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The Professor

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**

Rose muffled a yawn as she shuffled on into her physics class with the rest of the sleepy student body. Finding a seat near the front, Rose waved distractedly towards Amy and Rory and Clara, who all waved back as they all found their own seats.

It wasn’t that she didn’t like physics (if anything she found that she had a passion for it) it was that their usual professor, Professor Saxton, always made it so boring and seemed to take a perverse delight in not only remind his students that they weren’t likely going to get any well-paying jobs, but also had something of a wandering eye. Apparently he’d offered several female students ‘private lessons’.

Rose didn’t know if anyone actually took him up on that offer (she hoped not, the man was slime), but as the doors opened and a figure in a long blue coat confidently strode in, Rose was kind of hoping that Saxon had gotten himself in trouble.

“Good morning,” the woman proclaimed, grinning widely as she shrugged off her coat, revealing a black top and yellow suspenders, which she hooked her thumbs into and snapped lightly “are we all sitting comfortably?” she asked “we are? Brilliant!”

She turned towards the board and began writing on it

“I’m Dr. Jane Smith,” she introduced herself “I’ll be teaching you from now on,” she turned and pointed at student who’d raised his hand “yes?”

“Where’s Mr. Saxon?” he asked

Dr. Smith smirked mischievously as she idly flipped her short blonde hair out of her face

“Prison, I’d imagine,” she shrugged “anything else? No? OK, good,” she spun on her heel and began drawing up a complex equation. As she did, Rose watched her, entranced. She was wearing loose, baggy trousers which matched her coat, the shirt—which could either be dark green or black, Rose couldn’t tell—had a horizontal stripe of colors across it. Very eclectic.

Something about her drew Rose in and she missed the entirely of the woman’s—very energetic and spirited—lecture, and she jumped when the bell rang signaling the end of class and found herself wandering out into the hall in a bit of a star-struck daze

“Rose?”

She jumped at a tentative touch on her arm

“Sorry,” Rory pulled back, holding his arms up in surrender “didn’t mean to scare you,” he apologized “just…are you…OK? You seemed a bit…distracted in class”

“I’m fine, Rory,” she assured him “just a little sleepy. We still on for game night?”

“Definitely,” Rory nodded “Amy’s been waiting for a rematch all week”

“It’s not my fault I’m better at Pictionary than her” Rose laughed

“Who’s better than me?” Amy herself slid up behind her boyfriend “no one’s better than me, Tyler,” the Scotswoman proclaimed. She gave Rory a hard nudge “right?”

“Uh, right!” Rory nodded eagerly, clearly not wanting to contradict her “yes, definitely” he gave Rose a pleading look as Amy narrowed her eyes at him before dragging him off down the hall.

Rose shook her head, they were such an odd pair, but clearly smitten with each other, which only darkened her mood as she recalled her own abysmal love life. Or lack thereof.

There had been Mickey, but they’d grown apart, it had quiet and simple and she still saw him and Martha frequently, practically everyday to be honest. After Mickey, there’d been that little thieving snot Adam. After that awful mistake, there’d been Jack, but she and he had quickly become friends instead. And the less said about Jimmy Stone the better.

Walking across the darkening campus, she entered the women’s dorm and made her way into the rec room, finding Sarah Jane sitting in an armchair watching TV

“Hello, Rose,” she greeted warmly. Rose smiled, she liked Sarah; the older woman had come back to university to finish getting her degree in journalism and had had quite her share of adventures in her youth, and frequently regaled the other girls with fantastic, seemingly-impossible tales

“Everything all right?” Sarah asked as Rose plopped down on the couch

“Hmm?” Rose blinked, still somewhat lost in thought “sorry,” she apologized “just…we got a new physics professor today” she explained

“Oh yes,” Sarah pulled a magazine off the arm of her chair and held it out “read that” she explained as Rose scanned the headline ‘UNIVERSITY PROF. ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT’ it read, along with a very unflattering photo of Professor Saxon being lead away by two police officers, clearly ranting and raving as he was.

“Finally caught up with him, eh?” Rose asked as she handed the magazine back to Sarah

“About time, I say,” the other woman proclaimed “so, what’s troubling you?” she wondered. She frowned “ah!” she grinned

“’Ah’ what?” Rose asked “don’t ‘ah’ me”

“You’ve got a crush on this new teacher, don’t you?” Sarah teased

Rose fidgeted, scowling as Sarah’s triumphant smirk widened

“All right, maybe” she finally admitted

“So? What’s wrong with that?” Sarah wondered “you’re an adult and, I’m assuming, so is he”

“She” Rose corrected

Sarah blinked

“Oh. I see,” she frowned “hmm, I’m afraid this is a little out of my area of expertise” she admitted

“Hang on,” Rose began “are you suggesting that I actually…ask her out?”

“Why not?” Sarah shrugged “the university turns a blind eye to teacher-student relationships as long as both are quiet about it and not like Saxon,” she held up the magazine “I mean, look at Professor Stewart and Osgood. And we all know about Professor Song’s…” she coughed uncomfortably “…dalliances. As for her being a woman, I’m not the right person to ask” she explained as the door closed and two more people entered “but they are” Sarah chuckled as Jenny Flint and Vastra walked in.

Rose waved to them as they passed, Jenny waving back shyly as Vastra just ‘looked’ at her. Rose repressed a shiver, no wonder the other girls called her the Lizard Lady, and it wasn’t just because she had a pet snake (currently wound around her neck like a feather boa). Despite the frosty attitude, Rose knew Vastra to be quite gentle, practically doting on Jenny.

Yawning again, she stood up

“I’m going to bed,” she announced “g’night, Sarah”

“Good night, dear,” Sarah called “and Rose?” Rose turned “do think about what I said” Sarah encouraged.

Nodding, Rose shuffled off to bed…