Title: Long-leggity Beasty
Fandom: Doctor Who
Starring: Doctor #4 and Sarah Jane
Rating: Teen
Notes: We can't let Halloween go by without a vampire story, now can we? This is set the October after Sarah Jane is unceremoniously dumped by the Doctor in Aberdeen. The 'Spooky' poem is by Bobbi Katz. 'Ghost House' by Robert Frost, (tweaked by me.) 'Antigonish' (aka The Man Who Wasn't There) is by Hughes Mearns. The other verses are by unknown authors.

I Dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cold stone walls,
Of a cellar in which the daylight falls,
And the wild red berries grow.

"Dr. Carrington, you're a man who won the Nobel Prize. I'm not, therefore, gonna stick my neck out and say you're stuffed absolutely clean full of wild blueberry muffins, but I promise my readers are gonna think so," said Ned 'Scotty' Scott, Ace Reporter.

Hurrah, Scotty! Sarah Jane Smith left off typing to grin at her fellow reporter on the television. There, in beautiful black and white cinematography, scientist Arthur 'Knowledge Is More Important Than Life' Carrington tried to defend himself from Scotty's attack. He began to bluster about The Thing From Another World being really, truly a superior, transcendent creature, its development not handicapped by emotional or sexual factors. Who should be revered despite the trail of human corpses it was leaving behind. Sarah Jane's smile faded. Yes, Carrington enthused, no pleasure, no pain, no emotion, no heart. "Our superior in every way." Her eyes rolled to the point of pain. "Fantastic alien accomplishments..."

"Oh, shut up," Sarah Jane snapped. She stalked over to the TV and hit the OFF button with a furious smack. The picture tightened into a single white dot and she glared at it until it faded away to leave her apartment in darkness.

Darkness? She blinked and looked at the window. The sun had indeed set and she'd been so wrapped up in her work she hadn't noticed she was typing up an interview by the light of a creature feature. A blood-sucking carrot from space feature at that. No wonder she had a headache.

The sudden quiet and dimness deflated her anger and she reached up to rub the tenseness from her forehead. She suddenly felt flattened and stupid. Human. "Aliens," she muttered and stuck her tongue out at the innocent set. Mocking the telly? Had it finally come to that? Sarah Jane shook her head and wandered to the window. Who cared, really? What was the point in being grown-up if you can't be childish sometimes? "Shut up," she repeated and blew an irritated breath out of her lungs. Unlocking the rusty catch, she forced the window open. A nice evening breeze swept over and around her, mussing her hair, before eagerly darting inside to rustle her papers. The street lamps illuminated the sidewalks, empty save for the shadows of the wrought iron gates of Sarah Jane's building and the fallen leaves of Autumn. Not a single car passed on the street. Her bit of London was well deserted and it was a peaceful, clear, clean night.

The fresh air did her good and she almost felt a sense of relief until, slowly, reluctantly, her eyes were drawn upwards to the stars. They were bright and beautiful and, sadly, much more remote than they used to be. Their lights reflected in her eyes as she leaned on the sill and absorbed the change of seasons, the night air, the golden color of the fallen leaves. Someone, somewhere, had a wood-burning fireplace and she could faintly smell the rich smoke. It was lovely. All so lovely. And so lonely. Where was he? Was he all right? "Watch the skies," she whispered, "Keep watching the skies."

She was so busy watching and waiting and hoping and worrying, her head craning upwards, that she didn't notice a thick, silent mist beginning to coalesce over the ground beneath her. She didn't hear the leaves scratch across the concrete when it thickened, strengthened, and began to glide towards her building. She didn't see it leaving fancy whorls and ripples as it went swirling through the bars of the fence.

Worst of all, Sarah Jane didn't see it start to creep up the wall...

