Wouldn't Have Missed It For the World by Vilinye

Summary: Have you met Miss Smith? She's my best friend?--The Fourth Doctor, Seeds of Doom.
Rating: All Ages
Categories: Third Doctor, Fourth Doctor, Tenth Doctor, Sarah Jane Adventures, Eleventh Doctor
Characters: Sarah Jane Smith
Genres: Angst, Character Study, Drama, Fluff, General
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2012.02.05
Updated: 2013.01.16


Chapter 1: Your Fault?
Chapter 2: looking
Chapter 3: Police Public Call Box
Chapter 4: Paralyzed
Chapter 5: White Space
Chapter 6: Day Before You Came
Chapter 7: Burst Pipes and Rain
Chapter 8: Farewell Tour
Chapter 9: Litany
Chapter 10: Creed
Chapter 11: It wasn't Croydon
Chapter 12: Aberdeen
Chapter 13: Not Accepting Strays at Present
Chapter 14: Make A Wish
Chapter 15: The Patron Saint of Physicians
Chapter 16: Journalism
Chapter 17: Making a Fist
Chapter 18: Citrus Constellation

Chapter 1: Your Fault?

Was it your fault? Did you do something wrong? You spend hours analyzing everything: every word you ever spoke to him, ever look you ever gave him, every action you ever preformed in his company. How do you determine which action did it, which action gave him reason to dump you and never return?

At least Aunt Lavinia never found out. She never even asked why you were gone so long. Maybe she didn't even notice. It wouldn't be the first time. Nor will it be the last. Maybe it would be better if she did. Then you would have a focal point for your anger, an outlet for all the fury and bile you would pile on him, if he came back.

If he came back. First of all, you'd spend a good hour chewing him out. How could he just leave you like that? Aberdeen instead of Croydon, to boot! And going back to Gallifrey without you. He got to go back home, and you got stuck in the middle of nowhere. You had to call UNIT–collect, mind you–and wait for a ride back. Not to mention the half dozen times you reached for something and realized you'd left it on the TARDIS.

Then, after running out of words that would make Lavinia pretend to faint, you would wrap your arms around him and refuse to let go. You'd ask for a scarf just like his, that crazy, mad fashion insult, and never say another word about it again. You'd say whatever he wanted, just as long he let you back In the TARDIS.

Maybe later, after you'd marathoned your way across a few more planets, then you'd ask why he took so long to come back. But whatever he said wouldn't be half as important as the fact that he was saying it to you, the fact that you could hear him.

He'll come back.

He has to.

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Chapter 2: looking

You can't stop looking for him everywhere you go. At first, you restrict yourself to curly-haired men with outrageous scarves, but a few months later, you remember that he can change faces, a fact that makes it so much harder. He could be anyone, anyone at all.

How can you look for a man when you can't describe him? You've left instructions with UNIT to call immediately if he ever returns, but what else can you do? Police boxes aren't exactly common either, but with all of time and space to travel, what are the odds you'll run into him again? He did say that humans were his favorite species, but the universe is so vast, and you are so small.

And you never heard him say goodbye.

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Chapter 3: Police Public Call Box


You back away, staring at the letters. Blinking at them as if the writing is in a foreign language. When you have time to think about it, you realize the windows are a little different, the color's a bit off, but at this moment, it looks the same as it always did. The TARDIS. It's the TARDIS, just as you dream about every night. Is this a dream? Stuffed in the closet, right there, solid and close enough to touch.

You back out the door, still staring at it, lost in memories. Turn around slowly, because you know–you just know, deep down in your heart and soul, that he'll be standing behind you.

"Hello, Sarah Jane." It's 'John Smith,' that strange new teacher you met earlier, and suddenly it all becomes clear to you, what he was trying to imply with those strange words and odd tone. At the time, you thought he was trying to hit on you, but it was so much less and so much more…it was just him, his awkward social skills and lack of emotional intelligence…

All the things you were planning to say, all the questions and emotions of twenty plus-years utterly dissolve, and you resort to stating the obvious. "It's you. Doctor. Oh, my god, it's you isn't it?" A different face. "You've regenerated." How did it happen this time? Who was with him? Did it hurt?

