Episode 1218

For Her Heart

by: Erik Dreiling


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Theorizing that one could time-travel within his own lifetime, Dr. Sam Beckett led an elite group of scientists into the desert to develop a top-secret project known as Quantum Leap.  Pressured to prove his theories or lose funding, Dr. Beckett prematurely stepped into the Project Accelerator…and vanished.


He awoke to find himself in the past, suffering from partial amnesia and facing a mirror image that was not his own.  Fortunately, contact with his own time was maintained through brainwave transmissions with Al, the Project Observer, who appeared in the form of a hologram that only Dr. Beckett can see and hear.


As evil and neutral forces alike do their best to stop Dr. Beckett’s journey, his children, Dr. Samantha Josephine Fulton and Stephen Beckett, continuously strive to retrieve their time-lost father and bring him home permanently.  Despite returning home several times over the last decade, Dr. Beckett has remained lost in the time stream…his final fate no longer certain.


Trapped in the past and driven by an unknown force, Dr. Beckett struggles to accept his destiny as he continues to find himself leaping from life to life, putting things right that once went wrong with the hopes that his next leap…will be the 

final leap home.







Sam could hear the voice but it seemed to be emanating from every which direction. He tried to focus on its source but his senses weren’t quite attuned. The sensation of floating through the Abyss seemed to dissipate, the ringing in his ears subsiding. After a few moments the rest of the quantum energy had lingered away, and Sam Beckett could finally get a much clearer view of his new surroundings. He found himself sitting, or slouching rather behind a small desk in a dimly lit classroom. The room was dark, the blinds were drawn, the only light provided coming from a television set, which was playing a documentary on wildlife or something similar. Sam looked around and saw about twenty other kids appearing to be somewhere in their teens, from what Sam could make out, with a very few of them showing little interest in the video, whispering amongst each other. He looked down and saw a red thick binder opened on his desk, with notes scribbled in it. The words ‘More Biology Notes for a Lame Test’ were written on the top center and underlined. Beneath it were a bunch of notes scribbled on them. Sam smirked.




The voice this time was a bit harsher, causing Sam to flinch and turn around. He was met with the hard stare of a brown haired boy who pushed a folded piece of paper in Sam’s hand. Sam looked down at it quizzically.


“Dude, what gives?” The boy raised his eyebrows. “I’ve been tryin’ to get your attention forever.”


Sam whispered back to him. “I don’t think we should be talking during the video. The teacher might…” The rest of what Sam was going to say was abruptly cut off by the stern tone of the teacher. Both Sam and the boy snapped their heads up.


“Mr. Wright and Mr. Sharpe,” the teacher said as he shook his head. “What a surprise to find you two talking during class...again...and passing notes this time.” Sam slunk back in his chair as he locked gazes with the teacher. The teacher then walked up to Sam’s desk, holding out his hand. “I believe I will take that, now.” Sam handed him the note and the teacher, a balding man in a white shirt and tan slacks, shook his head at the two. “I will see the both of you after class.”



“Oh boy,” Sam said as he slid a hand over his face, and had now became the focus of the classroom’s attention.            





September 21, 1998

Huntington High School

Albuquerque, New Mexico



Twenty minutes later the final bell for the day had rung and after all the students left, only Sam and the boy remained. The teacher, sitting at his desk, gazed at his two students. He appeared as if he’d expected something was likely to happen, if the slight smirk on his face were any indication. He got up and went over to the windows, pulling up the blinds, flooding in bright sunlight in the process. He then turned back to face Sam and his ‘friend’.


“This is the third time this week, boys,” the teacher began. “If this behavior continues then I’m going to have to send you both to the principal’s office and I don’t think Ms. Cunningham will be happy.”


Sam glanced back at his ‘friend’ before replying. “Look, ah, we didn’t mean to cause any problems here. I’m really sorry.” Sam didn’t notice the incredulous look that he was earning from the boy. “So if we can just be on our way, I assure you that this won’t happen again. You have my word.” The teacher’s eyes widened at Sam’s last remark.


“Your word? Mr. Sharpe, you’ve given me false promises before. Why should I believe you now?”


Sam wasn’t quite sure how to respond to that. So instead the boy offered his. “Mr. Sandoval, we give our solemn word that we won’t be a problem anymore.” The boy smirked and then grinned.


“Always the comedian, Mr. Wright.” Mr. Sandoval took another moment before he finished lecturing the two. “Let’s be honest with each other, here. I don’t want you here anymore than you want to be here now so let this be the last warning, boys.” Both Sam and this boy, Wright, nodded and got up from their desks. Wright passed first and then Sam. When Sam passed Mr. Sandoval he was met with a piercing gaze, a gaze that meant business. Sam’s cheeks flushed as he hurried out of the door.


“What the hell was that back there, man?” was the first thing that Wright had asked as they walked across the grass field towards the parking lots. “‘I give you my word’”, he said in a deep tone, mocking what Sam had said to Mr. Sandoval. "Never thought that you'd be one to brown nose, man."


“I wasn’t brown nosing,” Sam retorted. “I just didn’t want to get into any trouble. All we had to do was just watch a video and take some notes.” Wright was nodding knowingly as Sam spoke, a bit sarcastically to add. “I just don’t think that it’s that hard to do.”


“Oh, sure. Today was no different from any other day. I mean I know we just started the school year two weeks ago but everybody knows just how much of an ass Sandoval is. My cousin had his class last year and told me that he does nothing but test and fail students. Very few people actually get good grades in his class.”


“All the more reason to try harder.” Sam then looked up at Wright and saw him shaking his head at him.


“Whatever, dude.” Sam said nothing as he and Wright continued to make their way towards the parking lot. A couple minutes later, they came to a white Ford Ranger and Wright went over to the passenger side and stood there, waiting. When Sam only looked at him he said, “What are you waiting for, Eddie? This is your truck.”


Sam flushed as he began to fish around in his jeans pockets for a set of keys.



She looked over at him and tried to hide the smile that was spreading across her face. She looked down and focused her attention on her schoolbooks, trying to look inconspicuous. One of her friends, Vanessa, clapped her on the shoulder.


“No use hiding it, girl. I know you’ve got the hots for him. I can see it in your eyes.”


She shook her head. “It’s not like that. I just think that he’s...cute.”  The comment made the smile fully blossom.


