his_sarah_jane: (writing)
105. TEN things you would leave to your loved ones (and who they are) when you die.

1. [Milliways] To my dearest James, I would leave all my possessions to do with as you please. I would hope more than anything that you would keep my wedding band and engagement ring to remember what we once had. However, I am praying that my life with you will be just as it is in the movies: long lives for the both of us, seeing Valerie grow and find a family of her own, and that happy ending we both deserve.

2. [Milliways] To Valerie, my darling daughter, I don’t care how old you are when I pass, but more than anything I want you to have the stuffed owl my father gave me. It’s one of my most treasured possessions, aside from you and your daddy, of course. I’d also want you to have my TARDIS key and remember that not everything you read in a fictional novel is, indeed, fictional.

3. [Milliways] Sam: my death was not James’ fault so don’t you dare go blaming him for it. If Valerie ever comes into bar, I’m trusting you to look after her. In fact, I’ll leave you my camera as a sign of good will. Use it well, eh?

4. [Canon] Doctor, take care of K-9, will you? He’s been an amazing friend all these years. Thank you for leaving him to me. Also, make sure Mr Smith doesn’t cause any havoc please.

5. [Canon] My aunt passed on to me her home and I want to pass it on to you, Luke. I never thought I would have a son, let alone one as brilliant as you have been. I know you will take care of all those daft alien gadgets I have lying around. You’ll always make me proud.

6. [Canon] Maria: I want you to take the alien communicator the Starpoet gave me. I hope it’ll aid you in your own adventures some day.

7. [Canon] I guess I didn’t make it, did I Harry? Tell my aunt that I was working as a journalistic correspondent for UNIT and died well. If I can trust anyone to do that job, it’s you. The Doctor’ll probably just leave my body where it is. I never pictured him for the sentimental type. See that my belongings in my South Croydon flat are taking care of? And keep the typewriter for yourself. It’s an antique, but still works quite well. She’s always served me well, at least.

8. [Twood Hub, future] Ewan, leman, I know you’ll outlive me. I know that you will find new loves after me. But I do hope that you won’t ever forget me. There are so many things I could leave you – most of my belongings as you (and our children) are the closest I have to family here. I would, however, specifically leave to you keep that necklace you gave me after the twins were conceived.

9. [Twood Hub] Gethin Jones, if my death is any way connected to you, I’m coming back and haunting you. That aside, you see, you’ve become one of my best mates here in Torchwood. So I want you to have that strange looking burnt golden plant sitting on my desk. It’s from Delta Upsilon Nine. I tried to leave it with the Doctor, but he insisted he was better off alone. Talk to it; you’ll be surprised.

10. [Twood Hub] You took me in when I had been left behind, gave me a new career that eventually led me back to the one I adore, and introduced me to the man I love. I don’t know how to ever repay you, Jack, for everything that you’ve done. It’s been some life working for you. Thank you. In my flat, I have a thickly bound first edition copy of the Sherlock Holmes adventures. We went back to visit Arthur years after our first encounter and he presented it to me as a thank you for the inspiration. Enjoy, will you?
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: (hmmph)
Obstinate

I.
“Sarah Jane Smith. Honestly! Must you behave like this? Mr Foster was only being polite.”

Sarah shook her head, glaring at her aunt. The twelve year old girl didn’t understand why she could see it and her aunt couldn’t. Mr Foster wasn’t just being polite. He was being too polite, too friendly. And she didn’t like it one bit. She leaned back in the chair, crossing her arms over her chest as she frowned.

“No he wasn’t. He wasn’t being anything like Mr Bryan. He was polite. And old and stuffy, but polite,” she repeated. “And he wasn’t hanging all over you at dinner!”

Lavinia looked at her niece in shock. But there was a hint of a blush that wouldn’t otherwise be there. “Sarah Jane! I would think that I would notice such a thing!”

No she wouldn’t. She never did. She was always too caught up in her research to notice things like men. Sarah had always found it silly, except for now. She didn’t like that blush. It seemed to indicate her worse nightmare come true. Sarah Jane wasn’t afraid to admit she was selfish. She liked her little family just as it was: her and her aunt and she didn’t want anybody to come and change it.

“Not my fault you’re obtuse,” she retorted. “You never notice boys. Why do you have to notice him?”

