Until The Sunshine Fades

Eleven

Letting her eyes flutter closed, Isabella ducked her head, listening to the chime of her doorbell as it filled the house again. She didn’t want to open the door. Almost as soon as she had hit send on the text that she had sent to Gerard the previous night, she had wanted to take it back, but she knew that she couldn’t. The regret had come instantly. When she had been faced with the sent text, whatever bravery she had felt had wavered and disappeared almost instantly, but she hadn’t known what to do about it, especially when Gerard had replied, telling her that he’d bring breakfast around the next morning. Her text had been short. It hadn’t had any of the traits that usually characterized the texts that were sent between the two of them, but if Gerard had noticed, he hadn’t shown it. His reply had been so normal that it had Isabella wondering if she was the only one that had noticed things felt strained between them.

Hearing the doorbell ring again, she lifted her head to look at the door before she slowly walked towards it, pulling it open.

Gerard grinned at her. “You look grumpy” he quipped “I woke you, didn’t I?” he added.

Despite the ache in her stomach, Isabella rolled her eyes, scoffing playfully. “Most people would say good morning before they insulted me” she quipped.

Gerard stepped through the door, pressing a quick kiss against her cheek. “I am not most people” he chirped “And I bought you food” he added.

Isabella laughed before she could stop herself, something which made Gerard grin at her impishly before he disappeared into the kitchen. Isabella waited for a few moments before she followed after him, plopping down into a seat beside the island in the centre of her kitchen. Fiddling with her hair, she watched Gerard move around the room easily, collecting everything from its place before he walked towards her, placing a plate and a glass down in front of her. Quirking a faint smile, she took the fork he held out towards her. “Thank you” she murmured.

Gerard moved to collect his own plate before he turned back to her, frowning slightly as he watched her jab at her food.

Isabella felt his stare on her, but didn’t look up. “You didn’t have to do this” she said.

“You said you wanted to talk” Gerard replied “I mean, that’s all you said, but I figured it was important, so I wanted to come over as soon as possible. I figured, if I was going to come over first thing in the morning, I might as well bring breakfast” he added, not missing the way Isabella’s expression flinched when he mentioned her text.

Isabella nodded her head slowly.

Gerard ducked his head, a small smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth. “Are you going to give me a hint about what you want to talk about?” he asked.

“It’s nothing” Isabella replied.

“Liar” Gerard countered amusedly.

He knew that there was something bothering her. He had known it from the moment that he had read her text, and he wanted her to know that he knew it, even if he was wary of pushing too hard. He hoped that if he acted like he always did around her, if he made jokes and grinned at her, then she would let slip what had bothered her to the point that she had asked to talk to him.

Isabella stared at her plate, poking at her food with her fork.

“You said you wanted to talk” Gerard said, his voice growing more serious “That was all you said, actually, so I find it a little hard to believe that you’ve bought me all the way here for nothing. You know I am a busy man” he added, ducking his head to offer her an encouraging smile.

Isabella was quiet for a few moments, her eyes cautiously studying his face, before she let out a soft sigh. “I spoke to my parents last night” she admitted.

Gerard tilted his head. “OK?” he asked more than stated.

Isabella shook her head at his reply, losing what tiny amount of courage that she had worked up. “It doesn’t matter” she muttered.

“Izzy...”

“I thought I could do this” Isabella interrupted “One of us had to, but I...I can’t” she added, pushing herself away from the counter.

Gerard quickly followed her, his hand gently catching hers so that he could tug her to a stop. “Izzy” he murmured “I don’t know what is going on here. I might need a little context before I let you run off” he added.

Isabella stared at their hands for a long moment before she let out a shaky breath. “Things feel different to me” she admitted “They have done since...since my parents’ party and I...I thought I was ready to talk about it, but I am pretty sure now that it’s just me, so, do you think there’s any chance that we can just forget that I asked you over this morning?” she asked.

Gerard just stared at her, causing Isabella to let out an awkward laugh as she gently slipped her hand from his. “Sorry” she mumbled “I knew as soon as I sent that text last night that this would be a train-wreck” she added before she shuffled away.

Gerard let her get a couple of steps away from him before he moved, recapturing her hand in his.

“Gerard...”

“It’s not just you” Gerard interrupted.

“Yeah, it is” Isabella argued “You’ve been the same, I’m the one who’s being off. You were right, we both just got caught up in the moment, and I’ve made it into something more than it is. I just...I didn’t know how I felt in that moment” she explained.

Gerard nodded his head slowly. “You said something that night” he said after a moment “You said that I don’t have to always be teasing you, that you like me when I say sweet things” he added.

“You said that I’d caused the moment by making you be nice to me” Isabella countered “I was just making a point” she added.

Gerard’s lips quirked upwards slightly. “I know” he quipped “But it hit on something. I worry that if I said some of the things I think to you, then you wouldn’t feel the same way about me. So I make jokes, because at least if I can keep making you smile, then I am happy” he explained.

Isabella felt her chest tighten slightly. “What don’t you say?” she asked quietly.

Gerard took a look down at their hands, taking a moment to think over the question before he looked back up at her face. “I wanted to hit your brother for walking out when he did” he admitted “If he’d been just ten seconds later” he added, shaking his head with a rueful smile.

“What would have happened if he had been ten seconds later?” Isabella’s voice was soft and shaky.

Gerard held her stare. “I would have kissed you” he answered.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to Jayme112234 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)