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Title : The A to Z of Sarah Jane Smith
Author : boro_girl
Rating : G
Spoilers : all of SJA
Characters : anyone who's been in SJA!

Notes : so yeah. Six weeks or so on and I've not written a word. I wanted to make sure that when I did write something it would be a fitting tribute fic for Lis. For a while I was wondering how to do that then I read a Glee fic which used this style and it was just perfect.



America

Sarah knew when it came to good friends it didn't matter where they lived. It could be across the road, the country, an ocean or the length of the universe and breadth of time. No matter where they were they never stopped being your friend, not the good ones.

Maria was one of the best. She was a kid in age but she wasn't in maturity. She had saved the world so many times. She'd been the greatest friend. For the first time in a long time Sarah had someone she could share everything with and she would miss her.


Bannerman Road

The house was big. Too big. It was huge and she wondered what she was going to do with the place. But then as the boxes were brought from her flat and then the ones from storage she wondered where she was going to put it all. All the items from various races and worlds, mementoes from another lifetime and moments of this one. She could hide away in this big house, the recluse of Bannerman Road. Somehow watching the neighbours' curtains twitching and knowing they were whispering about her made her smile every now and then.

Home sweet home.


Car

He'd not had any formal lessons, but then he didn't need to. He'd just watched his mum. One read of the Highway Code was enough, and he could immediately calculate revs and stopping distances. And now he had his own car.

The yellow Beatle was once his mother's pride and joy; he'd seen the photos, heard her talk about it. He wondered if she wanted him to leave and that hurt. The only mother he knew, he ever wanted.

But this wasn't a gift that would send him away – it would bring him home too. And they both knew that.


Doctor

You cannot talk about Sarah Jane Smith without hearing about the Doctor. As soon as you start asking that name will come up. Sometimes it takes a few stories, sometimes it's the first one. But that's pretty much all you will hear. The mystery man who swept her off her feet (not like that, never like that, they are very quick to point that out).

There are stories of him, there are stories of her, but it's the stories of them which make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. And we are all safer for them.


Ealing Triangle

With so much going on on their doorstep of course people started to notice. First it was house prices but people blamed it on the economy or "one of those things". Telling your insurer your postcode soon became a sure way to add at least 10% to car premiums.

Sarah Jane paid little attention to these things.

What she did like to pay attention to though was what people said. The whispers, rumours and gossiping. She loved the things people told themselves to explain the truth.

(Once Clyde had explained that 'cosplay' wasn't a band she enjoyed it even more.)


Firemen

She'd been a mum for one week and they'd been living off things she could quickly put together. The end of summer meant that salads and cold meats were fine, but as it grew colder she was expected to provide warm, nourishing meals.

And that meant cooking.

Soups boiled over, pasta became rubber, but it was the roast chicken that confirmed it. Sarah Jane Smith could face down Daleks and Slitheen and Bane, but she couldn't cook.

The firemen were nice and polite, but after the fifth call in a month they left Luke with a handful of takeaway leaflets.


Garden party

They should do this more often, not just when they saved the world. Sitting out in the garden, enjoying the sun and the BBQ (that Clyde had rescued) they talked about things other than aliens and creatures and the Doctor. They talked about school and people and some stupid program on the telly. They talked about plans for the summer, next year and the future, swapped jokes and stories until the sun went down and the chill set in.

"Next time I do all the cooking," Clyde said as they cleared everything into the house.

"No arguments here," Luke agreed.


Hangers-on

"Score one for the hangers on," she heard Clyde say as she came back up the stairs, menus in hand.

At first she smiled; these two young adults (because seriously, she had to stop calling them kids) who had proved themselves to be just brilliant when faced with everything.

Then the smile faded. "Hangers on" sounded... remote. Detached. Is that how they saw themselves? Hanging on to this life and experience she was exposing them to?

When she walked into the attic the pair of them grinned at her, and she grinned back. Hangers on indeed – these two were family.


Ice cream

Expert tongues swept up ice cream that threatened to slip over the cone and down their fingers. Clyde got some on his nose then Luke did and soon they all were sticking their noses in and giggling away at some stupid, childish joke. From there it was a small step to fingers and chocolate sauce war paint, Indian braves on the beach. An upturned cone was a wigwam and all sense was lost.

