Burn Us Down

60: With Everything I Have

Allowing her head to gently bump against the doorframe, Olivia quirked a soft smile, watching as Gerard carefully placed a kiss on Aria’s head before he backed away from her crib, collecting his bag which sat on the floor beside it. She knew that he was reluctant to go. In the handful of weeks that had passed since the twins had arrived, he’d taken to making a fuss whenever he had to leave the house without them, and Olivia adored seeing it. She had been worried about a lot of things when she had found out that she was pregnant. When she had first looked down at the positive pregnancy test, things between her and Gerard had been at their lowest point and had seemed unlikely to be fixed, but things had changed gradually, leading to where they found themselves now, happy with one another and doting on their two little girls.

Watching him across the room, she let out a happy sound, something which caused Gerard to laugh without turning to look over at her. “Aren’t you supposed to be getting ready to go to sleep?” he asked as he dropped his bag on the top of his dresser, allowing him to lean down and pull on his shoes “They’re asleep now and you’re supposed to take advantage of that too. You’ve been up since four, Livy” he fussed.

Olivia nodded. “I know” she replied “And I will get some sleep while they’re asleep, but I wanted to check in with you first” she added.

“Oh?” Gerard prodded, glancing up at her.

“I just wanted to remind you that Max and Enzo are going to be at the game tonight” Olivia replied “You promised Max…”

“That he could be my mascot. I remember, Livy” Gerard finished for her, offering her a small smile.

They had seen Max a lot in the past few weeks. With things between Enzo and Melissa over, they were visiting lawyers frequently, trying to sort out their separation and its repercussions, and it meant that Max needed somewhere he could stay whilst his parents were busy, a place Olivia had been quick to volunteer. Her father had said that he’d do it. Olivia and Gerard had Aria and Rosalie and were still learning their own little routine, but Olivia had been insistent. She wanted to make sure that, despite everything, her nephew was as happy as he could be.

Olivia smiled sheepishly. “I just wanted to remind you” she mused.

“Have you spoken to Enzo?” Gerard asked as he stood up, pulling a jacket around his shoulders.

“He called this morning” Olivia replied.

“How’d he sound?” Gerard prodded. He had only seen Enzo a couple of times since the revelation of Melissa’s affair, but it had still been enough to confide how much he was struggling.

Olivia’s expression softened. “Better” she replied “Still bad, but better. He’s really looking forwards to tonight, you know. I think it means a lot to him that we’re still reaching out” she added. Enzo had tried to keep his distance. Olivia and her family were Melissa’s family, and not his, and he hadn’t wanted to put them in the middle of what was happening, but Olivia had been keen to reach out, wanting to offer him the support he’d given her when things between her and Gerard had been at their worst.

Gerard moved towards her, pressing a soft kiss against her forehead. “I’ll try and make sure that he enjoys it, then” he mused.

Olivia hugged him tightly, nodding against his chest.

“Try and get some sleep” Gerard mumbled as he kissed the crown of her head “And if you need me after the game, call. You know I’ll get back here as soon as I can” he added.

Olivia leant back to glance up his face, a soft smile on her lips. “We’ll be fine” she mused.

Gerard hesitated, but eventually nodded, something which caused Olivia to push herself up onto her toes, pressing a soft kiss against his lips. “I’ll see you later” she murmured.

Gerard pressed his lips to hers again for a brief moment before he huffed out a playful sigh, causing Olivia to playfully push his shoulder. “We’re not going anywhere” she called after him as he ambled down the hall.

“You know, I am not going to hold it against you if you leave”

Gerard, who was staring at the screen of his phone, looked up at Enzo, the tops of his cheeks flushing a light shade of pink as he caught the amused smirk of the other man. It’d always been the plan. After Enzo and Max had come to watch the match, Gerard had always planned on taking the two of them to grab some food before they parted ways, but he knew that he’d been distracted. He kept checking his phone, half expecting Olivia to text him, and he knew that that meant he’d been more than a little out of it since they’d sat down.

“Sorry” Gerard apologised.

“Don’t be” Enzo chirped “I still remember when this little guy came along. I hated being away from him” he added, gesturing to Max who sat beside him, scribbling with the crayons the waitress had bought over for him.

