Until The Sunshine Fades

Thirty Five

“Is that the last box?”

Isabella, who was sat cross-legged in the middle of her bare bed, nodded wordlessly, not making any kind of attempt to glance up at Gerard who had stopped in the doorway. She knew what would happen. Since they had woken up, tangled together, she had barely been able to look at him without tearing up, and she knew she couldn’t keep doing it. It was clearly taking its toll on Gerard. He had tried to play it off. He had been ready with playful quips and bad jokes whenever the conversation felt like it was drifting into painful territory, but Isabella could see that he was struggling, even if he wouldn’t say it. She knew that he was just trying to make it easier on her.

Gerard nodded his head slowly. “Your papa is handling the truck driver” he mused “And your mother disappeared a little while ago, insisting that there was no way she could let you leave without a proper breakfast. I don’t know what she’s going to come back with, but you’re going to have to at least pretend to eat something or I think she will probably sneak it into your suitcase and cause a whole load of trouble” he added, letting out a soft laugh.

Isabella laughed gently, chancing a quick look up at him. “You’ve only met her a handful of times, and already you get her” she quipped.

Gerard shrugged, smiling bashfully. “Lena told me that I am probably going to be seeing her and your papa more often” he said.

Isabella’s cheeks flushed a soft shade of pink as she glanced back down at the mattress. “I just asked if they’d call you every now and then, maybe invite you to a dinner on the odd occasion. I thought you’d appreciate the support” she explained.

Gerard smiled, amused by how defensive she was, before he padded across the room, laying down on the mattress next to where she sat. “Should I be worried that you just hand my phone number and address out?” he teased.

“I don’t think you need to be worried about my mother” Isabella scoffed with a roll of her eyes, reclining to lay back next to him.

“I don’t know” Gerard teased “I mean, I am a little worried that she’s going to show up on my doorstep with more plastic pots of food that I have no idea what to do with and then she’s going to stop liking me because she’ll think I hate her cooking when I can’t possibly eat it all” he added, not even attempting to stifle his amused smile.

He knew what was coming. With the last box of Isabella’s things loaded onto the back of a moving truck, it was only a matter of time before Alejandro appeared, announcing that it was time for her to head to the airport, but it wasn’t a thought that Gerard was prepared to welcome until the very last moment. He knew how much it would hurt. The previous night had been a preview of what it would be like, and that had been hard enough, even with the knowledge that they had a few more hours. He knew that the real thing would break his heart.

Isabella turned onto her side, smirking up at him. “That’s a little dramatic” she quipped.

Gerard just offered her a small shrug of his shoulders.

Isabella stared up at him, her teasing smirk fading into a softer, warmer smile, before she lifted a hand, gently brushing his hair back off of his forehead. “Can I meet your parents?” she asked quietly.

“What?” Gerard spluttered, a confused smile on his face.

“I want to meet your parents” Isabella clarified “I mean, if you think that they’d want to meet me. I can’t give you a date right now for when I am next going to be back here, but...” she trailed off as Gerard leant over, pressing his lips to hers softly. Closing her eyes, she relished the soft touch until Gerard drew away, lightly brushing his nose against hers.

“I’d really like that” Gerard whispered.

“Is your mother the type to show me your embarrassing baby pictures the first time I meet her?” Isabella whispered back, stealing another soft kiss.

“Maybe not the first time” Gerard replied “She’ll show you them eventually, though, and you’ll get to see how adorable I was” he added.

Isabella turned away slightly, giggling.

Gerard marvelled at the soft sound until he heard a knock at the door, causing him to glance over his shoulder, relieved to see that Alejandro hadn't pushed the door open. “Yeah?” he called.

“Francesca’s back, and we need to get moving in the next fifteen minutes” Alejandro called back “Isabella, are you going to be ready?” he asked.

Isabella swallowed slightly, watching the laughter fade out of Gerard’s expression. “Yeah, papa. I’ll be ready” she said.

Alejandro made a small noise of acknowledgement before his footsteps moved away from the door, leaving a heavy silence in his wake. For a moment, Isabella and Gerard merely stared at one another, waiting and hoping that the other would be the first to try and say something, but eventually, it was Gerard that moved. Leaning forwards, he pressed kisses to Isabella’s forehead and nose before he met her lips, drawing out their kiss until Isabella drew away, her thumb tenderly tracing the line of his jaw. “I’m sorry” she whispered.

Gerard shook his head. “Don’t be sorry” he murmured “You had to take it” he insisted.

Isabella sniffled. “You’re amazing” she whispered “You’ve been so supportive, and I can’t thank you enough for that” she added.

“What are friends for?” Gerard asked.

Isabella shook her head, stealing another soft kiss. “I am going to miss you more than I can say” she whispered.

“I’ll miss you, too” Gerard said “But I am also proud of you. This is an incredible opportunity, and you deserve to have something like that, so go there and be great at it like I know you will be” he insisted, tenderly tucking her hair behind her ear.

Isabella’s smile was shaky, her eyes watery. “I love you” she whispered.

Gerard took a second to register the words before a slow smile spread across his features. Leaning forwards, he kissed her softly before he settled his forehead against hers. “I love you, too” he replied “Call me tonight. I want a tour of your new place” he added.

“It’ll just be a bunch of boxes” Isabella said.

“I know” Gerard quipped “But I want to see it” he added.

Isabella nodded her head before she heard her mother’s voice call her name, something which caused her to let out a quiet sigh. Nuzzling into Gerard, she kissed him a few more times before he slipped back to his feet, offering her a smile that made her chest ache. “I’ll see you soon, Izzy” he said.

Isabella watched him wrap his jacket around his shoulders. She sniffled when he moved towards her, and kissed her again, mumbling another quiet ‘i love you’, but it wasn’t until she heard him say goodbye to her parents that she let herself fall back onto the mattress, sobbing to herself. She wanted the job, and she knew that Gerard understood it, and that he support her, too, but it didn’t make the prospect of leaving hurt any less. She was risking everything they had and she was scared that they were going to lose it.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)