A/N: So here it is, the follow up chapter. I hope you enjoy it.
Six Months Later
Kate Stewart walked down the long hallway of her UNIT facility as her personal assistant, Andrew, rambled on about her schedule for the day. She only had two meetings today, which was good. She'd much rather be in a laboratory investigating the unknown the Universe had dropped on Earth's doorstep. It seemed today she would have the entire afternoon to do just that.
"Oh, and Ms. Stewart, there is a gentleman here to see you. I asked him to wait in your office." The dark eyes of her assistant of four years stared at her hesitantly. "He was part of Project M."
"Project M?" She stopped Andrew with a gentle hand to his chest. "I know they were finished, but I thought most of them chose to remain undercover, to go ahead and work on Project R?"
"Yes. The majority of them. Four or five chose to leave service. They were given new identities if they wanted them, but given permission to contact anyone they chose. Apparently, this man was asking about your father."
"Dad never mentioned knowing anyone in Project M."
Andrew just shrugged at Kate's confusion. "He may not have known. Project M was top secret up until a couple of weeks ago. Everyone on the project was declared dead."
Kate ran a hand through her blonde hair and sighed. "Well, let's go see what he has to say, shall we?"
Andrew just smiled at his boss as they resumed course back to her office. When she opened the door in anticipation of her mystery guest, a peppered haired man in his late fifties to early sixties rose from the chair in front of her desk. He was in an UNIT uniform and he gave her a soft smile and a nod when she entered.
"Hello, Ms. Stewart." He offered his hand which Kate reached out to take. "I'm Doctor Har-"
"Harry Sullivan." Finished Kate as she released the firm handshake. "I remember you."
"I wasn't sure you would remember me. It's probably been ten years since I saw you last."
Kate motioned for him to sit down and moved to her proper side of her desk. "Yes, well it may have been ten years for you, but I distinctly remember attending your funeral a few years ago."
A sheepish look crossed Harry's face. "Yes, well, duty called. Speaking of funerals, Ms. Stewart, I am very sorry to hear about your father. He was a good friend and an even better man. I'm sorry I couldn't have made it to the service."
"Thank you, Doctor. And please, call me Kate. I do recall that's what you used to call me."
"Yes, well for some reason I recall you refusing to answer to Kate for a long time. You couldn't have been more than eight and were insisting on being called 'Miss Katie' or 'Tiger'," replied Harry with a smile. Andrew coughed into his hand at an attempt to stifle a laugh. Harry raised an eyebrow at her assistant's mischievous smile. "I have a feeling, young man, that won't leave this room?"
"No, sir," coughed Andrew nervously.
It was Kate's turn to smile in amusement. "Yes, Dad came up with Tiger. He was good, there until the end. Doris was always with him and I came as much as possible. Though I figure he'll be a little peeved to find out you're not dead."
"I have a feeling I'll be getting a lecture when I finally do join him," chuckled Harry.
"So have you decided what you are going to do? I know all of you were offered a position on Project R. A good position."
"Yes, well I'm getting a little along in age, my dear." The old doctor sat back and crossed his hands in his lap. A serious look passed over his eyes. "I do think I would be bored to sit around and do nothing. You see, I have no living family. So I decided I probably wouldn't find retirement enjoyable on my own. There's only one person I need help finding and I thought your father would know where she was."
"You're looking for Aunt Sarah," said Kate gently. She could have cried at the look in the eyes of the old Navy Doctor at the mention of her name. There were years of pain and heartache on top of undying love in his eyes.
"Yes," he confirmed. "I just want to know how she is...I'll probably end up signing on for Project R if they'll still have me, but I can't make a decision until I make sure she's doing well."
Kate smiled back at him and turned to Andrew. "Clear my schedule for today. I'm going to Ealing."
"We're going now? Kate, don't misunderstand me, but I'm not sure she'll want to see me."
"Trust me, it'll be fine. Besides, I have an open invitation to drop in anytime."
"So she moved to Ealing?" he asked as he followed her out the door. "What is she up to these days?"
"Along with doing UNIT's job better than we do and getting into trouble for it, she keeps herself pretty busy. She's made herself into something of an extraterrestrial expert."
"Of course she has. Always investigating."
As they walked out to the garage and the valet pulled Kate's car around, she reached out to put a hand on his arm. "She's really doing fantastic. You'd be proud of her. I know Dad was."
"I was always proud of her."
