The Space Between Us

85: Maybe It Was Supposed To

For a moment, all they could do was stare at one another.

There were so many things that they both wanted to say, so many questions they both wanted to ask, and so many answers and explanations that they both wanted to give, but for a moment, they couldn’t say a word. It had been days since they seen one another, days since Lionel had smiled at Amelia as he pulled his car to a stop in front of the airport, and she had leant across the centre console of his car for a goodbye kiss, and, for a second, the happiness of being reunited drowned out all of their anxieties.

Amelia let her bag slip off of her shoulder, blinking away a few tears from her eyes.

Lionel’s feet itched to move closer to her, but he didn’t. Instead, he reached up to scratch at his jaw. “I didn’t expect you” he admitted.

“I can go” Amelia replied, trying, and failing, to keep the shake out of her voice.

Lionel shook his head, grimacing slightly. “I didn’t mean it like that” he said “I just...Things are weird between us, and I thought you’d jump at the chance to stay in Barcelona for longer. I thought your mother would insist on it” he added, his lips quirking upwards into a rueful smile.

“Who says she didn’t try?” Amelia quipped, a faint smile on her own face.

Lionel’s smile lasted for a second longer before it dissolved. “Why didn’t you stay?” he asked.

“Why would I stay?” Amelia asked.

“Because it’s where you go” Lionel countered “When things go wrong, you go home” he added.

The confused expression on Amelia’s face cleared when he said that. “I am home” she said.


“Why is it so hard to believe that I just want to be here?” Amelia’s interruption wasn’t harsh, or frustrated. It was just a question.

Lionel opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, trying to push out an answer, but words failed him. He had no reason to not believe her. Out of the two of them, Amelia was the one who’d tried to adapt to their new situation. She hadn’t complained about how unfair it was, or talked incessantly about how much she missed their home. She had taken everything in her stride, and had tried to make the most out of where they were, but still his concerns hadn’t faded. He knew how happy she had been before, when she had been surrounded by all of the people that she loved, and he hated that, because of him, that had changed.

Amelia’s eyes searched his face before she took a small step towards him. “Leo?” she coaxed softly.

“I am just scared” Lionel admitted.

“Of what?” Amelia asked quietly.

“Doing something to make you unhappy” Lionel answered.


“You deserve to be happy, Amelia” Lionel said, cutting off her soft objection “For years, Fernando has being doing things to make you unhappy. He did what he did with Gianna, and then he hid Penelope from you, and then, since the divorce, he had seemingly gone out of his way to make things harder on you. I don’t want to be like that. I want you to be happy, and I am scared that this….this isn’t making you happy” he added, gesturing vaguely around the room.

Amelia watched his gesture, her eyes shining with tears, before she lifted a hand, wiping them away. “Is this just because of the kiss?” she asked “Because, I swear to you, it didn’t mean anything. I just wanted you to know that it had happened, because I knew that if I didn’t tell you, then Fernando would have made a point of doing it. I wasn’t trying to push you away. I don’t want you to go away” she added.

Lionel shook his head. “It’s not just that” he said.

“Then what is it?” Amelia pressed “Do you not want me here? I just...I thought you did. You never really said that you did, but I just...we’d talked about things getting serious, and I...I thought that you wanted that” she added.

“I do” Lionel said “Of course I do” he added.

“Then why can’t you just believe me?” Amelia protested softly “Why is me telling you that I am happy here, with you, not enough?” she asked.

Lionel didn’t answer, something which caused Amelia to move closer to him, tilting his head so that his eyes met hers. “I love you” she said softly “And that’s why I am here, because this, you and me, it’s the most important thing to me. If this is where you need to be, then it’s where I am going to be, too, because I can’t imagine not being with you any more. I am not telling you this isn’t hard, that there aren’t days when I wish I was in Barcelona, because there are, and they’re only going to get more frequent as Nora starts planning a wedding, or my new niece or nephew is born, but I am not going to change my mind about this. This, us, it’s big, and I want that. I want to spend my life with you. I want to have a family with you. I just want you” she explained.

Lionel’s eyes stayed fixed on hers, shining slightly. “That almost sounded like a proposal” he whispered.

Amelia’s face lit up with a tearful smile. “Maybe it was supposed to” she countered.

Lionel shook his head. “Amelia” he protested gently.

Amelia’s fingertips brushed against his jaw, guiding his stare back to hers. “Will you marry me?” she whispered.

Lionel huffed out a laugh that was somewhere between awed and incredulous. “Amelia” he said.

“I’m being serious” Amelia continued “I want to be with you. Marry me” she pressed.

The amusement on Lionel’s face disappeared. “You were pretty clear about not wanting that” he pointed out.

“Not with someone else” Amelia said “But with you? I trust you” she added.

Lionel opened his mouth to argue, but the look on Amelia’s face stopped him. It was genuine, and certain, like the one that had appeared on her face when she had told him that she was prepared to move with him. Swallowing slightly, he felt a faint smile tug at the corner of his mouth before he slowly nodded. Amelia watched the movement in amazement, her entire face lighting up, before she wrapped her arms around him, allowing them both to sink into the hug that they had needed since she had stepped through the door.