Burn Us Down

08: I Love Our Story

“Are you sure that you don’t want to come back with us?”

Olivia, who’d been helping to settle Max into his car seat, smiled a little at the sound of Enzo’s question before she looked up, nodding her head gently. “I’m sure” she confirmed.

“One hundred percent?” Enzo prodded, his smile caught somewhere between teasing and concerned. He knew that he wasn’t going to change her mind, once Olivia had her mind set on something, the chances of changing it were relatively small, but he did still want to offer her an out. He knew that she was determined to try and figure things out with Gerard, regardless of what the outcome was, he knew that Olivia wanted to see it through, and whilst he thought it was probably the right decision, he wanted her to avoid forcing things. She was still hurting, seeing one interaction between her and Gerard made that abundantly clear, and he didn’t want her to try and rush making a decision. It was just something which was going to take some time.

Olivia adjusted Max’s seatbelt before she smiled up at Enzo again. “You know I have been dating him for four years, don’t you?” she teased shyly.

Enzo’s expression softened. “Oli...”

“It’s just coffee, Enzo” Olivia interjected, any trace of her teasing smile slipping off of her face “I’m not going to go home with him, but we’re never going to get anywhere if we don’t at least try and talk. I’ll be fine, honestly” she insisted.

Enzo’s eyes searched her face for a brief moment before he nodded his head. “What do you want me to tell Melissa?” he asked.

“That she can mind her own business?” Olivia suggested with a nonchalant shrug.

Enzo couldn’t stop himself from laughing before he tried to speak up again, only to stop himself when he spotted Gerard over Olivia’s shoulder. Letting his mouth fall closed, he straightened up so that he could look at the defender, something which caused Olivia to turn around.

Gerard lingered a few paces away from them and quirked a weak smile when Olivia turned to look at him, offering her a slightly awkward wave.

Olivia waved back at him before she turned to Enzo, offering him a soft look. “I’ll see you later?” she asked.

Enzo reluctantly pulled his stare from Gerard before he nodded, moving to climb into the car. Olivia stepped back, watching him drive away, before she felt a presence beside her, causing her to turn and look up at Gerard who’d stopped a couple of paces short of her. “Hi” she greeted softly.

Gerard stuffed his hands into his pockets, shifting his feet slightly. “Hi” he replied “Are you…do you still want to come with me?” he asked.

Olivia’s lips quirked upwards ever so slightly. She wasn’t used to hearing him so uncertain. “I’d have gotten into Enzo’s car if I had changed my mind” she pointed out.

“Right” Gerard agreed, letting out a soft laugh.

Olivia stepped towards him, offering his hand a brief, but tight, squeeze, before she walked past, making her way towards his car.

Gerard hung back for a second, taking in a breath that was aimed at dislodging the lump in his throat, before he followed after her.

“Here you go” Gerard chirped as he placed a paper cup down on the table in front of Olivia “Your horrible sweet drink” he added, flashing her a small, half awkward, half playful smile as he sat down. They hadn’t talked much in the car, or since they’d sat down in the café, but Gerard didn’t mind it, even if the silence did feel as uncomfortable as all of the others which had preceded it. Part of him was just pleased to be sat in the same place as Olivia.

Olivia, who’d been typing a text, glanced up with a small smile. “Gracias” she mused.

Gerard nodded, acknowledging her thanks, before he sipped on his own drink, allowing the silence to draw out for a few excruciatingly long seconds.

“Max had a great time” Olivia spoke up suddenly.

Gerard blinked before he leant back in his seat, a soft smile brightening his features. “Yeah?” he prodded.

Olivia nodded. “I mean, he actually managed to nod off with about 20 minutes still to play, but I think that that was just the excitement catching up with him. I’ve got some pretty great pictures of the two of you, if you want to see them” she mused, gently nudging her phone across the table.

Gerard slid it closer to himself, allowing him to swipe through the pictures, before he looked up at Olivia, watching her gently play with the ends of her hair as she watched him. Dropping his eyes back to the phone quickly, he allowed himself a small smile, before he slid the phone back towards her. “You got my good side” he quipped, but his usual impishness was lacking.

Olivia’s smile showed it. It was small and shy, something it hadn’t been around him since their very first date.

Gerard stared at her for a few long seconds, his fingers drumming against the side of his coffee cup, before he let the sigh which had been building up within him go. “This is awkward” he announced “I should have just…just let you go home with Enzo” he added.

Olivia shook her head. “It’s not home” she murmured.

“Then where is, Livy?” Gerard asked softly “You don’t want to be at our place, I saw it all over your face when you were there the other night, so where is home now?” he added.

Olivia tucked her hair off of her face, her other hand nervously messing with the lid of her cup. “I wish I knew” she replied quietly.

Gerard’s hand lightly pried hers off of the cup before he turned it over, his fingertips gently tracing the lines on her palm.

Olivia watched his fingers, the lightest of smiles curving the corner of her lips upwards. “You’ve done this before” she announced quietly.

“Hm?” Gerard prodded.

“This” Olivia noted, pointing at their hands “You don’t remember?” she asked.

Gerard smiled down at their hands, still tracing her palm. “I was checking for pieces of glass” he quipped “You broke someone’s fancy champagne flute” he pointed out, lifting his head to offer her a look which let him know that was teasing.

“It broke by itself” Olivia retorted.

Gerard snorted. “Because glasses just do that” he replied sarcastically.

Olivia rolled her eyes.

“I’m not complaining, though” Gerard quipped “I mean, it was the first time I got to hold your hand, and you were so grateful, you let me take you to dinner the next night. I should have gone back and found that broken glass and framed it to thank it for its service” he joked.

Olivia couldn’t stop the blush from working up her cheeks, the playful smile she’d been wearing sobering slightly. “That’s why this is hard” she said quietly.

Gerard blinked. “Because of a broken champagne glass?” he asked.

“Because I love you” Olivia replied, her eyes levelling with his “Because I love our story. We have so many moments, memories. A lot of them are wonderful, and I adore them, and I just…I can’t quite reconcile all of that with the hurt. When I look at you, part of me sees all the of hurt, the doubts, but another part of me…that part of me can’t forget you checking my hand for glass” she explained softly.

Gerard just blinked, not quite sure what he could say to that.

“I want to keep doing this” Olivia kept talking “The awkward dinners or whatever. I want to see…to see which part wins out” she said quietly.

Gerard nodded his head slowly. “There is a part of you that still wants me, isn’t there?” he asked.

Olivia nodded without hesitation. “A big part of me” she insisted.

Gerard searched her face, desperately wanting to see it, and when he did, he nodded his head softly, agreeing that they could just keep trying to persevere.