Burn Us Down

67: Why Does Something Have To Be Wrong?

“Ssh” Olivia whispered, the tips of her fingers gently skimming over Aria’s stomach as she tried to keep the little girl from crying. It was late. Whilst both Olivia and Gerard had insisted that they’d only have their friends around for a couple of hours, they’d been too comfortable to turf them out much before midnight, and it meant that they were only just getting to bed. They hadn’t intended to let things run late. After dinner had been served and they’d all had a piece of Olivia’s birthday cake, she had assumed that their friends, who were all parents themselves, would be in a hurry to leave, but they hadn’t and instead of a quick dinner, the night had faded into a leisurely evening with friends, something Olivia had enjoyed more than she had probably let on. She knew why she and Gerard had isolated themselves. With things falling apart, they had needed to figure out what the next step for them was without any pushing one way or the other, and whilst she understood it, it didn’t mean that she hadn’t missed spending time with friends they both had in common.

Crossing her legs, she leant over the edge of Aria’s crib, her fingers moving to smooth back the dark hair on the top of her head. “You’re OK” she whispered softly “I’m here, sweetheart” she added.

Aria’s little feet stirred, her blue eyes opened ever so briefly, but she didn’t wake up, something which made Olivia smile gently before she leant over the railings, touching a soft kiss against her forehead. Sitting up, she noticed Gerard stood in the bathroom doorway, causing her to shake her head, trying, and failing, to disguise the faint blush which made its way up her cheeks. “Do you know how much you stare?” she joked softly.

Gerard’s answer was a nonchalant shrug and a small, soft smile.

“She was stirring” Olivia said, breaking the moment of quiet which passed between them “I wanted to make sure she was alright” she added, answering a question that Gerard probably had no intention of asking. She just didn’t like it when silences lingered.

Gerard was still smiling as he nodded.

“Are you OK?” Olivia pressed “You’re never quiet for this long” she added.

Gerard’s smile grew into a slightly amused smirk. “Why does something have to be wrong?” he asked.

“I don’t know” Olivia replied with a shrug, her cheeks flushing a deeper shade of pink.

Gerard wandered towards her, placing a soft kiss on the crown of her head. “I’m just relaxed, nena” he murmured “Tonight was good” he added.

Olivia’s hands gently gripped at his t-shirt, keeping him close as she tilted her head back to look up at him. “It was” she agreed “It was one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time. Thank you for going along with it” she added.

Gerard shook his head, the tips of his fingers tenderly tucking a stray strand of her coppery hair behind her ear as he beamed down her. “You don’t have to thank me, Livy” he mused “It’s your birthday and I wanted to be a part of it. I want to be a part of them all” he added.

Olivia took a second to study his face, her eyes surveying the warmth in his and the easiness of his smile, before she let out a quiet sigh, her hands fiddling with his t-shirt. She knew that he meant it. His smile was so bright, so easy, and his eyes were the same, but it didn’t mean that there wasn’t a sense of doubt nagging at the back of her mind. She was working on getting past it. They’d restarted their appointments with Eleanor, visiting her every two weeks instead of every week, but still she wasn’t entirely doubt-free. She was struck by how similar things felt. Before Gerard’s first proposal, the two of them had been so in-sync and comfortable with one another, but things had changed in a blink of an eye, and as much as she didn’t want to, Olivia worried that it could happen again. They were so close to being on the same page, but they weren’t quite. Gerard was more at ease with things, the way he’d shrugged nonchalantly when Stefan had asked about wedding plans had confided it to her, but Olivia remained more cautious. She had pushed before, and Gerard’s reaction to that had been what had happened with Lana.

Gerard watched her hands, his forehead creasing slightly. “Livy?” he asked.

Olivia looked back up at him, smiling gently. “Sorry” she answered with a little laugh “I was somewhere else” she added.

Gerard stared at her, hoping she’d elaborate, but she didn’t. Instead, she pushed herself up to her feet and pressed her lips against his briefly, smiling at him as she pulled away. “I’m going to get ready for bed” she mused.

Gerard’s hand gently took hold of hers, weaving their fingers together to stop her as she tried to step away from him. “Nena” he cooed “You’d tell me if there was something on your mind, wouldn’t you?” he added.

“Of course I would” Olivia replied “I was just thinking, Gerard. It’s nothing” she added.

Gerard’s eyes narrowed, scrutinizing her, but he eventually unwound their hands, allowing her to scurry towards the bathroom. Turning away, he listened for the soft click which signalled the bathroom door closing before he sat down at the foot of the bed, his hands lifting up to cover his face.

They weren’t completely back to themselves and he knew it. There were moments when it felt like they were. Moments when being together came to them as easily as it ever had, but there were also moments when they still felt the little fractures which were still, a year later, trying to knit themselves back together. He’d made Olivia uncertain of them. His actions, the kiss with Lana, had taken away all of the certainty that Olivia had had in them, and he knew it wasn’t something he could magically repair.

He hoped that she was getting close. He hoped that everything he’d done since she’d come back from Alicante had gone someway in proving to her that his mistake was a onetime thing, and that they weren’t just waiting for the next roadblock to hit so that they’d fall apart, but conversations like they one they’d just had caused him to worry. She had her doubts still, she didn’t entirely trust that they were good and solid, and Gerard wondered if she ever would, and worried that she never would.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)