"Half a dozen times since we last met."

You're still trying to wrap your mind around this miracle. "You look incredible"

"So do you."

You mumble something, blushing a little bit and hoping he can't tell in the darkness. "What are you doing here?"

"Well, UFO report, school gets record results, I couldn't resist. And you?"

"The same." The two of you share a brief laugh, the uneasy sort that comes when trying to gloss over an iceberg of unsaid history. Then you can't hold back any longer. "I thought you died. I waited for you and you didn't come back and I thought you must have died." Your voice pitches up into a painfully whiney tone, but you can't help yourself. All those nights spent wondering if–and finally how-he died, your emotions befuddled with a journalist's semi-morbid curiosity.

"I lived. Everyone else died."

Everyone? "What do you mean?"

"Everyone died, Sarah." That's another fact you don't fully absorb until later, much later, when you replay the darkness in his eyes. In your day, you knew he disagreed with the Time Lords, but something in his eyes, added to the words of Brother Lassar, hints at something deadly. Something awful.

But for now, you shake your head again, unable to focus on anything but his voice. "I just can't believe it's you."

A scream echoes down the hall. Unable to stop yourself, your face stretches into a grin. "Okay, now I can."

It's just the two of you, running down the halls again, just like old times.

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Chapter 4: Paralyzed

Sometimes she dreams about it–the horrible paralysis of being unable to control her own limbs, not tongue nor toe nor thighbone. In her dreams, she watches, locked in her own body as someone she loves steps into danger. Sometimes, she merely watches–other times, she takes a more active role. Sometimes she lures them into danger. Sometimes she is the danger, a living Midas with the hand of transmutation, or worse.

The victim is not always the same. Sometimes it's someone from her youth–Andrea Yates, Aunt Lavinia, her mum and Dad. Someone from her TARDIS days–the velvet-coat Doctor, the long-scarf Doctor, Harry, the Brigader. Someone from her present–K9, Maria, Clyde, Rani, Luke. On the worst nights, it's always Luke.

Even though she has said over and over that hypnosis can't make you act in ways contrary to your nature, sometimes she doesn't believe it herself.

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Chapter 5: White Space

Sarah Jane could never tell anyone how she got home after the wedding. What happened between walking out of the chapel and Rani, Luke and Clyde bursting into the attic was not in her memory. It wasn't overlaid in strange hues like mind-control, nor blurred like brainwashing. There was a slight distinction between the two, like the daydreaming and drowsiness, or overeating and slight drunkenness.

But none of the definitions fit the situation. She simply had no memories of the ride home, walking in the front door, and changing out of the dress. Had she ignored the awkward silence on the ride back? Waited for the neighbors to go inside before entering the house? Cried in frustration as she fumbled with the buttons down the back of her dress? Pondered what explanation she could give later?

But that time was empty as a Sontaran art museum–a mercy, in a way. She didn't remember the time spent alone before they came back. She'd come for them before, every time they needed her. This time, they were there for her.

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Chapter 6: Day Before You Came

Author's Notes: Every time .


I was rewatching "Invasion of the Bane" the other night. Even after finally seeing the Doctor again, Sarah Jane was still cutting herself off from others. Where would she be without Luke and Maria, or later Rani and Clyde? Somewhere much sadder.

It wasn't on your to-do list for that day.

1. Confront Mrs. Wormwood at the Bubbleshock Plant

2. Have Mr. Smith scan for recent alien activity.

3. Work on a publishable article, for a change.

4. Run (add if necessary)

No, "put children in danger" would be right below "fight Sontarans" on your list, and "adopt a boy" would not even be in the same galaxy. But things never happen the way you expect. You should know better than that after traveling with the Doctor.

