Summary: What happens after Inconceivable
Blame: paranoidangel42 because she keeps asking for more.
Sarah managed to slip off to the loo before she left the church, knowing she'd have to stand in the reception line for a while. She smiled when she noticed Nat introducing the Doctor to Josh and shortly thereafter, the Doctor was right in front of her with the same old mischievous look in his eyes. He shook her hand gravely, then stole another kiss before heading off to mingle. She hoped he wouldn't get into too much trouble.
At least he seemed to be going along with her request. They had never been much for public displays of affection even when they had been lovers (as opposed to whatever they were now), but Sarah needed to prove to both Josh and Nat that she didn't have a romantic interest in Josh. And that meant making it clear that the Doctor was her one true love.
After about fifteen minutes on the receiving line, Josh suggested she go off and rest, as she looked a little worn. She accepted the reprieve gratefully and she went off to hunt the Doctor. She found him deep in conversation with the leader of the band.
"What happened with Trix? I thought you two...."
The other man grinned, "We broke up less than a year after we left you. Shipboard romance and all that. Stayed friends though. She and Anji are off running scams and I went back to what I know best." He caught sight of Sarah. "Did you have a request?"
"Oh, Sarah, lovely." The Doctor wrapped an arm around Sarah's waist. "Fitz Kreimer, Sarah Jane Smith."
"So you're Sarah." Fitz reached over and shook her hand, "I'm glad to finally meet you."
"Likewise." She arched an eyebrow at the Doctor. "And yet you never mentioned me to Rose...."
The Doctor ignored the jab and instead said, "You should probably sit down, you've been on your feet most of the afternoon. It was good seeing you again, Fitz. We should get together sometime."
"We should. Talk about old times and all that. I still can't get over how you've changed."
"It does take some getting used to. But I've grown rather fond of the latest model." Sarah smiled at him. "Oh, wait, before I forget." She wrote down Jo's name and number. "A friend of mine is trying to get all of his former companions together. Don't ask," she said at the Doctor's quirked eyebrow. "It's Jo. You know what she's like. Anyway, if you're interested, call her."
"I might. It would be nice to have someone to talk to about him besides Anji and Trix, though I'll pass this on to them too. And now I'd better go back to work."
The Doctor started steering her towards their table. "I didn't even know you and Jo knew each other."
"Liz introduced me to her ages and ages ago. I can't say we're inseparable, but the three of us and Tegan get together for lunch occasionally and she's been very supportive throughout my pregnancy."
He stared at her thoughtfully before asking, "Does she know?"
"That you're the father? It, um, slipped out at one point. She claimed to believe me, but it turned out she was just humouring me. The same with Liz, but as I didn't know where Harry was, I didn't have anyone else I could trust and," she lowered her voice, "Nat came up with this crazy idea that I'd made you up and the baby was Josh's."
"Hence the request for mushiness." He grinned at her.
"The situation with Josh is tricky. The whole cult thing. I'm the herald in his eyes and he's got me on a pedestal. It's better for both of them if I make it absolutely clear that I'm otherwise entangled. This all came out when we were decorating the baby's room, which is when I found out that Tegan, Jo and Liz were being supportive friends despite my 'delusion'." She felt his arm tighten around her.
"Oh, the baby is definitely mine, Sarah Jane." He pulled out her chair with a flourish. "And maybe I should have a talk with the others."
Sarah sat down in it. "Always the gentleman. You don't need to do that. I know it might be awkward. Especially since I'm not supposed to know."
"They're grown women," he said idly "They can understand that my relationship with you was different. They've all moved on with their lives." He sat down beside her. The rest of the wedding party was still mingling so they had the table to themselves for the moment.
"Unlike me," Sarah couldn't help saying softly. "All the better to convince you what happened between us was a bad idea."
"Sarah, don't do this. I said something careless that first night, and you've never let it go. I'm not the man I was back then." He ran a thumb down the back of her hand. "I've never regretted you. And you may have been the first, but you weren't the last."
She stroked his cheek. "Oh, I know that, and for what it's worth, I haven't been celibate either. It's just that every time I see you lately, I've been a clingy mess."
"You're ten months pregnant with an alien child and you've discovered that your friends think you're delusional. If anyone has a right to cling to me it's you. And on your worst days you're not as clingy as Rose was towards the end of her time with me. You shouldn't be going through this on your own. If I'd realised how bad things were going for you, I would have made more of an effort to be around." He glanced around and noticed Nat and Josh coming over to the table, "People are starting to settle down, perhaps we should change the subject."
