Living the Dream
by Noel Goddard
Original Pub. Date: May 1996
Summary: Sam and Al meet under very different circumstances after the episode A Leap for Lisa.
I put the phone receiver back on the cradle. I had a pit in my stomach the size of a grapefruit. I hated getting these assignments. I was the bad guy that everyone got to hate. I had just been assigned to go supervise the shutdown of another government project. In the age of Republican government cutbacks, this was a job that I was having to do far too often to suit my taste. When I signed on to oversee security of government projects after I retired from the Navy, I had no idea I was going to get to play government executioner. The project on the chopping block this time was something in New Mexico called Project Quantum Leap, the brainchild of that eccentric kid-scientist Sam Beckett. The project had been started during the booming 80's when money was plentiful. Now, with no proof of any progress, Weitzman had just pulled the plug. The only "quantum leap" the kid was going to make now was into the great vat of science has-beens.
The flight to New Mexico was long and slow. I missed the speed and thrill of the fighter jets I used to fly in the navy. Ah, for the days when I used to break the speed of sound. I would fly intricate flight patterns while Lisa watched below.
God, I missed her. I missed her smile in the morning, her hugs at night, and right now, I missed the way she used to pack my bags for trips like these. She would always pack a little special something in my case that would remind me of her. One time she sent some special pictures of herself that I unfortunately opened in view of some uptight government bigwig. Talk about the you-know-what hitting the fan. It was actually pretty funny in retrospect. I chuckled at the memory while a few tears slid down my cheeks.
The tears came because the happy memories were still tainted with sadness. I remembered the day our world came apart at the seams like it was yesterday, even though three years had passed. I came home from my trip to Texas to oversee the Supercollider shutdown, and she was home sitting in the dark. It was very strange. She had been fine last night when I called.
"Lisa, honey, what's wrong?"
She just sorta flew from the couch and crumpled into my arms, "Oh, Al!"
I held her close for a few minutes as she shook from crying. "Lisa, honey, what's wrong?"
She looked up at me with tears still streaming down her cheeks. "God, Al, I love you! It's so unfair!"
What she told me next sorta went by in a blur. I remember bits and pieces of it, like various scenes of movie shot out of order. The take home message was that she was dying. I knew that she'd been having some indigestion lately and feeling sorta crappy. Well, being the nurse that she is, she diagnosed herself with an ulcer, and she finally went in to get some stronger medicine for it while I was out of town. She didn't want me to worry, especially since she knows that I absolutely HATE doctors. Turns out her "little" indigestion and "ulcer" was pancreatic cancer- the worst kind of cancer. There was no treatment, no way to fight it. The only thing to do was to pray for a swift and painless end.
Lisa and I spent the next two months loving each other, visiting our two daughters in Florida and Oregon, and seeing all the sights across the country that we'd always wanted to see, but never had the time. I took all my accumulated vacation time from the previous 8 years, so that no work would interrupt our time together. Lisa finally grew too weak to continue our travels, and we settled into a little out-of-the way cabin in the Rockies of Colorado. She died there two months to the day after her diagnosis. She died peacefully in her sleep, for which I was very grateful. She and I had already made arrangements to buy a small tract of land near our mountain hideaway. The kids and I buried her there facing off in the mountains to the West. We had no doubts that she was now free to explore everything that she didn't get to explore while she was alive.
Almost as if on cue, the clouds parted beneath the airplane, and I found myself staring out at the Rocky Mountains of Colorado as the plane turned and headed south to New Mexico. God, Lisa, I miss you.
The plane landed on an ancient airstrip that looked to be in the middle of nowhere. As I descended the stairs of the plane, a jeep, driven by a very wet-behind-the-ears Marine, pulled up and parked on the tarmac.
The marine saluted stiffly and gave the required greeting, "Admiral Calavicci, sir!"
I gruffly returned the salute and dove right in to the business at hand. "Private, where's this Quantum Leap site? All is see is desert."
"Admiral, sir, the majority of the complex is underground, sir. If you will join me in the jeep, I will take you to the facility entrance, sir."
I followed the marine to the jeep. Underground projects were always a pain to shut down because everything had to be transported up to the surface and inventoried again to make sure no one "accidentally" lifted any government property. Yep, this job was definitely going to take awhile.