But even if you had known, you still would have gone. Maybe from a sense of duty, but if you could have seen further, you would gone for Luke's sake. When you first stumbled into the ladies' room and found him and Maria crouched in the stall, you had no idea how he'd become the center of your life.

When you traveled with the Doctor, you were the young one, the one who occasionally ended up doing the right thing through a combination of luck and bravery. Now you are the one they depend on, the one who will show up to make everything better. There have been cases where they had to rescue you–Ruby, the Mona Lisa–but if something gets between you and your crew, especially Luke, they quickly learn just how dangerous a pacifist can be.

Where would you be today without them? Maybe they've hurt you sometimes, but if the choice was between loneliness and brokenness, you'd choose brokenness. Having someone to love helps put those pieces back together.

Every time .

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Chapter 7: Burst Pipes and Rain

The pipes are broken again. You mutter under your breath as you shove the soggy batch of articles into the trash. That's only a week's work to be rewritten. Last time, the plumbing failure was compounded by a leaky roof. But it's what you can afford on a journalist's salary.

Someday, Sarah, you'll get beyond these local pieces and see the world, your editor kept saying. You have talent, you'll go far.

But it wasn't talent that took you on the most amazing trip ever. You saw supernovas and exploding stars, galactic battles and spaceships. You've seen the Earth from space–a view you thought only the American astronauts would ever have.

It's so hard to work up enthusiasm for yet another football match or fashion statement. You're always on the lookout for that blue box, flipping through countless editions of tabloids in hopes of finding someone else who would understand this nagging ordinariness of life after the TARDIS.

The doorbell rings. That would be the repairman, actually on time for once.

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Chapter 8: Farewell Tour

She stared at the empty sidewalk. It was the Doctor. The Doctor dying.

Which meant the next time she saw him–if she did–he'd have another face.

"Mum?" Luke asked.

Sarah Jane held up a finger and shook her head. "Later." She walked past him, into the house and up into the attic. She knew what was coming for him…she'd seen it before. But then she'd been younger, waiting for him to come back from Metabelis 3, not expecting him to die.

She walked over and locked the door. Didn't want to see anyone now, not even Luke. Sarah Jane pulled a blanket out of the closet and wrapped it around herself. Somewhere across the universe, the Doctor was dying again, and she was cold.

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Chapter 9: Litany

Some know her only an investigative journalist.

Some know her as an associate of the Doctor's.

Some know her as a woman came from a distant planet in a police box.

Some know her as defender of the Earth.

Some know her as the woman who foiled their scheme to rule the Earth

Some know her as a dangerous woman to cross.

Some know her as a safe haven.

Some know her as "that woman across the road."

Some know her as their friend and mentor.

Two mechanical life forms know her as boss.

A brilliant boy and bright young lady know her as Mum.

She is Sarah Jane, and the Doctor knows her as his best friend.

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Chapter 10: Creed

My name is Sarah Jane Smith.

My parents died saving the world when I was a month old, so I grew up with my aunt.

My best friend died when we were thirteen–I didn't know the whole story until forty years later.

When I was twenty-three, I snuck into a military base, where a chance encounter changed my life. I met a man called the Doctor. But he wasn't just a man; he was an alien from another planet, traveling the universe in a space and time machine disguised as a police box. He could change his face. He showed me the wonders of the world, from 15th-century Italy to space stations and the planet Skaro. But one day, it came to an end. He had to return home, and I couldn't go with him.

I spent the next stage of my life angry and alone. I couldn't tell anyone the things I'd seen, the places I'd been, the memories I had, so I shut myself away. Sometimes I got involved in adventures that reminded me of what I had lost–but I never meet the part I missed most. I didn't see him.

Not for over twenty years. Then one day, on a routine investigation, we met again. He had changed his face, but it was still him. And I realized that we couldn't pick up where we had been, but I had a life of my own now.

