That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way. -Doris Lessing
Maria had always known she loved Sarah Jane. It was just one of those things, like how she knew Mum would never really be a proper Mum but would be a great big sister, and how she knew Dad would always take his tea with honey instead of sugar. So she never really thought about the details. Sarah Jane was her friend, even if she was older than her Mum, and she cared a lot about Sarah Jane, just like Sarah Jane cared a lot about her.
And that's how it was.
When she graduated high school, though, in Washington DC, she packed her bags mid-summer, gave her dad a big hug and a kiss on the cheek, and moved back to London for University. And, because she had good friends, she had a place to stay, and didn't have to brave the dormitories. Sarah Jane had the spare room all tidied up for her, she'd said on the phone, and she and Luke couldn't wait for her to get back. Clyde was excited, too, but they wouldn't see each other for a few months - he and Rani were off backpacking Europe for the summer and fall, which was not Clyde's idea of a holiday, but Rani was extremely persuasive and he never really could say no to her.
The first few days were a blur of fun and laughter and catching up with both Luke and Sarah Jane. Email and telephone calls only did so much to make you feel like you knew what was going on in another person's life. Maria regaled them with stories about how weird Americans were, Luke told her what he'd been working on recently (some sort of home-grown version of Sarah Jane's sonic lipstick, if Maria understood him correctly), and Sarah Jane told her all about the aliens they'd run into recently. They ran about, went to the chip shop, and tried to fit the nearly four years it had been since Maria had left Bannerman Road into the space of a few weeks.
It wasn't until her first real break from school that Maria realised that she loved Sarah Jane. She'd always known it, but in a different way, and yet she didn't feel like she felt any differently towards her. She just... loved her. It was sort of a shock, and Maria was so certain that Sarah Jane would never ever feel that way that she stayed in her room for a day and a half and then didn't talk about it for two years.
Muse: Maria Jackson
Word Count: 433
Verse: Futureverse with rightwhereweare