We pulled up outside a gray, nondescript bunker that looked to be the remnant of a nuclear testing site from the good ol' days. The marine led me through the door and into a sturdy looking elevator. "Private, how far below are we going?"
The marine looked confused, but answered anyway, "Admiral, sir, about 100 feet, sir."
I obviously should have done my homework about the project while I was on the plane instead of daydreaming about Lisa. This was going to be a very long day getting acquainted with the thing I was about to destroy. As the doors of the elevator opened I was greeted by one of the stiffest Englishmen I had ever encountered. He was dressed in a gray Brooks Brothers suit, perfectly tailored, with a neat, crisp white shirt. He stood perfectly straight with his hands folded behind his back.
The man spoke in clipped English, "Greetings, Admiral Calavicci. Welcome to Project Quantum Leap."
I answered gruffly, "I don't think you'll want to welcome me after we talk. Who are you?"
I swear his nose raised another inch in the air before he answered, " I am Edward St. John, the Co-Director and Observer on the Project. As for your other remark, if you were referring to the shutdown of the project, I assure you that we are quite aware of your assignment here."
I asked the obvious question, "We? We who?"
"Myself and Dr. Beckett of course. Dr. Beckett is otherwise occupied this afternoon working on the latest simulation data. Hence, I have been assigned to give the tour of what you will soon be dismantling."
St. John said that last word in such a cold tone that it actually seemed to hang in the air before it shattered between us. St. John turned on heel and began to march down the hall at a quick pace. Great, I thought to myself sarcastically, the beginning of a wonderful afternoon.
We spent the afternoon wandering through every nook and cranny of the facility. The place was huge. It would take several months to fully dismantle the entire place and move everything above ground. The computer presented a particular challenge. Beckett had been very closed-mouthed with Washington about the computer and all of its capabilities. Just the few minutes that I had with it this evening had convinced me that Alpha as it was called had to be maintained in a functional form. It was a remarkable achievement of programming and artificial intelligence. The damn thing was almost sentient. I resolved to call Washington first thing in the morning about possible uses and locations for Alpha.
But before I did any more work here, I decided that a trip into town to the local bar was definitely in order. When I came back from my one tour to Vietnam, I had a bit of a drinking problem. The horrors of war were enough to drive even the best of men to drink. Lisa had made sure that I sobered up quickly before I could develop a serious problem. I had one friend who wasn't lucky enough to have a wife like Lisa to straighten him out. He had spent time as a POW and when he came back, he became a serious alcoholic. After several years of heavy drinking, he basically drank himself to death. Over the years since then, I rarely touched the stuff, but I decided that tonight was definitely worthy of "tying one on".
"Bartender, I'll have..."
Before I could finish my order, a masculine, but silky voice broke in, "He'll have one of what I'm having."
I turned to face my benefactor and was thoroughly unprepared for what I saw. The face that greeted me was that of Dr. Sam Beckett. I'd seen the kid on the cover of Time several years ago when he won the Nobel Prize. The years had been kind and had in fact added some maturity to his appearance that was quite pleasing.
I decided I'd better say something because the tension was hanging thick in the air. "Ah, Dr. Beckett, I presume. Thanks for the drink."
"You're welcome, Admiral Calavicci. Must say I didn't expect to run into you here tonight. I hope that Edward's tour this afternoon was satisfactory."
I cleared my throat nervously. I felt the kid's suppressed rage in the air between us. "The tour was quite satisfactory. I think it will take several months to completely...ah... clear out.... uh... things."
"Why don't you just spit it out? It's going to take you a while to destroy my life's work. Are you here to try to soothe your aching conscience with a little alcohol?"
Here it comes, I thought to myself. This was the truly crappy part of my job. I sighed. "Dr. Beckett, I assure you that I don't take any pleasure in shutting down your project. It's my job, okay? I'm just an old Navy man following orders. Sometimes those orders are full of shit, but what's an old sailor to do?"
The doctor seemed to soften a bit. "Do you know that my brother was in the Navy?"
I racked my brain trying to remember what I'd read in the kid's security dossier. "He was a Seal wasn't he?"
"Good, good. I see that you've done your homework, Admiral."
I could tell from the glazed look in the man's eyes and from the way his speech was starting to slur that he had been here longer than I had and had already downed several drinks. I waited for the drunken tirade that I was sure would follow.
"Yep, my brother was a Navy Seal who just followed orders. Do you know what it got him?"