That comment made Vanessa laugh. “Christa, no use in lying to me. Besides,” she grinned, “I think that you and Eddie would make a cute couple.”


Christa agreed mentally but shook her head. “Remember Alan? I thought he was great and look what he did. He called me a freak. Nobody wants to go out with a freak.”


“You’re not a freak. I think you’re very pretty and I’m sure that Eddie would see that too. He’s not like Alan and the rest of those jerks out there. And if Eddie can’t see that then that’s his problem.” Vanessa looked at Christa and smiled.


“Hey!” Both Christa and Vanessa looked up and saw Christa’s older sister, Vickie, standing by a SUV waving. “C’mon!”


Christa nodded as she stood up. “I’ll see you in class tomorrow.” Vanessa nodded as she started in the opposite direction.




When Christa walked up to the vehicle, Vickie stepped back in the driver’s side and shut the door. As Christa climbed in, Vickie grinned. “How did your day go?”


Christa shrugged as she closed her door. “Not bad, I guess. Still under the radar.”


Vickie frowned.  “That’s not true. You got your friend... Vanessa. She seems nice.”


“She is. But there’s this... guy that…”


Vickie nodded as she grinned widely.  “Ah, I see, so... what’s his name?”


Christa looked at her sister and smiled. “Eddie Sharpe.”


“Look at you, sis, you can’t even say his name without smiling.”


Christa giggled for a moment. Then, in a serious tone, she added, “Well whatever you do, please don’t tell Dad. I don’t want to get lectured.”



Sam pulled up to the front of the Wright residence. Joseph opened the door and stepped out. He then leaned his head back in the door. “Hey, man. You wanna come in and hang out for a while?”


Sam declined, saying that he had to hurry home—wherever that was. Joseph nodded and slammed the door shut. Sam took the time and pulled Eddie’s wallet from his pocket. Slipping out the driver’s license, Sam looked at Eddie’s picture. Eddie had wavy brown hair, green eyes, and had a light complexion. He then read the name on the license. Sam found out that Eddie was short for Edward George Sharpe the Fourth. Sam then looked at the address listed. He had no idea where Gardner Street was and, looking at the gas gage, he saw that he was down to about a quarter of a tank. Taking a look at the current street sign, Sam then decided to go to the nearest store to purchase a map. After all, until Al showed up, Sam didn’t have much else to go on.



Sharpe Residence

4:45 PM



Thirty minutes later, Sam pulled up onto the driveway of the Sharpe residence. Turning the key in the ignition, Sam looked up at the small house as he folded the map that he’d purchased from a Seven-Eleven. It was a quaint house: single story, tan with brown trim and a small gate that circled the perimeter of the house. Sam stepped out of the truck and shut the door.  He then walked up to the front door and turned the knob. The door was unlocked, Sam found, and he stepped inside. The first thing that Sam noticed was the strong aroma of bacon sizzling on a skillet in the kitchen. Standing in the kitchen was an elderly man who, when he saw Sam, beamed a broad smile.


“Oh, Edward, I didn’t hear you come in. How was your day at school?” Sam wasn’t about to tell this man that he had gotten detention so simply told him that he had a nice day. “Well, that’s good,” he replied as he pushed up his thick lens glasses back up on his nose. “As you can tell I haven’t had much excitement today. Mowed the lawn and now I’m making dinner. We’re having egg and bacon sandwiches. I know they’re your favorite, Edward.” At this moment, the elderly man leaned over and placed a hand on his chest. When Sam started towards him, the older man waved him off with his other hand.


“Don’t... worry about me. I’m fine.” After a moment he straightened up and took a couple of deep breaths. “Hmmm,” he said and when he saw the concerned look on Sam’s face he added, “Just my old age catching up to me. Nothing to worry about, Edward.”


Sam nodded but made a mental note to keep a close eye on him, then smiled just as he heard the sound of the Imaging Chamber door opening from somewhere behind him. “If you’ll excuse me I’ll be in my room. I...have to study for a biology test.”


The elderly man nodded.  “Don’t worry about dinner, Edward. I’ll send a plate to your room.”


When Sam made his way down the short hall, there were three doorways presented: one straight ahead of him, the restroom, and the one on his left - which had a small bed, chest of drawers, a desk, and a couple of pill bottles that were atop the dresser drawers. Sam stepped in to get a closer look and discovered that they were nitroglycerin pills for the older man’s heart condition. Sam sighed.


Sam then stepped out of the room and into the one on his right, Eddie’s room. Sam sat down on the narrow bed and looked up at the hologram.






Al, dressed in a pair of blue slacks, green shirt, and a black vest, stood by the foot of the bed, tapping at keys on the handlink. After a moment, he looked up and was met with Sam’s gaze. “Sorry it took me so long to get here,” he started. “I’ve been in the Waiting Room talking to this kid that you’ve Leaped into. Took me a while to just calm him down.” Al shrugged. “We can’t get much out of him - he’s pretty Swiss cheesed - but here’s what we got so far.” He paused as he read the data from the handlink. “It’s the twenty-first of September, 1998. You’re in Albuquerque, New Mexico... hey, Sam. You’re not that far from the Project. Huh. Anyway,” Al flicked a hand in dismissal, “your name is Edward George Sharpe the Fourth... jeez that’s quite a handle there. You’re a student at Huntington High School.” Al frowned. “Why does that sound so familiar?” And then it clicked. “Christa went there. She’s about the same age as Eddie.” That brought about some very painful memories for the Admiral.


“I remember that, around this time actually, she was having a very tough time at school. I remember her coming home in tears nearly every day, Sam. Those punks would taunt her, calling her vicious names.” Al closed his eyes for a moment and then, letting his breath out slowly, opened his eyes and met Sam’s comforting smile.


“Well, what we were able to come up with,” Al said, obviously trying to change the subject, “is there’s a ninety five percent chance that you’re here to save the life of a Joseph Wright.”


Sam sat up. “What happened?”


“According to Ziggy, in the original history, on September twenty-second, 1998, Joseph Wright was involved in an altercation just outside the school during the lunch break. Joseph and this other kid, Brad Kensington, were fighting when Joseph was stabbed five times in the chest.” Sam looked down at the floor as Al continued to relate the grim news. “The paramedics didn’t make it in time. He was DOA. Brad Kensington was tried as an adult and sent to prison where, two years later, he was stabbed to death by his cell mate.”