And in the end, I did. I have a son, Luke, and recently gained a daughter, Sky. I have friends who help me with my work: Maria, Clyde, Rani. Together, we confront aliens who have come to Earth. Sometimes they're friendly, sometimes not. But we try to always give them a choice.

My name is Sarah Jane Smith. I've faced Daleks, Sontarans, Cyberman, Slitheen, anti-matter monsters, mummies, giant spiders, robots, the Trickster, and more. I've had guns pointed at me. I've been tied up, threatened, hypnotized, blinded, and erased from history. I've had my heart broken by the people I love. I've seen things you could never imagine.

My name is Sarah Jane Smith: You do not want to cross me.

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Chapter 11: It wasn't Croydon

The TARDIS always takes him where he needs to go. Not where he wants to go or plans to go, but where he needs to go. So why did he leave Sarah Jane in Aberdeen all those years ago, when she clearly belonged in South Croydon?

It's just a guess, just a tiny hint, but maybe the TARDIS disagreed. Maybe it thought Sarah belonged with him, with both of them, a trio of the Doctor and Sarah and Sexy (well, she wasn't Sexy then, not technically), not standing on a lonely road with a stuffed owl under one arm and a potted fern five hundred and fifty miles from away from where it all started. If he had just looked at the scanner, seen where they really were, he would have tried again.

And she–She, the-someday-Sexy, someday-Idris-she- would have kept making mistakes until Sarah was ready to leave, not just storming off in a huff and regretting it for the next thirty years. Her thief didn't understand what she was doing, didn't pay enough attention though, and she couldn't tell him otherwise.

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Chapter 12: Aberdeen

It's time, she decides. (No, it's not about the wolf's boyfriend or the odd test results, and she'll nudge him in the right direction. Just a nudge, as long as he doesn't mess it up.) Time for him to meet an old friend. That mess with the Death Zone hardly counted, as time-fuddled as it was. From the moment they left Sarah Jane on that road, the TARDIS had been searching for a meeting place. Multiple futures were possible–the Royal Albert Hall, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong. But the latter would have proved fatal, and the others wiggled out of reach in alternate timelines, so this was the earliest she could come. 2006. The TARDIS wants to apologize, but she has to leave that to her thief. And he's never been good at it.

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Chapter 13: Not Accepting Strays at Present

Author's Notes: This is what happens when A. I should go to bed. B. I don't want to. and C. I want more Sarah Jane that does not make me cry. I don't consider "canon," but part of the idea is from NotAnOunceof Logic's stories on fanfic net.


"What do you mean, no?" The Doctor asked. "I told you, Sarah Jane, it's just for a few days."

"I enjoy helping aliens, but 13 Bannerman Road is not an alien division of the SPCA. You already gave me the robot dog." Sarah stared up into his green eyes.

"I thought you liked K9," he sniffed.

"I do, but I already have an alien super computer, a futuristic robot dog, and two children who aren't entirely human, not to mention all the gadgets and geegaws I have up in that attic. And now you want to leave a damaged, half-built TARDIS here!"

"It's not exactly a TARDIS. It's a humanoid…well, not exactly human, but not quite alien either…look, it's a long story and I can't even remember parts of it. The point is, the first time I saw it, it masqueraded as the top floor of an entire flat. My buddy Craig managed to shut it down, but I thought I'd better pick up the pieces. Exploded, you know. And having a TARDIS inside a TARDIS is a recipe for disaster. Come on, just this one time. "

"That's what you said about borrowing the edible ball bearings–"

"They were almost as good as jelly babies!"

"The case of spring rolls from Yetton IV."

"How was I to know exposure to the Vortex causes mutations of sentience?"

"The honey crystal,"

"I got back before you were executed!"

"I still have the scar!" Sarah Jane traced a thin scar along her neckline.

"This is the absolutely last time, I promise."

She crossed her arms. "And the teenager."

"Ace? She was nice, wasn't she?"