"It got him a Purple Heart and his name on a big black wall in Washington."
The kid downed the rest of his beer in one chug. I waited as the air in the room got colder in a hurry.
"What has all of your following orders gotten you Admiral?"
The question cut me to the quick. I thought of Lisa and how little time we had actually spent together before those last two months together. All those years of taking orders had cost me dearly in terms of both my family and my wife. Actually, I had only spoken to my daughters maybe once a month since Lisa died. We just weren't close because I was never around when they were young.
I stared at the amber colored liquid in the glass in front of me. Suddenly, it seemed like the kid had a good idea. I picked up the glass and chugged the contents in one swallow. It burned all the way down. I cleared my throat and turned back to look at my drinking companion. He seemed amused by something. "What?" I asked.
"Looks like I got to you Admiral. Maybe you're not a cold, heartless son of a bitch after all."
I quickly ordered another drink and then turned back to the kid, "Nope. I never claimed to be. In fact, my wife used to say that I was really an ol' softie underneath all my military gruff."
The kid perked up a little bit at that tidbit "What do you mean used to? You turned into a hardass over the years?"
My new drink came and again I swallowed the entire contents of the glass at once. "Nope. I'm still the same. She's dead."
The words hung between us. The kid looked at me with those eyes. Damn, those eyes were filled with sympathy. People with eyes like that had always unnerved me. Lisa had eyes like that.
The kid quickly hid the sympathy and ordered us another round of drinks. "So, now what?" the kid asked with a touch less harshness.
I looked at him, questioningly, " What what? I'm here to dismantle PQL, whether either one of likes it. I can at best slow the process down a little, but I can't stop it."
The kid's eyes lightened suddenly. It was like those cartoons, the ones where the light bulb comes on above the characters' heads when they have an idea. "How long can you delay the shutdown?"
I looked at him, suspiciously, "I can delay it enough to give you maybe an extra month. What do you have in mind?"
As he continued to stare me, the kid said with more than a touch of irony, "You know, Admiral, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
Two months had passed since the kid and I had tied one on in the local bar. We had both drowned our sorrows that night to the point that the bartender had to put us both in a cab to go home. Since then, we had spent every night together at dinner and talking. I really liked the kid, and his scientific theories were truly amazing. I had done some studies in Quantum Physics at MIT on a military sabbatical at one point. As near as I could tell with my limited background, the kid could really be onto something. It was shame that he was being shut down. Correction- I was shutting him down. However, I still didn't know why the kid had asked to me delay the shutdown. Quite frankly, I wasn't sure that I wanted to know.
The project was down to bare bones both in terms of equipment and personal. Virtually all of the research personnel were gone and all of the usual bureaucratic paper pushers were long since gone. The only people left were the Alpha programmers, the project doctor, in case of emergency, and the project directors, St. John and Sam. St. John did not like me one bit. He had made his distaste pretty obvious that first day, but it had gotten even worse since Sam and I had started spending so much time together. It was almost as if he was jealous. I don't have any idea what he would jealous about, but I must say I did enjoy getting his goat a bit.
Late one afternoon, I wandered down to the control room to see how the kid was doing. Lately, he seemed to be more engrossed with his work than ever. Some nights, I had to physically drag him from the project in order to get him to eat some dinner. Today was obviously going to be another one of those nights. When I walked into the control room, Sam was there alone, hunched over the computer console, wearing a blue tank top and sweat pants that seemed more appropriate for outside than for the lab. He didn't look up when I came in; he was obviously completely absorbed in whatever he was working on.
I approached him slowly, but deliberately. "Sam, it's almost dinnertime. How about we go for Chinese tonight?"
Sam started when I spoke. He obviously hadn't even realized I was in the room. He recovered quickly though, "Hi, Al. I'm going to be a while longer. Why don't you go on without me?"
He stared at me with those eyes of his. Ever since I had met him that night in the bar, those eyes had always made me more than a little uncomfortable. I don't know why, but they seemed to look right through me to my soul. I quickly averted my eyes, instead glancing at the computer readout. "What 'cha workin' on kid?"
Sam turned back to the computer and quickly erased whatever was on the computer screen before I could read it. He looked back at me with his best "who me?" look, "Oh, it's just another simulation. Nothing particularly exciting."
