Sammi Jo returned inside carrying a laughing eight months old, Leone. 
The three entered the cafeteria and joined the table.

"Sam this is Matt, Matt this is Sam, my boss."  Sammi Jo turned to Sam, 
her eyebrows raised, Sam knew what her gesture meant, she hadn't told 
Matt that he was her father.  Who would believe it anyway, they were too 
close together in age for it to be viable. 

Sam and Matt shook hands, Matt spoke first, "A pleasure to meet to 
Doctor Beckett, I've heard so much about you, and read most of your 
books."  Matt was still shaking Sam's hand, his grip was firm, a little 
too firm.

"N-no it's Sam, call me Sam." Matt finally released his grip on Sam's 
hand.  "Good to meet you too Matt, but regretfully I don't know too much 
about you, I'm afraid I've been a little preoccupied since I got back."

"Matt is a science professor at the university of Long Island, and this 
little one is Leone."  Sammi Jo tickled Leone and she made gurgling 

"She's a real cutie, gonna break the hearts of a few good men when her 
time comes." Al remarked.  He was quiet when Beth nudged him in the ribs 
with an elbow.

"I see we have a lot to talk about."  Everyone sat down at the table, 
but Sam remained standing, he continued, "You say you've read most of my 
books Matt.  Have you read the latest one, about my theories on time?"  
Sam started pacing.

"No, I haven't Doc... erm, Sam, that one is far beyond my knowledge of 
science.  I'm no physicist, like my Sammi here."

Rosie bounced up to the table, pad in hand, "Do any of you want to 

"Everyone want coffee?" There were no complaints so Al ordered, "That's 
five coffee's then please Rosie."

"Oh Rosie, can you warm this up for me," Sammi Jo hunted around inside a 
large hold-all, and pulled out a bottle for Leone.  She handed it to 
Rosie, who took it and bounced back to the counter, disappearing into 
the kitchen area.

Sam turned to Sammi Jo, "Where's Jimmy and Joel, I thought they were 
coming today."

"Oh, they've bribed their grandfather and my brother into a fishing trip 
this weekend," Matt looked very apologetic.  "Oh don't get me wrong, 
they wanted to come but well, boys of their age, there's not much for 
them to do round here, so I'm afraid the fishing won."

"How is Abigail?  I haven't seen her for years."

"I didn't know you knew Abigail."

"Oh it was a long time ago, I-I was erm, I was only a kid really."

"Oh she's great she and Pete are real fine, Pete retired last year and 
spends most of his time fishing.  Gets him from under Abigail's feet."

"Retired, oh I suppose they would be, time passes so quickly."  Sam's 
eyebrows creased.

Rosie reappeared with a tray, she clattered it down on the table top 
which startled Sam.

"Are you coming Matt?  I'm taking Leone to the nursery."

"Yeah Sure hun," Matt turned to Sam, "I'm privileged to meet you Sam, 
we'll speak again soon I hope?"  He stood and picked up three mugs of 

"I'm sure we will Matt, it's been excellent to see you, good to finally 
meet you."

Beth rose to her feet, "See you later Sam," she kissed Al, "and you, 
don't be too long."

Beth, Matt and Sammi Jo, carrying Leone, left the cafeteria.  Sam stared 
after them.

"I nearly blew it there Al, about Abigail I mean."  Sam sat down and 
faced Al, but he didn't see them.  He saw a young Abigail, younger than 
Sammi Jo, remembering, he relived those moments in the space of a few 
short seconds.  "Sammi is so like her, sometimes I forget."

"No regrets, your words Sam."

"I know, but I still have the memories, I won't forget the memories."

"Well pal, what yer doin' today?"

"Nothing Al, absolutely nothing."

"And where yer gonna to be doin' this absolutely nothin', in your lab?"

"Nah, I'm gonna go and play with my granddaughter in the nursery.  What 
are you doing today?"

"It's Joel's birthday on the twenty-third, I'm taking Beth into Santa 
Fe, to do some shopping."

"No-one told me Joel's birthday was coming up, not even Sammi," Sam felt 
totally put out, "Why didn't anyone mention it?"

"You were too busy, Sam, today's the first day we've seen you in here at 
a normal hour.  Sammi's already ordered him something from you.  I'm 
picking it up today."

"I would have liked to have chosen something for him myself.  I could 
have bought him something yesterday.  What's Sammi got for him?"

"I have no idea what it is, all I know is that it's something real 

"I'll have a word with her, see what it is, she's got me really 

Sam stood up and walked out of the door, a second later his head 
reappeared round the door, "Where's the nursery Al?"

"The left hand corridor before ours, right at the end."

"Oh and I forgot to give you these earlier."  Sam threw Al his car keys.

"Thanks pal, anytime, you know that."

