Sarah-Jane's Final Adventure
The TARDIS spun slowly through space, the blue paint shining in the light of a nearby sun. The Doctor sat in the control room, setting a new course on the computer. He had lost Rose about a month ago now and, despite getting over his sadness with a couple of trips to occupy his time, he was getting incredibly lonely without anyone to talk to. He had briefly wondered about rebuilding K-9 but decided against it. He loved that metal dog, yet he wanted a person to talk to, not a metal one.
He sat back and watched the TARDIS central column rise and fall slowly, thinking about where to visit, his long coat draped over the back of the chair.
"What do you think, old girl?" He asked, patting the TARDIS's console "The hills of Jkorica or the bottomless oceans of Neu?"
The TARDIS didn't reply, instead giving a low rumble as it changed its position against a brief solar wind. The sun below gave off a short flare, the arm of fire reaching up to touch the little blue box that spun just out of its reach.
"Well we can't sit here all day." The Doctor said, but knew it was useless.
"Fine, we'll go to Dhreig then. Lots of people there…" he said, beginning to type the destination into the TARDIS computer. As she did so, his eyes wandered to the small collection of photos on one of the TARDIS walls. The photos were of some of his companions. There was Susan, Leela, Rose, Martha and Jo, not to mention Ian and Barbra and Ace. But there, pride of place, sat a photograph of Sarah Jane, grinning away at the camera.
"I miss them…" He sighed, briefly wondering if he should go and visit one of them. He shook his head "They've found other people now. They don't need me turning up and spoiling their weekend… again…" He told himself
But before he could go back to typing, the sharp sound of the telephone ringing cut through the low rumble of the engines.
"The phones ringing." He said "The phone never rings."
He jumped on the receiver putting it to his ear and habitually wrapped the phone cord round his finger.
"Hello, John Smith speaking." The Doctor said.
"Doctor?" A voice said, it sounded worried
"Oh thank goodness. We've been trying to call you for a while now, but the calls wouldn't go through."
"Who is this?" The Doctor asked
"Doctor, this is nurse Sandra speaking. I'm calling from the London Hospital."
"What's the trouble?" The Doctor asked.
"One of our patients has put you as their next of kin and we thought it best to call you."
"Who is it?" The doctor asked. Next to kin… he thought Nothing including those words can be good.
"Her name's Sarah." Sandra said "Sarah Jane Smith."
"What's wrong with her?" The Doctor asked, his face falling.
"Nothing. That's why I'm calling." Sandra said solemnly.
"What's happened?" The Doctor said
"She…. She died. During the night."
The Doctor froze, a shiver going down his spin. He let the phone drop out his hand and swing by it's cord. Sarah? His Sarah? Dead?
"Hello?" Sandra said "Doctor are you still there?"
The Doctor fumbled and picked the phone up.
"Y-yes I'm still here." He said, his eyes brimming with tears. "How did it happen? Zygons? Cybermen? Daleks?"
"Not at all Doctor." Sandra said, sounding confused at these suggestions "It was cancer. Nothing more, nothing less."
"What do you mean NOTHING MORE OR NOTHING LESS!" The Doctor shouted "CANCER ISN'T NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS!" He paused, calmed himself and then continued "Hold that thought. I'm coming to see her."
In only a matter of seconds from the moment he slammed down the phone, he had already set the TARDIS off on its way. After a speedy fly through the time stream, he materialised in the hospital, barely seconds after he had rung off.
Nurse Sandra looked at the phone in a bemused way. She had often had to break bad news but that was something else. Before she even had a chance to take a breath, she heard a whirring, wheezing noise behind her and she spun round to see a large blue Police Phone Box appear from thin air infront of her, the light on top flashing manically. The door opened and out stepped a man, dressed in a blue suit and long brown coat.
"Oh my-" The nurse said. She had been told to expect something strange, but she had taken that as some kind of joke.
"Where is she?" The Doctor asked "Where's my Sarah?"
