When travelling with the Doctor one would expect exciting things to happen, however unexpectedly or unwelcome it might be. Sure, the wonderful thing called time travel does factor into it but because they travel with the Doctor, one should also expect things to happen so suddenly and so quickly that you'd be left stunned at how such a thing could have happened. Or running for your life, depending.
As it were, Rory found himself staring at the empty area in the grassy field where the TARDIS has just sort of dematerialised together with Amy and the Doctor. A few minutes ago, the Doctor landed the TARDIS at what he claimed was a planet where diamonds, quartz and other clear white stones are mined and which only can be visited during the few hours when the glare of the stones bouncing light from the two nearby suns would not be too bright to blind the visitors.
As soon as they stopped out though, the Doctor went "Ah..." in a tone that Rory recognised as embarassment before Amy huffed in annoyance.
Rory put his hands on his hips and cocked his head in puzzlement as he watched a man walking with his dog from faraway that all he could make out was that the man was wearing a hat and a long coat, no doubt to cut off the cold from the chilled air. A few yards away from the walking man and dog was an old-styled mansion standing tall in the backdrop of a picturesce countryside scene. Rory shivered and rubbed his hands together as a gust of wind blew at them, ruffling their hair. He took a breath of the cold air. "Are we in England?"
"If we are I will be very cross," Amy said, "This doesn't look like an alien planet made up of diamonds. You promised me diamonds, Doctor. Where are the diamonds?"
The Doctor winced and turned back around to enter the TARDIS to check the readings again, "The Diadera Planet is not made up of diamonds. It grows diamonds and other materials from it's core which pushes up to the surface-"
"Same thing!" Amy scolded, following the Doctor inside, "Diamonds are a girl's bestfriend, Doctor, and you're making a girl suffer because you still can't get the right coordinates for-"
Rory gave a jump before quickly turning around to see the TARDIS's door shut and the horrible cranking sound starting up.
"Amy! Doctor!" he yelled in panic. Rory ran towards the TARDIS but he was too late because it has already phased out and all he could grasp was empty air which still held a small amount of energy from the TARDIS that made him nauseous and his hair stand on end.
"Amy! Doctor!" Rory cried, "Come back..." But there was no sign of the TARDIS coming back, only the sound of the grass rustling in the wind before he realised that he has been left behind. He dropped to the ground on his knees and tried to calm his breathing. Knowing how awful the Doctor still is controlling the TARDIS it could either be a few seconds to a few centuries before the Doctor manages to lock onto the last spot they left Rory at and with a human body, the nurse highly doubted he could last the wait as long as he could have with his auton body that long time ago.
Suddenly, a scream pierced in the air, jolting him out of his misery. He looked up and saw a womanstruggling to free herself from a man who had her in his grip. When the woman screamed again, the man struck her face and Rory immediately jumped into action, running towards the two and the man was so pre-occupied with trying to shove a piece of cloth onto the woman's face that he failed to notice Rory until the young man managed to tackle him to the ground. What happened next was furious grappling and a fist fight. Rory just delved into his memories and instinct from his combat experience during his Centurion life and being a companion of the Doctor, and brought it to the fore. It certainly helped since the man he was fighting with has body mass twice his own and a hand that could wrap around his neck with the other tied behind the man's back.
Just as the kidnapper was about to throw another punch at Rory, a shout burst into the distance punctuated by frenzied barking, bringing their fight to a stop. The man growled and with a look of hate towards Rory, he turned around and ran away and disappeared into the woods just beside the grassy clearing they were at. Rory wanted badly to chase after him, now that the "cavalry" has arrived, but he felt out of breath and catching up to the man now would only bring him to a new world of hurt.
"Mary! Are you alright?!" the newcomer demanded, running towards the woman who was nearly abducted by the man.
"Papa!" the woman cried, allowing herself to be engulfed within the man's arms. She grabbed him back, gasping in fright and shock.
"You're hurt!" the man said, pulling back to look at her daughter's bruised face, "Who was your attacker?"
The woman shook her head. "No. I- I don't know-"
"It's must've been one of Richard Carlisle's thugs," the man growled, "I know it was. He's the only one with enough malice and hatred to come at you at this time."
"No, papa, I don't-" the woman broke off, her teeth chattering, "Please, I-I want to go home."
"Of course, my dear," the man said soothingly, before turning to Rory. "Thank you, my good man, for rescuing my daughter," he said, sticking out his hand to give Rory a shake, "Who are you? What is your name?"
"It's Rory. Rory Williams..." Rory gaped before asking, "Sorry but... Captain Avery?"
Daisy made her way slowly to the study, carrying the pail of coal with her arms fairly shaking with exertion. She has only been promoted to assistant cook two weeks ago but she was still needed to help in other menial tasks like stoking the fire since Alice has gone and no one has yet to replace her. Just as she reached the study, a hand grabbed the bucket she was holding and she gasped in surprise only to see that it was Rory, grinning at her cheerfully.
"Let me help," the young man said, pulling the pail away from Daisy.
The girl stammered, trying to grab the pail back, "N -No, Mr Carson said I'm to do it. He'd have my head if I don't."
Rory laughed. "I don't think he'd mind. He's not that awful is he?"
