WORDS AND PHRASES
There were certain words and phrases the Doctor and I never used during our time together.
The Past – While not off limits, there were certain areas he never wanted to discuss. I didn't either for that matter. My parents dying when I was a baby, watching my best friend fall to her death when we were thirteen. These were things I certainly didn't want to hash up. I think he knew them anyway, but he never identified me by them. His exile, his former companions, why he left and seemed to hate Gallifrey. He didn't like to talk about it. I found out anyway, mostly from others who knew him who were willing to talk. I never let that define my image of him either.
Then he changed his face. Our relationship changed notably that day and our time before his change was now The Past and we didn't mention it much. Although, sometimes I'd catch him looking at me and out of the corner of my eye, I'd catch a glimpse of the man he used to be. Years later, I saw him again, and suddenly, I realised I was The Past, only now being pushed back into the present. Seeing me again forced him to acknowledge something he hadn't wanted to before.
Permanence – He never asked me how long I wanted to travel with him. 'Until you get tired of me' probably would not have been an appropriate answer. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I knew this would never last forever. Not that I didn't want it to, mind you. He would remind me every so often that he wasn't human. It was his way of putting some distance there. Some people would say we got too close. I don't think that could've been possible.
Then he left me. I always wanted him to come back, even waited, looking around every corner for the TARDIS. There were times I'd hear the echoes and go spinning around the corner, only to find nothing. I quit looking, then one day, when I least expected it, I practically ran into that wonderful blue box and he was catapulted back into my life yet again. I never expected all those emotions to come bubbling back up to the surface with the fierceness they did.
Love – It would never mean the same thing to us as it might to someone who lived their life locked to one place in time and space. We never said the word, but it was implied. The way he protectively put an arm around my waist in the tunnels on Exxilon. The way he pushed away my hair and held my chin as he examined my eyes after being blinded on Karn. He used to tell me that words were overrated. We had the language of touch and expression. We said more in the words we never used. Why try to lock down our feelings to one word originating on one planet? We were more than time and space could pin down.
Then he said something I never expected. I was always independent, my own woman. I never needed or wanted to belong to anyone. He wrapped his arms around me and his words were 'My Sarah Jane'. And it felt so right. Whatever our relationship was, that seemed to cement it, even after all those years apart.
Goodbye – All of the other words can be summed up by this one. He's not human. Over the centuries of his life, how many times does he have to see his friends come and go? Even if we were to stay with him for the entire duration of our lives, he'd still have to let us go at some point. I forced him to finally say it at Deffry Vale. There was a pained look in his eyes and he swore it wouldn't be the last time I saw him. However, I needed some form of closure. Not that I wasn't continuing to live my life, but there were certain things I never let myself move on from. Somewhat reluctantly, he gave me what I needed.
Then I let my heart move on. Only it wasn't real, it was a trap set up by the Trickster. And the Doctor was there, trying to protect me, only this time, there wasn't anything he could do. Sometimes I still see the awkwardness in his eyes when he looks at me. Our relationship never did conform to any standards. We allowed our goodbyes to become more frequent, although with each time, they didn't feel so permanent.
It amazes me how time changes a person. Time has changed the Doctor too. The faces have changed so many times now, but each time, I recognise that same spark in his eyes. The words he never said, he now says and discusses. Some of that he blames on me, he said. I forced him to say things no one else would. I look forward to each time I see him now, even if it means that the world is about to end and we'll be in mortal danger. Each time, he looks at me and smiles and says the words I've come to know so well.
'Hello, Sarah Jane.'