Summary: Of all five senses, you only ever needed a single one.
Disclaimer: Seriously, I own nothing except this story.
A/N: A look at the possible previous life between Desmond and the girl in the picture. One shot! I know it's a trite idea, but I really liked his character and wanted to do something with it. Besides, there are not enough fics about our "Lost" Scotsman (or at least, I think he's Scottish). Please, please, feel free to leave me any kind of reviews, whether they are complimentary or critical.
Of all five senses, you only ever needed a single one.
We can give you sight, hearing, smell, and taste any day and you would throw them out the window.
You only believed in the sense of touch. It's all you ever needed.
That's all you ever needed; that's all you ever wanted, but it's the only thing you can't obtain.
The photograph of you and your … who was she? You know with perfect clarity who she is; she was your entire world, at one point in your life. She was your glimmer of light when you stumbled through the dark, your shield to protect your eyes from the burning red glaze of the midday sun. You held her close, and in that moment you had everything you needed.
Nothing compared to touching her; embracing her. You finally came to this realization because it was the one thing you knew you would never re-encounter. You would never again feel her touch.
Your sight would enable you to her everyday – every single day of this damned existence. You can't help but stare at the photograph sitting idly on counter, with its back propped up firmly against the wall, and the spotlight from the half-dead bulb perfectly centered to focus on the expressions of you two. Sometimes, you think it's done purposely to spite you for there isn't one time you can think of when you've passed by the picture and the glistening soft light hasn't caught your attention, coercing you to lose yourself in the old memory. Every 108 minutes, when the strident beeping causes you to jump, you rise from the chilled floor and take a deep breath, momentarily forgetting her daisy-colored hair and her emerald-gemmed eyes.
You still hear her, too. You have read books where the girl is delineated as having the prettiest voice, one that lures you to sleep, that of an angel's. Your girl, whatever her name was, didn't. She had an average voice, one that would wake up the entire neighborhood when she was furious that you had forgotten something and one that would make you smile when she whispered sultry I love yous into your ear once you had chased after her and apologized. Sometimes you hear her in your head; just taunting you for overlooking something, or moaning joyfully… And then you wake up from the slumber you dozed off into, and know for sure you're mad when you see she isn't anywhere around you.
And if you bury your face into your pillow hard enough, you can tell yourself that you are really inhaling her scent. The one that was always a mixture of cheap perfume which you had once bought her and of mud. The mud she had playfully pushed you into after the photograph was taken; the mud that you had pulled her into because you were not going to let her walk away victorious. My God, you stink, Desie, you know that, doncha? she had mocked you once. I've been running. Practicing, you pause, putting your arms around her waist, for my solo race. She had laughed, then, You got no idea just how solo you're gonna be if you don't shower before you meet me. The smell of sweat is not lovely at all, I tell you. You smile, coyly, Not like you smell any better. With that statement, she had shoved you down. You were soaked in muck for no more than a second, and you had already grabbed her hand and dragged her with you. How 'bout sweat and mud, then? What have you got to say of this? you said. She kissed you, again and again, until you were surrounded by the scent of mud, sweat, and perfume and didn't even mind it.
And this all brings you to taste. The taste of her kisses. The taste of strawberry lip gloss that always was present on her lips. The strawberries that you could never escape, no matter how hard you'd try, even though you were allergic. But it's not like you'd even try to escape them; you never even tried to resist them. Her love of strawberries led her to use them in more ways than one. She had always thought chocolate-covered strawberries were God's greatest miracles. And she wasn't one to disregard miracles, just like that. So you were welcomed home with strawberries one day. She was sitting over the shabby kitchen table, innocently biting down on the fruit, and you had gone over to her and, with your own mouth, taken the strawberry out of hers, chewed, and swallowed it. She laughed insanely at your grimace of disgust. Aren't you allergic to strawberries, darling, she asked, and added, with a chuckle, what if they kill you? Clasping her hand tightly, you bent down to her, kissing her hard, and said, You'll let me die happy, then, won't you, my love? That day clothes made their way toward the stove, as you were pushed up against the refrigerator door, and movie scenarios can tell the rest of the story. The hatch's storage room is emptied of strawberries now because of you. You had the worst rash for a week, but the fact that her taste was with you for that time was all that really mattered to you.
Of all the senses, you had taken one for granted the most. Touch. You had never thought you would go a day without her. A day without the feel of her warm skin against your cool fingers. A day without the feel of her hot breath on your sensitive throat. A day without the feel of your hands running through every part of her body, a thousand, no, a million times over, because you were determined not to miss a single inch of her. How you loved the way the alarm went off, and your first instinct was not to go to work, but to roll over to your other side, and place your arms firmly around her, caressing her skin as a reminder that she was real. That she was real, that she was yours. How you adored the very fact that she fit perfectly within your hug, like two pieces of a puzzle merged. And, now, what will you do in the morning? Where will you find your other half of the puzzle? You are nothing but curved rims and bent edges. Nothing and no one can fit with you like she once had. Kelvin made a poor substitute, indeed. But, now Kelvin is gone, and you control the project alone. It's probably for the best. You won't awaken to expect your other half because you don't sleep much in the first place; it's a tough job, saving the world. You don't even know what time it is; morning, day, night – it's all the same to you.
Take away your sight, and she would still be envisioned dancing in the darkness of your mind. Take away your hearing, and she would still sing you a song in her special off-key way. Take away your smell, and she would still intoxicate you to the point of drunkenness with her inexpensive perfume. Take away your flavor along with the strawberries that nearly killed you in the form of hundreds of rashes, and she would kill you literally as you remember her sweet kisses.
But you can't remember what she feels like. These hands of yours, slightly gnarled by the years, are useless to you. What are they good for if they can't tell you the temperature of her blood rising from arousal, or the texture of skin, or the way you felt when you ran through her thick hair, getting lost in clumps of strands. All these damn hands do for you now are type in six numbers and then "execute." What a futile function for hands! Hands that once felt the greatest bliss, reduced to this. Such a shame … Often times, you think of chopping them off, so they no longer daunt you with memories of inaccessible feelings. But you're not crazy – you keep reminding yourself – not completely, at least.
You always felt that you only really needed one sense. Feeling. Even while running, you loved the feeling of the blood rushing through your arteries from your heart. In and out, in and out. Again. You liked the thought that the bottom of your feet were hardening with every step you sprinted. You rejoiced at the feeling of endorphins taking over your body, killing the pain.
Touch. Of all the senses, that is the one that is the most inborn inside you. You would easily become accustomed to the blindness, deafness, or any other loss.
But of all five senses, the one sense you ever needed, is the one you will never find again …