Like You Did Before

47: It Wouldn’t Be The Same Pain

Pulling Matilda’s bedroom door to, Iker stopped in the hall, hearing the distant sound of the doorbell below him. He knew that it would come eventually. After things between him and Matilda had calmed down, she had called Adrienne and told her that it was alright for her to bring Lola home, but with her having fallen asleep, Iker had to be the one to open the door, something which had a knot of dread in the pit of his stomach. It wasn’t like there was obvious animosity between him and Matilda’s parents. Whenever they’d been in the same place, they’d all been polite enough, but he knew that they didn’t trust their relationship and as long as that was the case, he was going to be wary around them. It bothered Matilda. She wanted everyone to be happy, but Iker knew that it wasn’t possible. Their relationship was a risk, and whilst to him and Matilda it was one that was worth taking, other people saw it as one that they could have avoided.

Closing his eyes, he let the doorbell ring out again before he slowly moved towards the stairs. Climbing down them slowly, he ran a hand back through his hair before he stepped towards the door, swinging it open.

Luis’s lips quirked a little in surprise.

Iker blinked. “You’re not Adrienne” he pointed out.

“Very astute” Luis quipped “You’re not my daughter” he added.

Iker breathed out a nervous laugh, shaking his head. “She’s asleep” he mused “I don’t know how much she told you about last night, but she needed it. She was out almost as soon as she had finished speaking to your wife” he added.

Luis quirked a small smile, tipping his head towards his car which was parked in the driveway. “Your daughter is asleep too” he mused “Even my terrible off key singing couldn’t keep her from drifting off in the car. I didn’t know whether you wanted to wake her or not” he added.

Iker glanced towards the car, debating the decision for a moment, before he ducked back inside, collecting Matilda’s keys from the bowl. “We should wake her” he mused, gesturing for Luis to walk ahead of him “If she sleeps now, she’ll never go down for her nap, and then she’ll be really grumpy before we try and get her to bed” he added, letting the front door close behind him.

Luis offered him a grin. “She inherited that from her mother” he teased “Have you ever noticed how stubborn Mattie gets when she’s tired?” he prodded.

“Your wife says I have you to thank for that” Iker played along, smiling amicably.

Luis chuckled as he swung the car door open, allowing Iker to crouch down, gently rousing Lola who let out a soft whine in protest. “I know you’re sleepy, sweetheart” he whispered softly “But it’s not time to go to sleep yet” he added as he unfastened her car seat, moving to hand her over to Luis.

Luis adjusted Lola in his arms before he let out a soft sigh. “Mattie told us what happened last night” he announced.

Iker, who’d moved to lift Lola’s bag off of the back-seat, stilled for a moment before he ducked out of the car, turning to glance up at the older man. “Arthur?” he asked.

Luis nodded, busying himself with straightening out Lola’s socks. “She didn’t want us to be surprised if we saw less of him” he noted “They’ve been friends forever, and it means he’s been around a lot. She didn’t want us to ask questions further down the line” he added.

“What do you want me to say, Luis?” Iker prodded as he leant back into the car, collecting the last of Lola’s belongings “That I am sorry for getting in the way of their love story?” he added, bitterness tingeing his words.

It would have come as no surprise to him whatsoever if Matilda’s parents had earmarked Arthur as their future son-in-law. On paper, Arthur and Matilda made a lot of sense, and they had known one another forever, but Iker didn’t want to hear it. He wasn’t doing it deliberately, he wasn’t trying to be in the way of Arthur, but he was because he loved Matilda and Matilda, instead of loving Arthur, loved Iker.

Luis shook his head. “I know that she doesn’t feel that way about him” he mused “If she did, she would have acted on it by now. I mean, she left her number on the back of a receipt when she had known you for a couple of hours. She’s known Arthur for over twenty years, and she’s never done anything like that with him” he added.

Iker blinked a couple of times, something which made Luis shake his head, his stare fixed on Lola who yawned gently in his arms. “We just want her to be happy, you know” he said slowly “That’s what Adrienne tried to get across to you before. She didn’t go about it the right way, but I am prepared to be more direct. In fits and starts, you made Mattie happier than I had ever seen her, but you also have a great capacity to break her heart” he added.


“I don’t need a speech about how it’s different this time” Luis interrupted “I am just stating facts. My daughter loves you, more than she loves anyone else, and that means you’ve got a greater capacity to break her heart just because if it doesn’t work out, the hurt will be worse. You’re not wrong to assume that we had hopes for her and Arthur, he was a safe choice. She could have been happy with him, but if it didn’t work out, it wouldn’t have wrecked her quite like it did when you and her didn’t work out” he explained.

“She wasn’t the only one who got hurt, Luis” Iker replied softly.

Luis smiled sadly. “I don’t doubt that” he mused.

Iker looked at the older man briefly before he stepped towards the front door, slipping the key into the lock. Nudging the door open, he allowed Luis to carry Lola inside before he followed, leaving the baby bag in the hall. “She wants everyone to be happy” he announced as he followed Luis into the kitchen.

Luis, who’d been lowering Lola into her high chair, looked up. “Huh?” he prodded.

“Mattie” Iker clarified “She wants everyone to be happy that we’re together, and if someone expresses doubt, she starts to doubt us. I can’t take away your doubts, Luis. I can’t promise there won’t be fights, but I can tell you that I love her entirely. I just need people to see that we’re more than our past. That if we had a little support, a little warmth, then we’d be so good” he insisted.

Luis took a moment to search his face before his eyes drifted over his shoulder, landing on Matilda who stood there quietly, her blue eyes begging him to give them the blessing that she needed. Keeping his eyes on hers, her took in a breath before he looked away, smiling gently down at his feet. “Make her and my granddaughter happy, Iker” he mused “Give me all of the things a father dreams of when he has a daughter, and I will be on your side” he added.

Iker’s eyes widened a fraction, but he nodded, eagerly walking into the handshake that Luis held out to him whilst Luis looked past him, smiling dotingly at his daughter who watched them for a moment before mouthed the words ‘thank you’.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)