It was never necessary to be lovers with Sarah Jane. You two had this intimacy, this unspoken intimacy that went beyond touches. You rarely hugged, almost never held hands. No, that sort of touching came later, along with attraction for Romana, and later Nyssa, then Rose, and…it was different with Sarah Jane.
Your love for her was never…sexual. You're not entirely sure how it could've been. Sarah always dressed so girlishly. Big prints and oversized pants, all making up for the trim suits she wore when she was a big-city journalist back on Earth. She was an adventurer, she was your equal in courage and excitement, if not always in cleverness and book smarts. She grinned, grabbed a beach ball and ran headfirst into adventure, and you were always only just able to catch up with her.
She loved you, in return. Positively wonderful feeling, being loved by a woman like Sarah Jane. Marvelous. A perfect companion for long nights in the void. She would listen to you ramble on about Gallifrey and jelly babies and whatever suited your fancy that moment (in return, you usually accepted an earful about rude interviewees, blisters from running in high heels, and how ridiculous the Brigadier's moustache has gotten). Then she would sigh and lay her head on your shoulder and be content to sit in silence. The perfect kind of friendship.
"I love you, Doctor," she said, on one of these nights.
You grinned that big-toothed grin of yours and tipped your hat up enough to look at her. "I love you, too, Sarah Jane."
Eventually, of course, the innocence to your friendship must end.
Eventually, you stumbled in on her half-naked as she wandered out of the bath, and you didn't manage to cover your eyes fast enough to not realize she was a very attractive young woman, living in the same ship as you. You didn't worry about it, but she did.
Eventually, she got lonely. Humans. So much more…needy, you thought was the right word, emotionally. They were also more sexual, and they fell through cycles like animals in which they wanted to mate. Or, perhaps, it was a love thing. So many of them believed that love could only be expressed through sexuality. So many of them didn't understand the beauty and the purity of platonic, undying love.
Sarah didn't understand it, either, you suppose.
One day, after many long nights in the Vortex, she stepped into the console room in something most decidedly not girlish or trim. It was pink. It was something you imagined must've belonged to…you had no idea who such a tiny little thing must've belonged to, but it fit Sarah in rather interesting places and didn't fit at all in many others.
You glanced up, and raised an eyebrow. She was trying to lean nonchalantly against the side of the console room door, but thought better of it, then stood straight and fiddled with her hair.
"Hi, Doctor." It was surprisingly quite sexy and rather coy. It also sounded very practiced. You could easily imagine she'd been practicing, which was a bit amusing and also a bit disconcerting.
She looked so completely awkward in something so risqué, that you almost found the situation comical if it didn’t seem so serious to her. Hair pinned back, a touch of makeup, and that outfit. And you weren't stupid, never had been. Your relationship with Sarah was strong enough that you could tell what she was doing, and, more importantly (perhaps most importantly) you knew why.
"I-I found this," she said, trying for a saunter into the room, "What do you---"
"Sarah." You let out the tiniest of sighs, and stood. There was a lot going into that simple 'Sarah'. Sarah, what are you doing? and Sarah, why are you wearing that? and Sarah, why isn't what we have good enough? There was a lot going into that 'Sarah', and she could see that.
"I was just…" She crossed her arms in front of her chest, and you could see a blush form up her cheeks. You'd never been one to seduce. Ever, in your memory. But from the anger and frustration in her expression, you guessed she must've been feeling something very like rejection, and you had to imagine that hurt.
You looked away from her, and figured that was what she wanted, not to stare at her very prominent…um, embarrassments.
She took in a breath, and the coyness and the shyness was replaced by a great, loud, and rather annoyed sigh. She was changing tactics, hiding embarrassment through anger. It was normal for her.
"So, I'm guessing this means that Time Lords don't have sex, then," she said, "Well, that's good to know, means that Harry owes me twenty quid, and I get a lifetime of being rather embarrassed for wearing this. So thank you very much, Doctor I'll just be---"
You reached out and took her arm before she could run off. You realized it must've been the first time you'd ever grabbed her physically; she looked so completely startled by it. Still, you couldn't let her run off.
"Sarah, that's not…it." It. Yes, that explained everything. Well, in your head it explained everything.
"So, you're not asexual?" She asked, though the tone of her voice was just slipping to mocking and angry. "Or you don't like pink? You know, Yates likes me in pink, I can always save it for him."
