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Title: Her Husband's Profession
Author: NP-Complete
Rating: G
Characters: Ten, Rose
Spoilers: None
Disclaimer: Doctor Who and its characters belong to its authors and copyright holders. No infringement is intended and no money is being made.

Summary: Why else would a gentleman call himself a Doctor?

Author's Note: This is dedicated to earlgreytea68. It was in a conversation with her that I first had the idea, and she said, "Write it!"


This isn't quite the same as meeting Jane Austen, Rose thinks, but it's almost like being in one of her novels. Not as the heroine, no, but as one of the minor characters. Part of the life that's going on in the background as the hero and heroine negotiate their way towards each other.

The time period is the late 18th century, the setting a pleasantly green part of England. Out on a walk, admiring the country town they find themselves in, they fall into conversation with a cheerful family party. The Doctor tending towards the “charming” end of “charmingly eccentric”, Rose smiling with the sunny day and the fun of wearing a dress and hat fit for a costume drama, they are invited to dine that evening and meet the head of the family, a gentleman of learning.

“You're enjoying this,” the Doctor observes, as she jumps up and down by the door in her little kid slippers, the pearl combs in her hair gleaming, waiting for him to finish relocating the TARDIS. Her grin is answer enough.

The evening goes well. The Caybrights are a large family, with several children grown up. They are excited to hear that she and the Doctor are travellers. The Doctor has apparently decided that they are worth pleasing, as he is exerting himself to be agreeable, telling Mr. Caybright stories of India and Africa that are fairly commonplace after her World History module in school, but must be new and exotic to an 18th century man.

“My word, Doctor!” says Mr. Caybright, after a story about the Haj of Mansa Musa. “One would almost believe that you’ve been to Timbuktu!”

“I have, as a matter of fact,” says the Doctor pleasantly. “It’s not been the same since the Moroccan occupation, but it was a fine place in its day.”

“My word!” says Mr. Caybright, chuckling. The younger Caybrights look pleased, and Rose is glad they came.

Half the fun of travelling is meeting people, and learning their stories, so Rose asks Mr. Caybright a few questions about his youth. It doesn’t take much to get him telling stories, and if they are a bit dull, about droll moments at the County Assizes and long-ago University pranks, it's easy enough to laugh at the right moments.

The Doctor seems to be getting more out of them than she is, but then he probably recognizes more of what Mr. Caybright is talking about. Perhaps pranks are the same at every university: putting a funny costume on a statue, playing tricks on unpopular lecturers, and running pell-mell from the authorities. She wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the Doctor did the same at whatever Academy he attended.

She is distracted from these ruminations by the eldest daughter speaking to her. She is about Rose’s age, somewhere in her early twenties.

“All this travelling, Mrs. Tyler – do you ever miss your home?”

Does she? She misses her mother, but home, as such? Where is home? Truthfully, she says, “My home is wherever the Doctor is.”

An admirable sentiment, Miss Caybright seems to think. “Have you been long married?” she asks.

They aren’t married, but it would probably be unwise to say so. He’s bio-damped her a few times: perhaps that’s courting behaviour on the Planet of the Time Lords. “A little while,” she says, evasively.

“I've often thought it befits a scholar to visit foreign places,” Miss Caybright says. “Such a variety of life, of modes of living – there must be so much to learn!”

“There is,” Rose agrees. “There's no end to the number of places the Doctor has been.”

“And a man in his position must be able to do so much good!”

This is true, although Rose is a bit startled to hear it said. “He always tries to help,” she says.

“We in England are so fortunate,” says Miss Caybright, warming to her topic. “To have the men of your husband's profession, setting – for the most part – such excellent examples of virtue, of economy, of peaceful domesticity. Whereas, in other countries -”

They are interrupted by a messenger. Mr. Wensum, whoever that is, has broken his leg and is confined to his bed.

“My word,” says Mr. Caybright. “Whatever shall we do?”

