She hid as quickly as she could; the strange Doctor didn't notice her, engrossed as he was in the strange control panel. She hid behind what appeared to be a settee, and blinked, trying not to let the idea of this impossible, impossible place bring her down, send her wappy, dull her wits. She had to be right, she had to be sharp, she had to be careful.
She didnt know what it was she felt. There was a glow emanating from him, almost imperceptibly, and his face faded away - she tried desperately to burn into her memory, his craggy old face that she had known and in some ways loved - like a father or mysterious uncle, he had been mentor an protector. And not just for her but for everyone. And now he was going, about to change into someone else... but Cho-Je - K'anpo Rimpoche - had changed into someone else. She was ready, she thought. Oh but not really. And then the new face appeared, and she blinked - he looked... younger. Different. She blinked, and almost smiled. She recognised what she felt now - hope.
He had to leave her, and every inch he moved showed that he was in pain. She blinked as she walked out of that door for the last time, sad beyond measure; it felt like she had been written out at a whim, fate cruelly driving the two of them apart. Would he come back for her? Her heart already told her the answer. No. She might never see him again. She sighed, and shook herself free of those thoughts. This certainly didn't look like Croydon...
He wasn't there. The old Doctor - silver hair and craggy face - was there, but he... all teeth and curls and jelly babies and smiles like mania and scarf like a whole wardrobe to itself... he simply wasn't tree. She supposed the blonde one must have been the one after him, since there seemed a general pattern of getting younger, and a par of her felt infinitely sad that she was not there to cry for him again. "A tear?" Yes, she would cry. In private where none could see. She would cry for a friend she would never meet again.
He died again, was her first thought, and he came back too. Long coat, scruffy suit... he looked like a younger, modern version of... well, him. But the hair was spiky not curly, and the eyes were warm brown not ice blue - not that shade which had been so powerful, arresting, wondrous... but he was the Doctor. And today that was enough.
He gave her a look, and she could almost hear the words again.
"Please - don't die."
"A tear Sarah Jane? No, no don't cry. Where there's life, there's..."
She watched as the little blue box vanished, and her tears subsided. And she smiled.
"Hope," she said. "Where there's life there's hope."
He had done it again, an he was young, with mad hair and something of the old madness back. It was enough to make her smile, just looking at him, knowing that he wasn't dead. And she would have known. She knew that she would have known.
The End - the year 2029.
Dr Martin Peters looked at the patient's bed and sighed. The patient, Sarah Jane Smith, had died in the night. She had fought bravely but time and tide had it's way with all things.
Peters frowned as he looked at the thirteen sets of flowers circling the bed. All of which were the same breed, all of which had similar blank cards and all of which had the same message in similar - if not identical - handwriting; "get well soon, Sarah."
Except one, one little card and a coloured scarf around it, a huge scarf in fact. The card said, "Thank you for walking in eternity with me," and underneath, as a post script, in different handwriting, "sorry it wasn't Croydon."