Evil Plotbunny (hhertzof) wrote,
Evil Plotbunny

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Closer to Fine (8/12, PG)

Title: Closer to Fine
Author: hhertzof
Pairings: Doctor/Sarah, Doctor/OC, Sarah/Paul Morley
Rating: PG
Beta(s): whatkaitedid, persiflage_1, attempt_unique, paranoidangel42
Summary: The Doctor believes Luke is his son and that Sarah lied to him at Deffrey Vale. The truth is more complex than anyone suspected.
Notes: Paul Morley is mentioned in Christmas on a Rational Planet. The title and end quote come from the Indigo Girls song, Closer to Fine
Written for Tardis_bigbang 2009. I'll be posting a chapter a week, but if you're eager to read the whole thing you can find it here. The links below will go live as I post each chapter here.

Yes this would be chapter 8, 4 months after I posted chapter 7. I thought I should make an effort to get this up before this year's tardis_bigbang went live.

Chapter 1 Chapter 5 Chapter 9
Chapter 2 Chapter 6 Chapter 10
Chapter 3 Chapter 7 Chapter 11
Chapter 4 Chapter 8 Chapter 12

Sarah wasn't home when the package from the hospital arrived, so when Luke, Clyde, and Rani spotted it waiting on the front porch, they decided to be helpful and open it for her. Working with Sarah had given them some respect for unknown objects, so they took it upstairs and had Mr Smith scan it before they opened it. Once he reassured them that there was nothing harmful in the box, Luke found a box cutter, and slit the tape. Inside was a neatly folded pile of clothing and a note.

Dear Ms. Smith,

You will be glad to know that we finally located the clothing we spoke of while you were here last month. Enclosed is everything the boy was wearing when he was picked up on Bannerman Road with no memory of how he got there. I fear the items will give you no clues as to his origin, as they seem to be a typical school uniform.

If I may be of any more service to you, please let me know.

Dr. Daisy Smith

Indeed, the clothes looked like a typical school uniform. Red and orange striped jumper and scarf and tie, white shirt, black slacks. The three teenagers stared at each other for a moment.

Finally, Clyde spoke, "Are they talking about you?" He looked at Luke a little suspiciously. "You didn't tell us Sarah was looking into your past."

"She wasn't. Or, I mean, she didn't tell me she was." Luke was worried. "I don't remember these clothes at all. I don't remember anything before I woke up in the Bane factory. Maybe it's a different boy with amnesia." He knew it probably wasn't. Two boys with amnesia in Ealing was too much of a coincidence.

Picking up the tie, Luke turned it over in his hands, trying to jar something- anything from his memory. He thought he had something for a moment then it slipped away.

Rani unfolded the blazer. "We should be able to figure out what school it is by the uniform and work from there. What schools have orange and red as their colours?"

"Hogwarts," Clyde joked.

Luke stared at him. "You actually read the books?" He didn't think Clyde read anything except his social networking sites.

"I saw the films. We lead much more interesting lives than they do." Clyde winked at them.

Forestalling a discussion/argument, Rani studied the clothes more carefully. "There's no badge. No indication on the clothing what school they are for." Very strange, indeed. The whole point of a uniform was to advertise the school. Well, one of the points, anyway.

"No, not Hogwarts. Prydo- Prydonian colours," Luke murmured. Perhaps the key had been not trying so hard to remember.

Clyde stared at Luke for a moment and then half-turned to Mr Smith and asked, "Is there a school called Prydonian anything?"

Whilst Mr Smith thought, Luke nodded. "I don't know where that came from but it could be a clue."

"There is no instance of a Prydonian or Prydonia school anywhere in my databanks. Nor is there any mention of such in the prospectuses or websites of any school in England," Mr Smith replied.

"You're an alien," Rani said cheerfully, as though this were a good thing.

"Mum said I'm human." Luke glared at her, as though it might stop it from being true. "But there are humans elsewhere in the galaxy. Mum says lots of people have found themselves on alien planets somehow. Maybe I was kidnapped as a baby."

