Title: Support Network
Summary: The Doctor’s passing through affects some people a lot more than others. You really do have to be there at the time to understand later.
Characters: Sarah Jane Smith and Jackie Tyler
Disclaimer: All are the almighty Beeb’s property. I am but simply borrowing them.
It doesn’t start with the normal wheezing and groaning noise that Jackie has grown to love and hate so much at the same time, but with a simple knock on her front door.
“Hi,” says the oldish looking lady on the other side of the door, “I’m Sarah Jane Smith. I was hoping to leave a message for Rose Tyler?”
“She ain’t here,” snaps Jackie, “She’s off on another one of her trips again. I can take a note, but I can’t guarantee when she’ll be back to get it.”
The lady in the leather jacket just smiles at this, almost knowingly. “Yes, those kinds of trips do tend to be a little open-ended on the return dates,” Sarah Jane says, her smile not quite reaching her eyes, and produces a business card.
Jackie eyes it automatically, her mind still picking over that particular tone in her visitor’s reply. It’s the second line that attracts her attention. “Investigative reporter?!?” she squawks loudly, “What the bloody hell does a bleeding investigative reporter want with my daughter?”
Calm and unruffled, the stranger gestures slightly with one arm. “I met her recently, and thought we had a number of things in common. She reminded me a lot of myself when I was younger.”
Jackie’s instincts tip straight over into fight mode. Looking around herself at the grotty stained walls, and the repair job that Howard have started on the broken partition, she sneers “Oh yeah – come from a bloody council flat yourself, did you? You’ve managed to do aright for yourself with your fancy posh clothes and investigative journalism, haven’t you?”
“I... spent a lot of time, travelling… abroad when I was younger,” her visitor says, looking through Jackie. She’s not sure quite what this Sarah Jane Smith is seeing, but she’s starting to have an idea of the who. “I travelled with this man, who showed me things I’d ever seen before, never dreamed of seeing before, and things I’ll never see again.”
Sarah Jane paused, and then almost whispered “And then one day he was gone.”
Pasting a smile on, she looked up at Jackie again. “That’s going to happen to Rose one day, if she’s lucky. I just thought she’d like someone who’s been there to talk to.”
“You know him, don’t you? That Doctor fella.” Stating the bleeding obvious has always been a typical Jackie approach when she’s trying to buy time to think.
Sarah nods slowly. “A long time ago, we used to be friends. But he’s moved on, and now I’m trying to. It’s more difficult than you think.”
There was a moment of quiet and complete understanding between them. “I better be going,” Sarah Jane said, “I left my dog in the car.” She pauses a few feet away from the door, “Please, make sure Rose gets that.”
“Bollocks!” says Jackie, instantly making her mind up. “Well, you better get your dog out of the car if you want to come on in and have something to drink. Tea do you? I’m sure I’ve got some left over Babysham from Christmas around here.”
Sarah Jane paused, “Are you quite sure?”
Jackie just shoots her a look. “Oh yes. He’s not much of a drinker is your Doctor, is he?”
Sarah starts to shake her head, but stops herself. Catching Jackie’s eye, she starts, “It’s just… most people don’t want to know.”
“Yes, well we Tylers ain’t most people,” Jackie snaps back. “She’s always gonna be my little girl, and if there’s anything I can do to help her, I will. Now, get your dog up ‘ere, and we can have a good old natter over some tea.”
Sarah Jane smiles, the laughter reaching her eyes for the first time. “You do have a lift here, right?”