his_sarah_jane: (older!sarah - reflective)
001. "Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." Oscar Wilde

“So what will it be?” asked the devil, crouched before the healer, playing with a feather drenched in angel blood. “One last great adventure? Or a cold and lonely death?”

And she made her choice that day.


She had thought that experience would teach her better. For four years of her life, she had travelled with her healing man and seen the wonders of the universe. For all the years that followed, she had mimicked his actions upon her owns. She continued as a journalist, she continued as a hero the best she could. But on that day, with that offer, Sarah Jane ignored everything experience had taught her.

Instead, she had agreed to one last great adventure with her newest savior as her angel died in her arms. In the end, experience had taught that the need to live outweighed any rational thought. And oh, how she had wanted to live.

Sarah probably should have suspected her devil’s identity from the very start. She was nearly fifty now, after all, and had experienced more than most would in five lifetimes.

The signs were there, after all, after shortly after arriving on their first new planet. Technically, it wasn’t a planet – nor was it new to Sarah Jane. She had been there before, years ago, with the Doctor and Harry. Voga, the planet of gold, was as beautiful as she had remembered.

It was absolutely awful watching Harold, as her devil instead she call him, manipulate the Vogans. She hadn’t realized that he had fed coordinates to a band of Cybermen. Sarah hadn’t realized until it was too late, until the Vogans had been captured and Voga was about to be blown up as the Cybermen had hoped to do all those years ago.

“We can’t let this happen,” she insisted, looking at Harold with wide and angry eyes, feeling all the more like her young naïve self rather than a woman of experience. “This is a mistake, Harold. They’re innocent. The Cybermen trust you. We have to stop them.”

He looked at her for a long time that moment, his eyes cold and calculating and without the slightest hint of warmth. Those seconds seemed to last forever. Finally, her devil nodded. “I’ll make a deal with you, my dear. This won’t be one last great adventure. I’ve grown lonely in my old age. We’ll save the Vogans, but you’ll stay with me until death do us part.”

She had made her mistake once, agreeing to his deal. Less than a week later, Sarah Jane found herself making it again. “Agreed.”

And so, the Cybermen were destroyed. Unaware of the deception, the Vogans welcomed Sarah and Harold with open arms. When she saw him smile, Sarah Jane thought she should be afraid. It wasn’t a comforting smile at all.

Weeks and months passed and she never realised. He was a horrible man, truly the devil. Sarah Jane may have had her suspicious, but she never gave voice to any of them. Easier to think he was just a renegade. Easier to think that experience had taught her better.

But it was that first night in which he took her into his bed that she did figure it out, that something changed within her in the process. He had been taunting her all night within his stolen TARDIS. It was that night she accused him of stealing it from her healing man. Harold grew cold and sincere and nodded. A glint in his eyes caused Sarah Jane to take a few steps back. He followed.

“I know who you are,” she whispered as the connections formed in her brain. Sarah reached for the nearest weapon (it hurt, it hurt to think she might have to kill a man but she had to – he wasn’t even a man) and held the club gently in her hands. “You’re him. The Master, Koschei. I remember you. Don’t you dare think otherwise!”

There would only be one way to be free of this horrible deal. If she killed him, she could find a way to bring the TARDIS to the Doctor. She would finally be reunited with her healing man after all the long, sad years and, more than that, she would be free.

Sarah Jane raised her arm to swing at him and Harold grabbed her wrist mid arc. He held it there as he moved them backwards to pin her against the console. The Master tilted his head and looked at her for a moment before he crushed his lips violently against her own. She didn’t want to submit, oh, she was old for goodness sake and anything but attractive now. And yet, she couldn’t help but think if she allowed this, if he was fully distracted enough, she’d be able to kill him.

Experience had taught her men could be very vulnerable when it came to sex. She had to hope this extended to Time Lords, too.

Her aim was off as she jammed a letter opener into his back right before climax. He only laughed and told her he couldn’t think of a better desecration of the Doctor’s room than everything the two of them had just done as she came, lost and willing.

Deals were meant to be broken.

Life could never be one grand adventure.

Experience taught you to avoid new mistakes.

Betrayal would always hurt.

All of the sudden, none of those thoughts seemed true anymore. She had changed in that moment, given in to all her anger: anger at her angel for being so reckless, anger at her devil for proposing that life altering deal in the first place, anger at her healer for abandoning her, anger at herself for giving in. Sarah Jane Smith simply didn’t want to be anymore. She didn’t want to exist.

Deals could never be broken.

Life had become one grand adventure.

Experience taught you nothing.

And betrayal didn’t hurt. Not if you didn’t let it, not if your buried your true self so deeply that it would never exist again. She did such that night as she lost herself in his arms. Sarah Jane Smith, the intelligent, curious, persistent journalist who prided herself on her integrity, disappeared. She let herself become the perfect companion to Harold instead, taking glee in manipulating civilizations and in mayhem of all sorts, trying to kill him at all odd hours of the day, falling willingly into his embrace again and again.

Experience taught it was easier to face your fears if you found ways never to face them at all.

[ooc: based upon a prompt by [livejournal.com profile] savagestime. Master and fic used with permission.]
his_sarah_jane: (sarah and ten)
004.Gut feeling

SPOILERS FOR JOURNEY'S END )

[ooc: thank you to [livejournal.com profile] sarahs_attic for beta’ing help.]
his_sarah_jane: (older!sarah - really frowny)
005.What is the best prank you ever pulled on someone or someone played on you?

Sarah Jane could hear explosions coming from downstairs. While explosions were not all that much of a strange occurrence within the house on Bannerman Road, the location was. Typically, she confined such activity to her attic. Luke and Clyde knew better than to try and muck up her living space. After all, the two boys learned the hard way – when a bottle of Racksonian goop somehow found its way all across her Persian rug.

