Episode 1220
Someone To Watch Over Me

Various leaps from 2005 - 2007

Washington, D.C. and San Diego, California

In a series of leaps, Sam finds that saving the life of his host, a highly influential up-and-coming Senator, isn’t as easy as it seems, especially after he makes a terrible mistake that will alter Al’s life immeasurably.

Written By:

Katherine Freymuth

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.




There's a somebody I'm longing to see
I hope that he turns out to be
Someone who'll watch over me

I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood
I know I could always be good to
One who'll watch over me.

Although he may not be the man some
Girls think of as handsome
To my heart he carries the key!

Won't you tell him please to put on some speed?
Follow my lead, oh, how I need
Someone to watch over me!



 “Someone to Watch Over Me”

Lyrics and Music by

George and Ira Gershwin



The mind-bending twisting turning of the leap in always seemed to catch Sam off-guard even under the best of circumstances. He never knew where or when he would leap, which was disorienting enough in his opinion. But when the leap in was like this one, it was all the worse. As reality met him, he felt a not quite hard and yet quite large object collide with him. His eyes widened in surprise as he realized that he was on his way to kiss the floor.


He tried to catch himself from falling but instead found the same not-so-hard object, which gave a peculiarly feminine squeal as he pulled it down with him. Without any success in preventing it, he hit the floor hard, causing him to wince.


When he finally opened his eyes, he got a good look at the not-so-hard object that he had brought down with him. The look on the woman’s face was that of pure anger. What was worse, he found that the woman was actually nearly completely underneath him.


“Would you get off of me, you clumsy oaf?!” the woman demanded, pushing him away from her.


Even as Sam tried to right himself, the only thing he could say was a familiar two-word phrase.


“Ohh, boy!”





Washington, D.C.

Monday, May 8th, 2006

11:58 AM EST


“Please, let me....” Sam started as he stood reaching out a hand towards the woman he had inadvertently toppled.


“Let you what? Continue to flail around and hurt me some more? I think not,” the woman said, aggravated. Knocking the proffered hand away, she stood up on her own, straightening her skirt as she did so. “You would think that people in this building would know how to look where they were going.”


Sam couldn't help but cringe at her words. He wasn't sure exactly where he was just yet but, from the way the woman was speaking, this was the one place where people would know how to walk. Looking at her doing her best to gather her papers from the floor, he leaned down as well and began to gather them up with her. 


“Please forgive me, ma'am. I didn't see you and I surely...”


“That's quite obvious or we wouldn't have been sprawled out on the floor.”


Sam sighed and shook his head good-naturedly before he smiled. “Yes, ma'am.” But with the way that his words came out from his smile, he had a feeling that they didn't come out in the way that he meant. 


She growled under her breath, snatching papers from his grasp before standing erect. “Just watch your step next time,” she told him before huffing in frustration as she looked at her wristwatch. “Just great,” she said sarcastically. “Five minute window and I miss it, thanks to you.” She sighed again and then leaned against the wall. “I should have never retired from the Navy. At least the Navy didn’t have me running around Washington looking for a Senator who will only be able to see me within a five-minute window. This is insane!”


Sam empathized with the woman leaning against the wall. “Honestly, I'm sorry,” he said once more.


The woman shook her head slightly. “It's okay. It’s not really your fault. It’s just been… one of those days. Besides, it's probably a pointless meeting anyway. I'll just make arrangements later,” she told the man who had been more than kind even against the best attitude that she could give out. “I suppose I should apologize too. I was in too much of a hurry to notice where I was going. May I make it up to you? I haven't eaten lunch yet.” She chuckled slightly. “And I can just imagine what my mom would say if I was rude enough not to ask you to join me.”


“I accept,” Sam told her with a smile.


She extended her hand to him. “Captain Julianna Sherman-Calavicci,” she introduced herself with a gentle smile.


Sam couldn’t help but smile through his surprise. With a last name like Sherman-Calavicci, it was obvious that this woman was none other than one of Al’s daughters. Seeing her look directly into his eyes, he blinked and reached out to take her hand gingerly. “Very nice to meet you, Captain.  I'm...”


“Senator Blaize! Senator Blaize!” someone called out and Sam turned his head to see a middle-aged man come running up to him. “Senator Blaize! You're needed in the meeting. Did you forget about it? Excuse me, ma'am. The Senator needs to leave... now.”


Sam looked between Julianna and the man who had obviously come to retrieve him before facing Julianna again. “It was a pleasure, Captain Sherman-Calavicci,” he told her with a smile. “Umm… listen. Perhaps I'll take you up on that offer later. If you'll check in my office with my secretary, I'll meet you for dinner... my treat,” he said as he started off, practically being pulled away. 


Julianna stared with surprise, watching Sam as the man - probably his aide - started to pull him away. Somehow, she managed to say one sentence before the Senator was out of her sight.


“I don't think that'll be a problem,” she murmured. Shaking her head, she started towards the exit, her stomach rumbling in protest of a lack of a meal.


Sam looked confused and more than a little lost while he sat at the conference table, listening to the banter that was occurring in front of him. Sure, he'd had his share of meetings with Congressmen and Senators but that was on the other side of the table. In Sam’s opinion, the meeting went as sour as sour could be and he was more than grateful when it was at last adjourned, allowing him to leave the meeting with the hope that he hadn’t just ruined Senator Blaize’s reputation. As he left the room, he noticed Al on the other side of the hallway, seemingly leaning against the wall.


“Where have you been?” he hissed at Al. “I just spent two hours in that room trying to at least look like I understood what was going on. I really could have used your help, you know!”


“Sorry, Sam,” Al said quietly, starting to walk along the hallway. “I got here as soon as I could. The… the guy in the Waiting Room thinks an angel took him away to save him from that meeting you just came out of.”


“Well, he isn’t far from the truth if what I just heard in there is any indication.” Sam sighed slightly. “Al… what am I here to do?” The moment that Al turned to him and gave him a look, Sam stopped and just clamped his mouth shut for a moment. When Al didn't start to answer his questions, Sam started over again.  “All right, Al. What do you have?         


Al hesitated to answer him right away, knowing that Sam wasn’t going to like what he was going to say. “Your name is Senator Tuyen Van Blaize…”


“Twen?” Sam questioned with a frown. “From the nameplate in that conference room, it looks like it’s pronounced ‘two-yen’.”


“Yeah, well, it’s ‘twen’. Trust me. Anyway,” Al continued, giving Sam a slight frown for the interruption, “you’re from the State of California and you’re…” He frowned again, avoiding Sam’s eyes, “you’re a North Vietnamese immigrant. You… I mean Blaize… left Vietnam with his mother when he was only ten years old. His father, one Kendall Blaize, was an African-American G.I. who…” Al sighed, “who was killed three months after Blaize was born. It’s currently…” He hit the side of the handlink as he squinted at the screen, “May 8th, 2006.” He paused when he read the date and frowned a little. “The day of that incident in Hope Springs.” He shivered physically, unsure why May 8th, 2006, gave him the serious heebie jeebies, before continuing. “And you are currently in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. As for why you are here… well, Ziggy… Ziggy isn't quite sure, yet. She’s thinking that you are here just to... hold down the fort until she can figure out exactly what it is that you are here to do.”


“Then why is Julianna here?”


“Julianna is here?” Al questioned, looking around with a frown. “Where?”


“Well, she isn’t here now. But she was here. What's going on with her? This is your past, right, Al? I mean, you would know... wouldn't you?” he asked with a questioning look. If anyone should know why someone in Al’s family was here, Al would know. Wouldn't he?


“Uh...” Al started before consulting the handlink and then looking back at him. Sam gave him one of those 'I don't believe this!' looks before Al again focused on the handlink and confessed, “I don't know why Julianna is here.”


Sam rolled his eyes.


“Sam, she left nearly four years ago to get herself together,” Al told him, looking at him again. “She was pretty messed up emotionally, what with a miscarriage, her fiancé leaving her, a difficult childbirth…” He stopped a moment, glancing slightly at Sam before adding, in a murmur, “Unrequited love…” He took a deep breath and looked at Sam plainly. “So, she went off in search of herself with her little boy Jude. I knew she was on the east coast for a while and I knew she was in D.C. but, as far as I knew, she was working as a freelance security consultant. Why she’d be wandering around these halls…” He raised the handlink once again. “Besides, you aren’t here for her. You’re here to hold the fort while I talk to Blaize and we try to figure out why you are here.”


“Why don’t you ask Ziggy if I’m here for Julianna?” Sam insisted.


Al glared at him. “I did, Sam. See?” He raised the handlink for Sam to read. “Only a forty-three percent chance you’re here for Julianna.”


“Well, then, why is she here if I’m not here for her?” Sam countered.


Al huffed in frustration. “You know, there is such a thing as a coincidence, Sam. Not everything in this world happens because God, Fate, Time, or Whatever wants you to fix it. Besides,” he added with a little bit of a cringe, “the last person Jules needs to be around is the likes of Blaize.”


Sam did a bit of a double take. “Care to enlighten me on why you are so all totally certain that her being near me... Blaize... or having anything to do with him would be dangerous for her? Or are you just basing their proximity or possible future interactions on your own enlightened experiences with politicians?”


Al crossed his arms and glared at Sam at his words. “My feelings concerning my daughter and whom she chooses to be with in any capacity has nothing to do with this leap, Sam, nor does it have anything to do with Tuyen Van Blaize’s chosen profession,” he told him bluntly. “Now... do you want me to help you to Blaize's office or would you rather walk around looking like a little lost puppy for the rest of the leap?”


For a few seconds, Sam toyed with the idea of just walking back into the building and having the receptionist at the main desk call a cab for him. But he also considered the fact that if the Senator had driven himself, it would be foolish to not return to his office in the same manner he... Blaize... had left it.


“Yes, help me to his office,” Sam finally said then immediately added before a satisfied smirk could come across the Observer's face, “But only if you agree to at least try to keep an open mind where Blaize is concerned.”


“I always have an open mind, Sam,” Al told him plainly. Somehow, even though Sam accepted Al’s help, the Admiral’s words didn’t ring true in Sam’s ears.



Washington, D.C.

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

1:30 PM EST


Julianna Contessa Sherman-Calavicci, former Captain of the United States Navy, slowly walked into the small restaurant, holding the hand of her only son. Wearing a pair of jeans with a United States Navy t-shirt and her hair pulled back into a thick ponytail, one would have thought that she was simply there to feed herself and her son, Jude Albert – he was going to be four years old in only a month. Julianna’s intentions, however, were quite different. Although she enjoyed this particular restaurant for its great Italian food, food was the furthest thing from her mind.


The phone call had come as a surprise to her. She hadn’t expected to hear from her ex-fiancé, Thomas Henson, much less be asked to meet him for lunch at the restaurant they had frequented while they were dating. He didn’t explain why he was in Washington, D.C.; he had moved to Bangor to live with his current wife and had gotten a job as an airline pilot. Whatever the reason for the invitation to lunch, Julianna had a bad feeling about this meeting.


Looking around the restaurant carefully, she saw Thomas sitting on the far side of the restaurant, his hands folded on top of the table. Carefully, she guided Jude through the restaurant and just stood at the edge of the table. She looked with questioning at the man she thought she would never see again.


“Hello, Thomas,” she greeted without anything other than courtesy.


Thomas turned his head towards her before giving her a small smile. “Hello, Julianna. It’s… it’s good to see you again.” His eyes caught sight of the small boy holding her hand. “And you must be my little Jude.”


Jude moved closer to his mother, not saying a word as he stared at the strange man who knew his name. He recognized the man from the pictures he had seen of him, but he wasn’t sure that he liked actually being addressed by him.