He was being evasive about something. I sighed, knowing that there was nothing I could do to make him tell me what he was going on in that brain of his. Over the past months, this kid had become the best friend I had ever had. When we weren't together, I thought about him, worried about him, even lately, I dreamed about him. We had shared many, many things with one another, and still I knew that he was holding something back. It was almost as if he was waiting, waiting to be sure that he could really trust me.
I shook myself from my musings and returned to the task at hand- dinner. "Kid, you gotta eat. If you gotta finish this simulation first, is there something I can do to help?"
Sam turned away from the computer screen to face me again. He looked at me with what I come to call his "puppy-dog" look and asked tentatively, "Well, my shoulders are pretty tense from bending over this computer terminal. It would help a lot if you would massage them for me."
What can I say, I couldn't turn down that look. I tentatively reached forward and began to knead Sam's firm shoulders through the tank top. Sam turned back to the computer screen and began to type some more. After a couple of minutes, the typing stopped, and Sam leaned back into my hands. I moved my massage from his shoulders down to his upper arms, which were tan and well muscled. Sam reached around with his right hand and began to stroke my leg softly. Just as the alarm bells were starting to go off in my head, the control room door opened.
Sam and I both looked up suddenly to see St. John standing there in the doorway, looking stunned. Sam quickly removed his hand from leg. I, on the other hand, kept my hands resting on Sam's shoulders. I don't know why I did it, but it really seemed to bug the hell out of St. John. So, I decided to go with it.
Sam spoke first, "Is there something we can do for you Edward?"
He looked back and forth from me to Sam and stammered, "I just came down to see the results of the latest test. Obviously, this isn't a good time."
Sam sighed almost inaudibly. He obviously knew what was bothering St. John, but quite frankly I didn't care. So, I spoke up, "No, this isn't a good time. Sam and I were about to go out for some dinner. Why don't you call it a night too? I'll remind Sam to put the results of this simulation on your desk first thing in the morning." As I finished my sentence, I ran my hand down Sam's upper arm, purely for the benefit of the pompous Brit.
It worked. St. John was about to blow, but he constrained himself and answered curtly, "Very well Admiral." He turned and literally stormed from the room.
Sam turned to look at me disapprovingly, "You didn't have to do that. St. John is...well, he's be like family to me over the years."
I turned on my own charm and replied innocently, "What did I do? I just told him that I thought we should call it a night."
Sam tried to maintain his annoyance, but I crossed my eyes at him and all was lost. We both dissolved into a fit of laughter that lasted for several minutes.
Finally the kid stopped laughing long enough to talk, "All right, all right. I surrender to the great Calavicci. Take me away from all of this!"
I smiled broadly and answered, "With pleasure."
After the incident in the control room, the situation around the project actually got a little better. Instead of antagonizing me at every turn, St. John actually steered clear of me most of the time. It was a refreshing break from the hostility that had been mounting during the previous weeks. However, my job of dismantling the project had hid a definite roadblock. I was stuck on the problem of moving Alpha above ground without dismantling it. I had managed to convince the Pentagon brass that Alpha was worth much more to them in a functional form, than as a pile of spare parts. Now, I just had to figure how to make it happen. In a daze, I wandered into my temporary office and sat down at my makeshift desk. I stared into space for a while, mulling over the problem. Finally, I reached for a pen and paper to jot down some ideas, and instead, I found a note from Sam on my desk. I read it quickly.
"Come to my house tonight at 8 PM for dinner. I want to talk to you about something important. -Sam"
That was Sam for you. He got right to the point and was used to getting exactly what he wanted. I decided that tonight would not be a good night to challenge that notion, especially since it meant I wouldn't have to be the one dragging him away from work. I glanced at the clock, and it read 6 PM. Good, I thought, just long enough to go home, clean up, and pick up a little something special on the way. As I headed out the door of my office, I looked back around the room and wondered aimlessly, "Why do I feel so nervous?" I shrugged my shoulders, turned off the lights, and headed out the door.
Eight o'clock rolled around, and I drove up to Sam's house right on time. His house was more of bungalow actually. It was made out of adobe and looked like many of the other houses seen around town. What made it distinctive though was the amazing landscaping out front. Sam obviously either spent a lot of time or paid someone a lot of money to design an intricate landscape filled with indigenous desert flora. I stepped out of the car and just stood admiring the detailed work.
The kid's silken voice startled me out of my reverie, "You like it?"