They got into the car and Kate began to talk again. "A couple of years ago now, she adopted a boy, Luke. He's at University now. And then about seven or so months ago, she adopted a girl. Her name is Sky. I've only met her once. And goodness is she a handful."
Harry stared out the window at the passing cars. "I can't believe she has kids. But then, leave it to Sarah to constantly surprise me."
"She never did get married," added Kate. When he didn't react to the statement, she continued. "Of course, it's not like she just decided to have kids. They were more thrust upon her. You didn't hear this from me, but they may not be completely human. Naturally, Sarah took them in."
"They're alien?" asked Harry, clearly astonished. Then he shook his head with a small smile. "I don't know why that surprises me. It shouldn't. Not with her, not anymore."
"She's very protective of them. I'm close enough to family, but she's nervous about UNIT finding out about them. Luckily, I've pretty much taken care of that."
"Yes, I forgot to congratulate you on your position. Head of Scientific Research."
"Thank you. It took a long time, but I'm very happy now." Kate turned her attention to the road, leaving Harry to his own thoughts.
At Thirteen Bannerman Road, Luke Smith was home from University for a short break, so naturally, Clyde and Rani were in his kitchen after school. Sky was watching TV in the sitting room and Sarah Jane was upstairs finishing an article.
A knock on the door interrupted the laughter coming from the kitchen. Sky was the first to the door, but waited for her brother to open the door. Luke's face broke out in a grin as he recognized the woman on the other side.
"Ms. Kate!" Kate held open her arms to embrace the young man.
"Hello Luke." Glancing through the door she added, "And Sky, Rani, and Clyde. Is your mother home?"
"Yes, I'm here," called Sarah Jane as she came down the stairs. "Kate! Oh, it's so good to see you!"
"Hello, Aunt Sarah." The two exchanged a hug, both beaming. "Come in, come in."
"Actually, I was going to take the kids out to dinner and maybe a movie."
"Really? Awesome!" exclaimed Clyde.
Kate laughed and looked back at Sarah Jane. "I thought I could get them out of the house, because I brought you something. Well, I brought you someone."
"Someone?" Sarah Jane's face turned from excitement to confusion. Kate moved to the side and pointed to the driveway. Leaning against the car was a man from her past.
A man with grey in his once dark and curly hair; the UNIT uniform that reminded her so much of the old days; and eyes so deep in love. As Harry Sullivan started to walk toward her front door, she raised a hand to her mouth to suppress the sob. Still staring at him, she managed to say, "He's dead..."
"Actually, funny you should say that. He's been on an undercover assignment. They just exagerated his death a bit." Kate put a hand on Sarah Jane's back to steady the now shaking woman. "He's alive and very much here. I promise."
Harry slid the UNIT cap off his head nervously as he got closer. "Hello, Sarah."
"It's you..." she whispered. Reaching out a tentative hand, she touched the side of his face. Harry's eyes never left hers as he reached up to meet her hand with his own. She was shaking with shock, but the tears that were beginning to form in her eyes could not mask her happiness. "You're alive. Oh, you are really here."
Before he could formulate the words he planned to say, Sarah Jane had pushed herself up on the tips of her toes to press her lips against his. He reacted instantly, pulling her close with his arms around her. Tears were streaming down her face when she ended the kiss and she buried her head into his chest.
"I thought you were dead, you idiot." The words were muffled and tearful, but her fist was forceful when it made contact with his chest. Harry flinched but hid his smile in her hair. She could rage all she wanted, for right now, she still fit perfectly against him. Her hands were clinging to the lapels of his coat and he had his arms around her small body like no time had passed.
"Sarah...I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry..." Harry whispered over and over again into her ear. He could care less about the four curious kids and the Cheshire-like smile on Kate's face, because he was holding Sarah Jane again.
"You'd better be sorry." Sarah Jane stepped back a little and shoved him half heartedly. "Do you know how long I spent trying to figure out if I had gotten you killed or not?"
"I told you not to-"
Sarah Jane quickly interrupted. "I know what you told me! That bloody letter! And stop smiling at me like that. I'm so angry..." She choked on whatever she was going to say, tears still staining her face. Harry kept smiling and ran his thumb along her cheek, clearing it of wetness.
"And you have every right to be..."
"Of course I have every right to...Oh, Harry." She pulled him close again as if she couldn't decide if she truly was angry or overjoyed on the prospect that he was in fact alive and well. "You're here...alive..."
