his_sarah_jane: (pensive)
Five times you said yes and meant no.

It’s cold outside. That’s the first thing the four year old girl notices when she steps outside of the small Liverpool house. It’s cold for the month of May and she blames it entirely on the business trip her parents are going to have to make. Her birthday is next week. She’ll be five and grown up. Her daddy seems so proud. He promises to bring her back a surprise. Her mother laughs when she overhears the conversation:

“It’ll be brilliant, my little Sarah Jane,” Nigel Smith says, ruffling the girl’s hair. “You’ll absolutely adore it. But the only way you’ll be getting this surprise is if you promise to be a good girl for your aunt Lavinia.”

“I will!” Sarah smiles a gap toothed smile, attempting to look as innocent as possible. Her answer to her father is a yes. But both her parents know that it isn’t the truth. She’s too curious, too mischievous, too anything to be the proper good girl her father wants. Still, she says yes, even when she means no.

“Wonderful.” He smiles, wrapping an arm around Alice’s waist. “We’ll be back soon, alright, darling?”

That cold May day, the Smith parents and daughter exchange truths and lies in their farewells. Neither are ever meant to be kept.

She wakes up with a gasp. The room is dark and her breath is heavy. She pushes her fringe out from her eyes and takes another gasp. Blankets fall around her body. It had been that dream again, more memory than fantasy: saying goodbye to her parents as a child, her aunt telling her how they had died. Sarah Jane is twenty now, but fifteen years later and the memory of that day still haunts her.

The body next to hers stirs. She rubs her eyes, trying to act as if nothing is amiss. Andrew will never understand, not in a million years. His life is perfect. He expects hers to have been just as much: the perfect journalist and the perfect girlfriend, now the perfect fiancée. They’ve been sharing the flat in Nottingham since the end of her second year at university. He’s a light sleeper. She despises that.

“Sarah, love?”

A light sleeper and clearly awake now. Sarah sighs, sinking down into the sheets and trying to pretend that she’s still asleep. The trick doesn’t work; brown eyes bear down on her very soul.

“Was it another bad dream?”

She shakes her head. Andrew looks at her doubtfully.

“Is everything okay?”

“Oh, of course it is, Andrew.” This lie is starting to come so easily now. Everything is always all right around him. Nothing can ever be out of place. “Just a bit of a fright, that’s all.”

To make up for her failed engagement, Sarah Jane finds herself diving deep into her burgeoning career. It’s easy enough to do and soon enough, she’s relocated to South Croydon and started a promising job with Metropolitan paper. The prospects are exciting. She’s assigned a column – her very own column to do whatever she wants with. All of this is almost enough to make her forget about Andrew and forget about the way he compromised her values and forced her to finally say no, not everything is all right after all.

Then she makes a mistake. It’s a simple enough mistake. Dinner at the local pub further down on Hillview Road has been a normal occurrence while she’s still busy moving in to her new flat. What isn’t normal is the man that starts to talk to her from a nearby table. Gary Noble: a nice enough bloke and far from plain looking. She finds herself laughing again and even smiling. The meal passes quickly.

“It’s a nice night out,” Gary states as they stroll down the lane towards her flat. Their hands occasionally brush as they walk closely together. Originally, she had protested his offer to walk home. Now, she’s happy that she didn’t refuse. “The stars seem to be twinkling ahead. It’s lovely, and the company even lovelier.”

“Exaggerations won’t get you everywhere,” she retorts playfully. Sarah Jane’s eyes twinkle. Harmless flirtation – this she can handle. She comes to a stop in front of a door and smiles up at him. Their walk is over. From the way he looks her over, he knows that too.

Gary smiles and cups her cheek gently. “Will it get me an invitation up to your flat for a cuppa?”

Instantly, the scenario plays out in Sarah’s head. It wouldn’t be just a cuppa. It’s too soon to start anything. Her heart is still on the mend. But oh, he seems so very charming and he’s so very gorgeous and it could be… oh, well, couldn’t it just be a one night sort of thing? A fling, a shag, no complications in the morning.


No. No, no, no. She can’t handle another man this soon.

“It certainly will.”

“I'm not listening.”

