Actions

Work Header

Ten Times The Doctor (Almost) Got Hitched

Work Text:


One: Accidental Interlude

You see, there was this one time – this once upon a time – in the garden with the cocoa beans and a charming Aztec lady.

He ran away long, long before the wedding, but, on the whole, he rather enjoyed the experience.

One day, he thought. When he was older, possibly, just possibly, he might settle down, but not yet. He was much too young and he had things to do.

But maybe one day…

 

***

 

Two: Snatched From the Altar!

“Ben,” said Polly, “I do believe he’s not in the least bit grateful for being rescued!”

The young sailor led the way back into the TARDIS. “Yeah, but Mary, Queen of Scots? Even I know she was bad news, mate. Trust me, you’re better off single.”

His face crumpled and he sighed. “But I’ve never been married to royalty before! And I had a plan; of course I had a plan, Ben. There was no need for the two of you to rush into the chapel waving weapons about and pretending to be kidnappers. I had everything quite under control.”

“Doctor, the pair of you were about to say ‘I do’!”

“And when you think about it,” said Polly, “we probably saved you from the Tower, too.”

Ben nodded. “Yeah.”

“And all that famous auburn hair,” she added, “you do know that it was a wig, don’t you? And I expect she had horribly bad breath.”

He sighed again. “Still, I could hardly have been a worse husband than the others.”

 

***

 

Three: Gallantry and Gallivanting

“Well, really, Doctor,” said the Brigadier. “While I may be forced to accept that that contraption of yours took you elsewhere briefly, you can hardly expect me to believe this nonsense. In fact, if I brought you back, you should thank me, not hurl abuse in my direction.”

Liz was stifling laughter. “Doctor, you were gone for four minutes at the most and now you’re furious at the Brigadier because he spoiled your wedding. Can’t you see why it sounds so unlikely?”

“Time is relative; you know that, Liz,” he said, turning and addressing her solely, giving up on the Brigadier as an impossible ignoramus. “I travelled to the past – for only a short space of time from your point of view, but months from mine -.”

“All the same, getting engaged doesn’t seem like you.”

He rubbed his chin, giving the first slight smile he’d managed since reappearing in a foul temper and berating the Brigadier for nearly ten minutes without much pause for breath. “Oh, it has been known, my dear. You see, I landed in the poor girl’s bedroom. Not much else I could do in the circumstances, especially since I had to assume I had no way of ever returning to the present.”

The Brigadier raised an eyebrow. “I’d have thought you could have come up with a more inventive solution, Doctor. You’re not usually shy of talking your way out of trouble.”

“Well, perhaps there were other considerations,” he said, an amused light in his blue eyes again.

Liz smiled slowly. “I think you wanted to.”

“Obviously, I would have had to make some excuse, in the end, but I would have done it with a little more grace than this idiot here merely pressing switches he should know better than to touch!”

She said, “I asked him to, Doctor. We were worried.”

“And now,” said the Doctor, failing to acknowledge this, and rounding on the Brigadier again, “I’m nothing but a – a jilt!”

Liz smothered another laugh. “A jilt is usually female, Doctor. Which is terribly sexist, but still-.”

“Then I’m a cad and a scoundrel and probably an inadequate fortune hunter.” He put a hand to the back of his neck and sighed. “I didn’t intend to do that to Jane.”

Jane-?” said Liz, both eyebrows lifting.

“Miss Austen.”

The Brigadier gave a snort. “Now, Doctor, admit that you’re making this up!”

“Liz,” said the Doctor, refusing to speak to him again, “I suggest you take him out of my way and explain the complexities of time travel before I’m forced to do something that both of us will regret.”

She patted his arm. “Of course, Doctor. I’m sure you want a bit of space.”

“Thank you, my dear.”

“Brigadier? Would you like me to explain theories of time travel to you?”

