An Uneasy Alliance © 1998 Margaret Price

Author's Note: This is a Fourth Doctor story and is an addendum story to "The Guardian." and a continuation of the series with companion Jason Krystovan who was introduced in the story "The Alliance of Death."

Many of the scenes in this story were deleted from the original outline draft of "The Alliance of Death." I remember hearing an author once say that you should never throw out anything. Good advice, as I was able to build an entire short story out of "unworkable" scenes.


ADDENDUM to "The Guardian."

AN UNEASY ALLIANCE

One Week Later

ONE

The Doctor stood in the doorway of his companion's room watching as he gathered his belongings. "I realize all this has been difficult for you, Jason," he said gently, "but you don't have to leave. I'm not going to throw you out because of what happened, whatever you may've thought."

"I know. Really, I do," came the almost strained reply. "It's just…I need to get away. Not from you, Doctor, from the memory. From here. I need to go home."

Their adventure on Teggell had shaken Jason considerably more than he had wanted to admit at the time. He had always known about (and fought against) his volatile temper. Yet in all that time it had never once occurred to him that he might actually become dangerous. Not until the reality of his own duality had so suddenly materialized like a genie from a bottle. An evil genie, doing its own bidding, not his. It was a duality he was having a great deal of difficulty facing up to.

Sighing heavily, the Alterran said softly, "I guess it really is back to Tel-Shye."

After a long pause, the Time Lord said briskly, "If that's what you really want, then I'll reset the co-ordinates," and turned from the door.

"Doctor, please, don't be angry with me," Jason implored.

"Angry? Why would I be angry that you want to go home?" Not waiting for a reply, the Doctor strode to the console room.


When Jason arrived at the console room he found the Doctor packing up several books and a stack of papers covered with complex calculations. "What is all that?" he asked.

Looking up, the Doctor cleared his throat. "It…eh, was supposed to be a surprise, actually. Since you did so well with the navigational controls, I thought you might like to learn the intricacies of inter-dimensional spatial theory."

"Really?" Jason's delighted smile faded almost immediately. "Could you…teach me later?"

"Later? I thought you wanted to go home?"

"Yes, but I didn't say I wanted to stay there."

The Doctor rolled his eyes and sighed heavily. He did not allow relief and the delight he felt show in any way. Instead he gave his companion a disapproving scowl. "Perhaps a short visit might do you some good after all," he remarked. "Then we'll be able to tackle this growing problem with your—duality."


Later turned out to be sooner than the Doctor expected. Jason had been more than a little intrigued by inter-dimensional spatial theory. He had heard about the science while he was studying medicine on Gallifrey but had not been able to pursue it, his medical studies having taken precedence. He had always intended on returning to study it more thoroughly, but never quite found the time.

"This isn't something you can simply memorize, you know?" the Doctor said sternly as he opened a book and spread out some papers. "There's a great deal more to it than that."

"Yes, I know, I know," Jason said with a sigh. "My father loved to tell me, 'Total recall does not guarantee total understanding.'"

"In that, he and I agree."

The Doctor spent the remainder of the trip going over the basics. He was amazed at how quickly Jason grasped the theory. His grasp of the mechanics, however, left much to be desired.

"You're getting it," the Time Lord said, as he looked over the calculations his companion had entered into the computer.

"No, I'm not," came the astringent reply.

The Doctor broke into a broad smile. "Then perhaps you should give it a rest." He looked at the time column nestled motionless in the center of the control console. "We've arrived."


Aaron was delighted to see his son again and, not to Jason's surprise, tried to talk him into staying home. When the boy refused, his father felt it to be the Doctor's doing and accused him of turning his son against him. The Time Lord was unable to dissuade the Elder Healer no matter what he said, and therefore chose to simply stay out of his way, spending most of his time in the TARDIS working on the (seemingly endless) repairs to K-9.

When the time came to leave, Jason returned to the TARDIS looking exhausted. The Doctor reasoned he had probably been fighting with his father over his decision to go, but did not inquire. He did not have to as the young man said, "Now I've heard everything. My Father heard about what happened with Constance on Alterrous and thinks my actions reflected badly on my family's good name."

"Indeed?" the Doctor said in an amused tone.

"Apparently it's no way for a future Duke to act," Jason snorted as he pulled the door lever.

"And it has nothing to do with your finding out about his secret past?"

"Oh, of course not." Jason waved a hand in the air and rolled his eyes. "Y'know, I almost wish I hadn't come back."

"Almost. But not entirely?"

"No, I really needed to decompress." Drawing a deep breath, Jason said, "Now, let's go before I change my mind again."

"No, we wouldn't want that," the Time Lord responded, adding playfully, "Would we, your Grace?" He hit the dematerialization switch and the TARDIS suddenly started to shake violently, throwing his companion back against the double doors and himself against the console.

"Doctor, what's happening!"

Clinging to the console with one hand and manipulating the controls with the other, the Time Lord looked at the readings, and cursed under his breath. In all the time they had been on Tel-Shye, he had completely forgotten to change Jason's entry in the computer, which he told his appalled companion. Fighting his way to the door lever, he pulled it with all his might. "Jason, see if you can force open the doors!" he called before working his way back around the console.

"What about you?" Jason called back.

"Never mind me, just get out of here!"

"Doctor, I'm not leaving you!" the Alterran stated categorically. It turned out that he had no choice. The double doors suddenly swung open, throwing him off balance. Another violent spasm sent him spinning from the console room. Jason landed in the grass outside the Police Box where he watched in horror as it faded in and out of existence before finally vanishing—taking the Doctor with it.