A Unique Point of View
By: Christina Campbell

Chapter 7

"Miss Thorton, what is wrong?  That seemed like a happy ending."

Strangely, the words that St. John had meant to be comforting made her 
start crying.  She shook her head and closed her eyes.  Knowing that this 
was beyond his ability to mend, St. John went in search of Verbena 

"What can I do for you?" she asked as he walked into her office.

"Miss Thorton is currently sitting on the Imaging Chamber floor, crying."

Verbena blinked.  "What happened?  Was it something with the Leap?"

St. John shrugged.  "As far as I could tell, the Leap ended well.  
After it was over, I said something and she reacted as if she had 
expected me to be someone else."

"Did she recognize you?"

"I believe so, but I also think that it was my presence in the Imaging 
Chamber that brought on this storm of weeping."

Verbena frowned.  "That sounds rather serious.  I'll go talk to her."

"Thank you, Dr. Beeks."


Rachel sat up as Verbena came in.  "He's gone, 'Bena."

Verbena blinked.  [Where did she get _that_ nickname.  I've never gone 
by 'Bena!]  "Who?  Dr. Beckett?"

Rachel shook her head.  "Al."

"Who is Al?"

"Admiral Albert Calavicci, Project Administrator, Observer, and Sam's 
best friend."

[And since when did she call Dr. Beckett 'Sam?']  "I hate to break it 
to you, but I've never heard of him.  No, wait.  He was a part of two 
or three Leaps, and I remember thinking it odd that we kept running in 
to him.  Of course, he wasn't an Admiral on any of the Leaps."

"He was here, 'Bena.  Not more than five minutes ago.  Would you do 
me a favor and ask Ziggy to run a check on him?  I'd like to know where 
he ended up if it wasn't here."


Rachel put her face into her hands.  "I meant Alpha.  Al named her 
Ziggy, long before Sam Leapt.  Just go, 'Bena."

"Why don't you come and run the check yourself?"

Rachel shook her head vigorously.  "I'm not leaving the IC."

[IC?  I've never heard her abbreviate that before, either.]  "We'll 
talk about that when I get that information from Alpha."

Rachel just nodded.  "Could you also bring me a blanket to cry into and 
some tissues for my nose?"

"Of course."


"Verbena, what's, like, wrong with Rachel?"

"I've got the basics of it.  She says that a man named Al Calavicci is 
supposed to be the Observer, and because of something Dr. Beckett did 
last Leap, Dr. Beckett never met him.  Supposedly, they were best 
friends.  St. John has come out of the Imaging Chamber and claimed that 
the things here were different than when he went in, but never anything 
this drastic."

Tina thought for a second.  "Wasn't Al Calavicci, like, a Leapee 
sometime last year?"

"Yes he was, and not only that, but Alpha has identified him as the 
prisoner in Maggie Dawson's last photograph."

"We've, you know, intersected this guy's life a lot."

"Dr. Beeks?"  Alpha's voice interrupted.  "I believe that this last 
Leap also intersected his life.  According to St. John's report, Dr. 
Beckett was talking to Beth Calavicci, and told her that her husband 
was still alive in Vietnam.  She would have remarried before he got 
back, but now she waited for him.  I have the information that Miss 
Thorton requested.  Does she want a handlink or a printed version?"

"Let's give her a handlink so she can ask you any further questions 


Note: No, I haven't forgotten M.I.A.  Sam would never have met Beth on 
that Leap if Al hadn't been convinced that Sam was there to keep them 


Rachel was sitting against the wall, appearing much calmer, when 
Verbena came in with the handlink, a blanket, and a box of tissues.

Rachel took the handlink, punching buttons and assessing the 
information.  "Dear God, 'Bena.  They actually overlapped on the 
StarBright Project for _three months._"

Verbena shook her head.  "I know that Dr. Beckett never mentioned an Al 
Calavicci to me."

Rachel put the handlink down and leaned her head back against the wall 
with her eyes closed.  "They never met, 'Bena.  They have been partners 
for the last five years, and friends since StarBright, and _they never 
met._" She seemed almost as angry as she was sad.  "God, how could you 
do such a thing to them.  Al shouldn't have to have only one of the two 
people that meant the most to him.  Sam was only trying to say 'thank 
you' in the only way he really could."  The tears had started again, 
but quieter this time.  "How could you do this?"

Verbena automatically sat down and put her arms around Rachel, holding 
her as she cried into the blanket.


Al blinked as he abruptly realized that he was in the kitchen of a 
house that he didn't recognize.  [What happened?  Did I Leap?  Change 
places with Sam again?]

"Al, honey?  Is the soup ready yet?"