Sarah watched them all, a smile on her face. Sometimes she forgot; in all of this, with everything they did? Sometimes kids just needed to be kids.


Jealousy

"How do you get like that?" she asked, trying to keep her tone light. "You and Maria?"

Alan shrugged – apparently they had always been like that. Great, so it would take, what? Thirteen years before she least looked relaxed around her son?

Her son. Her son.

The word sounded alien - she'd long given up on the idea of motherhood yet here it was, thrust upon her. She couldn't have been more surprised if he'd actually been brought by the stork.

She watched Alan follow his daughter home and wondered if she'd ever love Luke as much a mother should.


Key

She had often thought about giving the kids their own keys. Clyde and Rani spent a lot of time coming and going and she really should have better security than a key under the plant pot.

She finally remembered one day in town and got a couple of spares cut. That evening she handed over the pieces of metal to Clyde and Rani who just stared at them.

"They're keys," Sarah said helpfully.

"Yeah, but..." Clyde began.

"To here. You should have one."

"We do," Rani said. "Luke got ones cut ages ago."

"How have you not noticed?" Clyde laughed.


Luke

Sarah had only really referred to Luke as "my son" in public. He was introduced to people, talked about with people, but the term "my son" seemed to be an explanation rather than anything else. Adopted, naturally, so he lives with me as my son.

An arrangement of necessity and fear of what others might do to him. Mother and adopted son. All in the pretence, she told herself.

It came on like a dimmer switch, there wasn't a defining moment. It was one evening, watching him do his homework.

This is Luke, she told herself. He is my son.


Metal dog

Ever since she'd opened that box at Moreton Harwood, K9 had been a part of her life. She'd "lost" him before; when he stopped working and when he was containing the black hole.

Then she got him back and her family seemed to be complete.

She knew Luke and the others were fighting back in their dreams. Deep down she had faith in them. Mr Smith would be repairing himself which just left her daft metal dog.

Sitting in the near dark, using her limited knowledge to try and fix him she silently prayed that she wouldn't lose K9 too.


Nissan Figaro

For the first time she was able to buy a car based on what she wanted, rather than what she could afford. Having this much choice was not helping as, thanks to Aunt Lavinia's inheritance, she'd gone from choosing between five or six cars, to five or six showrooms' worth of cars.

In the end it had been an advert placed in the paper. The grainy, black and white photo captured her imagination and within 24 hours she had exchanged a cheque for a tiny, light green car with a white roof; and Sarah Jane was in love with it.


Orbit

Maria was speechless, same as Sarah Jane, but for very different reasons. Maria was enchanted by how wonderful it looked, how beautiful. And while Sarah agreed with her young friend there was another thought in her mind.

We are small. We are small and we are young and we are in danger.

She had seen what was out there, she knew what could come for them. She knew that others coveted the beauty and resources of Earth for themselves. She knew how much danger lurked out there.

But it was worth fighting for. It would always be worth fighting for.


Phone

"But everyone has a mobile," sighed her editor. "How on earth am I going to get in touch with you if there's a story?"

So she'd gone out and bought the most basic phone she could find, worked out how to make calls, given the number to her long-suffering editor and thought nothing more of it.

Being involved with kids changed all that. Within months they'd "upgraded" her brick to something that seemed to have more computing power than her first actual computer.

Very patiently they taught her how to use it, but a part of her missed the brick.


Quiet

Trouble with kids was the noise. Having one live-in teenager and two almost-live-ins meant that there was constant noise. Frequently Sarah craved silence, just a bit of it. Enough to be able to read her paper without having to sigh, roll her eyes or yell up the stairs.

Once Luke had gone to Oxford she found that she hated the silence. She listened to the radio more, left the TV on.

But soon enough Clyde and Rani started "dropping by". Deep down she suspected her son had something to do with it, but she loved the noise so kept quiet.


Receptionist

She signed where the receptionist pointed, filled boxes with contact details (promising to call with his GP's details as soon as she could find them – well get Mr Smith to create) and divulged more personal information than she thought they could ever need.

"Usually we like a little more notice of new starters," the receptionist sighed, unhappy at being dragged in before the summer holidays were through. She slid a welcome pack through the hatch. "He'll need a uniform and gym kit, you can get financial support..."

Sarah stopped listening, smiling at the normality of her son going to school.