Sam looked up. “The twenty-second? That’s tomorrow. I just have to stay close to Joseph and keep a close eye on him. Does Ziggy know why the fight broke out in the first place?”


“That remains unknown. You know, now that I think about it, that was the reason that I had Christa pulled out of that school. Yeah, Beth and I were very concerned and when the stabbing made the news we knew that Christa wouldn’t be safe there.”


“Okay,” Sam said. “I’ll just stay close to Joseph and keep him away from this Brad.” Sam thought for a moment, glanced at the other room. “Al, what do we have on Eddie?”


“Let’s see,” Al said as he keyed in the inquiry. “Edward George Sharpe the Fourth. Born August 9, 1981, to Elaine Carlson-Sharpe and Edward Sharpe the Third. When he was six years old, his parents were involved in a fatal automobile accident involving a drunk driver and since has been living with his grandfather, Edward Sharpe the Second,” Al said, “who is standing there in the kitchen.”


“What happens to him?”


“In about three years, he passes away. Natural causes. He’s supposed to be taking medication for his heart problem but as you can clearly tell he’s quite a stubborn one—like a certain scientist I know,” he added as he raised an eyebrow in Sam’s direction. “So, from there, Eddie moves into an apartment with a friend of his and, upon graduating high school, gets a job at an auto parts store and is still working there to this day. He’s the manager.”


Sam looked up at the hologram. “So Joseph’s the focal point here. I will just stick to him like glue and keep him away from Brad.”


“It’s never that easy, Sam.” Al looked away from his friend. “Never is.”



September 22, 1998

Huntington High School

12:25 PM


Sam had spent the majority of the day sticking as close to Joseph Wright as possible. He and Eddie only had two classes together, math and biology. Sam did have the current class, U.S. History, with Brad Kensington. Sam narrowed his eyes at the hoodlum as the latter was carving something into the desktop, his friends looking around quickly and then laughing. Sam still wasn’t quite sure why Brad was after Joseph but, whatever the reasons may be, he’d make sure that Brad wouldn’t lay a finger on Joseph. Brad caught Sam’s glance and tipped his head up at Sam, his black eyes glaring with hatred. He mouthed the words ‘What’. Sam looked away just as the lunch bell rang. Sam bolted from his seat and darted past the sea of students filing for the door, barely paying any heed to the insults as he made his way towards the heavy glass double doors.


“What’s your problem, Eddie?” Joseph had asked when Sam came running up behind him. He eyed Sam skeptically. “You’ve been acting weird the past couple days.” A handful of girls who were standing near Joseph giggled at the nervous scientist. Sam hardly noticed one particular girl who blushed madly when she saw Sam.


“I...just wanted to make sure that everything was okay.”


“Yeah, dude, why wouldn’t it be? So,” Joseph said turning to one of the girls, “like I was going to ask before I was so rudely interrupted, would you wanna go to the Back to School Dance with me on Friday?”


The black haired girl cocked her head. “You know that I’m going out with Brad, right?”


Joseph nodded. “Yeah I know but I would like to think that you prefer guys with more than one brain cell.”


Brad Kensington had just slammed his locker shut when he’d overheard that scrawny punk, Joseph Wright, hitting on his girlfriend. He glared as he cracked his knuckles. One of his friends came up behind him.


“What’s your problem, man?”


“My problem,” Brad said, “is that son of a bitch over there hitting on my girl.” Brad’s friend followed his gaze over to where Joseph Wright and Eddie Sharpe were standing.


“What are you gonna do ‘bout it?” his friend, Mike Hathaway, asked with a laugh.


Brad pulled something small and slender from his pocket. “Teach him a lesson not to dick with my property.”


Sam, Joseph, his new date for the dance, Vanessa Andrews, and a couple of other girls, were walking towards the gates that lead outside of the school when someone came up behind Joseph and grabbed him by the shoulder, spinning him around.


“Hey, punk,” Brad spat. “Like to tell me what you’re doin’ with my girl?”


“Leave him alone, Brad,” Vanessa shot back. “We were just goin’ off campus for lunch.” Brad looked over and glared at her.


“Wasn’t talkin’ to you, dear. Mr. Wright here owes me an apology.”


Joseph laughed at Brad as he patted him on his shoulder. “Yeah, buddy, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.” Turning to Vanessa and Sam he said, “C’mon, guys. Let’s go. I’ve had my fill of stupidity for one day.”


Brad growled, “Smart-assed son of a bitch!” He flipped open his switch blade and lunged for Joseph but his arm was grabbed and twisted behind his back by Eddie Sharpe. “Let me go, Sharpe! Unless you want some, too,” Brad spat. Sam tightened his hold on Brad’s arm.


“Drop it, punk,” Sam told him. Brad then, in a surprising turn, yanked his arm out of Sam’s grasp and wheeled around, knife in hand. By this time a large group of students were gathering around Sam, Brad, and Joseph.


“All right, now you’ve asked for it, dick,” Brad said as he stalked towards Sam. Joseph stepped up next to Sam.


“Watch it, dude,” he said to the time traveler, “this guy’s not dealing with a full deck here.”


Sam tensed his body as the thug stepped closer to him. He lunged but abruptly stopped, trying to psyche out Sam. “C’mon, wuss, show me what you got.” With that, Brad lunged forward with the knife but Sam spun around and grabbed Brad by his outstretched arm, twisted it behind his back and forced him to the pavement, the knife skidding on the ground and landing at the feet of Mr. Sandoval.


“Let me go, you bastard!” Brad yelled at Sam. At this point, both Sam and Brad were pulled to their feet by Mr. Sandoval, who looked murderous as he pushed Sam and Brad from one another.


“Just what the hell is going on here?!” Mr. Sandoval, whose gaze swept across the quickly parting group of students, said thickly. “Both of you. Principal’s office. Now.” As Sam and Brad turned and headed towards the office, Mr. Sandoval glanced down and saw the switchblade. Shaking his head and muttering something under his breath, he reached down and picked up the weapon. Slipping it in his vest pocket, he sighed and followed his students.