"YOU! You, you, you..." she ran to him, her fists balled and shaking with rage, with relief, with all that she had, "It's you. You came back." He didn't even have the good grace to look sheepish, he just stood there grinning down at her with his great, white teeth. She seized his scarf and yanked on it, wishing she had the strength to shake the big, lunatic bastard. He picked her up under her arms as if she were five years old and hugged her tight. Legs dangling, she wrapped her arms around him and held on, her face buried in his hair. His stupid, curly hair. They swayed in place for a long, trembling moment and then he walked away from the window to set her down in the middle of her living room. He kept his hands on her shoulders and the cold of them seeped through her blouse to chill her skin. She wiped her eyes and gathered herself together. "It's been months! Doctor, what happened? Were you locked up? Are you all right?" she choked out.

"Many things. Many times. I'm not all right," he answered and then he laughed. It sounded genuine enough but something inside her told her to take stock of him. He looked pale and tired and his vest had a rip in it but otherwise he seemed fine. "I'm so happy to see you again, Sarah Jane."

She had so ached to hear him speak her name again. Sarah Jane, oh, Sarah Jane, he would say, savoring her name with his low, rich voice. Usually, unfortunately, when she was injured. All she said, though, was a very inadequate, "I'm not too very unhappy to see you," He quickly bent and kissed her, a sudden cool hello to her mouth, and just as quickly he stepped back again. She was surprised. Not an overly demonstrative friend, her Doctor. Pleased, she smiled at him. "Well, thanks."

"'Her kisses left something to be desired... the rest of her.' So says Anonymous. Want another?" He was silently laughing again.

"Heavens, no," she said before a rebellious YES came bursting out. She almost blushed but managed to frown instead. "Now tell me what happened!"

"No, no, no, I'm not here to talk. Look at me."

"But Doctor..."

"Look at me," he whispered, tilting her chin up with long, cold fingers, and Sarah Jane looked and...

The alarm clock went off with a sickly, wheezing rattle and she knocked it off the bedside table. Silence. Thank you. "Uuuugh," she groaned and sat up. Sluggish surprise drifted through her brain as she realized she was still fully dressed. She'd crawled into bed like this? She must have been tired. Every muscle she had was aching and her head was going to crumble apart soon. She licked her dry lips as she used her fantastic investigative prowess to deduce that she was sick. Tired and sick. Yes, it was Autumn and the flu was making the rounds, of course. "Great. Just great." She rolled upright, waited out a little dizzy spell, and made her way to the bathroom.

A hot shower and a cool, tall glass of water had her feeling somewhat close to human again. She dried her hair and dressed. She noticed a nasty gouge on her neck and resolved to file her nails shorter. Fashion was one thing, accidentally cutting your own throat in your sleep was another. And what a miserable night's sleep she'd had, too. She searched through her medicine cabinet for a band-aid. She found one and ripped it open, the latex smell strong enough to make her gag. But there was nothing else for it so she pressed the sticky strip into place. She didn't feel any pain but touching the wound through the thin padding sent a strange, shivery feeling all the way down her spine. She liked it. No, she didn't like it and she dropped her hand with some small amount of embarrassment. Make up. She needed make up. She opened the drawer where she kept a small collection of cosmetics and stared down at them with a blank expression.

She'd had a dream, hadn't she? The Doctor had come back and she'd been happy. Then she hadn't been happy. Fear? A dim recollection of pushing (pulling?) at him, his scarf and vest bunching in her fingers. Huh, the layers and layers of cloth he wears, ridiculous. She was smothering in it. He was smothering her...

A pain shot through her mind. How preposterous. The Doctor would never...would he? No. Yes, he did. No, he didn't. It was a dream? Was it a dream? "Doctor?" she called. More pain, strong enough to make her gasp, and a poem she didn't know she knew bubbled to the fore of her brain. "Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today. I wish, I wish he'd stay away," she whispered. Her discomfort began to dim to nothingness and she smiled. Of course it had been a dream, how silly of her. "When I came home last night at three, the man was waiting there for me. But when I looked around the hall I couldn’t see him there at all!" She slowly turned back to digging for face powder. All was well. It was just a sickly dream. Best not to think of it. Best to think of other things. "He wasn't there at all. He wasn't there at all. He wasn't there..."

