Burn Us Down

57: If Nothing Else

“You’re OK” Gerard whispered as he carefully laid the baby down into her crib, trying to soothe the soft sound that she had made before it blossomed into full on cries again. It was still taking a little getting used to. When Gerard and Olivia had walked through the front door the previous morning, a carry cot in both of their hands, they’d both been in awe of how strange and wonderful it had felt, and Gerard still wasn’t quite used to the twins, even if he had spent the last couple of days with them and Olivia.

They amazed him. Each and every movement and sound they made, he found utterly fascinating, and it meant that he was dreading heading back to training the next morning. He knew, of course, that he had to, and Olivia had been quick to insist that she and the twins would be fine when he did, but still he was dreading it. He’d liked it being just the four of them and he knew that his leaving the house would signal the start of visitors arriving.

Carefully withdrawing his hands, he used one to stifle a yawn as he watched the baby stir, eventually falling asleep without a problem. Letting out a soft sigh of relief, he carefully moved back up towards his pillow, but before he had the chance to set his head on it, a soft cry emanated from the crib at the other side of the bed. Biting back a soft groan, he sat back up before he shuffled to his feet, moving to pick the other baby up out of her crib. “What’s the matter, eh?” he whispered, gently bouncing the baby in his arms.


Gerard smiled before he glanced down at Olivia, finding her looking up at him as she swept her hair back off of her face. “You think so?” he asked.

“I know so” Olivia replied sleepily “You can’t smell it?” she asked, snuggling close to her pillow.

“I just changed a nappy” Gerard replied with a little shrug “I’d not had the chance to throw the bag away yet” he added.

Olivia’s eyes were closed when she spoke again. “Did you want me to take this one?” she asked.

Gerard had already moved towards the changing mat he’d set up on the floor by the time she’d spoken. “I’ve got it” he replied, gently unfastening the baby’s pyjamas “But you can try to get her back to sleep again. It took me nearly half an hour with Mendes” he added.

Olivia wrinkled her nose without opening her eyes. “We really need to come up with names” she mumbled.

“You’re the one who vetoed our original plans” Gerard replied with a soft laugh “What was so wrong with the names we’d picked out originally?” he asked. They had spent months trying to agree on names, but they plans that they’d made had gone out of the window when Olivia had taken one look at the twins and decided that the names they’d had planned out didn’t suit the two of them.

“They didn’t feel right” Olivia mused.

Gerard nodded as he gently fastened up a new nappy. “I know” he mused “And we will come up with something soon. Maybe not at two in the morning, though” he added.

Olivia opened her eyes to look at the clock, a soft yawn tumbling out of her mouth.

Gerard, who’d stopped beside the bed, watched her for a moment before he gently shook his head. “I can get her back to sleep if you want me to” he mused “I’m already up, and you’re probably going to get back to sleep before I do. If you want…” he trailed off as Olivia sat up, gently taking the baby in her arms as she settled her back against the headboard. Shaking his head again, he felt a smile quirk up the corner of his mouth before he padded around the bed, climbing back under the covers.

Settling his head on the pillow, he allowed his eyes to flutter closed before he heard the soft sound of Olivia’s voice, singing quietly. Gently, he turned over, his blue eyes looking up at her as she looked down at the baby, singing softly to her. She looked so happy. As she sang, a soft, doting smile brightened her features, and it amazed Gerard. The previous months had been all over the place. His relationship with Olivia had flitted between fine and terrible and back again in the blink of an eye, but that moment, like all the little ones that had littered the days since the twins had arrived, made it worth it. He knew that he’d go through the fights again if it meant that he got to look up at her in that moment and see her look down at their daughters with the same expression of love and happiness.

“That’s a pretty song” he said softly.

Olivia didn’t look away from the baby, but her smile did soften a little, letting him know that she’d heard him. “My mama used to sing it to me” she replied quietly “My nana taught it to her when she was pregnant with Melissa, and she used to sing it to me whenever it got upset. She was an awful singer, but it used to make me smile anyway” she added, shaking away the sad expression that had passed across her features.

Gerard smiled up at her sadly, allowing a moment of quiet to pass between them, before he looked down at the baby. “What about her name?” he asked gently.

Olivia shook her head. “I thought about that” she mused “I love her, but the name isn’t one I love” she added. It had been the first thought that had crossed her mind when she had discovered that they were expecting girls, but she had dismissed it quickly. As much as she wanted to honour her late mother, the name just wasn’t one that Olivia liked enough to give to either baby.

“Middle names?” Gerard suggested “Did she have a middle name?” he asked.

“Charlotte” Olivia replied “Camille Charlotte” she added.

“We could give each of them one of her names as a middle name” Gerard suggested gently “If you want to” he added.

“You’d be OK with that?” Olivia asked.

Gerard’s answering smile was warm and tender as he nodded his head. “Of course I would be” he mused.

Olivia didn’t quite know what to say to him, so she just smiled, something which made Gerard laugh gently before he rolled onto his back. “Your papa is coming tomorrow, isn’t he?” he asked, breaking the momentary silence which had settled between them.

“He is” Olivia confirmed “He and Valeria are coming tomorrow, your parents the day after and I think Melissa and Enzo are bringing Max over at the weekend” she added.

Gerard nodded his head slowly. “We should hold off on telling them about the engagement” he mused “We both know how well it’s going to go down and I don’t…I don’t want their first meeting with the babies to be dominated by that” he added.

He knew how well it would go down. Despite things between him and Olivia’s family thawing somewhat, he knew that they wouldn’t love the news that he had proposed, and Olivia had accepted, again, and he wanted to postpone the inevitable fall out. It felt right to him. The moment in the hospital had been the one he’d been looking for the first time around, the one that felt like the right one, and he knew that whilst Olivia had clearly felt it too, that those around them would think it was too much too soon. They didn’t like him, not like they had done when he’d first proposed, and he knew that there would be no hesitation that time around in pointing out what had gone wrong the first time around.

Olivia smiled. “You think they’re going to think of anything other than how beautiful our girls are?” she asked, clearly trying to brighten the mood.

Gerard’s laugh was pushed out, but still had some of its natural warmth, something which was a relief to Olivia. “They’re going to love them” he mused.

Olivia’s fingertips gently smoothed out the coppery hair on the top of the baby’s head. “They’ll love you again, too” she mused gently “Maybe not now, and probably not for a long time, but they will. You make me happy, Gerard, and they’ll love you for that if nothing else” she added, turning to meet his eyes.

Gerard searched her eyes quietly for a moment, checking to see if she meant what she said or whether she was just saying it because she thought it was what he needed to hear. “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened me” he whispered softly “You, the girls…you’re everything” he added.

Olivia’s cheeks flushed a soft shade of pink which was visible even in the dim light which slipped into the room through the half closed bathroom door.

Gerard marvelled at her, watching as she carefully settled the baby down into her crib, before she turned back towards him, cuddling into his side. Wrapping his arms around her, he pressed a soft kiss against her forehead, something Olivia returned by kissing his chest gently.