Story: GCSE's, Boyfriends, and the Doctor
Author: Stitch 54
Timeline: After Series 3 of SJA and before End of Time in DW. And TW is before Children of Earth, but it won't appear too much.
Summary: The TARDIS has caught a cold, and it has reverted back through the Artron energy of the companions. With Martha and Mickey reduced to 7 year olds, what has this cold got in store for Sarah Jane...
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who, Sarah Jane Adventures, or Torchwood. The BBC does, sadly.
Sarah Jane Smith sighed as she sank back into her attic sofa. She snuggled down into the imprint she had left from years of sitting in the same place. Her fingers smoothed the soft velvet cover on the cushions as she closed her eyes and fell into a state of peace. It had been one hell of a long week, and there was every chance that the weekend was going to get lousier as the annual migration of the bird like 'Space Foogies' was due to fly through Earth space over the next few weeks. No doubt that one of the young first timers will get cut off from the crowd and cause panic as it lands in the middle of a public area.
Luke, Rani and Clyde were having fun in the attic, testing Mr. Smith and K-9. Or was it the other way around? Their GCSE's were just around the corner, and they were having fun revising using alternate methods. Some of them were alien and they seemed to be working better than the ones they had used in the past. Tonight, they were revising maths in the form of playing chess. If they got the question right, the move they wanted was performed on Mr. Smith's screen, but if they got it wrong, they automatically forfeited the move to the opponent. It was meant to be Rani Verses Clyde, but it sounded as if it had turned into a fight between Mr. Smith and K-9.
In her rare peace, Sarah Jane could feel herself drifting off and the sounds of the children and Mr. Smith working dissipated into the background. This was starting to happen more and more these days, especially since adopting Luke and defending the Earth on a much more regular basis. God help her if she had done this when travelling with the Doctor. One, she would have never survived as you needed to have all your wits when the TARDIS was in full flight, and two, the Doctor would have never let it drop that she had fallen asleep. There would have been photos everywhere and no doubt whatever companion came after her and others after that, would be fed up of the Doctor saying 'don't fall asleep like Sarah'. But these days, she was thankful that she wasn't still with the Doctor as she seemed to need these dowses more often. "Mum?" the sound of her son's voice made her jump.
"Yes, sorry Luke", Sarah said as she sat up and came back to reality, "What's wrong?"
"Rani and Clyde have gone home now. You have been asleep for two hours and they didn't want to wake you", Luke smiled at her as he sat next to her, "I'm going to bed now and I suggest you do too".
"Thanks Luke", Sarah laughed as she realised what she had done, "I've just a few last things to sort out then I'll hit the sack too".
"Night Mum", Luke smiled at her as he kissed her on the cheek.
"Goodnight Luke", Sarah smiled back at him as he shut the door to go down stairs.
"Sarah Jane, if you feel you need to rest, I can finish up for you", Mr. Smith offered as she stood and made her way over to her desk.
"Thanks for the offer Mr. Smith, but I have non-extraterrestrial related work to do. But could you keep an eye on the Foogie migration whilst K-9 helps me with my articles?" Sarah asked as she sat down at her desk, moving pieces of alien clutter out of the way.
"Indeed Sarah Jane. Would you like some music to listen to whilst you work?" the computer replied as he brought up one half of his screen covered in red dots above the Earth, and the other half a music library.
"Yes, CD eighteen please", she smiled as she started up her two work laptops.
Sarah sighed pleasantly as her favourite piece of music started to play. That is if you could call it music. It would be better suited described as her favourite sound; the hum of the TARDIS engines. The Doctor had recorded these for her years ago, whilst she was travelling with him even, him trying to teach her signs of what the TARDIS was saying, hoping that he could eventually teach her how to fly it. The first track was how she heard the TARDIS through her ears, but the rest of them where how it sounded to other species. All of them were beautiful, but her favourite would have to be what it sounded like to the Doctor.
The enhanced Galifrayan recording sounded like angels singing. You could almost hear the years of experience that the TARDIS had and the knowledge it contained. All the different melodies and harmonies within were the TARDIS talking to Sarah, and the more she listened to it, the more she began to understand it. Even with her no longer travelling with the Doctor, she was still connected to him and the TARDIS as it was still able to translate some alien languages for her light-years and millenniums away. The more she listened to the recording, the more words she could pick out. She knew her name through TARDIS talk, and the Doctor's and also some of the readings from when it was recorded.
