TRTSS36: Eternally, Sarah Jane Smith! – By DS Wynne
Disclaimer: R1/2, SM, ST, Doctor Who (and other related series) and other properties belong to their respective owners.
Note: This is a multi-genre, limited series. This story ties into the Sarah Jane Adventures episodes "The Wedding of Sarah Jane" and "The Death of the Doctor" (guest-starring the Doctor).
Author's Note: This story is a tribute to the British actress Elisabeth Sladen (aka Sarah Jane Smith, the companion character of the 3rd and 4th Doctor from the "Doctor Who" series), who passed away recently. She will be truly missed.
2021 CE: Ealing, London.
The house belonging to famed investigative reporter Sarah Jane Smith stood empty for years, until today.
"Wow," said Rani Chandra, as she stuck her head inside the door. For a few years now, Rani has made her name as an investigative reporter herself, and in the spirit of Sarah Jane. And that is why it is not surprising that when there was an opportunity to do so, Rani decided to move into Sarah Jane's old house, now under the trusteeship of the Smith Holding Company (a firm owned by Torchwood)…
"Ahhhhhh," Rani then took a deep breath, and coughed.
"Serves you right," Rini Chiba said, as she widens the door, while carrying some boxes into the house.
"I wanted to savor the moment, you know," Rani said. "You know, ever since you started working with the government, you've been surly…"
Rani was referring to the fact that Rini works for Torchwood.
"Actually, Rini's been more surly," Clyde Langer said, as he carried in some boxes as well with Luke Smith. While Clyde went on to become an events promoter (i.e. sports, music, fashion, etc.), Luke went on to work for Torchwood as well.
"Tell me about it," Luke replied.
"Having experienced matters of life and death, 'hush mode' for you three is in order," Rini replied, as she sets down her box. "Now, Maria's plane will be in tonight, so I want our little party to be special."
"Yeah, it will be," Rani said with a sigh. She turns to notice a familiar picture. It was of herself and her friends when they were much younger, when all everyone had to worry about was the occasional monster of the week. And when Sarah Jane passed on one day, everyone went on their separate ways. There would be no more monsters to slay, or aliens to meet. And on that particular day, the teens on Bannerman Road finally had to grow up. Still, there was a silent pact between the teens that when the day came, all would return to honor Sarah Jane's legacy, by renewing life in her old home…
"Hey, kids, Daddy's home," said Lady Cassandra Smith, as she brings in her suitcase. She had just returned from a stint in the EU Parliament, when she learned of the Rani and the other's intention to reopen the house to live in.
"You're not our 'Daddy', Cassie," Rini said with a smirk. "You just happen to be the 'dude' who's married to my mom."
"At least, I'm half the time. Heh."
"Technically, you're male one quarter of the time," Luke offered. 'That's factoring the fact that you were half a man, coupled with a full woman."
"You're not helping any, Luke."
"So, Cassie, will the Doctor and the others come?" Clyde asked. "I sent the invitations for the dinner last week to the home office."
The home office refers the Smith Holding Company, the contact point for the Doctor and his companions.
"I don't see why not," Cassie said. "But I'll make my call. Excuse me…"
"It would be neat if the Doctor and the others can make it," Clyde said.
"They'll be here," Rini said, as she takes a glance at Cassie. "Ranma-papa…well, I heard that he cared about Sarah Jane just as much as the Doctor did…"
"I think in our own way, we all did," Rani said. "We would do anything for her."
"Yeah," Luke said, as he looks down.
'And it never get any easier, even after all this time,' Cassie thought, as the Ranma Saotome part in her sighed, while her mind comes back to two important events that involved her dearest Sarah Jane…
Twelve years ago…
"I swear," Rani said, as she, Clyde, Luke and Rini were sitting around the attic of the Smith residence. "Sarah has been acting weird."
"Oy, do you two know what's going on?" Clyde asked.
"How the heck should I know?" Rini asked. "I just got in for the weekend from Hogwarts."
"Then you can use your magic powers or something to find out what's going on."
"Can't," Rini said.
"Can't or won't?"
"Can't. Cassie had put in wards around the house to prevent me from using my magic."
"Okay, then maybe we can use 'Mister Smith' to find out what is going on," Clyde said.
Clyde was referring to Mister Smith, the alien super-computer that helps Sarah Jane and company conduct their paranormal and extra-terrestrial investigations…
"Can't," Luke said.
