A/N: This idea came out of a combination of things, none of which intended to spawn a ficlet but all of which did. Thanks to goldpiece for engaging in many conversations with me about the description of eyes, and to space77 for introducing me to the song "Crayola Doesn't Make a Color For Your Eyes" by Kristin Andreassen, not knowing she would lead me to the tune that would spark this idea. :) Also, thanks to lizook for entertaining me, and agreeing that a thesaurus is a privilege, not a right.
Enjoy, and let me know what you think!
Brennan sat with her computer on her lap, fingers hovering over the well-worn keys. She was three-quarters of the way down the page, and Agent Andy was sharing a smoldering look with Kathy Reichs. A spring thunderstorm pounded her glass windows as she typed a line, frowned, then tapped on the backspace key. She would type another, scowl with increasing intensity, and erase that too. By the third try, she let out an audible growl.
There were only so many ways you could say 'brown eyes' and 'blue eyes' without sounding foolish. There were a variety of colors synonymous with blue—sapphire, aquamarine, indigo, navy, cerulean, azure—but somehow she found them all juvenile, as if an amateur writer were abusing their thesaurus privileges. She attempted many of them, but none of them sounded adult or appropriate.
She turned away from the blue eyes, and focused on brown. Mocha. Chocolate. Coffee. Tan. Russet. She groaned. Too many words, and none of them fit seamlessly into the text, into the face of the character. Eyes were the worst to describe, and yet for reasons unknown she felt compelled to note them. Their color, their depth, their shine, their intensity. They held such interest and emotion, such power, that to ignore them felt like a disservice to the characters. But they were only characters, really. Their eyes were only imagined, nonexistent. They held none of the complexity and intoxication of the real and present.
She closed her own eyes and let the darkness behind her lids slowly become a pool of swimming colors, coming together to form a hazy image. She felt her blind fingers clatter on the keys as she tried in vain to breathe life into the vision in her mind, to put words where words could not go. It was like trying to describe the curve of the foam tide as it rushed over her feet, sunk into the wet sand on the beach. It was like lying in the grass on a hill far beyond the city limits, tickled by the cold green shoots, watching the stars multiply as her pupils dilated, adjusting to the immense blackness that was both empty and yet so full.
There was no way to put real words to the ebb and flow of existence, the gradual rise of light and color, the swift, glittering spark of that one look, that one glance, that stolen moment. Stolen from the shore, or the sky, or the corners of his upturned lips. Taken quickly, tucked away in one's heart, held close until the moment you are alone and safe and able to dissolve into the depths and unearth those stolen moments, touching each one lightly like a treasure—like a heavy gold coin, turning it over in your hand, feeling the ridges under the pads of your fingers.
Her eyes snapped open as she heard a knock on her door.
"Come in," she said, and she heard him shift bags in his arms as he opened and closed the heavy wooden door.
"Hey, I thought you might be hungry so… oh, sorry, are you busy? I can come back…"
"No, it's fine," she said, closing the laptop and setting it on the coffee table. "I wasn't getting anywhere anyway." He smiled and set the folded over paper bag on the table, opening it up and revealing the contents.
"I got a few different kinds since you always change your mind," he explained, removing the cartons and turning to her with a pair of chopsticks in his hand, offering them. She didn't notice the chopsticks, though. She was elsewhere, lost somewhere in between the rolling tide and the surge of a burning, endless night. He smiled, the corners of his eyes crinkling and the wordlessness that no lexicon could ever enclose, enclosed her.