Doug! Ann rushed towards him and hugged him like she never would let him go again.

General Kirk smiled. He was very relieved the transfer finally went well.

Where's Tony? Ray suddenly asked his voice coloured with concern.

Doug felt his smile fade. He released Ann and turned around. His stomach fell when he saw the empty tunnel.

What's wrong? Kirk demanded.

Ann rushed towards the controls, followed by Doug.

It looks like Tony is caught in the vortex.

Well, get him out. Doug demanded.

We can't, he is not landing in any time. Ray said

He's just travelling in the vortex and his signal is getting weaker. Ann added.

For almost an hour they tried to boost Tony's signal and get him back, but nothing seemed to work. Tony's signal was getting weaker.

What can we do now? Doug asked.

Come on Doug. We'll get him back somehow. Ann answered softly although she didn't know how either.

General Kirk sadly had to admit that he was running out of ideas as well.

Send me after him. Doug suddenly said. General Kirk shook his head. No Doug, we can't risk loosing both of you.

I can not stand here and watch Tony get lost forever. Doug said with a grim face.

Maybe there is another way. Ray suddenly said. We still have the alien device. If we link that to the tunnel, we might be able to boost Tony's signal enough so we can make a transfer.

Doug looked questioningly at Ray, but he stepped a side when they others started to work. They seemed to know precisely what Ray wanted to try.

To Doug it seemed an eternity, but finally the device was linked to the tunnel and General Kirk said we're going to make the transfer in 3 minutes.

Ann started the count down. Finally the tunnel opened and a form appeared.

Tony! Doug rushed to his friend and helped him out of the tunnel.

Tony, are you all right?

His friend nodded, but was unable to speak when he was gasping for air.

When he looked up, Tony's eyes widened. Doug, are we…?

Yes, Tony. We are home.

8 months later:

The team of the Time Tunnel had been very busy analyzing all the data. It would take many months more, but they where optimistic that time travel would be safe within a reasonable time.

Doug looked at his friend. Are you all right Tony?

Tony nodded. Yes. I was just lost in thoughts.

What where you thinking of? Doug asked curiously, although he had a pretty good idea.

I was thinking about Ivy. Just can't seem to forget her. Tony sighed.

Than maybe you should visit her.

Tony looked at his friend before he slowly nodded.

It was a lovely autumn day when Tony, Doug and Ann reached Ivy's house. She was not at home and a neighbour tolled them that she was out for a walk, but she had no idea where Ivy might have gone. Tony smiled. I know where she is.

Ivy was sitting near the lake, watching the swans and other water animals. Tony watched her, smiling.

Mommy! A young girl yelled. Ivy got up and smiled at the little girl running towards her.

Ivy opened her arms and swirled the girl around. More! She demanded.

Ivy smiled. Does your daddy know you're here? She asked.

Yes he does. A gentle voice answered.

With growing unease Tony watched the scene before him. This wasn't happening. Ivy and Doctor Mike? No.

I want to ask you something. Mike said while taking a small box out of his pocket.

Tony looked away. He did not want to see or hear this.

Are you going to purpose to her? It's about time.

Yes, I am. I bought her this ring.

It is lovely; she's going to love this ring. Ivy said, admiring the gold ring with a dolphin and 3 little stones.

Surprised Tony looked up.

Ivy, I would like to be alone with Vera tonight. Can Mery stay with you??

Of course, Mery can stay with me. We're going to have a lot of fun, right, princess?

Mery nodded eagerly. I want to sleep to. Can I daddy? Please?

Mike and Ivy shared a look. Sure you can. Ivy said.

Great! Daddy, can I play?

Sure princess, but stay in sight.

Happily Mery ran towards the other children who where playing in the grass.

Are you all right with this Ivy?

Why shouldn't I be? You and Vera make a lovely couple.

I agree. Mike smiled. But things will change. I mean, Vera will be there for Mery too.

I know Ivy sighed.

You can still see her when you want to.

Mike grinned. You should find some one to. Ivy shook her head.

You're not still stinking about Newman, are you?

Mike, I…

Mike sighed impatiently. Ivy, it's been what? 4 years? When do you realise that he is not coming back? For all you know he has a family at home.

Ivy sighed. She couldn't tell Mike that Tony was a time traveller and that she still had some hope he would come back. So she just answered I know Mike, I just fell in love with him and can't forget.

After a short pause she added why don't you go home and prepare for your dinner and leave Mery with me.

Tony watched Ivy and Mery say goodbye to Mike. He smiled at his friends. She loves me.

Ivy and Mery spent the rest of the afternoon in the park then on the way home they stopped at the local takeaway to buy some burgers and fries.

Ivy opened the door when the neighbour stopped her. These flowers are for you.

Ivy thanked her and they went inside.

Pretty flowers, Mery smiled. They smell nice. Smell them Ivy. Who are they from?

I don't know. Ivy answered.

There's a card. Mery pointed.

Ivy took the card and read it. Meet me at Swan Lake tomorrow at noon. No signature, but none was needed. Confused Ivy stared at the card. This must be a bad joke. Than she shook her head. Who ever wrote it, she would find out tomorrow. Mery helped Ivy put the flowers on a nice spot and they enjoyed their meal. They spent the evening with games. It was a pleasant evening, but Ivy's thought kept wandering back to the card.

Daddy! Mery hugged her father.

Hi Mike, Vera, how was your evening? Vera smiled and showed the ring for an answer.

How was your evening, princes?

We ate hamburgers and we did funny games. Mery answered. And Ivy got flowers. Pretty flowers. She has a date today.

Slowly Ivy walked to the lake. Would Tony really be there or was it a bad joke? Ivy sat down on a bench. She did not have to wait long. A boy appeared. He handed her a note and immediately he left. Ivy looked at the note. Turn around. It said.

Slowly she got up. She turned around to look into the smiling eyes of Tony Newman.

Tony opened his arms and Ivy hugged him. When they broke apart she greeted Doug who introduced Ann.

Does this mean you two made it back home? Ivy wanted to know.

Tony put his arm around Ivy and smiled. Sure does.

Ann added well getting Doug back was the easy part, Tony took us a bit longer.

Ivy smiled at Tony. You just had to be difficult, did you?

They decided to take a walk around the lake. Suddenly Tony asked: what is your relationship with the girl Mery?

Ivy looked at Tony.

We got here yesterday and saw you here. She called you mommy. I thought you and Mike, well…

Ivy smiled. Mery is Mike's daughter. Her mother died shortly after she was born. I helped Mike with Mery when ever I could. A while ago Mery wanted to go to a mother-daughter event. Mike suggested she should ask me. Ivy laughed at the memory. So Mery tolled me, that if she could call me mommy, she would take me to this great party.

Resourceful young lady. Doug laughed.

Yesterday you said that you loved me. Tony said barely audible.

Ivy nodded. does that bother you? She softly asked.

No, not at all. Tony stated firmly.

Great. Ivy smiled back.

When they reached Ivy's house, a smiling Mery opened the door for them. She led them to the dinner table. Look. I made dinner for you and Tony.

Mike appeared. He looked at Doug and Ann. All right then. We'll be off. We have dinner at my place.

Yes. Mery stated happily. This dinner is especially for Ivy and Tony.

Ivy and Tony shared a look than turned their attention to Mike. Who smiled before elaborating: I ran into Phillips last night. We thought you two could use some time together. We will leave you now. What about we meet later at Lucy's pub?

Ivy smiled. Yes, Mike we'll be there. She turned her attention to Ivy. Thank you for these lovely surprise princes.

Mery smiled proudly when Ivy added. This will be the most special dinner ever.

Tony nodded in agreement.

fin