The silence in their locker room laid heavy, making ears ring with its intensity. The space was suddenly, unexpectedly larger, the lack of ring gear and loud music sickening.
Roman staggered in from the trainers room, still shirtless, skin red and abused from the punishment he'd taken from both Evolution the night before and their newest member tonight. His muscles screamed in pain with every movement, and he groaned quietly as he sank onto a nearby bench.
But some wounds, like his, were only skin deep. Others went deeper still, pushed through skin and bone and into the very fibre of a being. Cut through the carefully constructed walls and barriers, pulled down a person's trust to leave them in a horribly shattered mess. Roman looked over to the corner where Dean had crawled into not five minutes before he'd returned. He'd slumped down the brickwork, not caring that he'd scraped his elbows and drawn blood as he hit the floor and collapsed in on himself.
For all his bravado, Dean was an open book. All he'd ever wanted was for someone to love him, for someone to be there for him no matter what. He'd been kicked while he was down so many times, that he'd been stunned when Seth had loved him. But Seth was just like everybody else now; taken what they'd wanted from Dean and then kicked him to the curb. Roman got back up from his seat, and staggered to where Dean was now. He sat on the floor, put an arm around Dean's shoulders and tried to stop Dean's body from shaking.
Dean slumped against Roman's shoulder, a hand winding into his own hair and tugging.
“Gotcha.” Roman whispered.