After speaking with both the principal, Ms. Cunningham, the vice principal, and Mr. Sandoval, it was decided that Sam would not be suspended because of his ‘heroics’ but would serve a week’s detention after school while Brad Kensington would be expelled for bringing a weapon on campus. The principal looked at Sam.


“What you did today, Mr. Sharpe, was foolish. I’m just glad that nobody was seriously hurt.” She smiled a bit at Sam. “Your friends Joseph Wright, Vanessa Andrews, and Christa Calavicci all said that you were trying to stop Brad from stabbing Joseph.” Sam’s eyes widened at the mention of the last name.


“C-Christa Calavicci?” Sam stuttered. Ms. Cunningham nodded at him.


“Yes. She said she saw Brad pull out a knife on Joseph and you stepped in and stopped it.”


Sam was now at a loss of words. “Uh, yeah. That’s pretty much how it happened.”


"I'm just glad that no one was hurt. What are you kids thinking nowadays? Bringing weapons to school!" She shrugged. "Such a shame."



A few minutes later, Sam stepped out of the principal’s office where he was promptly met by Joseph, Vanessa, and Christa, all standing just at the foot of the steps that lead from the office. Sam noticed that Christa was standing awkwardly by, averting her gaze when she saw Sam.


“Everything okay, dude?” Joseph asked. Sam nodded and it was at that point that he noticed Joseph and Vanessa holding hands.


“Yeah, I’m fine. They expelled Brad and I got a week’s detention, to be served after school.”


Joseph’s eyes went wide. “What the hell? After what you did? That’s messed up.” He thought for a minute. “Hey, Eddie? Where the hell did you learn those moves anyway?”


“Oh, well, I just watch a lot of kung fu movies,” Sam offered with a chuckle. He noticed that Christa also laughed. Sam took a moment and looked at Christa, a spitting image of her mother. Sam briefly remembered Beth’s face before the memory fell through the holes of his Swiss cheesed mind.


“Why are you lookin’ at me like that?” Christa asked when she caught Sam staring at her. She immediately placed an awkward hand across her face. Sam swiftly shook his head.


“Oh, uh, it’s just that you remind me of someone I once knew.” Sam smiled. He’d almost forgotten how pretty Christa was. Her face was now scarred due to her kidnapping a couple years back (from his perspective, anyway) by the hand of the Evil Leapers. Sam was able to remember that Leap. Hearing her horrific screams for her Uncle Sam to save her as she was locked up and tortured...


“Where are my manners?” Joseph said in mock embarrassment, snapping Sam from his remembrance. “Eddie, this is Christa Calavicci. Christa, this is my best bud, Eddie Sharpe, or as I call him 'E Money'.”


“Christa,” Sam started but wasn’t sure what to say. Instead he settled for, “It’s nice to meet you.”


She tried to hide a smile. “It’s… nice to meet you too.”






After class, and Sam serving an hour detention, Sam and Joseph were heading towards the parking lot when Sam happened to see Christa sitting on a bench near the gymnasium, reading a book. Sam told Joseph that he would catch up with him in a few minutes. Joseph looked over, saw Christa, and gave Sam a wink and a knowingly nod. Sam dismissed it and went over to Christa. She looked startled when she saw Sam walking up to her.


“Mind if I have a seat?” he asked.


She shook her head slowly. “Oh...uh, not at all.”


Sam smiled at her as he sat down. He could easily tell that the young girl was rather nervous by his presence.   “I just wanted to thank you for what you did earlier,” Sam started.


Christa thought for a moment and then shook her head. “Oh, that. Well I just thought that it wasn’t fair that you get punished, too. That Brad is a real ass, anyway.” She paused as she shot Sam a brief smile. “Besides, Vanessa told me all about him. Don’t know what she saw in him. Now,” she added as she glanced over and saw Joseph standing near Eddie’s truck, “she’s hooked up with your friend, Joseph.”


Sam was about to speak when he heard the Imaging Chamber door opening. He glanced up and saw Al standing near Christa’s right looking at his daughter with a broad smile. “She is sure something, isn’t she?” Sam nodded which earned a strange look from Christa. “I’m sorry I couldn’t get here earlier,” Al started after a moment. “I got caught up in a bunch of bureaucratic bull-crap with funding. I honestly thought that I had enough time to get back...” When Al could tell that Sam wasn’t angry with him, he continued. “Anyway I should let you know that everything turns out fine, Sam. Ziggy informed me that you changed history when she accessed the school records. Brad Kensington doesn’t return to Huntington High and goes on to Adult Ed.” Al then let out a sigh of disappointment. “About three years from now Brad gets shot during a robbery gone wrong at a convenient store. I guess some kids just don’t learn.”


Sam tipped his head just as Christa continued to talk to him. “I just know my dad’s gonna freak when he hears about this. I just hope that he doesn’t do anything...retarded.” Sam chuckled as Al pointedly looked the other way. “I mean, he’s great and I know he cares about me so much, especially with my...condition.”


Sam narrowed his eyes at her. “Condition?”


It appeared as if Christa hesitated on whether or not to tell Sam what she meant. After a moment of uncomfortable silence, she said in a soft tone, “Yeah. I have a heart condition. I mean, I already have had two heart attacks.” When she saw Sam looking at her intently, she quickly gathered her things just as an SUV pulled up. “I- I gotta go. I’ll see you tomorrow, Eddie.” Before Sam could get up, she ran over to the SUV where she climbed in the car before the driver could even get out. Sam sighed as the vehicle drove off.


“Damn it,” Sam said to Al.


“I know, kid,” Al said with a tinge of sorrow in his tone. “But you have to understand, Sam, that Christa’s not used to be people talking to her without either a rude comment or cracking some joke. I remember her having a very difficult time in school with her classmates.”


“It’s not fair,” Sam said. “Christa deserves so much better.”


“That’s for damn sure,” Al added.


Sam thought for a moment and then asked Al, “You said that Joseph is okay, right?” Al looked at him and knew that Sam was trying to change the subject.


Al tapped at a couple keys on the handlink. “Oh yeah. Joseph ends up going to a community college and is currently working as a manager at some restaurant.”


Sam nodded. “Then how come I’m still here? I mean if Joseph is okay and everything else is fine then-“


Al was already ahead of him. “We’ve already thought about that, Sam. Ziggy’s going through some scenarios so might take a little while so, in the meantime, just hang in there.”