He gave a slight quirk of his mouth. “I daresay it’d be more productive than listening to the Doctor’s rigmarole about proposing to Jane Austen. I don’t know how he has the nerve.”

“Yes, come on,” she said. “We’ll leave him to nurse his broken heart – or should I say hearts?”

The Doctor shook his head as they left. After all they’d seen, they still didn’t believe him? Mind you, he thought, perhaps it was as well he’d been brought back, even if he couldn’t approve of the method. That girl had an altogether too well-developed sense of the ridiculous. He glanced at the glass over on the wall, checking his appearance. As impeccable as ever, he decided. Whatever had she meant?

But he would rather miss that gleam in her eye as she said it.

 

***

 

Four: Doctors and Nurses

It wasn’t unusual for Harry to have a confused look on his face, especially when he was standing near the Doctor, but this time Sarah couldn’t blame him.

“I think perhaps I misheard,” tried the naval MO. “Bit noisy round here.”

Sarah glared, mostly because she was tired and very cold and hating every moment of this but absolutely determined not to let either of them know. “That’s because it’s a battlefield, Harry.”

“Well, that’s what I said,” said the Doctor. “I could have sworn I only asked her to pass a fresh roll of bandages and hold the lamp a bit steadier, but she’s adamant I proposed.”

Harry was clearly fighting the urge to gape. “Yes, but, Doctor -. I mean, how could that be possible? And, well, even I know that nobody married Florence Nightingale!”

“I’m amazed she accepted,” Sarah commented. She thought the whole thing was much more likely to be one of the Doctor’s stories and right now she wasn’t in the mood for it. Especially, she thought, after the way Florence had been looking at her earlier.

He coughed. “Well, she informed me that it is to be a marriage of convenience to silence some of the officials who have been making comments and that I am in no way to interfere with her plans for the future of nursing or get any other ideas. I told her I wouldn’t dream of anything of the sort.”

“Yes, but still,” said Harry. “You can’t, can you?”

The Doctor said, “Well, I can. And you must admit, it’s rather flattering.”

“Doctor, you can’t run round marrying famous historical figures whenever you feel like it.”

Sarah gritted her teeth as the sound of cannons firing came from somewhere behind them again. “I hate to say this, but Harry’s right.”

“I can do whatever I like!”

She sighed. “Yes, but you won’t, will you?”

“Well, it would be bound to cause trouble,” he said. “And I have a feeling she might be rather demanding in some ways.”

Sarah had to hide satisfaction, because this was one adventure she was dying to be out of, and now they had the perfect excuse. “Then there’s nothing else for it. We need to leave right now before someone wheels in the army chaplain and the two of you are hitched.”

“I say,” put in Harry. “That’s a bit harsh on poor old Miss Nightingale.”

Sarah glared at him.

“Well, what were you suggesting?” said the Doctor, hanging on to his hat as a stray bullet passed over his head.

He coloured. “Sarah’s got the right idea, but perhaps you could leave her a note? If you’re going to propose and then run away, you ought to try for some explanation.”

*

“What did you write?” asked Sarah, once they were – thankfully – back in the TARDIS.

He beamed at her. “Oh, I sent her a doctor’s note – told her I’m excused from all weddings for the next fifty years, until I’m out of quarantine for the Dravidian blue-spotted fever.”

Sarah folded her arms and grimaced at him. The worst thing was she would never know if he was serious or not.

 

***

 

Five: Excuses, excuses

 

“All your lectures about not changing history and then you do this,” began Tegan with a glint in her eye that warned the other two it was going to be some considerable time before she let this one go. “After everything you said to us before we left the TARDIS, you went and married Joan of Arc!”

He cleared his throat. “By accident, Tegan.”

“Doctor, an accident’s when you fall off your bike and graze your knee. Getting married involves some effort – and just think what sort of mess you could have made of history.”

He gave her a reproachful look. “You’re enjoying this.”

“Too right I am,” she shot back with a grin. “I mean, Doctor, marrying anyone by accident’s something of an achievement, but Joan of Arc?”