Gerard smiled bashfully. “I love it” he confessed “Don’t get me wrong, I loved it when it was just Livy and me, but now the girls are here…it’s just amazing” he added.

Enzo nodded, the warm expression he wore faltering slightly, but he didn’t allow Gerard the chance to give the apology that looked like it was on the tip of his tongue. He didn’t want the other man to walk on eggshells around him. Gerard’s family had grown, things between him and Olivia seemed to be flourishing after their stumble, and he didn’t want Gerard to think that he couldn’t talk about it with him. Just because things had gone wrong for him and Melissa, didn’t mean that he couldn’t be happy for Gerard, his friend, and Olivia, a woman he’d grown to adore like his own little sister.

Enzo fixed his smile quickly. “How are the sleepless nights?” he prodded “I mean, Max was bad by himself. You’ve got two” he added.

Gerard’s laugh was slightly uncertain as he rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. “It’s taking some getting used to” he replied “Rosalie’s a good sleeper, but if Aria starts, then she tends to follow and that usually means we both have to get up. I’ve seen a lot more of Olivia’s grumpier side in the last few weeks” he added brightly.

Enzo feigned a grimace playfully, something which made Gerard laugh gently before a silence fell between them. They both looked at one another, the topic of Melissa hanging there, unspoken, before Enzo fixed another, softer, smile onto his face. “How are the two of you?” he asked “You and Olivia?” he added.

Gerard’s face brightened before he could stop it, something which caused Enzo to laugh. “That good?” he prodded.

“We’re good” Gerard replied “A lot better than I thought we’d be by now” he added.

“You’re good together” Enzo mused “Even after everything, you’re good together. She’s crazy about you, you know” he added.

Gerard smiled appreciatively, but didn’t say anything in reply.

“You’re better off than me and Mel ever were” Enzo continued “You two made it work. We just…We papered over the cracks” he added.

Gerard spared a glance towards Max, making sure that he was still occupied, before he looked back at Enzo. “I’m so sorry, Enzo” he mused “I saw what the kiss did to Livy, but I can’t even imagine what you’re feeling right now” he added.

Enzo’s nonchalant shrug was forced, just as forced as the smile he’d kept screwed to his face. “At least you love her” he replied “I’m pretty convinced that Melissa didn’t love me. She just stuck around because of…” he trailed off as he looked at Max.

The little boy kept scribbling for a second before he sat up, grinning as he held up his picture. “It’s me and Tio on the pitch, papa” he gushed.

Gerard could see the tears fill Enzo’s eyes, but the other man didn’t let them slip, flashing his son a genuine grin. “It’s brilliant, buddy” he enthused.

“Tio?” Max pressed, looking at Gerard expectantly.

Gerard nodded. “It’s great, Max” he quipped.

Max beamed with pride as he pulled out a new sheet of paper, getting to work on another drawing.

Both Enzo and Gerard watched him for a few moment before Enzo turned to look at the defender. “Promise me something” he mused.

Gerard’s forehead creased, wordlessly asking ‘what?’.

“Promise me that you do love Olivia” Enzo clarified “That you’re not just…just with her because of Aria and Rosalie. That she’s all you want, and…”

“She is all I want” Gerard interjected, his eyes fixed on Enzo’s “She has been for the last five years and she is going to be for as long as I get a say in it. I love her, more than anything, and I love our family. I promise you, I love her with everything I have. That’s why I asked her to marry me” he added.

Enzo’s face brightened, the first, completely genuine, smile that wasn’t aimed at Max lighting it up. “Again?” he asked.

Gerard’s cheeks flushed as he nodded. “After the twins were born” he confirmed “We weren’t telling people, mainly because we were pretty sure that Livy’s family were going to kick up a fuss, but after what happened with…” he trailed off.

Enzo nodded. He knew that the end of the sentence was about him and Melissa. “She said yes?” he asked.

“She did” Gerard confirmed.

“That’s amazing” Enzo gushed, his voice genuinely excited.

Gerard nodded, watching as Enzo’s expression dimmed a little. “Your invitation will be one of the first we send” he mused “I mean, it might be awkward, but I know that Livy’s going to want you there and I definitely do. You’re one of the only people I’ve met through Olivia that still talks to me” he joked.

Enzo laughed gently, for a moment shaking off the uncertainty and pain as he smiled at the defender. “I’d love that” he mused.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)