Being seduced by her is the equivalent of having one's portrait painted by Da Vinci, or one's eyebrows plucked by Anastasia, or a sonnet specifically written by Shakespeare. An artist directly in their medium.
And the Doctor is being seduced by her.
Her hand curls around his and she leads him to a small room just off of the Yew Ball. Where she is supposed to be, his mind reminds him. The room that contains the King, whom she is supposed to be seducing. It's as if she's studied her whole life for a great test, and she's run off to write a bit of street poetry instead.
The room they're in is small in comparison to others in the palace, furnished with seldom-used chairs and couches. It is lit by lamps set to burn at a low light---just enough to give those entering the impression that the whole house is aglow even while these rooms are off-limits. Music from the ball echoes through the room, and it's as if they're in their own tiny ballroom, just for them. He imagines there are paintings on the wall and some sort of fancy wallpaper, but he can't be bothered to look anywhere but at the woman before him.
She is beautiful. Long, clear hair piled precariously on her head, makeup applied just enough to accent her face without overwhelming it, and sparkling baubles on her throat and ears. The lamplight is a dark yellow and against her skin it almost appears that she is glowing.
Years before-—for her-—when she pressed him up against the fireplace, she was still a student. Still learning her skills, trying to perfect them. Now, she has nothing left to learn, and a quick snog against a wall might be good but she can do so much better. She knows this.
So, she dances with him.
She moves with inhuman grace. She curtsies before him, her head arched downward, displaying the length of her neck and elaborate nature of her hair. He can see the muscles in her shoulders moving beneath her skin, holding her in place as she bends. His bow is formal in return, but he can't possibly match her motions.
But, then again, he's not trying to seduce her. He wouldn't dare, it would be as if he wrote a haiku for Shakespeare. He would rather be privy to her skill.
"I don't know this dance," he admits. "I really will have to rely on you as teacher."
She straightens, and the most delicate of smiles slides across her lips. "And you must understand how seriously I take such responsibility."
Her hand guides his to touch the skin above her breast, and he feels his hearts beat faster with her movement. Her skin is soft, calling to mind milk baths and creams to keep it supple and perfect. She has to give the impression of perfection. From how his hand shakes slightly as she places it there, she has done an excellent job.
Her hand rests on his shoulder. He is acutely aware of where, exactly, it presses his suit and where that presses his shirt and where that presses his skin. He is also acutely aware of how fast his hearts are beating. She must have realized that by now, but the small smile on her lips does not falter, no surprise registers in her grey eyes.
"The minuet is danced in triple time." Her words are velvet. A less talented woman might've had to say an innuendo or a witty turn of phrase, all Reinette has to do is speak an instruction. It should sicken him, how wrapped around her finger he's become, but it doesn't. It doesn't because she doesn't want it to. And he has no doubt that she is the one in complete control.
They move in time to the music. He can't feel the beat in this incarnation as well as he might've in another, but he moves as she does. Every step is simple, every motion is direct. Not unlike her seduction, he realizes. She links her hand with his and steps back, turning half-orbit around the room. Despite the sudden distance between them, he can feel her presence there, as if she were holding him close. Nothing but their hands are connected now, but every step makes his hearts beat that much faster.
Seduction requires the onlooker to gaze upon the body. The seducer must make the one they want look where they eventually want them to go. A less talented woman might touch her hand to her throat and slide downwards, to draw his eyes to her bosom. An invitation to leer. Reinette barely tilts her head back, and his eyes follow the column of her throat to the top of her breasts without hesitation. It's not a leer, so much as a discovery.
This incarnation is all but a virgin and she knows that. She knows how likely he is to bolt at a moment's notice and she reigns him in with her movements. Nothing too forward, nothing too rash. Every move is precise and perfect. He thinks again that this situation is wrong. Not simply because of history—-a nagging thought buzzing in his mind-—but because they are far too different to be right together. She is experienced and he is out of practice. She is regal and he is foolish. He is cold and she...
