All This Time

19: I Think You’re Worth Worrying About

Gently tucking Amelia's hair behind her ear, Lionel exhaled a quiet sigh, resting his forehead against the top of Amelia's head as she let out a quiet snuffle in her sleep, cuddling closer to his side. He hadn’t been surprised by how easily she had fallen asleep. Despite her best efforts to downplay what had happened between her and Fernando, he knew that it had taken a lot out of her, and it was why he had gone along with her decision to change the plans that they had made. Amelia had wanted something quiet, something relaxed and uncomplicated, and Lionel had been more than happy to provide it, knowing that she needed some time to wrap her head around what had changed between her and Fernando.

It was still changing. Even months after Amelia had left him, things between her and Fernando were still unfolding and developing, and Lionel knew that each move that took Amelia further away from Fernando hurt, even if she tried to pretend that it didn’t. Lionel had watched her fall in love with Fernando, and he knew that the knowledge that she wasn’t in love with him any more, when only a few months previous she had thought that she was going to be in love with him for the rest of her life, was overwhelming.

Nuzzling his nose into her hair, Lionel pressed a soft kiss against her head, exhaling another soft sigh. He hated that she was hurting, that a brief conversation with Fernando was enough to throw her off balance again, and he wished that there was more that he could do for her. He wished he knew how to make it easy.

“Leo?”

Lionel lifted his head, watching as Amelia turned to look up at him, her eyes soft and sleepy. “Still here” he murmured “It was kind of hard to move when you were using me as a pillow” he added.

Amelia huffed out a sleepy laugh, sheepishly pushing her messy hair back off of her face. “Why didn’t you push me off?” she asked.

“I wasn’t uncomfortable” Lionel mused with a little nonchalant shrug “Besides, you seemed pretty comfortable yourself, and you clearly needed the sleep. I didn’t mind staying” he added.

Amelia stared at him for a moment before she ducked her head, letting a soft smile spread across her features. “Thank you” she murmured.

Lionel just offered her a soft smile, something Amelia mirrored before she leant up, pressing a gentle kiss against the underside of his jaw. Lingering for a second, Amelia sighed softly against his skin before she pulled away and stood up, smoothing out the sweater she had changed into when they had arrived back at her apartment.

Lionel frowned, slightly bemused by her haste to get away from him, before he slowly followed her up to his feet. “Do you want me out of your hair?” he asked “Because I can go. I really don’t mind” he added.

Amelia fiddled with the hem of her jumper before she shook her head, glancing up at him cautiously. “It’s not that” she said “I just...I worry sometimes. I worry about you, about hurting you” she explained.

“You’re not hurting me, Amelia” Lionel said “We’ve talked about this” he added.

“I know” Amelia agreed “I still worry, though” she added.

Lionel grinned at her. “You’ve always worried too much” he quipped.

Amelia couldn’t stop herself from rolling her eyes at him, a grin playing at the corner of her lips. “Not true” she quipped “And even if it was, I think you’re worth worrying about” she added.

Lionel’s grin softened into something shier before he plopped back down onto the couch, holding a hand out towards Amelia who rolled her eyes again before she took it, allowing him to pull her into the seat next to him whilst he reached for the television remote. After a couple of minutes, they were settled in front of the screen, watching the credits of the show Amelia had fallen asleep in the middle of.

“You paused it” Amelia cooed softly.

“It’s your show, not mine” Lionel replied.

“It’s still cute” Amelia quipped, looking up at him “You’re still cute” she added.

Lionel laughed shyly, the tops of his cheeks flushing a soft shade of pink. “You’re easily impressed” he quipped.

Amelia just smiled up at him, her eyes searching his face. The smile that she wore faded slightly, growing slightly confused, before she lifted her head slightly, edging closer to Lionel. Tilting her head, she moved to lean in a little closer, her nose gently grazing his, before Lionel exhaled a soft sigh and moved back. “Amelia” he murmured gently.

Amelia didn’t move to look up at him. She couldn’t bear to look up and see the expression on his face. “Leo, I...” she trailed off when her phone chirped in her pocket. Sliding it out of her pocket, she glanced at the screen before she shook her head. “It’s Molly. I’ve got to take it” she said before she quickly pushed herself up to her feet, desperate to put some space between her and Lionel.

Lionel couldn’t have stopped her even if he wanted to. Before he had the chance to object, Amelia had her phone pressed to her ear.

“Now?” Amelia announced, frowning at whatever she was being told “No, of course I can. I am just surprised. I’ll be fifteen minutes” she added before she hung up the phone.

“Amelia...”

“I’ve got to get to Molly’s” Amelia interrupted “Her waters have broken, and they need someone to sit with Una” she added.

“I could drive you” Lionel quipped.

Amelia shook her head, urgently pushing her feet into a pair of shoes. “I’ll be fine” she quipped.

“Amelia...”

“It wasn’t anything” Amelia interrupted again “Don’t look so worried about it” she added with a grin that was nowhere near convincing.

Lionel wanted to argue, to insist that they had to talk, but he wasn’t afforded the chance. Amelia swept her car keys into her hand and pulled on a coat before she strode out of the front door, not once glancing back at him. She couldn’t. She knew what she would see if she did. She’d see Lionel’s confusion, and his sympathy, and she knew it would only make her feel worse. She didn’t know what she had been thinking.