Explosions radiating from downstairs had henceforth become a dangerous phenomenon for all involved.

With a frown, Sarah Jane pushed aside her laptop. The article for the Sunday Times could be put on hold for the time being. Aside from explosions and Clyde’s occasional whoop of joy, it seemed almost too quiet down there. Sometimes Sarah ridiculed when she got like this, playing the part of the nervous mum rather than the more competent woman she believes herself to be. And other times – well, apparently that sixth sense of trouble sharpened the longer you had children.

“I’m coming down,” she shouted when she reached the stairwell. Given the turn of the staircase between the first floor and ground, Sarah couldn’t quite see what was going on yet. But oh, she could warn them. “And if there’s any bit of slime on my floor again, Clyde, I’ll make sure to cancel that upcoming holiday to Cardiff. I’ll just take Maria instead.”

“’s alright, Sarah Jane! Absolutely no slime about. Right Luke?”

“Uh.”

For whatever reason, she doubted that the return exchange actually made her feel any better. There was something going on down there. Sarah Jane didn’t waste a moment more. She sighed and hurried down the steps, crossed the living room when unable to spot any teenage boys, and found herself in the telly room.

It was inside this room that she found Luke and Clyde, the latter’s eyes glued to the television while the former kept looking back and forth between the screen and his friend. Luke seemed confused (a typically normal state for the four month old thirteen year old boy) and sounded out a steady stream of questions from the small look of annoyance on the other’s face.

“What’s that again?”

“It’s the GACTIC, remember? Generations and comparative times in cosmos?”

Oddly enough, the GACTIC that Clyde was referring to on the screen reminded Sarah Jane of another acronym. Rather than a little blue police box, though, the object - well, space ship Sarah assumed – was a little red phone booth, roughly the same size and the same and shape as her Doctor’s precious TARDIS. She watched as two characters circled about it: one a rather petite dirty blonde woman clutching the camera hung around her neck and the other a rather average looking bloke wearing a white lab coat and stethoscope. Her lips pursed into a frown as Luke and Clyde fell quiet, allowing her to more than easily hear the dialogue.

The woman pouted, giving the man a frustrated look. Whatever he had said while the boys were talking had annoyed her. She ran a hand through her blonde hair and the camera zoomed in so Sarah could easily see a pair of clever brown eyes. Then, it panned out again to allow the viewer to see the telephone booth and two individuals.

“I don’t understand why you keep having to circle about the GACTIC every time we step out, Edmund. Doctor What has taken you on more than enough trips by now, hasn’t he?” She tapped a foot, arms crossed around her chest and tangling with the white scarf tie she wore around a silly looking sailor blouse.

A rather familiar looking sailor blouse, come to think of it.

Edmund gestured back to the booth. He was dark skinned with curly brown hair and a demeanor that reminded Sarah Jane very much of either Harry Sullivan or Mickey Smith. “Because! It’s far bigger on the inside, Susie Ann. And I’m afraid that, no matter how many times Doctor What takes us inside, I’ll never understand the complexities of—“

He never had a chance to finish the sentence, though. A flash of bright light whitened the telly screen for a second and explosions started up again. Laser shots and sounds (of highly inaccurate look and noise, if you asked Sarah Jane) ricocheted across the grassy expanse the GACTIC now appeared to be parked on. Golden, robotic looking men stepped in to view – they were the individuals responsible for the sudden mayhem. Their voices sounded metallic (“Stop or you will be exterminated.”) and they had daft looking antennas sticking from where the ears would otherwise be.

Susie Ann gasped. “Autotrons!”

“Duck,” Edmund shouted, reaching in to his pocket for something. Wide eyed and panicked, and with poor, poor acting, he shook his head. Susie’s eyes narrowed in anger. “I’ve lost it! Goodness, I’ve lost the GACTIC key.”

“See? I told you that I should have held on to it. Can’t have a man do a woman’s job, as I always—“ Edmund reached for Susie Ann’s hand, pulling her to the ground when another volley of laser beams flew in their direction. She had been too busy preaching to bother with the danger at hand. Sarah Jane watched as Susie growled at him, her camera on the ground, cracked and broken.

But that wasn’t the worse of it. As Edmund and Susie Ann attempted to crawl behind the telephone booth for cover, another man came running in to the scene. He had wild, curly ginger hair and a horrendously brightly coloured scarf that left Sarah Jane in amazement. Like another man she once knew, his scarf was impossibly long and yet, he never tripped over it the entire run. Unlike that man though, the one on the screen was rather dashing, in a very geeky sort of way.

“Susie! Edmund!” The newcomer shouted as he pulled a pen out of his trench coat pocket. He aimed it in the direction of the golden Autotrons and it emitted a funny electronic beeping sound and bright green light. Suddenly, the Autotrons all dropped their weapons as not a single one appeared to work anymore.

The image on the screen switched over to the woman. She was beaming at the sound of the newcomer’s voice and stood, despite Edmund’s protests.

“Doctor,” she shouted back happily as she began the sprint over to him. “Oh, Doctor What! Of course you came! You always make it- ahhh!”

The piercing scream nearly gave Sarah Jane a headache. Yet, she continued to stare at the screen transfixed. Clyde leaned forward on the couch, elbows resting on knees and head resting on hands. Luke merely blinked a few times, but he remained just as engrossed as Susie dropped to the ground, clutching a bloody wound on her waist. A woman dressed in black smirked evilly in the corner of the screen, her presence unbeknownst to the other characters.

Doctor What fell to his knees besides the woman. He gently lifted the blonde head of hair on to his lap as he pushed part of his scarf on top of the injury to stop the bleeding. He was grief stricken as his brown eyes bore down on the women. He placed a light kiss to her forehead and brushed the fringe out of her eyes.

