THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME
Sarah sat in her wooden rocking chair, looking at the webcam on her computer. 'I was right, Luke. The Doctor did regenerate after we saw him last.'
'What did he look like this time?' Luke asked.
'Younger even than last time, if that's possible.' Sarah looked down at her watch. 'You'd better get to class.'
Luke glanced at his watch. 'Oh right. See ya, Mum.' He quickly disconnected the stream, leaving Sarah staring at an empty screen. She sighed deeply and sat back in the chair, closing her eyes. As scary as the memory weave had been, and given what the Shansheeth had wanted to use it for, it still startled her how fresh the memories of her time with the Doctor had been.
She ran a hand over her eyes as the memories flashed through her mind yet again. But instead of concentrating on every moment, she allowed herself to filter the memories to the good times. The deep, lasting relationship she had with the Doctor. All the different versions of him.
She remembered when his Third self grabbed her by the ear as they joked about her standing in the way of his career as a civil servant on Peladon. That was the same version of the Doctor that Jo had travelled with. She thought about the differences in the lives that she and Jo had led after leaving the Doctor. Jo seemed happy, although the conversation she'd witnessed between Jo and the Doctor led her to believe that Jo had also waited to see him again. Unless herself though, Jo had continued to live, gotten married, had kids and now grandkids.
Sarah had something Jo didn't though. Sarah had been there when he regenerated. Sarah had experienced a whole other personality that Jo hadn't. And recently, she'd gotten to know him yet again in yet another version. She'd seen the look in Jo's eyes when she'd mentioned it at the UNIT base.
'Sarah Jane, temporal flux is escalating,' Mr. Smith intoned as he slid out of the wall.
Sarah watched as the TARDIS materialized in its usual spot in the attic. She stood up and went to stand in front of Mr. Smith, facing the TARDIS, her arms crossed. She watched as the doors opened. 'I should get a sign that says "TARDIS parking only", don't you think?' she asked even as the Doctor strode out, looking around.
'It's nice to see you've not changed much around here, Smith.' The Doctor smirked even as he walked towards her. 'Good job with the Shansheeth, by the way. I didn't get a chance to say that earlier.'
'I'm surprised to see you here, Doctor.'
'Oh come on, Sarah, you should never be surprised where I'm concerned.'
Sarah stifled a laugh. 'Doctor, it's more like I should always be surprised.'
'Well, there's something I didn't get a chance to talk to you about, what with Jo here and all.'
Sarah shrugged. 'It's been a very long time since you've seen her, so this was more her time with you. She needed to ask the questions I asked you the first time we saw each other after all those years.'
'But Sarah, you're different. You know you are.'
'Doctor, I know how many friends you have, just here on Earth. People who've travelled with you over the years. We're scattered all over the globe, but each one of us is trying to make something better with what we've learned.'
The Doctor closed the distance between them to stand just in front of her. He reached out and put his hands on her shoulders. 'Sarah, you know I've travelled with lots of people, that's true. While I care for them all, you also know that just like I told Jo, I don't look back, I don't pop in for a visit.'
'So what brings you here?'
'Oh, I just decided to pop in for a visit,' he said with a smile.
Sarah sighed. 'Doctor?'
'Oh Sarah. Do you actually think I was going to let you walk out of the TARDIS yet again without my hug?' He opened his arms with a flourish.
Sarah laughed as she stepped into his open arms and relaxed even as he held her closely and kissed the top of her head.
'You're my Sarah,' he said, just above a whisper. 'Nothing and no one else is going to change that. I don't care what Jo says about you finding a fellow. You're more than welcome to, I want you to be happy, and if that's what makes you happy, then by all means. Besides, I have people that travel with me like Amy and Rory, so you deserve to have someone in your life, I'd never stop you, of course. Except I did, but that wasn't because I didn't want you to be happy, that's because it was the Trickster. If it hadn't been for that, I wouldn't have stopped the wedding. Even if it means that if you find someone, I'll be very jealous.'
He stopped to catch his breath and Sarah jumped at the opportunity to get a word in. 'You're very wordy this go round, aren't you? Randomly wordy.'
'Something like that. It's just the way I am.'
'I like the way you are,' she said with a smile, then something dawned on her. 'Wait a minute, how do you know what Jo said?'
'I am just that good.'
Sarah laughed, 'Well, I'm just glad you're safe. And thank you for saving Luke.'
The Doctor smiled, 'My pleasure, Smith.'
Sarah finally stepped back, out of his embrace. 'So, do you have time for some tea?'
'For you, absolutely!' He extended an arm to her, and they made their way out of the attic.