The Doctor opens his eyes to a rush of iced air on his cheeks.
The cold touch of the breeze, though pleasant, bites him, burning his skin with the fire inherent in every long winter.
He opens his eyes.
He can’t feel his toes to curl them on the slide-y thick black ice.
Clouds melt overhead, buffeting the scene on the lake with snow.
Covering them both.
A bright figure made of incandescent blue feathers and steely eyes and sharp beak, held up by pawing talons pressed flat to the ice.
His partner, it appears, is a giant bluebird.
He stares at it, forgetting his bluish toes now in the dull brilliance of the frozen streams cascading down like frosty curtains.
He takes a wingtip in his strangely furry glove, and curls the morbid covering gently over the primaries; there is a bit of bone in there, careful- we mustn’t break it.
His eyes curtail themselves, hoping not to catch another glimpse of the furry thing on his hand.
But look he does.
Furled toward itself.
“My kingdom for some proper mittens!” he calls out to the giant bird, whose visible eye rounds on him disapprovingly like Sauron in an apron, a taut feminine presence in blue, selfish and in communicado with the whole of some wrinkled, wispen world of wonders.
It doesn’t take much to begin.
Just a flick of his monkey’s paw, a twist on his naked heel, and they are dancing.