Then, he whirled his head about to glare at the man. “Edmund, you imbecile! You should have never let Susie Ann keep you out here. Well, what are you standing around for? You’re the doctor of medicine, are you not? Do something.”

“My kit is inside the GACTIS,” Edmund choked out. The panic on his face persisted, but unlike prior when it had been about the attack, it now clearly was about his friend’s life. “And I can’t find my key.”

Gravely, Doctor What aimed his sonic pen at the telephone booth door. After the return of the green light and beeps, the door swung opened. Edmund nodded, saluted, and dashed inside.

Susie blinked her eyes wearily, struggling for breath and wincing in pain when Doctor What pressed down harder on her wound. Sticky red liquid began to leak between his fingers. He frowned but never cried as he stared down at her. “My Susie Ann. Oh, I never should have let you come to Syxros with me.”

“Do… don’t blame yourself,” she replied in a small voice. Tears rolled down her face and she attempted a weak smile when he brushed them away. “Would’ve… pact with… alien robots. Would’ve made a… made a great story. And...” Susie Ann choked on her breath and gasped. “I love you, Doctor.”

Her eyes closed and she fell limp in his arms. Doctor What pulled her up in his arms and hunched over to rest his forehead against hers as he hugged her tightly. Anger was the only emotion readable on his face as he whispered back, “I love you, too, my Susie Ann.”

The screen went black.

“Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant,” Clyde shouted excitedly, throwing the telly remote on the couch as he jumped up in jubilation. He turned to beam at Luke. “Wicked, wasn’t it? I can’t wait until next week. The Mistress sure is going to get it, isn’t she?”

Luke blinked. “Get what?”

Revenge! You know Susie Ann will live, but even so, Doctor What isn’t going to stand for this at all.” It was about at this point where he remembered that Sarah Jane was in the room, still leaning against the door frame and staring at the telly screen as if she had just seem some ghost. Clyde blinked, but otherwise remained unphased. “Totally wicked, wasn’t it, Sarah Jane? It doesn’t beat any of our adventures – of course - but there’s definitely a reason why Doctor What is currently BBC’s highest rated program.”

Sarah Jane shook her head. Now that the television was actually off, she had a moment to think. Well, mostly a moment as it was rather difficult to contemplate what the bloody hell it was that she had just witnessed while Clyde babbled away. Doctor. Susie Ann. A flipping journalist travelling in a telephone booth with a sonic pen wielding man.

Oh. This had to be some sort of alien conspiracy. Absolutely no other way to explain it existed at all. At all. She shook her head and took a deep breath before her eyes narrowed on Clyde.

“What,” she said slowly and sternly, “was that?”

Doctor What,” Luke interrupted with a small smile on his face. “Clyde says it’s what everyone is watching these days and that it would be a social miscalculation if I didn’t watch it. We’re at the end of season three-“

Series, Luke,” Clyde corrected with a roll of his eyes. “It’s a series, not a season.”

“But Do-“

“Oi, trust me on this one, will you?” Luke shrugged and Clyde grinned, giving Sarah a look that very much meant there had been far more many mistakes uttered by her son today. “He got the rest of it right, though. Pilot was originally lost in a fire, but they replaced the kilt wearing companion with a plucky journalist babe and ever since, the new series has been a complete and utter hit! Even when Michael Owen left – that’s the original Doctor What – over type-casting shi- I mean barmy, it’s still wicked good.”

“Maria says that this new Doctor, Peter Williamson, is gorgeous. I don’t understand that.”

Girls,” Clyde echoed in agreement after a mock suffering sigh that got Luke grinning a little. “At least Sarah Jane here is too cool for something like that. Told you there was no slime about.”

Or, thought Sarah Jane, there was no slime of the non-metaphorical type about. She placed a hand to her head and collapsed on the couch Luke was sitting upon. She took a deep breath, closing her eyes and trying for the longest of seconds to forget everything she had just observed. It was too late. The images were burned in her retinas, awful reminders of a life she had left behind.

“It really is good, Mum,” Luke chimed in a moment later. His voice was quiet and earnest. “I like Susie Ann Jones the best. She reminds me of you.”

“Except when she and Doctor What guest starred on Blazetimber and that whole bit with the scarf bondage an’-“

What?” Sarah Jane’s eyes were wide and furious. She sat straight up on the couch and stared at
Clyde with an expression of complete disbelief. “What scarf bondage?”

“Eh, don’t tell my folks, okay?” Apparently, a post-watershed show was completely proper to inform Sarah Jane about, though. The mumsy part of her wanted to be responsible. The absolutely outraged and shocked part, however, won out. Sarah nodded and Clyde continued. “Blazetimber’s a spinoff show they started last year, see, with Major Marc Birdie, that’s a lot like CSI with way more shagging. Susie Ann got infected with an alien parasite with a craving for orgasmic energy and seduced Doctor What and Major Marc. So…”

From the corner of her eye, Sarah Jane noticed Luke shift uncomfortably. Apparently Clyde had been busy filling Luke in about girls and relationships without her knowing again. Either way, she doubted that she could handle any more information. There were far too many coincidences cropping up for Sarah to feel comfortable. Perhaps, so far, the only misconception she couldn’t place was all this talk of sex and love.

“Please. Please stop, Clyde. I’ve heard just about enough.” Sarah stood from the couch, straightening her skirt as she did. This whole thing sounded ridiculously like an absolutely horrible prank. But she couldn’t think of anyone who would play such a joke. Clearly, a few more facts were needed. “Three series, you said?”

Clyde nodded, looking mildly perplexed at the sudden renewed interested.

