Chapter Fourteen

Long Road To Recovery

Jason had been moved from the console room to the bedroom just on the other side of the inner door. The damage he had sustained in less than a minute's time would take weeks for his system to repair. The Doctor had offered to take him to an Alterran medical facility as soon as they left Earth in order to speed the healing process, but he had yet to make a decision on this.

Eroica came to the door and frowned. Jason was still snow white and covered with fine fractures. He looked like a piece of porcelain that had crazed after years of neglect.

Jason opened his eyes, seeing the concerned look on the face of the man in the doorway. He waved him in, a small smile on his face. "Are you appraising my value at auction?" he asked quietly.

Eroica gave him an amused look as he sat down on the bed. "I don't think I'd get much for you. You're broken."

"Hey, I'm an antique," the Alterran retorted. "Over a hundred years old."

Eroica smiled only to have his usually cheerful face cloud over again. "Jason, you can stay at Castle Gloria for as long as you need to," he invited suddenly.

Jason blinked. "Castle Gloria?"

"I've already talked to the Doctor," Eroica went on quickly. "He told me you're going to be laid up for a long time. You might as well spend it somewhere…" He paused taking in the stark white wall of the room. "Somewhere less sterile."

"Why?"

Eroica gave him a wry smile. "All kidding aside, Jason, I thought we were friends."

Jason could not help but smile at this, having said the same thing to Dorian the last time they had met. "Touché." He gave him a sideways look. "This isn't just a ploy to get me into one of your beds, is it?" he asked playfully.

Eroica smiled brightly and made a show of brushing his long blond curls away from his face. "I don't know what you mean, you darling boy," he said innocently.

"He means he's not interested, you pervert," came the Major's voice from the door.

Eroica turned the innocent look in the Major's direction. "Interested in what, Major? I was just inviting him to Castle Gloria to recuperate."

The Major snorted and waved a hand in the air. "He would do better in the solitude of Schloss Eberbach," he said without thinking.

Eroica gave him a stunned look, turning to the equally stunned Alterran.

After a moment, Jason said quietly, "Dorian, would you excuse us, please?"

Now it was the Major's turn to be surprised. He had gone to the door to inform Eroica that the TARDIS had materialized in London and that the Doctor wanted him. He was hoping the pervert would realize he could leave and would do so.

Eroica left closing the door behind him, going to the control room to find the Doctor happily working at the console. He glanced up as he entered.

"There you are!" the Time Lord said brightly. "I knew the Major would find you."

Eroica frowned. "Find me?"

The Doctor looked up again. "Yes. Didn't he tell you I was looking for you?"

Eroica shook his head and threw a quick glance over to the inner door. "No. He's in talking with Jason."

"What?"

"I know. Is it safe for those two to be in the same room together without a referee?"

"In his present condition, Jason's hardly likely to inflict any damage on the Major."

"What about vice versa?" Eroica took a step closer to the door and listened. "I don't hear any shouting, either. That's worrying."

The Doctor drew a deep breath. "I'm not going to worry unless I hear gunshots."


After Eroica had left, the Major and Jason stared silently at one another before Jason finally broke the silence, "I owe you an apology, Major."

"You do?" This was news to the Major. No one ever apologized to him. Then again, he never apologized to anyone else, either.

Jason drew a deep breath. This was not going to be easy. The man was insufferable. "You and I haven't exactly hit it off, Major. But you did, well, go against your orders to save my life. And for that I thank you."

"To hell with orders," the Major snorted, waving a hand in the air. "My superiors are imbeciles."

Jason gave a small smile. "And you were just doing your job?"

The Major drew himself to his full height. "That's correct. Finally you see that I'm a professional."

"Major, you are more than that. I don't know how many professionals I've met who refuse to think for themselves. They fall back on that age old excuse that they were just following orders. I can only thank God that you're not one of them."

The Major blinked. The numerous angry retorts that flashed through his mind were stopped when he remembered that the boy—the man—in the bed was an alien. How could he know the implications of his statement? I was just following orders. The catch phrase of the Nazis in the Second World War. The German people, his own people, still lived under the shadow of that horrific event.

Suddenly the Major realized he was actually being complimented. He was not one of the mindless sheep. He did not just follow orders. Hell, he rarely ever followed orders!

He looked at the Alterran and saw that he had drifted into sleep. After a minute, the Major turned to leave, throwing one last glance over his shoulder. "Thank you, Jason," he said firmly. Then he left, quietly shutting the door behind him.

Jason opened his eyes at the sound of the door closing, a look of the ages passing across his tired blue eyes. A small smile came to his face and he closed his eyes again.

"You're welcome, Major."

END