Until The Sunshine Fades

Thirty Three

Lightly tracing the line of Gerard’s jaw with the tips of her fingers, Isabella let out a muted sigh, trying, and failing, for the thousandth time to loosen the knot in the pit of her stomach. It wasn’t going anywhere. Every time she looked at him, she saw the pain in his expression, and whilst he was able to fool everyone else around them, Isabella saw through him easily, They still had to talk about what they were going to do. Despite a couple of weeks having past, and her having found an apartment in Madrid, they had both taken to procrastinating, but Isabella knew that they couldn’t keep it up, even if the prospect of talking about what was going to happen filled her with dread. They couldn’t just hope that things would fall into place.

Gently moving her hand upwards, she pushed the hair back off of Gerard’s forehead before she moved closer to him, brushing her lips against his forehead.

“You can’t just leave me to sleep?” Gerard’s voice was sleepy, but even without looking, Isabella could hear the smirk in it.

Smirking against his forehead, Isabella shook her head. “You’re in my home” she quipped “You play by my rules here, and I am an early riser” she added.

Gerard scoffed, tilting his head back so that he looked up at her. “You are not” he countered playfully “You forget, I’ve had to bribe you with breakfast a few times, just to keep you from slamming your front door in my face” he added.

“I’m not that bad” Isabella complained.

“You are” Gerard playfully argued.

Isabella huffed, but the slight pout she wore faded when Gerard leant over, pressing a couple of quick kisses to her lips. Quirking a soft smile, she let the kisses draw on for a few moments before she pulled away, lightly brushing her nose against his. Gerard’s fingers weaved into the hair at the back of her head, keeping her close, before he closed his eyes. “Why are you awake?” he asked.

“Because it’s the morning?” Isabella chirped impishly.

Gerard’s eyes flicked open again, fixing her with a look. “You don’t like mornings” he said.

Isabella gently nuzzled his nose, but before she could kiss him, Gerard turned his head slightly. He knew that she was trying to distract him, and he knew he couldn’t keep letting her do it. He didn’t want to talk either. He didn’t know what to say, and he knew that Isabella was struggling to figure it out, too, but he knew that they couldn’t just keep pretending that everything was fine. They were only a handful of days away from Isabella leaving and they couldn’t let it happen without knowing where they both stood. It wouldn’t have been fair to either of them.

Isabella was quiet for a moment, her eyes fixed on Gerard, before she sighed. “Unai and Alex are coming over” she announced “They’ve both taken a day off to help me get a start on packing this place up. I didn’t give them a time to show up, but I did say to come over early, so I thought I should probably get up. Given that Unai grimaces every time he sees us about to kiss, I can’t imagine he’d been too thrilled to find us in bed together” she added, letting out a laugh that was slightly too loud.

Gerard’s lips quirked upwards ever so slightly, but it faded quickly, something which made Isabella snuggle closer to him, pressing her lips against his cheek. They stayed like that for a moment, both of them lost in their thoughts, before Gerard turned his head, his eyes surveying Isabella’s face. “I’ve got training this morning” he announced “But I can come back. As long as you don’t mind things being thrown into random boxes haphazardly, I’ll be really useful” he added.

“You already know that I am going to hate that” Isabella countered.

Gerard grinned. “You can supervise” he quipped.

Isabella smiled back at him before she ducked her head, pressing quick kiss against his lips. “I need to get this done” she murmured “My flight is on Saturday, and I want to have everything….”

“You don’t need to remind me” Gerard interrupted.

Isabella blinked a couple of times, watching as he pushed himself up against the headboard, before she shook her head. “What are we going to do?” she asked after a few beats of quiet.

Gerard, who’d been staring into space, lifted his shoulders in a shrug. “I don’t know” he admitted “I mean, do you think I could convince your new boss to relocate to Barcelona?” he prodded.

Isabella smiled half-heartedly at the joke. “I think he’s pretty set on Madrid” she replied.

Gerard let out a hollow laugh, his hand rubbing at his jaw. “Then it’s two choices” he quipped “Long distance, or we break up” he added.

Isabella flinched, something which caused Gerard to lower his hand, settling it on the duvet as a wordless invitation for her to take a hold of it. Isabella didn’t hesitate, laying her hand in his before he weaved their fingers together, squeezing softly. “I don’t know what is best” he admitted quietly “We’re still figuring us out, and I don’t know what to do for the best” he added.

Isabella nodded her head, wordlessly agreeing with him.

“Are you going to be late to our video dates, too?” Gerard asked.

Isabella rolled her eyes, unable to stop herself from laughing.

Gerard marvelled at her, relishing the sound of her laugh, before he lifted their hands, allowing him to press a soft kiss against the back of hers. “Can we try that?” he asked.

“Do you want to?” Isabella countered.

Gerard nodded, but the expression on his face was unsure. “I do” he confirmed “I mean, I know it’s not going to be easy, but I think I prefer that to just ending things now. There’s no harm in seeing how it goes, and making a proper decision when we’ve got a little more of an idea of what it’s really going to be like” he added.

Isabella’s lips quirked into a small, slightly sad, smile. “And you say I am a procrastinator” she teased.

Gerard scoffed, but it didn’t do anything to mask the sadness in his own smile.

Isabella gently touched his jaw, turning his face towards her, before she pressed her lips against his. She was nervous. The idea of a long distance relationship overwhelmed her, but she knew that it was the best they could do. She was leaving, Gerard couldn’t go with her, and neither of them was quite ready to let go of something they’d only just discovered.