After Sam had dropped off Joseph at his house, he drove back to the Sharpe residence. Sam was going over several of his own scenarios as to why he hadn’t Leaped yet. After all he’d prevented the stabbing of Joseph Wright and even Al said that he wasn’t in any further jeopardy. There was only one other aspect that Sam could see.


“Hey, Grandpa,” Sam said as he stepped inside the house. The elderly man looked up at Sam with a smile.


“Hey,” he said with a slight raspy tone, “how was your day, Edward?”


Sam knew that the school had contacted Eddie’s grandfather about the incident. Shrugging he said, “Well, you already know about...what happened today at lunch.”


Grandpa nodded knowingly. “Yes, Edward. The school called me just shortly after. It’s not everyday that something like this happens. I was scared out of my...my...” Grandpa stopped as he placed a hand firmly against his chest. Sam ran over to him but was waved off with his free hand. “I’m fine.”


Sam eyed him skeptically.  “You sure? You don’t…”


“I am your guardian, Edward, you are not mine. Now don’t be trying to change the subject." A few moments later, after catching his breath he continued.         "What you did today at school was foolish. Brave, but foolish. That boy could’ve hurt you.” There was a touch of sadness in the old man’s eyes. “I’ve already lost my son. I’m not about to lose my grandson, either. You’re very lucky that the school didn’t send you home as well.”


Sam nodded but wasn’t quite sure what to say. Grandpa then smiled at him.


“You know, Edward, after all, it’s in the Sharpe blood to look after those close to you. That Wright boy is a good kid and I’d hate to see anything happen to him...or you,” he said pointedly at Sam.


“I’m fine, Grandpa,” Sam started, “but it’s also my responsibility to look after you. If something were to happen to you then I would have nobody left.” At this moment, Sam felt a strong bond with the elder Sharpe. Perhaps a bit of Eddie’s emotions were left behind in the Leap, but whatever it was Sam felt compelled to make sure that Grandpa Sharpe was taken care of. “After all, there’s only one Grandpa Sharpe.”


The old man chuckled. “Well, thank God for that!” Both Sam and Grandpa shared a laugh.


Sam looked around the kitchen. “How about I make dinner tonight, Grandpa? Then, afterwards, I’m going to go up to my room and rest.” Sam decided to use that downtime to learn a little more about the young man.


Grandpa looked at him with an odd expression. “Usually, you just go practice with your BB gun. You know how important it is to keep up your practice.”


Sam hesitated. “Well, I guess with all that happened at school today… I just feel like I need some rest.”


After they had their dinner, simple macaroni and cheese with hot dog, Sam went to Eddie’s bedroom. His room was a bit plain, Sam noticed, as only a couple posters graced the walls. Sam noted with a grin that one of them was King Thunder, whose lead singer Sam had once Leaped into. Sam then went over to the chest of drawers and noticed a few models of stock cars. Sam grinned when his gaze fell upon a red and white car with the number 9 on it. Next to it was a picture of racecar driver Kyle Masters with the words emblazoned on top ‘Rookie of the Year 1990', complete with authentic autograph. A memory ebbed at the back of his mind as Sam tried to remember why that name sounded so familiar.


“Amazing,” came the voice of Al as he walked up behind Sam. Sam, startled, knocked the autographed card from its holder as he spun around. “Talk about your walk down the quantum memory lane.”


“Jeez, Al, don’t sneak up on me like that,” Sam hissed. “You know I don’t like that!”


“Take it easy there, Sam. I’m just here to give you an update. Ziggy says that the reason you haven’t Leaped yet is most likely one,” Al paused as he studied the read out, “Edward Sharpe the Second, your...I mean Eddie’s grandfather. Ziggy’s accessed some medical records for him and it states that he hadn’t been properly taken his medication in the past year and a half. Ziggy postulates that you’re still here to help him.”


Sam tipped his head. “Makes sense. Earlier this evening, he couldn’t even finish a sentence without having to catch his breath.”


“Just stay on him and get him to take his meds. When you do that you’ll Leap,” Al finished as he waved a hand.


Sam went back into the living room and found Grandpa Sharpe sitting in his beige recliner watching the evening news. Sam went over and sat on the couch next to him. “Grandpa,” Sam started. Grandpa looked over at Sam. “I know you haven’t been taking your medication.” Before Grandpa could get a word in Sam continued, “Listen. Until you start taking your medicine, I will not leave the situation alone. Although you may be my guardian, in turn, I am yours. You’re all I have left. I lost Mom and Dad when I was little and I’ll be damned if I’m going to lose the most important person in my life.”


Grandpa Sharpe stared at Sam in mute shock. “I...I promise, Edward.” Grandpa Sharpe then smiled as his eyes watered. “I sometimes forget that you’re growing up and so quickly. You look so much like your father did when he was your age.” A few tears managed to make their way down his cheek. “I miss him so much, Edward.”


Sam went over and gave the elder man a hug, which was returned with equal affection.





September 24, 1998



The next few days came and went and Sam Beckett remained in the life of Eddie Sharpe. Al was equally befuddled, as was Ziggy. Al and Sam went over what seemed like a thousand scenarios but nothing seemed to work. Al reported that, although Sam was able to convince Grandpa Sharpe to take his heart medication regularly, he unfortunately still passed away in April of 2000 from natural causes. The other day had been ‘Career Day’, where many companies had visited the school, handing out brochures and telling the students about the wonderful career opportunities that awaited them upon graduation. Joseph had come across an Army recruiter. Joseph had seemed interested but when questioned by Sam he simply made a joke out of it. On and off the rest of the day, Joseph would blurt out of nowhere ‘Go Army!’, earning laughs from Sam and the other students. Sam had spent the majority of the time with Joseph, Vanessa, and Christa. They had apparently formed their own group, hanging out in between classes, lunch, and after school. Sam was happy to know that he was starting to get Christa to open up as she and Sam had spent some time together, getting to know one another, in a sense. And apparently the following evening was the Back to School dance. Joseph had asked Vanessa and she’d accepted. Now Joseph was bugging Sam on who he was going to ask.


“I’m not sure if I’m going to go,” Sam started to say but brooked an argument from Joseph as they hung out in the large grass area just in front of the school. They were standing under a large tree that provided comfortable shade from the unrelenting heat.