Alien monsters, robber barons, a bloody invasion of London by dinosaurs. She had stumbled in over her head when investigating the disappearance of those scientists, disguising herself as her aunt in order to scoop those other curious reporters. Her previously simple world has been turned upside down. The stars in the night sky don’t look the same again. Even a simple passerbyer on the city sidewalk deserves a second glance.

And it’s all because she snuck in to that TARDIS of his when she wasn’t supposed to. Breaking the rules, it appears, has consequences after all. Sarah Jane absolutely refuses to do anything more of the sort. She wants her life to return to that mostly peaceful thing it was. No more aliens for her, thank you all the same.

“...and its seas are as warm milk and the sands as soft as swan's down,” the Doctor continues, leaning closer to her as he talks. There’s a twinkle in his eyes and his face is littered with happy wrinkles
“No, Doctor,” Sarah insists. Hands move from chest to ears, absolutely refusing to listen to this. Her mind has been made up. He isn’t going to win. She’s determined. There will be absolutely no more adventures for Sarah Jane Smith this point out. She wants a normal life, complete with an absolute guarantee that she won’t ever nearly escape death again.

“And the streams flow with water that are clearer than the clearest crystal...”

Sarah Jane shakes her head. Somehow, in some way, it does the trick. The Doctor sighs and takes a step back from her. He frowns, placing a hand to his chin. Then he shakes his own head. Disappointment flashes across his features.

“You’ll never find a beach like this on Earth. Now, Sarah Jane, you really don’t want a normal, humdrum life, do you?”

“Yes. Yes, Doctor, I very much do.”

No. No she doesn’t. She doesn’t want this life. She doesn’t want to be here on Earth. Humdrum, dull lives are for other people. They aren’t for people like her. People like her know death at an early age. It has to be their constant companion in some form or another. Excitement, adventure, pain and joy: all of it. She craves all of it in her life. Love and bliss and domesticity are for other people. Sarah Jane could have had that once.

Up until this point, she has been more than happy she said no.

It is a yes she never intended to say. She never intended to go home. She never intended to leave. All of it, every complaint and every scolding and every pout, all of it had been a rouse. All Sarah had wanted was his attention.

Tears in her eyes, she’s ready to run back to the TARDIS. He couldn’t have gone off yet. It’s too soon. He ought to be watching her leave, that forlorn alien look in his eyes. Sarah stops dead in her tracks. Her breath catches in her throat and she can’t take it anymore. Slowly she turns and starts to dash back. However will he get along without her? That sonic screwdriver is only good for so much, after all.

It’s not there.

He’s not there.

He’s not there.

Her goodies drop to the ground as Sarah chokes back a sob.

He’s gone.

All because she had said yes, she'll take her leave of him for now, when it very clearly had been a no.
his_sarah_jane: (sleeping)
Write about a lie your parents told you.

You remember it vividly. Despite all the thoughts and memories that rattle about in your head, this one always stands out. It’s a simple enough memory, and even if it ought to be as old and faded as a sepia folder, it remains strong. You don’t know whether you ought to despise it or treasure it. After all, it is the only real memory you have at them. But then, every time you remember, your heart gets stabbed with a knife all over again.

It’s worse than remembering the day he left you. And sometimes you wonder how anything could be worse than that.

Sometimes, you wake up breathing hard. You’ve been shot at, poisoned, and tortured. You’ve killed, you’ve had people die for you, and you’ve been unable to save someone else in time. You have all these memories that ought to haunt you. None of them ever do as this one does. Other nightmares never leave you waking with tears in your eyes. Other memories don’t cause you to shiver like this one does.

”It’ll only be a couple of days, darling.”

You roll over in your sleep, clutching the pillow tightly.

”Your mother deserves a break, don’t you think? And Aunt Lavinia is really looking forward to taking care of you for a while.”

The blankets start to fall as you kick them.

Arms wrap around her, tender and loving. A face nuzzles in her hair, planting a kiss on the crown of her head. She moves away, frustrated and sad.

You hug the pillow closer.

”Oh, don’t worry, my Sarah Jane. We’ll be back with plenty of time to spare for your birthday. It’s only a couple of days, not a couple of weeks.”

He smells like old cigars.

You can only remember that smell in your dreams. In your dreams, that smell reassures you. In reality, it makes the bile rise in the back of your throat.