Let's be spooky. Let's have fun!
We'll scare ourselves before we're done
with ghosts and goblins - winds that howl -
Things that fly and things that prowl.
We'll talk about such creepy stuff
until we both get scared enough
to hear things that we cannot see
and see things that just cannot be.
Let's be spooky - you and me.

Sarah Jane stopped by the druggist before catching her bus home and stocked up on flu remedies, a new alarm clock and three mystery novels. She felt better than she had that morning but she wanted to be prepared in case she sank again. She was still tired, still thirsty, still...still. She gazed out the window with disinterest until she reached her stop. She swung her paper bag at her side as she stepped off the bus and faced her building. Oddly, she didn't feel the usual anticipation at returning to the comforts of her home and she paused at the gate. She stood there awkwardly until, to her great relief, the next door along the row slammed open and her neighbor came bounding out with her arms full of orange and black crepe paper. Twyla Wallace was a tall, jovial gossip and one of Sarah Jane's favorite people. She spotted Sarah Jane and blanched. "Oh, my, They Walk Among Us."

"Not for much longer," Sarah Jane pouted. "I'll be collapsing among you if I don't get some sleep tonight. I'm siiiiiick." She pouted some more, her bottom lip a'tremble.

"Awwwww," Twyla sympathized, smiling, and Sarah Jane watched as the woman mentally filed that tidbit away for later sharing. Sarah Jane, that nice little reporter, is ill! Poor thing. "You'll be able to step out for Halloween tomorrow?" she began to tape and curl her crepe back and forth through the bars of the fence.

Sarah Jane dropped her bag to help weave. "I hope so. I could use a good time." She bit her tongue and quickly moved to avert Twyla taking advantage of that conversational opener. "Anything new happening around here?"

"Wellll," Twyla paused to organize her thoughts and then, to Sarah Jane's relief, filled her in on the doings of everyone within a three-block radius. The MacPherson's were overjoyed to finally be expecting a baby. They were hoping for a girl. The Franklin's were getting a divorce and high time, too. Bertram Smythe found a beautiful new job in America and was happily practicing his John Wayne impression, Pilgrim. Poor, pretty Natalie Salt decided to take a shortcut through the park in the dark and got herself mugged, naturally. She's lucky nothing worse happened but she spent the night in hospital, in shock, her fist clenched around a sweet. She had to be sedated to make her let go...

"Did you miss me?" he asked as he leaned over her on his elbow. He had scattered his long coat, jacket, cravat, vest, shoes, socks and scarf all over her bedroom as if he were breaking out of prison. She enjoyed the sight of him, barefoot, dressed in just a simple, white shirt and trousers. Stretched alongside her in bed, the chill of him seeped through her nightgown and she shivered. Lord, they both may as well be naked. "No jokes, now. I don't care to hear about you missing me like a fish misses a bicycle or kung misses pow or a fish hook misses an open eye..."

"Yes!" she laughed, "I missed YOU!" and he shut up, grinning. Sure of herself, at last, she could tell him the truth. "I missed you so very much." She backed it up with a quick kiss on his cheek. She ran her hand through his hair until his typically manic smile melted from his face. He really had a nice mouth when he wasn't stretching it out of all proportion. Fullish, nicely shaped lips...she kissed them, too. Then yet another kiss, my, he was a lovely kisser, she could do this all night. She lowered her hand and tweaked his shirt buttons free, one by one by one, until it, too, was flung onto the floor. His skin was pale and she touched his chest with the tips of her fingers. Soft, his skin was ridiculously soft. She could scarcely believe she was touching it to learn just how soft it was but her hand was there, yes, it was ghosting along his chest and his arms and up to ...she gasped and stopped. "Your neck! What happened?!"

"Nothing. Ohhh, something happened, clearly, but it doesn't matter. Well, it matters a little bit, I suppose, given the current... oh, just forget them. Forget them." He pressed her back into the pillows and kissed her, kissed her properly hard and deeply, her lips would be bruised, she didn't care, "Forget everything, Sarah Jane." She kissed him back and nodded obediently, her worry fading into nothingness. Anything. Anything you want. Her lips were wet. He pulled on her nightgown and it tore away until it was just a scrap in his hand. He threw it aside and pulled her to him. Bare skin on skin, at last, cold and soft and it was him, it was all him and he was all hers.

