped herself from saying anything, instead moving to collect the dessert menu from the centre of the table.

Gerard tilted his head, but didn’t push it, allowing a few beats of quiet to pass between the two of them before Olivia lifted her head again, offering him a cheerful smile. “So, how excited are you to go to our twelve week scan?” she asked.

Gerard’s face couldn’t have brightened anymore, something which made Olivia’s smile widen. She doubted that there would ever come a time where she didn’t adore the way his face lit up when he was excited. “I’m so excited” he gushed “Don’t get me wrong, that first scan picture had pride of place in our room…”

“It does?” Olivia asked softly. She hadn’t as much as set foot in their bedroom

Gerard’s warm smile didn’t dim as he nodded his head. “It’s in a frame on the dresser” he confirmed “Next to the…”

“The picture of my mama” Olivia finished for him, a sad smile on her face.

Gerard didn’t think when he reached his hand across the table, but he visible relaxed when Olivia allowed him to curl it around hers, offering her the same comforting squeeze he did whenever her mother came up in conversation. Olivia had lost her mother when she was seven and talking about her was hard for her. Her memories of her were hazy, and it meant that it was painful for her to think or talk about her.

Olivia turned her palm upwards, allowing Gerard to thread his fingers through hers. “The scan” she prodded.

Gerard nodded, picking up on the hint that Olivia wanted to move the conversation away from her mother. “I can’t wait” he insisted “I mean, I know it’s still too early for us to know whether they are boys or girls, or one of each, but I just can’t want to get a look at the two of them. Don’t get me wrong, I know that they are twins, but being there, seeing them with my own eyes, hearing their heartbeats for myself…I can’t overstate how much I am looking forwards to that” he added, his smile growing dreamy and soft.

Olivia squeezed his hand, marvelling at his warm smile. “I’m glad” she cooed “I think I am going to need someone who’s as excited about this as I am” she added.

Gerard’s hand tightened around hers, following her train of thought. He knew it was a reference to her father and sister who were likely to be less than thrilled about the news that they were trying, once again, to figure out things between the two of them, but he wanted to assure that regardless of their thoughts about him, they were going to adore the twins. He wasn’t their favourite person, he knew that there was no way back into their good books, but he had no doubt that they would love the babies. They were Olivia’s children and that would be enough for Alex and Melissa to dote on the two of them.

“Your papa and Melissa are going to love these babies, Livy” he insisted

Olivia’s eyes met his. “You think so?” she asked.

“Of course” Gerard insisted “Your papa loves being a grandad, you’ve seen him with Max. And Melissa…Melissa will adore them too, even if they do look like me. She’ll have something to say, she’s Melissa after all, but it won’t matter. She’s going to have nieces or nephews, and she’ll love them because they’re family” he added.

Olivia smiled faintly, but didn’t say anything. She knew that they were very much a work in progress, but she couldn’t help but notice how easily he’d followed her thoughts and how instantly he’d moved to reassure her. Turning her eyes back down to the dessert menu, she kept her hand in his, something Gerard noticed with a soft grin as he stared down at his phone on the table.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)