Fitting back into regular life after traveling with the Doctor was more than just the missing years they couldn't explain. It was the experiences and the way they couldn't conform to how schools worked anymore. Everything about the system that had seemed logical and right pre-Susan now felt wrong in ways they couldn't explain to school committees and boards. Not in anyway that would make the committees and boards listen to what they had to say.
Barbara would be the first to admit that she was worried about their future. It wasn't the almost comforting worry of whether or not they'd survive the next destination, it was the worry of how they were going to feed themselves and afford rent. Not to mention the large wedding all of their parents demanded. It was the worry that they'd have to compromise on their hard won beliefs in order to make it through the next year. A compromise that Barbara was sure would destroy any chance of there being a them in the future. From the looks Ian gave her on occasion she was certain he agreed.
All of which was why they grasped onto the life-raft thrown to them in the form of St. Trinian's School for Young Ladies. They knew the school's reputation, not to mention the various rumors that came out whenever people talked about the place, but the offer of employment was a godsend. They barely discussed it before sending in their acceptance. It was their last shot after all.
Dodging the traps on the walk up the drive to the school was child's play. Barbara couldn't be sure, but she had a suspicion that they were the first people to get all the way up the drive, with their luggage, completely free of mud, and holding hands while laughing in the history of the school. Seeing the look on the faces of the teachers and students made them giggle even more. Clearly this was the place for them.
When Ace found herself kicked out of yet another school she didn't scream or complain or do anything besides sigh wearily and lock herself in her bedroom. When the timestorm picked her up and carried her away to the Iceworld she started on a long and wonderful journey. She never looked back. All of which meant she missed the letter sitting on the hallway table welcoming her to St. Trinian's.
Tegan did a lot of things after leaving the Doctor and Turlough. She wandered the world getting to know her own planet, attempted to go back to stewardessing, and joined the fight for the rights of Aborigines. Eventually she found herself a teacher at St. Trinian's through a series of circumstances that she thinks only another person who'd traveled with the Doctor could ever believe. Yet, somehow between St. Trinian's being permanently banned from ever returning to Australia on school trips and giving a guest lecture on non-violent protest methods, she found herself teaching history.
Over the years she made up a game she plays with herself, something to amuse herself with at times and to keep from killing the students at others. It's called Who Would Be A Good Companion For The Doctor. A bit wordy, but she's never had to say it out loud. She has a mental list of the girls who would take to space and time travel like ducks to water, the ones who would've been perfect for the first Doctor she knew so briefly, the ones who would've gotten along much better than she ever did with her Doctor, and the ones that would do amazing things with that third Doctor she met when she found herself transported to the TARDIS to deal with a Sontaran.
It's a crazy hodge-podge mix of girls and, despite what some people might think, not all the girls make it onto the lists. In fact very few of them do. It's those girls, the ones she can picture walking into a strange blue box, that she makes sure to mentor. The quiet, brash, brave beyond their knowing, girls who could change the world given a chance.
She teaches them to love the fascinating turns of history and to understand that there is always something new to learn from it.
She teaches them that violence can be an answer, but it should always be your last one.
She teaches them that death is real and has consequences you can't possibly imagine until you're facing it.
She teaches them how to run in heels and fix their clothes with nothing but the contents of their pockets.
She teaches them to acknowledge and embrace their fear, but not to be ruled by it.
She teaches them how to laugh in the face of tragedy and that tears aren't a weakness.
She teaches them to always look around the next corner.
She teaches them to never back down when they know their right, even if they have to change how their fighting.
Most of all she teaches them to never run from adventure.
The only person surprised by Martha Jones becoming Head Girl is Martha Jones. Everyone laughs at her amazement and eventually she's forced to concede that, yes, it was inevitable. The Punks were a dying clique, but with her leadership she made them the most influential one in school politics over the last few years. Regardless of where she came from in St. Trinian's though she is Head Girl and like Head Girls before her she tones down her look so it doesn't show bias. She keeps a few safety pins and ripped jeans to show where she came from, but the rest gets packed up for the year and a new, more professional, wardrobe takes their place.
It's hard learning to listen to all sides equally rather than just assuming the Emos and Geeks were wrong. It's hard to side against the Punks on important issues. But she learns to navigate the world of St. Trinian's politics from the top and she blossoms. Sitting with Miss Fritton for their weekly tea Martha is struck by how much she's changed since becoming Head Girl. She can still see the merit in screaming until she's hoarse when she believes in something, she can also see why that doesn't always work. She understands more than ever how the way you dress effects the way people treat you. She knows how to phrase things so that people think your idea is their own. She's learned how to really listen to what people are telling her, rather than just what they're saying.
“Of course dear, you're one of the best Head Girls we've had in awhile,” Miss Fritton comments while pouring another cup of tea. “You've resolved more long standing issues than anyone I've ever seen. Not just problems like the broken shutters, but the tensions among the girls has been so much less than usual this year.”
Martha lets herself smile because stealing the shutters from the boys school down the road had been her idea, even if the First Years repainted them and the newly forming Ecos turned the old ones into chicken coops before anyone could even look at their school for responsibility. “I think I like working with people.”
It's a small admission, one she never would've made in previous years, but it gets her one of Miss Fritton's approving smiles and she grins in return.
Amy decides her first day at St. Trinian's that she's going to be a First Year forever. They get all the cool toys, from the still to the paintball guns, and they don't have to deal with all of the adult drama the other cliques have. She realizes over the years that the adult drama comes regardless, but she never loses her conviction that she'll be a First Year for as long as she's at St. Trinian's.
It's not an unheard of choice, it's not even remarked upon when she never petitions to join a clique. Although the Posh Totties do ask her if she's sure, as they were certain she'd go their way. It's an unusual choice though, very few girls stay with the First Years more than three years, the most die hard tend to move on their last year at the very latest.
(The only person who doesn't look at her strangely her last year at St. Trinian's is the history teacher, Miss Jovanka, who'd once told her to never stop believing in the Doctor.)