She wanted to laugh from sheer satisfied joy.

She felt a tug on her neck, the fine hair on her skin catching painfully on the adhesive, as he tore the band-aid away. She felt a sharp sting as his mouth closed over the wound (what? Kissing it better?) and then the pain hit and the pleasure hit and her body tightened and twisted. He groaned low and the deep sound made her gasp. She felt something warm dripping towards her breasts and her heart, there, her heart was pumping, distressed, not liking this one bit but Sarah Jane was. He was. She loved it and he loved it and she loved him and he loved her, yes, and ecstasy snapped through her body in waves every time he pulled and drew and swallowed...

She wanted to scream.

Sunlight cut across her bedroom and Sarah Jane did scream. She threw up her arm to block the damned light from stabbing into her eyes and she fell, naked, onto the floor. She cowered there in the shadow of her bed until desperation forced her to be brave. The blinds were down, for privacy's sake, but the curtains had to be drawn, they had to. She staggered to her feet and ran for the windows. The sun was like sandpaper on her flesh as she grabbed the curtains and yanked them closed. It was a relief but there was still too much light, too much vicious sun, seeping around the edges. She ran out of the bedroom into the windowless security of the bathroom. She grabbed the sink and shuddered until the pain began to lessen. She was surprised there were no burns on her arms.

Plenty of blood, though. Look at it, all red and dark and hers and his...

"Nooooo," she slowly gasped and her mind reeled. "Last night I saw upon the stair a little man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today. Oh, how I wish he’d go away." Her fists clutched in her hair. "Go away. Go away. Go away," she groaned. "When I came home last night at three the man was waiting there for me. But when I looked around the hall I couldn’t see him there at all!" Slowly, the minutes went by. She muttered her verses. Her hands relaxed. Her face smoothed into a complacent blankness. Then she straightened and turned towards the shower. She twisted the knobs and hot and cold water came pouring out of the faucet. Hurrah for plumbing. "No one's there at all." She stepped under the deluge, lifted her head and greedily drank her fill of the warm water as it washed the evidence away.

She began to think again and her thoughts were dour. It was official. She definitely had the flu and what a rotten case it was, too. It even gave her nightmares. Fever dreams. Wonderful, just wonderful. And on a holiday weekend, too.

In the graveyard,
In the graveyard,
When the moon begins to shine,
There's a doctor, crazy doctor,
And his name is Frankenstein.
Oh, my Doctor,
Oh, my Doctor,
Oh, my Doctor Frankenstein,
You are very, very scary, don't come
Near me, Frankenstein.

Sarah Jane realized she had been staring at the same page of 'A Study in Scarlet' for hours when there was a knock at the door. "Go away," she mumbled. "Go away and let the dead rest in peace." The knocking went on. And went on. And violently went on until Sarah Jane threw her book down and pulled her rattiest, most comfortable robe tight around her. Every muscle she had shrieked but she persevered and made it to her front door. Without bothering with the peephole she unlocked it and flung it open. Mercifully the sun had been obscured by heavy clouds but she still squinted in pain at her callers.

It was a man and a woman. The woman, an agreeable-looking thing, was already in fancy dress for the holiday, a schoolgirl's uniform, and the man, balding, of medium height, wore what looked to be a mechanic's overalls. Or prisoner's fatigues, Sarah Jane couldn't tell. Strangely, they didn't seem to be in a party mood. They looked beaten. Literally. Scratches here, bruises there. Ouch. The two rudely studied her from the very top of her head down to her toes. The man's eyes traveling down while the woman's traveled up and Sarah Jane really didn't much care. If they gave her any trouble she'd breathe on them in a fit of biological warfare. They looked at each other then and the woman nodded as the man became grim. "Hello!" the schoolgirl finally said and smiled.