”And we’ll throw an absolutely wonderful party! Your aunt will still be in town, after all. She promised not to head back to Ealing until after.”

As your eyes clench, a tear escapes.

He hands her a stuffed owl. It’s the best gift he ever gave her. She hugs it close, staring up at him.

“Take care of Owly. We’re counting on you.”

The years claimed Owly so long ago. It’s another stab at your heart.

”We’ll miss you every day, Sarah. But we’ll be back soon. I promise.”

The stabs are starting to come more quickly now. One tip of a knife slices into your heart. Then another, and another, and another. The tears come quickly too. You might be sobbing, but you’re still fast asleep.

”And you know your mother never lies, luv.”

But she does lie. She does and the memory of it hurts you so much. Your knees pull up to your chest. Your arms abandon the pillow to clutch around your legs. The fetal position brings little comfort. Nothing brings comforts on nights like this. You keep crying. But as the cries continue, you become closer and closer to waking up.

One night, he walked in on you crying like this. He didn’t understand at first, even as you explained the memory and the nightmare. He never had parents the way that you did. They were never taken from him the way yours had been taken from you. You wept in his arms as you told him the story. It had been so long since you spoke it aloud. But the pain is dulled by his arms.

Tonight there is no one to hold you. You cling to yourself and all those horrible memories of people leaving you. It starts with the first time. It’ll always be the hardest time.

Tonight, that lie is your only truth.
his_sarah_jane: (yes?)
1. [Canon] "My name is Sarah Jane Lofts and my husband is a successful television journalist. Perhaps you've heard of him?"

2. [Canon] "Doctor, I'm not going anywhere anymore. I've had it up to here with police box travelling. This time, I'm taking the train home. Harry and the Brigadier really do have the right idea."

3. [Milliways] "We almost had a child, James. I... I never thought that I would be so sorry to miscarry."

4. [Theatrical Muse] "In fact, Kane, I believe that I will take you up on that offer."

5. [Canon] "I think I rather like it here now that that bug-thing is gone. These people on Nerva need someone to show them how proper Brits run things. I wouldn't mind helping."

6. [Milliways] "Well, Jack, I'm certain James wouldn't mind. We'll come, certainly. Just give me a when and where and I'll be certain that he's there."

7. [Ten Spot] "I don't think that I can take much more of this conversation, Doctor. If you don't propose right now - oh, I swear that I'll walk out of this TARDIS and never return."

8. [Canon] "Mum! Andrew actually kissed me last night!"

9. [Relative Space] "I think, Doctor, that that tattoo suits you rather well. It certainly stands out among all those ruffles. Are there any other surprises I should-- oooh!"

10. [Canon] "I think that, despite any spot of common sense, I've fallen madly in love with you."
his_sarah_jane: (considering)
020. TEN lives you've never lived/could have lived

1. [Canon] White picket fences and a kitchen filled with the latest gadgetry. It wasn’t the first time Sarah Jane felt that she was living in an American suburb advertisement and she doubted it would be the last. Longingly, she stared out the window as she waited for the bus to drop off Alice and Trent. Andrew would be home from work soon, she really should start dinner. It was moments like this, when the dreariness of life as a housewife took over that Sarah regretted her decision. Twenty was far too young an age to marry. She never should have said yes.

2. [Canon] She couldn’t understand it. He looked so different now. He acted so different now. Sarah had seen him die with her own eyes. This man in front of her couldn’t have been the Doctor she had first met. It didn’t make any rational sense, even in a world that didn’t make any rational sense anymore. But there was no use dwelling on it more than necessary. She had made up her mind. Now that the crisis with the robot was over, there was no need in hanging about anymore. Sarah Jane had a career to get back to. She had explained as much minutes earlier when she came to UNIT HQ to say her goodbyes to the Doctor. Without a look back, she continued forward.

3. [Canon] When she said her last words, Sarah Jane was over a hundred and much older than she had ever expected to live. Somewhere out there in her universe, her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren roamed the stars. Wanderlust, it seemed, had been genetic and Sarah was content with letting them live the lives they wanted. After all, that was exactly what she did and oh, what a time it had been. Stowing away in the TARDIS that day the Doctor had tried to drop her off on Earth after receiving a call from the Timelords had been her most brilliant idea. Until now, neither had ever been lonely. And as she faded from this world, Sarah made her Doctor promise that he wouldn’t stay lonely for long.

