Old 03-08-2007, 12:27 PM   #1
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Default (New Story?) - "Home Is Where..."

This is a little scene that came to me on the subway coming into work this morning. I'm not sure if I'll leave it at this or if I'll use it as a jumping off point for a longer story.

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Home is Where…

By: J.A. Moniz


Disclaimer: Quantum Leap and all related characters are owned by Belisarius Productions and Universal. No profit has been made off of the writing or distribution of this piece of fiction


Al sighed as he sank down onto one of the cafeteria chairs. Sam’s latest leap had ended just six hours ago and it had been one heck of a leap. He’d leaped into a patient at a sleep disorder clinic who suffered insomnia. Though Sam didn’t suffer from it himself, he still was granted precious little time to get any rest in 36 hours he’d inhabited Chris Walsh’s life since Chris’ roommate also suffered from insomnia and enjoyed talking - non-stop. Sam’s goal on the leap had been simple, to prevent said roommate from accidentally being given the wrong medication which would have ended up killing him. Sam had completed the mission and leaped but by the end of he’d looked haggard and ready to sleep for a week.

That was a feeling that Al could understand as well. Even though Sam’s leap had been fairly simple, that didn’t mean they weren’t still operating in crisis mode back at the project as Murphy seemed to strike hard with his infamous law. If anything could go wrong, it most certainly was.

Al had no sooner stepped out of the Imaging Chamber after Sam leaped before he was hustled to a meeting with the accounting department. It seemed there’d been some computer glitch and it resulted in three-fourths of the project’s projected yearly budget being earmarked for the purchase of toilet tissue. Why the number crunchers needed his input on the problem, he couldn’t fathom. In the end it had been over a solid hour of sitting and listening to them explain the problem, talk it out, and solve it – all without him once offering a suggestion or advice.

He’d not sooner walked out of that meeting before the Head of Personnel dragged him away. It seemed there was problem with one of their security guards that needed his attention immediately. The problem had been the man’s failure to pay child support for the three children he’d fathered with three different women and his pay needed to be garnished. Again, Al couldn’t understand why his attention was needed on the matter.

He’d finally broken away from that and made it to his quarters where he stripped out of the clothes that he was fairly certain he’d had on when Sam began his leap and indulged in a nice, long, hot shower. After that he’d spent some time sitting at the computer terminal in his quarters sorting through the email that had come in over the last day.

He’d almost fell off his chair when he saw the number of unread emails in his inbox. There were nearly 1,000 pieces. Ten minutes into the sorting process he came to the conclusion that the spam filter had some how gone caca as message after message was filled with offers to buy every dietary and sexual enhancement known to man. He’d finally shut the computer down in disgust and set out to get a cup of coffee in the cafeteria.

Who knew he’d be called on to put out several other inconsequential fires along the way before he actually reached his goal? It was as if the world suddenly couldn’t rotate on it’s axis with Admiral Albert Calavicci signing some such paper.

Now, here he was, six hours after the leap ended finally sitting down with a cup of coffee.

“Admiral,” the voice of Ziggy called out as soon as the cup touched his lips.

“God, what now?” Al cried out in exasperation slamming his mug down on the table. “Don’t tell me, let me guess. Gooshie can’t choose between the Scope and the Listerine without my say so. Don’t I get just 10 minutes to myself? That’s all I want. Ten minutes to have a stinkin’ cup of coffee and then I’ll deal with whatever petty little problems are waiting.” Al slumped down in the chair, one hand rubbing over his face, his voice dropping to an almost pleading tone. “Just ten minutes, that’s all I want. Ten minutes.”

“I could care less what mouthwash Gooshie uses,” the computer informed him. “I thought you’d like to know that Dr. Beckett has leaped.”

The news prompted Al to sit up straight in the chair. “What? Already? It’s only been a coupe of hours. Sam’s never leaped this quick.” Silently Al was cursing whatever entity controlled Sam’s leaping. Although not an extremely hard leap, leaping into the life of a chronic insomniac had taken its toll on Sam. “Doesn’t he get any time to rest?”

“If you’ll recall, Admiral, I don’t control how quickly Dr. Beckett leaps so getting testy with me will accomplish nothing.” The computer sounded hurt and put out that Al seemed to be accusing it of not giving Sam any rest.

Al again wearily rubbed a hand over his face. “I know you don’t, Ziggy. I just figure if I’m this tired, Sam must feel even worse.” He pushed himself up from the table heading in the direction of the door and then on to the Imaging Chamber.

“I think you should go to the Waiting Room,” Ziggy advised correctly guessing where Al was going.

