|Kiss From a Rose
Author: Bubble Wrapped Kitty PM
Nathan brushed the little white petal against his lips, remembering the feel of it and wondering... wondering if she would feel the same way.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Nathan W. & Audrey P. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,468 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 28 - Follows: 2 - Published: 08-08-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7265341
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: Just a random little drabble that wouldn't leave me alone. There's a very high possibility that I will add a second chapter, but for now it's just a oneshot. Set at the very end of "Fear and Loathing." Obviously spoilers for that episode. Also I know someone else wrote a similar fic with the same title (which was spectacular so go read it if you haven't), but I really hope I managed to make it different enough to avoid copy-cat issues.
Kiss From a Rose
Nathan twisted the rose petal between his fingertips, staring at the little slip of white as it curled in his grip. That morning he would've been able to feel it, feel the way the little veins inside the petal created ridges on its surface, or the way the soft and cool contrasted against the warm coarseness of his hand. Now there was nothing.
Sighing, he lifted the petal and tentatively brushed it across his lower lip. The skin on your lips is the most sensitive of your whole body. He could still remember the way it had felt that morning when he'd done it. The tickle and thrill that had shot through his nerves at the contact. The petal had felt so unbearably soft against his skin, like silk. Now it was nothing but an empty movement. He could smell it, taste it when he flicked the tip of his tongue against the white, but the nerves were all dead again. He felt nothing.
He dropped his hand, letting the petal slip from his grip and float down to rest on the tablecloth. There was no point to it. He couldn't feel anything. Trying now was just teasing himself. Mocking.
He thought wistfully of the few brief hours that he'd had to feel normal. The sun on his skin, the breeze on his cheeks, the simple sensation of his own clothes rubbing his body. Denim rough and rigid against his legs, his thin cotton tee-shirt light and soft. He'd felt thousands of things that he had never dreamed of actually feeling again. The leather steering wheel of his Bronco, the dull pain of running into a door frame, the smooth curve of his gun's trigger beneath his finger. Duke had clapped him on the shoulder and he'd felt it. Human contact. All of it was so real and staggering.
And still there were so many things he hadn't experienced. He'd wanted to have the time to stop and take a shower. Feel the warm water rolling down his skin, not have to use a thermometer to check if it was a safe temperature before jumping in. Touch something hot and feel the burn and the sting. Hug someone. Stand barefoot in the grass and feel the little blades between his toes. Pet a cat. Or a dog, even, just something with fur.
There had been one minute, one long minute, where he'd been tempted to let Ian keep his Affliction. To let the man die and take the stupid curse with him. Then Nathan could live a normal life; go about his day like a normal man. No thermometers. No checking everyone else's clothes before going outside to make sure his blended in with the right weather. No mysterious injuries that he didn't notice until someone pointed them out to him. He'd be able to socialize with people without feeling awkward. Shake hands. Hug. He could even date, really. Hold a woman's hand. Kiss her. Have sex. He could be normal. Real.
Then he'd looked back at Jackie, a young woman trapped behind a pair of thick blackout goggles to protect her from herself. If he let Ian take his Affliction, this girl would never have a normal life. She would never be able to look at someone without protection. She would be forced to keep dark glasses covering her eyes whenever another person was near for her own safety. That boy next to her who loved her so much would never be able to look her in the eye and tell her so. Nathan's Affliction was hell, but hers was worse. He couldn't bring himself to be selfish and let this girl suffer when he could do something to fix it.
So now he was sitting alone at a table in the Gull, staring down at a curled white rose petal lying atop the pristine tablecloth. The colours and shapes they created were beautiful. Just centimetres away his hand was flat against the cloth, but feeling nothing. Back to normal. He was the man who was numb. Unable to feel anything in the world around him. Nothing except her.
He touched his own hand lightly, brushing his fingers over the place where she'd laid hers. The sensation was still vivid in his mind. Her skin was warm and soft, her dainty little fingers curved over the backs of his knuckles, one fingertip resting at his wrist. The contrast of her smooth palm against the roughness of his hand was magic, like night and day. Every time he felt it, the power of it washed over him all over again.
She'd done it on purpose, he could tell that much. He'd been rambling his way through an explanation of why he'd done what he did, and she'd reached across and touched his hand. The contact surprised him so much he'd fallen silent instantly. Then she'd given him the smallest of smiles before leaving.
Nathan smiled and ran his fingers across the back of his hand again. He appreciated the way she had taken the news so well, learning that she was the one person in the world he could feel. Of course maybe she wasn't all that surprised since she seemed to be immune to the Troubles as a whole. He accepted each brief contact that she offered him, from a handshake to a high-five to simply nudging fingers while passing him a coffee. He categorized them and filed each one away in his memory. Every single one of them since the moment she'd planted her lips on his cheek in a feather-light kiss.
That moment was his favourite and the most vivid. The way her silken lips had rubbed against the coarse stubble along his jaw. It was soft and warm and smooth. A barely there pressure, like a butterfly maybe. As he glanced down at the rose petal on the tablecloth he thought maybe that's what her lips had felt like; like brushing a rose petal across his cheek. He remembered the feeling of the rose petal on his lip and wondered if that's what it would feel like to kiss her.
Wait, why was he thinking about kissing Parker?
He'd told himself he wouldn't think about those kind of things. He wouldn't risk his friendship with Parker over this, no matter how great it was to feel again. She was his best friend, practically his only friend, and he couldn't give that up.
Still he couldn't help but imagine what it would feel like...