Thomas frowned slightly at his son’s reaction and looked up at Julianna. “You didn’t tell him about me?”


Jules gave him a little glare. “Of course, I did, Thomas. But the only times he’s ever seen you were in pictures.”


Thomas’ eyes grew soft at her words before nodding. “Of course,” he said quietly. “Umm… have… have a seat,” he offered. “I haven’t ordered yet. I figured I’d wait until you arrived.”


Jules didn’t move for a long moment before she exhaled and coaxed her son into the booth, following him in. “Water, please,” she told the waitress who came up. “And a chocolate milk for my son.”


She and Thomas made small talk while the waitress was away getting the drinks. But once Jude had his milk and a toy in his hands, Julianna could no longer just make nonsensical conversation.


“Thomas,” she finally said softly, “you have something on your mind. So, why don’t you just come out and say what it is rather than wasting our time?”


He gave a little smirk at her words. “You never did mince words,” he commented with a shake of his head. “I’m concerned, Julianna.”


“About what?”


“About Jude and the environment he’s being raised in,” he said bluntly, gaining a startled look from the woman he had almost married. “Jules, you have to admit that a growing boy needs his father.”


“I don’t know,” Julianna countered. “Stephen Beckett seems to be a well-adjusted boy.”


Thomas shook his head and rolled his eyes. “Beckett again.”


“What’s that supposed to mean?” she demanded with indignation.


“Your infatuation with that man is what broke us up in the first place, Julianna, so don’t act so damn full of yourself.”


“Did I mention Sam? Seems to me I’m not the one with the Beckett fixation. I’ve gotten over Sam but apparently you haven’t.”


“Hey, I’m not the one who was calling out his name in the middle of the night. Remember?” Seeing Julianna gasp slightly and noticing the attention they were attracting, Thomas took a deep breath and lowered his voice. “Jules, please, I didn’t ask you to come all the way down here just to get into an argument with you.”


“No, you just came all the way down from Maine to lecture me on my parenting skills and to open old wounds,” Julianna berated with underlying anger.


“Julianna…” Thomas started frustration clear in his voice. He exhaled and shook his head. “Let’s… let’s start all over. Okay?” He took the silence from his former lover as consent to his suggestion. “What… what I’m saying is… I think Jude would be far better with Heidi and me. He’d have all of Maine as his back yard, the best schools in the country…”


“Are… are you saying you want to take my son from me?” Jules asked with a frown of disbelief.


Thomas leaned forward, determination suddenly covering his face. “I am saying that I have a right to raise my son, Julianna. I have the right to make sure that he is raised in a healthy and stable environment with people who will love him.”


“He already has that. And he has it without your help.”


“You call being put into daycare five days out of the week stable? You call that…” He lowered his voice to avoid being overheard. “…that complex healthy for a growing boy? What about you? What do you do for a living, Julianna? What kind of steady work does a freelance security consultant get?”


Jules glared at him in a way that would make generals think twice. “I do very well, thank you very much, and Jude is well-cared for. What about you, Thomas? What kind of man leaves his pregnant fiancée and runs off with some floozy he met in a bar? What kind of steady schedule does an airline pilot get? Jude would be spending his childhood being raised by his father’s wife - who doesn’t even want children - because his father is too busy flying all over the whole damn world to raise his own son!”


“At least he wouldn’t be breathing recycled or polluted air all through his childhood,” Thomas told her bluntly before huffing and turning slightly towards his briefcase, which sat beside him on the booth seat. “This is getting us nowhere. I should have listened to my lawyer and just mailed the papers but, no, I had to see you again.” He looked at the little boy and his face softened. “I had to see my son.” He sighed. “Listen, I wish it didn’t have to come to this, Jules. I really do. But it’s obvious that you just aren’t willing to listen to reason.” Pulling out a small stack of papers, he presented them over to Julianna. “I’m suing you for custody of our son.”


Julianna didn’t reach for the papers. Instead, she stared at him for a long moment, shock plain on her face, before she could say a word. “What?” she whispered, her voice reflecting the fight-or-flight reaction that had become almost instinctive for her.


“You’ve left me with no other choice,” he told her bluntly. “You’re completely irrational, you refuse to even allow me to take him back with me to Bangor…”


“Because you have no right to him!” Jules replied vehemently. “You abandoned us when we needed you the most. Instead of helping me with my emotional problems, you ran away and while I was still pregnant! What kind of responsible parent is that?”


Seeing that Julianna wasn’t going to accept the papers, he set them down in front of her and stood up. “I’m not going to sit here and argue about this with you, Jules. I want my son and I intend to take him home with me to Bangor.” Gathering his briefcase and his jacket, he looked into Julianna’s eyes firmly. “I suggest you find a good lawyer, Jules. You’re going to need it.” Without waiting for a reply, he left the restaurant while Julianna sat with her son, dumbfounded at the sudden turn of events in their lives.


“Mama?” Jude’s obviously frightened voice broke through her fog. “I don’t like him. He’s mean.”


It took Julianna a moment to realize that her heated conversation had affected her son as well. Jude had always been a shy, sensitive child. While Julianna never coddled him, she was all too aware, at the moment, that her son needed some reassurance that everything was okay. Hell, she needed reassurance herself. She couldn’t lose Jude. She was certain that she’d die if anything should happen to her only child.


Reaching over, she hugged him gently and rubbed his back to help clear the fright away. Then, once her own mind was settled that his fears were relieved, she pulled out her cell phone and start dialing a well-memorized telephone number. She needed to talk to someone… and her father seemed like the right person to talk to.




Freedom, New Hampshire

Saturday, April 30, 2005

30th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon 

10:07AM EST


“Today, we look back on the past. We look back on a conflict that has brought so much sorrow to so many. Thirty years ago today, the Fall of Saigon changed the face of the Earth. It created a new nation, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and created new enemies. Now, as we stand in front of this great memorial to those who have fought and died in the Vietnam conflict, we must look upon ourselves and think how that war has changed us, not only as individuals but also as a nation.”


The man wasn’t paying too much attention to what was being said on the television. He was far too busy looking through the various papers and articles he’d collected in the last few months concerning the person who was speaking. What he was learning about Senator Tuyen Van Blaize only confirmed what he was beginning to believe. ‘The man is a damned North Vietnamese Commie, all right.’


Blaize continued his speech in front of the Vietnam Memorial. “I want to tell you a story. It’s about a Vietnamese man whom I had once called family. He was my mother’s brother. He was also a member of the North Vietnamese Army during the war we are here to remember. His name was Colonel Trung Dang.”


The man froze at the name he heard, the papers now long forgotten for what the Senator was saying. ‘That heartless, murdering scum of hell, Colonel Dang is his uncle! No wonder the Commie bastard looks familiar!’


“Colonel Dang killed and tortured literally hundreds of American and South Vietnamese soldiers. To the North Vietnamese, my uncle was a patriot. To those who suffered by his hand, whether directly or indirectly, he was a monster.  As Colonel Dang’s nephew, I grew up hearing stories about what he had done and those stories are still with me to this day.


“I am proud to be here this day to remember those souls who have died in defense of this country. It is the horrors such as my uncle caused that we remember today. It is these horrors that prevent us from ever finding true peace.”


“Shut up! Shut the hell up, you stinkin’ Commie gook!” the man screamed at the television, grabbing a baseball bat and smashing the television’s glassy surface. A spark here and there told that the television would never work again as the man used every foul word in the English language to describe his feelings about the Senator.


“Stinkin’ Commie bastard,” he finally muttered, going into the kitchen. Searching the kitchen, he found the bottle of Jack Daniels and pulled down a tumbler before pouring a tall glassful. He drank half of the glass before refilling it and carrying both the glass and the bottle of bourbon into his living room, drinking the glass as he walked. Then, without caring whether he spilled any of the liquor or not, he slumped into his couch and began drinking, determined to drown out the screams of his buddies whom Dang tortured and killed, the faces of his buddies whom Dang just let starve to death, and the memories of the brave men who finally just gave up because Dang’s lies finally convinced them that nobody cared. 


After the third time he had passed out and then woke up hours later, he looked around his house and finally noticed the wreck he had created. His television’s shattered screen and the many empty and broken bottles of Jack Daniels and other assorted liquor reminded him of why he had begun his hard drinking in the first place.


‘Blaize!’ the man thought viciously. ‘That bastard has to be stopped! I’m not about to let Dang’s nephew get his lying bloodstained hands on any more power in this country!’ Stumbling to his feet, he wobbled towards the bathroom, his bloodshot eyes now filled with clear intent. ‘Senator Blaize is just gonna have to die,’ he thought as he stripped from his alcohol-laden clothes and stepped into the shower. ‘And being the only one in this country who sees through his damnable lies, I’m just the man to do it too!’






Washington, D.C.

Monday, May 8th, 2006

4:16 PM EST


The drive to Senator Tuyen Van Blaize’s office, after a filling lunch at one of Al’s favorite hangouts, turned out to be uneventful. With a couple of suggestions from Al, he negotiated his way past the receptionist and then Blaize's secretary, Alicia Carmichael, and into the safety of the Senator's office.


The office was luxurious compared to any other office Sam had ever remembered being in. Not only did the Senator have mahogany and leather furniture and an extensive library that included a wide range of books, both fictional and non-fictional, but he also had his own private bathroom that included a shower and a change of clothes.


Sam walked around the office with a soft whistle of appreciation at the décor. Going to the large impressive polished mahogany desk, he set the slim calfskin briefcase in the middle of it before sitting in the thickly padded leather chair. He sighed slightly at the comfortableness the chair presented to him and closed his eyes for a moment. With Al having gone back to the Control Room to, as Al put it, “put a fire under Ziggy’s mainframe,” Sam found himself with little to do other than try to figure out what exactly Tuyen Blaize did during office hours.


Rolling closer to the desk, he scanned the several documents and folders awaiting Senator Blaize's attention. One in particular caught his eye.


“Sherman-Calavicci, Julianna - USN,” Sam read aloud.


“What?” Al asked, walking through the Imaging Chamber door, causing Sam to jump slightly. “Sorry, Sam,” the Holographic Observer apologized. “What’s this about Jules?”


“Al, Blaize has a folder on your daughter!” Sam told him bluntly, looking into his friend’s eyes.


Hard-earned instincts gained from Al’s years of dealing with political bigwigs and Washington bureaucrats kicked Al into red-alert mode at the leaper's words. If Albert Calavicci hadn't been a hologram, he would most certainly have come close to knocking Sam over with the speed at which he moved to the leaper's side. Watching Sam open the file, his dark eyes scanned the few pages the folder contained almost as fast as Sam did. “What's he doing with information on Jules?” he muttered then turned his attention to running the query through the handlink. 


Sam looked at the papers for a long moment before raising his eyebrows. “There’s a résumé here too, Al.”


“A what?”


Sam sighed. “Résumé. Something most people write up in order to sell themselves to a potential employer. I think Julianna is looking for a job and Blaize did an extensive background check.” Sam put the papers back in the folder. “The question is, for what position?”


“Well, whatever that position is, you can’t worry about that now,” Al told him, straightening himself as he looked into Sam’s eyes. “Ziggy’s finally come up with what you are here to do.”


Sam stood from the chair at Al’s news. “And that is?”


“You’re here to save Senator Blaize’s life,” Al told him plainly. “In… two weeks,” he read from the handlink, “as the Senator is attending a conference in San Diego, he’s shot and killed by an unknown shooter.”


“The police didn’t get him?” Sam asked with a frown of concern.