“And, tell me, is there anything like UNIT in the show?”

“Now that you mentioned it, there is a Brigadier with a mustache that winds up being this alien organism and a crew of military men always mucking things up in their red berets. Suppose that is kind of like UNIT, isn’t it?”

So, so unfortunately so.

Without any more questions, Sarah Jane thanked both boys, asked them to keep the volume down during the next episode, and left. Perhaps she ought to question Mr Smith for information, but right now, Sarah needed to sit. More than that, she needed fresh air and a break from any sort of electronic device that wouldn’t let her contact Alastair. This was far worse than any Dalek, Slytheen, or sontaran she had ever faced.

This was an absolute ridiculous parody of her very own life broadcasted for the entire bloody world to see! The joke was far from amusing.

“Alastair?”

It didn’t take long for her to dial the number on her mobile, nor for him to pick up at home. After exchanging pleasantries, it also didn’t take long for Sarah to obtain the information she wanted. She never had been one to beat around the bush, after all.

But as she had learned before, sometimes the answers you looked for were not the answers you desired.

“Oh, you have got to be kidding me! To convince the public how ridiculous it is that there is possibly no way for an alien to go about in a blue box and rescue the planet? This was Torchwood’s idea, wasn’t it?” Sarah sighed. “Have you ever even watched the show, Alastair? It’s absolutely horrible. Oh, I see how it can help, but still…

“My son’s friend is trying to talk him into watching. Yes, I’d like to think they’d both know better. And I will tell Luke that you send your love. Really, there’s nothing you can do? Certain of that?”

He was, much to Sarah Jane’s disappointment. Her pacing was starting to wear on her nerves, so finally, she took a seat on the patio swing. She craned her head upward to stare up at the twilight sky, watching as the first stars started to make their presence known. There was absolutely nothing that could be done except hoping that this fad would pass soon. However accidental, Doctor What remained an absolutely horrible prank in her opinion. She didn’t deserve to have her life plastered on the telly.

None of them did.

And yet, she supposed as a shooting star passed over the horizon, it could be far worse. At least the Doctor would never have any inkling of this atrocity.

Maybe he had been right about those ‘daft human television programs’ after all: nothing but rubbish.

[ooc: Again, credit goes where credit is due. The idea of Doctor What is not mine but [livejournal.com profile] telyn_timber’s. But because she is awesome and doesn’t want to write this up herself, I’m doing it for her. Think of it as a graduation gift or part of belated birthday gift (that I will get you some day) or something of that. ♥]
his_sarah_jane: (older!sarah and luke)
005.What was your safe place as a child?

She couldn’t find him and it worried her. With Maria visiting her mum this weekend and Clyde away on a family camping trip, Sarah Jane couldn’t possibly think of any place where Luke may have wandered off to. The boy was one of the most conscientious individuals she knew. He’d even leave a note when running across the street to the Jacksons’. At the very least, there’d be a text waiting on her mobile.

Right now, though, Sarah couldn’t find any such note. Her mobile was completely silent. Even Mr Smith was unaware of Luke’s present location. As she stood in the living room, looking around for some sign of her son, Sarah Jane ran her hands through her hair. She felt frantic, almost panicked. While it wasn’t an unusual feeling for her, typically life-threatening, world-ending reasons were involved. Never before had she felt a worry like this on a pleasant Sunday evening over Luke’s failure to show to supper.

There had been reports of Slitheens filtering through the UNIT radio waves again. It almost seemed that since their initial invasion of Downing Street, the green farting aliens couldn’t stay away from the planet. Given their own recent dealings with the family from Raxacoricofalipetorius – and the fact that Sarah had found Luke’s mobile lying on his bed – a possible abduction continually crossed her mind. Mr Smith’s scan of the house had registered no other life forms present.

“Oh, Luke,” she murmured, sighing as she collapsed on the couch. “Where are you?”

She considered calling Maria and Clyde to see if either had heard from their friend. But calling would mean admitting defeat. It would mean that she had failed as a mum, unable to keep track of her own son. This whole experience made Sarah Jane realise what it must have been like for her aunt when she was Luke’s age, always wandering away from the Bannerman Road house without as much as a shout goodbye. No wonder Aunt Lavinia was relieved when she had finally gone off to uni.

Sarah Jane could only stay seated for so long. With another sigh, she stood from the couch. She glanced at her watch and pocketed both phones. After a long look about the room, she started to walk towards the back door. Maybe some fresh air would do her some good. Maybe she would recall something that Luke had said last time she had seen him, this morning in his room working on his coursework.

The flowers were in full bloom. As the sun set, small lamps flickered to life. The lights in Mrs McKenzie’s home also illuminated the garden. For a few moments, Sarah felt at ease. She let herself remember another time, when this house wasn’t hers but her aunt’s and a young Sarah found wonder in every summer night. That was long before she became a journalist, long before ever meeting the Doctor.

The garden had been her safe place back then. There had been a willow tree all those years ago, and Sarah would hide underneath its branches. Whenever she had a row with her aunt, she’d grab a book and run outside. It was the spot she chose to spend every anniversary of her parents ‘death. After she lost Andrea, Sarah barely budged from beneath the tree.

She smiled softly, kneeling at the spot where the tree used to reside. She ran a hand over the stump – all that remained. The willow had been chopped down sometime after Sarah Jane had moved out. She remembered being saddened the first time she had returned to Ealing, for Christmas during her first year at university.

“I could certainly use you now,” she told the stump. Sarah laughed dryly. “Someplace to hide as I accept my failure at this motherhood business. I can’t find him, you know. Luke’s completely disappeared on me, even skipped his favourite meal. And I have no idea what to-”

“Mum?”

