Part 3-The Book Of David He had never had trouble fitting into the many places he visited in the course of his search. Sometimes, the problem was, he had fit in all too well. There were always the aforementioned violent folk, but they were ususally self-defeating and avoidable, and in any event only encountered on the odd jobs he had to take on his way to jobs in his chosen profession. He would hit it off quickly, and labs with heavy workloads would rarely question the extra help, or they would put those questions aside, along with any calls to the authorities, till work was done or he had to run. He had made his personality a virtual isotope, a random element that was more like the established crew than the established crew were like themselves. He would cover for anyone who needed it, both to ingratiate himself and to gain those rare, precious moments alone, those moments when security would be waved away and admonitions about workaholism would mean he was one step closer to rebirth. As much as the acceleration or restriction of cellular mitosis, blending in was his job, and, he realized again, there were times he did it not well enough. It was the secret. Never mentioned, rarely shared, people on either side of the secret sensed the distance it created, and could not help but resent it, particularly in light of his admittedly glad-handing efforts to fit in. It was either that, or, like an isotope, his existence was eventually noted and isolation began. He worked so hard at fitting in so well, that someone would almost have to step back and wonder what was wrong with this picture. His employers had done this;so had Donald Blake. Once again, it was the secret. For all his efforts, his actions were still directed by protection of the secret, and that, in the end, had been such a tag on him, he might as well wave a war-hammer like Blake's alter-ego. Matt Murdock and David's beloved Chameleon knew how to out-and-out dissappear. He didn't, and, until that wonderful day his running stopped, he never would. Here at Quantum Leap, though, everyone knew, everyone understood and everyone appreciated his help without any reservation at all. David wasn't sure he'd be so receptive if someone wrecked his living room. If David still had his faith, he'd say that Sam had created paradise here in the desert. Nothing had calmed him like his talks with former student Verbeena Beeks, whom he kicked himself for not remembering. Ziggy absolutely blew his mind, so much that he never once broached the subject of a cure. His talks with Dr. Beeks, though, were all about his efforts to find a cure, and her psychologist's mind was just as interested in those blending in efforts as her physicist's mind was in that end of it. Even before he told her, she knew that way of life had built-in brick walls, "So this time, you decided not to go with the 'genius from nowhere' routine, am I right?" David was amazed at her intuition, but was determined to challenge her. "Okay, Dr.Beeks, let's say I decided not to become Dr. David Bunionpad this time. How did I gain access to the lab? What was my deception?" Although it was about how expert a liar he had become, David smiled. He was enjoying this. Verbeena was stumped. She looked over to Tina, who was almost eavesdropping, and gave a look that asked for help. Not getting that help, she posited: "Well, a genius sticks out like a sore thumb. Those "I don't know nothin' bout' nothin' " big lug types are the first people security checks. So you were neither Einstein nor Curly Howard. Hmm..." She gave Tina a "Now!" look, and this time Tina did try. "Oh, geez. I wasn't listening to everything you guys said...I know what you didn't do...Oh, God, I am stumped..." Verbeena wasn't buying it. At Sam's urging, Tina had dropped her "bubbles" act years ago, upon realizing the attracted but happily married Al Calavicci was not coming around. More likely, taking care of her goddaughter, Al's youngest, for the weekend had run her ragged. But Verbeena wanted to wipe David's smile away, and she wasn't proud in taking help to do it. Tina tried dithering her way out again, "Oh, I am so mentally challenged....Mentally challenged", she said, nearly jumping, "You pretended to be someone with a perfectly innocent lack of acumen, someone who they would dismiss entirely!" David's smile actually grew broader as he shook Tina's hand. Her wit with a disguise reminded him of the beautiful lady spy who had dragged him off that broken runway, forced him to heal at great risk to herself, initiating the change, and then left to reclaim her own life as he reclaimed his. Thinking about the past made him even more anxious to talk to Ziggy again-about a great many things. They left Verbeena Weeks alone, not hearing her say: "Well, I was going to say unappreciated lab assistant".