Sam smiled and disappeared again.  Al rose out of his chair and 
sauntered over to the door, once outside of the cafeteria he noticed 
Sam.  He was crouched, leaning against the elevator doors at the far end 
of the corridor, his head in his hands.  Al stood still, watching.  Not 
wanting his friend to see him he reversed a little way back into the 
cafeteria doorway and waited.  As Sam appeared from around the corner Al 
dodged into the open doorway.  Hearing Sam's footsteps fade into the 
direction of the nursery, Al came back out.  Puzzled by his friend's 
actions he went to collect Beth, stopping by the nursery on the way.

He opened the door, "Where's Beth?"  He looked around for Sam, he was 
nowhere in sight.

"She's in your quarters, getting ready."  Sammi Jo was piling building 
bricks for Leone to knock down.

"Oh right.  Where's Sam isn't he here yet?"

"Didn't know he was coming, I've not seen him since we left the...."  
Leone scattered the bricks across the floor, Sammi Jo chased after them.

Al closed the door to the nursery and headed back down the corridor and 
entered his quarters, Beth was brushing her hair.

"Sam's done a disappearing act again, I just caught him leaning against 
the elevator door, he didn't see me though, then he headed for the 
nursery but he's not there."

"He could have gone to his own rooms down the hall, but I didn't hear 
his door close, like I usually do.  Mind, I wasn't listening for it."

"I'll just go and check, he's been acting a bit bizarre all morning, I'm 
a bit worried about him.  Perhaps it's nothing,  I wont be long."  Al 
was already halfway out of the door.

"Come straight back here if he's not there."  Beth voiced after him.

Al knocked on Sam's door and waited, there was no reply.  He tried the 
door but he found it locked.  He knocked again, nothing.  He went back 
to his own quarters and opened the door, he spoke to Beth through the 
open door.  "He's either not there or he's not answering, I don't know 
where else he could have gone.  He didn't come past me so he's not 
outside."  Al still looked around for any signs of Sam.

"Perhaps you were mistaken about him going to the nursery, he might have 
gone back to the elevator."

"Nah, he didn't go back there, I could tell by the footsteps."

"Maybe he's gone to see Bernie."

"Her quarters are down near the elevators.  Can you think of anywhere 

"Have you tried his office?  Any of the offices?"

"No, I'll go and check."

"Oh Al, and check the storage area, I can't think of anywhere else on 
this level."

A voice from behind startled him, "Al," Al turned around at the sound of 
Sam's voice.  "Sammi said you were looking for me."

"God damn it, where've yer bin?  I' bin looking all over the place for 

"Well I went to my office to check something out, then went to the 
nursery.  Why?"

Al stepped into his quarters and shouted, "Beth don't worry, he's here."

Beth came out into the hallway, "Sam," Beth sighed, "you had us 

"Why were you so worried?  What's happened?" Sam looked very confused.

Al had concern on his face, "I saw you by the elevator when I came out 
of the cafeteria, you looked, well erm, sorta lost." He looked up at Sam 
then shook his head.  "Then I couldn't find yer."

"We must've missed each other, oh I did go into the storage room though, 
to get some...."

"Geeze Sam, what yer like.  What yer doin' down by the elevator 

Beth went back inside, leaving the two of them to talk.

"Thinking, just thinking."  Sam wiped a hand over his face.

Al pulled the door closed, "Sam, yer not answerin' me!"

"About Donna okay!"  Sam snapped.  "If I'd stuck to the rules and not 
changed the past then..."  Sam looked upward, beyond the ceiling, beyond 
the stars, their stars, "....then perhaps sh-she'd still be alive."

"Don't do this Sam, stop persecuting yourself, you did what you had to 
do.  At least you made her happy."

"I just wish we'd had more time together, me and this darned project, it 
took up all of my time."

"You're forgetting something here pall, if it wasn't for this darned 
project, you would never have had any time together."

"Don't you breathe a word to Sammi about this.  You got to promise me 
that Al."

"Okay, our little secret.  See I've zipped it."  Al drew a hand across 
his mouth.  "As far as Sammi's concerned this conversation never took 

"Well I'm not gonna let it happen this time, not again."

"Is that what you meant about findin' someone else?"

Sam turned away from Al, annoyed.  "I don't know okay, I just don't 
know.  I want some time to be me.  If Bebrooks says yes, then that's 
fine by me, and if he says no, well that's fine too."

Sam walked away, not to the nursery, nor his quarters, but toward the 
elevator.  Al watched him as he turned the corner, he sneaked behind Sam 
and waited at the corner watching.  Sam paused for a moment by Bernie's 
door, he knocked and Bernie opened it.  After a short confab, Sam went 
inside, the door closing behind him.  Al returned to Beth and they left 
for Santa Fe.