Turlough was busy smirking as he leant back against the console. “She is supposed to be known as the Maid of Orleans.”

“I didn’t know who she was,” said the Doctor, pressing the switch to close the doors. “Jeanne is hardly an uncommon name in this era.”

Tegan folded her arms. “Doctor, women in this period don’t dress like that. As I seem to remember you telling me at length when you made me go and change into this.” She indicated her full length fifteenth century dress with a wave of her hand.

“I never pay much attention to human fashions,” he said

Turlough raised an eyebrow. “So, explain to us how it is you manage to bump into some famous historical figure and wind up married to them, by accident? Because I can’t wait to hear this.”

He responded with a hurt look, his blue eyes darkening, as if his companions were the ones being unreasonable. “It’s all perfectly simple. We both came into the church to be out of the way of our respective pursuers and when Père Jacques arrived we had to explain our presence and I said we were there to be married, but there must have been some confusion. He wasn’t supposed to be irresponsible enough to perform the ceremony on the spot. Of course, I should have realised then that it was the Meddling Monk in disguise-.”

“I don’t know why we asked,” said Tegan, rolling her eyes.

“So it wasn’t as if it was legal,” finished the Doctor. “It hardly counts.”

Turlough’s smirk grew wider. “So, you tricked Joan of Arc into an illegal, false marriage?”

“Turlough.” He paused to give him a disappointed look. “Anyway, once I had sent the Monk about his business, I assured Jeanne that I would disappear to far off Sweden and never return – and I would certainly never breathe a word of the business.”

“Far off Sweden?” said Turlough, wrinkling his nose.

The Doctor frowned and ran a hand through his hair. “Yes. I don’t know what I was thinking. I suppose I was a little flustered by the turn of events.”

“We noticed,” said Tegan dryly.

He grinned back at her, setting the controls. “Well, it isn’t everyone who can lay claim to having married a saint.”

“And which part of that explains why you were kissing her when we walked in?” asked Tegan, hands on her hips. “Apologising, were you?”

He looked faintly hurt again. “No. She was saying farewell, naturally. Tegan, I do wish you would remember we were in France.”

“Ah,” said Turlough innocently. “That explains it.”

Tegan scuffed at the floor with her shoe. “I suppose we shouldn’t say anything. I mean, there’s not a nice ending to this story, is there?”

“No,” he agreed, looking up, his expression possibly even more irritated now that she was attempting some sort of sympathy instead of smugness.

She frowned. “Unless we could do something? I mean, if you could get that lizard or whatever it is circuit of yours working and land really cunningly, maybe we could run in at the last minute and rescue her without anyone noticing?”

“Tegan,” said the Doctor, lifting his head, “that’s an outrageous suggestion! Can you imagine the potential damage to established history -?”

Turlough wasn’t prepared to let up, however. “Yes, almost as much as marrying her in the first place.”

“I think I’m going to – er – find a book,” he said, departing hastily.

Tegan glared at Turlough. “It isn’t funny,” she said.

“No,” he agreed, solemnly.

They both laughed, inappropriately but helplessly.

 

***

Six: Wanted Man

“You see, Doctor,” said the Iceni queen. “These Romans are slow to recognise the authority of a female. Theirs is a patriarchal society. I could make use of a man – a consort.”

The Doctor paused. “Ah. Yes, well, I can see your point, but -.”

“You have some objection?”

He stopped and thought about it some more. How to object to proposal of marriage from a woman who would lead a revolt against the Romans, burn Londinium to the ground, and in defeat poison both her daughters and then kill herself? It called for tact and a delicate touch. Thank goodness he was currently enjoying an incarnation that excelled at both.

“I don’t believe I could possibly be worthy of the honour, madam,” he returned. He was also thinking of the histories he’d read and noting that, while she was indeed a fine figure of a woman for this time and place, Dio Cassius had clearly been letting his imagination get the better of him, as he’d always suspected. Hah.