Sarah followed his eyes. "I think you're right." She smiled as Nat and Josh and Josh's cousin Steve and his wife Christa sat down, and she felt the Doctor's arm slip protectively around her shoulders.
Even knowing that it wasn't real, she couldn't help thinking that she could pretend, just for one night. Not that he'd ever understand and not that she ever would have suggested it, if she hadn't had an excuse. It wasn't as though this was something she liked normally, but once in a while she had thought it must be nice, and she supposed watching Josh and Nat had made her sentimental.
It was times like these she felt the gap between them most keenly. His usual distracted scientist manner was familiar; her aunt had been the same. But when they started trying too hard to be what the other needed, the cracks began to show.
She leaned against the Doctor's shoulder and let the conversation go on around her. Josh was interrogating the Doctor, and to her relief the Doctor wasn't being his usual, honest, I'm a thousand-year-old alien from the planet Gallifrey self, but was giving suitably vague answers. He seemed bemused by Josh's questions and inclined to play the adoring boyfriend and father-to-be to the hilt.
Josh seemed more relieved than anything else. Sarah knew Nat's accusation had shocked him, but she hadn't been certain that he hadn't been entertaining feelings for her. But now he was teasing her about catching the bridal bouquet and being as happy as they were.
Once the first course was served, the conversation turned to more general topics, and the Doctor continued to act like he worshipped her. Sarah finally started to relax and enjoy the evening.
He was preening. Of course he would go over the top with this. And he was. While he was chatting with the others, he kept giving Sarah little doting glances and once he absently kissed her forehead.
Sarah found herself resisting the urge to roll her eyes, though she did stamp on his foot. Thankfully he got the message and restrained himself to playing with her hand and discussing how he was looking forward to seeing what they'd done with the nursery when he took her home that evening.
The Doctor's enthusiasm about the baby was obviously real. His interest in her...well, she hadn't been the only one in his life. Rose had driven that home. And given that he had never mentioned her to Rose, Sarah suspected it was a case of out of sight, out of mind where she was concerned.
Sarah was almost relieved when the conversation turned to cricket and the Doctor somehow managed to not suggest he was at a famous match in 1912 or something. As Sarah's interest in cricket stemmed from her time travelling with him and Steve had played professionally for a time, they ended up having a rather lively conversation.
When the dancing started, and Nat had insisted there be dancing, even if her own participation was limited, Sarah danced with Steve, who had been the best man, then with Josh. After he had returned her to her seat, she resisted the urge to tease the Doctor into asking her to dance. But while they watched the dancers, the Doctor gave her that mischievous smile again and said, "I believe they're about to play our song."
"I didn't realise we had a song," Sarah murmured. "And the next song is 'Always' which is about as inappropriate as you can get for us. Unless you've been messing with Nat's playlist and I can assure you she won't be happy about that. She took her music choices very seriously."
"I asked Nat for permission first. Played up the romantic angle, just as you asked. And as for our song, I chose the first one we danced to - thankfully it's already been written."
Sarah started to laugh uncontrollably. "Oh, god, you can't mean that night on Calypso. I wouldn't call that hotel 'romantic'. 'Erotic', maybe. A bit of an eye-opener, for a nice twentieth-century girl like me."
"And yet by the end of the evening you had got into the spirit of things and propositioned me." He grinned at her.
"Rewriting history are we? You were the one who made the first move, as I recall. I also remember starting out the evening wondering how to refuse you politely." God, she was flirting with him. That never ended well.
"But you didn't." He took her hand and helped her to her feet, leading her out on to the dance floor.
"Okay, it was romantic, and you were being very thoughtful and charming and I don't know, maybe I started looking at you a little differently." She stroked his cheek with her finger. "And I remember the song, maybe a little too well. 'Do Nothing 'til You Hear From Me'." Sarah trailed off as the song started and he drew her close. "Not exactly the message I need to be hearing."
The Doctor didn't comment, just danced.
Sarah wondered if this was all an unspoken apology for what would happen after the baby was born. She wished she could believe that he wouldn't take the baby, but she hadn't been able to convince herself of that. And the more she dwelt on it, the larger the gap between them seemed to be. She wished he would say something, but she didn't dare ask, for fear of the answer.
So she held him and danced, and tried to pretend that everything was going to be alright.