“I…” Lavinia faltered. “Sarah Jane, go to your room – now. I am not going to stand for this sort of behavior. It’s rude and obstinate and completely unlady like!”

Sarah stayed rooted in her chair. It was turning in to a battle of the wills, and she absolutely refused to go to her room for behavior that Mr Foster deserved. So she sat and glowered until her aunt sighed and left the room. She watched for another moment before standing and shouting in her wake:

“At least I’m not obtuse!”


II.
“I am afraid our combined stubbornness won’t get us out of this situation, Sarah Jane.”

She couldn’t stand it when he talked like that. Maybe it had been a mistake when she insisted that the Doctor accompany her on a jaunt around Terra IV, claiming that if the TARDIS was parked here, it had to be for good reason. He had been rather morose today, more so than normal. It wasn’t the first time he had stood in the console room and stared off into space, lamenting his lot in life as a Timelord. Like all those other instances, Sarah had simply mocked him. When it hadn’t been enough, she tossed him his hat, opened the TARDIS doors, and pushed him outside.

And now, they were trapped by the native pygmies, a strange bunch of rainbow colours with eyestalks growing from the crown of her head. She wasn’t sure if they were just typically aggressive or if they had done something to disturb their way of life. Regardless, nearly ten minutes after leaving the TARDIS, Sarah and the Doctor had found themselves surrounded by sharp wooden spears. Fifteen minutes after, they were locked in a small hut, one with barely enough room for either of them to sit up straight.

“Don’t be daft, Doctor,” she responded, reaching over to lean her head against his arm. “One of us will think of something. We always do.”

“Too often,” he murmurs, looking down at her. “I put you in danger far too often, Sarah Jane. Why do you continuously follow me when you long for baths and tea and human company?”

Sarah smiled softly. “I guess I’m too stubborn to stop. It gets to be kind of addicting. Even when we are trapped in huts without a sonic screwdriver to get us out of the situation.”

“I’m glad.”

“Me too,” she agreed with a nod. “But I’d be even gladder if we could get off this flipping planet.”


III.
“Sarah, you have to be the most stubborn, obstinate woman I know.”

It hadn’t been the first time she had heard those words. And she doubted that it would ever be the last. She only smiled sweetly at her husband, rubbing her rather pregnant belly. Almost as if in response, there was a hard kick from her child. Their child, she corrected as she watched James closely. He was pacing, clearly unhappy with her decision.

“If you think I’m horrible, darling, wait until our daughter is born. I almost fear to see the result of the union between the two of us.”

“I’m not nearly as bad as you are,” he retorted, wagging an accusing finger at her.

She rolled her eyes, staring at him doubtfully. “Need I really mention the number of times I have to ask a question to get a proper response from you?”

James sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. It was a common reaction now, a sign he was rather exasperated and frustrated with dealing with her. She considered it a sign that their relationship was still very much alive if she could rile him up like this. Sarah walked towards him, placing a hand on his arm.

“I know we have no intention of being a regular, dull couple, but it’s only a film, James. What’s so wrong with it?”

“It has Ewan McGregor.”

“So?”

“It’s a chick flick,” he answered, wincing at the words. The wince turned into a facepalm at his wife’s laughter. “It’s meant to attract over hormonal women who have nothing better to do with their time than watch Mc-”

James,” Sarah interrupted, looking up at him. “I don’t know how you’ve failed to notice, but I very much fall into that category right now. We’re going to the movies, darling. We are going to see Miss Potter. Together.”

“Sarah…”

Now.


IV.
“Why didn’t you quit?”

“I wasn’t going to give him the pleasure of boxing me into that corner,” Sarah Jane responded coolly as she lifted her tea cup to her mouth. “If Mr Stram wasn’t happy with the sort of articles I was putting out, that was his problem, not mine. I was rather content working at the Sunday Mail.”

Teri, her friend and co-worker from the paper, nodded. “Well. None of us had ever seen someone stand up to him in such a way. Not since Matthew was fired. Kudos, Sarah Jane. It’ll be one for the record books.”

She laughed, shrugging almost bashfully. “But now I’m out of a job. James and I can’t send Valerie to uni on his income alone.”

“Aww, you’ll find something,” Teri answered, holding up her cup and nodding almost sagely. “It’s you, Sarah. One of the most talented, obstinate, and dedicated writers in the lot. A paper would have to be daft not to want you on it.”

