A smile plays at the edge of his lips. He looks at her all tired eyed; all wisdom and experience and lack of sleep, and decides not to say anything.
He is absentmindedly playing with a strand of her hair. Twirling it around his long fingers, letting it go again.
She hates it when he does this. Hates it when he shuts himself out completely. She knows he’s not there. He may be able to fool others with his well-timed nods and smiles, his perfunctory words of greeting, his seemingly nonchalant demeanor, but she knows. She knows that even when listening to her talk he is off somewhere else, in his own little world, getting repeatedly assaulted by unpleasant thoughts that will not leave him alone. She hates how vast amounts of prodding would only produce a meager ‘Me? Oh I’ll be fine by tomorrow, just need to get my head screwed on straight… look at you, worrying about silly old ME, of all people!’. And then he’d proceed to attack her with wiggling fingers, tickling relentlessly until she breathlessly begged for mercy.
She doesn’t like it when he does that.
Laugh it off like it’s nothing, when she knows it’s eating him up from the inside, that he’s going absolutely stark raving mad thinking about it. Not that she would be of much practical help, not really… but she’d be there. And maybe, just maybe, he’d realize that sometimes that was all that was needed, that was all that helped.