Disclaimer: I don't own The Doctor or Ace.  The characters are property of the BBC.  I'm just a little American who likes to write fanfiction.  Thank you. J

Two Can Play At This Game

"Ace, where do you think you're going?", asked The Doctor.

            "Perivale".

            "Ah yes but by which route?  The direct route with Glitz or the scenic route?"

A smile started to form on the girl's face. 

"Well??  Do you fancy a quick trip around the twelve galaxies and then back to Perivale in time for tea?"

Ace threw her arms over her head and jumped up in excitement.
            "ACE!"

She ran towards The Doctor to give him a hug but The Doctor turned serious.

            "But there are three rules.  One. I'm in charge."

            "Whatever you say, Professor!"

            "Two.  I'm not 'The Professor'.  I'm The Doctor!"

            "Whatever you want."

            "And the third….."

He couldn't hide his smile any longer.

            "Well I'll think of the third by the time we get back to Perivale."

She smiled back at him.  The Doctor turned his attention to the power console in the middle of the room as the TARDIS dematerialized and left Iceworld forever. 

                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Doctor looked in on Ace sleeping soundly in the room she'd chosen.  It'd been Adric's.  He felt the reopened hurt of remembering Adric's death as if it happened yesterday.  But The Doctor quickly pushed it back down into his soul along with the other baggage weighing upon him. 

He knew it.  He knew it from the moment she sat down at the table with him and Mel.  Ace was one of Fenric's wolves.  A descendent of the original viking that buried the flask.  The curse, the very evil was inside her.  But she wasn't aware of it.  No human would ever be aware of it.  The Doctor guessed Fenric caused the time storm that took Ace to Iceworld knowing he would find her.  Knowing The Doctor would take her as a companion.  To trap him. 

            "Two can play at this game, Fenric."

A few hours later, Ace walked into the main room of the TARDIS where The Doctor was looking over the controls as usual.  

            "Hey Professor", she said as she yawned and stretched her arms over her head.

            "Are we near Perivale yet?"

A mysterious twinkle showed in The Doctor's pale blue eyes.   

"I've got an even better idea, Ace.  How would you like to travel with me through time and space righting wrongs, observing other cultures and civilizations, fighting evil, preserving freedom, doing away with-"

Ace cut him off and laughed.

            "Alright, I get the point, Professor." 

The Doctor raised an inquisitive eyebrow.

            "So….???"

Ace bit her lip and looked down at the floor as she turned around to face away from The Doctor. 

"There's nothing to go back to in Perivale.  Friends who I don't see anymore.  Teachers and parents acting like they know everything.  Same old boring job day in, day out.  And mum and dad……"

She stopped there.  The Doctor put a comforting hand on her shoulder.  Yes, he knew what he had to do before facing Fenric one last time.  It wouldn't be pretty.  She would probably hate him for all he'd put her through.  But he had to prepare her before she could be cleansed of Fenric's evil.  She had to face her fears and herself. 

Ace turned around.  She took a deep breath before speaking. 

            "Where we off to first, Professor?"

He thought a few seconds.

            "Well I left something on Earth quite a long time ago and it's about time I retrieve

            it and put it to use.  But wait!  We still haven't gone through the twelve galaxies. 

            And I know you've had your heart set on seeing at least one meteor shower."

He turned Ace to face the window.  She gazed transfixed at the diamond-like streaks across space.  "Rad cor!"  The Doctor rested his arm on her shoulder as he observed the meteor shower with her.  "My sentiments precisely!"

Ace turned her head to look at him and smiled. 

            "Professor, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

The Doctor smiled back and tweaked her nose.  They both turned back to look up at the galaxies and worlds awaiting their arrival.

            "I hope so, Ace", he thought.  "I really do."