Sonic lipstick

It took her a little while to get used to the lipstick. It was very different to the Doctor's screwdriver – for one the buttons weren't as obvious and in different places. After blowing up a TV, a toaster and disrupting the digital signal for the entire area (interrupting the broadcast of the live final of some talent show) she decided it would be best to try it out in a remote area.

There it was pylon lines and mobile phone masts, but she got there in the end.

Not for the first time she wished the Doctor bothered with instructions.


Time travel

She'd never thought she'd travel in time again. Once leaving the TARDIS she'd gotten used to the fact that everything would be in chronological order from now on.

Then she'd gone back and met her parents. That had been the best and worst day of her life and reminded her that time travel wasn't all excitement and exploration. Sometimes it actually hurt.

The second trip she made to 1889, listening to those children crying as the fire swept through the house.

But for all that pain it was still amazing to be in another time. She missed it a little.


Universe

Sarah Jane didn't believe in fate or destiny, she didn't believe that things were "meant to be". She didn't believe that there was a plan beyond any that we made ourselves and she certainly didn't believe that the universe had any grand schemes in mind.

She didn't put stock in anyone having any control over her life but herself. She made her choices, she lived with the consequences. She made this life for herself and she was content. She didn't regret anything that she did, some things were just meant to be.

She really loved her life. Every last moment.


Video call

The first video call after Luke left had to be done through Mr Smith as she did something to the computer; while he could see her she couldn't see him. The second took best part of an hour to set up. Eventually she asked Clyde to help, now a couple of clicks and she could talk to Luke whenever she wanted.

"You know the guys are starting to tease me," Luke joked one evening. "All these calls..."

"Do you want me to stop?" she asked nervously.

"Nah," he smiled. "So... what's new?"

His smile filled the screen and her heart.


Wedding

The dress hung on the back of the door, she would deal with it tomorrow.

It had been part of a "normal" life that she'd not had. She was getting to be mum with Luke, but a wife? And even though she knew it had all been orchestrated by the Trickster – what she felt, that was real, right? Because if that was the Trickster she wouldn't feel this way now.

The kids would be back soon, full of concern. But she wouldn't show weakness and pain in front of them. She would be strong – she was always the strong one.


Xylok

In the day it took Mr Smith to reboot, Sarah Jane sat in the attic, looking at the blank screen. Right from the start he'd been planning, plotting to free his kind from the centre of the earth. She'd been used and that hurt.

But there was a small part of her that had sympathy for him. It. She couldn't ever condone what he did but she could understand it. He was the last of his kind still free, fighting to save the others. She'd been the last until Luke came along and she would do anything to save him.


Yesterday

Yesterday had been a normal day. Yesterday she had known exactly what today would be like. Yesterday she had her home and her attic and her Xylok. She had her lipstick, her knowledge, experiences and wits.

Yesterday hadn't been anything special and today shouldn't have been any different. Today she pined for yesterday, a day when everything was as it should be.

Yesterday she was who she had always been, who she wanted to be. She liked yesterday, today wasn't shaping up to be so good.

Today there was a kid in her driveway declaring, "I saw you last night."


Zero

The timer ticked away the seconds, heading for that destructive zero. Sarah remained still, arms folded, glaring at the alien.

"In twenty seconds..." it hissed, but she didn't flinch. "Do you not care?"

"Way I see it," she said, still not moving, "in twenty seconds it's just you and me."

"Your son..."

"Is right now stopping the rest of your fleet. Like I said, you and me"

"But..." it stammered, unaccustomed to its bluff being called. "You want..."

She smiled and shook her head. "The pertinent question is... what do you want?"

Sarah Jane Smith, brave and brilliant, just waited.


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Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
zurcherart
Jun. 6th, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
"(Once Clyde had explained that 'cosplay' wasn't a band she enjoyed it even more.) "

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Edited at 2011-06-06 09:09 pm (UTC)
boro_girl
Jun. 7th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
boro_girl
Jun. 7th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
I love drabbles but writing them is epic hard. Kept ending up with 103 words! So 26 of them? Jen was a little bit stressed and so Jen ended up talking about herself in the third person...

