Until You Met Me


All Molly could do was blink, hoping that it would drown out the static that buzzed in her ears as she looked up at Gerard. She had thought of a lot of names. After Ava had revealed that she had met the man she was being set up with before, Molly had spent a lot of time thinking about who it was that she could have been talking about, but Gerard’s name hadn’t crossed her mind once. She had thought of Ava’s friends, of Jack’s friends, even of a few of her own friends that she could have envisaged harbouring a secret crush on her, but Gerard’s name hadn’t crossed her mind, and the idea that he was standing in front of her wouldn’t process. She couldn’t fathom the idea that Ava had set her up on a date with a man she was pretty confident she knew better than she knew herself.

“You are Molly, aren’t you?”

Molly nodded her head slowly before she reached her hand out, slipping it into the one of Gerard’s that he was holding out to her before she tugged, guiding him towards the empty seat opposite her. “Please just sit down” she said “People will start staring” she added.

Gerard’s smile widened a little as he slipped into the chair. “If that is how you greet all of your dates, I think I might have an idea about why they’re not working out” he teased.

“Don’t do that” Molly grumbled.

“Do what?” Gerard countered, still grinning at her.

“Try and be cute and funny” Molly answered “Don’t act like this is a perfectly normal situation for us. What the hell are you doing here?” she added.

“Well, I was kind of hoping to have dinner” Gerard retorted impishly.

Molly glared at him, something which finally caused the impish smile to slide off of his face as he let out a quiet sigh, his fingers scratching at his jaw sheepishly. He didn’t know what to say to her. If he admitted the truth, then he knew that he would have to watch her face fall, and listen to her doubt herself again, but if he kept up the charade, he knew that he’d have to try and explain how he had ended up there, something which was likely to be as painful as seeing the hurt on her face. He didn’t know if he could explain it to himself, let alone to Molly.

“Gerard?” Molly’s voice caused Gerard to blink, his stare moving back to her face.

“Ava called me” Gerard blurted out “She...she told me that you’d given her another shot at fixing you up with someone and she suggested that it be me. She thinks we’ve got chemistry” he added, offering a slightly awkward smile.

Molly’s forehead creased as she frowned. “You said yes?” she asked.

Gerard lifted a shoulder in a shrug. “I know that you’re tired of bad dates” he said “And I know that Ava kind of pushed this one on you, so when she asked if I was interested, I thought that at least if it was me, it’d probably be fun. I know I am probably not what you were expecting, and that you’re probably disappointed, and I know I should have told you sooner. I’m sorry” he added gently.

Molly was quiet for a moment before she shook her head, smiling down at her lap. “Ava thinks we’ve got chemistry?” she asked, glancing up at him through her eyelashes.

The knot that had been twisting uncomfortably in Gerard’s stomach unfurled, filling him with relief as he let out a chuckle and nodded his head. “Apparently” he quipped “Either she really believes that, or you really have been set up with everyone she knows, so I am her last resort. Either way, how could I resist the prospect of spending time with you, eh?” he teased.

Molly rolled her eyes, but didn’t say anything, allowing the table to fall silent for a few moments until Gerard cleared his throat, drawing Molly’s stare up to his face. “It doesn’t have to be a date” he said carefully “I know that that is what Ava told you it was, but now you know that it is with me, it can just be dinner. I...I don’t want to make things weird between us” he added.

Molly’s lips quirked upwards. “You didn’t think I would find it weird when you did show up?” she quipped.

Gerard let out a bashful laugh, his cheeks warming. “Would it surprise you if I told you that I hadn’t really thought this far ahead?” he asked.

Molly smiled at him. “If this is a date, do I have to give you my spare key back?” she prodded impishly.

“If I say yes to you, would you give it back?” Gerard played along.

“Say yes and find out” Molly teased.

Gerard’s answering smile was slightly bemused. “Do you want this to be a date?” he asked.

Molly’s expression softened, reverting back to the nervous expression that had filled her face when she asked Gerard what he was doing there. She was confused. The sight of Gerard standing next to her table had knocked her for six, and the thought that Ava had set the two of them up was one that she still hadn’t quite processed, but part of her wanted to follow it through. She didn’t know what Ava had seen. Ava knew who Gerard was to Molly, and she knew the dynamic of their friendship well, but the sight of Gerard in front of her made Molly think that she had seen something she had missed, and made her wonder if she had missed some kind of signal from Gerard that his feelings for her had changed.

“Honestly?” Molly asked.

“Honestly” Gerard confirmed.

“I don’t know” Molly said.

Gerard let out a soft laugh, shaking his head amusedly.

“Can we just see how it goes?” Molly asked.

“We’ve had dinner together before” Gerard countered “We know how it goes” he added.

Molly huffed out a laugh. “You’re not wrong” she agreed “But can we pretend that we don’t?” she asked.

Gerard’s eyes searched her face for a long moment before he slowly nodded his head, his smile softening a little. “OK” he agreed.

Molly smiled and offered her hand to him. “I’m Molly” she quipped “Gerard, was it?” she added.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)