"In the two weeks you were off on some top-secret mission, she managed to break the oven, burned my microscope lenses, destroyed two stories, and left her homemade explosive right where I keep my deodorant!"

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Chapter 14: Make A Wish

She should have known better. Honestly, with the life she leads, she should have known better. "Nothing will go wrong" equals "it's all going pear-shaped." "It's a quiet day" means "a meteor will soon be crashing to earth." And "it's just ball lightning" might as well be a warning to pull out the sonic lipstick.

But she wasn't thinking of consequences that night. Chatting with Luke is fine, but the house always seems quieter after Rani and Clyde leave on those nights. She's been across the universe and traveled through time, but the hour-drive up to Oxford feels like a galaxy. So, when she looks up at the night sky, as she always does (just in case a little blue box is flying past, even though Mr. Smith would have let her known in advance), she wished on a bright blue star.

She didn't even know she was wishing. But deep inside, she thought I don't want to be alone again. She has Luke, yes, but he's grown up. Someday he'll leave Oxford, maybe for a job, maybe a ride in the TARDIS. She wants someone else to love, someone else to care for, to show the wonders of the universe to.

And far across the universe, another caretaker gazed through the distant threads of space and time. He wanted somewhere safe, somewhere with love and joy instead of hatred and death. And when he heard Sarah Jane's wish, he smiled at the basket by his side, knowing where to deliver it.

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Chapter 15: The Patron Saint of Physicians

Author's Notes: I've had this title in mind for ages, and re-watching Invasion of the Bane gave me the perfect excuse to use it.

She thought about naming him Alistair, after the Brig, or Harry, after Doctor Sullivan. But she wasn't very good at naming things–goodness, the last time must have been those goldfish back in primary school. "Goldie and Shiny," she had called them, and they died not five minutes after she walked in the front door of Aunt Lavinia's. The whole experience had soured her on pets, even tin ones.

But this boy wasn't a goldfish or a robotic dog. He was human; someone she'd have to feed and clothe and education and love…maybe she should have started with a cat. Or a llama–anything but another human being. Ah, well. She'd claimed him in a moment of concern or clarification or goodness-knows-what, and now she had to keep him. Didn't want his first impression of humanity to be living on the streets and broken promises.

Mr. Smith had all the paperwork sorted. Except for the name. "I always liked the name Luke," she said, thinking out loud. "I thought if I ever had a son, I'd name him Luke." Maybe she had a crush on someone with the name, or just liked the way it sounded when the teacher read the Gospels in class.

"I like Luke too."

Then it's settled. Luke Smith.


Days before her planned wedding, Sarah Jane noticed Luke leafing through a book of baby names. "Hey, Mum, did you know that your name means 'Princess?'"

"Really? I think I remember one of my teachers telling me that for some assignment or other. What got you interested?"

"Well, Clyde asked if you were going to change your name after the wedding, and I wasn't sure what he meant. Does he mean your first name?"

"No. It used to be that when a woman married, she changed her last name to her husband's. Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. But you won't have to worry about it. You can stay Luke Smith." She sat down on the couch. "What does that book say about your name?"

"It originally meant 'from Lucania,' but most people think of it with the book of Luke in the Bible. And Luke is the saint of doctors and artists. Like their hero, right?"

"It's a bit more complicated than that," Sarah Jane laughed, but something about the phrase nagged at her…patron saint of doctors…was she forgetting someone on the wedding list? But she didn't know any doctors or nurses…. "Anyway, Luke is a very good name."

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Chapter 16: Journalism

Any experienced journalist knows not every investigation leads to a story, let alone a great one. With five leads, one would be unreliable, two parrot back the latest headlines, and one forget to reply. Sarah Jane has other problems, though. Just because some strange events are caused by aliens doesn’t mean they all are–but it sure seems that way recently.

The Christmas Day fireworks: an invading ship.

Shop-window dummy attacks: Autons (like she’d ever forget them).