“Uh uh,” Al disagreed with a shake of his head as he kept resolutely walking down the corridor to the elevator. “I don’t have the patience to deal with whoever our guest is at the moment. You tell Beeks to deal with him or her and just get me whatever information Sam’s going to need.”

“I don’t think you understand,” Ziggy pressed on. “There is no need for you to go to the Imaging Chamber. Dr. Beckett has leaped…home. He’s in the waiting room.”

The computer’s words stopped Al cold. “He’s home? Here? In this time? How? Why?”

“Yes, Admiral, he’s here in this time. As to the how and why of it, I do not know.” For just a moment Al could almost detect something in Ziggy’s voice that sounded like frustration for not knowing how Sam had leaped home. It quickly disappeared with the computer’s next words. “I suggest you go to the Waiting Room now instead of just standing there. Dr. Beeks thinks it would be best if you’re there when Dr. Beckett regains consciousness.”

It was all Al needed to hear and he ran up the corridor as fast he could, slapping his hand on the elevator button. Once inside he jabbed repeatedly at the button that would take him to the lower level of the project and the Waiting Room where Sam was until finally the doors closed and the car started to move. When they opened on the lowest level, he again broke into an all out run only skidding to a stop when he burst through the Waiting Room door and saw Sam lying on the floor with Dr. Beeks and the project medical team all around him.

“Oh boy,” Al whispered when he saw his friend there and knew, without a doubt, it was his friend. Not just another stranger wearing his aura.


Without being aware of his own movements at first, he was again pushing forward until he was kneeling by Sam’s side. The physicist was curled over loosely on his right side with his arm tucked under his head pillowing it. He looked as if he’d simply lain down on the floor to take a nap.

Al looked up meeting the eyes of Verbena Beeks who crouched on the other side of Sam. “How?” he forced out.

“We don’t know,” she answered in a soft voice.

Al switched his gaze over to Dr. Charlson who was kneeling next to Verbena. He’d come on board after Sam had started leaping. Up until then Sam had served as the medical doctor for the project with Verbena as his backup. “What’s wrong with him? Is he ok?” Al demanded of the man.

Though in his mid-thirties, Charlson was in the unenviable position of looking much, much younger than his years. That and the coincidental fact that his first name was Douglas had earned him the nickname Doogie Howser at the project. Charlson shook his head once and spread his hands helplessly. “I don’t know, Admiral. I just got here a couple of minutes before you. I haven’t had a chance to examine him.”

As he spoke Sam started to stir just a little. His nose twitched and he squeezed his eyes closed just a little tighter as a soft moan escaped from his lips. Seeing the movement, Dr. Charlson and the medical personnel began to close in even tighter but Al waved them off. “Get back from him. He’s probably going to be confused enough when he wakes up without all of you hovering over him. He hasn’t seen any of you in four years – or not at all,” he added looking again at Dr. Charlson. “He opens his eyes and sees all of you and he’s liable to have a fit or something.”

“He’s right,” Verbena agreed as she climbed to her feet. She tugged Dr. Charlson up along with her and retreated back a few paces from Sam motioning for the rest of the occupants in the room to do the same. “It’s probably best if Al’s the first person he sees.” She looked down to where Al was still crouched by the inert body of his friend. “You’ll need to be gentle when you explain to him that he’s home.”

Al scowled in her direction. He didn’t need to be told to treat Sam with kid gloves. That he could figure out on his own. There was no way the kid could spend the last four plus years leaping, seeing what he’d seen and had had to do the things he did and not be affected by it.

Just as quickly, he dismissed Verbena and the rest of the medical staff from him thoughts turning his full attention to Sam. “Sam,” he called out softly. “C’mon and wake up now.” He nearly put his hand on the still shoulder to shake it gently but thought the better of it. After all this time where they’d only been holograms to each other, he didn’t want to shock Sam by having him come awake and feeling Al’s touch. That would come in due time. Instead he settled for calling Sam’s name again.

“Mmmm….I’m awake,” Sam muttered and his eyes began to flutter open. “Oh boy. My head is killing me,” he complained as he rubbed his forehead. He dropped his hand back down to the floor and squinted in Al’s direction. “Al? What the hell happened? What kind of leap is this? It’s never felt like this before.”

“Sam, do you know where you are?” Al asked as neutrally as he could. He didn’t just want to blurt the news out. He wanted Sam to be as comfortable as possible with the knowledge that he was home.