;-)
sleepismyfriend
Jun. 6th, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
Pretty brilliant, I must say. :)
boro_girl
Jun. 7th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
minerva_fan
Jun. 6th, 2011 10:42 pm (UTC)
Today, m'dear, you OWN the Interwebz. AWESOME story. Loved it.
minerva_fan
Jun. 6th, 2011 10:45 pm (UTC)
REC'd on my LJ.
boro_girl
Jun. 7th, 2011 06:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, and because this comment deserves its own comment - thank you! The fact you want to rec my stuff (and having seen the post I'm even more stunned and speechless than before) is beyond awesome.

*is a Cheshire Cat right now*
boro_girl
Jun. 7th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
Oh dear god. I just... I mean...

Today, m'dear, you OWN the Interwebz.

Stunned Jen is stunned.

I have no words to reply to that piece of feedback. Thank you seems somewhat inadequate.

But thank you all the same.

brb - dying of pride and embarrassment and all kinds of bowled over, shocked emotions.
spydurwebb
Jun. 7th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Beautiful, just beautiful.

And I still am laughing at Firemen. ;-)
boro_girl
Jun. 7th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
Nyawww... Thanks so much - and for the read-through before posting.

(Not-so-secret-secret : the last line of "Firemen" was not only the first line written of that drabble, but it's probably my favourite line in the whole fic.)
spydurwebb
Jun. 7th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
You're more than welcome, always happy to lend an eye. ;-)

And yes, that's definitely one of my favourite lines - although there were SOOO MANY GOOD ONES to choose from! :-)
tempestas_inu
Jun. 7th, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC)
WHY DIDN'T I SEE THIS SOONER? THIS IS BRILLIANT!!!! ;_; I LOVE IT ALLLLLLL

I adore all the little snapshots of Sarah Jane's life as an alien investigator on earth. Oh my heart.
boro_girl
Jun. 7th, 2011 06:28 pm (UTC)
*hugs you*

A true measure of someone's life is in celebrating what they were, how they lived. And Sarah Jane's life was EPIC AWESOME. And it shall continue to be epic awesome, we just won't get to see it.

*nods to self*
sarah_janesmith
Jun. 8th, 2011 06:16 pm (UTC)
There arent enough letters in the alphabet
boro_girl
Jun. 8th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I had fun doing 26 drabbles - let's not add any more into the mix. ;-)
kwanboa
Jun. 22nd, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
I need your icon O_O

Also, as an SJS cosplayer, I cracked something laughing at cosplay not being a band. Thank you for that. XD
boro_girl
Jun. 22nd, 2011 04:44 pm (UTC)
I have no idea where that come from, but it is one of those moments where you're just so damn pleased with yourself for coming up with it!

redscharlach made the icon - nabbed it from an icon post... somewhere on an SJA comm!
shyboots
Jun. 11th, 2011 04:16 pm (UTC)
Lovely. This is the first SJS-related fanfic I've dared attempt to read since Lis died, and it was lovely. A great tribute.
lost_spook
Jun. 11th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC)
I'm a bit late in catching up with this - saving it for when I had a chance to read it properly, as I knew it would be good - and it was! So, you know, pretty much what everyone else said - it's a great tribute! It sums up the series perfectly as well as Sarah. Everyone's seen only briefly, but they're exactly right.

[PS. Do you have a Teaspoon account? Something like this really ought to be archived there for the good of fandom.]
boro_girl
Jun. 12th, 2011 01:15 pm (UTC)
[PS. Do you have a Teaspoon account? Something like this really ought to be archived there for the good of fandom.]

Yes, but no. I signed up a while ago but never really explored the site. Honoured that you feel it should be put out into the fandom at large though; thank you!
lost_spook
Jun. 14th, 2011 08:36 am (UTC)
If you've signed up, then please think about it - it's pretty simple to use (unlike the dreaded ff.net which I can't get my head around and eats scene breaks)... and it makes your fic eligible for reccing on calufrax. (I'm not saying anything specific, because I'm not down to do it again this year, but even so. It would be nice to have it as an option. :-D) It is moderated, so there's a delay in things going up, but that's all. (And they only really mod for spam/lack of grammar etc. Although apparently if you ever have a lynx in your fic, the site won't have it. :lol:) But don't worry, I won't mention it again if you'd really rather not.
tree_and_leaf
Jun. 11th, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC)
This is a lovely fic - so perfectly Sarah!
boro_girl
Jun. 12th, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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