Burn Us Down

72: It Is How It Is Now

“Could you get me one of the hats out of my bag?” Olivia asked as she turned around, showing the backpack on her shoulders to Enzo who’d trailed her towards their seats. She hadn’t seen him for a while. Between meeting Nicolas and her and Gerard’s problems, it’d been a while since she’d had the chance to spend time with any of her friends, but when Enzo had called her a couple of days previous, she had been quick to suggest that they do something together, something which had led them to Gerard’s home match that evening. She had missed him. Enzo was still one of her favourite people, even if he and Melissa were in the middle of a rather messy divorce, and she wanted to make sure that he knew it. As awkward as it could have made things, neither Olivia nor Gerard intended to let Enzo just slide out of her their lives because he and Melissa weren’t together anymore.

Enzo shifted his hold on Rosalie before he unzipped the bag, retrieving one of the baby hats from inside. “Do you want me to put one on Rosalie too?” he prodded.

“It’d not be a bad idea” Olivia replied “Is Max warm enough?” she prodded, glancing past Enzo towards her nephew who stood on his tiptoes, gazing down at the pitch.

Enzo looked back at his son with a smile before he nodded, turning back to Olivia as the two of them sat down. “I made sure he had enough layers on before we left home” he mused “He’s going to Mel’s tomorrow and I know she’d accuse me of deliberately trying to sabotage things if he showed up with the sniffles. She plans to introduce him to Nicolas” he added.

Olivia, who’d been smoothing out the little Barcelona shirt that Aria wore, whipped her head up, blinking at Enzo in surprise. “She’s going to introduce him to Nico?” she prodded, wanting to be sure that she’d heard him right.

Enzo nodded his head slowly, a bitter smile on his face. “Apparently, he’s met everyone else” he said “You and Gerard, your papa and Valeria. Max is the only one left and she wants to do it sooner rather than later” he added.

For a moment, Olivia didn’t quite know what to say, something which made Enzo’s smile soften as he leant over, tugging Rosalie’s hat around her ears. “It’s going to happen” he said “She’s serious about him, Oli, she was before Max and she is even more so now, and I have just got to learn to deal with how things are changing. I don’t like it, of course I don’t, but it is how it is now. I just want to make things as easy as I can for Max” he added, glancing at his son who was still leaning over the railing, watching the players warm up.

Olivia followed his stare, watching Max quietly for a few moments, before Enzo cleared his throat. “Enough about that” he mused “How are you and Gerard?” he prodded.

Olivia’s cheeks flushed a light shade of pink. Things had been better. In the couple of weeks that had passed since they’d talked, she and Gerard had felt more at ease around one another, and that, twinned with a couple of appointments with Eleanor which had been slightly more productive, had reassured her that they were on the right track. There would still be moments. Olivia’s hesitance to think about their future and Gerard’s worries that things could just fade weren’t things which weren’t going to rear their heads again, but they felt better and it was a relief to Olivia who, for a split second, had worried that they weren’t going to recover.

Enzo grinned at her. “That good, eh?” he prodded.

“It’s been a little…fraught” Olivia admitted, her hand softly rubbing Aria’s back as she started to fuss softly “We got into some stuff recently, stuff we’d never really talked through before, and that wasn’t exactly a lot of fun, but we appear to have come out the other side. You know what I think of him, Enzo” she added, smiling at him shyly.

Enzo nodded. “I do” he confirmed “And, for what it is worth, he thinks the same of you. He still gets that dreamy look in his eyes when you walk into a room” he added.

Olivia let out a bashful scoff, something which made Enzo chuckle before Max’s voice reached the two of them. “Tio!” he exclaimed excitedly before he ran up the stairs, launching himself at Gerard who stood in the doorway of the box.

The defender didn’t hesitate, hoisting the little boy off of his feet, before he wandered over, greeting Enzo with a warm smile. “It’s good to see you” he mused “It has been too long” he added

“I didn’t know you’d miss me so much, Gerard” Enzo chirped, his smile genuinely warm.

Gerard smiled at his joke, but his eyes quickly trailed over towards Olivia, something which made Enzo smile at the two of them softly. Pushing himself up, he quietly excused himself, before he wandered a little distance away.

Gerard watched him away before he turned to Olivia, his eyebrow slightly lifted. “Is he alright?” he asked quietly.

“He’s still struggling” Olivia replied “Mel’s introducing Max to Nico tomorrow” she added.

Gerard grimaced sympathetically. “Is there anything we can do?” he asked.

“Your team could put on a show, try and distract him a little” Olivia replied, smiling up at him gently.

Gerard spluttered out a laugh. “I’ll see what we can do” he quipped “Are you and the twins comfortable enough up here?” he prodded.

“Are you worried about us, Piqué?” Olivia chirped impishly.

Gerard rolled his eyes playfully before he leant over, pressing a couple of quick kisses against her lips. Olivia giggled under the contact, even more so when she saw the way that Max had wrinkled his nose, before she pulled back, smoothing Gerard’s hair back off of his forehead. “We’re fine” she said gently “I’ve got more clothes in the bag if we need them, their comforters if the noise gets too much, and Enzo to help me if I need him. We’re more than comfortable here” she added soothingly.

Gerard nodded his head once. “Good” he mused “I just thought I’d come and check on you” he added, the tops of his cheeks flushing pink.

Olivia smiled up at him. “You know we’d never say no to seeing you” she replied.

Gerard’s lips twitched, like he wanted to make a joke, but he opted against it. Instead, he leant over and kissed Olivia softly before he dropped a kiss on Aria’s head. Olivia watched him with a soft smile as he retreated a pace, gently settling Max back onto his feet, before he offered her a little smile that she knew was just for her. “Good luck” she mused.

“Thank you” Gerard replied before he jogged back up the stairs, bidding a quick goodbye to Enzo and Rosalie before he disappeared.

Olivia couldn’t stop herself from watching him, something Enzo greeted with a sad smile. He was happy for them. Gerard and Olivia were good for one another, they always had been, and he was glad that they’d found a way to make it work, but it was still a reminder of his marriage and its failure. He and Melissa had made things work for a while before they’d fallen apart and he hoped that Olivia and Gerard were luckier than he’d been. They both deserved the happiness that they had with one another and Enzo hoped it continued for a very long time.