Halfway through, the Doctor's voice would pour through. He was more connected to the TARDIS than anyone else in the universe, and so his thoughts were recorded onto the track. I hope you will like this Sarah, the voice of his fourth regeneration would say every time.
"Is there anything you wish me to do Mistress?" K-9 asked as he rolled up next to her.
"Oh yes", Sarah said as she put one of the laptops down in front of him, "Can you spell and grammar check this please?"
"Certainly Mistress", K-9 replied as he plugged himself into, compared to him, the primitive technology, "Although the clatter that you call music of the TARDIS will affect my systems".
"Oh K-9, I wish that sometimes you were more compatible with other machines", Sarah smiled as she patted her dog.
"Affection noted Mistress", K-9 replied as he wagged his tail up and down.
Sarah sighed as she turned to face the bright screen before her. She had a report due in on Monday about a series of break-ins in the past week. This was one of the few things this week that Sarah had done that was not alien related; along with getting up, cooking, and cleaning. Rani enjoyed the experience of proper journalism for a change. She was so into it that she had no mastered the before un-masterable sound recorder of Sarah's that she used to listen back to her findings. Sarah started to play Rani and her vocal notes back to herself and began typing them into her report.
Soon, the room was full of the sounds of a keyboard being used to its full potential, a metal dog complaining about the TARDIS song, and Rani doing her best to record all of their findings. It was almost as if everything was working together in perfect harmony. Well, it was until an annoying beeping ceased the TARDIS music and Mr. Smith brought up another screen. "Incoming message from Torchwood Three Hub Sarah Jane, shall I answer?" Mr. Smith told Sarah Jane as he brought up a set of new graphics with his saved picture of the Torchwood team doing a ridiculous pose.
"Oh, it would be nice if I said no", Sarah sighed, "But I have to say yes otherwise we will never hear the end of it".
Both Torchwood and UNIT had been in contact with Sarah quite a lot since the Dalek invasion. The latter being normally Martha or Sir Alistair, passing on messages from their scientific advisers, wanting advice on things that they have found, as since their last escapade, Sarah's status within UNIT had risen and you need authorisation to speak to her these days. But Torchwood was completely different. They wanted to compare notes and they had been meeting frequently if they were in the area. Yet, even though the rest of the team and them were on first name terms, Jack still treated her with the utmost respect, and so Sarah returned the compliment. Mainly because all his atempts to flirt with her had failed, so politeness was the only way he could get Sarah Jane on his side. However, the occasional flirt didn't harm.
A new screen popped up on Mr. Smith, and the face of the Captain filled the LED screen. His usual cheeky smile that Sarah got in these calls had been replaced by a face of seriousness. In the background in the hub, Ianto Jones was rushing back and forth carrying trays of tea. "Miss Smith", Jack nodded, even with an obvious distress he kept up his manners.
"Captain", Sarah returned the gesture, "How may I help you this fine evening?That look upon your face tells me this isn't a social call".
"Have you received any contact from the Doctor?" he spat out quickly.
"Not since my failed wedding, no. Why have you?"
"No, but I was hoping you had".
"Jack, why do you need contact with the Doctor?"
"You know our rift covers both space and time. Well, the Time Vortex has just gone through its monthly fluctuation, but this time something odd happened".
"Defy odd Jack, because from what I have seen within the Time Vortex, to describe anything as odd is completely redundant".
"I mean side effects", Jack sighed.
"Side effects, are you sure?" Sarah frowned as she crossed her arms and shifted uncomfortably on her feet, "The only side effects I am aware of it the background Artron energy which is harmless".
"I know, and as far as we know, it hasn't got anything to do with it. I think we can best describe it as a disease".
"A disease? Within the Time Vortex? Tell me Captain, how do you know this?"
Jack didn't say anything. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair and his eyes gazed to somewhere off camera. His eyes began to fill with tears, something Sarah thought would be the last thing the Captain would do in front of her. He sighed and looked back to her, reaching for the camera. "Just take a look at Martha and Mickey", he said as he turned the camera around.