"Well, he's... I mean.... Oh, it's my job, Rory!" Daisy cried, fretting as she started to twist her skirt with her fingers.
"Calm down," Rory said, "I need to do something. You can tell me what to do and next time the fire needs mending, they can send me and you won't miss too much of your time in the kitchen. I know Mrs Patmore would appreciate it."
"Oh, alright," Daisy finally asquiesced though not with reluctance. Together they entered the study and Daisy pointed with her chin where the fireplace was sitting, and sure enough the fire has grown considerably smaller and the room has already losing some of the warmth from the early morning fire.
"I got it," Rory told her, putting the pail on the floor, careful that none of the soot touched the fine carpeting, "You can go back to the kitchen. I'll return the pail back to the shed."
Daisy shuffled her feet uncertainly for a moment before nodding and leaving quickly to go back to the kitchen and help Mrs Patmore.
After adding more coal to the fireplace and building the flame up to to his satisfaction Rory placed the poker and blower back in it's place and stood up, carrying the pail with him. On his way out he spied a few sheafs of maps laid out on a table and maybe because of some left-over habit he retained from being in the Roman army that one thousand years ago, he stopped to take a look at it. In that 15 seconds he was there, he was already engrossed in understanding the cartography of the maps that he failed to notice someone entering the study room before he heard someone call his name.
"Mr Williams?" Rory gave a start and he looked up to see the Earl of Grantham in his riding attire. He has only spent time with Captain Avery in the few panicked hours being harrassed by alien technology on the good ship Fancy but it was enough the recognise the facial and body structure of the pirate similiar to the gentleman standing before him. Even the little lilts of the men's speech was the same that Rory found it easy to believe that the Earl could be an alternate version of the Captain as an English lord and not just a doppleganger.
"My Lord, excuse me," Rory said, snapping to attention, "I was just building up the fire - it nearly died down."
"You shouldn't be doing that. That's the maid's work," the Earl told him. "Oh I don't mind," Rory quickly said in assurance, "I need to do something while I wait for my friend to fetch me. I can't not work..."
"I see," the Earl said after a moment of hesitation,"Mr Williams, I'm indebted to you for rescuing my daughter and you wouldn't even accept payment other than food and boarding with the servants. To have you work in this house is ingrateful in my part.... but if you insist I can talk to Carson about what sort of work you can do to help around the house. At least I'll be assured you won't be taken advantage of."
"I'd appreciate it very much, my Lord," Rory said. "
Do you have an interest is maps?" the Earl asked, nodding to the maps Rory was busy looking at before he entered.
"Yes, Sir," Rory replied, "sort of a ...a hobby, before I had to leave with my friend."
"I see," the Earl said, "Well, you'd be interested to know that this one is illustrated by a cartographer I hired to render a picture of the advancements of the Allies and the enemy in the Great War. Tell me what you think."
Rory let his eyes roam over the water-marked paper appreciatively before speaking, "The topological details is good. And the symbols... at Sommes, there's even a rendering of the area of the trenches used by the enemy."
"Exactly! It's detailed step by step of the movement of the forces keyed in the map's legend," the Earl pointed out. After a moment though his enthusiastic smile dimmed. "But it would never show the casual observer how many people we've lost," the man said in a grim tone.
Rory and the older man shared shared a silence of rememberence of men lost before Rory noticed the Earl starting to rub his wrist which the nurse realised the Earl has been cradling to his chest.
"Are you hurt, my Lord?" Rory asked.
The Earl sighed. "I was out riding one of the new horses this morning. It was going well when she was given a fright by a hare. I fell and I think I twisted my hand badly. It was a good thing we were already close to the house. If my youngest daughter Sybil was still here, I'd have asked her to take a look and see whether I've strained it or worse. She worked as a nurse during the war, did you know?"
"Oh? Well, I'm a nurse, too. If you'd like, I can take a look at it."
The Earl raised his eyebrows. "You are?"
Rory smiled. "May I...?" The Earl looked at Rory's outstretched hand for a while before putting out his own as a permission for the young man to approach him. Rory stepped forward and held the Earl's hand, slowly rotating the wrist, twisting it gently and asking if it hurts if he does this and that. After less than a minute Rory nodded and let the hand go.
"You don't seem to be in too much pain and there's no sign of bruising or swelling, though you should wait for a few minutes in case there is a delayed reaction. For now I suggest you keep your hand cool with ice. If the pain persist and grows, you should go see a doctor...err, my Lord," he quickly added. It was easy getting back into the routine of a nurse that he has forgotten to act more deferential than talking to someone from Leadworth.
"Ah, very good," the Earl commented after a moment, flexing his hand to test it, "You worked in the clinic? Were you in the war?"
"Yes," Rory automatically replied, before he floundered, "A war.... I mean, yes, clinic... that is-"
"A professional nurse then," the older man guessed, "before you were conscripted to the army. My valet, Thomas, was a medic during the war after he left Downton as a footman... If the Countess or Lady Isobel were to know, they'd probably offer you to the hospital for service."
"Well, I-I wouldn't mind," Rory said hesitantly.
The Earl shook his head before he sighed in defeat at Rory's persistence. "Only if needed," he warned.
Rory grinned. "Thank you, my Lord."