She smiled. “You are too humble, Doctor. You told me you were a lord of your own people – a great leader, even. And I require only a figurehead.”

“Ah,” said the Doctor, thinking hard. “Well, yes, but, you see, that was some time ago and -.”

They both looked up as someone else entered the villa. It was Evelyn.

Just in the nick of time, he thought.

*

“Thank you, your majesty, or your highness,” said Evelyn, after the pair of them had managed to come to an agreement without anyone being killed. She wasn’t at all sure how to address Celtic royalty. (Your majesty was certainly anachronistic, because she knew perfectly well it was Henry VIII who had insisted on that address and sections of his court had found it a bit much.) She reasoned that it paid to be polite, however. “I’m extremely grateful that you saw fit to hand my slave back over. I’m sure that was what he was trying to explain to you, wasn’t it?”

The Doctor turned slightly purple.

Wasn’t it?”

He said, “Yes.”

“I should learn to be a harsher mistress,” said Evelyn, pushing her luck, since the Doctor seemed about ready to burst, “but I seem to have grown unaccountably fond of this one.”

Her ‘slave’ choked.

“One last thing,” she added, as they headed out the door. “I hope you don’t mind me asking, your highness, but how exactly do you pronounce your name?”

The queen had lost interest in either of them – luckily for them, she suspected. She gave a slight shrug of her shoulders as she turned away. “Buddug.”

“Well, how rude,” said Evelyn.

*

“I don’t know how you have the nerve.” Once they were a safe distance away, the Doctor lost no time in giving vent to his indignation.

She sighed. “Obviously, I find the idea of slavery repulsive, Doctor – although I should think you’d make a horrible slave, even if I didn’t.”

He glared at her.

“When someone has saved one from a forced marriage to a Celtic queen – who, by the way, wasn’t supposed to be marrying anyone, so who knows what the consequences would have been to that precious web of time of yours? – the polite response is to thank them nicely.”

“Well, thank you, Evelyn, but I don’t know why you couldn’t have thought of something else!”

“I suppose I could have said you were already married to me, but that’s another truly terrifying thought. Besides, in that case, if she had been determined, she might have had me killed and married you anyway. I thought she would hardly want to marry someone else’s slave.”

“Hmph.”

“Although, now I think about it, I’m not sure Cartimandua didn’t run away with her husband’s shield bearer, or was it the groom, or something along those lines -?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care!”

She caught hold of his arm. “Doctor, I’m sure you’re very annoyed, but can we get back to the TARDIS as fast as we can before everything gets extremely bloody and violent here? You can sulk as much as you like afterwards.”

“Sometimes,” said the Doctor, leading the way back, “you can be intensely annoying, Evelyn.”

*

A few adventures later:

“And what do you mean, ‘man enough for Boadicea?’ Really, Doctor, I was ashamed to be standing next to you.”

“In bad taste, you think?”

Evelyn shook her head. “I don’t know what came over you. If you decide you’re going to flirt with a crazed villainess again, please warn me first so I can ask to be tortured instead. It would have been a lot less painful.”

“Now you’re exaggerating.”

“Yes, but only a little bit.”

 

***

Seven: The Professor

Benny had been traipsing around nineteenth century Europe for the past few weeks, following the TARDIS homing beacon. It was not, she had discovered, a sensible course of action for a respectable woman, at least not if she wanted to remain respectable. Luckily, she was well-equipped to deal with most hazards, but it was trying and the journey was achingly slow for someone used to TARDIS travel.

When she finally arrived in Brussels, she was not in the best of tempers. It was probably not the ideal moment for the Doctor to turn up, looking as fresh as a daisy, promenading down the street, arm in arm with an oddly familiar young woman, whom he introduced as his fiancée, Charlotte.

