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In the beginning, there was a dark room...

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Juanma froze and stared at Álvaro. He just couldn’t understand why he would say this. He was supposed to be his mortal enemy, to hate him but somehow he could still say these words. Words that just sounded way too nice and comforting for someone who had been shooting him death-glares ever since he had started dating his sister.

„What do you want?“

Juanma sounded hoarse and his throat hurt from crying but at least he still kept his voice from shaking too much. He would haver never expected to end up with Álvaro in a situation like this.

„I think, I already said that. I want you to calm down and maybe talk to me about why you’re… in this state.“, Álvaro simply stated and Juanma closed his eyes for a few seconds, trying to control his breathing once again.

„I don’t want to talk and I don’t need to either. Especially not with you. Just leave me alone.“

It took him a lot of effort to spat those words out. The hatred that colored his voice didn’t sound convincing but at the moment it was the best he could do.

Through his hole in the pile he could see how Álvaro grimaced at his words but weirdly enough his face didn’t show any of the emotions Juanma would have expected. Instead of disgust, irritation or annoyance there was regret and pity which made actual anger rise up in him.

„You are usually so egoistic, I am surprised you can even act like you care.“, he spit out and turned his face away from the other one.

Álvaro, still standing on the other side of the chairs and still facing the wall, let out a grunt. He couldn’t believe that the second Juanma stopped crying, he would become his angry, distant and repelling self again.

„You know, you could be at least a bit grateful. As much as I can determine it from here, it doesn’t sound like you’re trying to dehydrate your body through your eyes anymore.“, Álvaro said, trying to put as much annoyance in his words as possible but failing to do so. It sounded a lot more like he was grateful for the fact that Juanma got his impossible attitude back than he would have liked it to.

Juanma himself didn’t notice any of that. He was too surprised at the fact that he wasn’t crying anymore and hadn’t even noticed it until now. His focus on snapping back at Álvaro had temporarily distracted him from the room but as soon as he realized this, everything just came back.

As his panic flared up and the flashback dared to return just once again, he let out a sob that probably sounded as pathetic as he looked right now. The image of the dark room before him became distorted through the tears that collected in his eyes but he could still see the outlines of a person moving towards him. Quickly blinking his tears away, Juanma felt terrified to recognize Álvaro’s worried face in front of him.

„Wha…“, he never got to finish the word when another sob worked the way through his body and he buried his face in his knees.

While Juanma tried to curl in on himself, Álvaro didn’t know what to do. When he heard that the other one had started crying again, he just couldn’t keep himself from not going over so he just knelt down in front of him and tried to put his hand Juanma’s shoulder as gently as possible.

However, as soon as he touched the other’s shoulder, Juanma’s head jerked up again.

„Go away!“, he shouted, his voice breaking.

There was nothing else he would want less right now but he couldn’t possibly confess that.

Álvaro looked just completely confused by now. He honestly thought that he got to know Juanma pretty well because of his relationship with Lupe but he had never seen him like this. This Juanma wasn’t confident, proud and always trying to get the spotlight. No, this Juanma was broken and hurt to the core, reduced to the shaking mess lying in front of him.

For a moment, even though he knew what he was going to do next, he was unsure about his next action. Then Álvaro just leaned forward and pulled Juanma into a close hug.

„Breathe, just breathe for me.“, he murmured and tightened the grip on him.

Juanma tried to break free at first but when he couldn’t escape the strong grasp of the other one’s arms, he just let himself fall against him and it was like something inside him broke.

For what felt like an eternity, he just sat there, lying in Álvaro’s arms, shivering, crying and clinging onto him like his life depended on it.

After some time, his breathing started to become less rapid and he slowly calmed down. When Álvaro finally let him go, he felt like something was missing and as much as he had hated the touch at first, he suddenly found himself longing for it instead.

„You know, you don’t need to but if you actually want to you can talk to me. Anytime.“

Álvaro’s voice sounded strange, too full of emotions like he had to hold himself back to not show too much of himself.

„I know. You already mentioned it earlier.“, Juanma says with a smirk on his face but the bite that usually accompanied his words was missing.

Álvaro couldn’t help himself and a small smile crept on his lips. He stood up and offered Juanma his hand.

„Come on, we still got a game to win and I feel like you aren’t completely innocent concerning our situation right now. Let’s try to get out of here.“