Burn Us Down

54: You Made It Pretty Obvious

Hearing Olivia’s movements upstairs, Gerard sunk down onto the couch, his hand rubbing his jaw apprehensively. It had always been a probability. With Olivia’s due date sneaking up on them quickly, there had always been a chance that someone would want to throw a baby shower for the two of them, but it didn’t meant that he wasn’t nervous about it, still not entirely sure of what reception he should be expecting when he stepped foot into Melissa’s home. He knew that Olivia had tried to have it moved. She had suggested that their friend Paige, or her father and Valeria could host it, but Melissa had shot down each of the suggestions, insisting that she wanted to do it for both her little sister, and for Gerard, something which had the defender worried.

Their relationship hadn’t progressed like others had. Gerard had, gradually, started to spend a little more time with Alex and Enzo, trying to make amends, but things with Melissa were still as awkward as ever, leaving him wary about what awaited him at the party that afternoon. He knew that Melissa wouldn’t do anything to deliberately ruin the party. As much as she didn’t like him, she adored her little sister and he knew that she would want the day to be as perfect as it could be for Olivia, but still he worried. He didn’t want to be a part of the reason that the day was ruined for Olivia who was more than looking forwards to it.

Sparing a glance down at his watch, he briefly contemplated getting up again and calling up to Olivia, but was stopped when he heard her footsteps on the stairs. Leaning forwards in his seat, he watched as she stepped in front of him before he lifted his eyes to her face, a soft smile curving up the corner of his mouth.

“What do you think?” Olivia asked “Do I look too huge?” she added, her nose wrinkling a little.

“You look like you’re several months pregnant with twins” Gerard replied.

Olivia rolled her eyes, trying, and failing, to hide her smile. “I was sort of fishing for compliments” she quipped.

“Oh, I know” Gerard played along.

“So?” Olivia prodded.

Gerard took a moment to look at her before lifted his shoulder in a playfully lazy shrug, something which caused Olivia to laugh before she shook her head. “Are you ready to go?” she asked.

Gerard’s teasing expression sobered a little, but if Olivia noticed, she didn’t say anything as she picked up her bag from the couch at his side. Hanging the bag over her shoulder, she flashed him a small smile before she held a hand out towards him. Gerard hesitated for a fraction of a second before he placed his hand into hers, allowing her to tug him to his feet before she wrapped her arms around him. He startled, not quite anticipating the embrace, but he hugged her back gently, allowing Olivia to press a soft kiss against his chest, wordlessly telling him that it would be fine.

“You need me to get you anything?” Gerard asked as he leant over Olivia, pressing a gentle kiss to the top of her head.

Olivia, who’d been talking happily with a small group of her friends, smiled shyly as they giggled and cooed before she leant her head back, looking up at Gerard. He had never been far away. As much as Olivia had been looking forwards to the baby shower that Melissa had insisted on planning for her, she had been slightly worried about being the centre of attention, and it meant that Gerard had always stuck close, prepared to jump in if it looked like she was overwhelmed. “I could use something to drink” she mused.

“Any particular request?” Gerard prodded, tenderly brushing a flyaway hair off of her forehead.

“I think Melissa made some non-alcoholic cocktails” Olivia replied.

Gerard touched a kiss to her forehead. “I’ll get you one of those, then” he mused “I’ll be right back” he added. Quirking a grin, he nodded towards Olivia’s friends before he made his way back towards the house. Ducking into the kitchen, he surveyed the array of food and drink that was spread out over the countertops before he spotted what Olivia wanted and made his way over towards it.

“I was just about to ask if she needed another drink”

Gerard’s grip on the glass in his hand faltered slightly in surprise, causing him to spill a little of the drink onto the counter before he turned around, his stare landing on Melissa who’d wandered into the kitchen after him. He had spent a lot of time trying to avoid her.

Melissa held his stare, allowing the silence to linger between them for a few long moments, before she lowered her stare, letting out a gentle sigh. “I’m not going to start a fight with you, Piqué” she mused.

Gerard bit back the urge to make a sarcastic comment, but it must have shown on his face because Melissa let out a quiet scoff, shaking her head gently. “I don’t think I will ever understand why Olivia is so crazy about you” she mused “I mean, she could do better. She has done better” she added.

“What was that you said about not wanting to start a fight?” Gerard retorted, an eyebrow raised.

Melissa took in a breath before she let it out slowly, nodding her head. “Right” she mused “I just...I want us to be civil” she added.

Gerard had to fight not to smirk. “I’ve always been civil, Melissa” he replied evenly “And I get why the last year’s been particularly bad, of course I do, but you didn’t like me before that and you made it pretty damned obvious” he added.

Melissa grimaced, but didn’t answer. There was nothing she could say to deny it.

Gerard kept his eyes on her, half expecting her to throw out another insult, but when she didn’t say anything, he let out a soft sigh. “I might not be what you thought the perfect guy for your baby sister was” he conceded gently “I know I am not perfect, and I know that, really, I don’t deserve her. The last year has been a mess of my making and I know that I am incredibly lucky that we’re still together, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are together, Melissa, or the fact that I am someone who makes her happy. I don’t know what I did before to make you so sure that I was a bad guy, and I am not expecting you to want to give me a shot after what’s happened, but you do need to understand that I am important to your sister and to the twins when they come along. I don’t need you to like me, but I do need you to understand that” he added.

Melissa’s eyes searched his face for a few long seconds before she nodded her head. “I do understand that” she mused.

“Good” Gerard replied “Because I don’t want to be a problem between the two of you. You’ve always been so close and I don’t want to be the reason that you’re not anymore. Can we call a truce, for Olivia’s and the twins’ sakes?” he prodded, holding a hand out ahead of himself with a slightly bashful smile.

Melissa eyed his hand before she hesitantly placed her own into it, allowing Gerard to shake it gently before he stepped back, picking up another glass. “I should get this back to Livy” he mused.

Melissa nodded, allowing him to step by her before she turned around, watching as he walked over to Olivia and placed the drink in her hand before he stole a soft kiss. She didn’t know what it was about him that Olivia adored so much, but she did know that it wasn’t something that was going to change anytime soon, meaning she had to get used to the defender all over again.