The voice sounded sleepy and confused but to Sarah Jane, it was the loveliest voice she had ever heard. She stood quickly and turned around. A bright smile appeared on her face when her eyes fell on Luke, standing there with leaves in his hair, a book (The Three Musketeers) in one hand as the other rubbed at an eye.

“Oh, Luke,” she exclaimed joyfully, rushing over and pulling her son into a tight hug. She wanted to scold him, to tell him never to wander off again. It would do nothing though. Sarah Jane knew better: he and Clyde would still wander off on misadventures. Besides, it appeared as if he hadn’t meant to disappear at all. “Oh, wherever have you been?”

“Over there,” Luke answered, pointing to a corner of the garden where a small hammock had been set up. “Clyde ‘n I found it the other week and I’ve been going out here since. That is alright, isn’t it? Or have I made another social miscalculation in setting it up without your permission?”

Something told Sarah that it was Clyde who probably set it up rather than Luke. She laughed and shook her head. “It’s more than alright. In fact, it looks quite lovely. Perfectly matches my swing.”

Sarah Jane beamed up at him and brushed the leaves out of her hair. Unlike any other thirteen year old boy, Luke just smiled and didn’t fuss at her action. His brown eyes were still so very sleepy. For all her worry and fright, she didn’t even have to forgive him. She wasn’t angry at all.

“I love it,” she continued. “Every young person your age needs their own place to hide away from the world. Did I ever tell you about the willow tree, then? It used to be right here and was the pride and joy of Aunt Lavinia’s garden.”

He shook his head, stifling another yawn. Luke’s stomach rumbled. “I think I fell asleep. Is it time for dinner yet?”

“Yes, Luke.” Sarah laughed happily, the last of her fear dissipating into the night sky. Perhaps she didn’t fail at motherhood after all. A part of her still remained skeptical, but Luke was safe. There had been no Slitheen kidnappings, no other alien visitations of any kind. Just a hammock and a nap someplace that Luke now called safe. Her life was dangerous, yes, but right now she had been defeated by the completely mundane. “Yes it is.”

“Brilliant,” he muttered as she wrapped an arm around him to go back inside. “I’m sorry I frightened you, Sarah Ja- mum. I don’t think you’re a failure. I quite like having you as my parent.”

“Me too, Luke,” she whispered. “Oh, me too.”
his_sarah_jane: (life or death moment)
Blind leading the blind.

"You don't know where you're going, do you?"

She didn't bother waiting for an answer. Sarah Jane turned her head to look at the lager behind them. Harry Sullivan quite possibly looked even more out of place in the thick tropical jungle than either she or the Doctor. What bits of his pale skin showed was slick with sweat and his navy uniform was clinging to his body. He had since lost the white cap: a spiny vine had claimed it. When she had stopped walking, Harry had immediately done the same. He crouched now, hands on thighs as he breathed in the damp air.

Sarah quirked an eyebrow "Harry?"

"Don't ask me, old girl. I've never been here before in my life."

Of course he hadn't. This was the Doctor's zany idea, after all. She turned back to face the man (completely oblivious to the heat, his companions's discomfort, and the oppressing jungle around them). Unlike Sarah and Harry, whom he had told had to dress up, he wore his usual trench coat, fedora, and unusually long scarf. He claimed that, as a returning guest, he had no need to dress to impress. Sarah Jane and Harry, however, were new comers to the planet. And to show their curtsy, were required (by Gisian law, the Doctor claimed) to dress in their very best. So while Harry got to tromp around in a dress uniform, Sarah was in an actual bloody dress. Normally, she wouldn't object (she did like looking her best, after all). Right now though:

The Doctor failed to mention they had a long hike ahead of them.

"Oh! Doctor! Stop!"

It took a few seconds, but finally, he turned around. He regarded Sarah with distant curiosity, as if he couldn't figure out why she was so angry. Sarah shook her head, close to glaring at him. Her hands closed into fists as she closed the difference, storming away from Harry to the Doctor. She stopped half a meter in front of him - close enough to talk without needing to shout and far enough that she wouldn't try taking a swing at him.

"Do. You. Have. Any. Bloody. Idea. Where. We're. Going?" she asked slowly, almost spelling out each and every word.

They had been walking for hours. The number of scratches on her face and arms, she was certain, was incredible. There were small tears in what she had once considered one of her better outfits - a light blue and yellow sundress completely unfit for this trek. Her own hat (a flowery sort of thing) had been lost alongside Harry's. Sarah Jane was fed up.

The Doctor blinked innocently. For a moment, Sarah was convinced that he was going to protest. Of course he knew where they were going, he was the Doctor, he knew everything! Oh, how she'd lay into him if he said such a falsity right now. There was fury in her eyes. She and Harry were exhausted: didn't he realise that? Didn't he realise that they were completely and utterly lost on an alien jungle planet where some daft alien creature might eat them any moment?

If there was any case of the blind leading the blind, she was certain that this was it.

"Doctor," she repeated again, trying to take a calming breath. "You couldn't have parked the TARDIS closer?"

He shook his head. It was clear: the Doctor was puzzled by Sarah's behaviour. He ran a hand through his thick head of curls and looked back at Sarah. "Why would I?"

"Well, it seems to me that we're quite lost," Harry spoke up. In the past minute, he had caught his breath enough to walk next to Sarah. He placed a gentle hand on her shoulder to prevent her from doing anything rash. "At least, I'm certain that's what Sarah thinks to."

Surprisingly enough, the Doctor simply laughed in response. "Lost, you say? Oh, Sarah! Harry! Why didn't you say so in the beginning? We're not lost - far from it, you see. I told you we were hear to great the Gisians, didn't I?"

Sarah nodded slowly. "Your point, Doctor?"

"Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. Oh my Sarah Jane. Don't you know by now that not all species come in humanoid structure?"

