Chapter 6 Verbina woke with a start of shock, sitting up in her bed quickly. "Take is easy, 'Bina," Al told her, coaxing her back into a reclining position. "You've had one hell of a day." She exhaled, obeying Al's gestures to relax. "I was in the Waiting Room and he was..." Her breathing became slightly erratic. "Oh, my gawd!" She looked at Al before clinging to him tightly. Al returned the hug gently and brushed her hair away from her eyes. "It's okay. He didn't get far." "Far enough," she said in a whisper. She pulled away slowly and looked at him with tears in her eyes. "Thank you." Al raised an eyebrow. "For what?" He gave her a little smile, an indication that he knew exactly what she meant despite his question. She returned the smile but her body language indicated that she was still not completely over the incident. She wrapped her arms around herself. I feel so used! Al looked at her carefully. "Are you going to be all right?" She nodded slowly, uncertainly. Al gently put his hand on her shoulder, recognizing the truth in her actions. "I'm not going to let him hurt you or anyone else, Verbina. Got it?" He waited for a response, which he got in the form of a nod. He frowned slightly. He was hoping for something more substantial. The last thing Quantum Leap needed was a staff psychiatrist who needed therapy. Taking a breath, he looked at Verbina firmly. "'Bina, look at me," he ordered gently. Slowly, she raised her head and obeyed, looking so sad and ashamed. "I'm a psychiatrist, right?" she asked him in a shaky voice. "I'm supposed to be able to handle something like this, right?" He gave her an understanding smile. "In other people, yes. But in you... Well, maybe you just need a little time to talk to someone." He took a breath before kissing her forehead. "Get some rest, okay? And if you feel like talking, I'll be here to listen." She gave him a slight but grateful smile. "Thanks, Al." "Don't mention it," he told her as he stood up and started for the door. "Al?" He turned to look at her. "He's done this to other women," she told him bluntly. "I'm sure of it. I'm probably the lucky one." He gave her a firm, solemn look. "I won't let him do it to anyone else. I promise. I'll handle him." "I'd feel better if you just stayed away from him, Al. He has some very serious mental problems," she warned. "Meaning?" "He definitely has an anti-social personality disorder. His actions since we've met him only confirm it." She looked him directly in the eyes. "He's a dangerous man, Al. You push him the wrong way, the results could be disastrous." Al nodded at her words. "I'll be careful. I promise. Now, go on and get some sleep. I'll check back on you to see how you're doing." He gave her a smile just before leaving the quarters. Verbina did her best to obey Al's orders. She didn't know how he was going to handle the visitor but, from the way he spoke and from the gleam in his eyes, she didn't think she wanted to know. Nor did she care, giving her current state of mind. She couldn't help but feel angry for what Dick had nearly done to her. Willing herself to do so, she fell back to sleep, trying to focus on anything except the man in the Waiting Room. --- Al adjusted his dress jacket before marching into the Waiting Room, ready to put the fear of Calavicci into Dick Anderson-Kemp. He was looking forward to putting Dick into his place, to showing the nozzle that no one could do what Dick was doing and get away with it. The moment Al walked into the room, Dick glared at him angrily. "What are you going to do? Beat me again?" Al gave him a sarcastic smile. "Don't tempt me into shooting you this time." Dick looked at Al carefully. "Wait a minute. You're military." Al nodded. "That's right. And I'm in charge around here." "What did Brown Sugar call you? Al?" Hearing the way he spoke about Verbina, Al forced himself to remain calm. He wasn't about to give this man the satisfaction of getting him angry. He frowned at him strongly, instead. "Her name is Dr. Beeks and you will call her by her proper name." Dick huffed a bit. "Great. Another damn female rights weirdo. What the hell is this world coming to?" Al glared at him. "I'm guessing you think a woman's rightful place is the home. Or, better yet, the bed." "Don't you know the Bible?" Dick questioned him. "God created Eve from Adam's rib so that she could keep him company and provide him with children. How can women do either if they're out working all the time?" "Is that how you feel about Susan Chambers?" Al questioned with an angry tone. "Is that why you beat her around? Because she won't be a good little girl and stay home to make your cookies and your bed?" Dick looked at him with composure, far more composure than Al had at that moment. "I have never hit Susan. I never will. She is my fiancée and I love her very much." Al's stomach turned at the way Dick looked at him. 'Bina was right, he thought sourly. This guy's a wacko! He took a step towards him. "I doubt you know what love is, Dick," he told him as he looked him in the eyes. "You may not have hit her. But emotional abuse is just as damaging as physical and, if I find that you did or said anything to hurt Susan, you'll regret it for the rest of your life." "Is that my physical life or my spiritual life?" Dick questioned sarcastically. "Take your pick." Dick huffed and took a few steps from Al before turning towards him. "What right do you have in telling me what I can or cannot do when it concerns my fiancée?" "The same right that I have in preventing you from raping my friend," Al replied angrily. "What is it with you? Is every woman who has a career a sinner to you? You can't stand the idea that Susan has her own business, much less a job, can you?" "Susan has already agreed to give up her business when we marry." Al glared at him. "I bet it's more like you coerced her into giving up her business. Susan would never surrender her freedom." He looked at Dick carefully. "That is unless she was terrified that something worse would happen if she didn't." Dick looked at him angrily. "What makes you an expert on my fiancée's personality? You don't even know her!" "I know her better than you can possibly imagine," Al told him, looking to his eyes. Dick marched at him angrily and took a hard swing, which Al, being prepared for the event, avoided quickly. Al successfully gave him a hard punch to the jaw, causing the man to stagger away from him. Dick hesitated at Al's action, seeing the intense hatred that was there. He could also see the intense concern. "Who are you?" "I'm Al, remember?" the dry response came. Dick took a step back and examined him carefully. "You... You're the bastard who broke her heart! You're trying to steal her back from me! She's mine now. You can't have her." Al took a step closer to him. "If you even touch a hair on her head, you'll be singing for the Vienna Boy's Choir. Do I make myself perfectly clear?" The two stared down each other for a moment, Dick's resolve slowly giving way to Al's intense gaze. After a moment, Dick pulled away from Al and took a few steps from him. "What do you want me to do?" "Stay away from her. And not just her. If I find out that you've hurt anyone at all, you can count on me coming for you." Al gave him a glare. "Fair warning." Dick exhaled. "Fine. Have it your way. You can have the damn bitch. She deserved what she got from me anyway." Al marched towards him angrily and gave him a hard jab to his stomach, causing the man to double over in pain. Pulling his head up by his hair, Al was prepared to give him another punch. Instead, though, he let go of his grip, pushing him away in the same move. "You're not worth it," he commented before he left the Waiting Room, less certain than before that they had a murderer in their midst. Despite Dick's attitude towards women and his obvious tendency to treat them like possessions, Al couldn't see the man becoming angry enough to kill. A man who turned to the Bible as his excuse for abusing women wasn't exactly the kind who would break the third Commandment. Still, he had to be sure. Marching into the Control Room, he went towards the console. "Ziggy," he instructed. "Give me everything you've got on the guest and run another search on anyone other than Anderson-Kemp who has contact with Susan and who might have any reason to hurt her. I want to be sure beyond a shadow of a doubt who we are dealing with." "Very well, Admiral," Ziggy replied firmly. Al paused momentarily. "How much time do we have before she dies?" "Two hours twenty-three minutes." Al gave a brief nod. "You have an hour to get the information. I want plenty of time to warn Sam of who or what he's dealing with. And get Susan's autopsy report." "Affirmative, Admiral," Ziggy replied as Al once more stepped into the Imaging Chamber.