He took in a sharp breath as he recognized the voice, and a second 
later the woman, who came through the kitchen door.  He responded 
almost automatically.  "Not yet.  It'll only be another--"  He looked 
down at the timer in his hands.  "Two minutes."

Beth leaned up and kissed him.  "I'll get the girls, then."

He nodded, and turned to trying to figure out which soup it was that he 
was preparing.  [How I got here can wait until _after_ dinner.]


St. John picked up the phone in his office.  "St. John."

"May I speak to Rachel Thorton, please."

St. John frowned.  He'd never heard this voice before.  "Sir, who are 
you and how did you get this number."

"My name is Admiral Albert Calavicci, and I remembered this number from 
when it called my office.  I couldn't remember Rachel's extension, so I 
dialed this one.  May I please speak to her?"

"Just a second."


The intercom in the IC activated.  "Rachel, there's a phone call for 

She frowned.  "Who is it?"

"He says that he's Admiral Calavicci."

She gaped for a minute.  " 'Bena, could you..."

Verbena smiled at her.  "Sure.  I'll be back in a little bit."

"St. John, please put him through on the intercom."


The voice was familiar.  "Al.  And before you ask, I remember.  How 
much can you remember?"

"It's fading by the minute.  I figured that I'd better call before the 
phone number slipped my mind entirely.  What's going on down there?"

She smiled at the ceiling.  "Al, I'm dealing with Edward St. John the 
Fifth and a computer named Alpha."

"That makes sense.  The project as it would be without me.  But why am 
I _not_ there?"

"That was my first question, too.  Ziggy--Alpha--turned up that you and 
Sam didn't meet while the two of you were at StarBright.  Your first 
meeting involved you being very drunk, and in this time-line, you never 
had a drinking problem."

"A simple chance meeting that never happened."

"Exactly.  How much of the new time-line do you remember?"

"Not enough.  Ziggy got anything?"

Rachel moved to the handlink and started pushing buttons.  "Well, you 
have four daughters..."


That night, Verbena and St. John tried to talk Rachel into going to 

"No.  The only way that you will get me out of this IC is to sedate 

Verbena blinked.  "You know I won't do that."

"Thank you."

St. John looked curious.  "Miss Thorton, why do wish to stay?"

"I have to keep the memories.  When Sam Leaps back in, he'll need 
someone who remembers Al.  'Joy shared is doubled, and sorrow shared is 
halved.'  We can share our sorrow at Al's loss, and our joy that he has 

"And if he also does not remember Al?"

"He'll remember Al.  This kind of thing has happened before.  That's 
how I remember you. Al was a Leapee once, back when he was an ensign.  
Do you remember that?"

"Yes.  Go on."

"In the middle of the Leap the chances of Al getting killed went up to 
100%.  Immediately following that, Sam didn't recognize you."

St. John looked at her, astonished.  "That's right, but how did you 

"If I haven't told you yet, I'm not going to tell you now.  The point 
is that from Sam's point of view, Al had been reading off percentages 
'98, 99' and then he heard you say '100.' But he still remembered Al, 
not you.  I also think that his chances of remembering are good because 
_Al_ still remembers."  St. John still looked doubtful, so Rachel gave 
up.  "Look, I'll bet you the right to Observe next Leap that the first 
two things out of his mouth when he's free to talk to you are 'Who are 
you?' and 'Where is Al?', not necessarily in that order."  She seemed 
to consider as St. John simply raised an eyebrow.  "That way, if he 
doesn't remember my way, I'll not be getting between the partnership 
that _you_ have formed with him.  If he _does_ remember my way, he 
needs someone who understands the loss to be with him for the Leap."

St. John considered this for a second.  "It is fair, both to us and to 
him.  I'll take your bet, and I'll see that you get something to sleep 
on and something to read."

She smiled, the first real one they had seen since Dr. Beckett had last 
Leaped out.  "Thank you.  That would be very kind."

Verbena still looked concerned.  "Rachel, you can't live in here for 
the rest of your life!"

Rachel nodded.  "I'll go back to my room after the next Leap, or at the 
start of the next Leap if he doesn't remember Al.  The only reason I 
don't want to leave is because I don't want to forget and leave Sam 
with no idea of what happened to Al."

Verbena looked at her sternly.  "I'll hold you to that."

"I expect you to."


Sam looked around as the blue light of the Leap faded.  [Surroundings: 
a study/library--one door.  Apparel: a man's (thank God!).  People: 
none in the immediate vicinity.]  For once, he wasn't in a hectic or 
embarrassing position at the start of a Leap.

Then a young girl ran in, yelling "Daddy, Daddy!  Lisa stole my hair 
brush!"  She stopped.  "Who are you?"