*

Dear Diary,

Having at long last actually found the Doctor only to discover that he has been having an enjoyable few weeks at the Hegers’ seminary, lecturing in History, I was not best pleased, to put it mildly. I have travelled constantly for the past few weeks without the comforts of chocolate or even alcohol, having enough work to do to scrape together enough for my fares. In fact, diary, I confess it now, I was reduced on no less than three occasions to weeping shamelessly and doing the helpless female routine in order to extract a fare from elderly gentlemen, who generally turned out to be far less benign than they appeared. I have walked much of the distance through snow and rain, and all this in fashions designed to be extremely restrictive and damaging to a woman’s health. [Post it Note to Self: Ask the Doctor who invented the corset and if we can go back in time and kill him? (It can only have been a man.)]

However, all is not in vain: the Doctor has been quite happily getting himself engaged to a certain Miss Charlotte Bronte. Wait, diary – you’re shocked, you say? Well, I did feel I had to point out to the Git Formerly Known As The Doctor that history might have something to say about this and lost no time in diving in and rescuing him. I know. How did he ever get along without me?

Yes, dear reader, you are quite right. I instantly introduced myself as his mad wife who had escaped from the attic. As a conversation starter, it worked a treat.

*

“Mad wife?” asked Charlotte, withdrawing from both of them fractionally. “Can you be serious?”

The Doctor coughed. “I – ah – well, my dear -. Oh, dear.”

“Yes, that’s correct,” said Bernice firmly. “I am his mad wife. Very mad – absolutely livid, in fact. I’ve been all over the place searching for you, John, and this is where I find you – hanging on the arm of another woman?” She sobbed artistically into her handkerchief, a skill she had acquired over the last few weeks.

*

Scratch that, make that FOUR times I have been reduced to playing the part of the helpless female. Naturally, after that, Charlotte was incensed, but after demanding to know whether this was true, and once the Doctor agreed (reluctantly – how he hates a scene!), she showed considerable spirit and leapt to my defence in a heart-warming fashion. I must admit there are times when I’ve felt like using his brolly in exactly the same way.

After which, I was treated to a sisterly commiseration on the evils of men, broken hearts and unrequited love and death, and the Doctor was left to twiddle his thumbs and look regretful while marching up and down the pavement.

The only trouble was trying not to let slip plot details. Absolute torture. Obviously, I didn’t, diary. I am a responsible archaeology professor. I would never tell authors things like that. For one thing, it’s terribly insulting to said author’s powers of invention.

*

“And your Mr Rochester-,” said Benny, looking up and hastily falling silent as the Doctor returned, clearing his throat and looking sheepish. “Well, never mind that, but don’t let any of your family give up on their writing -. Ah, John. Time to leave, I feel.”

He raised an eyebrow.

She gave him a look that hopefully conveyed the message: And if you have anything to say about 'spoilers', I’ll remind you about a certain engagement that could have brought the web of time crashing to its knees.

“Benny, I think you have something in your eye,” he murmured, so evidently it didn’t quite come off.

She retaliated by sweeping to her feet – there were some advantages to long skirts – and saying loftily, “Charlotte, I apologise with all my heart for the scandalous behaviour of my git of a husband and if there is ever anything I can do to make up for it, you must let me know.”

*

“What were you thinking?” she demanded, once they had at last – at last! – returned to the TARDIS. Oh, the bliss of a proper bed tonight, she thought. And she was sure she’d left chocolate somewhere in a drawer. “'Oh, I’ll just hang around here for a bit and break some poor girl’s heart?' I take it I don’t need to inform you of Charlotte’s life story – and you thought you’d come along and make things worse?”

“I had to wait for you to find me. I knew you would.”

“I don’t know why. I was seriously considering trying my luck as a Parisian courtesan. What were the aliens this time – or was it yet another tedious Evil From Before The Dawn of Time ™? What was this terribly devious plot all about?”

“No aliens,” he told her. “Merely a mechanical fault of the TARDIS. I’m sorry about the hiccup with the emergency evacuation procedure.”

