Burn Us Down

62: To Anyone But Me, It’s Nothing

Glancing down at his watch, Gerard let out a quiet sigh, his eyes moving to study the otherwise empty waiting room. Olivia had sprung the appointment on him. They had taken a break from them. Preparations for the twins, followed by him and Olivia wanting to take the time to get to know the ways things had changed since Aria and Rosalie had been born meant that it’d been a while since they’d seen Eleanor, but when he’d padded down the stairs that morning, Olivia had asked him to meet her at Eleanor’s office, something which had had his mind whirring all morning. He didn’t know what the problem was. Things between him and Olivia had felt as good as ever, especially since Aria and Rosalie had come along, but he hadn’t fought her on it, even if he had been tempted to. He knew that whatever it was Olivia wanted to say to him, she’d chosen to do it with their counsellor around for a reason.

Lifting his wrist again, he spared another glance down at his watch before he heard the door across from him open, causing him to look up and watch as Olivia carefully closed the door behind herself. Quirking an awkward smile, he pushed himself up to his feet and stepped towards her, greeting her with a gentle kiss on the cheek. “Who’s watching the girls?” he asked as he stepped away.

Olivia touched the tips of her fingers to her cheek, a bashful smile on her lips. “Valeria” she replied “She was happy to” she added.

Gerard nodded his head, allowing a moment of awkward quiet to pass between the two of them, before he let out a gentle sigh. “Livy…”

“Olivia, Gerard” Eleanor’s voice cut Gerard off “Are we ready to get started? Can I get you anything first?” she added.

Olivia turned towards the other woman without hesitation, shaking her head with a polite smile

Gerard blinked before he slowly shook his head too. “I’m alright, thank you” he replied.

“Then we should get started” Eleanor mused warmly “Come inside” she added, stepping out of her office doorway.

Again, Olivia didn’t seem to hesitate, but Gerard did before he gave in and followed after her. He pushed the door closed behind before he trailed Olivia over to the couch, taking a seat a little further away from her than he would usually choose to sit.

“So, it’s been a while” Eleanor mused “And since I last saw the two of you, you’ve become parents. How do you think that’s going?” she asked.

“It’s going well” Gerard replied “I mean, it’s definitely still strange, but it’s the best kind of strange. Right, Livy?” he prodded.

Olivia smiled at him softly before she nodded her head. “It really is” she mused.

“Do you think you’re still making enough time for one another?” Eleanor asked as she scribbled something down into their notes “I mean, it’s difficult for new parents to still make time for their relationship, especially when they’ve welcomed more than one baby. Do you two think your relationship is still doing as well as it was before our break?” she asked, her gaze lingering pointedly on Olivia.

Gerard’s stare flashed between the two of them before he tilted his head, his eyes narrowing on Olivia. “Is there something I am missing?” he asked “Because, my answer to that question is yes. I think we’re doing well, amazingly, actually, but I am guessing that there’s something that’s making you think otherwise. Is that why we’re here? Have I missed something, Livy?” he added, trying to keep his tone even. He and Olivia had had enough disagreements in the past for him to know that if he went in too strongly, she’d pull away.

Olivia’s eyes searched his face for a moment before they dropped down to her lap, something which caused Gerard to exhale a soft sigh. “You can’t just…just talk to me?” he prodded “You had to bring us here?” he added.

“It’s a good place for openness” Eleanor chirped “Olivia feels comfortable being completely honest here” she added.

“She should feel like she could tell me anything, anyway” Gerard retorted softly, his eyes still fixed on Olivia “Livy…”

“How am I supposed to trust it this time?” Olivia interrupted him, glancing at him briefly “Your proposal. How am I supposed to let myself believe it this time?” she added.

Gerard’s mouth snapped shut, his expression growing softer, sadder. It was a question he’d half been expecting and been dreading entirely.

Eleanor looked between the two of them before she smiled at Olivia encouragingly. “Talk to him, Olivia” she mused “Tell him what you’re thinking” she added.

Olivia glanced at the counsellor for a second before she turned to Gerard, one of her hands trying, and failing, to grasp his which were clenched in his lap. Letting out a sigh, she settled for just resting her hand on top of his. “I want to believe in it” she mused “When you looked at me in the hospital, it felt so…so wonderful and I want to believe that you mean it, but I thought you did last time and we both know what happened. Maybe it’s the timing, that you asked just hours after I’d had the babies, but I just…I need you to tell me why it’s different this time” she added, stumbling over her words when he made no move to turn and look at her.

Gerard didn’t say anything for a long time, something which caused Eleanor to lean towards him, a friendly smile on her face. “The last time we talked about your first engagement, you mentioned that you felt as though there would be a moment” she mused “You said you thought that there would be a moment when it felt like it was the right time to ask. Did you have a moment?” she prodded.

Gerard sat up a little more in his seat before he slowly nodded his head, the tops of his cheeks flushing a light shade of pink. “It’s going to sound stupid” he murmured “I mean, I think to anyone else but me, it’s a nothing moment, but it was just…I can’t explain it. It was like a lightbulb came on and started screaming ‘what are you waiting for?’” he added.

Olivia, who’d been staring up at him, quirked a timid smile. “What was it?” she asked.

Gerard’s shrug was bashful. “It won’t make sense to anyone but me” he replied.

“Geri, come on” Olivia chirped “Tell me what it was” she added.

Gerard looked at her for a long moment before he shook his head, laughing awkwardly. “You said something about me making you cry while I was on the phone with Valeria” he answered “But I knew that you were crying before that. I couldn’t see your face, but I just…I knew. It wasn’t your voice, it was just…I can’t explain how I knew, but I did and I realised then that I was probably never going to know someone like I know you and that…that I didn’t want to. I realised that you were always going to be it for me” he explained, grimacing at how strange it sounded.

Olivia blinked, her eyes shining as they looked up at him. “That’s all it took?” she asked.

Gerard smiled, offering her another bashful shrug. “I just knew” he replied “Don’t ask me why or how, but I did, and that’s what is different this time. This is all me, Livy. No one told me I should have done it by now, no one was prodding and pushing me, it was my moment, our moment” he added.

Olivia didn’t hesitate in throwing her arms around him, wrapping him in a tight hug that Gerard was more than happy to return, kissing the top of her head as she buried her face in the side of his neck. Holding her tightly, he met Eleanor’s stare over her head, returning the reassuring smile that the counsellor offered before she climbed up to her feet, excusing herself so that they could have a moment for themselves.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)