"Hello," Sarah Jane rasped.

"I'm Romanadvoratrelundar. This is Drax. He's helping me."

"'Allo then," Drax flipped her a small salute. "So. Sarah Jane Smith." It was not a question.


"UNIT gave us your address. We, ah, were wondering where the Doctor is," Roma...Romabaloneyandmayo asked and the fog in her brain lifted a little as Sarah Jane gawped at them both with sudden interest. The woman continued, "He's very ill. Extremely ill and...well, we were able to track his TARDIS but we can't track him. It's imperative we find him, though. We've been told you had traveled with him a long time, that you were his friend?"

Sarah Jane scowled at her visitors. "I am his friend, yes."

"Where is he?" Romanaramalamadingdong asked.

"I don't know. How should I know?! I haven't seen him in months. He could be dead. Go back to UNIT. Search the sweet shoppes." Sarah Jane moved to slam the door but Drax kept it open with his fingertips. He was very strong for such an average to middlin' man.

"Please, Sarah Jane," Roma...Roma gently whispered. "Believe me, we're his friends." Her hand drifted up and she laid it on Sarah Jane's. Her fingers were cool and calming and familiar somehow. "You can tell us where he is. We're here to help him. We're here to help you."

Sarah Jane shook her head, the pain there building and throbbing. She shivered in the chill wind.

"The Doctor, Sarah Jane. The Doctor. Where..."

"No. No Doctor. Here. No. You see, as I was walking up the stair I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today. I wish, I wish he'd stay away..."

"No! No. Don't. C'mon, then," Drax said. "You can do it. You can!" His hand, as cool as Roma's, curled around her wrist. Sarah Jane jerked her arm away from both of them.

"No! He wasn't there," Sarah Jane insisted. Her hand hovered over her bandage.

"Try! Please try, the sun is setting."

"Noooo," Sarah Jane groaned.

Suddenly she gave a desperate lunge forward and grabbed Roma by the shoulders. She slowly looked up to stare the stranger directly in the eyes. "W...w...watch the skies," she whispered. She lurched out onto the stoop dragging the woman with her, Drax jumping well out of their way. She turned and pointed upwards towards her own attic window. "Keep watching the skies!" The pain slammed through her head and she dropped to her knees, shot. "Blood sucking c...carrot. An intellectual carrot, the mind boggles."

She dimly felt cool, gentle hands lifting her. Drax, Roma, the stoop and the whole wide world faded away. Sarah Jane was very glad to see it all go.

Her fingers flicker
Like snakes in the air,
The walls split open
At her green-eyed stare;

Her voice is thin
As the ghosts of bees;
She will crumble your bones,
She will make your blood freeze.

Spin a coin, spin a coin,
All fall down;
Queen Nefertiti
Stalks through the town.

A loud crash over her head woke her, her eyes fluttering open. She was on her couch, covered with a blanket. She hurt all over and, good god, people were playing nine-pins in her attic. Stop it. There was a sudden shout and then a woman's scream. Ugh. Stop that, too. More thuds and bangs. Her front door flew open and, boom, all her UNIT friends came rushing in. Why, there was Benton with a couple of his men. She opened her mouth to say hello but they sped past, rifles ready, their heavy boots thudding up, up, up towards the noise. Good. They'd soon have things quiet up there.

"Sullivan, over here. Quickly!" And here was the Brigadier looking down at her! Fearless Leader himself, without his swagger stick, no less. He gripped his revolver in his right hand instead, hard enough to turn his knuckles white, and Sarah Jane had a vague worry that he was going to shoot her.

"Has my party gotten too silly, Colonel?" she asked and smiled. He spared her a worried look and then he was gone, too, racing after Benton.

"There's my old girl. Dear god, I think another night would have done it for you." Dr. Harry Sullivan crooned as he knelt next to the couch, and flung the blanket off her. Brrr. He opened his case and pulled out a stethoscope. A man's curse sounded above and Harry spared the ceiling a brief glance as he put the ear-bits in his ears and pushed her robe aside, rather forward of him, to place the listening-bit over her heart.

