A/N: This takes place in the same world as my Doctor Who story Trividian Conundrum. Without having to read all of that, the short version and what is pertinent to this is that after the Doctor dropped Sarah off in Aberdeen, she had a brief relationship with Harry Sullivan, Susan being the product of that relationship. Set after "We Are A Constant", this is mostly a series of phone conversations between our characters. Of course all the regular characters belong to the BBC, they just feed my imagination.
WISH YOU WERE HERE
Susan Sullivan drove down the road practically cursing the traffic as her mobile rang. She pushed the button to kick it into hands-free mode. 'Hello,' she answered harshly.
'Sue, it's Luke.'
She smiled, all previous foul language pushed to the back of her mind. 'Hey little brother, what's up?'
Susan laughed. 'I'm sitting in bloody awful traffic at the moment. I would've thought they had better ways of dealing with it, but this area is almost worse than home. It's days like this I'm thankful this isn't a permanent thing. Everything going all right on the home front?'
'Yes, but I need your help on something.'
'Anything, just name it.'
'You know how Mum's birthday is coming up. I'm lost on ideas as to what to get her.'
'You know she won't want a big fuss. Just you spending time together is good.'
'That's what she says. I just wanna do something nice for her.'
Susan slammed on brakes as the car in front of her did as well. 'I tell you what, Luke, let me think on it for a couple of days and get back to you.'
'Sounds good, Sue, thanks. Oh, you might want to give Mum a call. That whole Rakweed thing is still getting to her. Did you know she used a gun against the Blathereen in Antarctica? You know how she feels about guns.'
Susan frowned. 'Yep, I do, and I know why too. I'll talk to her. Thanks for letting me know.' She pulled into the car park and turned off the car. 'Luke, I'll catch up with you later, all right?'
'Yeah, talk to you soon.'
Susan clicked off the phone and headed towards the restaurant. As she walked in the door, she quickly scanned the dining area and smiled as she saw the person she was meeting. She walked over and gave the man a quick kiss on the cheek before sitting opposite him. 'Sorry I'm late, traffic was awful.'
He smiled, 'It takes a while to get used to it, I have to admit.' He reached out and took her hand, 'Sue, I have to ask, do you want to get used to it?'
Susan shrugged, 'I'm not sure, Alan, to be honest. They didn't make my transfer here permanent. I would imagine it will depend on how things go.'
'Well, being the entire Washington office does give you a little bit of freedom.'
Susan looked at the smile on Alan Jackson's face. 'UNIT figured that as many aliens as you and Maria were meeting up with, we needed a presence here.' She took a sip of her water. 'One of these days, I'm going to get you to finally tell me how you two got started in all of this.'
Alan shook his head. 'I don't think so, Captain Sullivan. We can't risk identifying our source.' His tone was light, but his words were serious. 'Our experience in the Universe has led both of us to protect our own.' He leaned forward and whispered, 'Even if I am in love with the person who's asking.'
Susan blushed and looked down. 'I'll get it out of you one day, I promise.'
'Change of topic. Maria wants you to come over for dinner tonight.'
'Depends on who's cooking.'
'Ha ha.' Then he smiled. 'Maria is.'
Susan laughed, 'It's a deal then.'
Susan waited as the phone connection simply rang before her mother finally picked up. Without any pretenses, Susan got straight to the point. 'Are you all right?'
Sarah gave a small laugh. 'Hello to you too, Susan.'
'Hi. Now, are you all right?'
'Of course, Sue, why wouldn't I be?'
'Mum, Luke told me what happened with the Rakweed, and with you going to Antarctica.'
Sarah sighed. 'You know my feelings about guns, Sue.'
Susan rolled her eyes, even knowing Sarah couldn't see it. 'Yes, I do. That's why I asked how you were. I know how you get when you have to pick up a gun for any reason, much less to protect your child. You had to do it for me, and now you've had to do it for Luke.'
'And I'd do it all over again for either one of you.'
Susan replied softly. 'I know Mum, I know.'
'I've killed for both of you.' Sarah paused. 'There should've been another way.'
Susan sighed, she knew what it meant for Sarah to admit to the taking of another life, regardless of the circumstances. It went against the very grain of her character, but defending a child put everything else in perspective. 'We both know how the Universe works, Mum. Sometimes, there isn't a better way, and sometimes you're not given an alternative.'
'How long are you going to be in America?'
'I'm not sure to be honest. Things have gotten more complicated than I anticipated.'
'What do you mean?'
'Um, well, it's hard to explain.'
Susan could hear the smile in Sarah's voice as she asked, 'Are you going to try?'
'Nope, at least not yet.'
Luke opened up a webcam call with Susan on his laptop. 'Did you get an idea?' Luke asked.
'I need to come home.'
'Well, I need to come home for Mum's birthday. Given what she's gone through this year, it'll be good for all of us to be together.'
Luke saw the expression on her face. 'Sue, there's something you're not telling me, isn't there.'
'Luke, do you know why Mum feels the way she does about guns?'
'Because the Doctor taught her there was a better way?'
Susan laughed, 'Well, partly. What has Mum told you about the trip she and I took to Trivid when I was a teenager?'
Luke shook his head. 'Not much. Only that you guys helped defeat a ruthless dictator.'
'Without going into a lot of unnecessary details, that dictator threatened to kill me and had a gun to my head. That same dictator had done some really bad things to Mum, and she did the only thing she could do to save me, and that was to shoot the dictator.'
'The same way she caused the Blathereen to self destruct for what they'd done to me.'
