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

Chapter Text

When Martina told Álvaro that Olivia wanted to meet him in the storage closet he felt weirdly excited. Not because he actually felt something for Olivia, no that was just what Martín wanted for him.

„Go, find yourself a girlfriend already! You haven’t had one in years.“

He always went on about that topic for hours and Álvaro only started to talk to Olivia to please him. Actually, he didn’t plan on dating any time soon. All he wanted to do right now was to focus on basketball and a girlfriend would just be distracting him.

No, Álvaro felt excited because no girl from the year above had ever talked to a younger guy and if Olivia wanted to speak to him in private, this had to be something serious.

And maybe a small part of him also hoped that whatever she wanted to talk about had to do with Go!

So when he entered the room, called out for her and didn’t get a response, he was not only confused but also disappointed. Then it happened.
The door behind his back suddenly fell close and the lock clicked. He was shut in.

„Damn it!“, he cried out and turned to punch against the locked door.

„Hey, let me out. Let me out! I have a match, let me out of here!“

Álvaro was ready to hit the door again when all of the sudden he heard a noice behind his back.

At first, he was confused about it. It almost sounded like… no it couldn’t be?

It sounded like somebody was crying. The crying was not soft and quiet like it would have been if Olivia was the person that had cried, no it was harsh, loud and the silence between the sobs was filled with frantic breaths.

It was obviously not a girl that hid behind the pile of chairs that dangerously leaned onto the wall to his right.

„Is everything… alright?“

Álvaro felt unsure what to do next. He knew he was locked into the room with this person and would probably have to spend the next hours with them but he just didn’t know if he should come closer.

If it was him that was crying alone in this room, he probably wouldn’t want anybody to find and see him like this.

The other person stayed quiet and for a moment he thought that they might have stopped crying but then it started again.

Álvaro sighed at the heartbreaking noise and went a step forward. Even though he was scared about confronting the other one, he felt like they needed the comfort more than the anonymity.

„Do you want to talk?“

For a few seconds it was quiet again, the only sound in the room were the intense and hectic breaths of the other person.

„Go… go away…“, the other person rasped.

Álvaro froze. Everything inside him turned for a second then he sat down, his legs suddenly felt like jelly.

That voice, he could recognize that voice everywhere. He had hated hearing that voice shouting insults at him on the field and he had hated it even more when he had to hear it say compliments to his sister every day during the last holidays.

Over the last year, he had seen Juanma in many different situations. He had seen him angry, livid when he hadn’t become captain of the basket ball team and so arrogant and overconfident when the coach had asked him back on the team. Those were always situations in public but he had also seen an other side of him.

Early mornings when Juanma had spent the night before with Lupe and was so tired he had nearly fallen asleep in the bathroom or quiet evenings with their families where their mothers would force them to play card games with them.

But Álvaro had never seen Juanma cry.

Silently he leant back against the other side of the chairs and thought of what to do next. Perhaps just being honest to him could be a good idea.

„Hey, I don’t really know what to say but I right now I can only say that I won’t leave you here. You shouldn’t be alone like this, so please if I can help, tell me how. Also, there’s the fact that the door is shut and neither of us will leave this room any time soon, so at least we have plenty of time to talk this through.“

He didn’t know what he’d expected but it certainly wasn’t that Juanma would only panic more than he already did. Álvaro could hear his frantic and labored breathing that only seemed to become faster with every second that passed.

„Look, if you don’t want to talk about whatever is bothering you, that’s alright. Just please, let me help you calm down.“, he proposed again but still got no response from the other one.

„You know I don’t really like you because of this whole basketball drama and the dating my sister thing but what I like even less than letting you harass me is seeing… well, hearing you like this. Come on.“

Álvaro stayed quiet, still hoping that maybe this would calm Juanma down or that he would answer him but nothing happened, so he added:


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Juanma couldn’t believe his bad luck. He had already been in the dressing rooms, got changed and had wrote his name down in the list when he remembered that he’d forgot to bring his guitar and notebook full of song lyrics back to his room. Which meant they were still lying where he left them, in the storage room, right where he had planned to lock Álvaro in.