4. [Milliways] It hadn’t been a false alarm. Her recklessness had finally caught up with her. There wouldn’t be any more trips with the Doctor, no eventual adventures with James. Sarah Jane’s future had been decided for her in one single mistake. But as James rubbed at her swollen belly, saying daft words to child inside of her, she didn’t consider it so much of a mistake anymore. Valerie was due to be born any day now; it was an event both looked forward to with trepidation and delight. Neither of them ever had a proper family growing up, but together, Sarah knew as she gave her husband a fond smile, they had found what they were missing.

5. [Milliways] Sarah Jane hadn’t quite sold her soul to the devil as given him her heart, freely and happily. At some point, sex with Sam had turned into something much more. He was still her friend, certainly, but she had started to see him in a different way. She had always known that Sam was rather gorgeous (and it didn’t really surprise her much given his background), but there was something more about him now. Something she hadn’t recalled feeling in a long time. As she laid in his arms that night, oblivious to the rest of the universe around them, she figured out what it was. Somewhere, somehow, Sarah had fallen in love. She was doomed.

6. [Theatrical Muse] She had been too late. That one fact would haunt her forever. With tear-filled eyes, Sarah watched the funeral pyre burn in the icy night. The sky was clear, much clearer than the night they had landed here days ago. But it was as cold and desolate as she remembered. Kane stood by her, an arm wrapped loosely around her shoulder. No matter how much she despised the pilot, she needed the comfort right now. Her best friend was gone. And she never even found out how much he had understood when she had whispered “I love you” the night before.

7. [Milliways] Except for that one-time pregnancy scare, she hadn’t ever planned on being a mother. But when Allana came into the bar two days ago, everything had changed. Her four year old friend was covered in dirt and grime, bruises and scratches covering her skin and tears in her eyes. There had been an explosion in the palace and, Sarah found out soon after, Hapes had been dragged into a war that had encompassed the rest of Allana’s galaxy. She had never planned on being a mother, but after meeting Allana’s father (though the man wouldn’t admit it) Sarah knew she had to try her best. He had been willing to give up his daughter to a stranger from another world to keep her safe. It gave Sarah a lot to live up to. As she walked over to his table to explain the matter, she only hoped James was willing to see this through with her.

8. [Relative Space] Sarah Jane had stormed away from the rest of the group after being stung by that flipping jam fish. For once, she had absolutely no intention in sharing in with the excitement, still too lost and confused by everything going on about her. The universe was ending and yet they were on Florana on a short vacation of sorts. But despite finally making it to Florana, she felt as if she was trapped in a never ending disaster. By all means, she probably was. So caught up in her own self pity, Sarah Jane didn’t notice anyone following her. When a hand grabbed hers, she turned around, startled. Sarah found herself looking up into the Doctor’s kind eyes, white hair mused by the wind. It was certainly a nice face to look at, she realized as she smiled back uncertainly. That uncertainty disappeared entirely when he kissed her. Everything but the two of them disappeared for that one lingering moment: the eye in the oncoming storm.

9. [Canon] Sarah laughed with excitement as she scored the winning goal of the playoff game. Never before had she performed this well. Certainly never before had she actually made a goal that made all the difference in the end. Her hockey stick was thrown to the ground as the ten year old girl ran forward to her team mates, joining them in excited shouts of celebration. From the corner of her eye, she caught her parents in the stands. They were clapping more enthusiastically than any other person, clearly proud of her. Sarah Jane laughed again, this time with anticipation. There was going to be a party in the Smith household tonight.

10. [Milliways] Every time she walked past the graveyard, Sarah was filled with a pain of what might have been. It hadn’t been a year yet and the ache inside her certainly hadn’t dulled. When James had died, it was unexpected, shortly after their first date. He had been called away on a mission to Cuba. She had waited a whole week for him to return, unable to get back to Milliways without his help. But he had never shown up. She had been abandoned in a world not her own. She hadn’t even had the chance to fall properly in love with him. Walking by that one graveyard always hurt. Yet, she never knew how to change routes.

