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After All These Years

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Page 1, as numbered. Written on pink stationery in violet pen.

My dearest Cliff,

You'll never guess who I ran into last week whilst I was in England. It was the Doctor, of all people. He looks well - young enough to be one of our grandchildren, but other than that he hasn't changed. Still just as crazy, and still getting into awful situations and trusting to his wits to get out of them. This time Sarah Jane Smith and I had to save him from some rogue Shansheeth, which look like huge beautiful vultures but are really intergalactic undertakers and an evil UNIT officer with help from Santiago and Sarah Jane's companions. It was just like old times. I'll tell you all about it when I see you again, I promise.

But that isn't why I decided to write to you. Seeing him again made me realise how much I missed you and all the family. I tried calling but either you've mislaid your mobile again, or just forgot to charge it, or forgot to tell me you had a new one. I can't leave a message because your voice mail is full. So call me when you get this so we can work out the details. I want a proper reunion. All of us in one place, not protesting anything, just getting together and sharing stories and love and togetherness. We have

Page 2. Written on a sheet of A6 paper with a ragged edge that was clearly torn out of a notebook, still using the violet pen.

a wonderful life and a wonderful family and I think we've been so scattered that we've lost sight of that. And I know I'm the most scattered of them all. You know I'd lose my head if it weren't attached to my shoulders.

Remember when it was just you and me in the Amazon, searching for fungus and just being happy together. All those times I fell into the Amazon and {{{COFFEE STAIN}}} Yangtze and that snake I found in Bolivia that we kept as a pet until it tried to strangle me. I miss that snake. Why don't we do things like that now? So often we're on opposite sides of the world and I don't even see you for months and months. I miss the old days when it was just you and me and the kids tramping around the world trying to make people wake up and smell the fungus.

{{{SCRIBBLED OUT SECTION}}}

✔ Envelope
✔ Laptop for Santiago so he can stay in touch with Clyde and Rani
Bourbon Creams
✔ Knickers
Souvenirs for the entire family. Maybe thimbles. Or those rulers with a list of the Kings and Queens on them.
New glasses
Take Santiago for high tea.
Sightseeing?
✔ If you see Iris Wildthyme run quickly in the opposite direction.
✔ Plane ticket to Ascension Island

Page 3. Written on a tall, narrow sheet of lined paper with a cute hippo and VITAL NECESSITIES printed at top, clearly intended to be used for a shopping list. Here the writing switches to (very smudged) pencil.

I almost envy Sarah Jane. She's settled in a house in Ealing and wakes up in her own bed each night. I don't even remember what that's like. And it's not as dire as it sounds - she's saving the world in her own way, except there are more aliens involved. I don't know how she does it though. I'd miss the rainy season in the Amazon and the snowfalls in the Alps and hiking across the desert. And I don't think she's got anyone as beautiful as you in her life. Remind me to fix that. Maybe that doctor we met in Katmandu? How old is he now? {{{SCRIBBLED CALCULATIONS, DATES, AND, FOR SOME REASON A DOODLE OF A PENGUIN}}} Oh, he's probably too young for her. I'll have to think about this.

Oh, bother, I think I need a new page. And a pen.

Unnumbered. Written on a scrap of light blue activity paper that's somewhat wrinkled around the edges, in dark green pen.

Maybe that archaeologist you met in Peru while I was dashing about after the Brigadier? Professor Benny Summer-something-or-other? No, wait, she's female and married, isn't she? Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.

I'm not getting to the point very well, am I? Still, you knew what I was like when you married me, so you can't complain. At least, I haven't broken any glass on this letter. Well, at least not yet. I did manage to drop the vase of flowers I bought for the Doctor's funeral as I entered the chapel. I did tell you he wasn't actually dead, didn't I? I knew that was a lie from the start. {{{SCRIBBLED OUT SECTION}}} but we figured it out and saved the day while the bad guys got blown to bits. And for once, the Doctor managed to steer the TARDIS properly

Page 5 (or perhaps 6, it's hard to tell). Written on a sheet of American letter-sized pale yellow computer paper, still in dark green ink.

and got us safely home. Okay, it took him a few tries, but not many and it was almost like the old days. I'm glad to be back on Earth, though. I was surprised at how much I missed it.

We weren't gone long either - there's always the chance with the Doctor that he'll get you to the right place but the wrong time or vice versa, but he managed quite well this time. It only took him a thousand years to figure out how to steer that thing - though that might have been because he let Sarah Jane and me help. In fact, I suspect Sarah Jane is the one who entered the coordinates that got us home after three wrong turns. The maths are beyond me, but she seems to get them. And she's a tinkerer like he is, so I suppose that's why she runs into him so often, or perhaps it's the saving the Earth thing. Professional interest and all that.

As I said, I'll tell you the whole story when we're back together. This letter is already long enough and we'll see each other soon. I'll try to book passage to your oil rig as soon as I mail this letter. I love you and miss you and can't wait to see your beautiful face.

Your one and only Jo.