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: (older!sarah and ten)
"The true magic of this broken world lay in the ability of the things it contained to vanish, to become so thoroughly lost, that they might never have existed in the first place."--The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon

It didn’t happen quickly. In fact, it took years for her to finally forget. By the time Sarah Jane Smith was eighty-nine years old she was certain that, like everyone else in this rather daft world, those books she had published at a younger age were nothing but fiction.

The aliens that did exist proved themselves to be nothing but radicals that had succeeded in conquering the human race. They weren’t at all easy to banish and ridiculous in their simplicity, like those described in her stories.

There was no Doctor, no awe inspiring alien, the last of his kind, the bumbling but dashing hero to save the day.

UNIT had never existed. If it had, it had been so buried in records that none of it seemed to matter any more.

A tin dog? Oh, that was ridiculous.

And a police box was nothing more than a police box. She had seen the newer models, those coffins standing on the street corners implemented in the year 2008 under Harold Saxon. She had been thankful that, at an old age, she had lived never to set foot inside one. Like all people in the know, she had heard the stories. But she had never printed them.

Freedom of press had been lost long ago.

She sat alongside the others crowded into the interment camp dorm, wondering when it would be her turn. Saxon seemed to be using his slaves at a quicker rate to continue to expand his empire. It was only a matter of time that he would catch her – one of the few surviving elderly – among the crowd that hid her. Maria had been steadfast, though, ever since the drones had killed her father.

Still, Sarah Jane forgot.

She forgot how she ever came to know the girl. Things like soda pop aliens and sonic lipstick were pure rubbish. A boy without a belly button – absolute barmy. She didn’t understand where Maria got these ideas. Perhaps the girl had read too many fictional works before the New Era. She didn’t know. She had never cared much.

The world was ending around them. It was shattered now, broken beyond repair – rather much like Sarah’s memories. Events that happened one day seemed to have happened years before. Memories of another time seemed to wink their way in and out of her mind. Her fictional works that had gotten her notoriety in the science fiction cult crowds mixed with her memories and her dreams. Sarah Jane Smith was, at age eighty-seven, nothing but a woman wishing she had lived another life.

She wished she had known a man such as the Doctor.

She wished she had traveled with him.

She wished that, for once, her dreams might have existed in more than just her--













--it was a thought never finished. At 3.55 am, Sunday, November 4, 2043, the last true memories of the Doctor were wiped from existence with the last of the elderly. In this broken world, he had vanished for good.

Elsewhere, one Harold Saxon, ruler of the known galaxy, delighted with the thought.

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Sarah Jane Smith

April 2011

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