Like You Did Before

33: You’ve Got Time, We’ve Got Time

“What’s mama up to, Lola?” Iker chirped as he strode into the kitchen, Lola babbling happily in his arms.

Matilda, who was staring at the screen of her laptop, looked up at the sound of his voice, a warm smile brightening her features. Things between them had settled again. In the few weeks that had passed since her mother’s birthday, Matilda had relaxed into their relationship again, and whilst it was progressing slower than either of them had thought it would, neither one of them was in a hurry to push it along another step.

They knew that it would happen eventually. Matilda knew that one day, she wouldn’t hesitate in extending an invitation to Iker to join her with her parents or friends, and Iker knew it’d be the same for him, but for a little while, they were content with what it was. They spent a lot of time together. Iker tended to stay over in Matilda’s apartment most nights, and Matilda had taken to spending whole weekends in Iker’s home, and whilst it wasn’t without its bumps, things between them felt OK.

“I thought she was taking her nap” Matilda mused, gently pushing the frames of her glasses up her nose as she turned back to the computer.

“She was” Iker replied “But she was stirring when I was on my way past, so I checked in on her. She got about an hour” he added.

Matilda nodded, typing something.

Iker, who’d taken a seat near to her, quirked an eyebrow as he watched her. “What are you doing?” he asked.

“A little work” Matilda replied “My colleague got in touch with me the other day, and asked if I would mind going over some stuff for one of our accounts. I said I’d give it a look, and with you busy and Lola napping, I thought I’d take advantage” she added.

“Aren’t you still on maternity leave?” Iker prodded.

Matilda nodded. “I am” she confirmed “I’m not planning on going back until after her first birthday, but this was a big account and he wanted me to review some stuff. You might not remember, but I am pretty good at my job and people like to get my input on stuff” she added, grinning at him over the top of the computer.

Iker rolled his eyes, but couldn’t resist smiling back before he shook his head. “You’re wearing your glasses” he pointed out “I thought you hated them” he added.

“I do” Matilda confirmed, self-consciously fiddling with the frames “But I left my contact lenses at home and these happened to be in my bag” she added.

“I could go and get them” Iker offered.

Matilda shook her head, smiling at him gratefully. “These are fine” she mused “Thanks for offering, though” she added.

Iker offered her a slightly sheepish shrug, mumbling something beneath his breath that she didn’t catch as he stared down at Lola in his arms. Smoothing out the little girl’s dark hair, he allowed the silence that had settled between them to linger for a moment before he looked up, watching Matilda type. “Have you thought about what you’re going to do when you go back to work?” he asked.

Matilda’s eyes jumped over the top of the computer, surprised by the question. They had spent a lot of time working out what would happen when Lola arrived. After Matilda had told Iker that she was pregnant, they’d sat down more than once to discuss the basics of how they’d share things when she initially arrived, but they hadn’t planned for after that. Matilda had always wanted to take a lot of time off, and Iker had always been clear that he wanted to spend as much time as he could with the baby, but the logistics of what would happen next had been lost in them trying to figure their own relationship out. Matilda hadn’t thought months ahead, she’d barely thought weeks ahead.

“What do you mean?” Matilda asked.

“Are we going to need to hire a nanny?” Iker prodded “Your mother’s retired, is she going to have Lola during the day?” he asked.

Matilda just blinked at him, something which caused Iker to breathe out a soft laugh. “I forget, you’re not much of a planner” he quipped.

“It’s not something I have really thought about yet” Matilda replied “She’s not even six months old. I figured I would have time to figure it out later down the line. Do you have a preference?” she asked.

Iker’s lips quirked upwards like he’d thought of something amusing, but he didn’t say it. Instead, he shook his head. “We know your mother” he mused “And we know that she’s good with Lola. I think it depends on what would make you feel most comfortable” he added.

Matilda’s stare drifted down towards the little girl who was happily perched in Iker’s lap, causing her forehead to crease a little.

Iker reached over, smoothing the little ridge out with his thumb. “Hey” he said “You don’t have to figure it out right now. I just wondered if you’d thought about it” he added.

“I should have done” Matilda replied.

“It’s alright” Iker insisted “You’ve got time. We’ve got time” he added, trying to reassure her. He hadn’t meant to put pressure on her and he wanted to try and backtrack slightly. He knew how Matilda dealt with pressure.

Matilda offered him a slightly dubious look, something which caused Iker to shift his hand to cup her cheek, his thumb lightly tracing the line of the bone. “We’ll figure it out” he insisted gently “We’re good at figuring things out as we go, we’ve done a lot of it in the last few months, and you said it yourself, she’s not even six months old yet. You’re doing a great job with her, Mattie” he added.

Matilda smiled shyly, the tops of her cheeks flushing a light shade of pink.

“We have a beautiful, happy little girl” Iker continued warmly.

Matilda ducked her head out of his hand, tugging her chair closer to his so that she could lean down and lift Lola out of his arms. Grinning gently, she lifted her up so that she could press a kiss to her cheek, a sight which made Iker’s warm smile widen. He hadn’t expected it. When Matilda had walked out his home after their breakup, he’d not envisioned that they’d find themselves back there, with a baby too, but he wouldn’t have changed it. He doubted he’d ever find himself tired of looking at Matilda and the beautiful little girl they’d made between them.

Tugging his phone out of his pocket, he snapped a couple of pictures before he set it down on the table, enabling him to take Lola back when Matilda held her out to him, her nose wrinkled slightly. “I think it’s your turn” she quipped impishly.

Iker offered her a playful glare, something Matilda responded to with a cheeky grin as he moved to stand up. Stepping forwards, he stopped to kiss the top of her head. “I love you” he mumbled “Both of you” he added.

Matilda reached up, squeezing his hand which had settled on her shoulder as she smiled up at him softly. “We love you too” she mused.

Iker kissed her head again before he strode out of the room, cooing happily to Lola, a sound Matilda loved more than anything.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)