She is heat. Her body radiates it. She steps one step closer and he reaches out to touch her cheek. Apparently this is too soon in the dance, because she arches her neck back and he just grazes the skin of her throat with his fingertips, the ghost of her heat there in the warm April air.
He's not one to make a first move like that. He's not one for flushed cheeks and raised heartsrates. This is something she knows and as she moves back to look at him there is a well-earned amount of vanity in her smile.
She steps back towards him in time to the music. One, two, and her body is suddenly mere inches from his; her cheek to his cheek. He can feel the complex skirts and corsetry she wears just brush his waist and legs. He's never been able to understand corsets or complicated clothing, but now he realizes it's very like the complicated dance they're in now. The wrappings she wears promises the soft woman beneath them; the hard exterior he must work through to earn her.
A less talented woman could be dancing beside him unclothed and it wouldn't be having the effect on him that having Reinette this close does.
1, 2-3. 1, 2-3. He realizes their hearts are beating in time to the music, which means her heartrate has gone up as well. Odd that she hasn't shown it. No, odd that he's managed to raise her heartrate. All he's done is respond to her movements, her actions.
She takes another step back, and his body aches at the sudden loss of her warmth. Her closeness. She steps around him, another orbit.
"How are you finding the lesson, Doctor?" she asks, leaning towards him. She presses the faintest of kisses to the back of his neck, and the sensation is not unlike an electric shock to his sensitive body. He's a pan she's slowly warmed to burning and as she drips water on him he crackles and sizzles in reply.
He wonders if this is how she's planned to seduce Louis XV. A private dance lesson and a slow-burning torment. Something very like jealousy settles heavily on his hearts. Silly, he thinks, a Time Lord envying a human man. A human man who, according to all the history he knows, will have her before the night is out.
Of course, at this moment she is not with the King, and as she finishes her orbit and stands before him again, it is all he can focus on. Where a prostitute makes a man desire her, a courtesan makes a man love her. This is what she does, though part of him sits firm in believing that she has secretly trained her years in order to seduce him.
"Informative," he breathes. There is more than a little shakiness to his voice, but if she notices she doesn't say anything. "How am I fairing as a student?"
"Wonderfully well." She steps towards him, her eyes dipping just for an instant to look upon his lips. A less talented woman might bite or wet their lips with their tongue to entice him to want to kiss her. Reinette's lips twitch into a small smile and that's enough to make his open slightly in anticipation.
"And very responsive."
Each beat of his hearts only adds to his rather painfully obvious arousal. One he was not aware he had acquired until she brought his responsiveness to light. Her eyes stay on his, but he doesn't doubt that is what she is referring to. And by the tone of her voice she is not displeased with that result.
She is impossibly close right now, and yet no matter how near she is not near enough. He can taste her breath on his lips, but her mouth still lingers just far enough away.
"What are the next steps to this dance?" he asks. It's just short of begging. Begging her to move forward, begging her to touch him, to let him touch her.
But, no. No, she lingers just out of reach. Her brazen kiss years before was the act of a novice learning her skill. A well-crafted sketch, while this dance right now is a masterpiece in the making. She is not about to kiss him. She is not about to make the first move. Every motion, every touch, every word; they are all put together to make him touch her. Kiss her. Desire her.
"Which dance?" She has stopped moving in time to the music. Her lips are parted just slightly, and he can already imagine them flushed. The heat of the room sits on her skin and she's so warm and so real and so very there.
Telling him to want her.
And he does. He wants her. He lusts for her the way he lusts for the stars. He longs for her like he longs for the sunsets of other planets, like he longs for the smell of new earth and strange rain. It's a lust he doesn't often feel, and she knows this.
He takes a breath.
"I've never been interested in the minuet." He leans forward and presses his mouth to hers.
And they dance.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,808
based on roleplay with ambitious_woman