Nurse Sandra led the Doctor along the long clean corridors to ward 5. It was very quiet in this area of the hospital, no one was around and the cold atmosphere gave the Doctor the shivers.
"What's this ward?"
"It's the ward for the recently deceased, before their put in an icebox to wait until the funeral."
The Doctor shivered, thinking about one of his oldest friends in an Ice Box.
Sandra pushed the door open and let the Doctor pass before closing the door quietly behind him. He needed to be alone, so she waited patiently.
The Doctor looked around the ward solemnly. It was mostly dark outside, but there was pinkish glow in the sky as the sun began to rise.
The other beds were blocked from view by curtains, but the Doctor could sense them. He tried to ignore the feeling of death and looked towards the one bed that was see able.
Sarah lay there in her hospital robes, her bronze hair shimmering in the sunshine; her eyes were closed and looked for all the world like she was sleeping.
"Sarah…" He said, kneeling down by the bed, collecting her hand up in his. "Why are you so cold Sarah?" He asked, tears rolling down his cheeks and splashing onto the bed.
He looked out the window opposite, where the sun was just visible on the horizon.
"You didn't even get to see the sun of a new day… But I'll see to that." He suddenly stood up, wiping the tears from his eyes. He leant down, collecting Sarah in his arms and staggering to the door. Nurse Sandra seemed horrified as he strode along with the dead woman in his arms.
"What are you doing?" She cried
"Something I should have done hours ago…" He said, kicking the TARDIS door open and stumbling through, setting his old friend down on one of the seats. He slammed the door behind him, before Sandra could get inside to take her back to the bed, and started the TARDIS.
The TARDIS wheezed out of the hospital, right infront of Sandra's eyes, and promptly rematerialized in Earth's orbit, a perfect view.
After materialising the TARDIS, the Doctor knelt by Sarah once more. He only had one shot at this, and if it went wrong it would spell his end as well as hers, but he had to try. He consentrated for a moment, and then breathed out. A ribbon of golden regeneration energy spiralled out of his mouth and snaked into Sarahs. She glowed for a moment, the energy resparking in her brain.
Slowly, colour briefly returned to her cheeks and her eyelids began to flicker, a few seconds later opening dowsily.
"Hello Sarah." The Doctor smiled
"Doctor…" Sarah whispered "I knew you'd come back…"
"I always come back." The Doctor said "It just takes a while."
"I'm dying, Doctor…"
"I know." The Doctor said "But I have given you enough energy to show you something."
"Oh Doctor. You shouldn't do that." Sarah told him
"It has shortened my life by a year, but I don't care. This is more important."
The Doctor held out his hand. "Come with me, I'll show you."
Sarah put her hand in his. "Ok."
Slowly, he helped her to her feet and walked her frail figure slowly to the TARDIS doors. With his free hand, he pushed them open.
Below, the Earth spun below. The blue oceans were speckeled with silver and green, the vast lands a kalidescope of colours from the deep green forests, to the intense reds of the deserts. Ribbons of clouds spun over it's surface like long shoals of fish swimming across the sky. The scene was entirely silent, the Earth making no sound as it spun on it's axis, stars twinkling on the eternily dark curtain that spread behind it.
"Oh, Doctor…" Sarah said, choking back tears. "It's beautiful…"
"And you helped save it Sarah. Here and so many other worlds…" The Doctor said, tears streaming down his face.
"I wouldn't wish for anything better to see before I went…" Sarah said.
"It gets better. Just wait…"
Suddenly, as if on cue, the sun broke across the far edge of the planet, it's golden light shimmering slowly across the continants. The unspeakably large sphere shot of streams of light that skipped across the sky, banishing darkness from America, then over the Atlantic and towards England.