“What? Dude, you can’t pass it up. Everyone’s gonna be there.”


Sam thought on what to say next. “I-I don’t even have anyone to ask...” He let the statement hang in the air but Joseph wouldn’t let it as he snapped his fingers.


“Hey! I got it. You can ask Christa Calavicci and we could double date.”


Sam immediately backpedaled. “Oh, uh, I’m not quite sure that’s a good idea.”


“Why not?” Joseph chuckled. “Man, I know for sure that she likes you. Vanessa told me. Plus I know for a fact that you have the hots for her.” Sam blushed madly and swiftly shook his head.


“Trust me, Joe, it’s not like that. I just happen to think that she’s a nice girl who’s had things rather rough.” Joseph went up to Sam and slapped him on the shoulder.


“Sure, Ed, you just keep telling yourself that and maybe one day you’ll believe the lie.”


Sam was about to further deny the accusation when they were met by Vanessa and Christa. Joseph smiled as he went up to Vanessa and they shared a brief kiss, with Sam and Christa looking away.


“So,” Vanessa said as she looked at Sam, “you got a date for the dance, Eddie?”


Joseph answered before Sam could. “Ol’ E Money here says that he isn’t going.” Sam smiled an apology at the girls but soon noticed a strange look of disappointment from Christa. Sam narrowed his eyes in confusion.


“That’s too bad,” Vanessa said after a moment. She glanced over at Christa and then said, “Because I know someone who wanted to go with you.”


Christa slapped Vanessa playfully on the arm. Vanessa ignored it as she winked at Sam.


Joseph then said to Sam as he and Vanessa started walking away, “Hey, Eddie. I’ll catch up with you after class. Vanessa and I are gonna head over to McDonald’s across the street to get something to eat before the bell rings. Later.” Sam waved at him as he and Vanessa left. After a moment it was just he and Christa. Sam could tell that the girl was nervous so he decided to try and lighten the mood.


“Funny,” Sam started to say.


“What’s funny?” Christa asked. Sam shrugged nonchalantly.


“You know, Joseph and Vanessa trying to play matchmaker.” He started to chuckle when he saw that Christa wasn’t sharing in the mood.


“Uh... yeah, funny.” She sounded a bit distant as she looked away.


“What’s the matter?” Sam asked with genuine concern as he took a half step closer.


“Oh, it’s nothing. I mean,” she started to say something but it seemed like she was trying to hide her true feelings. Sam urged her to continue.


“It’s just that no one wants to be seen with a freak,” she blurted out as she tried valiantly to not cry.


“You’re not a…” Sam started to say but was cut off by an angered Christa, her eyes flashing with a mixture of anger and immense pain—a pain that had been felt for way too long.


“Look at my face, Eddie!” She shouted as she pointed towards her scarred face. “How can you say that I’m not?” She started to cry.


Sam went up to her and hugged her.  “What I see is not a freak but a beautiful young woman,” Sam said to Christa as she wiped away the tears rolling down her cheeks. “Any man who would throw away a chance to be with someone like you isn’t worth trying to get.” As soon as the words left his mouth, am then realized for himself that Christa did in fact have some strong feelings for Eddie Sharpe and, in the past four days, Sam had been indirectly blowing her off, reinforcing her fears and suspicions. Her feelings seemed to be stronger than just a mere crush. Damn it, Sam mentally screamed at himself.


“Christa,” Sam said as he leaned back and stared into her blue eyes, “it would be an honor if you would accompany me to the Back to School dance tomorrow night.”


Christa looked at Sam skeptically. “I don’t need a pity date, Eddie.” She watched as he shook his head. "Just admit it, you feel sorry." Christa raised her eyebrows. "Or is it that you just don't want to feel guilty?"


“It’s not a pity date,” he began, "nor do I feel guilty or obligated. It's me taking the most beautiful girl in Huntington High to a dance.”


Christa started to laugh at Sam’s comment but when she looked into his eyes she saw no joke but an honest feeling.  She blinked up at him. “You really mean that?”


“I would be no better than those other guys if I didn’t.”


This brought out a smile on her face that Sam hadn’t seen before, a genuine smile. “I’d like that. I’d like it a lot.” Both her and Sam shared the smile. After a moment she then cocked an eyebrow at Sam. “There’s just one catch,” she said with a grin.


“What’s that?” Sam asked curiously.


“Meeting my dad.”



September 5, 1998

Calavicci Residence

6:25 PM


Sam pulled up into the long, narrow driveway and shut off the engine. He felt as if he had butterflies in his stomach. Here he was, in the persona of a teenager who was taking out a girl for the first time, a girl who just happened to be Admiral Albert Calavicci’s youngest daughter. Sam glanced in the rear view mirror of the truck, straightening his jacket collar and taking a moment to look at his reflection. Eddie’s brown eyes stared back at him and Eddie seemed just as nervous as Sam. Taking a deep breath, he stepped out of the truck, shut the door, and made his way up the walkway that wound at a turn and then lead straight to the front door of the tan and white house.


“Can’t believe I’m doing this,” Sam said to himself as he knocked on the door. A few moments later, the door opened and the pleasant face of Beth Calavicci was looking at him.


“Hello. You must be Eddie, Christa’s date. Come in.” Sam smiled nervously as he stepped inside the house. As Beth closed the door behind him, she said, “Christa’s still getting ready. She’ll be down in a few minutes.”


Sam looked at the pictures that graced the living room walls as he waited. Quite a few of them were of the Calavicci girls, some of Al in his younger days, as well as Beth, but one particularly caught his attention. It was a picture of himself and Al, standing outside a diner. Sam had his arm around Al and both were smiling widely into the camera. Below the picture was the caption ‘Sam and Al - 1985'.


“That’s Christa’s Uncle Sam,” Beth said as she stood behind Sam. Sam turned around. “Well, he’s really her godfather but Christa’s always just called him ‘Uncle Sam’. Both he and Christa’s father work for the government,” she said.


Christa’s…godfather? Sam thought with wide eyes. “Oh, boy,” he muttered under his breath just as the room was filled with another voice.


“Al?” Sam asked, earning a surprised look from both Beth and the Al of 1998.


“You seem to know me,” the past version of Al said. “You must be Eddie.”


