Characters: Uruguay/Argentina/Brazil, mentions of BrArg
Summary: All the world’s a stage
When they were children, he understood better than any of them (best, probably) what his role meant as the “middle child”. It was honestly just a more polite way of saying he was the glorified caretaker because Daniel was still so small and even though Martín was technically in charge, he buckled under pressure and panicked until he cried and it was always (always always always) Sebastián’s job to wipe away their tears.
It didn’t occur to him that the sentiment wouldn’t work the same in reverse.
He had climbed a tree to reach for the season’s final fruit, merely because Daniel had asked for it and it was impossible to tell Daniel no sometimes, especially when he asked for something trifling like a fruit. Sebastián squinted at the blurred outline of the fruit overhead, blinking rapidly to try and make his vision clearer. His sight had been doing odd things lately, objects beneath his hands became blurred as if they were miles away, and sometimes his focus would shift and tilt and make him dizzy—
Sort of like now.
He misjudged the thickness of the branch beneath his toes and didn’t even have time to scream as it snapped underneath him, sending him plummeting to the ground.
Sebastián hit the dirt to the sound of Daniel screeching in dismay. His own lungs burned from having the air knocked out of them, black spots exploded in his vision as everything tilted from side to side like it was melting, and his back hurt and he couldn’t breathe and Daniel was still screaming and crying. He tried to struggle to his feet, only making it to an awkward kneel as he held out his arms to Daniel, still hiccupping and desperately trying to pull air into his lungs. Tears streamed from his own eyes as Daniel’s small body enfolded itself into his arms, loudly bawling as tiny hands clung to his shirt.
Martín eventually wandered over from where he had been inspecting a large anthill, staring at the both of them impassively until he levelled a harsh glare at Sebastián.
“Stop crying,” he snapped. “Look at how upset you’ve made Daniel.”
Sebastián only nodded, too in pain and breathless to protest. Martín tsked at him and tugged Daniel away, hoisting him into his arms and cooing soothingly to stop his tears as he walked away. Sebastián kneeled alone in the dirt, stricken by the unfairness of it all because didn’t he always comfort Martín when he cried and didn’t he always refrain from scolding him for it—
He rubbed the back of his hand furiously against his eyes to wipe away the tears, making a dust-streaked mess of his face and resolving that Martín wouldn’t see him cry ever again over anything.
The black spots remained.
When they were much older and not just children playing at being adults, Sebastián gained another role to add to his list.
He had grown accustomed to, after a time, being between Luciano and Martín in all the ways that one could be.
Geographically, politically, physically.
Wherever they walked, it was the three of them in a casual row with him in the middle between them, forming a neutral barrier between the verbal barbs they would occasionally throw at each other and as a buffer between the arguments that could turn violent because they both liked him too much to hit him, even to get to the other.
And he liked this place, this middle ground between Luciano’s sunny warmth and Martín’s proud energy. He liked watching Luciano get mildly upset when he would lean on Martín in jest, liked watching Martín argue back with Luciano about the privileges of cousinhood, and he liked when they would both wrap an arm around him.
It sometimes made him think of Spain and the parables and stories he would read them from the Bible and it made Sebastián think he was both the child and King Solomon here.
He liked this role and he didn’t want it to change, ever.
It came as a shock then, to eventually notice that Luciano and Martín had drifted closer together until there wasn’t room for him anywhere between them or between their interlaced fingers. He was too proud to bring it up (and too much in love with both of them, in different ways, to interrupt their happiness).
So he took up his new role as their satellite, drifting just outside their gravitational pull, always orbiting.
He cried where no one could see him, and the black spots remained.