Al shook his head. “No. The guy was a pro - covered his tracks brilliantly. But the police think that the assassination could have been racially motivated.” Getting a questioning frown from Sam, Al continued. “After the Senator was killed, the police found his dressing room spray painted with… slurs against the Senator’s ethnicity.”


“Senator?” Alicia Carmichael poked her head through the door, gaining both Sam and Al’s attention. “Your four o’clock appointment is here. Shall I send her in?”


Sam nodded before finding a voice. “Umm... yeah. I mean... please, send her in, Alicia.”


A moment later, dressed as she was earlier that day, Julianna walked through the door. Both Sam and Al looked at her with a hint of surprise before they realized that she must be here to interview for whatever position Senator Blaize was offering.


“I hope that I'm not disturbing you, Senator,” Jules said, stopping hesitantly in the doorway. “After we missed our appointment this morning, I took the liberty of rescheduling with Ms. Carmichael.”


“No, you aren’t disturbing me at all,” Sam said with a wide smile as he came around his desk and extended his hand to Julianna. He was sure that his host would have appreciated the firmness of her handshake and her direct and confident manner in spite of the unfortunate, and literal, run in he'd had with her just a short time ago. “Punctuality is always important in our line of work,” he said to her as he walked with her to the desk. Once she was seated, Sam went to sit in the high-backed leather chair behind the desk. “Would you care for something to drink?”


Although Julianna was confident as she sat, she was suddenly feeling very apprehensive. In fact, the apprehension felt almost tangible. “No, thank you, Senator,” she said politely before frowning slightly and looking around her. Her eyes stopped at a particular area of the room - the exact spot where Al stood near the desk. Shaking her head mentally, she refocused on Sam. “If you don't mind, Senator, I would like to get to the matter at hand. Have you considered my résumé for the position?”


There was no way Sam could miss how Julianna's gaze kept darting to the exact point where Al stood a couple of feet to his right near the desk.  Another glance at the attractive woman sitting across from him revealed to him subtle mannerisms that told him her father's presence was having a strong effect on her.


Knowing now what was bothering Julianna, Sam stood again. “Would you excuse me for just a moment, Captain Sherman-Cal…”


Julianna smiled as she interrupted. “Just call me Julianna, Senator. Believe me, it’s easier on the tongue.”


Sam smiled in return. “Julianna,” he repeated. “I’ll be right back.” Sam entered Blaize’s private bathroom, gesturing with his head for Al to follow.


“I think you need to go back to the Project, Al,” Sam told his Observer the moment they were alone.


“No,” Al told him bluntly. “I want to hear what she's got to say for herself.”


Sam gave him a firm almost-frown. “Al, she's feeling your presence. You always said she could sense when you were around. Right now, the best way you can help her is to leave.” He couldn't help but understand the expression on Al's face. “She's a big girl, Daddy. She can take care of herself.”


Al frowned in frustration at not being allowed to stay close to find out what was happening to his eldest daughter in this time of her life, especially since she never said much about it. “Okay, but you tell me everything when I get back. I'll go and see if I can’t get more from Ziggy about that assassination.” Without further words, he opened the Imaging Chamber door and vanished behind a pillar of white light.


Assured that Al had done as requested, Sam flushed the toilet and ran the sink to cover his absence before returning to Blaize’s office with a sheepish grin.


“My apologies, Captain Sher… Julianna,” he corrected himself as he sat down. He noted that Julianna hadn’t budged from her chair and that she took the interruption in stride. Opening the folder with her name on, he skimmed again the information he had already memorized then closed the folder, leaned back in his chair and fixed her with a calm but direct gaze. “Tell me about yourself, Julianna,” he said. “Why do you want this position and, besides what's in your resume, what about yourself do you think would qualify you for the position over any other candidate?”


Julianna raised an eyebrow at the question, finding it obviously a little odd. “Well... you need someone who has experience and, to be honest, I miss the work and I doubt that you will find anyone more qualified,” she told him bluntly. “As for why I would be qualified for the position, I feel my résumé says everything that needs to be said, other than perhaps that I am a woman and will very likely be more apt to be underestimated.” The Senator seemed confused by her words. “You do want someone who can do the job without the need to seem as if you were constantly being surrounded and inaccessible.” That look of confusion was still there. “Senator, I would think that my three years in Senator Weitzman's service would be sufficient proof of my qualifications. And before you even bring the issue up, it has been proven, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was in no way negligent in my duties when Senator Weitzman died.”


Sam could hear the undertone of confusion in Julianna's voice though her attitude and demeanor remained unswervingly calm and focused. As he studied her, what she had said about Senator Weitzman (if ever there was a name Sam was certain he would never forget, it was the name of that Senator that had kept his project wondering if they would survive to continue to find a method to bring him home) made him realize to which position Julianna had applied. ‘She’s applied to be my - Blaize’s - bodyguard. Which indicates that Blaize was aware that his life was in danger before he even went to San Diego.


Yet, even as this realization came to him, Weitzman’s name had stirred up a murky memory, a memory that involved the late Senator, Julianna and… himself. When Julianna stopped talking, Sam gazed into her eyes deeply for a long unblinking moment. He thought he felt something trying to come up out of that murky memory but after another minute it slipped away.


Instead of pursuing it, Sam nodded slightly in response to Julianna's strong and determined response. “I've read the report, Captain,” he assured her, knowing based on the information in Julianna’s file that Blaize had already read everything he could get his hands on about her before setting up the interview. He smiled at her, shifting his position slightly. “And you are right,” Sam went on. “I do want someone who will be able to…” he quirked a little grin at her, “...take care of me without hovering.” Seeing her reaction, one similar to how her father reacted to favorable give and take, he knew he'd said the right thing. “You have the job.”


The smile on Julianna's face was practically beaming. “You won't regret your decision, Senator.” 


He smiled at her as she stood up, rising from his seat as well. When she stepped up to the desk and extended her right hand to him, he took it in a firm clasp.  “Believe me when I say that I don't have the slightest doubt that you are going to be the best bodyguard in this city. But,” he decided to lighten what he felt could become rather more than he, or Tuyen Blaize, was prepared to get into at the moment. “Just remember... you're my personal bodyguard, now.”


Julianna laughed a genuine laugh. “Your Chief of Security, at that, sir. Don't worry about that, Senator. My loyalties are with you now and there they will stay unless or until you or I decide otherwise. I'm yours to command.”


For some reason, Sam’s heart seemed to beat a little faster as he looked into her eyes and heard her laughter. Surely, he wasn’t this affected by his best friend’s daughter! He certainly didn’t have a romantic interest in Julianna. But looking at her, he couldn’t help feeling as if his world would collapse if she didn’t say yes to his next words.


“All right, since you put it that way,” he said to her, his eyes twinkling. “Dinner tonight. Seven o'clock.”


The command startled Julianna for a moment until she remembered earlier that day when he insisted on taking her to dinner - his treat - in lieu of lunch on her. “All right,” she said with a little smile. “I'll pick you up.” Sam started to open his mouth but Julianna raised her eyebrows. “Senator, it's my job, remember?” Pulling her hand away, she started to walk towards the door. “And I am assuming that the job is effective immediately. So, with your permission, I'm going to dive right into the position and meet my staff before ensuring that you are escorted home. And then, again with your permission, I’d like to go home myself to get ready for dinner.”


Sam just nodded with approval, smiling – he was sure he looked foolish with how widely – as Julianna closed the office door behind her. The moment Julianna was out of sight, that odd puppy-love feeling was gone, leaving Sam wondering where the feeling came from in the first place. ‘Must be Blaize,’ he realized. His eyes widened with the realization and he smiled.


Sam didn’t really believe in love at first sight but neither could he deny that certain people did have an immediate physical reaction to the pheromones that others produced. It was obvious to him that his host and he were psycho-synergizing and that he was feeling Blaize’s singular attraction towards Julianna.


‘Well, why not? She seems to be attracted to him as well. After all, it was she who first suggested sharing a meal.’


“Sam, what have you done?”


Sam was so intent on his thoughts that he didn’t hear the sound of the Imaging Chamber door open and thus startled slightly at Al's almost terse question. “What do you mean?”


When Al spoke again, there was a definite undertone of fury. “I'm gone for no more than five minutes and you go and change everything! Damn it! Tell me what you did!” he bellowed at him. “Tell me!”


It wasn't the first time Al had come charging back in a leap making the same demand, so Sam took the Observer's irritation in stride. Strolling over to him, Sam crossed his arms over his chest and gave Al a satisfied grin. “Senator Tuyen Van Blaize now has a new Chief of Security, one Julianna Sherman-Calavicci. And I'm taking her to dinner tonight.” He thought that the announcement that Julianna now had a good, solid and well-paying job would be a balm to sooth over Al's irritation.


“What did you just say?” Al demanded. When Sam started repeating himself, Al started to do the only thing he could do with the anger that was building in him: he paced and yelled. “Gaddammit, it's your fault! Everything was fine until you had to go stick your nose in where it doesn't belong! I told you she had NOTHING to do with this leap and you go and screw up her life royally!”


Sam's eyes widened at Al's words. “What? What happened?”


Al turned an angry glare at him, looking as if he could twist the physicist's head off with that glare. “She's paralyzed, Sam. Thanks to you, she'll never walk again!”


Slowly Sam's arms dropped to his sides, confusion plain in his expression. “Paralyzed? Al, all I did was hire her as Blaize’s Chief of Security. How could she be paralyzed?”


“That’s what happens sometimes when you are shot in the back in full view of hundreds of people.” Pausing to glare at Sam as he spoke, Al saw in the leaper's eyes the instant the penny dropped. “Yeah,” he drove home the point with relentless intent. “Her first major situation on her new job comes up with that assassination attempt on Senator Blaize in San Diego.” Yanking the handlink from his coat pocket and with a minimum number of buttons pressed, he summed up the specific results of Sam's good intentions. Turning the handlink for the leaper to read the brief but concise information, he informed him, “On May 22nd, 2006, at 7:38 P.M., while escorting Blaize to deliver his speech at the conference, Julianna sees a man in the crowd aim a gun at him. She turns to push Blaize out of the line of fire just as the bastard pulls the trigger.” Al's eyes were blazing now. “Jules takes the bullet in her lower back, severing her spinal cord.” Catching a breath he repeated again, “She’ll spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. And it's even worse!”


“Worse?” Sam asked, shocked that the one deed that he just did – a deed meant to help his best friend’s daughter – had brought about such a horrible fate. “Worse than her being paralyzed? How could it be worse?”


“She lost Jude!”


“Who's Jude?”


Al’s anger boiled over at Sam's innocent question. “My grandson! Her son! Because of her being paralyzed, she loses the custody battle for Jude! And that bastard ex-fiancé of hers and his wife take him to live with them in Europe! That bitch Heidi Henson beat Jude to death when he wouldn’t stop crying! I lost my grandson... my daughter lost her son… because...” Al stopped for a moment then continued on in a low and bitter voice, “... because of you.”


Sam wasn't sure how to react to Al's accusation, mostly because it ripped at his soul more than he wanted to admit. It wasn't because Al was accusing him of something but rather because the accusation had merit. ‘If I hadn't hired Julianna...’


“Your... grandson...” he murmured, getting nothing but a glare in response. He wiped his face slowly, guilt piling heavily upon his heart. “Al... I'm... I'm not going to let that happen, okay? I'll make sure that she and I aren't anywhere near that conference when it's supposed to happen. We just... won't be there.” He didn't look at Al's accusing glares as he spoke.