“I suppose,” she murmured, drifting into thought as she watched people pass by the corner café. She was nearly forty now. One would think she was too old for these sorts of silly games. Maybe her job should come first. Sarah, though, couldn’t see anything else but her pride and integrity in her writing as being of the upmost importance. She wouldn’t cave just because her editor wanted to sell a few more papers. She was too stubborn, and journalism meant too much to her.

Eventually, Sarah Jane shrugged as she glanced back towards her friend. “I don’t look forward to telling James, though.”

“You two have been married what, about fifteen years now? You’d think he’d be used to it.”

That does earn a chuckle in the end. “Sometimes I wonder if he really knew what he was getting in to. Either of us, for that matter. But in the end, we’re happy and I’d like to think that’s all that really counts.”


V.
In the end, Sarah Jane was alone. She was nearly ninety-three now. James had passed away ten years ago. Valerie was gone as well, having died three years prior in an automobile accident. At this point, Sarah wanted nothing but to rejoin her family wherever they may be. But her body seemed far too stubborn to quit. It was as if it was waiting for something. She had no idea what.

The reason came to her one day as a blue police box materialized in her home. Even if the town house was far too big for just one individual, Sarah had refused to leave the memories behind. She could, after all, be just as obstinate as her body. With assisted living and medical care, everything had been fine. Her heart had nearly stopped, however, at the presence of the box. The man who stepped out of it was no help. He stopped less than an inch away, leaving the door half open in order to talk to the companion still inside it.

“Looks like we made a wrong turn by that black hole. We shouldn’t be here, wherever here is. Think Twilight Zone but infinitely worse. If we don’t find a way to reverse the flow of the polarity in the console, we could quite easily cause the apocalypse here and back home.”

He hadn’t changed. It looked to Sarah that this was still his tenth incarnation. She wondered how many years had passed for him since they last talked.

“Ahem,” she cleared her throat, determined to get his attention. “Doctor.”

“Uh.” He turned around. And then looked at her with a wide-eyed expression of awe. “Sarah Jane?”

She nodded, smiling softly. It was like that episode she saw on the telly once. “I grew up, Doctor. I got old. But it was an absolutely brilliant life. I wouldn’t have changed a moment of it.”

“Sarah Jane,” he repeated, beaming wildly at her as he walked over and pulled her in to a gentle hug. Whatever row they had once had seemed to be forgotten. “My Sarah Jane.”

It was in the hug that Sarah knew her time had finally come. She could only cling to life for so long. And now, after finally reconciling with her best friend, it was time to bow out with grace.

[ooc: last three parts based on [livejournal.com profile] milliways_bar roleplay]
his_sarah_jane: (little!sj - upset)
If you could pick anyone in the world, alive or dead, to be your parents, who would it be and why?

“He hit me first!”

The nine year old girl slumped further down into her seat, giving her aunt a severe look from the back of the car. Her cheek was cut and arm bruised, and if Sarah Jane bothered to run a hand through her hair, she’d notice mud and twigs still stuck in there. Her uniform was covered in dirt, and the cuff of her left sleeve was ripped. She frowned, and pulled her legs up onto the seat to sit cross-legged and to purposely muddy the normally pristine coverings.

Aunt Lavinia deserved it because Aunt Lavinia didn’t believe her when she said that Thomas had started the fight. Aunt Lavinia only saw the evidence in front of her eyes: Thomas Jones with far more bruises and scrapes on his body, including a black eye. It wasn’t fair at all. While she might have lied about Thomas taking the first blow, she hadn’t liked about the fact that he had started the fight to begin with; him and his horrid accusations that girls weren’t good for anything but taking care of boys.

So she had punched him and had punched him hard enough to knock him down to the dirt in the school yard. That’s when the fight had properly begun. He had hit her and called her a stupid boy, and she had tackled him to the ground, where they had remained hitting, kicking, and scratching each other until the teachers had separated them.

Still, what remained worse in all of this was that her aunt, her very precious and normally trustworthy aunt, didn’t believe her. She knew it from the look that Aunt Lavinia was giving her that it was so. The words that followed didn’t help at all:

“I know you better than that, Sarah Jane Smith. This wouldn’t be the first time you’ve done something like this, but I’m hoping it will be the last. No telly for a week. Not even the news.”

