A/N: This is my first Pushing Daisies fic, so I hope you like it! It's just a short look into Ned's head (hey, that rhymes!). Anyway, reviews are love and this is the season of giving...just a thought.

Disclaimer: If I owned Pushing Daisies Ned and Chuck would be touching. They would find a way; I'd make sure of it.

Torture

It was torture, being so close to her and yet so irrevocably far away.

It was torture, to be able to smell the fruity scent of her shampoo and know that her hair would be like silk slipping through his fingers, if only….

It was torture, to not know how soft or how warm her lips were, to know only the pressure and the rubbery barrier of plastic wrap that kept their lips apart.

It was torture, to not be able to catch her if she stumbled, to not be able to do something as simple as hold her hand without some kind of barricade between their bare skin.

It was torture, to be forced to hold his own hand to keep him from holding hers.

It was torture. Pure torture, pure misery that welled up in his throat and made him want to scream and cry and rant that the world was not fair to anyone that would listen. It made him feel as though he were on fire beneath his skin, beneath that unwanted skin. It was an itch that he couldn't scratch. It was pain and it was sadness, sorrow, grief.

It was torture. But it was sweet rapture to look upon her and see her bright eyes, to know that her shampoo smelled of apples, even to know what her lips felt like through plastic wrap. It was the pain mixed with the pleasure.

It was torture, but it was bliss too. And he wouldn't trade it for the world, not when the collision of their skin meant the end of her sparkling eyes and her delicate laughter.

It was torture, but he supposed that, for her, he could survive.