ORDINARY WORLD – MISSING CHAPTER
Author's Notes: 22 April, 2011 This takes place before the epilogue - but it begged to be written - instead of creating a whole new story, I just wanted to put it here. Most of this was written before Lis's passing, but I couldn't finish it until today. Elisabeth Sladen - RIP my hero, you will be forever missed.
Sarah felt a pair of eyes staring at her and a familiar tingle against her mind, even as she roused from sleep. The light tap on her upper arm closest to the edge of the bed confirmed her suspicions. Opening her eyes, she shifted slightly to turn and look at the little girl standing next to the bed. Even in the dim light, she could see the wetness on the child's face from tears. Sarah propped herself up on her elbow. 'What's wrong, Andrea?' she gently asked.
'I had a bad dream, Mummy. The monsters came for you and Daddy.' Andy reached up and roughly wiped away more tears with the back of her hands. 'The scary monsters,' she added before sniffing.
Sarah quickly scooped up the five year old onto the bed beside her, cuddling her close. 'It's all right, Andy, it was just a bad dream.' She reached up to wipe away Andy's tears before beginning to smooth down her wild curls in hopes of soothing her. She debated what to tell the little girl, wishing she could tell her daughter that the monsters weren't real, that they were figments of her imagination. Unfortunately, she knew that wasn't the case. Very often, the monsters in Andy's dreams were actually telepathic visions of what the Doctor was currently encountering.
'I'm scared, Mummy,' Andy sniffled again before burying her head against Sarah's chest.
Sarah held the little girl tightly. 'It's all right, you're safe.'
Sarah felt Andy relax before she shifted and tucked her head into the crook of Sarah's arm. 'Is Daddy fighting monsters again?'
Sarah glanced at the empty spot next to her on the bed. 'Yes, he is.' She turned back to Andy. 'Daddy will keep the monsters away. We'll always keep you safe.' She only hoped that last statement was true.
Andy looked up at Sarah, her blue eyes catching the reflection of the moonlight through the blinds. 'When will Daddy be home?'
'I don't know, Sweetie. Hopefully soon.'
'He's been gone a long time.'
'I know,' Sarah replied, a slight sigh in her voice.
Andy reached up, putting her small hand against Sarah's cheek. 'Mummy, can I stay here with you? I'm scared to go back in my room.'
Unable to resist her daughter's blue eyes anymore than she could resist the Doctor's, Sarah smiled. 'All right, just for tonight.' Sarah reached down and resettled the blanket over both them and while Andy rested her head on Sarah's one arm, Sarah wrapped her other arm around Andy protectively. She leaned in and kissed Andy on the head. 'Sleep well, sweetheart,' she whispered, even as she watched the little girl's eyes close. Sarah soon followed her to sleep.
The Doctor entered the house as quietly as he could, not wanting to wake Sarah or Andy. He walked into the living room where Sarah had left a small lamp on. Stepping close to the lamp, he was able to see the rips on one sleeve of his shirt, as well as a slight trickle of blood along his arm. He frowned, heading into the kitchen to try to clean himself up without waking anyone.
A few minutes later, he tiptoed upstairs and poked his head into the master bedroom. He smiled when he saw Andy curled up next to her mother, both of them sound asleep. Suddenly, Andy popped her head up and looked at him, a broad smile on her face. He quickly put his finger over his lips in a shushing gesture. Andy nodded, then carefully climbed out of bed and threw herself into the Doctor's open arms as he knelt down to catch her.
Standing up with Andy safely in his arms, he headed out of the bedroom, but not before glancing back at Sarah, hoping she was still sleeping. Sarah's eyes opened and she lifted her head, just watching them, a sleepy smile on her features. Without a word, but with a slight nod, she put her head back down.
As the Doctor carried Andy into her bedroom, she tucked her head into his shoulder against his neck. 'I'm glad you're home, Daddy,' she said softly.
'Me too, Andrea,' he replied, 'me too.'
The Doctor set her down beside her bed and pulled back the blankets so he could tuck her in. 'Are you staying home for a while?' she asked.
'I hope so,' his deep voice was soft and soothing.
'Mummy missed you, and so did I.' Andy crawled up into the bed, turned around and punched at her pillow before flopping back against it.
'I missed you both as well.' He pulled the blankets up around Andy's chin before leaning over and kissing her on the forehead. 'Now you get some sleep and I'll see you in the morning.' He started to head out, but her voice stopped him at the doorway.
'Daddy, you hurt your arm.' She reached her arm out from under the covers and pointed at him. 'Did the scary monsters do that to you?'
He watched as her lower lip trembled as she spoke. 'How do you know about the scary monsters?' He stepped back over and knelt beside the bed before resting his hand on the top of her head.
Andy tapped her temple. 'I saw them, in here, and they were really mean to you.'
The Doctor took a deep breath, thinking about his answer. His voice dropped to an almost hypnotic level. 'You don't have to worry about the monsters, Andrea. I'll always protect you.' He leaned over and kissed her forehead again before standing up and walking to the door. He gave Andy an easy smile and continued to stand in the doorway until he was sure she'd gone back to sleep.
After stopping by the bathroom to change and bandage his arm, he headed back to the bedroom and slid into bed behind Sarah. She turned towards him, even without opening her eyes as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her to him. 'Now this is more like it,' he whispered.
She draped her arm around his waist and tucked her head under his chin. 'Yes,' she said sleepily. 'Welcome home.'
Even as he felt Sarah's breathing even back out, his mind continued to churn on the events that kept him away. Before long, even his brain slowed down. He closed his eyes and focused on holding Sarah close to him.
As the sunlight began to break through the blinds, Sarah stirred and smiled as she remembered the Doctor having come home during the night. She snuggled up against him and reached up to run her fingers through his curly hair.
He leaned in and kissed her before pulling back and looking into her eyes. 'I much prefer waking up this way,' he said softly. 'Andrea's grown a lot since I was last home.'
'That happens in six months.'
He closed his eyes and pulled Sarah's head to rest under his chin, even as he kept his hand in her hair. 'I'm so sorry, Sarah.'
'It happens,' Sarah replied with a sigh. 'I usually know you're close to coming home when Andy starts having nightmares.'
'She's old enough now, I should be able to work with her on setting up some mental barriers. I don't want her to have to keep seeing what's happening.'
Sarah let her hand trace patterns absently along the Doctor's chest. 'Well, I have to admit it doesn't do my nerves a lot of good either. I try to keep her safe in our daily lives, but I can't protect her from the images she sees at night.'
'I need to protect her better. To protect you both better. If UNIT is going to continue to send me out on these crazy assignments to the furthest reaches of this planet, I need to make sure that neither you nor Andrea is affected.'
'Well, you're home now, that's all that matters. I know that Andy can't wait to catch up with you.' Sarah started to slide out of bed, but the Doctor pulled her back towards him. Sarah gave him a gentle smile. 'Andy will be up soon, I have to fix her breakfast.'
'Don't go, Sarah.' His voice was lower and softer than she'd heard in a long time. Sarah was transfixed by his eyes and the look he was giving her. 'I need you.'
She nestled back into his embrace and reached up to take his face in her hands, leaned in and kissed him. 'I'm not going anywhere.'