"Doctor…" Sarah said "Thank you…"
"Sarah, There are worlds far in the distance of space that are singing your name, so many people owe you their lives, Sarah." The Doctor told her "It's them that are thanking you…"
"Doctor." Sarah said "I want to say that this has been the most wonderful adventure anyone could wish to have. I want to say, thank you. Thank you ever so much…"
With the last of her energy, she embraced him, her frail arms clasping round him as if she were to let go then he would vanish from existence. The Doctor embraced her back, tears streaming. She kissed him on the cheek.
"Thank you, Doctor…. Thank you…"
Her energy ebbed away and she sunk into his arms.
"Sarah…" The Doctor croaked. He slowly lay her down on the floor, putting her arms peacefully down by her sides. He stood up, wiping the tears from his eyes, and stared at the Earth, the sun growing in sight. He then looked across the sky, to even the most distant stars who's light was hidden in the darkness.
"A good woman died today." He announced "A woman who all of you owe your lives. She wasn't a leader, or a politician or of royal blood. She was a normal, everyday human who was anything that ordinary. Many of you have never even heard of her name, so I'm telling you now… Her name is Sarah-Jane Smith. And you will remember her name! DO YOU HEAR ME!" He screamed "SARAH-JANE SMITH! MAKE SURE YOU NEVER FORGET HER! BECAUSE SHE NEVER FORGOT YOU!"
The funeral was a few days later. It wasn't on a distant space station, nor an exotic planet in the far edge of space. It was on Earth. The one place where it had all begun.
The Doctor had refused to let his friend be put in an icebox to be left for days on end, instead, travelling forwards in time and placing her in her coffin. Then he began the calls. He knew it was breaking the rules, but his friend was more important.
Luke had turned up, along with Clyde, Rani, Sky and Maria. The Doctor had also turned up. Not just one, you understand, but five of them. The third, fourth, ninth, eleventh and the tenth, the one that had seen Sarah to the end. He knew that he would meet her in his future, in her past, but that was something for another time. Right now, they all stood, their heads bowed in respect.
The children were rather confused. Rani, Clyde and Luke had met the Doctor before, Rani and Clyde had met two incarnations, but it threw them to have five all stood together at once. Sky, who had only heard stories, was dumbstruck, but kept silent out of respect. Kate Stewart, daughter of the Brigadere, had also arrived to represent her father. The Doctor, despite breaking some rules, thought it to risky to time lines to bring the Brigadeer from the past, he couldn't trust U.N.I.T with that kind of future information.
The trees were blossoming for spring, the pink blossoms circling in the wind. The coffin was at the alter, a red curtain slowly closing round it. They wept quietly. There was no priest, because Sarah was not religious, instead the Doctor had got a Universe funeral speaker, who was there for those to special to have a simple ceremony.
After all the words had been spoken. After all the tears had been wept, the ashes were taken into the TARDIS in a long procession. All the mourners filed into the TARDIS and the Doctors set the controls, materialising the TARDIS above the Earth.
They all assembled silently by the TARDIS doors as the fourth opened the doors. The group set down the jar by the doors and all put their hands on the lid.
The Doctors began to sing. A long, mournful and ancient Gallifrey funeral song. It's words were indecipherable, yet the meaning was lost on no one. It was the biggest honor to be bestowed on a non-gallifreian.
As the song reached it's chorus, a haunting choral duet between the Doctors, the group as one, lifted the lid off the jar and watched as the ashes lifted from the jar and were swept away by the solar wind, the ashes spreading across space.
"Don't forget us…" The forth Doctor said.
"We won't forget you…" The other Doctors chorused.
The group remained, staring out into space, watching the last few specs of ash vanish into the infinite expanse of space. When the final one had disappeared from sight, the tenth doctor spoke up.
"She's back where she belongs now…"
The stars twinkled across the sky like candles held by millions apon billions of shadows. One of the ash specs found it's way through a small gap in the TARDIS doors as it travelled through space and nestelled itself into a crevice in the control bank. The spirit of Sarah sighed contentedly, knowing the Doctor would never be completely alone again.