It's crazy how much one person could affect your whole being.
Ricardo watches quietly from across the room; watching his employer whom he happened to share the same residence with in the expansive Villa. The other man doesn't notice in the least, hands tangled up in his short black hair, deep chocolate eyes staring into designer coffee that he swirls around the cup idly for a few long minutes, looking so lost in his own home. The tell tale sigh makes the ring announcer feel every ounce of misery, hurt, confusion, uncertainty and anger that had been on his mind for the past two years; there was no way that Rodriguez was about to let this carry on into 2013. The door to one relationship closing was not meant to be kicked open repeatedly in acts of desperation.
Del Rio was truly the man that the announcer saw himself with; he was the embodiment of what "The One" meant to a person. Every time he looks at him, hears his voice, that radiant wink: he holds a breath he doesn't realize, his knees go weak and the butterflies are soaring in his stomach. As many times as he took the risk and chances to tell his boss how he felt, it fell unrequited; and they were simply stuck on best-friend terms; but he had never fully come out with his feelings, and Del Rio had never really said "No," but he had known, and was the greatest guy in the world to save him from the embarrassment and awkwardness of someone not loving you back.
Two years ago he had been laying awake every night fear of this happening; praying that Alberto would not fall in love with Evan. Alberto and Evan's relationship was pure bliss from the start, mismatched as Evan usually was - starting off with that Russian Kozlov guy that Ricardo had limited knowledge of, to ending up with the aristocrat; and a short, two year marriage was the ending that Rodriguez hadn't realized he didn't want to happen after all, as he just couldn't be there to pick up the pieces for Alberto who hadn't allowed it, though he had come so close multiple times.
The hardest part was just wanting his boss to be happy; and he couldn't feel the same way as Ricardo did for him. Maybe Alberto even knew this. Evan Bourne was everything that Ricardo Rodriguez was not: small, cute, seemingly so innocent, perky and bubbly; always seeing the bright-side of everything there could be in the world, and on top of that he had to be a fantastic high-flying wrestler. Alberto's smile was the greatest thing Ricardo had ever seen in his life; it was beautiful and perfect and literally sparkled - the second Evan was suspended from WWE that smile vanished and left Alberto embarrassed and distraught. It was the beginning to the end; from the doubt and the fights. The second suspension had ended it completely for the two; no matter how much Alberto attempted to convince himself to piece things together again, he was hanging on.
Everything had changed and the love had died, but he still tried. Ricardo wanted to be the one to show Alberto that what he called love with Evan was just a passing phase, to kiss him and change everything; to wipe away the tears from his pain. He was trying so hard to be someone the aristocrat wanted. There was no one who would ever love Alberto Del Rio like Ricardo Rodriguez.
"You like him?" He holds back a snide remark. One door closed and this unfortunate mouse-hole in the wall was revealed behind the stove, Ricardo wished he could set a gigantic trap to kill the rat. Three years late to realize; Alberto had a new love interest that wasn't too hard to figure out for Ricardo.
He spent the majority of the night rolling his eyes when he'd found Alberto out of the mourning shell of losing Bourne, flirting up the 6'4 FCW star during their appearance in Tampa. An aristocrat and a gigantic rat: it simply didn't make sense. Always one to get what he wanted, Del Rio made no faltering at making it clear to Conor O'Brian that he was interested. Rodriguez was so sure that all of that had passed during season four of NXT. Ricardo had done all he could to eliminate O'Brian from Del Rio's sights, from having a trail of cheese to get him inside an electrical closet to spray him with some rodenticide and defeat him in the ring. He was pretty certain he'd spray him again if he could finally get rid of him: but now he desperately needed Alberto find that happiness again, and unfortunately, this rat was the embarrassment to make it happen.
Del Rio looks up from his coffee, all of that confidence and self-obsessed narcissism was gone from the night before. He nods somberly; definitely a turn from what conspired nights before. Ricardo nods, finding the strength he had always summoned up to support his friend; and informs him that the chance was worth taking, the mistakes - all on Evan's part, shouldn't have left Alberto bitter, and that falling in love again shouldn't leave him so resentful towards the past and future. He desperately wants to ask Alberto to promise him that he won't just sit there and mourn his relationship with Evan any longer, but to get up and find what was standing right in front of him - or, unfortunately, gnawing on a wedge of Swiss cheese over in Tampa, Florida.
"He's coming back, you know." Alberto announces quietly, "Evan."
Ricardo fights the urge to roll his eyes, lunge forward and strangle the gorgeous man. He takes a deep breath as subtly as he could while he moves to take a seat beside him while he's informed that from the car accident - which had Alberto emotionally drained since the occurrence and repeatedly inviting him back to their - his - estate again and again; though nothing had truly reconnected the man back to his former marriage partner. Del Rio couldn't sleep when he was in love with Evan, and now he couldn't sleep when that love was faded and something in him realized he met who he should have taken on a date when he had been mentoring the rookie.
He's being truthful as he can, with out trying to step on Alberto's toes or be blatantly disrespectful and hurtful: Conor had obviously had reciprocated feelings - lucky vermin - like the pet store feeder mice that got to be taken home as beloved pets, and maybe he was condemning himself when he let Alberto know that O'Brien had always liked his Pro in that manner; he needed to give love a fighting chance. Evan was gone, and while they may have seen each other backstage - not that Ricardo, or many individuals for that matter thought the highfliers career would actually last much longer - they wouldn't get back together. He isn't sure how to correlate the ideas that Evan's drug abuse was an embarrassment to Del Rio and the class of people he called friends, and dating a pest that looked and acted like a rodent was pretty equal to Rodriguez.
Ricardo smiles back at the small smirk slowly forming on Del Rio's face; he can feel his entire self lighting up inside; a spark of happiness sent him himself wild inside. Conor did like Alberto.. But Alberto wouldn't understand even if Ricardo had told him how much he cared for him. He was losing him all over again and it was time to put a smile on as usual; he could deal with doing this to himself a little longer, it was better than losing the man completely. The ring announcer thinks simply that maybe one day it would get easier to lose someone he never truly had; it would hurt less one day, hopefully one day soon, that watching him be with another person and every time he would see him with someone he wouldn't feel like his heart was being set on fire and beaten with a kendo stick. It would hurt so much less, one day. He is grateful that Alberto has never made him feel like a second option to everyone.
In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take.