He kissed her and she tasted of home, though his hands traced the starlight of unknown, unnamed constellations on her hair and his eyes admired alien blue shadows flickering across her cheek. He held her close. So much more than a fellow-adventurer she'd become to him, she was his touchstone, his reminder of the home he'd so abruptly left behind and hoped beyond all hope to see once again one day.
"Ian," she murmured softly.
"Why would I want to move?" he asked with a smile. She was filling his arms and the blue-toned night was soft.
"There's a very strange-looking creature…just behind you."
His eyebrows went up but that was all the reaction he permitted for the moment. He froze, one hand still in her hair. "What's it doing?"
"Just watching, so far," she said. There was only the slightest tremor in her voice, his brave Barbara.
He kept his voice low. "Where's the Doctor? Vicki?"
"I don't know, " she whispered back. "It's about a foot taller than you are, but very thin, like a sapling with a head."
"None I can see."
"Mm. None I can see."
They waited a moment. There was no movement behind him. "Still staring?"
"I think we should try walking away from it. Slowly…"
She took a breath and gave the barest of nods. "All right. I don't want to turn my back on it though." Her hands slid up his chest, fingers resting lightly near his shoulders. "Like dancing," she directed softly.
He blinked and belatedly shifted his own hands down, tracing their way to her waist. She smiled at him reassuringly and took a step back. He tried to follow but almost trod on her foot and stumbled slightly to correct it.
"Your right first, then left," she whispered, obviously holding back amusement in spite of the situation.
"Right." He took a hesitant step forward and she moved back with him.
Moving across the glade one step at a time it was almost a waltz. The blue, lacy foliage with its alien scented blooms ruffled at their passing.
Ian bent his head to her ear. "Is it following?" He had to stay focused; part of his mind was determined to remind him of how soft and graceful she was on her feet and what a clumsy dancer she made him feel.
"No, not yet anyway. Still back there, let's hope for the best." Her eyes flicked from his face to over his shoulder, tracking what he couldn't see. They continued their waltz, navigating carefully through a narrow passage to the clearing where the TARDIS stood, door slightly ajar. It was a welcome sight.
"We're almost home," he said. "If you call it that." He could feel her tension relaxing as the brighter light of their erstwhile home and vehicle spilled across the blue-tinted mosses at their feet. "Still no alien?"
"No," she said and smiled up at him. "But that doesn't mean we have to stop dancing."
"I suppose you're right," he agreed and took one of her hands in his for a more traditional positioning. "Let's see, hmm hm hm hmmmm hm hm hmm hmmmm…"
"Is that the 'Blue Danube'?" she asked.
He stopped humming. "Well, it's the best rendition you're going to get for now. Seemed fitting for the setting. Hmm hm hm hmmmm…hm hm HMMMM…"
Laughing, she let him give her a little spin and pull her back in, though he lost the pattern in the process and nearly trod on her feet again. "Better leave the higher notes to me," she observed with a quirk of a brow.
"Everyone's a critic," he grinned and set them dancing again, circling around the battered police-box. "Bluuue mooooon…." he warbled, "You saw me standing aloooone…"
"Ian? Barbara?" On the other side they could hear Vicki. "Is that you?"
Barbara clamped a hand over Ian's mouth. "Yes, just us! Nothing to worry about. We're just…"
"Bluuuuphhhh mmmmmmnnn…." Ian persisted through her hand.
"…taking a walk. Everything's fine."
"What's that noise?"
Ian's eyes widened over her hand comically and he began blowing a raspberry on her palm. "Pbbbbbbbbt-fweeep!"
"Ian!" Barbara laughed in protest, releasing him as Vicki appeared around the corner of the TARDIS. "Now you've done it."
"What have I done?" he asked innocently and turned to Vicki. "Sorry, just, er…serenading. It's what we do on Earth when the moon is blue."
"Serenading?" Vicki asked a bit blankly. "Like singing?"
"Well, I didn't bring my ukulele so I have to make do," he said with a straight face.
Barbara hit him with her elbow. "Never mind him. We're fine, dear. We'll be in soon. Is the Doctor back?"
"Oh yes, he came back a while ago. He's setting the coordinates by flipping coins." She looked a little uncertain about this.
"Well what do you know," Ian smiled. "We do that back on Earth too. Now run along, I need to finish my serenade."
Vicki looked to Barbara who gave her a nod. She withdrew in mild confusion.
"You're a rascal," she told him.
"And you're beautiful," he replied, pulling her back into his arms. "Now where were we?"
"Oh yes. Dancing," he said. "Hmm hm hm hmmm…" He suddenly stopped and looked down at her. "Wait, I don’t dance. Do I?"
"Apparently you do."
"Once in a blue moon," he said and kissed her, then sent them swirling once more beneath the stars.