She gently picked up the latter and spoke into it. "I've got the flu, Harry." There was a rifle shot and another great crash. Harry flinched but Sarah Jane didn't. A strange electronic whine cut through the entire house and the Doctor screamed.

Then there was silence, at last.

"Did you catch a virus?" Harry asked in the sudden stillness. "That explains all these nasty punctures, eh?" She nodded and he smiled down at her in a very strange and sad way. Benton and Drax came through the living room then, dragging something large and heavy between them. They hauled it out the door. Harry spared them a glance but Sarah Jane didn't. "Will he be all right?" he asked and Sarah Jane looked up in time to see Roma, hair gone wild, appearing above her with the Brigadier and Benton's limping men.

The 'schoolgirl' answered, "His recovery has been set back by his escape. He's had too much to...drink..." She winced and Sarah Jane was certain only her rigid control was keeping her from stamping her feet. "But we really didn't expect him to do it, you understand? We thought he was in control of himself," Roma was almost pleading with him, with them all, and the Brigadier holstered his gun to lay a kindly hand on her shoulder.

"He fooled us all. But you found him and you can try curing him again, eh?"

Roma shook her head. "After this, it might take a full regeneration for him to heal completely. If then. I will try my best, though, I promise."

He nodded. "Now what about Ms. Smith?"

Sarah Jane smiled up at them all. "Hello."

Harry stroked her hair. It felt nice. "She needs to go to hospital. She needs fluids and sleep but she'll recover. As for the rest?" he looked hopefully up at Roma.

She sighed, her thin shoulders drooping. "She's not in danger, we reached her just in time. And I've replaced the Doctor's mental block with a, ah, gentler block of my own. She can speak and think of him without poetry spilling out of her mouth but she won't remember any of this. For all she'll know she had a nasty attack of an Orthomyxoviridae RNA virus."

"And we'll explain away the disturbance by saying that...that Sarah Jane surprised a burglar and called in her friends?" the Brig suggested.

"And not the police?" Harry asked.

"We'll say she was delirious," the Brig answered with a shrug.

"Then why didn't WE call the police instead of sending over a troop of..."

"Sullivan! Shut it."

A ripple of reluctant amusement passed through everyone. Roma continued, "I'll place a mobile computer on guard here. This current incarnation of the Doctor won't get to Sarah Jane again without an alarm going off. And it will protect her." The Brig agreed.

"Well enough," Harry sighed. "But it's sad that it had to end this way. They were close."

"I know. And I'm sorry. He'd always planned to recollect her but now...it's for the best they never set eyes on each other again."

"Living in a nudist colony must take all the fun out of Halloween," Sarah Jane mused. Then she grinned. "I got that one from a magazine."

From ghoulies and ghosties,
and long-leggity beasties,
and things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord deliver me.

Around about Christmas Twyla had hit her up for a donation to a charitable jumble sale (by the way, Bertram has been promoted, the MacPherson's will be having a boy but they're happy anyway, the Franklin's are back together, ugh, and Natalie is working towards a black belt in Karate) so Sarah Jane dutifully headed up to the attic to see what she could find. To her great surprise she found K9, a mobile computer in the shape of a dog! How marvelous. Only the Doctor could have left him up there. She called the Brigadier and he confirmed it. Yes, there'd been a UNIT sighting. The Doctor was alive and well.

And traveling with someone else.



So, so, so, clearly, since the Doctor was too cowardly to present K9 personally, the computer was a 'goodbye' present. Relief at a resolution, at last, almost made her pain and bitterness bearable. She tried not to hold her disappointment against K9 himself, he was a friendly 'dog' and deserved good treatment. As consolation prizes went he was really quite wonderful.

And for some odd reason she found she slept easier knowing he was in the house.

There's a goblin as green as a goblin can be,
He is sitting outside and is waiting for me.
He knocked on my door and said softly, "Come play!"
I answered, "No thank you, please, go away!"
But the goblin as green as a goblin can be,
Is still sitting outside and still waiting for me.

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