/AN/: Ok, so in this story, Ace (The Doctor's companion in his 7th body) is Sarah Jane's sort of 'daughter' in this story. Basically, the idea is that Ace was left by The Doctor at Sarah's when he went to war. Sarah has been her Guardian since 1989 when Ace was 16. Which means Ace is 39 in this story, married (to Sam), with a 15 yr old son called Vinny. This story does include all of SJA. An The Doctor is after the Christmas Special 2012. Inspiration from the lovely drabbles writtem by 'mickeysam' on tumblr. It's a bit of a slow start but…
Ace looked around the whole group sat in Pizza Hut. There was both her younger (a lot younger, but she would never admit it!) brother, Luke, and her little sister, Sky, with their best friends Rani and Clyde. To add to this little gaggle of teens was her own son of 15 years old, Vinny. All of which were in a loud debate on some reality show Ace wasn't quite sure existed. She couldn't believe she had all of this. Being taken in by Sarah Jane aged 16 was one of the best things to happen in her life. After being taken in, Sarah Jane became an adoptive mother to Ace, although she begrudged anyone who said it in front of her. It had been teasing banter between the family for years, even The Doctor (who she thought as an adoptive father, but never admitted it to Sarah) got involved in the long running joke. Ace had matured so much with her time under Sarah Jane's wing, she owed so much to her, she loved her and would do anything for her.
Ace was broken from her reverie by a hand gently placed on her arm. She turned to face the love of her life, her husband Sam (ironically) Smith.
"You okay, love, you hardly eaten any of the pizza." Sam worried about her too much sometimes, but it made him just that much more adorable to Ace. She gazed into his bright blue eyes and nearly got lost in them. She was quiet proud of the fact that they both were still that much into each other even after 15 years of marriage. That thought brought a smile to Ace's face.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. Just thinking." Ace could've laughed at the amused confusion that clouded Sam's face at her reply.
"Thinking? About what?" The noise from the teen's slightly heated argument rose to an intensity that meant the couple had to shuffle closer to each other in the booth to hear one another.
"Just… about us, Vinny, the family. Sarah Jane, and where I would be if it wasn't for her." Ace turned to Sam with a slightly melancholy look, and a dampened look in her eye. She gave a little sigh to add.
"What's brought this on? The last time you thought like this was when Luke got taken away. What's wrong?" Sam leant his elbow on the back of the booth seat to rest his head as he regarded his apprehensive wife.
"I don't… I don't know. It's just…" She turned to stare at the table with slightly worried eyes. Turning back to Sam she saw an understanding look.
"You too then?" At Ace's blank expression, Sam continued, "You have a bad feeling. Like something bad is going to happen." Ace let go of a deep sigh as she looked at her husband.
"Something really bad." She looked around the table at the teens turning her glance from one to the other, taking in their carefree laughter and bright smiles, and hoping that this feeling was just two paranoid parents. Sam rested his hand on her head and reassuringly started playing with her hair.
"Look, the kids are nearly finished. Why don't we pay now and go back to your mum's, three of us could stay the night. Safe, with your mum and Mr Smith. With K9." Sam nudged his head towards Luke at the last statement. "It'll turn out that this is nothing. Everyone will be fine and ok and safe. We can stay for lunch, Vinny would love to spend some time with his nan, you know he's a softie at heart. And, after that, we can go home tomorrow and snuggle up on the couch, help Vinny with his homework and go to bed early." A hand reached down to rest on Ace's knee as he softly whispered the last bit in her ear. Then he looked Ace straight in the eye and said,
"Everything will be fine, I promise." Sam just extruded reassurance and comfort. So much so that it did calm Ace down enough to come back to her senses to reply.
"Ok. Ok, let's go." Sam gave her a quick kiss which got a disgusted reply from Clyde and a round of laughs from the rest. "Oh shut up, Clyde, hurry up we're leaving in a minute. You paying with the joint card?" Ace started to shimmy along the booth seat to get up, as Sam stood to go pay for the meal with his wife. "Oh, and by the way," She turned to give Sam a cheeky little grin, "she's not my mum!" This earned more relaxed laughter from the group.
Both Ace and Luke pulled up in their respective cars on the side of the road, in front of 13 Bannerman Road. However, when everyone emptied the cars, something felt wrong. The house. Something just wasn't right. Ace looked at Luke and Sky, to Vinny, grabbed Sam's hand and purposefully strode into the drive to stand before the erringly quiet and lifeless house. The house she spent some of the best years of her life suddenly, to Ace, became this dark, looming, scary thing that screamed at her every instinct to run away and never come back.
As the group were entranced by the house, rani chanced a look behind her. What she saw made her heart stop beating and the sound leave her body along with her breath. She instinctively clutched Clyde's arm with a panicked, painful vice-like grip which had Clyde turning round in a splits second, eyes darting everywhere. He looked to Rani to find her near hyperventilating. Following her near hysterical glare, a lump stuck in his throat.
"Ace." Barely a whisper escaped Clyde's throat. "Ace… Ace!... ACE!" Ace and Josh flung around to face Clyde, alert and suddenly aware, guns pulled from back pockets, pointed out towards the drive, ready to shoot any threats. But what they saw really made them drop the guns to the floor.
As normal, Sarah Jane's Figaro was sitting in the middle of the drive, but what was stopping the group in their tracks was the dried blood stain found on the driver's seat and dripping off the front boot.