He needed to cut. He needed to slice up every last inch of his forearm. He would smash one of his disposable razors, not caring if he cut his fingers in the process. It would hurt yes, but it wouldn't be the euphoric pain that would set him into a world that made him feel calm. No, that was self inflicted pain. He would take the blade between finger and thumb and gently brush it against frail white arms with the occasional freckle placed between his wrist and his elbow. With each cut he would press deeper until he would shake and then Martin would clean up the crimson liquid that would leak from him. As though none if it ever happened.
Martin would have been able to do that... if he wasn't currently disorientated in a starch pressed hospital bed. Crisp white bandages covered his arms, and the captain could hear a deep breathing coming from his side. He didn't even need to glance to it's direction to know that it was one Douglas Richardson. He had spent so many nights sharing hotel rooms with him to know what sounds he made while asleep. Martin tried to shift from underneath his blanket prison without waking the first officer next to him.
“Martin?” Damn. “What are you doing?” The sleep filled voice filled the stuffy halogen filled air of the hospital room.
“I have to get out of here” He pulled on the IV cord that was placed in his arm, a large warm hand covered his which caught Martin's attention. He looked up to his first officer with tears in his eyes. “Please Douglas, I just want to leave.”
“I can't let you go Martin.”
“Why the hell not? It's not like I need to be here, there is nothing wrong with me!” There was an pregnant silence before Douglas spoke, hand still on Martin's.
“Martin... you tried to kill yourself. How could you possibly think that nothing is wrong if you felt the need to slice open your arms and go and die on me in a hotel in Cremona. That isn't something someone who was perfectly fine would do. Don't you understand Martin? You're worth so much more than that.” His voice breaks slightly. “You mean so much to me... I can't let you leave me.”
“Too many people have left already Martin. Too many. I don't need another person I'm particularly fond of leaving too. I don't mean that in a selfish way, I mean that in If-You-Leave-I'll-Be-Lost kind of way. MJN needs you, Arthur needs you, Carolyn needs you, fuck it Martin I need you.” Martin didn't have to question the sincerity of Douglas' speech, the tears threatening to fall from his brown eyes was enough proof for the captain.
“You never let me finish.” Douglas looked up at his captain, his brows were furrowed and wore a slight frown. Ginger locks brushed against his too pale forehead and pale grey eyes locked with deep brown ones. “I'm sorry, I can't promise that I won't leave. You have no idea what it is like for me. What it's like to wake up every day and hate the fact you're still breathing. You have no clue how it feels to be trapped inside a body that you hate, that when you look to your arms you think 'needs toning' or your thighs that are 'too big' or your stomach and think that you need to lose weight and then proceed to cry because all you'll ever be is fat. You don't know what it's like to feel as though everyone is talking about you behind your back and they are plotting against you. I don't feel safe any more Douglas. Why won't you let me escape that?”
“because I'm your friend. I'm not letting you come up with a permanent solution for a problem that's only temporary.” Douglas cupped Martin's face in his hands. Red blotches covered his cheeks from under his eyes up to his jaw bone. The first officer had never noticed them before, even though they stood out vividly against Martin's snow white skin. The first officer ran his thumb across the blotches, hating himself for not noticing before hand.
“Why?” Douglas looked into Martin's eyes and frowned slightly. He couldn't bear the look of fear plastered over his face. “Why would you even want to touch me after the pain I caused you.”
“Like I said I'm your friend Martin. If I am allowed to, I would like to tell you, you are beautiful. You are strong, and one day you'll find the perfect person for you and they will be extremely lucky. You can't give up. You have so much to live for.”
“You're just saying that to make me feel better.”
“I was telling you the truth.”
“I don't believe you.”
“I know. I just wanted you to know that though.”
Martin bit his lip nervously.
“You're welcome, and when we get back to Fitton, you have to promise me that when ever you feel like this again you'll ring me, or come round or at least let me be there with you.”
“I'll try Douglas.” He ruffled the captain's hair.
“No, thank you.” They smiled at each other and for a moment Martin thought he could see the light in all of this. Maybe he would recover, and Douglas would be there every step of the way.