Douglas pulled tightly on the ribbon he had placed around Martin's wrist. An identical ribbon was on his left wrist, he looked up into the captain's eyes. The look in them made the first officer want to cry. Grey eyes glistened with unshed tears and for once in his life, Douglas Richardson wondered if he had done the wrong thing.
Douglas had thought that by tying an orange ribbon around Martin's wrist that the captain would realise that he really was there for him.
The first officer had done some research online and had found out that the first of March was 'Self Injury Awareness' day. He had gone out the weekend before hand and bought two lengths of the softest orange ribbon he could, and brought them to the airfield the morning of March the first. The tears that rolled down Martin's face were proof that Douglas had done wrong.
“Thank you.” Or at least he had thought so. Martin looked up into Douglas' eyes and smiled, and the embraced his first officer in a hug, one that caused him to lose ability to breathe slightly as thin, scarred arms wrapped around his oesophagus. “Thank you. I-I-I didn't think you'd notice.”
“Notice? Martin you can't honestly believe that-”
“Well, no-one else ever took any notice of me, and I wasn't expecting you to know what today even was, or even participate in wearing a ribbon.”
“How many times do I have to tell you? I'm you're friend, I'll always be here for you.”
“You don't have to thank me, it's what friends do.” Martin nodded. Douglas' shoulder was damp from the tears of the young, broken man in his arms, they released themselves from their embrace and Martin gave a small chuckle. “Martin?”
“Want to join me for coffee?”
It was late. Douglas walked through the front door to his house, spotting a bag in the corridor. Taking tentative steps towards the mysterious bag that resided there.
“It's mine.” He looked up to see Helena there, standing in her pyjamas. His eyes widened in shock. “I'm leaving tomorrow. We'll have the conversation as to why in the morning.”
“You'll come back though... right?”
“No.” Douglas' breath caught in his throat. “We'll talk in the morning, goodnight.”
“Night.” He watched her walk into their room. Douglas couldn't bring himself to follow her so instead walked into the living room and laid face down on the sofa. Tears rolled down his cheeks, he didn't even know that his relationship had gotten this bad. He didn't even known why. With a sigh he turned onto his side, closed his eyes, and waited for the morning to come.