An older girl, probably eight or so, followed her in.  "That's Daddy, 
silly!  And I didn't steal your hairbrush.  You lost it."

Sam rolled his eyes.  "Oh, boy!  Lisa, if you did steal the hairbrush, 
then give it back."  He kept going over the top of her protest of 
innocence.  "If you didn't, then help your sister find it again."  He 
knelt down and looked the younger girl in the eye.  "And I'd like to 
talk to you for a second."  He glanced at Lisa.  "Alone."

Lisa's brows creased, but she flounced out of the room.  The younger 
girl looked at him worriedly.

"Hi, I'm Sam, and I'm an angel.  I'm taking your Daddy's place for a 
little while.  Your Daddy is in a safe place, not heaven, but safe.  I 
need to be here to change something that's going to go wrong.  Everyone 
else thinks I look like your Daddy, so I'm going to have to ask you to 
keep my secret."

"How do I know you're telling the truth?"

A voice spoke up behind him.  "Samuel, we need to talk."

Sam stood up and spun around, staring at the strange man.  [Where's 
Al?]  "Not now.  Right now I need your help to convince this little 
girl that I'm an angel and that her Daddy's safe."

The man looked down at the little girl.  "Hello, April.  I'm Edward St. 
John.  I help Samuel to fix things.  He can't prove to you that he's an 
angel because he can't to do things that your Daddy couldn't do.  I, 
however, can.  Here, try to take my hand."  'Edward' stretched out his 
hand to the little girl.  She tried to grab it, and, of course, 
couldn't.  Her eyes went wide.  'Edward' smiled at the girl gently.  
"Only Samuel and you can see me at all."

"Why can I see you?"  The little girl--April?--looked a little awed.

Sam stepped in.  "Because you're a special little girl.  Can you keep 
our secret, and call me Daddy where other people can hear?"  She nodded 
and Sam smiled.  "Now, why don't you go help your sister find your 
hairbrush."  April smiled at him and left the room.  Sam carefully 
closed the door and spun to face Edward.  "Who are you, and where is 

A short laugh came from the other side of the living room wall, and a 
vaguely familiar woman stepped through it.  "Told you."

'Edward' got a rueful smile on his face, and gave her the handlink. He 
nodded cordially to Sam, then left as she opened the IC door for him.  
Sam turned to her with one raised eyebrow.

"That was Edward St. John the V, and I'm Rachel Thorton.  I've Observed 
before, though I'd be surprised if you remember it.  Al...is a long 
story.  Do you want that or your current situation first?"

"A short summary will do, then I'd like to know what happened to Al."

She consulted the handlink.  "OK.  You are John Faring, it is Friday, 
August 5, 1966, and you're in Virginia.  You have two daughters, Lisa 
and April.  Your wife passed away two years ago, and you've been 
struggling to raise them on your own."

Sam nodded.  "And Al?"

She closed her eyes.  "What do you remember of your last Leap?"

Sam's forehead creased as he tried to remember.  Then it hit him.  

Rachel nodded.  "Beth.  She and Al are living in San Diego."

"San Diego!?"

Her voice got rough, and Sam suddenly realized just how hard this was 
for her.  "San Diego," she confirmed.  "As in, not at the Project.  In 
this time-line, Al is not, and never was, a part of Project Quantum 
Leap.  I'm the only one that remembers him, and only because I was in 
the IC when you Leaped out."  A tear rolled down her cheek.  "Oh, God.  
I thought that I was done crying about this."

There were tears in Sam's eyes, too.  "Is he happy?"

She smiled, sadly.  "Yeah.  He's been married to Beth for the last 39 
years, and has four daughters.  Near as I can figure, their birth dates 
coincide with his marriages in the other time-line."

That brought a small--very small--chuckle to Sam's lips.  "Figures.  
What exactly changed that stopped him from being at the Project?"

Rachel looked down and bit her lip.  "Do you remember your first 
meeting in the original time-line?"

Sam struggled to pull it out of the holes in his mind.  "The vending 
machine and the hammer?"

She nodded.  "He was at Star Bright with you for three months, but he 
had a wife and..." she checked the handlink.  "...three kids at the time.  
He never developed the drinking habit, so he wasn't banging on a 
vending machine while four-fifths drunk." She gathered herself.  "Sam, 
you never met him."  Rachel struggled to say it levelly.

Sam's eyes suddenly filled with horror, and he sat down abruptly on 
John's couch.  "Never...met him?"  He tried to imagine five years of 
Leaping without Al...and couldn't.