"Can't or won't?" Clyde said with annoyance.
"Can't. Cassie installed a voice recognition protocol into Mister Smith preventing frivolous usage of his systems, unless either she or Sarah Jane has been 'compromised'."
"Okay, what about the dog-"
"Can't, Master Clyde," K-9 the mechanical dog replied.
"Okay, I'll bite," Clyde said. "What CAN'T you do?"
Before K-9 could respond, Cassie and Sarah Jane step into the attic.
"Okay, Clyde, stop picking on the dog," Cassie said.
"But, I wasn't!" Clyde said.
"What are you all doing up here?" Sarah Jane asked in surprise.
The teens turn to look at each other, and then at Sarah Jane.
"Mum, we're worried about you," Luke asked.
"Yeah, you disappear all the time," Rani said.
"Nothing's the matter, eh?" Clyde said.
"Well, um," Sarah Jan said, as she fidgeted a bit…
"She's been seeing some guy named 'Peter Dalton'," Rini said, as she continues to read her magazine.
"WHAT?" Luke, Rani and Clyde said.
"Rini, how did you know that?" Sarah Jane said with annoyance.
"You haven't been using your powers, eh?" Cassie said with annoyance.
"No, I haven't," Rini replied. "I'm 'grounded', remember?"
"So, how did you get the scoop then?" Clyde asked. "And why didn't you tell us?"
"I didn't say anything because I didn't want the blow back," Rini said. "Honestly, between you and Rani, I can't keep any secrets."
"Hey!" Rani replied in protest.
"And since I've been ease dropping, I didn't want Luke to get in trouble."
"You still could have told us, Rini," Luke said.
"Yeah, I know."
"You and I are going to have a little talk about privacy, young lady," Cassie said stern.
"Ooo, I'm scared," Rini retorted.
"Never mind that," Sarah Jane said. "Anyway, Peter…is a wonderful man. But, I had to promise Cassandra that she could meet him in order to give her approval."
"And?" Rani asked out of curiosity.
"Eh," Cassie said as she gives the 'I'm-not-sure' hand gesture, only to receive a smack on the shoulder from Sarah. "Hey-!"
"Anyway, Cassie gave her approval, and so I am free to date Peter," Sarah Jane said with a smile.
"That's wonderful!" Rani said. "Congratulations."
"Thank you," Sarah Jane said with a smile. "You'll love him when you all get to meet him…"
And so a new romance begins between Sarah Jane and her new man. Unfortunately, no one knew that the chance meeting between Sarah Jane Smith and Peter Dalton was part of a grand scheme from a malevolent entity…
Two weeks later, Sarah Jane makes a shocking announcement.
"You're getting married?" Cassie said, as she looks up from her bookkeeping, while Rini and Luke turn from cleaning K-9.
"Yes, I am," Sarah Jane said happily, as she shows off her engagement ring.
"Impressive rock," Cassie said.
"Didn't you just meet Peter?" Rini asked.
"I know it's sudden, but I'm not getting any older, you know," Sarah Jane said.
"When is the day, Mum?" Luke asked.
"Next Saturday, in fact," Sarah Jane said.
"Are you going to tell Peter about…all this?" Cassie asked.
"About that," Sarah Jane said. "I finally found someone I can spend a normal life with, so I am going to deactivate Mister Smith, and find K-9 a new home."
"Do you not like me, Mistress?" K-9 asked.
"Oh, K-9, I DO like you, but Peter doesn't know about any of this."
"What about me?" Luke asked. "Will…I have to leave, too?"
"Oh, don't be silly," Sarah Jane said, as she hugged her son. "Thanks to Torchwood, you have a plausible identity."
"That I am the Doctor's son?"
"Precisely. And, in a way, you remind me of him."
"Look at it this way, Luke," Rini said. "At least you can pretend to be the Doctor's son, rather than Ranma-papa's son."
"I resent the implication that I am not a good father," Cassie retorted.
"Repeat THAT statement to Naruto."
"Anyway, we have much to prepare," Sarah Jane said.
"Can I go tell Clyde and Rani?" Luke said.
"Yes, and see if the Jacksons can make it."
"Yes, Mum," Luke said, as he gets up. "Come along, K-9."
"Coming, Master Luke," K-9 said, as he begins to roll out the attic, with Rini in tow…
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Cassie asked.
