Since she was young, she had always thought kissing was foolish. Sure, she had kissed people before, as childhood pranks, or at parties her parents hosted as an excuse to escape a conversation, dragging her and her "boyfriend" away. Even as a chaste goodbye to a long time friend, but for romantic purposes, it didn't make any sense. Why would you do something so physical when you could express appreciation in other ways? It didn't make reasonable sense other than, "it's pleasant," which is still rarely the case. She'd much rather listen to a friend talk about their passion, showing compassion through listening deeply and fully, or showing it through a thoughtful gift she was sure they'd enjoy. Physical affection can only show so much, whereas words made sense.
This was the elf's mindset for a long time, from her early childhood to young adult years - over a century - she thought like this. That was until she met Peter. The time spent with him was... nice, it was simply nice. It was telling stories while sitting by the fireplace, quiet nights that slowly transitioned from awkward to comfortable, they were delicate cheek caresses at sunset after collecting firewood. Calm, domestic, and just nice. In their four years together, they had shared exactly three kisses, one awkward and too soon, one soft and sweet, and the last felt like the calm before the storm. Victoria didn't regret them, at the moment they were fairly remarkable, but years later, the aftertaste of their fight made them dull.
As soon as the storm had settled, she put her shield back up, blocked people out, and moved fast, never staying in one place for too long. her life was only music and travel, meeting a few memorable people one night and leaving the next. It was quick and alive. The idea of settling down and having someone to kiss was out of the question and unneeded. Unwanted.
A flying 300 years later, however, the young adult found herself with a group. It was a strange group, six other than herself, but the strangest part was how absolutely unique everyone was. Yes, she had met unique groups before, the ones she had fought with against Talos and the Icespire dragon, her inmates at the Ironreef prison, the many she's played violin for, but these people were indescribably different and simply special. It was a blond Hinduistic monk, a rogue vigilante with a past full of money and dragons, and a paladin with only a shield, indefinable will power, and blue hair. It was a Dragonborn fighter cast out of his home for being kind, a mage who has a blank past and doesn't seem to age, but most unique, an archer with a metal leg and contagious smile. She was a normal human with no magic, but somehow, in the small-time the elf knew her, this archer had brought down her walls down with kindness. She made her feel more at home than anyone had before.
Artemis was her name, named after the fierce maiden goddess of the moon, hunting with her bow and being incredibly and utterly her own. The girl Victoria knew fit all those features and added a million more. She was brave, kind, funny, thoughtful, vulnerable, the list goes on and on. The best thing, however, was that she got to call the archer her own. That the elf had the right to go up to Artemis and hold her hand, to ramble on about music and the world while Artemis listened fully and nodded along, egging her on to continue without complaint. That she got to wake up to flowers near her violin on her birthday, the ones that only bloomed once a year unless grown individually. That she could find love. After 412 years, she finally found someone she loved, for real and entirely.
Kissing was never something breathtaking, but loving the archer was.