Until The Sunshine Fades

Thirty Two

Trying to stop the nervous bouncing of his knee, Gerard leant back into the sofa, his eyes drifting to the doorway in anticipation of Isabella’s arrival. She was trying to avoid it. Since she had told Gerard that she had been offered the job, she had busied herself with various things, trying her hardest to avoid the inevitable conversation about what her moving meant for their relationship, but Gerard hadn’t been deterred. He was prepared to sit there for as long as it took for Isabella to realise that it wasn’t something she could just ignore. It was something she did too much. Too often, when things were hard to talk about, Isabella just chose not to talk about them, but Gerard knew he couldn’t let her avoid it, even if it did lead to an argument. Her move affected him too, and he couldn’t just let it go.

Rubbing his forehead tiredly, he listened to the distant sound of Isabella’s voice talking into her phone before he shoved himself back to his feet, storming his way towards her bedroom. Stopping just outside the door, he took in a deep breath before he pushed the door open slightly harder than he had meant to, causing Isabella, who was perched at the foot of the bed, to jump.

Blinking up at him, she mumbled a quick excuse into the phone in her hand before she dropped it onto the mattress. “Gerard...”

“Are you finished hiding in here?” Gerard cut in.

“I wasn’t hiding” Isabella countered “I had to call my parents, let them know I was home” she added.

Gerard’s face twisted into a sharp smile despite his best efforts to stop it. “And you had to do that before we talked?” he asked “I mean, you dropped the news that you’re planning a move to Madrid on me, in the car, and then you didn’t say another word, but you’re more than happy to come in here and talk to your parents? I bet you told them the good news” he added sarcastically.

Isabella shifted in her seat, her stare fixed on the floor. “What is it that you want me to say, Gerard?” she asked.

“I want you to actually try and talk to me” Gerard replied “No more avoiding it, no more hoping that I’ll just get bored, and you can procrastinate for a little longer. It’s happening, and I want to talk about it” he added.

Isabella’s lips quirked into a small rueful smile. Sometimes, she forgot how well he knew her. Letting the smile drop, she shuffled across the bed slightly, making a space for Gerard at her side.

Gerard stared at it for beat before he reluctantly sunk into it. “I’m sorry” he said, exhaling a soft sigh after a few moments of awkward silence “I didn’t mean to...to be dramatic. I just...I know how you can be sometimes. You dropped the news on me in the car, and then there was just silence, and I couldn’t take the silence any more. I knew if I left you to your own devices, I’d have been sat on your sofa, twiddling my thumbs for an awfully long time” he added.

Isabella wanted to refute it, but the look that Gerard offered her told her it would be pointless. It was true, and they both knew it. “I am scared that this is the moment I’ve been dreading” she admitted “From the moment we almost kissed in my parents’ garden, I’ve been almost waiting for the moment that our relationship gets ruined, and I am terrified that this is it” she added.

Gerard’s hand folded around hers, wordlessly encouraging her to keep talking.

“You said we could figure things out” Isabella murmured “When I told you about the job, you promised that we would figure things out if it came to it, and I want to believe you, so much, but it just...it’s feels more overwhelming now. It was an if before, but it’s the real thing now, and I just...I can’t quite picture a way that things work out where you and I are still OK, and I hate that. I don’t say it enough, but I...”

“I love you” Gerard interrupted.

Isabella’s eyes snapped up to meet his, her expression caught between surprised and awed.

Gerard grinned sheepishly. “You can’t be surprised” he quipped “I mean, why else would I put up with being late to every reservation we make? Of course, I am in love with you” he added with a nonchalant shrug of his shoulders.

Isabella gently pushed the hair back off of his forehead, her lips turning up into an awed smile. He’d left her speechless.

Gerard caught her hand in his, gently turning it over so that he could press a soft kiss against the inside of her wrist. “I’m scared, too” he admitted “It’s one thing making promises to figure things out when the problem is a hypothetical one, but you’re right, it does feel more overwhelming now” he added.

Isabella shuffled across the bed, closing the small space that had been between the two of them.

Gerard’s thumb gently brushed over her wrist before he lifted it up, pressing another soft kiss against it. “How long do we have before you go?” he asked.

“David wants me to start on the first Monday of next month” Isabella replied softly “But I’ll have to go back before that. I am going to need to find a place to live” she added.

Gerard’s face flinched at the word ‘live’ before he exhaled a soft sigh. “Can I help?” he asked.

“Do you want to?” Isabella said, surprised.

“Do you want me to?” Gerard countered.

Isabella nodded wordlessly. She wanted him there. If they’d still been just friends, she wouldn’t have hesitated to ask him for his help, but she couldn’t help but feel bad for asking. Her leaving was hard, and she didn’t want to make it harder on him by asking for his help in making the move.

“Then, I will help” Gerard confirmed with a firm nod “But we need to talk again, Izzy. You know that, don’t you?” he asked.

Isabella nodded, but didn’t say anything. Instead she just cuddled into his side, encouraging him to wrap his arms around her, holding her close. He didn’t know what to do for the best, so he wanted to put the decision off, even if he knew it wouldn’t change anything. They needed more time to get their heads around what was happening before they could make a decision.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)