Now it was Harry's turn to blink with confusion. "Eh? What was that?"

The Doctor waved gallantly around them. He nearly spun with joy, a manic smile painting his features. The scarf whipped at branches and leaves fluttered. He laughed. Sarah and Harry only stared in shock.

"Harry Sullivan, Sarah Jane Smith - I would like you to meet a forest filled of some of my dearest friends. They saved me in an awful time of strife, oh years and years ago. I owe them much. Thus, I only thought it fitting to introduce them to some of my newer dearest friends: the Gisians. They've been all around, watching us all this time."

"You mean to say," Harry began slowly.

Angrily, Sarah interrupted. She took a step closer and swatted at the tall man's arm. She caught him in mid spin and the scarf wrapped around her waist. She protested angrily, glaring at him. "Doctor!"

Around them, the trees were laughing.
his_sarah_jane: (little!sj - upset)
002.resilient

“No crying, Aunt Lavinia,” Sarah Jane whispered softly as she tugged on her aunt’s skirts. “No crying. Mummy and Daddy wouldn’t want that.”

Her brown eyes were wide and earnest as she stared up at the woman who was now going to be her permanent guardian. The usual smudges of dirt or ink were gone from her face. Sarah had never been cleaner: even her hair was prim and proper, tied out of her eyes in a neat barrette. She was dressed in her best Sunday black and her shoes shone with disuse.

It felt strange to be so clean and so dressed up on a Thursday afternoon. Her father would have laughed and wondered what happened to his plucky little girl. Her mother would have been proud. But neither was there to see her right now. Neither would ever be again. Tears threatened her eyes at those thoughts but Sarah shook her head. Five years old as she was, she had to stay resilient. Most of their Liverpool neighborhood had turned out to the funeral. Enough had already given her their sympathies.

And Sarah Jane Smith was sick of it.

Resilient was the way to go. If no one knew how sad she really was, maybe they really would just leave her alone. But that meant that Aunt Lavinia couldn’t cry either. Because if she cried, then Sarah Jane was certain that she would start crying too.

“Please?”

Aunt Lavinia pulled a handkerchief from her purse and wiped her eyes gently. She looked down at Sarah. Sarah stared back up at her, still with the wide eyed earnest. She didn’t flinch when her aunt stroked her hair. She only shrugged when asked a question. “When did you get to be so brave, Sarah Jane?”

The truth was that she didn’t feel brave right now. She was only five years old and she was at a funeral that would change her life forever. Sarah wanted to run and cry and throw a tantrum and announce to all of Liverpool – all of the world even – that her parents weren’t dead and all of them were wrong and that they were coming back, you wait and see.

But she couldn’t. That would only lead to more sympathies and more questions. Sarah Jane wanted to be left in peace.

“Because,” she whispered, shrugging again. “’cause.”

Daddy liked little girl to be brave and strong. She remembered that. He told her that every time she came home from visiting Michael and Lilly from across the street all by herself. So even if she was crying on the inside right now, she could be resilient on the outside. It was all because the man in the coffin would’ve wanted that, she told herself.

It was because that if she let one tear go, Sarah would never, ever stop crying. Two hours later, she found that out for certain.
his_sarah_jane: (older!sarah - reflective)
Devil's Advocate

"What about this one?"

Sarah Jane stopped the trolley short as the Doctor jumped in front of her with a box of Fruit Loops. She couldn't figure out why her friend had been so insistent in joining Luke and herself in a shopping trip at the local Tesco. The Doctor didn't usually enjoy domestic. Sarah had just written it off as yet another quirk with this regeneration. The Eleventh, if she counted correctly. And the first female Doctor she had ever met. While just as daft and brilliant as all her other selves, there was something different about this Doctor.

She had been stopping by quite often now, ever since Sarah had randomly met her while running from a Slitheen. Rather much like the Doctor, she usually showed up at the worst of times. Rather unlike the Doctor, she had also taken an interest in Luke that almost bordered on motherly. It honestly drove her quite insane.

"It only has 9 calories of fat. And look, Luke," the Doctor continued, now shoving the cereal box in the boy's face. She tossed back her scarf, smiling far too brightly for Sarah's taste. "A toucan! I had one of those once, you know. Such a good friend, that bird --- much more willing to listen to me than your mum ever was."

Luke blinked, reaching one hand forward towards the box curiously. "I've read about them. It--"

"Doctor," Sarah Jane spoke up, interrupting her son. She held out a hand for the box and when the Doctor so eagerly handed it to her, she placed it on the closest shelf rather than in her trolley. "I know you've been going through my cupboards. You should realize by now that I don't approve of such cereals."

Clyde complained about it every time he stayed overnight, deciding that Sarah Jane's company was much more acceptable than his own mum's. Not that it ever changed her mind. She was determined to raise Luke with as much of a normal life as possible for the two of them. Ruining your health with improper breakfasts was not normal in Sarah's opinion. And Luke never complained. He didn't seem ever to mind.

"Toucan, Sarah Jane! And absolutely no cholesterol! You can't ask for more than that." The Doctor blinked, smiling prettily at her. She pulled out a paper bag of jelly babies from her coat pocket, offering one to Luke before popping another in her mouth. "Or we could just buy more jelly babies and give him that for breakfast. Only 335 kilocals. Absolutely a brilliant way for a growing boy to start his day."

The Doctor was absolutely mad! Sarah Jane sighed, coming close to glaring at her. She noticed Luke blink in confusion from the corner of her eye and sighed again. She placed a hand on Luke's shoulder. "Would you mind fetching the eggs, Luke?"

