Until You Met Me

Twenty Eight

Settling back against the headboard of his bed, Gerard quirked a sleepy smile to himself, listening to the soft sound of Molly’s singing which emanated away from the bathroom. He was surprised that she was awake. He knew that she had struggled to get to sleep, he had felt her tossing and turning as he had tried to drift off himself, and it meant that when he had started to stir, he had fully expected to find her still curled up beside him, trying to sleep through whatever had been on her mind the night before. There was something. No matter how much Molly had tried to deny it, or to play her strange mood off as nothing more than her being slightly tipsy after a night out with her friends, Gerard knew that there was something, and he knew that he’d eventually get it out of her. Molly had never been particularly good at keeping things from him.

“Good morning”

Gerard, who’d been staring into space, blinked a couple of times before he looked up, greeting Molly with a warm smile. “Hi” he quipped.

“Did I wake you?” Molly prodded as she sat down at the foot of the bed, looking through her overnight bag.

Gerard wordlessly shook his head before he shuffled down the bed, gently pressing a soft kiss to the crown of her head. “I needed to wake up soon anyway” he murmured “I am surprised to see you up, though. I figured I would be leaving you here, still sound asleep, when I headed out” he added.

Molly glanced at him over her shoulder, flashing him a slightly embarrassed smile. “Was I that bad last night?” she asked.

Gerard leant forwards, kissing the corner of her mouth softly, before he shook his head. “You were a little off” he replied “And you might have kicked me a couple of times when you were tossing and turning, but I have seen you in a worse state before. Do I need to remind you of your twenty first birthday again?” he prodded impishly.

Molly let out a playful groan as she pulled away from him, pulling a set of underwear out of her bag. “Are you ever going to let me live that down?” she asked.

“When you stop reacting like that, yeah” Gerard called as she padded back into the bathroom.

“You annoy me” Molly called back, giggling as she closed the door behind herself.

Gerard shuffled back towards the headboard, grinning through a yawn. “You love me really” he teased, only for the smile on his face to sober a little when he registered what he had said.

It wasn’t like it was the first time he had said it. Throughout the years, he had said those words to Molly more times than he could remember, and she had said them back to him just as frequently, but suddenly, they felt like they should mean more. It wasn’t something they could joke about any more, or throw out without a thought. It was the truth, and when Gerard next said it, he wanted Molly to believe that he meant it. He knew that he felt it. As much as he had tried to convince himself otherwise, he knew that he had probably been in love with her for a lot longer than he was prepared to admit, but he didn’t want to just throw it out like they had done previously. When he did say it, he wanted Molly to know that it was different.

Staring at the closed bathroom door for a moment, he thought about correcting himself, but opted against it, knowing that making a big deal out of something that had previously not been a big deal between them would only raise questions. Letting out a quiet sigh, he ran his hand over his face before he heard the bathroom door open again, something which caused him to look up, watching as Molly ambled out into the bedroom.

Watching her, he quirked a soft smile to himself, before he shuffled back down the bed, pressing a soft kiss against her jaw. “Can I say something?” he murmured gently.

“Can I normally stop you?” Molly teased, flashing him an impish grin over her shoulder.

Gerard rolled his eyes playfully, but quickly let a slightly more serious expression fill his face, something which caused Molly’s smile to grow slightly confused. “Is everything OK?” she posed.

Gerard hesitated for a second before he nodded his head, letting out a slightly embarrassed laugh. “There’s something I want to tell you” he said “Molly, I...”

“You can’t unsay it” Molly interrupted softly.

Gerard blinked a couple of times, surprised by the interruption, before he tilted his head, a soft frown on his face. “You don’t know what I am going to say” he countered.

“I do” Molly replied, determinedly not meeting his eyes “Because I know that I want to say the same thing to you, but I am scared to, because once I do, there’s no unsaying it. This becomes all or nothing” she added, finally looking back up him.

Gerard’s eyes surveyed her face for a long moment, so long that Molly tried to get up, fearing that she had hurt him, but a gentle hand on hers stopped her. Instead, she stayed where she was, watching Gerard’s face and waiting for him to say something. It took a few more painfully long moments, but eventually, he nodded his head slowly, a small lopsided smile pulling at his lips. “It is all or nothing” he said.


“It’s already all or nothing” Gerard cut in “Whether we say it or not, it is. If it doesn’t work out, we both know that there’s no going back to what we were before, it’s just a fact. We mean too much to each other to just go back to being friends, and honestly, I know I have wanted to be more than a friend to you for a really long time, so I am not even sure I know how to ‘just’ be your friend” he added, his voice caught between soft and playful.

Molly just blinked at him, not quite sure what to say.

Gerard leant up, touching his lips to her temple gently. “I get being scared” he muttered “I know that I am effortlessly cool most of the time, but I know that this is scary. I am scared, too” he added, smiling against her skin when Molly’s elbow gently nudged his ribs, wordlessly telling him to stop making jokes.

“How long is a really long time?” Molly asked.

“Do you want an exact date?” Gerard quipped impishly.

Molly pulled away from him slightly to glare up at him, something which caused Gerard to shake his head, a soft sigh falling out of his mouth. “Before Tiago, definitely” he said “I don’t really know if I can be more specific than that. Suffice it to say, it’s been a few years, but I spent a lot of that time denying it to myself, and to anyone that asked. I think it’s probably why Ava doesn’t like me very much” he added.

Molly shook her head, busying her hands in the material of the t-shirt she wore. “She said it to me last night” she murmured “She said that I had been oblivious. That it had taken Tiago pointing it out to me for me to realise that...that I love you” she added.

Gerard, who’d been watching her hands, lifted his head, his eyes wide. “Love me how?” he asked.

Molly thought he was kidding for a second, that he was trying to make her roll her eyes and laugh, but the curious, and nervous, expression on his face made it clear that he was serious. Lifting a hand, she gently pushed his hair off of his forehead before she met his eyes, a cautious smile brightening her features. “Love you, love you” she murmured “I’m in love with you” she added.

Gerard’s answering smile was immediate, but he didn’t say anything for a beat, letting her words hang in the air between them before he leant forwards, touching his lips to hers. “I love you, too” he murmured.