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Old 10-23-2002, 11:30 PM   #4
mstalanon
Assistant to Gooshie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Independence, MO
Posts: 491
Default Round Robin 3: Part Four

"Quantum Leaping often places me in precarious positions, but I have to admit that rarely does God/Fate/Time or Whatever place me in one that can get me killed. My heart didn't stop it's thundering in my chest even after we reached the safety of the ground level of the bridge. Billy was understandably upset with me, and I couldn't really blame him. I mean, how often do you have to go out swinging like Tarzan to save the life of your coworker?"

They approached an old Ford pickup, and threw their equipment in the back of it. There Sam saw the answer to his question - several cans of paint sat amongst the other equipment. They went ahead and rinsed their equipment off, and put them away. The whole time, Sam listened to Billy going on and on about how you can never fade away like that up there. Doctor Beckett just nodded, and shrugged when he felt it appropriate, hoping that this Leap would end soon.

"I mean, what were you thinking, Danny Boy?"

"I told you, Billy. I don't know. That wind really rattled me today. You know I've never been comfortable around heights!"

"SINCE WHEN? Danny, you taught ME how to run the rigging. Until your hospital visit six months ago, you were the guy with the most seniority here. You got me MY job!"

"Can't we just drop it," Sam asked wearily, as he got in the truck's passenger seat, plopping down with resignation. He massaged his eyes with his fingers, trying to ease the tension. He felt the lump in his back pocket, and took out Danny's wallet... thumbing through the pictures, looking for clues to who and what he was. From the driver's license, Daniel apparently was twenty-eight years old, and an organ donor, and lived in San Francisco.

He noticed pictures of kids, and only one of the family. Seems Danny Ackerman loved his kids, but maybe not the whole scene. Sam took out the picture of a non-smiling Daniel, his non-smiling wife - at least according to the wedding rings visible in the pictures.

"Miss her?"

Sam looked over at Billy with a start. "Yeah... I guess I do," he said slowly. Not seeing surprise on Bill Reingartener's face, other than a nod, Sam suspected that Bill knew what the score really was here.

"You'll get over her, buddy. I know Anna and Joel really miss their mom, too. That can't be good on the little tykes. Thank God you haven't tested positive the way she did."

Sam frowned and whispered, "My God, she has A.I.D.S."

"Pretty cliche' when you think about it, huh? I mean, here we are working in the city where the 'gay plague' started. Damned queers will be the death of us all... no offense!"

Sam sat up straighter. "Well, that's true, but ... Oh, I guess!" The doctor in Sam Beckett wanted to cry out and address the real facts, but they wouldn't be known until the late nineties, and from the newspaper that was in the seat next to them that this was 1994. Right now, a lot of superstition and fear ruled the world when it came to H.I.V. and it's pilgrimage across the planet's surface. "Can we go please?"

Something in Sam's voice set Billy back a second, and before he put his keys in the ignition, he turned on Sam with an angry glance. "My friend, I do think you've finally lost it. Out of loyalty and our friendship, and the fact you put me up every now and then over at your place, I wasn't going to report what happened a few minutes ago. But any more of that nonsense, and I'll HAVE to take it to Fredricks!"

Doctor Beckett could only assume that was the supervisor or owner of the company. He made a nodding gesture and closed his eyes. He felt, rather than knew about the seat being sat in, the truck starting, and it being engaged in gear. Before he knew it, he was asleep, and the idling of the truck as it drove down the roads lulled him away into never-neverland.

He awoke with a start as the engine shut off. He sat up, and the light had turned darker.

"Wow, how much did I sleep?" he said through droopy eyes.

"Long enough to get home," joked Billy. "Hey man, sorry about that gay comment earlier. When you told us Rosa was H.I.V.-positive from the blood transfusion, many of us didn't know what to think. The blood you got wasn't tainted... but it could easily have been you. I guess we're just weirded out about it."

Sam nodded, and smiled softly back at his friend. "I do understand, Billy. You think I haven't lived with that same fear? Or the fact I could have contracted it thru sex with R-Rosa." The unfamiliar name rolled uncomfortably off Sam's lips, but it seemed to only solidify the impression that Danny truly missed his wife.

"Well, you know her," Billy said, laughing at some reference that Sam didn't get. But irregardless, Bill was more his old self. "Okay, well, listen buddy, do you need me to get some brews for tonight?"

Sam looked over at the darker-skinned man with upraised eyebrows. "Are you and Shelly going to be drinking much? Sounds like you have other plans!"

"Wellllll, let's just say that we'll start with the beer!"

"In that case, here," Sam said, shoving a twenty in Billy's hands. "Get the usual, and keep the rest... thanks for saving my butt today!"

Billy seemed to think about it, and crumpled the bill in a tightened grip, and mock slugged Doctor Beckett in the shoulder with it. "'Kay... thanks man!"

"No, thank you!" quipped Sam as he opened the door. "See you in a few!"

"Be back shortly with the love of my life!" said Bill, as he gunned the engine on the truck, leaving behind a slight black cloud as he did so.

And as usual, Sam was stuck in the street, wondering just which house was his. The address on the ID he'd seen previously wasn't for this street he was on.
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Matt
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