I looked up to see Sam standing in the doorway wearing a loose fitting green polo shirt and a pair of white tennis shorts. Damn, I thought to myself idly, if I had looked that good when I was young, I would have had to beat the women off with a stick. "Yeah, kid, it's pretty amazing. You do it all yourself?"
Sam grinned like a kid showing off his prize possession, "Yeah, I guess you could say that it's a hobby of mine. I come home from the project and work in the garden to clear my thoughts. You know I came up with the idea of designing Alpha as a parallel hybrid computer while I was doing the initial landscaping right after I moved here."
By now we were into the living room, and the room was clearly an expression of its owner. The furniture was simple, yet attractive, but the room was cluttered with books and papers. Somewhere in the background, I recognized the music from The Man of La Mancha. "Well, kid, since you said you had something important to discuss, I brought a little wine. Since I didn't know what was on the menu, I brought a white zinfandel. Whaddaya think?"
Sam smiled, "I think that's great."
We walked into the dining room. My breath was taken away. The table was set quite elegantly for a candlelight dinner for two. As I stood a little dumbfounded, Sam came up behind me and stood very close.
"You like it?"
I felt his breath hot on my neck. I wasn't sure what was going on here, but I was more than a little intrigued. "What're you up to, kid?"
Sam reached up and grabbed my shoulders, turning me towards him. He stared at me intently for a moment, and then before I could react, he was kissing me. Now, I had never been kissed by a man before. I'd never even considered kissing a man before, but I was immediately responding to this kid. I don't know whether I was just lonely or if the friendship I felt for the kid was really something more, but I found myself getting hard as he kissed me.
I opened my mouth and probed into his mouth with my tongue. The kid moaned against me. I reached my arms around him and ran my hands over his firmly muscled back. Meanwhile, Sam was beginning to thrust at my groin with his hips. It was very obvious that the kid was at least as turned on as I was, and from the size of the bulge pressing into me, it could be a very interesting night.
Sam's hands clawed at my shirt and quickly removed it. Likewise, I pulled his polo shirt over his head in one swift move. Having divested each other of at least one item of clothing, we stopped and held each other for a moment.
The kid stared at me, "Are you sure you're okay with this? Because I gotta tell you, you're the first military man that I've ever welcomed into my bed." The kid's eyes twinkled with a mischievous glint. I winked back and answered, "I'm sure that I want you. But I gotta tell you, you're the first man period that I've ever welcomed into my bed." With that, he pulled me into a deep kiss that seemed to never end.
Well, the kid and I never did get to eat that fancy dinner he had set up for us. Later that night in bed, we opened the bottle of wine that I had brought. It had been quite a night for me. I really hadn't ever been with a man before, but after tonight, I don't think I'll ever have any more hang-ups about such things. What can I say? The kid was amazing.
As we lay in bed, sipping the wine, the kid looked at me with a more serious look in his eyes. "Al, I want you to help me."
"After your performance, tonight- anything you want." I smiled my most winning smile in return.
He looked at me with a little bit of disapproval. "Al, I'm serious. What I'm about to ask you is as big a favor as it gets."
I cast the kid a worried glance. "Sure kid. Spill it."
"Al, I want to test the Accelerator before you dismantle it. I need to know if it could have worked."
"What do you mean test it? Run another simulation?" I was getting that worried feeling in my gut again.
"No, I mean really test it. I want to try to Leap."
"Are you out of your mind?" I roared. "Look kid, your theories may be sound, but trying to actually use that damn thing might get you killed!"
"Al, I've run every simulation that I can think of. I know it's a bit premature, but I'm sure that the accelerator works. I'm pretty sure the retrieval program will work. I just want one Leap, Al. I really need to know if my life's work is real or if it was all just a dream."
I looked into the deep eyes staring at me. I had to admit, the prospect of helping the kid really got my juices flowing. Just thought of trying was giving me an adrenaline rush the likes of which I hadn't had since I was assigned to be a glorified desk jockey. I began to weigh the risks and benefits in my head. If it works, the kid is satisfied and may even be able to win some more funding. If it doesn't work, then the project shuts down on schedule and....the kid may not make it back.
I looked at him, "Do you know that you might not make it?"
He stared back at me and asked meaningfully, "Did you know that you might not make it back when you were a test pilot?"
"All right kid. You got yourself a deal." We both smiled.
