He'd taken her to palaces, fantastic cities. He'd taken her to meet the Queen, the Face of Boe. She was taking him ice skating.

He was nine hundred and three years old and he'd never been ice skating before.

"Never had a reason to," he told her, smiling. She hadn't skated for years, but being able to introduce him to something new, when it was so very often the other way around, was irresistible. So they were here, at an admittedly rather diminutive pond turned neighborhood ice rink.

The TARDIS's impressive and inscrutable wardrobe had yielded up seven pairs of ice skates, and out of the pile, they'd each been able to find a pair that more or less fit. Less, in her case. They were slightly too large, with too much give around her ankles, but she hoped they would suffice.

He took to the ice the way he took to everything else he'd ever tried, with an effortless grace that would have made him easy to hate if he weren't so patient and understanding.

Then again, she thought sourly as she attempted to straighten out her feet, if she'd had nine hundred and three years to become good at everything, she'd probably be just as well equipped to accept others' shortcomings.

He'd circled back around to where she was floundering and with only the briefest of pauses, he held out his hand to her.

It wasn't the first time he'd held her hand, but the times before they'd been running for their lives, something which happened with an alarming frequency.

This time, she had only her feet and the slightly oversized skates upon said feet to worry about, which left her more than able to focus on the warmth of his fingers against her cold ones. She wondered vaguely if having two hearts meant you kept warmer than a normal human.

Busy with her thoughts, she didn't notice a rough patch on the ice and stumbled. She felt his grip on her hand tighten as she regained her balance.

"You all right?" He said it with a smile, that patient understanding again, but there was something in his eyes that made her unable to do more than nod and duck her head.

She took comfort in that look and in the fact that he did not loosen his grip, not even after it became clear to both of them that she could stay upright on her own.

She didn't have to be afraid of falling, not anymore, not with him. No matter what she fell into, be it ice, or aliens, or love, he'd be there holding her hand.

xx

Writing is a labor of love not only for the writer but the writer's friends. Special thanks and much love to wolfraven80 for beta reading (and helping me finish) yet another piece for a fandom she's not particularly interested in.