There is discussion: they might send for Mr. Henderson; they might appeal to Sir John Stoddard. At last Mr. Caybright turns to the Doctor. “I don’t suppose, Doctor Tyler, that we could prevail upon you to aid us?”

“I don’t know that there’s much I can do,” the Doctor says. “Assuming his leg has been properly set, it's mostly a matter of time.”

“My word!” says Mr. Caybright. “Do you dabble in medicine, too?”

Rose looks at Miss Caybright. There’s something she’s missing. “My husband's profession ...?" she prompts.

“What do you need?” says the Doctor.

“Just a short sermon, that’s all. Any you have prepared would be fine.”

“Doctor of divinity,” Miss Caybright says, innocently. “What else would a gentleman be?”

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Comments

( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
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papilio_luna
Jul. 14th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
*squee* Historical vignettes ♥ ♥ ♥

Love it!
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
So pleased you like it!
chocclare
Jul. 14th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
Also squee!

Don't get the Doctor started on a sermon though \O/
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
So glad you liked it! Thank you!
annissag
Jul. 14th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
Hee!!! I want to hear the Doctor's sermon! :D
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
Hee! I'm not sure I'd be up to writing it!

I'm so glad you liked it! Thank you!
reetinkerbell
Jul. 14th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
hahaha, brilliant. :)
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it!
sunnytyler001
Jul. 14th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
LOVES LOVES LOVES :D
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it!
gwenchoco
Jul. 14th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
Loved this, loved loved! Love to see a sequel! (or is that squee-quel?)
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it! Thank you!
glory_jean
Jul. 14th, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
Hee! This is great. Wonder how he's going to handle that one. :D

(On a side note: you wrote fic! Yay! )
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
(On a side note: you wrote fic! Yay! )

Actually, I started this about this time last year! I just took the opportunity to finish it.

I'm so glad you liked it! Thank you!
maypanic
Jul. 15th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)
Hee! Very cute.
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks! I'm really glad you liked it!
psyko_kittie
Jul. 15th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
*dies laughing*
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
Hee! I'm so glad! Thank you!
jellybean728
Jul. 15th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
Hee hee!

“Just a short sermon, that’s all. Any you have prepared would be fine.”

I'm torn between thinking he might just have a sermon prepared, and thinking no sermon the Doctor gives would ever be short!
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
I'm torn between thinking he might just have a sermon prepared, and thinking no sermon the Doctor gives would ever be short!

You know, I think you may be right! I hadn't thought that he might have a sermon prepared, but I'm sure he'll rise to the occasion!

I'm so glad you liked it! Thank you!
sapphire_child
Jul. 15th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
Love it!
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad! Thank you!
professor_spork
Jul. 15th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
*squees happily* socute.
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad you think so! Thank you!
kalleah
Jul. 15th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
He’s bio-damped her a few times: perhaps that’s courting behaviour on the Planet of the Time Lords.

Perhaps it is. :)

Why, suddenly, do I have the "MAWWWWAIGE, MAWWWAIGE is what brings us together today ..." speech from The Princess Bride in my head now?
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
I was thinking, "Perhaps we could ask your Ten if it is, if he's still answering questions!"
earlgreytea68
Jul. 15th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
Love it, love it, love it, still. Such a lovely little vignette. I want to know more about the Caybrights and the Doctor's sermon. So I command: sequel!
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
A sequel: oh, goodness. I don't think I have anything like the capacity to write an 18th century sermon, or even a 21st century one. If a sequel ever comes about, I suspect we'll jump over the text of the sermon and just deal with the aftermath.

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much!
(no subject) - cymry_girl1 - Jul. 18th, 2010 01:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - np_complete - Jul. 19th, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cymry_girl1 - Jul. 19th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
saun
Jul. 15th, 2010 07:26 am (UTC)
This is wonderful! Well done:) *applause*
np_complete
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
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( 47 comments — Leave a comment )

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