“Like that’s going to stop a lunatic bent on assassinating a Senator,” Al growled, anger clear in his voice. “You just aren’t getting it, are you? If Julianna is around Blaize, she is paralyzed and Jude dies!” He moved to look harshly into Sam’s eyes. “If I were you, I’d fire her now. Send her home where she belongs – HERE, not in D.C. trying to get herself killed all because she needs to ‘find herself’!” He raised his hands, making quotation marks with his fingers as he spoke.


“What about Blaize?” Sam questioned.


“You can hire someone else for him,” Al told him bluntly, clearly upset that Sam didn’t seem to be listening to him. “Anyone can guard that damned dink!”


Sam was silenced for a moment by Al’s words. “Did I just hear you refer to Senator Blaize as a ‘dink?” he finally demanded quietly.


Al’s fury was muted by Sam’s harsh question, feeling suddenly a hint of regret. “I said that?” Getting a knowing look from Sam, he avoided looking at the leaper, focusing on the handlink. “Slip of the tongue,” he muttered, pushing buttons he didn’t need to push.


Sam walked over, a disappointed look on his face, and stood mere inches away from the Admiral. “You don’t think Blaize is bad for Julianna because he’s a politician; you think he’s bad for Julianna because he happens to be Vietnamese. That’s it, isn’t it? Why else would you call him such a horrible word? I can’t even believe I heard it coming out of your mouth!”


Al exhaled slowly, still finding the handlink more interesting than the look on Sam’s face. “Maybe I used too strong a word to describe what I think.”


“Oh, I think you described what you think quite well!” Sam retaliated. “I just can’t believe that you, of all people… Do you remember Machiko MacKenzie? Or Anita Färber? You were behind them all the way, helped me to help them be accepted despite their nationalities. And now you are against someone because he’s Vietnamese? Why Machiko and Anita and not Tuyen? Is it because they aren’t Vietnamese?”


“It’s not his nationality, Sam,” Al said bluntly. “It’s his family.”


“What?” Sam questioned with surprise. “Oh, this is even better!” he complained sarcastically. “What could you possibly object to concerning his family that would…”


“His uncle was Colonel Dang!” Al interrupted bluntly, gaining Sam’s attention. “The same man who nearly killed me in Vietnam. If it hadn’t been for Ahn… ‘The Spirit of the Jungle’… I don’t think I would have made it out alive, even with my determination to get home to Beth.”


Sam exhaled slowly at Al’s words before shaking his head. “So, that’s what this is all about? You not being able to cope with what someone else did to you thirty-five years ago?” Sam didn’t wait for an answer, marching to the desk to retrieve his coat.


Al didn’t say a word for a long moment before taking a deep breath. What he said made Sam pause in exiting Blaize’s office. “I thought we were friends, Sam. I thought that you, of all people, would understand.”


“And I thought I knew you better,” Sam told him angrily. He took a calming breath that did nothing to stop his angry feelings towards Al. “I have to do what I think is right, Al. And everything that has happened so far in this leap keeps telling me that there is more to it than what Ziggy is saying. I have to do what I think is best to save him and Julianna but I also have to go with what I think is right for their futures.” He paused in thought. “Now, I am assuming that Blaize didn’t hire her in the original history. My question would be why not. Her qualifications far exceed anyone else who applied. She is perfect for the job whether you want to believe it or not.” He faced Al meaningfully. “I think he didn’t hire her because of you.”


“Me?!” Al protested. “What did I do?”


“It’s not what you did, Al. It’s who you are. You’re Admiral Albert Calavicci and she’s your daughter. She also just happens to be the first female Navy SEAL. Can you imagine the ramifications if something were to happen to her?”


“Yes, I can, because something DOES happen to her!” Al told him bluntly.


“But she’s the best person for the job,” Sam commented.


“What does that matter?”


“It’ll save Blaize’s life.”


“And destroy hers!” Al protested vehemently.


“I’m not going to let that happen, Al,” Sam told him plainly. “This is the right thing to do, not only for Blaize’s sake but for Julianna’s as well. And if you don’t like Blaize simply because he’s Vietnamese or just happens to be related to some past ghost of yours, you can just sit out of this leap and all the rest of the leaps from here on out until you come back to the 21st century.”


Sam looked into his friend’s eyes, seeing hurt and shame in them. He sighed softly, regretting his words. It was clear that Al was grappling with an array of emotions that Sam had never in his life had to face as Al had. He also knew that those emotions were born not only of prejudice against a certain Vietnamese family, but also of his understandable fatherly concern for his eldest daughter.


“Trust me,” he assured Al, his tone far more gentle than it had been throughout their heated conversation. “I won’t let anything happen to her.”


Al exhaled slowly and looked away, refusing to meet Sam’s eyes for more than a few seconds. “I hope you’re right, Sam. Because if you fail to correct this, if she’s paralyzed for life and my grandson dies… I’ll never forgive you. Never.” With that, Al opened the Imaging Chamber door.


As Al vanished into the future, the office door opened, revealing Alicia’s concerned face.  “Senator, is everything okay? I heard yelling.”


Sam hesitated before nodding slowly. “Everything’s fine, Alicia. Thank you for your concern.” He paused a moment before slipping on Blaize’s jacket. “Please inform Captain Sherman-Calavicci that I am leaving for the day and that I am awaiting for the escort she promised.”


Alicia looked at her employer with a frown of concern before giving a short nod. “Yes, sir,” she said softly and then closed the door behind her.


Sam looked at the office once more, his mind running a marathon of thoughts, before he turned back to the door. As he touched the doorknob, he felt the familiar stirrings of an approaching leap.


‘Wait! I’m not done here! I have to fix this! I have to save Julianna and her son! I have to save Tuyen Blaize!’ he thought desperately. However, his silent pleas were ignored as the quantum energy surrounded him and pulled him away to another place, another time.




Project Quantum Leap

Stallion’s Gate, New Mexico

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006


The fury Al had felt when he marched into the Imaging Chamber was still with him as he exited. His only thought was that of Julianna the last time he saw her in this current, altered timeline – the one that had less than ten minutes ago assaulted him so violently that he nearly immediately returned to the Imaging Chamber to demand from Sam an explanation. Yet, even when Al had told Sam most of what this new timeline entailed – Julianna’s paralysis and Jude’s death from child abuse – the memories were still too fresh in his mind for him to tell Sam everything that had been changed.


Julianna had stayed with Lisa after Jude’s funeral. But even the loving care of her mother wasn’t enough to ease the depression that had become a day-to-day burden upon Julianna’s soul. Al could understand her deep and unbridled sorrow for the loss of her only son; after all that had happened in her life, Jude was the only thing that had kept the tapestry of her life together.


One night less than a month ago, after Lisa had gone to bed, Julianna had slipped out of bed and had wheeled herself into the kitchen. The clatter of metal had woken Lisa, causing her to hurry to the kitchen with concern. She hadn’t expected to see Julianna sitting there in her wheelchair, her wrists bleeding profusely from self-inflicted wounds. It was Lisa’s amazing clear-headedness, despite the circumstances, that had saved Julianna’s life.


It had wounded Al’s spirit to even suggest to Lisa that Julianna would be better in a mental hospital, where she could be watched constantly and given the psychiatric help she needed to cope with her devastating loss. But it was actually putting her in that mental hospital that had killed the Admiral’s spirit. If Beth hadn’t been there to give him reason to go on, Al wasn’t sure he wouldn’t have fallen back into the darkness of alcoholism that the horrors of Vietnam had led him to so many years ago.


However, Al knew that recalling this new past wasn’t going to save his daughter’s life or the life of his grandson. No, he needed to find answers for Sam so that this past could be changed back to the way things should be. For that, he needed to do research and a hell of a lot of it. He needed to find out who had attempted to kill Senator Tuyen Van Blaize and let Sam know so that he could prevent the assassination attempt.


Al closed his eyes when he thought of how he’d let his bias against the Senator out for Sam to see it all its ugly glory. He knew better but he couldn’t stop the angry and hateful feelings he had for Blaize. After all, no one can help whom he or she is related to. But just knowing that Tuyen Van Blaize was a blood relative of the man who had personally tortured him, who ordered men literally skinned alive… He didn’t want that bloodline mixed in with his, no matter what kind of person Blaize may be.


“Al?” Dom’s voice interrupted his thoughts, causing Al to open his eyes and refocus on the present. “Admiral Beckett called. He wants you to return his call concerning the upgrade on the security system you requested.”


‘Security system?! Who has time to worry about a damned security system when my daughter’s and grandson’s lives are on the line?!’ Al thought with vehemence as he looked at the Project’s Chief Programmer with a glare. The surprise on the African-American doctor’s face was obvious when Al didn’t say a word to him but rather marched past him and towards the console in the middle of the Control Room.


“Ziggy, I want every film clip, every news article, every little rumor concerning the attempt on Senator Blaize’s life on my desk before the end of the day,” he ordered as he put the handlink on the console. “I don’t care how small or insignificant it may seem.”


“As you wish, Admiral,” came Ziggy’s soft reply. “However, I thought you might like to know that Dr. Beckett has leaped.”


“What?” Al whispered. “But he… he can’t have! Nothing’s right! He didn’t stop Julianna from being shot and my grandson is still dead!”


“May I remind you, Admiral, that, technically, Dr. Beckett completed his mission when he hired Captain Sherman-Calavicci, since it was she who saved Senator Blaize’s life,” Ziggy told him.


Al turned towards the parallel-hybrid computer with a hard glare. “Just… get me the information that I’ve ordered.”


Dom looked at him with sympathy. “Al… Sam’s leaped. There’s nothing more we can do.”


“Just do it!” Al bellowed at him, causing the programmer to step back in shock. “Every scrap of information, got it?” He turned and marched out the door.





Freedom, New Hampshire

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

4:36 PM EST


The first thing that Sam Beckett noticed when he leaped in was the confined space. The room he was in couldn’t have been more than six feet wide and four feet deep. There were two plain cloth-backed chairs – he was sitting in one - and a small table on which was perched a tall glass of water. A small lamp gave just enough light to see by. There were two doors in the little room as well, both of them opposite the two chairs in the room.


‘Who would make such a strange room and why?’ Sam frowned, looking around for a reason as to why anyone would be in such a room. A look at himself revealed that he not only wasn’t a prisoner but also that he seemed to be in the middle of reading something in the strange small room. Looking at the book in his hand, he realized that it was a Bible. What’s more, his attire was completely black except for the long and narrow piece of sewn cloth with delicate needlework draped around his neck. The word for the piece of cloth slipped into his mind – ‘They call it a stole’ – and Sam’s eyes widened with realization.


“Oh, boy,” he murmured. “I’m a priest again.” For some reason, he knew that what he said was the truth. Although his memories of past leaps were foggy, he remembered being a priest. But what the heck kind of room was this?


Even as he pondered on it, he heard a door gently and quietly open and close and a voice came from his right side. He turned his head in surprise but didn’t say a word as he saw the mesh screen blocking his view of the smaller room right next to his.


“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been… several months since my last confession.”


‘Oh, God! It’s a Confessional! I can’t absolve others’ sins!’ “I don’t think…” Sam started but was immediately interrupted by the penitent.


“Please, Father,” said the man, his voice filled with emotion. “I know I’m not usually the kind of person who goes to Confession on a regular basis. But… what I’ve done… I promise to turn myself over to the police. I just… I have to tell someone.”


Sam frowned at this man’s words and at his voice. ‘He sounds a little familiar… But with how soft his voice is, it’s hard to even understand him much less identify him.’ “Why… why would you need to turn yourself over to the police?” he asked carefully, unsure what to make of this particular situation. What the penitent said, though, shocked Sam.


“I murdered someone,” the man told him after a long pause, his voice cracking from his own sense of guilt. “Not killed. I’ve killed before but that was war, self-defense. This… was revenge.” He sniffed, as if he had been crying while he confessed.