'Similar, yea. Luke, this is between you and me, but Mum went through a really rough spot when we got back. How is she doing now?'
'She's been quieter than usual, keeping to herself and working a lot more on her freelance work.'
Susan sighed. 'That's it, I'm definitely coming home. Tell you what Luke, don't tell Mum. It'll be our surprise, all right?'
'Sounds like a plan. Thanks, Sue.'
Maria stood in the kitchen in front of the stove stirring the pot of boiling liquid. 'This can't be right, Luke!' she said loudly, a hint of panic in her voice.
Across the room, her laptop sat open, where she could see Luke fidgeted on the screen. 'You followed the recipe exactly, yea?'
'Yea, but it's not thickening like you said it would.'
'I've never actually made it before,' he admitted quietly.
Maria stalked over from the stove to stand in front of the laptop. 'What do you mean you've never made it?'
'It was a recipe the Zafarsans gave Mum when she was finally able to get them home. They said it was one of their favourites.'
Maria put her hands on her hips. 'Has Sarah Jane ever made it?'
'I don't know. I can ask her when comes upstairs.'
Maria finally just shook her head and laughed. 'Oh well, if they hate it, they hate it.'
'I asked Dad to bring his new girlfriend over. She's awesome Luke, knows about aliens and all of that. Get this, she's English too. Worked for UNIT, but they've posted her over here, who knows for how long though. I think Dad's hoping it's permanent.'
Luke raised an eyebrow. 'Really?'
'Don't worry, we've not told her about you or Sarah Jane at all.'
'Good. Mum would have a fit if anyone found out.'
Just then, Alan and Susan walked into the kitchen. 'Maria, we're here.'
'Hey Maria,' Susan said with a smile.
'Hiya.' She went over and hugged both Alan and Susan.
From the laptop, Luke had a confused look on his face. 'Sue?'
Susan spun around and looked at the laptop. 'Luke?'
In the attic in Ealing, Sarah walked in and saw on Mr. Smith's viewscreen that he was talking to Maria. Smiling, she walked up and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. As Susan walked into view, Sarah gasped, her arm falling off Luke's shoulders. 'Sue?'
Maria turned to Susan, 'Sarah Jane and Luke. They know you! How is that possible?'
Susan looked from Maria to Alan, smiling sheepishly, then turned back to the screen as Sarah said, 'We should. Shouldn't we, Sue?'
Susan laughed slightly, knowing all eyes were on her. 'I guess I haven't done very well on keeping you up on current events, huh? Hi Mum.'
Maria choked, 'Mum? Sarah Jane is your Mum?' She quickly turned back to Sarah, 'Sarah Jane, you never said you had a daughter.'
'We all have our secrets, Maria,' Sarah admitted.
'This is really big!' Maria turned to her dad, 'Dad?'
Alan put an arm around Susan's waist. 'As large as the Universe is, I think ours just got a whole lot smaller.'
Susan nodded and laughed, 'I tend to agree with you, Alan.'
Two weeks later, Susan crept up the stairs to the attic. She cracked open the door, peeking in and seeing Sarah sitting at desk working. Smiling, she knocked on the attic door and opened it. 'Hey Mum, may I come in?'
Sarah turned quickly at Susan's voice, then stood and quickly wrapped her daughter in a warm hug. 'Sue, what are you doing here?'
'Happy Birthday, Mum.'
'You didn't come all the way here to tell me that.'
Susan laughed, 'True.' She took Sarah by the hand and led her to the nearby sofa. 'Actually, I wanted to see you for myself.'
Sarah gave Susan a look. 'All right, now you sound like the parent. What is going on?'
'I'm worried about you, Mum.'
Susan frowned. 'Well, I needed to see for myself how you were doing after the few months you've had.'
'You mean with the Blathereen?' Susan didn't respond, just continued to look at Sarah, so she continued, 'And after Peter?'
Susan finally nodded. 'Last time I talked to Dad, he said he was worried about you. And then I get a call from Luke after the whole Rakweed thing, and he was worried too. I'd been sent off to America almost as soon as I got back from travelling with the Doctor, so I'd not been able to really see for myself how you were processing everything.'
'Susan, I'm fine. Honestly.' Sarah leaned over and hugged Susan. Pulling back, she reached out and patted Susan's hands. 'I appreciate you worrying, you know I do, but I'm all right. It was tough at first, but the situation with the Blathereen wasn't like what happened with us on Trivid. I may have had Mr. Smith broadcast the frequency to break down the Rakweed, but it was ultimately the Blathereen's own greed that killed them. Yes, I threatened them with a gun loaded with vinegar, but I didn't pull the trigger in Antarctica. They came back here and threatened us all, including Clyde, Rani and Luke. There wasn't any other choice.'
'You're fine?' Susan asked softly.
'I'm fine. Now, tell me how long you're here for, and what is going on between you and Alan Jackson?'
Susan laughed, 'Alan and Maria actually flew back with me. Alan was taking Maria by her mum's to visit for a bit, but we thought we'd all get together for dinner somewhere if that was all right with you.'
'I never really thought about you and Alan being close to the same age. Makes me feel very old.'
'Never!' Susan laughed. 'You're eternally thirty-nine, right?'
Sarah joined in her laughter. 'Right.'
'Mum, in all seriousness though, I'm really glad you're all right. Please let me know if you ever need to, or want to talk about some of this stuff. Off the record, of course.'
Sarah stood up and reached out a hand to Susan. 'Come on, kitchen, now. We need tea.'
Susan stood up and let her mother lead her out of the room. 'Yes, Ma'am!'