Burn Us Down

47: I Told You That I Get It

Fiddling with the duvet between the tips of her fingers, Olivia kept her eyes on Gerard, listening to his snores as they filled up the otherwise silent bedroom. She hadn’t intended to stay. Despite the effort Gerard had gone to the previous day to try and keep her mind off of their failed engagement, she had always intended to slope back across the hall into the spare bedroom that she had been staying in, but when Gerard had put on a movie, she hadn’t been able to stop herself from falling asleep, leading to her waking up, curled up in his arms. She knew that they were making progress. Conversations that had once felt forced were starting to flow more easily, hugs and smiles were starting to come to them both more easily too, but still she was wary. She liked that they were moving forwards. As slow as progress had been, she liked that they were making it, but she remained wary of trying to push things forwards too quickly, not wanting them to rush back into things only to have them falter all over again.

Twisting the material around her fingers, Olivia slowly pulled her stare away from Gerard, glancing over towards the door before she lifted the duvet off of herself. Swinging her feet to the floor, she closed her eyes for a second before she stood up, taking a pace towards the door.

“Are you OK?”

Olivia’s steps faltered before she slowly turned around. “Huh?” she asked.

“Are you OK?” Gerard repeated, wiping the sleep from his eyes “You’re up. Are you going to be sick?” he asked.

Olivia’s expression softened guiltily as she shifted her feet. “No” she replied softly.

Gerard studied the expression on her face for a few long seconds before he exhaled a soft sigh, his own face falling slightly. “Oh” he murmured.

Olivia opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, but she couldn’t say anything, something which caused Gerard to shake his head, a slightly sad smile pulling at the corner of his mouth. “I understand” he mused.

Olivia stared at him, her eyes wide, before she lowered her stare, sighing gently as she pushed her hair back off of her face. “I’m sorry” she whispered quietly “I just…I don’t know. I didn’t mean to stay in here last night, but then you put on the film and I just…I’m making this worse, aren’t I?” she added, glancing up at him anxiously.

Gerard’s lips kicked up ever so slightly, but he shook his head. “I told you I get it” he mused “You’re still trying to keep your distance and I understand that. But I think you should know that I really enjoyed yesterday. I mean, it was awkward, of course it was, but it felt…we felt something close to normal and I’ve missed that” he added, his expression warm and bright.

He knew that Olivia still wanted to keep her distance from him. The fact that it taken until the previous day for her to step foot in their shared bedroom told him that, as did the conversations that they had had with their counsellor, but he wanted her to know that he’d enjoyed himself the previous day. There was no ignoring the elephant in the room. Their engagement had fallen through and that was a pain the two of them had spent the previous day sharing, but he had enjoyed spending the day with her, even if it had been under a cloud. They’d had breakfast together. They’d spent time talking about the twins and what they would need to do before they arrived, and they’d watched a movie together before they’d fallen asleep and for Gerard, it was the best day they’d had in a long time, even if the context had been the worst. For a matter of hours, they’d really felt like themselves again.

Olivia’s smile was a little wistful. “I’ve missed it too” she admitted.

Gerard’s instinctive reaction was to squeak out ‘really?’ in surprise, but he managed to keep it in, instead offering her a soft smile in return. “I’m glad” he mused “I…I hope that we can have more days like that in the future” he added tentatively.

Olivia opened her mouth to say something in reply, but she stopped herself, her face paling.

Gerard caught the chance in her demeanour instantly. Practically jumping out of the bed, he scooped up the waste basket and thrust it into her hands, just in time for Olivia to lean over it, throwing up. Waiting for her to finish, he gently pried the basket out of her hands and set it down on the floor before he pushed her hair off of her face, offering her a small smile. “You OK?” he asked softly.

Olivia’s cheeks were pink as she nodded. “A little embarrassed that you keep seeing me like this” she admitted sheepishly.

Gerard scoffed playfully. “This is nothing” he quipped “Melissa’s thirtieth birthday party” he added.

Olivia playfully grimaced, something which made Gerard laugh gently before he leant over, touching a light kiss against her forehead. He felt Olivia still beneath his touch, but she didn’t step back, a sign he took as encouragement to gently lift a hand to her face, his thumb tracing the line of her cheekbone. “Don’t be embarrassed, OK?” he whispered softly “If I still loved you after Melissa’s thirtieth birthday party, this isn’t going to change my mind” he added impishly.

Olivia’s hand played with the hem of his t-shirt, a gentle smile toying at the corner of her lips.

“You need me to do anything?” Gerard asked, his fingers gently twining through her hair.

Olivia shook her head, her chin resting on his chest “I need to brush my teeth” she replied “And then probably lay down for a while before I get ready for work. I don’t feel like I am going to be sick again, but I never seem to know” she added.

Gerard tucked her hair behind her ear. “You should eat too” he pointed out gently “The beans are going to need it” he added, poking her bump gently.

Olivia smiled down at her bump gently. It wasn’t the first time he’d said his nickname for the twins, but it still melted her heart a little.

“Livy?” Gerard prodded, a crooked smile on his face.

Olivia shook her head. “You’re right” she mused “Something light, though” she added.

“I can do light” Gerard mused “Grab a shower and I will have it ready for you by the time you’re done” he added.

“You don’t have to do that” Olivia objected gently.

Gerard’s grin was warm as his hands gently settled on her bump. “Yeah, I do” he mused “It’s the least I can do” he added.

Olivia went to object again, but Gerard was already out of the door, his face brightened by an easy smile that Olivia couldn’t resist returning. She’d missed it. For months, it seemed as though his smile had been forced and a shadow of its normal self, and now it seemed brighter again, Olivia couldn’t help but marvel at it. She hadn’t forgotten the pain. She hadn’t forgotten how badly he’d hurt her, or how much she still worried about the two of them and their relationship, but for a brief moment, she felt hopeful that somewhere down the line, she would get to marvel at his bright smile all of the time.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony and Jayme112234 for the comments :)