Dislcaimer: I own nothing. Although, I think I'd like to own a pair of ice skates. Not that that really has anything to do with anything...

"C'mon, Doctor!" Rose called over her shoulder. "We need to get going if we're going to beat the rush!"

The Doctor grudgingly followed her out of the TARDIS, taking care to lock the doors behind him as he stepped out into the busy street. Rose held out her hand to him and he took it, slipping his hand around her smaller one. It was warm, much warmer than the icy chill of the December wind around them, and he found that he quite enjoyed the feel of it.

"I can't believe you've never gone ice skating before," Rose grinned up at him as they walked down the sidewalk, mingling with the pedestrians, all bustling to get where they needed to be.

"Yes, well… we didn't have much ice on my planet, believe it or not. And I've never really seen the fun in willingly trekking out onto something so slippery and dangerous."

"Oh, stop being such a spoilsport," she tugged on his hand. "Don't worry. I'll be right there beside you."

The Doctor gave a non-committal hum in the back of his throat. He wasn't quite sure what he was doing, or quite why he'd agreed to bring her here. Rose had mentioned a while back that she'd always wanted to go ice skating in New York at Christmastime and he'd thought it might be nice to give her the chance to do that. What he hadn't bargained on was the fact that she was going to drag him along on this venture as well.

They rounded a corner off of 49th Street and came into Rockefeller Center. At the sight of it, Rose immediately squealed in excitement and jumped up and down a little.

"Oh, look at it!" she cried, pressing nearer to him, her cheek rubbing up against the leather of his jacket. "Just look at that Christmas tree! It's there! And it's real! It's really real!"

"Of course it's real," the Doctor said, a funny sort of smile on his face. "Why wouldn't it be?"

"It's just that I've seen it on the telly for years and years but I've never seen it before. Isn't it wonderful, Doctor?"

He smiled at her, her exuberance fueling his own. "It's fantastic, Rose. Shall we?"

With her hand still held in his, he ran with her over to the ice rink. Once there, Rose took care of renting skates and (after some difficulty in finding him an appropriate size) helped him lace his up correctly before slipping on her own.

"This is going to be so much fun! I can't remember the last time I went ice skating," she beamed, getting to her feet. "Let's go!"

Clinging to Rose's hand, he allowed her to lead him over to the edge of the ice rink, the skates forcing him to take awkward little steps. Far sooner than he would have liked, she let go of his hand and carefully stepped onto the ice, smoothly gliding onto it as if she'd been born knowing how to it. She grinned at him and waved for him to join her.

"Well? What are you waiting for?"

Right, then. He could do this. Nine hundred years old. Lifetimes of experience. How hard could ice skating possibly be?

Grasping the railing, he carefully stepped out onto the ice. Almost immediately, he began to slip and he flung his other hand out to grip the side of the rink, holding on for dear life in an effort to remain upright.

"It's okay!" Rose was at his side in an instant, her hand on his arm. "It's okay. You're doing fine."

"Fine? Rose Tyler, this is not fine," he glared at her, feeling more foolish by the second. His feet were going to give out any second and leave him flat on his bum. He wasn't about to have that, to embarrass himself with all of these people watching. With Rose watching.

"I promise, you're fine," she said, ignoring his pouting and giving him a reassuring smile. "Now all you have to do is push off a little with each foot. One and then the other."

"I think I'm fine right here," he grumbled, leaning into the railing, his skates slipping a bit on the treacherous ice.

"All right. Suit yourself," Rose shrugged, beginning to skate away. "Let me know when you're ready!"

He watched as she glided away from him, making a loop around the rink. She weaved in and out of the other skaters, the ends of her scarf trailing behind her. She made it look so easy, so effortless, and he had never felt like more of an old man next to her. He wasn't cut out for any of this, wasn't the young and agile companion she needed. But he so longed to be next to her, holding her hand and skating light of the largest Christmas tree on the planet.

She soon made her way back and came to a stop beside him. "Ready to give it a go?"

"I don't want to fall," he grumped. "And these skates are not cooperating."

She smiled gently at him and held out her hands for him. "Don't worry, Doctor. I won't let you fall."

"You'd better not," he replied, hoping his voice didn't betray how absolutely nervous he felt.

"I promise," she said, meeting his eyes. "Trust me."

He looked dubiously at her hands, then up at her face. She continued to smile, urging him with her eyes to reach out and take her hand. He swallowed hard. He didn't want to look foolish in her eyes, but neither did he want to be thought of as a coward. But she wouldn't let him fall, his Rose. She had proved time and again to be worthy of his trust. She would not let him down now.

So, placing his trust in the hands of a nineteen year-old girl, he let go of what he knew to be safe and gave himself over to her.

Sure enough, she didn't let him fall.