All This Time

30: I Should Be Going Anyway

Tucking an arm behind his head, Lionel turned onto his back, staring up at the ceiling of Amelia's living room as he listened to the silence that filled it. He hadn’t intended to stay. When Amelia had insisted on putting on one more episode of the show she was watching, Lionel had fully intended to sit through it and then leave, but at some point after the opening credits, he had fallen asleep, and Amelia had made no attempt to wake him. He vaguely remembered her moving him into a more comfortable position, draping a blanket over him and placing a soft kiss on his forehead, but she hadn’t said a word, and it meant that Lionel had spent the night on her sofa, something which had a faint smile on his face. He liked seeing Amelia first thing in the morning.

Yawning quietly to himself, Lionel kept his stare on the ceiling for a moment before the sound of Amelia's bedroom door inching open caught his attention. Lowering his eyes, he watched the door open before Amelia appeared in the space she had created, a small, bashful smile brightening her features. “You’re still here” she said quietly.

“You didn’t wake me” Lionel replied, unable to stop himself from smiling at her.

Amelia ducked her head, trying, and failing, to hide how pink her cheeks had become. “I didn’t want to disturb you” she mused “You looked comfortable, and kind of cute, and honestly, I don’t mind having you here, so I just left you. Is that alright?” she asked, her voice caught between shy and playful.

Lionel took a second to just look at her before he nodded his head, bashfully diverting his stare towards the floor. “It’s fine” he confirmed “I just hope I am not in the way” he added.

Amelia, who’d padded across the living room towards the kitchen, shook her head as she reached up for a glass. “I’d have told you if you were” she replied “I think my mother and Henri are planning on taking me out to lunch so that they can ask for my help with their anniversary party, but they shouldn’t be here for a while, which means it’s just you and me” she added, flashing him a playful wink over her shoulder.

Lionel let out a warm laugh as he sat up. Stretching his arms above his head, he watched Amelia pad around the kitchen before she caught him staring, something which caused her to grin at him before he ducked his head, the tops of his cheeks flushing a faint shade of pink. He felt good about them. They were still shy, and still cautious, about letting things get too serious, too quickly, but it didn’t change the fact that he felt like things were going really well between them. “I’m not really awake yet” he mumbled.

Amelia lips quirked amusedly as she placed a glass down on the table ahead of him, but she didn’t say anything. Instead, she tugged the blanket out of his hands and wrapped it around her shoulders. “You’ve got a match tonight, haven’t you?” she asked, sipping on her own drink.

Lionel nodded. “Why?” he asked.

“Just wondering how long you can stay” Amelia replied “And if I need to go out and get some stuff for breakfast. You’ve probably got to eat something specific, and I am pretty sure the only thing I’ve got right now is half a box of cereal and some milk. I forgot to go shopping before you showed up last night” she added with an embarrassed smile.

Lionel tried, but couldn’t stop himself from letting out a small laugh, something which made Amelia huff teasingly. Shaking his head, Lionel gently pried one corner of the blanket out of Amelia’s hand before he tugged it around his shoulder, allowing him to cuddle into her side. After pressing a gentle kiss to her temple, he rested his forehead against it. “I’ll go” he muttered “I’ve got a prematch routine to go through, and you probably ought to buy some food, but I want a few minutes. Is that OK?” he asked.

Amelia let her teasing smile grow into something softer and warmer as she nodded her head. “I guess I can manage that” she said softly.

Lionel pressed another soft kiss to her temple before Amelia turned her head, her fingertips gently tracing the line of his jaw. For a moment, she marvelled at him before she closed the gap between their faces, pressing her lips to his carefully. Neither of them moved for a moment, both too afraid of pushing the other too far too soon, but when Lionel’s fingers weaved through Amelia's hair, she responded by cupping his cheeks in her palms, deepening the kiss. Carefully, Amelia shifted closer to him, one of her hands dropping from his face to grasp at the material of the t-shirt he wore, but she was quick to let go of it when she heard the sound of someone gasping from near the front door.

Without hesitating, she pulled away from Lionel and looked up at the door, a small squeal of surprise escaping her at the sight of her mother. “Mother!” she yelped, springing away from Lionel who was quick to jump to his feet.

Felicity, who was facing the door, shook her head. “I’m sorry” she insisted “I...I didn’t think you’d mind me letting myself in. I always do, and I wasn’t expecting you to have company. I am so sorry, Lionel” she spluttered.

Lionel cleared his throat, already stuffing his feet into his shoes. “I should be going anyway” he said “I’ll text you, Amelia” he added.

Amelia offered him an embarrassed smile, but didn’t say anything. No one did until after Lionel had pulled the front door closed after himself. Slowly, Felicity turned away from the door, her expression hard to place. “I’m sorry” she breathed “I thought you’d have remembered that we were coming to take you out to breakfast. I didn’t think I’d be intruding” she added.

Amelia shook her head, busying herself with smoothing out her hair so that she could avoid looking at her mother. “I thought we were going to lunch” she said.

Felicity nodded her head slowly, allowing a moment of quiet to pass between them, before a slight smile pulled up one corner of her mouth. “Lionel, eh?” she asked.

Amelia let out a groan that made Felicity laugh before she shook her head, nowhere near hiding the blush on her cheeks. “I need a few minutes to get dressed” she quipped “Can we hold off on the questions until I’ve at least had a cup of coffee or something?” she asked.

Felicity’s expression had sobered slightly by the time she nodded her head, something which made Amelia's stomach drop. She already knew what was coming, and it was something she had been dreading since she and Lionel had first kissed.