"I'm not saying no to that, give it forty more seconds when the fireworks go off," the Doctor spoke with a sheepish grin, but the smile was fleeting and soon fell from his face. He was quiet for a moment and looked down at the city before them with a heaviness that Robin had seen so many times, however, this time there seemed to be something new in the pain, a sadness that seemed as dark and cold as the night sky.
"It's about something that happened while you were sleeping," the Doctor spoke softly. "Something that happened when I went to check on the resistance."
The TARDIS fading in to existence as it dematerialized on Bannerman Road, its cosmic melody resounding through he street. The door opened and with a hop, a skip and a jump, the Doctor left the TARDIS, grinning like a little kid as he ran down the road.
"Now lets see, where are you... where are you..." the Doctor whispered to himself as he counted down the doors before skidding to a halt. "There you are! Number thirteen!" The Doctor cheered as he looked up at the grand house before him; a great red brick building with clean white windows and a blue tiled roof.
"Fancy place. Bet you could play a cracking game of Hide and Seek in it," the Doctor mused before rapping the knuckles of both hands against the door and rapidly pressing the button for the door bell. "Come on! Let me in! Let me in! Let me in! Its time to reminisce and share stories and tell me how your sons getting on at University!"
The door opened and the Doctor beamed down at the girl who stood before him with a metal dog trailing at her side.
"Hello Sky! I see you got home okay. I hope the other Doctors weren't too annoying when they dropped you back in the Master's TARDIS," the Doctor said with a grin before crouching down and patting K-9's metal head. "And how are you K-9 my old chum? You being good for your owners?""Affirmative!"
The metal dog chirped.
"That a boy!" The Doctor cheered before rubbing his hands eagerly and grinning at Sky. "So where are they?"
Sky looked down at the Doctor with a look of confusion on her face. She had changed since being dropped back, her dirty blond hair tied back in a knot and her ragged clothes had been replaced with a clean bright T-shirt and jeans. Reluctantly, she asked, "Where are who Doctor?"
"Oh come on! The Gang!" The Doctor cheered as he stood up and leaned in to look over her shoulder. "Luke! Rani! Clyde! Maria! Sarah! The whole gang! I've been dying to hear about what trouble you got up to before all of this took place."
"Doctor, not that I'm not pleased to see you, it's really nice of you to drop by after everything. I'm sure Luke and the others would enjoy seeing you too but... the don't come here," Sky spoke softly, watching the Doctor's face carefully. "They haven't been here a lot since it happened."
"What happened?" The Doctor asked, only half listening, his grin still wide and excited as he looked left and right down the corridor. "Can't we talk about this inside? I'd love a cup of tea."
"I can make you one," Sky said with a nod, "But Doctor... I was afraid of being the one to tell you, since it seemed that you had forgotten when we met at Trafalgar square, but... there is something you should know."
The Doctor stepped back and looked down at Sky. The grin slowly leaving his face. He looked up at the building with confused, scared eyes and stepped back with alarm. Horror flood his face as the most awful, most impossible thing to happen to him in the last twenty four hours came screaming into his head.
"No..." He whispered. "No...no... that's not possible."
"Doctor," Sky said softly, her voice strained as tear bean to fill her pretty dark eyes. "Mum's dead, she died last year."
"No," the Doctor repeated stepping back and pointing his finger forcefully at Sky, his body shaking with dread. "No," he said again, more defiantly this time. "Sarah Jane Smith, dead? That's not possible."
"But it was," the Doctor spoke, his voice low and cold as he looked over the city. "She had been battling cancer for months. It came out of nowhere. Most of her family didn't even know she was ill. By the time they found out it was too late, she couldn't be saved. Which was what was hardest for them. Luke and Sky are geniuses and their knowledge couldn't help at all."
"And I missed it Robin," the Doctor spoke, his voice breaking as he lowered his head to the rail and buried his head in his hands, running his fingers through his blond hair. "I missed it all. I could have taken her away. Brought her to this century and have them obliterate the evil thing, but I didn't, because my brain was broken and I couldn't remember her."