“Murder?” Sam stated more than asked, astonished by the confession. But the man didn’t seem to hear Sam’s single word.


“Father, I… I don’t expect forgiveness for this. I just…” the man sniffed again, clearly crying now. “Father, please pray for me and my family… especially my family. They don’t know what I’ve done and… it’s really going to tear them up when they learn. I’ve destroyed everything we’ve worked so hard to build. My grief and anger… I let them control my actions and now…” He took a deep breath and exhaled shakily but didn’t complete the sentence he had started.


Now that the man had spoken for a while, his voice had become clearer to Sam. And by the vehemence in which the man spoke, the passion that came through with every word, Sam now knew that voice and who owned it. ‘Can’t be!’ he thought frantically. ‘It’s… impossible!’ But the man was still asking… no, more like begging… him to pray for his family. And there was no doubt about his sorrow for his sin. Sam swallowed tightly and wiped some tears from his own face, confusion still clear in his eyes as he came to a decision.


“I think… it is clear that you are truly sorry for what you’ve done. And since you have already said that you are going to turn yourself over to the police, I think you have already found your own penance,” Sam told him quietly, his heart aching. “I will pray for you… my son. I will pray for everyone you hold dear to your heart and who hold you dear to theirs.” He took a shaky breath, and then continued. “Your sin is forgiven as long as you hold true to your intention of… of turning yourself in.” He listened to see if the man, whose voice he now recognized, had a response for him.


There was a long silence before the penitent sniffed again. “Thank you, Father,” he said quietly.


Sam heard a creak of wood and then a door opening and closing gently. Turning his head, he’d found the penitent had gone. And then, without even a chance to get up and confirm his own befuddled emotions, Sam leaped.




San Diego, California

Monday, May 22nd, 2006

11:19AM PST


Sam could still feel the tears on his face as he found a hallway gaping in front of him. And yet, he felt confined, despite nothing blocking his path. Looking to the sides, he found the reason for the odd feeling. Two people, one of whom he was certain he recognized, were both flanking him and talking at the same time.


"You have a luncheon with the Governor at 11:00 tomorrow..."


"Now this part, I think it would be best if you emphasized the importance of..."


"…Kindergarten class at Wilson Elementary at 3:00. You need to make sure that you inform Mrs. Levi..."


"...that you are a true American citizen..."


Sam kept turning his head from one to the other of his companions, trying to focus on what the young man was saying to him; it sounded like a part of a speech. He was finding it difficult, despite his photographic memory, to keep the conversations straight.


"Okay," he agreed then immediately turned to the all-business looking woman at his right as she continued reading from what looked like some sort of planner.  As it happened, just as the woman was saying something about a Mrs. Levi, he heard the words, "...true American citizen."


"Did she just take the oath to become a citizen recently?" he asked, the rapid-fire information coming at him from both sides running together in his mind.


Alicia Carmichael didn't miss a step as she kept pace with Senator Blaize, though it was a trifle harder to keep from rolling her eyes as she said, "Senator, have you heard anything I just said?"


Sam instantly slowed his pace but didn't stop altogether.  "Uh... yeah but I've got so much on my mind right now...”


But even as Sam said these words, the three persons, walking side by side, went around the corner and Sam found himself colliding with a large not-so-hard object, causing him to fall backwards. He heard a peculiar almost gasping cry and the sound of papers falling. There was a prattling of voices apologizing to him, asking if he was okay and such. Only when he was able to stand up yet again, the sight before him was somehow familiar.


"I don't believe this," the woman, whom he had literally run into, was saying with a laugh as she gathered papers. Standing up, she gave an almost sheepish but definitely amused smile. "You know, Senator, we really have to stop meeting like this. We're both going to have black and blue butts in a couple of weeks at this rate."


Sam laughed, seeing at last the face of the woman with whom he had another close encounter of the klutzy kind. "It's okay, Julianna," he assured her as she joined in the laughter. “Can’t think of a lovelier woman to run into.” ‘Where did that come from?’ Sam wondered about his choice of words.


Julianna played with her hair for a moment before clearing her throat. “I… I have the layout of the convention hall and the security protocols for tonight’s conference ready whenever you would like to go over with them, Senator.”


Sam frowned slightly at her words. “Conference?” he questioned.


“Yes, sir,” Julianna told him patiently. “The Conference on Ethnic Diversity in the United States Government?”


Even as Julianna spoke, a memory surfaced, one in which Admiral Albert Calavicci, her father, yelled an alternate history at him, fury in his eyes.


“On May 22nd, 2006, at 7:38 P.M., while escorting Blaize to deliver his speech at the conference, Julianna sees a man in the crowd aim a gun at him. She turns to push Blaize out of the line of fire just as the bastard pulls the trigger. Jules takes the bullet in her back just below her waist, severing her spinal cord. She’ll spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair… Heidi Henson beat Jude to death when he wouldn’t stop crying! I lost my grandson… my daughter lost her son… because of you.”


“Oh, boy,” Sam murmured under his breath, suddenly not only knowing who he was and where he was but also what he was there to do. “Of course, the… the Conference on Ethnic Di… Diversity. It’s… it’s just hard to believe that that is tonight… already,” he improvised, hoping he didn’t sound as ridiculous as he felt at the moment.


The three employees of Senator Blaize – Julianna, Alicia, and speechwriter Robert Ingles – looked at Sam with questioning, obviously unconvinced by the Senator’s words. Finally, it was Julianna who spoke up.


“I think the Senator could use a little break. We’ve been inundating him with information since seven o’clock this morning in preparation for tonight and it’s nearly noon already,” she added, looking at her watch. “So… a couple of hours for lunch?” she suggested, looking at both Alicia and Robert, who seemed agreeable to the suggestion. “I’ll just… lock these plans in your desk for the moment, Senator,” she added, gently pushing her way between Sam and Alicia. “We can go over them after lunch. Robert, do you want me to add the speech to the pile?”


“Might as well,” Robert told her as he handed her the three pages of typed paper. Julianna accepted them with a smile and then continued down the hall behind them.


Alicia gave Sam a little smile before quietly walking away, apparently towards her own desk, leaving Sam and Robert alone in the hallway.


“So,” Robert said after a moment, “have you slept with her yet?” There was a definite lecherous look on his face.


“Excuse me?” Sam questioned with a hard frown as he heard the Imaging Chamber door open beside him.


“Julianna,” Robert clarified. “Have you slept with her?”


“Why, you lousy dirty…” Al started, raising his fist as if he were about to send Robert through the wall behind him.


“I…” Sam started, unsure how to answer that question. After all, he had no idea if Julianna and Senator Blaize were involved or not. However, he did know that the answer to the question was certainly none of Robert’s business.


“Oh, come on, Blaize. It’s obvious that you’ve got the hots for her. You’ve been ogling her since you hired her,” Robert told him.


Sam glared at him for the comment. “Julianna Sherman-Calavicci was not hired for her looks, Mr. Ingles,” he told him bluntly, noting that he seemed to already know the man’s last name without help from Al.


“Oh, I don’t doubt that,” Robert replied. “But you’ve been giving extraordinary attention to her, like talking to that judge to get him to lift the travel restriction she was under thanks to that custody battle she’s having over her son… and arranging someone to watch over that kid while she’s on this trip… and taking her out every day, whether it’s lunch or dinner, for the past week…”


Sam took a step toward Robert, a warning look in his eyes. “In case you’ve forgotten, someone’s been sending me death threats. I don’t think it’s all that extraordinary, given the circumstances, for me to want someone covering my back, especially if that someone just happens to be an ex-SEAL.”


Robert raised his hands in apparent surrender. “Okay, none of my business. But let me just give you some advice, friend to friend. If you keep taking Julianna out, whether it’s business or pleasure, the press is going to have a field day, especially with this conference.” He paused as he saw the person in question coming into view. “Enjoy your lunch, Senator Blaize,” he told him with a smile.


Al frowned as he watched Robert walk away. He didn’t like the innuendo that was written on Robert’s face and he made a mental note to do his research on the speechwriter. But that particular concern vanished from his mind when he saw Julianna approaching with a gentle smile.


“All ready, Senator?” she asked. She looked upon herself quickly, verifying that her weapon, tucked in a shoulder holster, was in good order.


“Umm…” Sam started, looking between her and her father, who had a particularly pained look on his face as he looked upon his eldest daughter. Sam hesitated wondering how to answer Julianna’s simple question. “Would you excuse me for a moment? I just have to…” He put on a slightly uncomfortable look. “Well… you know…”


Julianna’s smile widened. “Certainly, Senator,” she assured him before watching him walk towards the nearest men’s room.


Al didn’t follow Sam’s lead for a long moment, still looking at Julianna, before he raised the handlink and pushed a couple of buttons. In an instant, he found himself in the men’s room just as Sam walked through the door.


“You don’t have to tell me anything, Al,” Sam told him the moment the door was closed. “I know everything.”


“You do?” Al asked, his eyes wide.


“I’m Senator Blaize again,” Sam stated plainly. “Al, I remember that last leap into Blaize. Julianna’s shot tonight, isn’t she?”


Al nodded slightly. “Yeah,” he said quietly. He didn’t look at Sam as he continued. “A… A Vietnam War veteran named Jack Myerton tries to kill Senator Blaize tonight. He hits Julianna instead.”


Sam’s eyes widened with the additional information. “You found out who did it?” he asked unnecessarily. Al’s simple nod and his closed eyes told Sam that there was more going on with Al than he was letting on. Immediately, his last leap came back to him. The words and the voice in that Confessional were so clear in his mind that they brought back the tears he had wept before.


“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned… I murdered someone…”


“He’s dead, isn’t he?” he asked quietly. “Jack Myerton’s dead.”


Al’s head rose, clearly startled by Sam’s words. “How did…”


Sam closed his eyes, lowering his head as he answered. “Al… I… I leaped into a priest before I leaped here.” Raising his head, he looked into his friend’s eyes firmly and yet sadly. “I heard a confession to murder.” He paused, wondering how his friend would react. “It was you. You confessed to a murder.”


Al Calavicci looked like a deer caught in the headlights of a car, a look Sam had never seen on the Admiral’s face. The look tore at Sam’s heart. He hated to put Al in such a position but he also knew that what he had just said was true.


After a long moment, Al finally exhaled slowly, rubbing his hand over his face before turning away from Sam. It was the only answer that Sam needed.


“What happened, Al?” he asked the Admiral softly.


Al focused on the handlink in silence, ignoring Sam’s sad eyes. But when he could no longer ignore the scientist, he dropped the handlink to his side. “I didn’t… I didn’t think about it. It just… happened,” he answered, looking up finally. But it was clear to him that that just wasn’t enough of an answer for the leaper. “When you leaped out without saving Julianna… I was furious with you. I thought you’d abandoned Jules and Jude.” He sighed softly. “I wanted justice. I wanted the head of the bitch that killed Jude. But since I couldn’t fly to Europe and shoot her in that prison cell she’s sitting in… and since it looked like you weren’t going to save Jules and Jude…” He looked at the handlink again, more as a way to collect his thoughts than anything else, before refocusing on Sam. “When I left the Imaging Chamber, I had Ziggy dig up every little piece of information about that day Julianna was shot. For two days straight, I reviewed that information.” He laughed a little sickly. “If Beth had been in town, she would have pestered me to no end about how many hours I’d been working. But…” He cleared his throat and then sniffed. “I found what the police couldn’t. See, they were working with the shooter’s height, build, clothing, et cetera. I don’t think they saw the ring on the shooter’s hand.”