He nodded and began to walk away before turning around for a moment. He looked far too earnest for Sarah Jane's liking. Luke hesitated for a moment and then spoke. "Maria said her parents rowed a lot before they split up. Don't go, Doctor? Mum really does like having you around. So do I."

"See?" The Doctor said smugly after Luke had wandered down another aisle. "Luke needs a second mum. And I can't think of anybody better to fill that role than me. And don't tell me you can, Sarah Jane. Because that's completely untrue. I am your best friend, after all. I can help raise him! It'll be an adventure!"

For a few seconds, Sarah wouldn't believe her own ears. The Doctor despised domesticity. She had seen him frown every time she suggested they go to Aunt Lavinia's for Christmas Day meal back when she had travelled with him. But now, now that she had found a way not just to interfere in her life again but that of her son's? Oh, of course the Doctor would stick about. If just to remind Sarah Jane what she couldn't have anymore. Not with this whole gender change.

"Luke doesn't need two mums! He has me!"

She was close to yelling and, at the very least, her words earned a strange look from a passing elderly lady. Sarah Jane felt herself flush in embarrassment. She hadn't meant it like that. The Doctor was a woman now. Gender swaps had ruined everything. But still, only the Doctor ever knew how to properly get her this riled up.

"You're nothing but the Devil's advocate right now, Doctor. Picking arguments with me over every single way I'm raising my son. I promised Luke a normal life, you see. You said there were wonders on Earth to explore when we said goodbye and that's exactly what I intend to keep showing him. Instead you keep filling him – and Maria and Clyde, might I add! – with stories about places he won't get to because I'm only human! And that's exactly what he is. He doesn't need another mother, let alone a Gallifrian one who knows nothing of human customs! I made a promise and unlike you, I keep my word."

There. Sarah Jane had said it all. She took a deep breath, trying to regain her calm. Tesco wasn't the place for a row like this but she couldn't help it. Luke didn't need someone who would keep disappearing. And neither did she for that matter.

When there was no response, she began to busy herself with finding a proper cereal brand off the shelf. Sarah had never blown up at the Doctor like this before. She had always been too infatuated when she was younger and then, when they met again, she fancied herself as too mature. The silence lingered. With every passing moment of no response, she began to feel more and more guilty. The Doctor hadn't stormed away, not yet anyway. The only footsteps she had heard were those of pesky eavesdroppers hurrying away from the other end of the aisle, presumably from a stern Doctor's glare.

Finally, Sarah forced herself to look up. What she saw hurt even more. She had never seen this sort of look of disappointment or hurt on his - her, she corrected herself – face before. It was as if she had kicked a puppy dog that had only wished to befriend her. Instantly, Sarah Jane felt horrible. She needed to do something that she had always been loath to do: apologise.

"I suppose trying Fruit Loops for a week won't hurt him," she said quietly, still not quite meeting the Doctor's eyes. "At the very least, it's quite the step up from candy for breakfast."

The Doctor smiled. It was a bright smile, one that seemed not to take into account any of their previous argument. "I knew you'd see reason! Now we just need to get him a proper toucan to keep him company at breakfast time!"

Then, before Sarah had the chance to respond, the Doctor pulled her in for a tight hug. She had to smile despite the mild awkwardness she felt; and in the end, it wasn't as horrible to hug a female Doctor as Sarah Jane would have thought. She leaned her head against the Doctor's chest (who would always be taller than her, wouldn't she?), not caring at all what any passing busybody thought.

When they pulled apart, she laughed and smiled. "Luke's not allowed to start calling you mum yet, though. Not unless you really do start sticking around more."

The Doctor shrugged, reaching for the box of cereal and throwing it in the trolley. "I've always wanted to be called Auntie! Auntie Doctor: has sort of a ring to it, don't you think?"

She had to agree. Considering everything, Auntie Doctor didn't sound so awful after all. Luke would be lucky to have someone so special in his life. As it was, Sarah felt honoured to have her best friend back again, no matter the shape or form. Sarah Jane was very lucky indeed.


[ooc: based on roleplay with [livejournal.com profile] eleventh_doctor]
his_sarah_jane: (hmmph)
Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda

“Doctor, I don’t see at all why we can’t go see the next film at all. We are in a time machine, aren’t we?” Sarah Jane sighed, tilting her head to give her best friend a pleading look. “It’s about time we actually go to a future where we don’t have to spend hours running for our lives, isn’t it?”

The Doctor blinked, confused. “Isn’t that what we spent the extra hours here for already, Sarah? So that you could have your ‘mundane and human enjoyment,’ as I believed you phrased it, in taking me to the pictures?”

“But we only did that after being chased all around York by misplaced Time Vikings,” she retorted, crossing her arms over her chest in a defiant posture. She leaned back against one of the walls in the control room, staring at him with annoyance in her eyes. “Honestly, Doctor! I’ve already seen two of the films now. Can’t I see the final one?”

“In about two years time-”

“From now!”

“So?” Despite the indignant tone in his voice, the Doctor still looked somewhat guilty. He dipped his hat downward slightly, digging in to his pocket to pull out his yo-yo. Once obtained, he began to move it up and down, taking every opportunity to avoid Sarah Jane’s burning glare.

As the yo-yo completed its seventh oscillation, he at last looked up with a twinkle in his bright blue eyes. He cleared his throat, straightened up, and almost smiled at a still pouting Sarah. When he spoke again, it was in a very implausible American accent: “‘This one a long time have I watched. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh! Excitement. Heh! A Jedi craves not these things.’”

It took Sarah a few seconds to realize that he was mocking her. Her draw dropped in infuriated astonishment as she muttered a small and angry “oh” of surprise. One foot stamped hard on the ground of the TARDIS. Her eyes widened, even more so when the Doctor gave her one of his annoying toothy grins. Oh, the arrogant…arrogant Martian!