The new image showed Gwen Cooper fast asleep on the Torchwood sofa, and cup of tea precariously held in her sleeping arm. But even though she was asleep, she looked drained. Her face was almost white, and her eyes looked deeply set in her eyes due to black bags bigger than Sarah had ever seen. If her chest wasn't rising slowly up and then back down Sarah could have sworn she was dead. But what was upon her lap was obviously what Jack was indicating towards. Sleeping also in a deep sleep were a little boy and girl, no older than ten. Their clothes were way to big, hanging off basically nothing. The boy's shoes hang on his small feet whilst the heels the girl seemed to have been wearing sat on the floor at the end of the sofa. Their faces seemed almost as drained as Gwen's, but it was a little more believable because of their age. But the horrific thing was though, was whose faces they were. Younger and smaller yes, but they were unmistakably Martha and Mickey. "How the hell" Sarah Jane said shocked as she took a step closer to the screen, "Mr. Smith, run a diagnostic, quickly".
Mr. Smith began to process the image before him. Various pieces of information came upon screen; Martha and Mickey's medical profiles, the recent rift activity, everything. Suddenly, everything stopped with his conclusion. "Confirm, Martha Jones and Mickey Smith aged seven years of age. Other than sleep deprivation and an excitement in the Artron energy, there is nothing wrong with them", Mr. Smith concluded.
"Nothing Mr. Smith, are you sure?" Sarah asked him, her voice an octave higher than normal.
"Yes Sarah Jane. I also have to report there is an increased Artron activity in the whole Torchwood hub", he added, "It suggests a leak in the rift".
"Warning noted. Thank you Mr. Smith", Jack nodded on the other end as he turned the screen back to face him, and "All of our computers don't register anything as being wrong either. Gwen wondered if it was because if the Artron energy does have something to do with all of this, that the change has caused their DNA to revert back".
"I guess that does make sense", she replied as she bit her nail between her two front teeth.
"It is our best theory unless you can come up with something else", but as he said this, Sarah was shaking her head.
"Jack, have you tried phoning the Doctor?" Sarah tried in a last attempt.
"Who do you think I am? That was my first port of call, along with trying Martha's phone. There was no reply", the Captain replied, his face no full of worry and stress.
Sarah took in a deep breath and took her hands to her hips. She looked off at the wall, wondering what they could do next. There must be something seriously wrong if he wasn't answering calls, even Martha's. She thought to the strong TARDIS connection that she had, but sadly her mind wasn't what it used to be and it would take full concentration, which she didn't have right now. They couldn't contact UNIT because they would be way out of their depth, and the Brig was in New York on official business until at least Monday. Sarah took a hand to her head. Right now, she was the one with the most experience, and Jack contacting her showed that. "Captain, I will be there first thing in the morning", Sarah told him, "All I can suggest you do is keep them well hydrated and see if you can stop the Artron energy leak, which will be the best thing to do. I doubt that it will affect non-time travellers, but it could accumulate with Martha and Mickey's and increase the effects on them".
"Yes Sarah Jane. You will report if anything happens on your end. We don't if this will spread out through the rest of us", Jack told her before they signed off for the night.
"Sure Jack. Mr. Smith will stay connected up with you. Feel free to get him to do anything for you", Sarah nodded at him as she flicked a switch on Mr. Smith, "God help you over there".
With a final salute, the Captain signed off. Sarah span around to face her attic. How could this have happened? She had never seen anything like this, and in all her years too. It was so unlike the Doctor to not contact them, and Sarah began to wonder if this had affected him too. She looked at her watch. Nearly midnight. She wouldn't be able to help tomorrow if she were tired. "Sarah Jane, might I ask what you are so worried about. There is nothing wrong", Mr. Smith said as she made her way for the door.
"You don't read that anything is wrong?" Sarah asked him.
"Not at all Sarah Jane", he replied.
She took in a breath and put a hand to her head. "Do as what Torchwood ask you to do. I know you and their computer don't always get on, but please, you have to understand that there is a great need for us to work together", she told the computer, how to explain the situation to a computer that doesn't register anything wrong.
"Yes Sarah Jane. Shall I continue to monitor the Foogies too", Mr. Smith asked as she opened the door.
"No, I want all of your resources focused on helping Torchwood. K-9 can monitor them", she told him as he shut down into energy saving mode, "C'mon K-9, bed".
"Yes Mistress. Preparing to descend stairs", the metal dog said as he wheeled himself out.
AN: Feel free to review. Speculation of what is to come is accepted. Audience participation is too, as it is almost panto time. Where's the Doctor?