In a haze of panic, he had hurried to get to the room faster than Álvaro to secure his most beloved possessions but just a few seconds after he had darted to the sofa in the back of the room, he had already heard footsteps enter the room.

Well, damn it. Now he that leaving the room without Álvaro noticing had suddenly become impossible, he would have to cancel the plan.

He wanted to pull his phone out of his jacket but paused as soon as he remembered that it was in his locker in the dressing rooms.

Then everything just happened way too fast.

The door felt shut and everything was black. The darkness seemed to consume him, push him to the ground and the eerie silence roared in his ears.

It was just like that evening 3 years ago and Juanma remembered.

I had been his first year at Saint Mary’s and his third weekend back home. On the cab ride home, his mom texted him that she wouldn’t be able to make it in time because her flight was rescheduled and she was stuck in Spain at the moment. However his dad would cook dinner and wait for him when he arrived.

He didn’t notice anything strange when he got out of the car and everything seemed normal until he rang the doorbell and nobody answered. Maybe his dad was just busy with preparing the food, he had thought back then so he just took his key and opened the door himself.

He stepped inside and let his bag fall to the ground beside him. The door fell close with a loud bang and then everything was quiet. The lights were out, the hallways was dark and he could only faintly see the outlines of everything.


Nobody answered. Juanma slowly made his way forward to the end of the corridor and opened the door to the living area. The kitchen was dark too, his dad wasn’t there either.

He had turned around to push the light switch when he notice someone lying on the sofa. The faint light from the street lantern outside just illuminated his face enough so that Juanma could recognize his father.

He couldn’t remember anything after that moment, his mom later told him that she found him passed out on the ground next to his father the next morning.

Juanma hadn’t noticed that he started crying. The tears flowed freely over his face and his breathing was rapid and sounded harsh against his ears.


He panicked he even more and pressed himself closer against the wall. He couldn’t remember sitting down but now his legs were tightly drawn to his chest and he leant against a pile of chairs.

He could hear steps again and the other person spoke up again.

„Do you want to talk?“

Álvaro. Who else could it be, tormenting him here while he relived the worst moment of his life?

Juanma tried to make himself as small as possible and just hoped that Álvaro would leave him alone. For a few moments everything was quiet and he just listened to his hitched breathing and panicked sobs then he spoke up.

„Go… go away…“
His voice was shaking with each word and he buried his face into he knees to bring himself to calm down. It wasn’t working.

Everything seemed to be too much, the whole room, too dark, too quiet, too much like that evening. Juanma tried to concentrate on the few sounds that he could hear. Álvaro seemed to move again, towards him then he stopped and the pile of chairs moved a bit.

„Hey, I don’t really know what to say but I right now I can only say that I won’t leave you here. You shouldn’t be alone like this, so please if I can help, tell me how. Also, there’s the fact that the door is shut and neither of us will leave this room any time soon, so at least we have plenty of time to talk this through.“

He froze at the sound of Álvaro’s words. He knew the other one was not completely bad, he knew he cared for his sister and his friends but he never expected him to have such kind words for him.

Then he realized what Álvaro just said. They were locked in. We would have to stay in this room, he couldn’t leave and Álvaro would be there with him the whole time.

Juanma began to panic again and even though he tried, he really tried, he couldn’t calm himself down. His sobs became louder and his hugged his legs tighter against his shaking body.

„Look, if you don’t want to talk about whatever is bothering you, that’s alright. Just please, let me help you calm down.“

No, no didn’t want that. He didn’t want Álvaro to see him like this, didn’t want him to make fun of him or worse, to pity him.

„You know I don’t really like you because of this whole basketball drama and the dating my sister thing but what I like even less than letting you harass me is seeing… well, hearing you like this. Come on.“

Juanma slowly lifted his head, not quite understanding what he just heard and carefully pried through a small hole in the chair pile.

Álvaro stood at the other side of the chairs, his back towards him and looking at the wall next to him. He could clearly see the worry on his face and for a moment Juanma forgot that he and Álvaro were supposed to hate each other. Seeing the other one so… troubled, made him feel uneasy but relieved and kind of peaceful at the same time.

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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.“