"Cassie…Ranma, I'm getting old," Sarah Jane said, as she sits down on a chair nearby. "I love the life that I have lived, and I loved meeting those who would become close to my heart, but I'm mortal. It might be time to retire, so that I can enjoy my remaining years."
"Sarah, you know that there are ways to prolong your life," Cassie said, as she holds her hand. "Hell, you can be young again."
"Ranma, as I've told you, I don't want to artificially extend my life, because I believe that the finite nature of the human condition is what makes life special. Otherwise, we are no better than Davros or the Time Lords. So, again, thanks, but…no thanks."
"Okay," Cassie said, as she moves to hug Sarah Jane. "But, if you change your mind…"
"Yes, I know…"
The week quickly goes by, and the wedding day arrives. Clyde was his usual suspicious self, relying on his past encounters with the paranormal and extra-terrestrial activity to make a basis of judgment on. Of course, Cassie caught wind of this, and put a squash to the matter using actual evidence, although Rini accused her of being too close to Sarah Jane to give any credence to Clyde's concerns. But, so far, things were getting off without a hitch…
"Thank you for allowing us to utilize your house for the wedding, Lady Cassandra," Peter said. Peter was a handsome, middle-aged man who was a successful lawyer in London…
"Not a problem, Peter," Cassie said. With Torchwood London's move to an actual facility, much to the joy of Torchwood's Director Yvonne Hartman, who finally recovered politically from the fiasco that was the "Battle of Canary Warf" (featuring a three-way battle between the Doctor, the Cybermen and the Daleks), Cassie got her house back. Still, having gotten used to living with Sarah Jane, Cassie has yet to make a decision has top whether or not to move back into her house, or just simply move into a posh London flat..
"Just be sure to make Sarah happy," Cassie said with a smile.
"I will certainly do that," Peter said, as he smiles broadly. "Now, if you can excuse me…"
As Peter tends to the other guests, Cassie turns towards the "kids".
"Now, I don't want any of you ruin this day for Sarah Jane," Cassie said. "And I got my eye on you, Clyde."
"I made a promise, didn't I?" Clyde said sarcastically.
"Good," Cassie said. "Anyway, I got to make sure that the bride is ready. Luke, you're the man."
"Right," Luke said proudly.
Cassie takes another look at the kids, and then goes back inside the house…
"It's hard to believe that we're losing Sarah Jane," Rini said.
"Feeling abandoned?" Rani asked with a grin.
"No! I got…I got plenty of things to do."
"Hey, I see a tear," Clyde said with a grin.
"I see a guy who's about to be turned into a TOAD."
"Look, we're all nervous," Luke said, as he turns to look at Peter, as he talks to the wedding guests. "Things are going to change for all of us…"
"Maybe that is why Maria and a few others couldn't make it?"
"Perhaps," Rani said. "But, at least we get to close a chapter in our lives with a bit of normalcy, you know-?"
Rani hears a weird, subtle whine in the background.
"Did you hear that?" Rani said, as she looks around.
"Hear what?" Luke asked.
"There's this whiny sound, but it was off somehow."
"It sounded like the TARDIS, but I haven't sensed anything unusual," Rini said.
"See?" Clyde countered. "I KNEW something was off about all this."
"I don't want you ruining anything for Mum, okay?" Luke said.
"Look, that's why we have K-9 around, yeah? So relax."
Just then, Cassie steps outside the house again.
"Everyone, we're ready to begin," Cassie said, just before she goes back inside.
"Well, we better get inside," Rani said, as she sees people going into the house. "The wedding is getting started…"
After the preliminaries have commenced, the local magistrate, officiating the wedding, makes her statement.
"…And if there is anyone here who object this union, speak now, or forever hold your piece," the magistrate said.
Suddenly, a whining noise could be heard.
"Wait, I'm sensing a push in the local timestream," Rini said.
"Confirmed!" said K-9, from underneath a table.
Just then, the Doctor and the original Ranma Saotome burst into the makeshift wedding hall.
"Stop the wedding!" the tenth incarnation of the Doctor yelled.
"Sarah, step away from that man!" Ranma said, just as a wave of temporal energy floods the area.
"What?" Sarah screamed.
Cassie immediately focuses on Peter, and begins to detect massive amounts of chrono-metric energy.
"Damn it!" Cassie said in realization. "I should have realized something was off!"
"You should have," said a disembodied voice, as a malevolent, cloaked figure appears near Sarah Jane and Peter. "And now, I shall have my revenge!"
"The Trickster!" Sarah Jane screamed.