If only she could find something suitably normal to turn in to her editors, but that would have to wait. There was something odd at Deffry Vale–strange lights, odd test scores, just the sort of low-profile setting that would be perfect for a plot.

If not, she could turn it in for once.

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Chapter 17: Making a Fist

Author's Notes: This drabble is based on the Seventh Doctor novel Bullet Time, in which Sarah ends a hostage standoff (someone is using her against the Doctor) by shooting herself. I'm not sure I accept it as canon, but this is what she might have thought afterwards. Also, the title is from Reliant K's "Forgiven."

She can’t forgive him this time.

Her last thought before the pain stole her mind, the solid anchor through weeks in hospital, the burning coal driving her on in physical therapy, always the same six words: I can’t forgive him this time.

She had dreamt of him sometimes, when the morphine couldn’t numb the pain. But not this him, not the Scottish gang lord named Pendragon. She’d imagined him, soft greying hair and green velvet coat, saying her name when she could barely remember it herself. She’d pictured his curly hair spreading in all directions, his strong hands wrapping her in that monstrous scarf to keep warm.

---You make a good doctor, Doctor, she’d said to these hallucinations. And he’d smile, offering her a jelly baby that kept slipping out of her hand when the nurses changed the IV.

In her waking hours, she remembered his eyes when she’d pressed the trigger on Tom’s gun. Any concern was masked behind expediency. He had to save the world.

She had been in the way.

Even now, she knows she couldn’t have chosen differently. The only way to end the standoff was to dispose of the hostage…to shoot herself. She remembers her fingers on the gun, unshaking. It wasn’t like she needed to aim.

He let her. After all the times he’d rescued her–all the times she’d saved him–he left her to die on that dock.

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Chapter 18: Citrus Constellation

She's dreaming of the TARDIS again. Not the familiar white roundel or dream-muddled fancies, but the glass-floored models she’d last seen. Up the stairs from the main control room and down the halls she wanders, following something she can't name. Sarah Jane pauses for a moment by a fluttering curtain.

Drawing it to the side, she finds an empty doorway. “Is someone here?” she asked. A grassy hill lays ahead under a night sky. Two blankets lay side by side, fleece printed with sledding penguins and bowling polar bears. She smooths one out and lies down on it.

“They all have names, you know.” The Doctor sits beside her. “Not the blankets, the sky.” He points to a constellation, tracing the outline of a woman. “That one’s the Warrior. If you look closely, you can see her pouch of Janis thorns.”

Sarah Jane lets her gaze drift. Nebulae, fresh and clear as Hubble telescope images, form patches of watercolor hues on an indigo backdrop. A comet chases its own tail, orbiting a ringed planet of swirling red clouds. “I forgot you,” she blurts out. Ashamed, she tries to bit her tongue, but keeps talking, as one only can in dreams. “There was this woman–well, not really a woman, a Qetesh, I thought I could trust her, and when I started forgetting, I relied on her.

“She asked me how I got into all this, and…I couldn't remember. I could see your black cape, that long scarf, but I couldn't remember your face. I didn't even know your name,” she shivers. “Just for a moment. And I felt so old–so lost–without my memories.”

He hugs her, awkwardly, because words don’t seem quite right. “If you’re old, what about me?”

Sarah Jane laughs. “I think you’re younger than you've ever been.”

“ I've forgotten more than you know. That’s why I made this room. That nebula there–shaped like a butterfly–that’s Jo’s. I had to recolor it a bit after last time. The comet is Lucie, always coming around for one more go. And that one there--” He points to a shimmering light on the horizon. “That’s yours. An entire galaxy.” He plucks it from the sky and sets it in her hands.

It is soft, warm and tingly. Reunion, she thinks as she holds it, and all those days–days she wouldn't have given up for anything–fill her mind, sharp as a new pencil. “It’s beautiful.”

“Nothing is lost forever.” He looks away for a moment. Sarah Jane follows his gaze to a red giant overhead, on the verge of becoming a black hole. “I just needed to remember that.”

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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.

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