His hands were trembling and he knew it. He was touching her at last-- she wanted him at last-- and he was shaking. How much sex had he had in his long life? An enormous amount of it. Certainly more than she had had. With men and women and beings who were neither and both. With beings he’d called his wife, and the mother of his child, and so much else.
But here, now, with Clara Oswald, he held her hands in his and he raised them to his lips, and he felt himself tremble.
He wanted to please her, oh how he wanted to please her. He wanted to see that smile, to hear her gasp in pleasure for the first time with him, to feel her shudder under him. To hear her tell him that he was the best lover she’d ever had. That he had shown her the heights of pleasure. The reality? The reality was that he had no idea how to begin. He hadn’t touched another being in a thousand years. He hadn’t touched himself in that time.
He hadn’t even asked her if she would go to bed with him. He opened his mouth but he couldn’t speak. All he could do was kiss her hands and clasp them over his hearts and look at her and hope she understood what he was longing for.
“Clara,” he said.
“Hey. What is going on in that big brain of yours?”
“I want-- I’d like-- that is–”
“One second.” Clara went up on tiptoes and he almost unconsciously bent to meet her. She touched her lips to his. A moment of sweet touch, and then she was looking up into his face, searching for something.
“Were you okay with that?”
“Would you like to kiss me again?”
An even more vigorous nod, for his brain appeared to be non-functional. Faulty.
“Come on, you.” She led him by the hand out of the console room, down the corridor to her room, which the TARDIS had faithfully kept for her. Dear old girl, who knew his heart better than he did sometimes.
More kisses, just outside her door, and then he was lifting her over the threshold because it made her laugh and made her face glow in that way that made his hearts ache with happiness. And into her room, and tumbling onto her bed together, more kisses, caresses, and fingers fumbling with buttons. He knew how to do this, yes, how to touch and kiss.
And then he was on his back, looking up at Clara astride him, beautiful, triumphant, trying to remember what to do, trying to keep up with her. He couldn’t, but she didn’t seem to mind. She simply smiled at him, and touched her fingers to his lips when he tried to apologize. And then she was on him, and around him, surrounding him, taking him into herself, and he was overwhelmed by her-- her Clara-ness, her mind, her being, the sense of her through all of time and space, through all of his lives, all centered on this moment, on this touch, on his body inside hers, and he was fragmenting, shattering, splintering into a thousand pieces, one for every year he’d lived apart from her, longing for her.
When he came to consciousness again, she was there, leaning over him, pressing a cool cloth against his forehead.
“You okay?” she said. “That was scary. You started babbling about me and then you came and passed out.”
He caught her hand and pulled it to his lips. “Hazard of being barely in control of my touch telepathy.”
“Oh. Oh. That was why I felt-- why I–”
“Did I carry you along with me?”
“Yeah. You could say that. I felt like I was going to pieces.”
“I’m sorry, Clara, I–”
“Shut up about being sorry. Please. Never say that again. You just let me know in a way I can never ever forget how much you-- how much–”
“How much I love you.” His voice cracked on the words, but he got them out regardless. He’d said it. He’d probably never be able to say it again, not quite like that, but he’d said it once, and she would never forget that it was true. And there was nothing he wanted more than that.