It really wasn’t fair at all. She was being punished and it was all that stupid Thomas Jones’ fault. Him and his stupid big mouth and his stupid comment on girls and his stupid screaming that brought the teachers over.

Sarah met her aunt’s stern face and frowned even more. “I wish Mum and Father were still alive. You’re an awful parent.”

The minutes the words left her mouth, Sarah Jane looked away to avoid seeing the shocked and hurt expression that crossed the woman’s face. Thankfully, the sight in front of the girl only lasted for a second as Lavinia Smith turned back in her seat and pressed down on the gas pedal to drive them home in silence.

It took Sarah hours to finally apologise, late that night as she stared at the black screen of the television when, normally, the BBC World Report would be on in front of her. She still didn’t think she was wrong in giving Thomas that black eye; he had deserved it, as clear as day. And she’d punch him again, given the chance and all punishments aside. But maybe she shouldn’t have said what she had said to her aunt in the car. That wasn’t very fair of her, she knew because Aunt Lavinia really was a good parent. She let her stay up late and took her travelling to different places and let her always go to all the grown up parties and ask as many questions as she wanted. Sarah Jane had just been cross that afternoon, and said the wrong things. It wasn’t fair at all.

She found her aunt in her study, reading an article from some scientific journal or another. Quietly, Sarah crossed the room and climbed up the chair to settle in Aunt Lavinia’s lap. Her eyes closed and she buried her face into her aunt’s arm before whispering, “You’re a good parent, really. I wouldn’t want anyone else.”

“And I wouldn’t want anyone else as a surrogate daughter, Sarah,” Aunt Lavinia whispered back, kissing the girl’s head and hugging her close. “No one else ever would make me as proud.”
his_sarah_jane: (little!sj - upset)
Do you believe in ghosts?

The day was sunny and bright and somewhere in the nearby woods, Sarah Jane could hear a sparrow whistle out her song. She hated it. It was a strange feeling for the five years old girl, the burst of anger towards the sparrow. On any other day, she would have been bubbling about with a string of never ending question on the bird’s song.

Today, though. Today, she hated it.

She frowned and tilted her head in the direction of the nose as if glaring at it would make it go away. It didn’t. It should have.

The funeral had been hours earlier, but Sarah Jane had insisted they stay when Aunt Lavinia had wanted to go. After Sarah had come close to throwing a tantrum, cheeks reddening and eyes welling with tears, Lavinia had consented. So here they still stood in front of two tombstones that bared the names of Nigel Collins and Alice Trent Smith, the girl’s beloved parents.

Sarah didn’t fully understand what had happened yet. She remembered the headmistress telling her that there had been an automobile accident and she remembered Aunt Lavinia picking her up from school instead of her mother. She knew that she would be living with her aunt from now on. And she knew, she knew beyond a doubt, that now, her mummy and daddy rested beneath the delicately carved tombstones.

What Sarah Jane didn’t understand was why? She couldn’t conceive any reasonable thought why her parents didn’t want to come back for her. It just wasn’t fair. They were finally coming home from Daddy’s business trip and then they weren’t. That was what Sarah refused to understand.

“Love, we should be going soon,” Lavinia said softly, giving her niece’s hand a small squeeze. “We can come and visit again tomorrow if you’d like.”

But Sarah didn’t want to go. Sarah didn’t want to go if Mummy and Daddy couldn’t come too. She stared at the graves minutes longer without answering, her face scrunched up in confusion. Finally, slowly, she looked up at her aunt.

“Why aren’t they ghosts?” It was silly but she didn’t care. “Cartoons are silly and I like the news lots better but Casper was on telly yes’erday and he’s a ghost. I like Casper. He’s a ghost,” she repeated firmly. “Why aren’t they?”

Sarah watched with wide brown eyes as her aunt kneeled down on the grass to meet her eyes. Lavinia pushed a strand of Sarah’s dark brown hair out of her face and smiled softly. But she could see the tears in her aunt’s eyes as she said, “Oh Sarah Jane.”

It was at that moment, without any explanation, that she decided never to believe in ghosts again. They didn’t exist – they wouldn’t exist – and Mummy and Daddy wouldn’t be coming back. And Sarah Jane would never be watching Casper again.

She began to cry.

Even as an adult, Sarah Jane would never believe in ghosts despite all of the oddities she would see. But on the anniversary of her parents’ deaths, she always wished that she did.

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Sarah Jane Smith

April 2011

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