“You would have something that lands me half a continent away,” she said. “You git. You complete and utter bastard!”

He sighed and answered her original question. “Charlotte - Miss Bronte - was eating her heart over that nincompoop, M. Heger, and, naturally, I did what I could to distract her. Then, well, one thing led to another – I’m not quite sure whether I actually proposed as such – certainly I never intended anything of the sort – but she was a very interesting companion.”

“Never mind,” said Benny. She should have known better, after he’d put her through yet another hideous endurance test, but he looked so crushed this time that she gave in and hugged him. “It’s good to see you again. And I’ll give you one thing, I suppose – you have good taste.”

He smiled a distant smile. “Yes…”

*

Diary, he is a rat and a git.

You ask me why?

The bastard has used my chocolate stash in some desperate and misguided attempt to fix the TARDIS fault.

I can see your mind is boggling, much as mine did. Personally, I find it best not to ask. I am, however, staging a sit-in protest by the doors until he takes me somewhere I can acquire further supplies.

 

***

 

Eight: Bigamy, Bigamy

“Stop!”

Everyone in the church turned to look at the short, fair-haired and evidently determined young woman now standing in the aisle.

“I’m terribly sorry and all that,” said Charley, “and I know I’m supposed to be waiting for the just impediment bit, but I honestly don’t think there’s time.”

“Oh, no,” said the Doctor turning. “Not you, Miss Pollard! I might have known you would attempt to interfere.”

The vicar coughed. “And what reason do you have for interrupting this ceremony?”

Where to start? thought Charley, who could have given him a list. She decided it was much, much simpler to tell fibs. “You must stop this at once, reverend! You see, this man is already married. In fact, he’s had several wives and he’s previously served a sentence for bigamy, after he deceived my poor mother. Goodness knows how many others there may have been. Isn’t that right, Mr John Smith?”

The Doctor marched towards the interloper. “Curses, I believe I’ve been foiled again. Yes, it’s true, vicar: I’m nothing but a shameless wretch who goes round entrapping unfortunate females into marriage and then running off with their worldly goods, trampling their hearts into the ground as I go. And I’m not in the least bit sorry, either.”

“I should let you know,” added Charley, “that the – er – police are on their way, so you’ll be well served for your crimes – very, very soon!”

He understood her meaning, to her relief, and immediately darted past his prospective bride and down the aisle to a chorus of gasps and a few belated attempts to stop him. Charley charged after him.

“Oh, no you don’t!”

*

“Golly,” she said, later, as they leant over the railings, watching the ships go by on the Thames. “Just think what would have happened if we hadn’t stopped that awful dinosaur thing. I don’t think any of this would still be standing.”

He nodded. “On the other hand, had we let it rampage to its heart content, I would now be a happily married man.”

“Happily?” she scoffed. “What would you have done once you’d both come round from the effects of that ray or whatever it was the Giath did to you? I must say, I was jolly relieved that you recognised me in the church. I wasn’t sure what I could do to stop them all if you still didn’t.”

The Doctor considered the matter. “Yes, I don’t think it would have been a suitable match. Intelligent woman, Miss Pankhurst, of course, but -.”

“Gosh, the trouble you’d have caused,” she told him. “History up the spout – and you’d have Emmeline Pankhurst for a mother-in-law -.”

He nodded. “And, given the times Emmeline and I have had in the past, it would have been entirely inappropriate to marry Christabel. Yes, you’re right, Charley.”

“I am? I mean, of course I am.”

He straightened and began to lead them both away, down the embankment. “I’ll never understand why some alien races seem to think match-making is such an amusing pastime.”

“Well, some humans certainly do,” she said. “You haven’t met my Aunt.”

He laughed. “I suppose that’s true. However, Charley, what I would like to know is whatever made you paint me as such a terrible rogue?”

“What else was I supposed to say?”

“Charley, Charley-.”