“But you did,” Sam deduced. “You recognized it.”


Al sniffed again before nodding. “Yeah. Jack and I served together on the Hornet. His wife had the ring commissioned especially for their wedding anniversary. There’s not another one like it in the world. He… he used to take the ring off before flying out, said that it was his good luck charm, that he would return to the ship simply because he had to put the ring back on.” He gave a little huff. “Guess it wasn’t much of a good luck charm because I met him in Colonel Dang’s camp three years after I was shot down.”


“So, you recognized your war buddy’s ring and…” Sam pressed gently, needing to know the truth behind Al’s confession.


“I went and confronted him,” Al admitted plainly. “I went armed… for my own safety, mind you. Jack didn’t live in exactly the safest neighborhood and I really wasn’t sure how he’d react to my questioning him…



"Why'd you do it, Jack?" Al demanded with a glare in his eyes. "Why?"

Jack looked at him for a long moment, as if disbelieving that Al Calavicci would dare demand an answer from him. "Dang damned near beat you to death in that godforsaken place more times than I can count. You saw men drop like flies... starved... shot like dogs or worse. Why didn't you take his nephew out the first time you got a chance? When did you become one of those bleeding heart suck-ups, Bingo?" 

Al glared at Jack’s accusation. "Blaize isn’t the one who nearly killed us in that hell! Apparently you think his relation to Dang gives you an excuse to go on your own little bout of displaced revenge, to hurt innocent people just because you didn't have the satisfaction of watching Dang die. You don't even give a damn who you put in a wheelchair for the rest of her life!"
"Whoever that stupid bitch was that pushed him out of the way of what he deserved, it was her own fault,” Jack snarled at him. “In my book, anybody who gives aid and comfort to those slanted-eye bastards… whatever hits 'em, they got it coming."


Al had been controlling his anger throughout Jack’s rant. But, when he said that Julianna "got it coming", Al couldn't hold that anger back any more. He grabbed Jack’s arms and forced him against the nearest wall before hitting him so hard that it knocked the air out of his opponent. Without even thinking about what he was doing, Al pulled out his gun.


"You bastard, that woman you shot is my daughter!" he screamed, aiming the gun at Jack’s chest. "You ruined her life because of your damned prejudice! Blood is thicker than water, Jack. Remember? And you just FUCKED with the wrong bloodline!"



Al closed his eyes at his own words. “I shot him. I was so… furious. I thought I wanted justice but… all I wanted was revenge.” He bit his lower lip for a moment before swallowing hard and then taking a deep breath. “When I saw what I had done… I guess I was in shock. I know I should have called the police but… I just… left. After a couple of hours of wandering around aimlessly, I saw a church and… well… I guess you know the rest.”


A long silence stood between them before a word was spoken.


“Al…” Sam started softly. “Why didn’t you turn yourself into the police?”


Al looked at Sam for a moment. “After I left the church, Ziggy called me and told me that you had leaped again. I guess I hoped that I wouldn’t have to keep that part of the bargain. By the time I got back to the complex, you’d already leaped out again.” He hesitated before looking into his friend’s eyes. “I was about to… say my goodbyes to Beth and the girls when you leaped again.”


Sam didn’t say anything for a long moment. “Let’s make sure that you won’t have to say goodbye to your family, Al. Let’s go save your daughter and grandson.”


The small smile and the tears on Al’s face were all the thanks that Sam needed.




San Diego, California

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

5 days before the Conference on Ethnic Diversity 



Nobody seemed to take much notice of the extra body working to get the convention center ready for the upcoming conference. Nor did they notice that the extra man wasn’t really working at anything related to getting the convention center ready. He walked through the center with his load, greeting everyone amicably as he went.


Jack Myerton had studied the layout of the convention center just as intensely as Julianna Calavicci had, though neither of them knew that fact. In his studying the layout, he found a crawlspace that he was absolutely certain would be overlooked. It was the perfect hiding place for the equipment he needed to accomplish his mission.


The new high-powered pistol he had purchased over the Internet illegally – it wasn’t legal to buy firearms with a false identification, online or otherwise - was going to be the perfect weapon to shoot Senator Blaize. Not only could the FN Herstal Five-seveN pistol be easily concealed on his person, its bullets could easily penetrate standard Kevlar, which he had no doubt would be wrapped around the Senator’s chest.


Looking around to make sure that no one was looking, he opened the small crawlspace and tucked the pistol and its ammunition safely in place. Once the precious weapon was concealed from detection, he closed up the crawlspace and re-covered it with the carpet that had been over it.


Confident that the pistol was safe, Jack Myerton left the convention center. He had the admission ticket for the conference already so he could get in right under security’s nose. He smiled to himself as he thought about how Colonel Trung Dang’s legacy would finally be avenged once and for all.




San Diego, California

Monday, May 22nd, 2006

7:21PM PST


The afternoon was spent preparing for the conference, where Senator Blaize was to be the keynote speaker. As the event grew closer, Sam found his mind crammed full with information, having gone over the Senator’s speech with Robert Ingles and the security measures with Julianna. He had to admit that Julianna’s security of the convention center was excellent, probably better than it had been before Sam had hired her as Blaize’s bodyguard. Al even gave a few pointers for areas that Julianna missed. But it was obviously not enough to prevent the assassination attempt that was approaching too quickly for Sam’s liking, especially since Sam couldn’t as yet find a way to save Julianna without causing harm to Senator Blaize.


Blaize’s entourage had arrived at the conference center two hours ahead of time, enough time for Julianna to get her people in place and for Sam to receive the preparations he needed for the convention. Julianna had absolutely insisted that he wear a bulletproof vest.


“I haven’t yet lost a charge if I could help it and I’m not going to start now,” she had told him as she put the vest on Sam. “Besides, we had this measured and made just for you to make sure that it fits properly so you’d better wear it and not waste the taxpayers’ money.” The vest was weighty and made Sam look bulkier than he really was but Sam had learned long ago to never argue with anyone of Calavicci descent when they were this adamant. Beside, it was for his protection. He was glad to see that Julianna was wearing a bulletproof vest as well. ‘Maybe history has changed and Julianna and Blaize are both safe.’


Sam was finally left alone in a dressing room, ostensibly to go over his speech in private, when he heard the Imaging Chamber door open.


“Nice vest,” Al commented, gaining a look of surprise from Sam. “Admittedly, the suit hides it well but anyone who knows what to look for would see it. Fortunately, most people won’t be able to tell the difference.” He lit a cigar for a long moment before puffing on it.


“Anything new from Ziggy?” Getting a shake of the head from the Admiral, Sam sighed. “So Julianna is still shot and paralyzed tonight.”


“Unless you change history,” Al told him gently. “In about seven minutes, Julianna is going to escort you onto that stage out there and Jack is going to fire two rounds as you start that speech. One bullet will miss and the other will go into Julianna’s back.”


Sam thought about what Al told him, leaning back in the chair where he sat. As he did so, the heavy feeling reminded him of the Kevlar protection that surrounded his chest.


“Al, both Julianna and I are wearing bulletproof vests. How…”


“Jack is using armor-piercing bullets,” Al informed him sadly. “Forensics on the bullet they pulled out of Julianna showed that an FN 5.7, a Belgian handgun capable of firing armor-piercing rounds, was used. The vests you’re wearing aren’t going to stop those rounds.”


Again, Sam frowned at another thought. “How did he get into the convention center in the first place, Al? Julianna has this place covered better than the Secret Service covers the President of the United States. How does anyone get into this place with a gun capable of shooting armor-piercing bullets?”


Al shrugged his shoulders slightly. “He probably didn’t come in armed. People who plan these shindigs aren’t always thinking about security issues when they pick their preferred locales. The way this place is set up, he could have stashed a weapon in here days or even weeks ago. And, believe me, with his military experience, he could have easily hid a gun here without it ever being found.”


“Are you sure?” Sam asked with a frown.


Al gave him a hint of a glare, though his voice was filled with guilt. “I really wasn’t much in the mood to get his modus operandi when I confronted him… but… yeah, I’m pretty sure.”


Sam had tucked his head in apology just before there was a knock on the door.


“Are you ready, Senator?” Julianna asked, peeking into the small room. “Your public awaits. I’ve double-checked everything. I can assure you, whoever made those threats isn’t going to make good.”


“Oh, Jules,” Al murmured sadly, looking at his daughter with affection and sadness.


Sam looked up at Julianna then snuck a glance at Al for a few seconds as he slowly stood. “You know, Captain… I really haven’t been feeling well all day…” he started, a last ditch effort to avoid either Julianna or him being on the stage to give Al’s former comrade in arms a chance to destroy their lives.


Julianna shook her head with a knowing smile. “Butterflies in the stomach are nothing for an old pro like you.”


“Sam…” Al called out his friend’s name, pleading.


Sam closed his eyes to his friend’s pleas then sighed as he started going towards the door. He wasn’t sure why he wasn’t trying harder to keep Julianna and Blaize from harm but he was absolutely certain that he was doing what had to be done. ‘I have to save Julianna, no matter what! I have to save the woman I love!’ But even as those thoughts ran through his mind, Sam knew they were not his own.


“All right, Julianna,” he said, unsure where the words were coming from. “You’re probably right.”


“All right?!” Al exclaimed, not believing what he heard Sam say. “All right?! Hell, no, it isn’t all right! Sam, what the hell are you doing?”


“I know that I’m right,” Julianna told him gently, too embroiled in her own excitement to even notice the tension in the air from Al’s distress. As Sam approached, she smiled up at him and, as he stood before her, she reached out and gently straightened his tie, a gleam of appreciation in her eyes. “There you go, Senator. You’ll do fine.”


Sam stepped out of the room, his mind whirling with the knowledge of what he was about to do and how Al would react to the decision. As he stepped out towards the stage, he paused, feeling the tension from his holographic partner, before he finally turned towards Julianna.




“Yes?” she asked simply. Seeing the frown on his face, she frowned as well. “What’s wrong?”


Sam took a deep breath. “Call it… ESP… or whatever you want, but…” He gently took her shoulders in his hands. “No matter what happens in the next few minutes, don’t go out on the stage.”


“Sam, what are you doing?” Al asked, his face slowly turning ashen in color, beginning to get an inkling of what his best friend was doing.


“What?” Julianna asked him, concern and curiosity clear on her face.


Sam met her eyes for a long moment, searching them, trying to memorize them as they looked up into his so intently. “Don’t go on stage,” he whispered. Seeing the determination on Julianna’s face – a determination that told him that the woman would not heed his words, Sam gave her a slight shake. “Promise me that you won’t go on stage, Julianna,” he demanded of her bluntly.


Sam’s intense whisper made it clear to Al what Sam was intending to do. “No, Sam! Don’t! Jack will kill you!”


The slight shake startled Julianna, causing her eyes to widen. “I promise,” she finally said, looking directly into his eyes. “Senator, what’s this all about?”


“I’ll tell you later,” he told her gently. “Just have your people keep their eyes on the audience for any unusual activity. I have a feeling about tonight and I need you back here coordinating security.” An odd sensation came over him as he looked into her confused eyes and, once again, an overwhelming feeling of intense love seemed to cloud his thought processes. With Julianna’s promise still in his ears, he cupped her cheek and smiled lovingly. “I’m counting on you.” Slowly, he lowered his head, apparently about to kiss her. Before the kiss could reach her lips, however, Julianna reached up and gently removed his hand.


“They’re calling you, Senator,” she told him gently.


Sam/Tuyen nodded slightly, looking at her with obvious affection before he turned around and started out on the stage, smiling and waving to the applauding audience present. He paused several times on his way to the podium to shake hands, not even noticing Al walking beside him, fighting with the handlink.


