It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Antoni wants to curl up into a ball and disappear forever.
Or, at least, for a couple of hours.
He huffs a sigh and looks across at Tan. He hopes that the other man will sense his upsetness from the other side of the table and take him away from the stuffy, uncomfy office and all the boring work that made his head hurt, and instead just let Antoni lie on his chest and cry and cry and cry like he wants to do. But Tan doesn't even look at him. Antoni pouts at him a little harder, but Tan still doesn't look.
This won't do. Antoni nudges Tan's foot with his own, but still, he doesn't look. Yes, he knows that Tan is working, and he should do the same: this is important stuff, after all, but all Antoni wants right now is attention. It's not fair.
Time passes, as time does, and Antoni resorts to laying his head on the table and sniffling to himself miserably. Nobody seems to notice him at all, least of all the person he wants to notice him most. He's on the verge of crying, or screaming, or both, just so Tan might pay him a little attention, when a hand falls onto his shoulder. He sits up with a jolt, feeling more than a little uneasy.
Karamo's kind face beams down at him. "Hey, you okay?"
Antoni doesn't answer. Tears spring to his eyes, and before he can get a word out, he's crying. He chokes on half-suppressed sobs, eyes streaming tears. His cheeks burn with shame at crying in front of all these people. All he wants is to go home and hide under the covers and never, ever, ever come out.
In the hustle and bustle of all this - all the faces and voices and questions - he seeks out Tan. He knows Tan will explain. Tan will talk for him. Tan knows what he needs.
Antoni reaches out for him. Tan takes one of his hands, pulling him through the crowd (of three) and leading him away to somewhere quiet. It's darker here. Antoni can at least hear himself think.
"Now then," Tan says, in a voice that's so gentle it almost makes Antoni smile. "What's the matter, hm?"
Tan reaches up to wipe a tear from Antoni's cheek, and immediately Antoni starts to cry again. He throws his arms around Tan's neck and sobs into his shoulder, spewing out words in a flurry of frantic Polish.
Tan hushes him gently, one hand rubbing soothing circles on his back. He knows Antoni only reverts into Polish if he's particularly worked up, so whatever's bothering him must be really gnawing on his mind. Instead of rushing him, Tan lets him cry until he's calmed down. He doesn't ridicule or belittle Antoni for it, he just lets him get it all out.
"All done?" Tan asks quietly, and Antoni nods against his shoulder. "Okay. Now, will you tell me what's wrong?"
Antoni looks at him, eyes red and cheeks blotchy, and shrugs his shoulders. Tan brushes his hair away from his forehead.
"Don't you know?"
Antoni shakes his head. Tan takes his hand and gives it a gentle squeeze.
"That's okay. Come on, little one. Let's get you home."