Like You Did Before

20: I Was Thinking Just You And Me


Matilda, who was gently gathering her hair up into a ponytail, turned around at the sound of her name, a faint smile brightening her features when she spotted Iker in the doorway, his eyes averted down towards his feet. He was around more often. Since they’d cleared the air between them, Iker’s already frequent visits had increased, and Matilda loved having him around, even if nothing had really happened between the two of them. She found his presence, when things between them were good, to be comforting. They were hesitant to branch out. The short, but frequent visits that Iker made to Matilda’s apartment, and that Matilda made to Iker’s house, worked for the two of them, and whilst they’d not had a problem since they’d decided to try things out between them tentatively, they were both hesitant to burst the comfortable bubble that they found themselves in, worried that if they did, the tentative thing that they’d put back together could fall apart.

“Do you need something?” Matilda asked, sliding a clip into her hair.

Iker cleared his throat, determined to keep his stare on his feet and away from Matilda who was stood in just a towel. “I…I was just checking on how long you were going to be” he stumbled out “I’ve got time for breakfast before I need to get going, but only if you’re nearly ready” he added.

Matilda smirked, but didn’t comment on how flustered he sounded. “I just need to get dressed” she mused “I should only be a few more minutes. Is Lola dressed?” she asked.

Iker nodded. “She is” he confirmed “We’ll meet you in the kitchen?” he asked.

“Sounds like a plan” Matilda replied, offering him a slightly teasing smile over her shoulder.

Iker narrowed his eyes playfully, something which made Matilda laugh gently before she heard his footsteps retreat. Slipping out of the towel, she quickly got herself dressed before she followed after him. Entering the kitchen, she leant over and pressed a soft kiss to Lola’s cheek before she slipped into her seat, grinning up at Iker as he leant over, placing a plate of food down in front of her. “You know” she quipped “I honestly think you’ve cooked for me more in the last few weeks than you did for the whole two years we were together” she added.

Iker shrugged, acknowledging her teasing with another warm smile. “You like your own cooking” he replied “And your papa always plied us with stuff from his restaurant. Besides, you tended to prefer being here than being at my place and I didn’t want to be presumptuous” he added.

“And now?” Matilda asked “This is still my kitchen, Iker” she added impishly.

Iker laughed. “It is” he agreed “But I am trying to help. You have Lola all night, you get up with her every time she cries, and I want to try and do my part, however I can. I told you, when you told me that you were pregnant, that I was in this with you, and this is what I meant. I just want to help, Mattie” he added, his voice softening a little.

It hadn’t been without hesitation. When Matilda had told him that she was expecting Lola, it had taken him a while to wrap his head around it, but when he had, he hadn’t hesitated in telling Matilda that he was there for her. He’d always anticipated that it would be difficult. It had only been a few weeks prior to Matilda showing him the positive pregnancy test that she had stormed out of his house, declaring that their relationship had been pointless, but he had still insist that she could count on him, something he wanted to keep demonstrating. He wanted to be around for Lola, but he also wanted Matilda to know that if she needed to lean on someone, then she could lean on him.

Matilda’s expression softened, the teasing smirk replaced by an affectionate smile. “I’m glad to have you around” she replied.

Iker smiled down at his plate bashfully. “Even when things are weird between us?” he prodded.

Matilda lifted a shoulder in a shrug. “I’m still getting my head around a lot of stuff” she admitted “And whilst my parents, and yours, and everyone else around us have been good, I like it when you’re here” she added.

Iker wanted to ask why, but he stopped himself. The soft, sheepish smile that she wore was enough for him.

Matilda felt her cheeks flush under his stare. Poking at her food, she ducked her head, something which made Iker laugh as he turned to his own food. The two of them ate in silence, the only sound that disturbed it was the little noises that Lola made in her seat, but it didn’t feel stifling and uncomfortable like it had before. For the first time in a long time, they felt entirely at ease.

“What are you up to tomorrow night?”

Matilda jumped a little, glaring at Iker who grinned at her impishly. “What?” she asked.

“What are you up to tomorrow night?” Iker repeated.

“The same thing I am up to most nights, now” Matilda replied “Me and Lola wait for you to arrive, then it’s bath time, cuddles and then bed. You and I have tea, and then you go and I practically fall into bed. Why are you asking?” she prodded.

Iker shrugged. “I was thinking we could go and get dinner” he replied.

“I don’t know many baby-friendly restaurants around here” Matilda mused.

Iker’s lips quirked upwards. “Mattie, I was thinking it could just be you and me” he revealed “You know, like a date?” he added.

Matilda blinked a couple of times, something which made Iker shake his head. “You don’t have to say yes” he mused “I mean, I know we’re taking things slowly, and if it feels like it is too much, that’s Ok, I just…I thought it might be nice to do something together that didn’t necessarily include changing Lola’s nappy together” he added, offering her a sheepish shrug.

Matilda opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, trying to find the right way to say what she wanted to say, before she nodded, a gentle smile brightening her features. “OK” she said.

“OK?” Iker prodded.

“Yeah, Ok” Matilda mused “Dinner sounds like it might not be so terrible” she added, rolling her eyes playfully to let him know that she was teasing.

Iker’s laugh was spluttered out, part in surprise, part as a result of his nervousness about the prospect of pushing on something which had probably always felt a little shaky and unsure. “I’ll take not terrible” he mused “Can you get a babysitter on that short a notice?” he asked.

Matilda grinned. “My parents ask if they can baby sit every time I pick up the phone” she mused “It shouldn’t be too hard to convince them” she added.

Iker couldn’t stop himself from beaming at her. It was a little detour from their comfort zone. Dinner out, without Lola around as a buffer, wasn’t something they’d tried since they’d been on better terms, but if they didn’t try and push things forwards, they would never truly know whether it was a relationship that could work.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)