You couldn't help the smirk that formed on your lips. "Sarah, the only person Yates ever really liked in pink was Benton, I think."
She blinked, and her jaw dropped. "Really?"
You grinned conspiratorially at her, "Really."
She took a moment to take that information in. "Wow, I never really thought that he would…" Her eyes drifted down to the lingerie she was wearing, and shot back up to stare at you angrily.
"Well, now that you've ruined my perfectly good attempt to make you jealous, will you kindly let me go so I can go…punch a bag in the TARDIS gym or something? I've got some frustrations I need to---"
"You wouldn't have made me jealous," you said.
"Yes, Doctor, I can see that." She didn't understand, and the unwavering small smile on your lips didn't do her short temper any better.
"No, Sarah, I can't be jealous. Doesn't matter even if you said Harry, and Harry's always fancied you. And the Brigadier, come to think of it."
Her eyes went wide. "They did?"
"Oh, completely. You should pay more attention, I think. Journalist and all that. Got to have eyes in the back of your head." You released her arm, and she used it to cover up her chest again as you spoke. "What I'm saying, though, Sarah, is that you love me. I'm your best friend. And I love you. This---"
You made a very quick gesture to the getup, and to the space between you.
"You and I don't need this to affirm anything between us. There's nothing broken for sexuality to try to fix." If that didn't sound like the most asexual thing you'd ever said, you didn't know what did. But, in the end, it was true. Sex didn't do anything but mess up good friendships, and you loved Sarah too much to want to…foul it up.
Sarah nodded, though her lips had tightened into a rather unattractive pout. "I'm still a woman, though," she said, "And I…well, I don't know how they do things on Gallifrey, but on Earth we get…" She gestured for a moment, then resumed her arms across her chest, deciding that covering her prominent embarrassments was more important than explaining emphatically. "…Urges."
"Like…urges." You weren't entirely sure you understood, but you likened it to the animal-in-heat concept, and decided it was probably best you didn't know. It was Sarah, for Rassilon's sake, you didn't want to think of her in the pink thing she was wearing right now.
"You don't get urges," she said, and there was more than a little note of disappointment.
She sighed loudly. "Well, I've gone off and made a complete fool out of myself, and you can't even be human enough to get urges so you can understand!"
"I understand," you said, "I understand what you're trying to do. You want to affirm us as the Doctor and Sarah Jane---which is rather unnecessary, as I've already said. We're happy, and things regarding..."
"Yes! Regarding sex, they're…well, they're not important. Could ruin what we have, and I don't want that. I like it the way it is. You want to…fulfill primal…I don't even know. The bit about the urges I'm still fuzzy on. Can't you work your urges with Harry? I can take you back to UNIT and you can talk to him on a doctor-to-patient basis about them?"
You were fairly certain you'd never seen Sarah turn that shade of red before, and she turned back down the hallway towards her room.
"Right, Doctor, I'm going to go…change, and I'll…we'll be…"
"We'll be brilliant, Sarah," you said, "And Sarah?"
She turned, one hand on her door.
You smiled one more time. "You don't have to be anything but you. I promise."
Your hands worked at fixing K-9's insides as you two sat in the little cafe, and you grinned over at your old companion. She had changed, so much, but she was still Sarah. It was all you ever wanted her to be. Same smile, same bright eyes. She even turned the same shade of red when you brought up the lingerie.
"I bought it," she said, "Back in Florana. I don't know what I was thinking, trying to impress you or something."
"You know you never had to do that," you tell her.
"Not even now?" she asked, glancing at your new, significantly younger, chips-eating companion, "I'm not Rose."
"Yes, well, Rose and I don't have the same kind of relationship you and I had, so why would I want you to be her?" You're more verbose, now. Not by much, but still.
"I loved you," she said.
You looked up from where the screwdriver was pressed against the internal reconstructive pin. "I know."
"Love…it isn't…it doesn't become sex in your world? I never really understood."
"Well, it wasn't part of us, Sarah," you replied, "We were more than that."
She didn't ask for clarification, and that's how you knew she and you would always be friends. She didn't need it. She understood, and it was good.
"I never did ask," you said, and you grinned madly over at her, "Did you talk to Harry about those urges?"
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,800