Well, she decided seconds later, if that was the way he was going to play it then two can play at this game. Not quite possessing a Timelord’s memory, it took Sarah seconds more to recall a quote she remembered rather preferring as they watched the film.

“Do or do not, Doctor,” she retorted before sticking her tongue out at him. “There is no try. And I am going to go see this third movie, so there’s no use trying to get out of it. There is another? Han in carbonite? You really can’t expect me to wait all those years, can you?”

He stood there in silence for a few moments, looking rather Yoda like in his contemplation (in Sarah’s still irritated opinion). Finally, the Doctor shrugged and stuffed the yo-yo back in to his coat pocket. “I suppose that participating in the human ritual of movie going once more won’t be that trying of an experience. I was rather partial to the film myself, actually. Especially with the idea of the Force. Imagine, a whole energy field binding the galaxy. I myself know it to be quite a preposterous idea, but you humans-”

“Doctor,” she cut in, warningly. “The next film, if you please.”

“Ah, but Sarah-”

“Don’t you but Sarah me,” she began, only to be silenced by a finger placed on her lips. She looked up at his smiling face, suddenly highly confused. The confusion lingered as the TARDIS doors began to open and Sarah Jane peered out on to the busy sidewalk of the Eastend of London.

“We’re already here.”
his_sarah_jane: (travelling is fun)
4. Backseat Driver

“Ah, um, Doctor, I think that you’re doing it wrong.”

She stood on her tiptoes to lean over his shoulder, resting her hand on his back to keep her balance. Her chin rested on his shoulder and the long, multicoloured scarf tickled her skin. Sarah Jane tilted her head slightly and smiled up at him when he flashed her a look of utter disdain.

“Oh, I’m serious,” she continued, smile turning cheeky. “I’ve watched you, you know. Every single time you’ve been at this console and I’m serious. You’re not doing it correctly this time, Doctor.”

“Sarah Jane, have you forgotten? I am a Timelord, a Timelord who has been travelling this cosmos for longer than you have even been alive. I would think that, if I really was doing it wrong, I would know.”

She rolled her eyes at him, gripping the fabric of his coat. “I know you’re a Timelord. You constantly remind me of it whenever you’re the tiniest bit grumpy. And Timelord or not, we’re never going to wind up in Peladon if you keep this up.”

The Doctor furrowed his brows and glanced at Sarah Jane for less than a second before turning his attention back to the TARDIS console. He reached for one of the controls to wind up, causing it to honk angrily at him. Sarah unsuccessfully suppressed her laugh, earning a distinct glare from her friend. He whirled another knob, scowling again when the consul made yet another disagreeable noise.

“I told you, Doctor,” Sarah mocked cheerfully. She pointed to a switch across from them. “It’s that one there.”

“My TARDIS,” he mumbled as he reached for the switch. Sarah Jane let go, sidestepping the scarf from tangling around her feet. She giggled as he walked around to the other side and giggled more so when her suggestion actually worked. Hah!

“My TARDIS,” he mumbled again, turning around to give her a look. “My TARDIS and I do not appreciate backseat drivers.”

She couldn’t resist smiling brightly and batting her eyelashes at him in a very playful way. “Even when they’re correct?”

Especially then.”
his_sarah_jane: (life or death moment)
If you knew the world would end in one week, what would you do?

The world was ending. She had faced this sort of threat many times before, but this time, it seemed different. There was more finality to the cause, more despair than ever before. The world was ending, her precious world was ending, and even if they had less than a week, Sarah Jane knew better than to think the Doctor would let it go without a fight. This meant, if she’d ever want to look on herself with any sort of dignity ever again, that she wouldn’t let the world end without a fight too.

Even if it meant she’d die, Sarah couldn’t just let another moment go by without doing something. There’d be a last minute plan – there always was a last minute plan. But before anything else happened, there was something she had to do. Something that she had put off and put off until this point, the quite literal almost end of the world.

She didn’t care how cliché it was. How out of the cinema it seemed or out of one of her silly romance novels or any of that flipping nonsense. In the days to come, they would be too busy trying to stop the Dalek threat. This was her last chance and her last opportunity to do what she had been longing to do for months now.

This time, when the Doctor smiled that goofy and toothy smile at her, Sarah Jane grabbed his scarf, pulled his face down to hers, and kissed him deeply.

“I love you, Doctor. I always will.”
his_sarah_jane: (older!sarah and ten)
What do you regret the most?

Sarah Jane never considered herself one for regrets. It was always a matter of living life in the moment, never bothering to wonder how the past could be different or how the tiniest thing would change events. Maybe that was part of being a time traveller. If you thought too much about it, as she certainly learned from experience, it made your head spin. Even before that, she had always preferred living each day as it came without much room for regrets. Regrets were like clichés to her: absolutely pointless when you got to the underlined meaning.

And then, after nearly thirty years, the Doctor just waltzed right back into her life with that goofy smile of his. And all the regrets Sarah Jane didn’t believe in suddenly came rushing back.

She regretted not telling him that she loved him.

She regretted never acting on her feelings.

She regretted wasting so much of her life after Abredeen waiting for him.

She regretted never moving on.

She regretted not valuing each day spent travelling more.

She regretted never trying to follow all those leads she had accumulated over the years of cases that may – no, probably – had involved him.

Perhaps, even more than anything, Sarah Jane had regretted the lack of a proper goodbye. Because deep down in her heart, she always thought he would come back. Even as the minutes turned into hours turned into days turned into years. But he never did and she never got to really tell him goodbye.

It wouldn’t be like that this time. No. This would be the last time Sarah Jane decided to let herself feel anything remotely like regret ever again.

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his_sarah_jane: (Default)
Sarah Jane Smith

April 2011

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