Sam nodded. “Y-yes, sir. I’m here to pick Christa up for the dance.”


Al nodded.  “Are you the same Eddie that was involved in that fight earlier this week at school?”


Sam slowly nodded. 


“Yeah, Christa was telling us about that. I almost pulled her out of that damn school but her mother talked me out of it,” Al was saying as he tossed a glance over towards his wife.


“I was trying to stop it from happening,” Sam said as Al nodded and then gave Sam a quizzical look. Sam questioned it after a moment of hesitation.


“Oh, it’s nothing. When you just made that comment you sounded like someone I know.”


“Y-yeah, I...get that a lot,” Sam remarked. Trying to come up with some small talk before Christa came down, Sam said hesitantly, “So, Christa tells me that you were in the Navy.”


“Yes. Of course, I’m retired now at the rank of Rear Admiral. The Navy has done a lot of good for me over the years. Of course I’ve had my shares of heartache as well. Lost a very close friend of mine in ‘Nam. Chip Ferguson was his name.” Al shook his head. "Despite the downfalls, the Navy had also provided for me over the years. The Navy instilled in me honor, integrity, and discipline, and it could do the same for you."


Sam knew all too well of Al’s naval history but as far as this version of Al was concerned he wasn’t Sam Beckett but seventeen-year-old Eddie Sharpe, who obviously wouldn’t know any of this. “I can’t imagine how... horrific something like that could be.”


1998 Al turned and looked at Sam. Changing the subject, he said, “Have you thought about what you’re going to do after you graduate?”


“Don’t pester the boy,” Beth said sternly to Al.


“It’s okay,” Sam said. “In fact, the other day at school was Career Day. I saw a recruiter from the Navy down there and we talked for a bit.”


“And what’d you think?” 1998 Al asked with curiosity.


“Well,” Sam hedged but before he could finish Christa came down the stairs, wearing a light blue dress that came down to her knees and a white ribbon in her hair.


“There’s my beautiful daughter,” Beth said as she went over to Christa. Christa looked up and smiled at Sam, who returned it with equal affect. Beth and Christa began talking to each other as Beth adjusted Christa's ribbon.


“Listen, kid,” 1998 Al said as he leaned forward and whispered in Sam’s ear, “don’t get any hinky ideas, okay? Just take her to the dance, have a good time, and bring her back. If I hear that you tried anything-“


“Al!” Beth exclaimed as she obviously heard what Al was telling Sam.


“C’mon, Dad,” Christa added. “It’s just a dance. Relax, will ya?”


1998 Al nodded slowly but gave Sam an ‘I’ll be watching’ look as Sam and Christa made their way towards the door.


“Don’t worry, sir,” Sam said to Al as he looked back, “I’ll bring her back safely.”



Huntington High School Gymnasium

7:15 PM



When Sam and Christa arrived at the gymnasium where the dance was being held, they were promptly met by Joseph and Vanessa, who were smiling and holding hands. Both were dressed casually. Joseph went up to Sam as Vanessa pulled Christa in the opposite direction towards the refreshments table where they started talking.


“So,” Joseph said as he draped an arm over Sam’s shoulders, “how goes the date?”


Sam nodded. “Pretty good. The place seems to be…ah…jumping,” he commented as he glanced about the sea of teenagers dancing on the gym floor. The song playing was some tune that Sam didn’t recognize.


“Yeah, it sure is,” Joseph added as he looked over at Vanessa. “Vanessa and I got here about fifteen minutes ago and this place was already packed.”


Sam nodded as he glanced over towards the girls at the refreshment table.


Joseph caught it and said, “Wonder what they’re talking about over there?”


Sam chuckled. “Don’t know and I’m afraid to find out.”


A few minutes later, the girls came back, Vanessa sliding her hand in Joseph’s as Christa stood next to Sam, not knowing whether or not try and hold his hand. Sam caught it and reached out his hand and held hers. Christa blushed as she held his hand lightly.


“Hey,” Joseph said after a moment as he watched the band onstage conversing amongst themselves, “I think they’re going to start the slow dance soon.”


The Imaging Chamber door opened, the illuminated apparition appearing on stage in front of the lead singer. Al stepped through and closed the door. Sam then glanced back at the trio.


“I’ll be right back,” Sam said. “I...uh…have to answer a call of nature.” He excused himself and headed towards the restrooms on the other side of the gymnasium. When Al met up with him, the Admiral had a goofy smile on his face.


“How’s the dance, Sam?”


“Going fine. I just got here after being drilled by...you.” Al laughed at Sam.


“Yeah, I remember that night Eddie came by. At first I couldn’t figure out why the kid was so nervous,” Al said as he earned an incredulous look from the Leaper. Al dismissed it and continued. “At first he reminded me of a lot of you just by the way he spoke and it didn’t make much sense till now. I mean I had my theories that Eddie might have been my time lost friend, but back then it seemed a bit... ridiculous.”


“Do you have any new news for me?” Sam asked.


The hologram nodded.  “Well, you managed to change history again.” The hologram checked the read out on the handlink. “Both Eddie and Joseph join the military after graduation but Joseph opted for the Army while Eddie went into the Navy after a conversation that I had with the kid.” Al smiled but it was short lived.


“That’s great,” Sam said but he could tell by the look on Al’s face that there was more to say.


“In July of 2003, the unit Joseph Wright was in was sent to Iraq,” Al’s voice then had a hint of sadness in it. “Just shortly after arriving his unit was attacked. Joseph was able to save the lives of four of his fellow soldiers but at the cost of his own.” Al and Sam glanced up at the trio across the room where Joseph was having an animated conversation with the girls, earning laughs and a few kisses on the cheek from Vanessa.


“I can’t believe this, Al,” Sam was saying. “I only delayed his death by five years?”


“Originally,” Al said, “that unit suffered a great loss. Those four soldiers didn’t make it but when you changed history and Joseph went into the service those lives were spared. A year later their unit was able to go home.”


Al followed Sam back towards the trio as Sam asked him another question. “What happens to Eddie?”


When Sam came up to the group the DJ had just started to play a slow song, 'Everything I Do', which Sam just happened to remember was the theme for that Kevin Costner film 'Robin Hood'. Joseph and Vanessa went out to the dance floor and started to slow dance as Sam led Christa on the floor. She slowly placed her hand on Sam’s shoulder as they began to dance.