[ooc: ya'll? i <3 you for inspiring these responses. you know who you are.]
his_sarah_jane: (i want to cry)
Write a ficlet that starts with the following sentence: There was no sound, nothing at all, except for...

There was no sound, nothing at all, except for the quiet hum of the TARDIS as Sarah Jane wandered down the hall. The twists and turns of the maze of walkways never ceased to amaze her. It almost seemed as if she never took the same route twice; yet, she always found her way to the room she wanted. The Doctor had tried to explain it to her once, but Sarah had shrugged it off. As long as it worked, she didn’t really want to hear the complicated physics explanation behind it.

Tonight, however, was an entirely different case. She had awakened from a nightmare in the midst of the TARDIS’ sleep cycle covered in a cold sweat. It was a dream that had haunted her since her youth: her subconscious’ own rendition of her parents’ death. She despised it. When she was a child, Sarah Jane would typically crawl in to her aunt’s bed after the nightmare. Now, as an adult, that option was no longer viable. So she wandered the hallways of the TARDIS instead, determined to get rid of the chilling feeling that crept down her spine.

Sarah had no direction tonight. She only wanted to escape the images in her mind. As she walked, the halls of the TARDIS seemed to go on forever and ever. The Doctor always joked that it was bigger on the inside, and while she knew that to be fact, Sarah had never felt as overwhelmed until now. A part of her almost wanted the Doctor to come and take her hand as Aunt Lavinia did when she was a child. That ridiculous notion was dismissed instantly.

As Sarah Jane continued down the hall, she could feel her eyelids start to grow heavy. How long had she been wandering? It was starting to feel like forever. And it would take forever to get back to her room, wouldn’t it? She shook her head sleepily, unable to keep the yawn from escaping her lips. A short sit down on the floor suddenly seemed welcoming. After another yawn, Sarah relinquished to her body’s tired needs. The floor was far from uncomfortable as she discovered as she tucked her knees against her chest.

Just a small nap…

When she awoke, it was to the sound of footsteps echoing down the hallway. They broke the silence of the TARDIS night. She opened her eyes curiously, expecting to see the Doctor wander down the hall. She blinked in confusion when the figure came closer, revealing a female body in place of the expected lanky male one. The confusion rapidly became an awed fear as realisation hit: Sarah knew this woman.

“Mummy?” she whispered in a small voice. Somehow she was able to get to her feet, unable to take her eyes off of the woman in front of her. “Mummy? Is that really you?”

The woman nodded, taking a few steps closer before stopping in front of Sarah Jane. She reached a hand outward, stroking Sarah’s hair softly. For scarcely a second, Sarah closed her eyes to enjoy the sensation. It had been so long since she had last seen her mother, years and years. She never wanted this moment to end. Sarah was convinced that if she looked away for even a second, it would all vanish like a dream.

But when she opened her eyes again, Alice Smith was still standing in front of her. She looked as every bit radiant as Sarah remembered: the same dark brown hair and brown eyes, a pixie face full of hidden mischief and obvious love. It was a face she had only ever seen in dreams or a picture frame for the past nineteen years. Taking another chance, Sarah Jane closed her eyes as she hugged her mother, burying her face in Alice’s hair. She felt tears threatening to fall and ignored them. This moment was too precious to waste.

“My little Sarah,” said Alice as she finally moved a step away. She kept both hands on Sarah’s shoulders, the same loving smile still firmly in place. “My, how you’ve grown.”

There were so many things Sarah Jane wanted to say in response. The only words that did come were a squeaked “I miss you” before the tears fell. Alice lifted one hand to Sarah’s cheek, gently wiping at the tears. The action felt so familiar that for a moment, Sarah wondered if it was really happening. She was in the TARDIS, wasn’t she? And her mother was dead. It didn’t make sense. But in some ways, it made all the sense in the world.

As the mother and daughter reunited in one of the many expansive hallways of the TARDIS, a still sleeping Sarah was unaware of the reality around her. As she slept soundly, lost in a much more pleasant vision, she had no idea of the man holding her or the way he manipulated this one particular dream. There was no sound, no sound at all, except for three hearts beating in sync. It was a sound Sarah Jane would never hear.


his_sarah_jane: (Default)
Sarah Jane Smith

April 2011

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