All This Time

25: That’s What I Was Aiming For

“Remind me, why did I agree to come with you?”

Lionel, who was sat on the arm of the sofa in Amelia's living room, smiled to himself, listening to the sound of her padding around her bedroom as she got ready. He had been worried that things would be awkward. The last time that he had seen her had been after their kiss, and he had left before they had had a real chance to talk about it, but since he had set foot in her apartment, things had felt normal. He had been expecting that they wouldn’t, that when Amelia opened the door, she would be distant or anxious, but he was pleasantly surprised that she had greeted him with an easy smile and had invited him inside without hesitation. He was pleasantly surprised that the kiss, which had been entirely spur of the moment, hadn’t ruined a friendship that he had already ruined once before.

“Because you spent the whole weekend here by yourself” Lionel answered “And because I asked really nicely” he added impishly.

Amelia's laughter echoed from behind her closed bedroom door.

Lionel’s soft smile widened at the sound before he heard the bedroom door swing open, causing him to look up.

Amelia shifted her weight, nervously fidgeting with the bottom of her sweatshirt. “I didn’t really know what I was supposed to wear” she said “I mean, it’s been a long time since I last went to a match, and I didn’t know where we’d be sitting. Is this OK?” she asked.

Lionel’s lips quirked amusedly, but he bit back the quip that he wanted to make. He could see that Amelia was nervous and he didn’t want to make it worse. Instead, he nodded his head gently. “You look fine” he said “Great, actually” he added.

“Great?” Amelia's voice was playful, if a little shy.

Lionel’s cheeks flushed a pale shade of pink as he nonchalantly shrugged his shoulders. “Yeah, great” he confirmed “You’re very pretty...your jumper’s very pretty, I mean” he added, ducking his head embarrassedly.

Amelia's bit her lip, trying, and failing, to stop a teasing smile from spreading across her. “Do you want to try and say that again?” she asked impishly.

Lionel hesitated before he lifted his head, offering her a shy smile. “You look nice” he clarified “That’s what I was aiming for” he added.

Amelia took a step towards him, pressing a soft kiss against the side of his nose.

Lionel exhaled a soft sigh at the contact, his hands gently settling on her hips. “I’m sorry” he murmured as Amelia moved, gently pressing her forehead to his “I was so sure that we were going to be awkward after the other day, so I prepared myself for that. I worried that I had ruined things, and I am worried that I am going to say the wrong thing and make things uncomfortable” he explained.

Amelia gently traced the line of his jaw with the tips of her fingers before she quirked a small, shy, smile, creating a little space between their faces. “We’re OK” she murmured “I mean, I was a little surprised when did it, but not disappointed or upset. It was good, and we’re good. You said it yourself, there’s no hurry to get everything figured out. We can be a little shy, a little cautious for a while, but we’re OK, Leo. I promise you” she insisted gently.

Lionel’s eyes searched her face for a long moment before, slowly, his lips turned upwards, something which made Amelia's own smile widen. The kiss had been sudden, and in the few days that had followed it, Amelia had found herself thinking, and worrying, about what the consequences of it would be, but she had eventually reached the conclusion that it didn’t have to change anything dramatically, at least not straight away. They had already talked about it. Without ever confirming that there was still something between them, they had talked about how slowly something between them would have to move, and Amelia wanted to offer Lionel the reassurance that he had given her when they’d come close to kissing before. She wanted him to know that it was going to be cautious, but that it would be something. She wanted him to know that she wanted it to be something.

Pulling the car to a stop, Lionel quirked a tender smile, glancing over at Amelia who was curled up in the passenger seat, sleeping against the window. They had stayed behind for a while after the cup match had finished, talking with his teammates, and congratulating those who’d played on the win, and it meant that, by the time they’d climbed into the car, it’d been late and Amelia, who’d spent most of the day in meetings, had been exhausted. She had tried to fight it. Every time Lionel had asked if she wanted him to take her home, she had batted away his concern with a smile and a shake of her head, but he knew that it wouldn’t be long before she fell asleep, and it meant that he’d not been surprised when he had turned to ask her a question and found her resting against the window, snoring quietly to herself.

Slipping his keys out of the ignition, he watched her for a second before he leant over, gently shaking her shoulder. “Amelia” he said softly.

Amelia stirred a little before she picked her head, blinking sleepily. “Huh?” she spluttered.

“We’re at your apartment” Lionel replied “You should probably go inside. You look like you need the sleep” he added with a small laugh.

Amelia, who’d been trying to wake herself up, turned to glare at him. “I’m fine” she muttered.

“So it wasn’t your snoring I could hear above the radio?” Lionel quipped.

Amelia huffed, but it didn’t take long for a warm smile to break through. With pink cheeks, she rubbed her forehead before she leant over, collecting the bag she had left at her feet. When she had it in her grasp, she sat up, catching Lionel’s eye for a split second before she leant forwards, pressing her lips against his briefly before she pushed the car door open and climbed out. Padding past the front of the car, she stopped to offer him a shy smile and a little wave before she disappeared through her front door, leaving Lionel staring after her for a moment before he drove away, his own shy smile stuck to his face.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)