“Everything turns out fine for Eddie and Christa,” Al said as he watched them dance, a smile on his face. “In fact, Beth and I are meeting Christa for dinner tonight. She’s visiting from graduate school. She told me on the phone that she has some big news for Beth and me and asked us to meet her for dinner. As for Eddie, he’s still in the Navy and has recently accepted a commission.”


Even as Al spoke, Sam felt the familiar tingle begin to take hold as he leaned back and looked into Christa’s eyes. She looked back at him, smiling. Sam briefly glanced over at Joseph who, behind Vanessa’s back, flashed him thumbs up. Christa hesitated momentarily but then she let her feelings guide her and she leaned in for the kiss...


And Sam Beckett Leaped.



Part Five

Blue Moon Restaurant

Stallion Springs, New Mexico



Al and Beth sat at the table, the anticipation nearly overwhelming. They had arrived about an hour and a half after Sam had Leaped. Christa had been awfully mysterious about why she had wanted them to meet her at the restaurant and she was running late. So, the only thing that Al and Beth could do was wait.


Beth looked at her husband and smiled just as a young couple approached them. The first person they immediately recognized and their smiles broadened – their lovely youngest daughter Christa. But who was this gentleman who was walking beside her?


“Hi, Mom, Dad,” Christa said with a grin, drawing her companion to sit next to her.


Al frowned slightly as he looked at the young man, a niggling in the back of his mind. The man looked familiar but for some reason, he couldn’t place the face. “Have I seen you somewhere before?” he questioned.


“Yes, sir,” the gentleman told him, clearly confused by the Admiral’s question. “I work for you, sir. Ensign Ed Sharpe. I helped you to your feet a couple of months back, just after being assigned to Project Quantum Leap.”


At that moment, Al remembered the young guard and the circumstances around finding himself on the floor – when he found out the truth about Marilyn Hick’s suicide attempt – and smiled at the young Naval officer. "I remember you, Ensign. I've read your file. And I've spoken with some of the officers that you had served under before me. They all had nothing but great things to say about you. I was told how you aided in the capture of those nozzles who were able to breach the security at the base where you were stationed."


“Thank you, sir,” Ed told Al, obviously pleased with the praise he had just received.


“Next question,” Al told him, with a glance towards Christa. “What are you doing with my daughter?”


“Daddy!” Christa exclaimed, astonished by his bluntness.


Ed squeezed her hand gently. “It’s okay, Christa. He’s just taking care of his family.” Turning his attention to Al, he answered the demand. “I’m sure that you remember me taking Christa out to the Back to School Dance in high school; you convinced me to join the Navy that day. Well, sir, Christa and I had kept in touch through the years and, when I was assigned to PQL, we became reacquainted and…”


Christa interrupted, clearly not in the mood to play her father’s ‘grill the boy’ game. “We’ve been dating for the last couple of years, Dad,” she told him with confidence. “He’s managed to get a day off to see me every time I’ve come back home and he’s come down to visit me on occasion as well.”


Al looked around the table and found that he seemed to be the only one not in the know about Christa’s relationship.


“Beth, you knew about this? And you didn’t tell me?”


“I asked her not to tell you, Dad,” Christa came to her mother’s defense. Getting an astonished look from her father, she explained, “No guy is ever good enough for you with us girls, Dad. You’re an overprotective monstrosity, as Jules says. I just wanted to try out the waters first to see how you would react.”


“Two years of trying out the water?” Al questioned, gaining an exasperated look from his daughter. He sighed. “Okay, okay. I surrender already.”


A moment later, the waiter came up to the table and asked them what they wanted to order. After the orders were placed, they handed the menus back to the waiter who hurried off towards the kitchen.


“So,” Al continued once the waiter was out of hearing range. “This was the big news. You’re dating.”


Christa hesitated, although it was obvious that she was dying to just blurt out whatever was on her mind. “Actually, that was just the prologue.” Gaining a questioning look from both of her parents, her smile broadened. “Mom, Dad,” she said as she glanced over at Ed, who was equally pleased. She paused as she studied their eager expressions. “We’re getting married!”


“Oh, honey!” Beth exclaimed, hurrying from her chair to hug her daughter. “I’m so happy for you!”


Al paused for a moment, thinking about his daughter’s words as Beth hugged her and Ed. When the hugs were done and Beth had returned to her chair, he reached over for Christa’s hand, giving her a smile.


“I’m very happy for you, Babydoll,” he told her, pride clear in his eyes. His focus shifted towards Ed. “I expect you to keep my daughter safe at all times, Ensign.”


Ed smiled at his words. “No worries, sir. It’s in the Sharpe blood to look after those close to us.”


As the four of them began to discuss wedding ceremony plans, their meals arrived. Soon, it was as if Ed had always been part of the family as they all laughed about color suggestions and such. Then, the subject fell on Joseph Wright and the mood at the table shifted.


"I miss him a lot," Ed said with sorrow heavy in his tone. Christa placed a hand on his shoulder and offered him a warm smile. "He was a good man. Can't believe it's been almost four years."


"Next Tuesday, right?" Christa asked. Ed nodded.


"I still keep in touch with his parents and his old girlfriend, Vanessa." Ed laughed as he recalled one of many fond memories. "I couldn't imagine that they would've lasted five years. Joseph was always after the girls, having a new crush each week it seemed. I remember getting a call from Joe just after he got to Iraq. Said that he was going to ask Vanessa to marry him. A couple weeks later I get a call saying that he was dead." Ed took a breath and letting it out slowly looked over at Christa and smiled sadly.


“I know Joe wouldn’t want us dwelling on missing him so when we are about to start our own life together,” Christa told him, gently hugging him.


Ed’s smile broadened at her words as he thought about Joe and about Christa’s statement. “You are right on that, honey,” he told her, leaning to kiss her lovingly.


Al looked on with pure joy in his heart. While these turns of events had startled him, he knew from the look in the boy’s eyes that Ed truly loved his daughter. And Al had a good feeling already about this upcoming marriage being a long and happy one. As he had said many times before in the past twelve years, the good deeds of Samuel Beckett were never ending. Al hoped that Sam knew just how much good he had truly done, not only for the countless strangers that he'd helped but for his own family and that of his best friend as well.


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