"And had experiments done to you," Clyde teased.

Luke glared. "Mr Smith expand your search to the known universe."

Sarah walked into the attic just as Luke said that, and stood in the doorway, unnoticed by the three teens. Spotting the blazer in Rani's hands, she guessed what had happened.

"I am sorry, Luke," Mr Smith replied, "But I still come up with no instances. There is a planet called Prydon, but it's breathable atmosphere contains too much methane for you to have lived on that planet without breathing apparatus."

Luke frowned at the computer.

Sarah walked over and wrapped an arm around her son, before saying quietly, "Mr Smith, let's try again. Prydonian chapter."

"Nothing, Sarah."

"The Academy on Gallifrey." The key to searching. Most specific to least specific. But so far she wasn't surprised by the results.

Mr Smith seemed to pause, causing Luke, who looked incredibly frustrated to look up at his mother. "You know something."

"Word association." Sarah grinned at Luke and patted him on the shoulder. She started to say something else, but Mr Smith interrupted.

"Gallifrey is a mythic place. There is no listing for an Academy on Gallifrey." He sounded a bit smug.

Sarah rolled her eyes at the computer. "You thought the zodiac thing didn't exist either." She sighed before stating precisely as though by rote, "Gallifrey was erased from time and has fallen into myth. I would not be surprised to learn that Luke's memory loss stems from the exact same event. It's difficult to remember something that no longer exists."

"Wait, are you saying that Luke's from Gallifrey?" Clyde asked, "Not from Earth."

"I think he's human." Sarah slipped her arm around her son. "But judging from those colours," she gestured at the clothing that they had laid out on the sofa, "and the mention of 'Prydonian' as opposed to Hogwarts-"

"Clyde brought up Hogwarts earlier," Rani offered helpfully.

Sarah smiled. "Same colour scheme. Scarlet and orange. Might be some sort of mythic backlash of the Time War-"

This time it was Luke who interrupted, "But she started writing the books years before you found me-"

Sarah squeezed his shoulders. "It was a Time War, Luke. The events and the after effects aren't necessarily linear. But as I was saying, I have a friend who belonged to the Prydonian Chapter of the Academy on Gallifrey. And I have other reasons to not be surprised that you might have come from there." Some of which she wasn't ready to speak of, even to her son.

"But I'm human," Luke insisted. Why was his mum so calm about this?

"Mostly. Sort of. If you're who I think you are." She let go of Luke and started looking more closely at the clothing. "These clothes are almost right, but I've seen enough aliens dressed in human clothing to know the sort of mistakes the beginners make." She paused, looking at the label - Marks and Spencer. "Though this batch is better than most. At least they got the idea of labels right. Mostly they just construct the clothing without markings like this. Or use the wrong materials. Or-" she stuck her hand in the pocket of the slacks, "they replace the regular pockets with ones that are bigger on the inside." She pulled her hand out triumphantly, bringing with it a pocket knife, ball of string, and a few other odds and ends.

"I don't remember any of this." Luke did not look happy. "Why can't I remember?" He slumped down on the sofa.

Sarah moved over to wrap her arm around him again. "There are many reasons why you might not remember. Some of it may come back to you in time."

Clyde looked at her suspiciously. "What aren't you telling us?"

Sarah hesitated as she debated how much to tell them. "I don't have all the pieces yet, but given the timing, I'm starting to see a pattern. I just don't want to say too much until I'm certain. I might have the wrong end of it."

"But you think I lived on Gallifrey?" Luke asked. "Which was erased from time. So how would I have ended up here. Do you think your friend sent me to you?"

"My friend or someone else who knew my reputation." And somehow when she wasn't available, he'd ended up in the care of a fob watched doctor. That couldn't have been a coincidence, but she wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Time might give her some answers, though, and with the war over, she might have time to find them.
Tags: bigbang, closer to fine, fic, sarah/doctor

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