“Sam, you have to get off the stage and out of sight! If you don’t, it’s YOU Jack shoots!” The Admiral stamped his foot down hard. “Dammit, Sam! Why aren’t you listening to me? I told you! He’s using armor-piercing bullets! They’re going to rip right through that vest you’re wearing! SAM!”


But the physicist didn’t seem to be listening to the hologram. Without even looking at Al, he stepped up to the podium, waving for the audience to stop their applause and allow him to speak.


“Thank you all for coming tonight as we gather for this… historic occasion,” he started as the audience became silent with respect. “This conference will be, I hope, the first of many to come, a conference where we gather to celebrate our diversity and to plan for our future...”


Julianna stood off stage as Senator Blaize began speaking, her mind still trying to understand why he had made her promise not to go on stage as well as the apparent attempt to kiss her. But even as she grappled with the mystery that was Tuyen Van Blaize, she looked out into the audience and noticed a figure slip out from behind a door, his face partially hidden under a baseball cap. When she saw the suspicious character, she raised her left arm and spoke into her mini-mike, which was hidden in her blouse sleeve.


“Possible four o’clock,” she warned. She watched as the nearest officer to the man started calmly in the direction where she had indicated. What she saw next, however, made her forget her promise to the Senator.


“GUN!” she screamed as she ran as quickly as she could towards the Senator. She remembered hearing people screaming and crouching, covering their heads, as she hurried in front of the Senator. She felt hands grabbing her arms and moving her as loud cracks filled her ears.


“NO!” Al shouted, fear and anger clear in his voice, as he watched Sam/Blaize grab Julianna’s shoulders and turn around.


Julianna gripped Sam tightly as he cried out in pain and slumped against her. A distinctively warm sticky substance was starting to slowly seep onto her hands, which were supporting Sam’s weight.  “Oh, gawd, no,” she whispered, knowing all too well the feel of blood on her hands. With the sound of the gunshots still ringing in her ears, she carefully helped Sam face-down on the floor as people screamed and scattered, some hurrying to her side to see if the Senator was hurt.


“GET BACK!” she ordered, forcing herself to focus on her job rather than the anxiety that was filling her. ‘Gawd, please don’t die! I don’t know what I’d do without you!’ “Find that bastard!” she ordered in her mini-mike as she grabbed the nearest clean cloth napkin and carefully slipped it between the vest and Sam’s newly created bullet wound. “And somebody help me get his jacket and vest off! Call for an ambulance!” She wasn’t too concerned with who was obeying the orders, as long as they were being obeyed.


Al knelt beside his eldest daughter as she worked frantically but efficiently to remove the jacket and vest from Sam’s unmoving but wide-awake form. The look in Sam’s eyes reflected the agony that he was in, bringing tears to Al’s eyes. Al warred between anger, frustration and worry for his dear friend.


“Sam, what the hell were you thinking, huh?” he berated him, tears falling from his eyes.


Sam didn’t answer the terse, emotion-filled demand. Instead, somehow, he found a gentle smile to give his friend before succumbing to the pain and falling unconscious.





Project Quantum Leap

Stallion’s Gate, New Mexico

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

9:16 AM CST


The past vanished from Al’s sight, leaving him on his knees surrounded by the sky blue walls of the Imaging Chamber. “Sam…” he whispered with despair, burying his face into his hands.


“Doctor Beckett has leaped,” Ziggy announced, breaking into the sorrow that had nearly consumed the Admiral.


“He’s… okay?” Al asked in a whisper, slowly getting to his feet. Raising his eyes, he noticed Ziggy’s holographic form standing near him.


“My databanks show that, when Senator Blaize returned to his own time, he was afflicted with the wounds Dr. Beckett suffered,” Ziggy told him. “There are numerous occasions that I can bring up in which Dr. Beckett leaped out severely wounded and was uninjured when he arrived at his next location. I am certain that this is one of those occasions.”


Al exhaled noticeably, rubbing his face with his hands. “Thank God,” he murmured. “What about Blaize?” he asked as he approached the Control Console as if it were any other, less stressful leap. He handed the handlink over to Dominic, who immediately began a quick diagnostic of it.


“Senator Blaize was paralyzed from the bullet that severed his spinal cord,” Ziggy told him. “His injury did not sway him from his political career. He instead used it to take up the cause of the handicapped in political offices as well as his own passion for ethnic diversity in the government.” She paused in her recitation, as if pondering on this newly created history. “In addition, the Senator’s would-be assassin, former Lieutenant Jack Myerton of the United States Navy, was killed while attempting to escape capture by Captain Calavicci’s security force.”


Al exhaled gently at the news. While it was sad that the man he once called friend had been killed doing such a horrible act, he was eternally grateful that death meant that Al himself had never gone to Freedom, New Hampshire, in an act of vengeance for his daughter.


“Al?” Dominic Lofton put into the conversation just as Ziggy finished speaking. “The analyst has arrived and is heading for the security office.”


Al frowned at the black man, clearly confused by his words. Seemed like every time he stepped out of the Imaging Chamber, something changed since the time he went in.


“I’m sorry, Dom. What analyst?”


Dom raised his eyebrows slightly, a mischievous gleam in his eye. “The analyst Admiral Beckett sent?” When Al’s face still wore a confused frown, Dom continued. “The one who is overseeing the installation of the new security system you requested?”


“Tom approved that request?” Al questioned, getting a knowing nod from the head programmer. Al took a breath and exhaled. “Guess I’d better meet this guy then.” He didn’t notice the slight look of concern on Dom’s face when he left the Control Room.


“Daniel, you look great!” came the distinctively feminine voice from the security office as Al walked towards it. “Lieutenant Commander. Who would have guessed? And here I thought you’d never get passed the rank of Lieutenant JG.” Her words were greeted with amicable laughter as Al stepped into the room.


“Daddy!” Julianna exclaimed when she saw her father come in. Immediately, she walked over and gave him a hug. “You feel so good!”


“Jules, what are you doing here?” Al asked her, returning the hug before gently pulling away from her.


She laughed at his question. “It’s Christmas Eve, Daddy! Where else would I be?” Seeing the confused look on Al’s face, a frown formed on hers. “Dad, are you okay? What’s wrong?” She brushed his hair gently, testing in her own way whether her father had a temperature while looking briefly at Daniel.


Al gently took her hand off of his head and held it. “I’m fine, Jules. It’s just… it’s been a rough leap. I really thought we might have lost Sam this time.”


Jules smiled warmly at him. “Well, I know you too well, Dad. You’d never let that happen.” She gently guided him towards the door, changing the subject when she saw the sad look on her father’s face.


“Come on, Dad. Mama Beth made me promise to get you home in plenty of time to change for the party tonight. Everyone else is going to be there – Donna, Tina… everyone.” She turned to Daniel who nodded with a smile, indicating that he, Sammy Jo and their daughter Isabella would most definitely be there. Satisfied with his unspoken response, she turned back to her father. “It wouldn’t do for the host to not be there as well. Besides… who’s going to introduce me to all the newer staff members?”


Al conceded the point to Julianna as the two left the complex to prepare for the evening’s celebration.




The annual Project Quantum Leap Christmas party was hopping. The reserved hall was beautifully decorated in bright colors and silvery streamers as well as a large Christmas tree in one corner, making it impossible for anyone who came into the room not to get into the holiday spirit. Inside, staff members danced with their chosen dates, most with ‘significant others’ who worked with them in the complex. A few had dates that knew about Project Quantum Leap but didn’t actually work there.


One such couple was Ensign Ed Sharpe and his fiancée Christa Calavicci. Christa had known about Project Quantum Leap since its inception, primarily because it was necessary for Al to explain to the then teenage girl why her “Uncle” Sam had vanished off the face of the Earth. Now, as the two danced to the soft melodies playing over the speakers, both could only think of their upcoming wedding and how good they felt in each other’s arms.


Al couldn’t help but smile at the contented look on his youngest daughter’s face. He really liked Ed Sharpe, a fact that seriously surprised him considering the beaus his other daughters had chosen. He had never liked any of them, even when they were actually very nice men. Well, most of them were. He still couldn’t see what Jackie saw in Jeremy Weitzman, her first husband, nor could he see what Vickie saw in that stripper… what was his name? And poor Julianna just seemed to have the worst luck in finding the right man. ‘Well, I know Eddie is going to work out for Christa. And Liz hasn’t made any definitive decision on anyone, though she lately has been talking about possibly going into religious vocations. Imagine that! My little Liz is thinking about becoming a nun! Who would have thought that would happen in my family?’


“Penny for your thoughts,” Beth murmured to him as they danced, gaining Al’s attention.




Beth smiled widely. “You’re drifting in the ozone, honey. What are you thinking about?”


Al grinned broadly at her. “Oh, just that… I am the luckiest man in the whole world to have a beautiful wife and five beautiful daughters, one who finally got the right man.”


She chuckled lightly at his words. “Now that isn’t exactly true and you know it. Just because you don’t like Michael doesn’t mean he isn’t the right man for Jackie. Maybe third time is her charm.”


“Yeah… well…” Al started and then exhaled a defeat against his wife’s logic.


“Great comeback,” Beth teased as the song finished. She kissed Al gently and pulled him off the dance floor and towards the refreshment tables so carefully set up to give off the illusion that everyone was in a Christmas fantasy world.


“Al?” she asked her eyes focused on the main entrance to the hall. “Who is that with Julianna?”


Al turned his head to look and raised his eyebrows. There was no mistaking the Asian-American man sitting in a wheelchair next to Julianna, who was leading Jude by the hand into the room.


“It’s Senator Blaize,” he told Beth and then frowned. Thinking for a moment, he started towards the entrance, telling Beth, “I’ll be right back.” It didn’t stop Beth from following him.


“PAPA! NANA!” Jude immediately exclaimed, seeing his grandparents coming towards him. Julianna did nothing to stop the young boy from running over to each of them to give them extra large hugs and kisses.


“Hey there, little sailor!” Al beamed at the boy, picking him up.


“I missed you, Papa! Nana!” Jude told them plainly, making sure that they both knew exactly just how much.


“We missed you too, sweetheart,” Beth assured him, taking him from Al’s arms to hold him for a moment before putting him back on his feet. She took his hand and, with a nod from Jules, guided her grandson towards the refreshment tables.


“Good evening, Senator,” Al greeted Blaize politely once Beth and Jude were on their way. He didn’t really hear the Senator’s cordial response as he looked at Julianna with a raised eyebrow. She smiled gently in return before speaking.


“Senator Blaize is my guest for this evening, Dad.” The wide-eyed look of surprise on her father’s face encouraged her to continue. “He actually remembers absolutely everything concerning Dr. Beckett leaping into him.”


“Everything?” Al questioned with skepticism.


“Yes, Admiral, everything. Including some rather uncomfortable situations that occurred between you and Dr. Beckett.” Getting a stunned expression as a response, he told Al, “Julianna has explained the concept of psycho-synergizing. It really does explain a lot of what I remember from Dr. Beckett leaping to save my life and Julianna’s life. When you see him again, please tell him thank you from me.”


“Yes, sir,” Al told him, clearly uncomfortable with what he just learned.


Blaize gave him a patient smile. “Admiral, let me assure you that I bear no ill feelings towards you. My late uncle was a monster and what he did is unforgivable. I can understand how my unfortunate relationship to him can cause discomfort to others. I hope, however, that will not be the case between you and me.”


