Once everything was more or less sorted out, the Doctor and his companion were returned to Starbridge, and the waiting TARDIS. Jason wanted to avoid contact with his father's counterpart, but Aaron insisted on meeting him before he returned to his own universe. The young man tried to remain polite, but his discomfort was obvious. As was something else.

"You have his face and his mannerisms," the Elder Healer remarked, "but not his eyes."

Jason looked up in surprise. "Sir?"

"And certainly not his manners!" Aaron added. "Or should I say, his lack of manners."

"Sir, I'm sorry—"

"Don't be," Aaron cut in sharply. "My son was a cold-blooded killer who used the title of Healer as a shield. The only reason he kept me around was to tend to business while he was out carousing with the lowest kind of scum. He had no heart. But you, you do. And compassion." Shaking his head, he said, "My son didn't know the meaning of the word."

"But…now there's a hole here. I'm not dead in my parallel world. Who will continue on for you?"

"I'll just have to pass things on to Kyska's fiancé, Anon, after—"

"Anon!" Jason gasped. "But Anon's dead."

"Not here, Jason," the Doctor injected. "Anon's filling the hole. Apparently, this was meant to be." So saying, he vanished into the TARDIS.

Jason gave an uneasy smile. "Good-bye…Father. And good luck." So saying, he too disappeared into the Police Box.

The Doctor was struggling with the console when his companion entered. "No chance of you changing your mind this time, eh?" he asked.

Jason threw up his hands. "No!" he cried. "I much prefer my own universe, thank you very much."

The Doctor nodded noncommittally, looking over the entries K-9 had supplied to return them to their own dimension. "Well, here goes."

"This had better work," Jason remarked. "I've had my fill of facing myself."

The Doctor gave him a steady look. The boy had scarcely begun to face the reality of who he was, a thought he kept to himself. "Hang on," he said firmly and hit the dematerialization switch. The TARDIS shuddered and then started to shake violently, forcing them to hang onto the console to keep from being thrown around the room.

A few seconds later the TARDIS materialized in the exact spot in which it had stood before the adventure began.

The next story in this arc is the crossover Doctor Who/From Eroica With Love story "Do UNIT and NATO spell disaster?" and may be accessed under "From Eroica With Love" through the ANIME section of this site, or click on my name to link through my story listings.

It is followed by a sequel "Espionage On Ice," which is the last in the companion arc. At least at this time.

Jason returns in the 2-Part Fifth Doctor story "Who Is My Enemy."

An Uneasy Alliance © 1998 Margaret Price is an original work written for the enjoyment of Doctor Who fans everywhere. No copyright infringement is intended.
Original series broadcast on the BBC. Format © BBC 1963
Doctor Who and Tardis are trademarks of the BBC.
The story and all other original characters are © Margaret Price