It's at the very, very beginning. There's barely any time between their introduction and the moment where they must part. He's got to run off, he's got to stop disaster before it starts and she…she has to distract.
How should she distract? Well, she's too human to be of any interest…unless.
"This means nothing," he warns, firmly. "Honestly, nothing."
She nods, but he's not sure she was really, truly listening. No time to worry about it, though. He takes her face in his hands and presses his mouth to hers. It's really not a kiss, it's a genetic transfer. His saliva with augmented DNA to stick to her cells and make her just distracting enough to---
But that's not enough for her. He feels her kiss him back. Strange; she's not the initiator of this, she doesn't even know him at all. Yet, when she relaxes and gives in to the genetic transfer, she manages to change it into something more. He's not sure how she managed that. He's also not entirely sure when he stopped worrying about augmenting his DNA and became more interested in how she started kissing him.
And there's no time to consider. He pulls away and darts down the hallway.
He can hear her voice in his wake. "That was nothing?"
It's not quite the beginning. Very nearly the beginning. Certainly the first time he's seen her so grown up. When did she manage to grow up? When did she learn how to tie him up with only a few words?
But there's not enough time to consider or, really, time for her to properly seduce him (is that what she's doing? Why is it working so well?). Without warning, she grabs him and kisses him firmly, pressing herself into him until he feels his back hit the fireplace.
She's certainly not an inexperienced kisser. He might even say she's very very good at this. She's managed to take his inhibitions and make them seem fairly ridiculous. After all, what harm is there in snogging---or is it being snogged by?---a beautiful woman against a fireplace?
There's no time to appreciate the kiss, of course. Suddenly, she pulls away and rushes out of the room to meet her mother.
Which is the point where he learns who she is. "I just snogged Madame de Pompadour!"
Oh, perhaps it isn't the beginning of their story together, but it is certainly the beginning of a new chapter. A new page for his journal.
He's not an experienced man anymore. There are no kisses in his brief past to remember. Love and romance and kisses and that sort of thing, they're all for men who've had more time than he has. He barely has time for his students, let alone his own heart.
But she's so close, so wonderfully close and simply beautiful. She's always been so beautiful, to him. And, before he knows it, he's leaned in and kissed her. Gently, chastely. Her mouth is warm and soft against his and he thinks that she fits him perfectly. The kiss makes it seem like they were meant to be kissing.
He breaks away, but only for a moment. "I've never---"
No time to consider the implications of that confession, though. Before he can speak again, she kisses him again. Less chaste, more passion. He's never felt passion like this before.
He's already certain he loves this chapter and it's only just begun.
There's a way of saying "hello" and there's a way of saying "hello", and the young man before him knows the latter significantly better than the former. So, when the young man learns that they're beginning something new and that there's no turning back, he can't figure out the right way to start it.
"I was better off as a coward," the young man says, and he kisses the older man without hesitation.
It's a quick, open-mouthed kiss, but there's that youth, that fire. A little fear, a little desperation, but that's how all beginnings are for the older man. Never know what you're jumping into, never know how far it's going to go.
The older man doesn't kiss back. It's not really the beginning, not for him, and he knows it. It's all coming to an end. The beginning of the end, that's what the Emperor says, and he's right.
There's no time to warn the young man, no time to wish him good luck or well.
There's only enough time for a quick snog and a promise of "See you in hell!" before they begin.
It's the middle of the adventure, but only the beginning for them.
She's asked if she can go with him and yeah, he'd like that. He'd like to not be alone. Even more, he'd like to travel with her. She's a lot like Martha and Rose and Ace and Susan and all of his other wonderful companions. She's a lot like him, too. That need to travel, to see other worlds.
And he gets to take her. It'll be brilliant. But first? Stop the ship from falling.
There's never enough time to think about what's next. Just got to go forward with the present and be excited for the future.
"There's an old tradition on planet Sto!" She calls out as he starts to leave.. She steps up on a box, grabs him, and kisses him. It's like little fireworks go off in the back of his mind. She's alien and familiar all at the same time. She's like all of the things he loves about his companions and all of the things he doesn’t understand, and she packs it all in a kiss that can't last more than a second or so.
He's left more than a little breathless.
"Yeah, that's a very old tradition."
He knows it's over the moment she turns away from him. The moment the other man leans over and whispers the words. Those words get caught in the Doctor's throat, but the other man says them without hesitation. They're the words she wants to hear.
She tugs on the other man's lapels and kisses him. She kisses him desperately, lovingly, and the other man kisses the way the Doctor would kiss her, if he could. The other man's arms wrap around her waist the way the Doctor's would, if he could. If he knew how to say the words she wants to hear.
But he can't. And, for her, they need saying. But there's never enough time to say them right. There's never enough time. There's just never enough time.
This kiss begins something for them, but it's an ending for the Doctor. He watches for a moment, then turns away.
It's over, now.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,132