I’ve really gone and done it this time, I’m afraid.
For obvious reasons.
The manipulation and colouring is all mine.
And one day Sarah Jane went to the National Gallery, and Sky wandered off with Clyde and Rani… or had Sarah Jane wandered off from them? No matter. She followed a few twists and turns, sonic-lipsticked her way through some doors which may have read “staff only” because the kids really didn’t seem to be anywhere she could see…
And then she saw it, parked in a corner. She could almost have mistaken it for modern art, except, well… it was humming. Sarah Jane Smith knew that hum. She dreamed about it sometimes. A docent approached her and asked, with pointed politeness, if she was authorized to be there.
“Sarah Jane Smith, journalist.” She flashed an ID. “I’m doing a story on the unseen side of the Gallery. I was wondering if I might have a word with the curator about this piece? It’s very interesting.”
“Hold on a moment, I’ll fetch him.“
As soon as the docent was gone, Sarah Jane tiptoed up to the TARDIS door and knocked. “Doctor?” she called, trying to keep her voice down. A few more quick, urgent raps on the door. “Doctor, are you in there?”
“You know,” a voice intoned behind her, “there is an official policy against touching the art.”
Sarah Jane froze. That voice. That voice sounding out against the hum of the TARDIS— was this a dream after all? Had she fallen asleep? But no, she couldn’t have, she remembered waking up in the morning, driving here, looking at the art, losing the kids, every step of it.
“Oh, don’t worry,” that voice continued, “I’ve never been much for official policies, myself.”
There were already tears in her eyes when she turned around. It was and was not quite the face she’d expected to see, stooped and white-haired and older…
“And what’s a little harmless rule-breaking between friends? Eh, Sarah?”
Her hesitance vanished the moment he grinned.