It was about 4 AM when we snuck into the project. As we entered the control room, Sam switched on the lights and greeted Alpha. "Hello, Alpha, prepare to run Beckett accelerator trial A-1. Authorization code: Don Quixote."
I stifled a laugh at the kid's password. "Couldn't you come up with anything more original?"
Sam got a little defensive, "Well, no one's successfully tapped into this subroutine yet, have they?"
I grinned back at him, "Well, has anyone been looking?"
Sam turned and stuck his tongue out at me. Perfect. What a perfect response. You know, I really hope this works. I think I could get really attached to this kid.
After about half an hour of fiddling with Alpha's controls, Sam turned to me and said, "I think we're ready. When I'm inside the accelerator and ready, enter this sequence into Alpha. Wait half an hour after I've leaped and sound the alarm. I've left a message in Alpha absolving you of any involvement and explaining what I'm trying to do. It also contains detailed instructions for St. John, as the Project Observer, and detailed retrieval instructions for Gooshie, the head programmer."
While I watched, the kid stepped out of the white shorts and the green polo shirt that he had thrown back on when we left his house. After lingering there briefly in the buff for my benefit, he pulled on the tight, form-fitting suit that he would wear into the accelerator. He walked over to me and pulled me close. "So, Al, will you be here for me when I get back?"
I pulled the kid down into a deep, long kiss. Once we came up for air, I smiled at him, "Yeah, kid, I think I'll stick around for the ride."
Sam pulled away and began to walk towards the accelerator.
I called after him, "What year are you going to?"
Sam turned towards me and kept walking backwards towards the accelerator chamber door, "1970.... April 8, 1970."
I called out again, "Why 1970?"
Sam flashed a winning smile and responded, "Look it up in my dossier. I'll see you soon, Al!"
As you might imagine, all hell broke loose when the alarm sounded half an hour later. When St. John arrived demanding to know what the hell was going on, I directed him to Sam's message on Alpha. I stuck to our story that I had dinner with Sam, and he had been acting strangely. So, on a hunch, I had come over to check out the project and had found the situation- Sam had leaped, and Alpha was tracking him.
The next few days passed in a blur. St. John made contact with Sam in the Imaging Chamber. Sam had really leaped. The problem was that he didn't land in 1970. He landed in 1956 instead, and according to St. John, he had absolutely no memory of the experiment. Apparently, Sam could only remember his name and his phone number. To make matters worse, the retrieval program had failed. I had spent those days back in Washington calling in every marker I had to try to get the project funding extended. After a great deal of ass-kissing and back-room deal making, I returned to New Mexico with an additional six months of funding.
I stumbled back into my office to come face to face with that uptight Brit.
"He leaped again." St. John looked tired and haggard.
"That's good news isn't it? I have some more good news. I got the project funding extended for another six months. Oh, and I will be taking over as Co-Project Director in Sam's absence. So, I guess we'll just have to learn to work together."
That seemed to send a barely controlled St. John over the edge. "This is all your fault. If you hadn't decided to be so reckless with Dr. Beckett's life, then he would be here safe and sound."
"Whoa, what makes you think this is my fault?"
"Look, Admiral, Sam's message may have fooled the Washington brass, but I know full well that Sam needed someone to initiate the accelerator sequence from the control room. Now, you were the first one 'on the scene'. My guess is that you were that accomplice. What do you think the Washington folks would think if they know that you were a co-conspirator in the misuse of a government project?"
I lost it. Plain and simple. "Look, if you knew that kid at all, you'd know that he is doing exactly what he wanted to do. This is his life's dream. Now, I'm not admitting anything, but I am damn glad that he is out there doing exactly that. I am also damn glad that I was able to help him by getting the funding for this little party extended. Now if you want to remain a guest at Sam's party, I suggest you get your attitude in line."
St. John stared at me a bit slack-jawed and then turned on heel and stalked out my office, knowing that this round had gone to me. I wondered how long it would be until he found some way to try to get rid of me. It was clear that I would have to be on my toes around here or else St. John might find a way to step all over them. Oh, well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, I was firmly ensconced in a place to watch over Sam.
I stared off into space, deep in thought. Yep, the kid is doing exactly what he wants; he's living out his dream. Ain't that a kick in the butt? I sure hope that I'm still around when he wakes up. I can't wait to hear all about it.