All This Time

15: I Couldn’t Watch You With Him

Resting her shoulder against the door frame, Amelia quirked a soft smile, watching Lionel who was stretched out on her couch, still sound asleep. It had been late. By the time they had finished the tea that Amelia had made for them, and she had calmed down, it had been nearly midnight, and whilst Lionel had been more than prepared to leave, Amelia had insisted that he stay, determined to start trying to make amends for making things awkward between the two of them. She knew that she had made a mistake. She had said something when she wasn’t really thinking that had started a conversation that she was nowhere near ready for, and she knew that the only way to fix it was to backtrack, even if it did mean leaving a lot of things between her and Lionel unsaid. She wasn’t ready for things between her and Lionel to get complicated, not when she was still trying to untangle the mess that Fernando had left her in.

Lifting her stare to the clock on the wall, she let out a reluctant sigh before she padded towards the couch. Crouching beside it, she gently placed a hand on Lionel’s shoulder and nudged it. “Leo” she murmured softly.

Lionel let out a quiet grumble before he blinked his eyes open, his forehead creasing in momentary confusion before his stare settled on Amelia.

Amelia smiled at him gently. “Good morning” she said.

“Is it really morning already?” Lionel asked, his question half muffled by a yawn as he rolled onto his back, stretching.

“Afraid so” Amelia quipped as she moved to perch on the edge of the coffee table “And, as much as I hate to do it you, I need you to get going soon. I’ve got to start getting ready for work” she added.

Lionel blinked a couple of times, his expression still soft and sleepy.

Amelia watched him, a soft grin still flitting around her lips, before she ducked her head, fiddling with the bottom of her pyjama shirt. “I’m sorry for last night” she murmured “I am pretty sure that you must be sick of me bursting into tears whenever you drop by. You wouldn’t be the only one” she added, letting out a self deprecating laugh.

Lionel gently pried the material of her t-shirt out of her grasp before he weaved his fingers through hers, squeezing her hand gently. “You don’t need to apologise” he said.

“Are you sure?” Amelia’s voice was shaky despite the attempted playful grin on her face.

Lionel didn’t hesitate to nod, offering her hand another soft squeeze. She tried to hide how much she was still hurting. Since she had told him what Fernando had done, she had tried to downplay the lasting effects of what had happened more often than not, and Lionel wanted to assure her that it wasn’t something that she needed to hide from him. He wanted to know where they stood. He wanted to know if Amelia had been telling the truth when she had admitted that she had contemplated leaving Fernando for him, but it was something he could wait for. Things were complicated enough for Amelia without him pressing her for answers.

“You’re allowed to still be upset, Amelia” Lionel answered “The thing with Fernando, it’s complicated and difficult. I’d be surprised if you weren’t” he added.

Amelia watched his thumb as it passed backwards and forwards over the back of her hand. “You’re not upset about the other night?” she asked quietly.

Lionel drew in a breath, taking a moment to think on the question, before he gently shrugged his shoulders. “I’d like to talk about it some time” he mused “But I think you were right last night. This isn’t the time. You were in love with him. Regardless of what he’s done, and what you know about him now, there was a time that you saw your entire future with him and that’s not something you’re going to get over in the blink of an eye. I want to talk about what you said, Amelia. I want to know if you meant it, but it’s not the right time. I understand that” he explained.

Amelia gently turned his hand over in hers, her fingertips tracing the lines on his palm. “I’m sorry I yelled at you” she said gently.

“I deserved it” Lionel quipped with a tired smile “I am actually a little surprised we’ve made it this long without you doing it” he added.

Amelia laughed, shaking her head. “It’s crossed my mind” she quipped “But mostly, I’ve just been happy to have you back around, no matter how awkward it’s been at times. I don’t know if I have said it, but I missed you when you weren’t around” she added, glancing up at him through her eyelashes.

Lionel’s expression softened as his cheeks flushed a light shade of pink, something which made Amelia smile softly before she stood up, pressing a gentle kiss to his forehead. “I meant what I said last night” she said softly “I need you, as much as I need Molly or Thea or my mother. You’re that important to me” she added, gently smoothing the hair back off of his forehead.

Lionel closed his eyes when Amelia placed another kiss on his head, his arms wrapping around her waist to keep her close. “I missed you, too” he mumbled “I’m sorry I disappeared like I did. I just...I couldn’t watch you with him any more” he admitted.

Amelia, who’d rested her cheek on the top of his head, let out a hollow laugh. “You don’t have to worry about that any more” she muttered.

Lionel tightened the hug slightly until Amelia let out a sigh and melted into it, allowing the tension to ooze out of her body. They stayed like that for a few moments, both content in the hug, until Amelia drew away, tilting her head regretfully towards the front door. “I have to get to work” she mumbled.

Lionel stuffed his feet into the pair of shoes he’d left in front of the sofa before he stood up. “Who’s supposed to be here with you this weekend?” he quipped.

“Thea, I think” Amelia replied “Why?” she asked.

Lionel offered her a shrug and a small, boyish smile. “Maybe we could give her the weekend off” he quipped “We could do something, anything. You decide” he added.

Amelia stared at him for a moment before a slow smile took over her face, something which caused Lionel’s smile to widen. “Alright” she quipped “You’re on” she added.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)