Sam’s eyes moved about as he took in as much of the Waiting Room as he could see without lifting his head from where it was still cradled on his arm. “I don’t know. It looks like someplace really weird. Why can’t you tell me where I am?” He pushed himself up into a sitting position bracing himself with a hand on the floor and looked around again. He didn’t catch sight of the doctors or medical team who still stood silently behind him. “It looks kind of familiar.”

“It should, Sam,” Al told him, a smile breaking out. “It’s the Waiting Room at the Project, Kid.” He waited a beat to gauge Sam’s reaction to that. There wasn’t a reaction beyond a slight quirking of his eyebrows. “You’re home, Sam,” Al finally told him straight forward and simply. “You’re finally home, Kid. I don’t know how it happened or why but you’ve leaped all the way this time.”

“Home?” Sam echoed in a whisper. “I’m home.”

“Yeah,” Al nodded his smile getting impossibly bigger. “Ain’t it a kick in the butt? All this time trying to get you back home and bingo, here you are.”

“I’m really home, Al?” Sam asked again not quite able to wrap his mind around the concept.

Al’s smile faded just a bit and nodded his head. “Yeah,” he said softly once more, “you’re really home.”

“And you’re real?”

“As real as can be, Sam.” He could see the confusion plainly on Sam’s face. The hope and desire that he was actually home mixing with the fear that it was all a dream or an illusion. “It’s no dream, Sam. You’re really here.” Al added in the last little bit - the one thing that could convince Sam that he was, indeed, finally home. “See for yourself. Touch me.”

As he braced himself on the floor with one hand, Sam raised the other raised from his lap. It shook minutely as he began to reach out to Al. Almost as fast as he began to reach out, he snatched his hand back. “No,” he breathed out shaking his head wildly. “No.”

“Yes, Sam. It’s true. You just need to reach out and touch me and you’ll see.” The fear and confusion he saw in Sam’s hazel eyes pained Al. He wanted to do nothing more than to reach out to Sam himself and prove to him how real it all was. It was only by the force of his will that he kept himself still. For one more time he had to be the Observer offering encouragement and advice to Sam and nothing else. He couldn’t be the one to “do”. Sam had to do for himself. It was the last time, though, Al vowed, that he’d have to just observe. He smiled a gentle smile and nodded his head slightly when Sam again began to reach his hand out. “That’s it, Kid. See for yourself.”

It felt like an eternity to Al as he held himself very still while Sam slowly reached out across the small space that separated him. Finally, the fingers of Sam’s left hand very hesitantly brushed over Al’s knee before his whole hand rested firmly there.

“Oh God,” Sam forced out in a choked voice. “You’re real. I’m home.” He quickly closed the small space between them wrapping Al in a bear hug. “I’m home,” he gasped out one more time before the tears took over.

Al returned the hug equally as firm. “You’re home, Sammy,” he reassured the sobbing man. “You’re finally home and you’re never going again.”

Al could feel the tears on his own cheeks but he didn’t care. He didn’t care who saw them or what they thought of him. For four years he’d watched his best friend, the only person he counted as family, bounce through time powerless to bring him home or end that living hell. Sam was back now and he meant what he said. Al would just as soon kill someone before ever letting Sam be subjected to the hell of leaping again.

“You’re home,” he whispered once more gently rocking Sam back and forth. He held him as a father would hold his child to comfort and reassure. In that moment he realized it wasn’t just words. Sam was his family.
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:16 PM   #2
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Default Somebody pass me a hankie!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoniz
This is a little scene that came to me on the subway coming into work this morning. I'm not sure if I'll leave it at this or if I'll use it as a jumping off point for a longer story.


Awwww.

Dontcha just wanna hug the pair of them?


Very touching. Well written.
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:23 PM   #3
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Thanks. I've got a feeling this is going to be a fun one to write as Sam readjusts to life without leaping and the changes in his life.
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:40 PM   #4
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I've added a bit more to this and uploaded it to ff.net. It's at http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3430243/2/
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Old 03-10-2007, 04:00 PM   #5
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Just wanted to say that I am really enjoying reading your story. It's interesting to see how things would be if Sam did leap home. I'll be keeping reading it as it goes on so yeah I guess keep up the good work!

Well done and thank you for keeping me entertained with this superb fanfic
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Old 03-12-2007, 09:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for letting me know you're enjoying it, leapoffaith.

Chapter 3 is now posted as well http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3430243/3/
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:08 PM   #7
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Chapter 4 is now posted - http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3430243/4/
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:56 AM   #8
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After too long of a hiatus from this story, I've uploaded Chapter 5. You can find it here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3430243/5/
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:12 AM   #9
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that's really cool... nicely done

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