The Space Between Us

71: Do You Think You’re The Only One?

Listening to the soft sound of Amelia’s even breathing beside him, Lionel turned his head so that he looked at her, a slightly wistful expression passing over his features. He was glad that she was asleep. When he had woken up during the night, something that had happened more than once, he had found her stirring next to him, and he was pleased that she had finally managed to drift off. She had spent hours just sitting with him. Amelia had listened to him talk, and she had tried her hardest to comfort him, but as hard as she had tried to pretend that it wasn’t taking its toll on her, too, Lionel had seen through her in an instant.

She was scared. It had been the first emotion that had filled her eyes when he had told her that he was leaving, and as hard as she had tried to cover it up, to focus on trying to make him feel better, it had never quite fully evaporated from her expression. She knew that everything was going to change. He was going to leave, and that would change things between them, and she was scared about it happening. He knew she was, mostly because he was scared of it, too.

It hadn’t been his first thought. When he had hung up the phone, a million thoughts had flooded his head simultaneously, but one of the ones that had stuck the most had been what would happen to him and Amelia. Her life was in Barcelona. Her entire family, Nora and Victor included, was there, as well as her job and her home, and he didn’t quite know how to ask her to give it up for him. He didn’t know that he could ask her.

Watching her for a few more seconds, he exhaled a soft sigh before he turned onto his back, staring up at the ceiling for so long that he flinched when Amelia’s arm wrapped around his waist, breaking him out of the thoughts that he had easily lost himself in again.

“You OK?” Amelia asked sleepily.

Lionel dipped his head to press a kiss against the top of hers before he nodded. “Just thinking” he answered “Did I wake you?” he asked.

Amelia shook her head. “I just woke up” she replied.

Lionel offered her a slightly dubious look, but he didn’t say anything, allowing the two of them to lapse into silence. It lasted for a while. Amelia’s thumb gently moved back and forth against Lionel’s side, and his matched the pattern against her shoulder, but neither of them said a word, not until Amelia’s phone, which was charging on the bedside table, vibrated. Reluctantly, she drew out of their embrace and checked the screen before she shook her head, swiping away the call.

“Nora?” Lionel asked.

Amelia nodded as she typed out a text. “She tried to get in touch last night” she mused “I’ll talk to her later” she added.

Lionel nodded his head slowly, allowing the room to fall quiet for a few more moments, before he sighed, rubbing at his jaw in frustration. “I don’t know what to say” he admitted “Last night, my biggest worry was that you and my parents wouldn’t get along, and now, only a matter of hours later, I have so many things I need to think about, and I just...I don’t know what to say to you” he added.

Amelia offered him a sad smile as she reached across the bed, gently squeezing his hand. “You don’t need to worry about me right now” she said.

Lionel shook his head. “Of course I do” he countered.


“We need to talk about it, Amelia” Lionel’s voice wasn’t sharp, but the look that he offered was firm, a clear warning to Amelia that he had little intention of letting the subject drop.

He understood her desire to run away from it. The chances were that, at the end of the conversation, their relationship was going to have changed fundamentally, but it wasn’t something that they could just put off. It wasn’t a decision that could be made for them, and avoiding it wasn’t going to make it easier.

Amelia held his stare for a long moment, searching his expression, before she looked away, focussing on her hands which had started to toy with the duvet. “Do you think that you’re the only one who doesn’t know what to say?” she asked “I am so scared of saying anything that could make this worse on you” she added.

“I just want to know what you’re thinking” Lionel said gently.

“I don’t know what I am thinking” Amelia replied “Do you?” she added, glancing up at him through her eyelashes.

Lionel’s lips quirked into a rueful smile as he shook his head.

Amelia mirrored his smile before she looked back down at her hands. She was quiet for a few seconds, fiddling with the duvet, before she tucked her hair behind her ear. “I...I think we need to take some time” she stumbled out “I mean, you’ve got a lot of stuff to figure out, and maybe once you’ve figured some of that out, it’ll be easier to...” she trailed off with a slightly helpless shake of her head. She doubted that anything could make the decision that the two of them faced any easier.

Lionel offered her another slightly pained smile. “Do you really believe that?” he asked.

Amelia answered with a shrug, not looking away from the duvet.

Lionel watched her for a moment, half tempted to ask one of the million questions that were on his mind, before he leant over, pressing his lips to her forehead and the side of her nose before he met her lips in a kiss that Amelia, after a beat of hesitation, melted into with a soft sigh. Gently brushing her hair back off of her face, he pressed his forehead to hers, letting out a soft sigh of his own. “OK” he murmured “We’ll take some thinking time. I have stuff to figure out, and it’ll probably take up most of the day, so, can we meet up tomorrow morning?” he asked.

Amelia hesitated for a second before she nodded her head, gently pressing her lips to his again. “I love you” she murmured after a moment of quiet.

Lionel leant up and pressed his lips to her forehead. “I love you, too” he replied. They stayed that way for a little while, until Amelia mumbled something about a shower, and Lionel’s father’s voice filtered through the closed bedroom door, and then they drew apart, neither one of them entirely certain that that wouldn’t be the last time that they sat together.