Prompt 039. Taste - "Don't Need to See Him: Taste" (3/5)
Author: Lara (larakailyn)
Summary: Wesley has been able to separate Illyria from Fred, but it has come with price.
Prompt: 039. Taste.
Word Count: 612
Rating: FRT (this part)
Author's Notes: AU Fred POV from near the end of Season 5. Be warned – there’s no sugar-coating of Fred’s time in Pylea in these fics. It was dirty, ugly time for her.
Part of the reason I love food so much is because I love the taste of it. I especially love the spicy zing of tacos and the cool buttery sweetness of ice cream with the slight bitterness of pecans. Mom always used to laugh when she would ask me what I wanted for my special dinner after I got straight As again on my report card because I would always tell her tacos and butter pecan ice cream.
Even today, those tastes still make me happy. I missed them when I was on Pylea, at least when I had time to think of things like that. The sludge they feed slaves tasted like dirt, so I tried to pretend that I was eating tacos and ice cream, but it still tasted like dirt, and after a while I started to forget what they tasted like. I just remembered that they had tasted good and not like dirt.
About the only thing that did taste good on Pylea was Kalla berries, which was why I used them in my version of oatmeal. Even what I used to be able to pilfer from the food stores in the village tasted like dirt – I mean, I guess it tasted like something to the native Pyleans since they ate it and liked it, but to me it was all bland and gritty. Kalla berries, on the other hand, tasted nice and sweet. They were hard to find, though, especially in the winter time when it got colder.
So when I got home, all I wanted was tacos and ice cream. I wanted that taste again. And Wesley brought them to me, sometimes including other things, like oranges and apples and other fruits and vegetables. He said I was malnourished and needed a variety of things, but I didn’t care. I just wanted the taste, all the wonderful things that I hadn’t had in so long.
Illyria couldn’t taste the way humans do, though. She tasted fear and grief and emotions the way she smelled it, but she never ate. She used the sarcophagus for energy, and that was why Wesley was finally able to convince her to separate us when he figured out I was still inside and how to do it. The sarcophagus was running out of power away from the Deeper Well, and without Illyria’s kingdom to provide the sustenance the long-term sustenance she needed, she couldn’t survive. She claimed she was agreeing to the separation for herself and her long-term survival, but I think she did it for him as well. She got a taste of the love he has for me and I have for him, and I think it changed her.
Now, despite the fact that I can’t see them when Wesley gets them for me, I can taste tacos and ice cream again – the spiciness and sweetness and bitterness.
And sometimes, when I kiss his face in the middle of the night, I can taste saltiness, so I know he’s been crying from another nightmare where I’m still gone and he’s alone with his grief. But I tell him it’s all right, that I’m there, and when he kisses me, even though he’s brushed his teeth, I can still taste a bit of the honey he puts in his chamomile tea at night before bed instead of sugar. He tells me I taste like mint and flowers, which makes me laugh because I don’t want to know how he knows what flowers taste like.
And in those moments, I don’t need to see to know that he’s smiling. I can taste it on his lips when I kiss him again.