Rachel rubbed her eyes, then reached out. A chair abruptly came into 
Sam's view as she pulled it over to her and sat on it wearily.  "Yeah.  
I've been going over and over that for the last three days--that's how 
long you were in transit--and I still haven't quite grasped it.  The 
truly horrid thing is that you probably did meet him sometime in those 
three months, but not in a way that left an impression on either of 
you."  She put her hand over her eyes and sighed.

Sam and Rachel grieved together in silence for a time, then there was a 
knock on the door.  Sam abruptly pulled himself together and into the 
roll of 'Daddy' and called "Come in!"

Rachel stood up, still looking sad, but ready to Observe.  The door 
opened and Lisa walked in.  "How do I look, Daddy?"

Sam cast a quick glance at Rachel then looked Lisa over.  Rachel 
consulted the handlink.  "Um, she's going shopping with a friend of 
hers, Julie Slater.  The friend's mother is chaperoning.  They should 
be here to pick her up in about ten minutes."

"You look great."

Lisa smiled at him and left.  April came in as Lisa was leaving, and 
looked at Rachel questioningly.  Rachel cast a quick glance at Sam, 
then approached the girl.  "Edward got called to do another job, so I'm 
going to be helping Sam instead of him.  My name is Rachel."

"Hello, Rachel.  Can I touch _you_?"

Rachel shook her head.  "No.  I'm not really here."  Then Rachel 
grinned mischievously at April.  "Watch this."  Rachel walked straight 
through the wall next to the door, then back into the room from the 

April's jaw dropped.  "That's really neat!"

"Isn't it though?"  Rachel's smile was matched by the girl's.


"So, why am I here?"

Rachel punched at the handlink.  "Ummm... Lisa dies this Sunday.  She is 
going across the street to a friend's house, and gets hit by a car."  
Rachel grimaced.  "Ziggy--Alpha--_Ziggy_ gives it a 95% chance that 
that's what you're here to stop."

Sam glanced at her.  "Alpha?"

Rachel looked up at him.  "Al named her Ziggy," she reminded him.

Sam closed his eyes.  "I'd forgotten."

All of a sudden, Rachel lost her temper.  "It's just not fair!  It's 
not fair that Al could have only one of the two of you: his best friend 
or his true love."

Sam shot her a puzzled look.  Even in loss, his brain wouldn't stop.  
"I know why I'm upset, but this seems to be hitting _you_ rather hard."

She stared at Sam, but she didn't calm down.  "Sam, I _like_ him.  He's 
outrageous and unrestrained and has this quirky sense of humor that 
lightens up the whole project.  I respect him, and you, and know a lot 
about what your relationship is like.  I _understood_ him, in a way 
that few do.  I can weather his sudden temper without becoming scared 
of him.  And, no, I'm not, and never have been, in love with him. He 
belongs with Beth."

"That was a bit more information than I expected, but thank you."

She inclined her head in a jerky motion.  "My pleasure."


Two days later, Sam glanced at Rachel as he held Lisa back from running 
out into the street.  A car passed by where she would have been.  He 
let her go then, oblivious to her indignant glare.  She ran off across 
the street to a friend's house.

Rachel smiled at him.  "That's it Sam.  She grows up now, goes to 
college, and--get this--actually works at Star Bright for a while.  She 
is currently married with two children."

"Why haven't I Leaped?"

Rachel thought for a second.  "April?"

Sam smiled.  "Of course."

They went back in the house, finding April in her room.  "Hi, Sam!"

"Hi, April.  Rachel and I wanted to say good-bye."

"You're leaving?"

"Yes.  It's time for us to move on to the next job.  Someone else needs 
our help now.  I wanted you to know that your Daddy won't know what 
happened during the last few days and to ask you not to tell him that I 
took his place."

"Why not?"

"Angels try to work in secret.  Too many people don't believe in us."

"OK, Sam.  I won't tell."

"Good girl."

He stood back up and looked at Rachel.  She inclined her head slightly 
and then said, "I'll see you on the other side, Observer or not."

He nodded, and Leaped.


Rachel sighed as she left the IC for the first time in a week.  She 
tossed the handlink to Tina and went down to the cafeteria without 
saying a word.  Tina watched her leave, then called Verbena.

The object of Tina's concern stared at her food.  She wasn't really 
eating, just playing with it.  She half-heartedly stabbed a carrot 

"Rachel?"  It was an unfamiliar female voice.  "Is something wrong?"

Rachel quirked an eyebrow and looked up at the woman, then froze.  A 
man was standing behind the woman with an expression of concern on his 
face.  Rachel dropped her fork, and only the man's quick action stopped 
it from falling to the floor.  "Al!?"

Feedback requested!  What do you think of my story?

Christina C.