Al let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. He didn’t realize until he received it how much he wanted forgiveness for the rash racist word he’d used to describe Blaize. After all, Blaize was not anything like his sadistic uncle. He cared about people with a passion. Even when he was recovering from the bullet he had taken to save Julianna’s life, he emphasized that the reason he was shot in the first place – racism - still existed in the country and that he would continue his fight against racism in all its forms. He continued to fight for ethnic diversity in the United States government but, thanks to his own new handicap, he also began a campaign to end prejudice based on physical limitations. Al was a little disappointed to find out that the Senator had decided to retire from politics that coming January.


“I assure you, Senator,” Al replied to his statement of hope, “that will never be the case between you and me.” He gave him a smile. “Now, since you are here and are a welcome guest, allow me to introduce you to a few people.”


Guiding the couple over to his wife, Al made the first introduction for Senator Blaize as the party continued in its merriment. As Julianna went into the small crowd to become reacquainted with her former associates and friends, Tuyen gained Al’s attention.


“Admiral, may I speak to you in private?”


Al looked at him with a slightly raised eyebrow before guiding him out of the room. “What can I do for you, Senator?” he asked, clearly wanting to return to the party.


He almost chuckled from Al’s directness. “Now I know where Julianna gets it,” he murmured gently. He could feel Al’s eyes on him, waiting for him to cut to the chase. “Of course,” he said with a slight nod to himself before focusing solely on Al. “Admiral, I am not sure how to say this so I will just come right out with it. I am deeply, intensely in love with your daughter, sir, and I am asking you for her hand in marriage.”


Al stared at Tuyen for a long moment, stunned by the sudden declaration. ‘Surely, he can’t be serious!’ “You want to marry Julianna,” he stated plainly, making sure that he understood what Tuyen was saying. Getting an emphatic, “Yes, sir,” Al leaned against a wall and looked at him inquisitively. “And you’re asking my permission?”


Tuyen took a breath. “Julianna looks up to you, Admiral. Heck, she practically puts you on a pedestal. What you think matters to her and so it matters to me. She is truly a remarkable woman and I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life without her.”


Al looked at him quizzically before asking a question that, when asked by someone else, had nearly earned the man a trip through the nearest wall. “Did you sleep with her?”


The stunned look on Tuyen’s face gave Al the answer before the words even came. “Not that it’s any of your business, Admiral, but no. I respect her too much for that. Besides her raising Jude Catholic and it not being right to expose him to something that goes completely against the Church’s teachings, I don’t believe in pre-marital sex.”


It was Al’s turn to be surprised. “You mean you’re a…” He didn’t finish the question, getting a glare from Tuyen. “Okay, okay!” he said, raising his hands in surrender to the brief conflict. “It’s just that Julianna’s been hurt one too many times and I don’t want her to be hurt again.”


“I completely understand, Admiral. I don’t want her to be hurt either. That is why I came to you first. If you prefer that I not marry her… as painful as that decision would be to me… I will respect it.”


Al just looked at the man before him, fascinated and amazed by him. ‘He probably hasn’t even kissed her, if he’s that serious.’ Immediately, he was reminded of the day he met Beth. He hardly even knew her and he proposed to her on his knee, on the spot, on that sidewalk, not caring if anyone saw him making a fool of himself. He was in love with her the moment he laid eyes on her. And now, he could see the young foolish Naval officer he was behind Tuyen Van Blaize’s eyes. Al could see that Tuyen didn’t love Julianna; he worshipped her.


“Have you proposed to her yet?” Al asked. When Tuyen just gently shook his head, he gave a little grin. “Well, then… no time like the present.” Seeing the pleased look on Tuyen’s face, Al left the Senator and returned to the hall.


An hour passed before Al went up to the center of the room and asked for everyone’s attention. It didn’t take long for him to get it. Looking around the room, his wife at his side, Donna and Stephen nearby, he waited to make sure that everyone had a glass of champagne in hand.


“We gather every year, all the staff and those family and friends who are in the know, as it were, and every year it still doesn’t feel quite right because we are missing one person. So… raise your glasses and join me again in our one Christmas wish,” Al said gently, raising his own glass and waiting for all to do the same. “Sam, come home and stay home.”


To resounding agreement, all drank from their glasses before Al waved his hand that he wasn’t done.


“We have two people here who have been dearly missed. Jules, I’m glad you and Jude are home. I’m glad you are both safe. And I’m glad to have you back at Project Quantum Leap. The complex has been barren without your strength and your humor.” After several “Here, here” comments, all took a drink of their champagne.


“PRESENT TIME!” Stephen called out, grabbing Al’s hand and practically pulling him towards the large Christmas tree. Al looked pleadingly towards Beth and Donna who just giggled at the predicament he had suddenly found himself. Soon, nearly everyone was gathered around the tree, waiting for the Admiral, Stephen, and Jude to play Santa and his little helpers.


Tuyen Blaize took the general melee as his chance to get Julianna alone. He gently took Julianna’s hand and pulled her down so that he could whisper in her ear.


“I need to talk to you alone,” he told her mysteriously before wheeling himself to the other side of the room.


Julianna looked around for a moment before following, wondering what her dearest friend had in mind. Tuyen and she had been practically inseparable since the attempt on his life. She was there in the hospital every day to give him companionship – he had no living family. And when he went into physical therapy to learn how to use his wheelchair, she was his cheerleader, encouraging him and helping him. In return, Tuyen made sure that she had the best legal counsel for the upcoming custody suit. When it became obvious to both of them that their relationship was more than that of employer and employee, Tuyen released her from her contract, allowing her to accept Admiral Beckett’s offer for a position back at Project Quantum Leap.


Tuyen knew Julianna well now. He knew that security technology was her first love, the Navy was her second, and he was very likely her third. But that wasn’t going to stop him from his own goals. And to achieve his primary goal, he just needed a moment of peace with her in an ideal setting. This room, decorated so elegantly and so cheerfully, was that ideal setting.


Positioning himself just so, he watched Julianna approach him. ‘I couldn’t have been more right! She’s never looked lovelier than right now, especially with how the silver decorations sparkle behind her beautiful face.’ He smiled widely at the sight.


Seeing the look on his face, Julianna chuckled slightly. “Tuyen, what is it? You’re up to something. I can tell.” When he didn’t answer, she pulled up a chair so that she was eye-to-eye with him. “You’ve got that mischievous look, Senator,” she teased.


Tuyen didn’t say anything for a moment before he took a breath and let it out. “I wanted to get you in private to present my Christmas gift to you.” Slowly, he brought a hand up and presented a rose to her.


The surprise on Julianna’s face was priceless. “How did you hide that?” she asked with amazement as she took the rose. Only when it was in hand did she notice the diamond ring delicately tied to its stem. “Oh, my…” she started, covering her mouth with shock as the meaning of that ring came to light.


Tuyen gently reached over to take her free hand and hold it. “Julianna, I’ve been saving myself for the right woman. I’ve looked high and low for her. And then I literally ran into her on a beautiful morning in May. All I need to know now is… will she marry me?”


Julianna’s eyes shifted slowly from the diamond ring on the rose to Tuyen’s infatuated look, not knowing how to speak. Never liking her emotions getting the better of her, she first bit her lip before she realized that it was pointless to hide her reaction to this unexpected proposal.


“Yes,” she finally said, looking at her dearest friend in the world as a tear escaped her eye. “Yes, she’ll marry you.” Quickly getting up from her chair, she leaned in to wrap her arms around Tuyen, hugging him tightly before kissing him passionately. “I’ll marry you, Tuyen Van Blaize. Any time, any day.”


Tuyen’s smile couldn’t have been any bigger as he pulled her into his lap and kissed her. “I love you, Julianna Sherman-Calavicci,” he whispered to her. Very delicately, he untied the diamond ring from the rose’s stem and slipped it on her finger. The two then just sat holding each other, basking in each other’s love in their private moment. Neither noticed as most of the gifts were properly distributed – the ones still under the tree were for absent staff members, including Julianna – and the music began again, encouraging everyone to dance.



I'm alone. Yeah, I don't know if I can face the night.
I'm in tears and the cryin' that I do is for you.
I want your love. Let's break the walls between us.
Don't make it tough. I'll put away my pride.
Enough's enough. I've suffered and I've seen the light.

Baby, You're my angel. Come and save me tonight.
You're my angel. Come and make it all right.

Don't know what I'm gonna do about this feeling inside.
Yes, it's true. Loneliness took me for a ride.
Without your love, I'm nothing but a beggar.
Without your love, a dog without a bone.
What can I do? I'm sleepin’ in this bed alone.

Baby, You're my angel. Come and save me tonight.
You're my angel. Come and make it all right.
Come and save me tonight.

You're the reason I live. You're the reason I die.
You're the reason I give when I break down and cry.
Don't need no reason why.

Baby, Baby, Baby.
You're my angel. Come and save me tonight.
You're my angel. Come and make it all right.
Come and save me tonight.



Jules smiled at the appropriateness of the lyrics as she gently laid her head on Tuyen’s shoulder. He was her angel both in name – for she learned that “Tuyen” means “Angel” in Vietnamese – and in reality. Who needs Christmas presents? She was sitting in the lap of the best Christmas present ever.






A voice, coming from everywhere and nowhere, said, “Sam, you have done very well. You have met all obstacles head-on and exceeded my wildest expectations.”

“Does that mean I can go home now?”

“Unfortunately, no. Your destiny has yet to be fulfilled.”

“I thought you said that I control my own destiny.”

“You do, but you have yet to accept that fact. Right now, it’s your own subconscious need to continue that is driving your leaps, and before you are done, it will take you on your most arduous leaps yet.”

“Do you mean the leaps are going to get even tougher? I don’t think I could handle it if they were any tougher.”

“You can handle it. Remember the past and apply what you have learned, and you will get through it just fine.”

Sam was just about to ask the voice what it meant when he felt the familiar tugging of an impending leap. “No, no, not yet. I’m not ready to go.”

“Good luck, Sam.”

Just like that, the voice was gone and Sam found himself in new surroundings. As they came into focus, he looked to his left and saw three cubicles. In each station was a computer terminal with a woman sitting behind it. Behind him and to his right, he saw an attractive young redheaded woman that looked to be about twenty-three years old and five feet nine inches tall, running a drive-thru.

Finally realizing where he was, Sam heard a voice say, “Hey Nate, are you going to give me my thousand dollars, or are you going to bring it home for me too?”

For the first time, Sam looked ahead of him and saw a balding man with a potbelly. This man was easily in his fifties and smelled slightly of alcohol. “Oh, sorry,” said Sam before quickly counting the cash. He counted one thousand dollars in hundred dollar bills before reaching up and tearing the gentleman’s receipt off the printer. Quickly glancing at the receipt, he saw that the man did indeed withdraw the thousand dollars and that his name was Bruce Trillo. “Here you go, Mr. Trillo.”

Sam handed Mr. Trillo the money and the bottom copy of the receipt but saw that the man was just standing there. “Is there anything else I can help you with today, sir?”

“Don’t you need me to sign the receipt?”

“Oh, right, sorry,” said a slightly red-faced Sam. Remembering a little too late that his own bank always made him sign for withdrawals, Sam put the top copy of the receipt on the counter.

Mr. Trillo signed it before saying, “What has gotten into you today, kid?”

Then, without waiting for an answer, Bruce Trillo turned and started to walk toward the door when he distinctly heard Nate say, “Oh boy.”




* - For this phone conversation, read ep. 1127: “And Then Darkness Falls” by MJ Cogburn

** - The FN 5.7 pistol and its capabilities are real. The gun and its ammunition are legal and, shockingly, are available to the general public. Visit for more information.

*** - “Angel” by Aerosmith, Permanent Vacation, Geffen Records, Copyright 2001


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