He could remember many things from his life prior the end of the World, like running around his neighborhood, laughing with his friends, getting in troubles with that one prick from school who thought it would be easy to pick on him, how his mother would defend him from anything and everything she could.
One of his favorites memories was the first time he came back home after getting into a fight, his mom was already waiting for him and he knew which only made him feel scared of what would happen once he got back home. She was mad, so fucking mad but in some weird sense she was proud of her son, he could hear her voice strong and commanding like always telling him not to get into more fights at school, he could feel her hands caressing his cheeks, the old feeling of her lips pressed against his forehead in a kiss that left him feeling warm and loved.
But what he could remember more clearly was the groggy feeling he got every time he took a nap on one of those hot summer days, a light headache due to dehydration, his cheeks feeling hot and his whole body felt numb. On days like that she was there for him, to take away that grumpy mod of his with her sweet words, he missed that.
There were days where his mother and sister would take a nap with him, their mother let them hug her and she would sing those old lullabies he loved so much, sometimes she would play with their hair until both of her children fell asleep. He missed her voice, his sister hand holding his, the sound of their breathing. But above all that he missed that feeling he got after waking up, the feeling of being cared for, loved, of being safe.
After he started smoking his voice had gotten raspy and all fucked up, it made him feel uncomfortable every time he tried to sing, his mother would say she liked his voice anyway and asked him to sing for her just like shevdid back when he was a kid. He refused every time such request was made, and now he felt guilty for it, he couldn’t sing for her anymore.
Those memories were the only reason he could take naps on the van, they were his brand new safety blanket, otherwise the fear of being in the “open” wouldn’t let him sleep. Because he knew (mostly due to Jack who kept reminding him about the dangers outside their home) he had a big sign over his head and he was conscious about just how many animated roam the city.
He only needed his memories when he was alone, the days someone came along with him were better.
If Hazel came, she would hug his arm and hide her face on him.
If Jack was there it was a rule that Ace would wake up because he had been pushed by the older teen, then Jack would ask him how in the hell he expelled so much body heat?
And then there was Joki, he loved those days the most because he could be an ass to him without getting in trouble with Hazel (the one true Alpha has she called herself). He would hide Joki’s mask or his hoodie, cling to him and after a while steal the covers just to made him mad, obviously, Ace would hide all the knifes and Joki’s bat first, just a little precaution.
Today was one of those days, they had gotten back into the van and were ready to take a nap before going out again.
Ace was restless and constantly turning and moving around, the bad memories came back to him suddenly, those times he acted like an idiot towards his sister, that day he said something that made his mother cry and that damn look of anger on both of their faces.
He could understand why that creeping feeling of guilt and despair could find a nice spot on his chest just to start to grow, what he couldn’t understand was, why his chest suddenly felt so heavy, why he was out of breath or why his breathing was so ragged, why he was so dizzy.
He couldn’t hear Joki talking to him or feel the other’s hands holding him by his shoulders, it was almost magical how everything seemed to move in slow motion and how he was now sitting and looking into Joki’s eyes and then at his lips, the movement of those lips made him notice the ringing in his ears and under that sound there was a voice calling him, telling him to take long breaths of air like the owner of the voice.
If felt like hours before Joki could made him breathe properly and calm him down pulling the latino out his anxiety attack. But once it was over both males keep looking into each other’s eyes, breathing heavily.
Joki was the first one to plop down on the mattress, his forearm over his eyes.
-What happened dude? - Ace asked once his throat felt like working again.
-You had an anxiety attack- he could hear something in the other’s voice as he responded -You scared me, you idiot-
Then just silence followed by Ace laying down on his side of their bed, he felt embarrassed and like a scared kid looking for someone to tell him everything was alright, but there wasn’t anyone to say such beautiful lies to him, he was alone and scared and just ready to cry, and just like his little attack he was forced to turn around and be face to face with Joki’s chest.
-Hazel told me, that sometimes you have nightmares so she hugs your arm- Ace didn’t need to see the taller boy to know he was blushing just now, he could feel the sudden wave of heat the other gave -So just THIS one time I’m hugging you, are we clear? –
-You are fucking adorable dude; you help me and then hug me- Joki could feel both Ace’s arms wrapping around him
-Just shut up, don’t make this weird-
-I WILL make it even more weird! –
And just like that Ace’s leg was thrown over Joki’s hips getting a sigh from the other.
There were a lot of things Ace could remember from his childhood and his early teenage years. But he was sure that once they found themselves in the Garden he would remember the good and bad days inside Aisho, and to be honest, this one was by far his favorite.