"Somewhere in the Night"

Chapter 1--"Family Ties"

Sam pulled into the driveway of Al Calavicci's house with Emily in the 
front seat beside him.

"Home sweet home, huh?" Emily asked.  

Emily was 15, Sam had discovered.  She was just about to finish her 
sophmore year at Stallion's Spring High School.  Tracey's driver's 
liscence had informed him that she was 18.  Apparently, she was also 
nearing the end of her senior year.  There was also a 3rd sister, by
the name of Alexis.  She was Emily's twin.

**Heh, heh...I tell ya, Sam, I always *wanted* my own set of twins.**
The memory came to Sam unbidden.  It seemed as though Al had gotten
his wish--if not in the manner he'd hoped for. That was irony for you.

**But how is Al married with 3 kids?** Sam wondered.  **He never 
*had* kids, that much I'm sure of, especially not after that whole 
fiasco with--  Beth!**

As Celine Dion had so eloquently put it, "it was all coming 
back to him now".  Sam suddenly remembered a Leap in which he'd 
corrected one of the ultimate wrongs in Al's life.  At least
he'd attempted to.  Al and Beth were still married--and with children!
How was that for a happy ending?

"What day is it, anyway?" Sam asked Emily, trying to appear as casual
as possible.  Certainly it had to be a common enough question.

"The 15th, remember?" Emily replied, opening the door.  "The munchkin's
birthday is tomorrow.  Which reminds me, I need to pick up her gift."

"May 15," Sam whispered, hoping to God he wouldn't sound like a fool.
"May 15, 1995."

Emily gave him that strange look again.  "Yeah, Trace.  And tomorrow's
May 16th.  And yesterday was May *14th*."

"You're just mocking me," Sam told her, putting as much mock disgust 
into it as possible.  It seemed a sisterly enough thing to do.

"Darn straight." Emily tossed her hair back over one shoulder.  It was
the color of ground coffee, and her eyes were a warm hazel color.  Sam's
guess was that she took after her mother.

Just then, a smiling wraith seemed to come from nowhere.  She stood just
past Emily's shoulder.  Her hair was so dark brown it seemed black 
from certain angles, and her eyes were chocolate brown.  Those factors,
and the fact that she seemed no more than maybe 10 or 11 led Sam to
believe that this wasn't Alexis.  Maybe Alexis was babysitting.

"Hiya, munchkin," Emily greeted the kid. 

"You know, I'm a little old for that," the girl protested.

"You're *11*."

"I'll be 12 tomorrow!"

"And I'll *still* call you 'munchkin'," Emily countered.  "I will
*always* call you 'munchkin'."

"And I thought Deanna had it bad with all that 'Little One' crap,"
the girl muttered.  She pulled her hair out of its ponytail, stuck her
tongue out at Emily, and walked off.

"I think she really likes it, down deep," Emily "confided".

"What gives you that impression?"

"Marie's always doing stuff like that."

Emily left the room just as the Imaging Chamber door opened.  Sam was
not amused by the fact that Al had one of those goofy grins all over
his holographic face.

"It's not funny, Al."

"Sam," the hologram argued, "this is funny as hell.  *You* have Leaped 
into my *kid*.  It's great!"

"It cosmic revenge!" Sam insisted.  He looked toward the ceiling. 
"Whatever it was I did...I'm sorry."

"May 15, 1995," Al commented, looking at the handlink.  "Your first 
Leap was May *12*, 1995--maybe you should've gotten here 3 days ago."

The thought *had* occyred to Sam, but he wasn't about to give his friend the pleasure of knowing that.  Instead, he gave Al a grin that was
designed to be evil.  "What, and miss all this fun?  Who's Marie, anyhow?"

Al shrugged.  "My youngest. Hey, she turns 12 tomorrow!"

"Okay, that makes *4* of them now.  Is that all?"

It took great self-restraint on Al's part to keep from laughing.

"Yes, Sam. The same four we've always had.  Talk about your Swiss-
cheese effect!"

Sam turned, and saw emily standing in a nearby doorway.  She'd 
changed clothes.  To avert suspicion, Sam kept his voice low.

"I haven't seen Alexis yet.  What's she look like?"

Al motioned with the handlonk.  She's right over there."

Sam looked.  "No, that's Emily."

Al gave him a look.  "Trust me, Sam.  I think I know my own daughter.
That's *Alexis*."

"I drove home with Emily!  That's *her*, Al!"

This time, Al *did* laugh, finally understanding.  "Oh, wait.  You
probably don't remember.  They're *identical* twins, Sam--down to 
every last inch.  I know, I changed thier diapers."

Sam had to smile at the image of Al trying to change a diaper.

"Isn't there *any* way of telling them apart?"

"Emily has a tiny scar underneath her chin. It's hard to 
notice, but don't be obvious about looking.  Tracey knows them apart."

"Why am I here, Al?"

"Ziggy doesn't know yet."

And with that, Al once again vanished into the nothingness from 
which he'd come.