Title: Goodbye Girl
Beta: Not beta'd. Any Americanisms or faulty grammar is mine and mine alone.
Summary: Valentine's Day has never been a good day for Sarah.
Blame: ladyvivien and her Valentine's Day drabbleathon.
Valentine's Day was not Sarah Jane Smith's favourite day. In fact over the years she'd found that it was a good idea to stay at home and lock all the doors. Often hiding under the bed seemed like it would have been a better way to spend the day. She tended to flinch at the sight of hearts and flowers now.
She remembers being seven and waiting for her parents to come home from their party, so that she could show them all the valentines she received from her classmates. Instead their car hit an icy patch of road and crashed. After that she ripped every single one of those valentines into shreds as if they had caused her parents deaths.
There was the Valentine's Day when she discovered her first boyfriend was cheating on her with the girl she'd thought was her best friend. Painful, but relatively tame by comparison.
It was Valentines Day, the day that her Doctor came back from Metebelis Three and regenerated. She counts that day as the beginning of the end of their relationship-thing. The Third Doctor would never have left her in Aberdeen with no way home.
When she finally found out the date, after the TARDIS had disappeared and she'd walked far enough to find a shop, it turned out to be...February 14. Stranded in Aberdeen on Valentine's Day was not her idea of a good time.
It went on and on. She was kidnapped to the Death Zone, the Planet Three scandal broke, Aunt Lavinia died...all on Valentine's Day. She wasn't a believer in bad luck, but this was a bit ridiculous.
Sarah nearly put off going to investigate the school, given the date, but she figured she really didn't have much left to lose. And there he was, standing in the shadows. She'd never count this as a good day, though, no matter how much she wanted to. She never realised quite how much she missed him until she saw him again. Seeing how he'd moved on, hurt almost more than she could bear.
The less said about the next Valentine's Day, the better. Slime monsters and the Crimson Chapter. She nearly lost both Nat and Josh again. Nat blew up at her after for risking their lives without thought of the consequences, and Josh followed her out the door. Afterwards she went home and threw things and wondered if this time she had driven them away for good.
The year after that, she sent Luke off to school and curled up on the sofa, intending to stay put with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate. She almost didn't answer the door. He was there. Or more precisely, they were there. Her second Doctor, scarf flying in the wind, with a box of chocolates and a broken nose, her dear first Doctor with a bottle of wine and bruised knuckles and the latest model with a dozen roses and a bright manic grin. She suspected she knew how he hurt his hand.
Of course, it wasn't quite that simple. There was a rip in the fabric of time and they had decided that Sarah's attic would be a good staging area because they wanted to use Mr. Smith, but at least they had tried to make it up to her. She shrugged and set to work.
Soon other Doctors showed up with or without their companions of the moment, and Sarah fell into the familiar rhythm of trying to save the world and tried not to think about previous Valentine's disasters. She suspected the latest Doctor was behind the fact that each of the other Doctors managed to get her alone at some point during the day for a good snog. Somewhere along the line they finished off the wine and chocolates, and the roses ended up being instrumental in saving the day.
And they did, with a little help from Luke and Maria, and after the others wandered off, the latest Doctor sprawled on the sofa and gave her a bright smile. She resisted the urge to hit him with a pillow, instead shoving him over so she could sit down beside him. Luke had gone to bed and Sarah didn't mind the company.
He reached over and pulled her closer. She resisted for a moment and then let him. They'd flirted with the idea before. Sarah suspected that if the Third Doctor hadn't regenerated, she would have ended up in his bed. When he had added Harry to the crew, she had taken it as a sign that he was no longer interested in her that way. By the time she considered alternate possibilities, it was almost too late.
Sarah snuggled against his shoulder, and murmured an invitation in his ear. She wasn't surprised when he accepted. Crisis of epic proportions aside, he'd clearly spent the day plotting to get into her knickers. Perhaps her string of bad Valentine's Days had come to an end.