"What you gave me was a reason. Not an excuse. Because there's sex, making love and fucking. And then there's you." – The Fading Glow (I Wrote This for You)


Touch has a memory. He'd read this once from Keats, back when he was reading Keats, before he realized that it hurt too much to read Keats without her.

But last night, it just kept repeating in his head over and over and over again. Touch has a memory. When she'd fallen asleep, he was awake staring at the ceiling, his arms crossed behind his head, and he felt like he finally understood that quote for the first time. Because his fingers still knew their way around Rayna Jaymes the way they'd never known their way around anyone or anything before. They remembered every curve of her body, every straight line, every place she liked to be touched.

His fingers danced over her skin, and he marveled as he watched her arch her back, watched her eyes flutter closed, watched his name form on her lips. "Deacon." When she whispered it, he suddenly felt his eyes burn, and he kept his fingers on her, but leaned in to capture her mouth with his—he needed to be grounded, and in that moment, he felt like her lips against his would be the only thing that stood a chance.

Feeling her softness underneath him, he thought for a moment that Coleman might have been right all these years—he didn't know how he could feel Rayna's skin under his palm, feel her react to his touch, and not want more. So, if she was an addiction, she was the reason he gave up all others.

Deacon Claybourne hadn't lived like a monk in his years before Rayna Jaymes, and he certainly hadn't lived like one in his years after her. There had been women in and out of his life for years, sometimes they gave their names, sometimes they didn't. He'd had a lot of sex, particularly in the years right after Rayna had married Teddy. He'd had a lot of good sex, mediocre sex, and even some bad sex. He'd had sex that was just sex, and he'd had sex with feelings involved—sometimes, those feelings were even mutual, if a little more muted on his side, for obvious reasons.

He'd spent years half-heartedly trying to get the feel of Rayna Jaymes out of his mind, trying to pretend he didn't use their connection—physically and emotionally—as a measuring stick against which all others fell short. If he'd been to a therapist, he knew, he would have been told how unhealthy that was. How inappropriate. Time would have been dedicated to ridding him of this habit, and maybe it would have even worked. Maybe that's the real reason he never went to therapy; maybe he didn't want to let it go, maybe he didn't want to forget what it felt like to be with her in every sense of the word. Maybe he knew nothing else could ever come close. Maybe he'd spent the better half of his life waiting for the day he got to touch her again, hoping he would never come to regret that.

Touch has a memory. It was a revelation to him, and a relief.

So, now the morning was here, and she still was, too. After all the phone calls, after all the congratulations, after all the years.

He knew they had to talk, but maybe not right now.

"Hi." He said when they were finally alone.

She smiled at him, "Hi."

It felt for all the world like a beginning, and the best memory he'd almost forgotten, but not quite.


A/N: Okay, I'll probably give it a rest for awhile now, lest I wear out my welcome with one-shots. Originally, I'd started to write Rayna's feelings The Day After as well, but I couldn't get a handle on her voice in the context of this piece.