"Wait a minute. He's that guy...the one...but he's dead," muttered Clyde.
Rani rolled her eyes as Luke laughed. "Catch up will you? We figured that out when he walked up."
"That doesn't explain how he is really alive," said Sky in Clyde's defense. Sarah Jane turned to face her children, wiping away tears.
"I was asked to join a special team and I fit the requirements. I had no immediate family and nothing to lose. They needed a medical doctor and I had nothing holding me back. Part of the job was to go undercover, so we were declared dead and given new identities," explained Harry, mainly to Sarah Jane who was still clutching his arm.
Shaking her head she motioned toward the group in front of her. "Harry, meet my son Luke and daughter Sky and their friends Clyde and Rani. Everyone, this is Harry Sullivan."
Luke reached out his hand to the older man who nervously accepted. Kate gave Sarah Jane a hug as the group introduced themselves. "Thank you, Kate. I can't even say..."
"He was trying to find Dad, so they sent him to me. Apparently, he figured the fastest way to find you would be through him. I'm just glad I could help." She turned back to Luke, Sky, Rani, and Clyde. "Come on gang. Let's go out and leave these two to catch up."
"Don't we get to interrogate him?" joked Clyde, earning a nod from Luke.
"I have a feeling that you'll have plenty of time to ask him anything you like," smiled Kate. She herded the group towards her car. "What do you want for dinner?"
Harry and Sarah Jane watched them leave and turned back to smile at each other. "Come in. I'll make us something to eat."
"So, kids and you learned to cook? I realize I haven't seen you in a while, but I feel like I missed something huge."
"No. Just kids," she smirked at his smart comment. "Though I haven't burnt down the kitchen in several weeks now. Maybe you'll get more than you bargained for tonight."
"Old girl, you could burn down the entire house and I wouldn't care as long as I get to hold you again," he replied as he shut the door behind him. Sarah Jane scoffed, but could hardly put on an irritated face as she smiled.
"That depends. Is it just for tonight? Or do you have to go back to UNIT?"
Her question surprised him. Removing his coat, he stared seriously back at her. "I've been offered another position. It would be undercover again."
She swallowed and took his hand. "What could I say to make you stay? Here, with me?"
"Nothing." A strange look crossed her eyes as pain, shock, and heartbreak echoed through them. She dropped his hand and was turning away when his fingers brushed her jaw line, turning her head back to him. "Just kiss me."
Their lips met for the second time, only this time with urgency and an unbridled passion. He fell in love with her the day he met her. Every adventure, watching her run after the Doctor had killed him. That's why he left the first time. But he didn't hesitate to drop everything to drive all night to pick her up when the Doctor left her in Aberdeen and the only person she could think to call was him. He tried so hard to patch up her broken heart for so long. He had always loved her. Surely it was greater than how she felt about the Doctor. The ups and downs; the sleepless nights; the bitter fights. Oh, they fought.
But right now, holding her again, it was as if he was seeing her thirty years ago. There she was, laughing in the TARDIS, screaming on some God-forsaken planet, and teasing him with a wicked smile. All the times they had tried to make it work and all the times it ended with tears. But it didn't matter because fate kept bringing them back together and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't love anyone the way her loved her.
So here they were, Harry and Sarah. When the need for oxygen finally won out and they remained breathless, pressed against each other standing in Sarah Jane's hallway, she said the words he had yearned to hear for so long.
"I love you." There was no catch in her voice. No hesitation. There was sincerity in her eyes. "I need you, Harry. Please don't leave me again."
"We're absolutely insane, aren't we?" he chuckled. "How in the world do we think we can work it out now? We're not exactly young."
Her laughter was music to his ears. "Maybe that's the point. Maybe it only took me thirty years to figure out it was you. It was always you. And I was the fool. I mean it, Harry, I love you. The moment they told me you were dead, my heart decided to figure out how it really felt."
"Well, if dying was all it took, I should have thought of that years ago." Harry kissed the top of her head. "Come on, old girl. We have a lot to catch up on. And I'm going to cook. I find it hard to believe you actually learned to handle a stove or oven. Aliens trying to kill you, no problem. If only they knew all they had to do was make you boil noodles, you'd be done for."
"So you're going to stay?" She had her arm hooked through his as she led him to the kitchen.
"Sarah Jane Smith, how many times do I have to tell you that I love you more than anything this Universe has to offer?"
"Once more..." she murmured as he leaned in to kiss her once more.