She laughed at him. “Well, for all I know, you could be. It’s not as if you aren’t always casually letting drop that you played Tiddlywinks with the Tsarina or knew Cleopatra intimately, or – who was it the other day? – Marie Curie and -.”

“Yes,” he said, slowly, an amused smile growing as he took her hand. “Yes, true. I must stop doing that.”

 

***

 

Nine: Political Issues

“So,” said Jack, “explain to me again why it is we can’t risk having you with us?”

Nine frowned. “How many times d’you need me to say?”

“I don’t know, but I’ll let you know when I’m done,” the Captain smirked. “Come on, Rose hasn’t heard this yet – and let me tell you, I could listen to this one all day.”

He folded his arms. “It’s the sort of thing that could happen to anyone.”

“Well, yeah – for someone like me,” said Jack. “Happens all the time, although, let me tell you, Doc, I don’t usually mislead them into thinking I have anything but the lowest of intentions.”

Rose had gone to change into more appropriate clothes for the period. Now she stopped and looked between them with a frown on her face. “What is it with the pair of you now?”

“Look, you two will have to go out there and fetch that Veratine Generator. I’ve been here before and there’ll be trouble if I’m seen. If you two can manage not to draw attention to yourselves – get out there, get the flipping thing, bring it back -.” He looked at them again. “Well, do your best, okay?”

Jack raised an eyebrow. “Hey, I can do undercover operations with the best of them.”

“I don’t want to know!”

“Will someone tell me what the problem is?”

Jack grinned at her. “The Doctor here can’t arrive at court without causing trouble because he accidentally married the current queen a few years back.”

“He what?”

He heaved a sigh. “I didn’t marry Elizabeth. It was a bit of a pickle – me on the run from those robot outlaws and her having a bit of trouble with the relatives. I had to pretend to be her husband, didn’t I?”

“Er,” said Rose. “You did?”

“Look, I might not have been quite myself at the time -.”

Rose’s eyes widened. “Wait a minute, Queen Elizabeth -?!”

“Not that one,” said Jack. “Or your one, either. If anything, it’s worse. If he turns up now and she recognises him, or anyone else does, there’ll be hell to pay. I mean, of all the people to pick on to impersonate their husband, you choose Elizabeth Woodville?”

“Who?”

The Doctor shrugged defensively. “Well, she's Edward IV's Queen now, but back then she was just a dab hand at dealing with lethal time-travelling robots, I can tell you.”

"Wars of the Roses," said Jack. "Not much fun."

“So,” said Rose, bringing things back to something she understood, Fifteenth Century politics not being her strong point, “exactly how far did this ‘pretending’ go? Uh, I mean -.”

He grinned at that. “Unlike Mr Matinee Idol here, I don’t kiss and tell.”

“Oh?”

“And she may have told me in no uncertain terms what she’d have done to me if I took advantage of the situation,” he added. “Not that I would, what with me being the perfect gentleman and all. Will you two get on and go?”

Jack saluted. “Yes, sir!”

“And,” added Rose, putting on a serious expression, “Doctor, I promise we’ll do our best not to marry anyone while we’re at it.”

He shook his head as they left. There was no way this wasn’t going to go horribly wrong, was there?

 

***

 

Ten: Careless Words

He wasn’t going into the darkness meekly and that was a good thing, wasn’t it? Dylan had said to rage, rage against the dying of the light, and who was he to ignore the advice of a poet? (Well, except obviously for that time when Tennyson had made that silly suggestion about his jumping off a cliff, but then he had been in one of his less attractive incarnations at the time, so you could hardly blame the chap.)

He may have exaggerated just a teensy bit, however. Wouldn’t do any harm. He couldn’t expect an Ood to appreciate the real story, after all.*

And, one of these days, he might settle down. It could happen.

***

*Being, surely, this brilliant account by Doyle, which has now officially been made canon by that CIN clip. (Well, I like to think so.)

***