Quantum Leap - Tear Down This Wall (Part 4)*
The bar was like many others. Tables and chairs filled the room, stools by the bar, a pool table in the back along with a jukebox playing ‘La Bamba’, from Los Lobos. Sam walked in and drew only a few looks from the patrons closest to the door. Sam looked around but didn’t see Matthew right away. He walked towards the bar.
“Excuse me, I’m looking for someone named Matthew, do you know him?”
The bartender eyed him up for a second. “You gonna order something?”
Sam wasn’t sure if he had the information and wanted him to purchase a beer first, or if he was ignoring him but still wanted him to order something. “Yea, give me a beer.”
The bartender poured the beer and set it on the counter, waiting to be paid. Sam handed him a bill more than the cost of the drink. “Keep it.” Sam told him indicating the change.
“He’s back watching the game. I’m not going to have any trouble from you am I?”
“No, just here to talk.”
The bartender pointed toward a corner of the room where broken glass and bottles had been swept neatly into a pile. “That’s from the last ‘discussion’ here.”
“I’ll make sure our talk goes smoother than the last one.” Sam flashed him a weak smile. He grabbed his beer and took a drink, then put it down walking toward the pool tables. “Can I get next game?”
Matthew recognized him instantly, despite the several beers in his system. “Hey, you!” Matthew stood and looked Sam in the eyes. “I know you. You were trying to hit on my wife.”
“Actually, I wasn’t.” Sam told him, but Matthew barely heard as he took a swing. Being inebriated, he missed Sam and swung at empty air. Sam grabbed his arm and held it behind his back, stopping Matthew from acting any further. The two men from the pool game put down their sticks. “I only came to talk.” He told them, they didn’t resume their game.
“I should tear you limb from limb.” Matthew told him. “Let go of me and fight like a man.”
“I didn’t come to fight.”
“I don’t care, let me go.” Sam released his arm hoping it would ease the tension. It didn’t, Matthew put both his fists back in the air tempting Sam to continue fighting. Sam remained calm and shook his head. Matthew took another swing at Sam, but missed wildly again.
Sam took another step back, “I’m just here to talk. I’m sorry about before but…” Matthew took another swing. It came closer to Sam this time and instinctively Sam countered it and punched Matthew in the stomach, sending him to the ground. “Do you want your wife to walk out on you?”
This made Matthew stop; the words were too close to home. He buried his head in his hands. Sam reached down to help him up. “I’ve really come to talk. I was not hitting on your wife.”
“Then what?” Matthew asked accepting Sam’s help. The song ‘With or Without You’ from U2 began playing on the jukebox.
“I’ve noticed Amy’s been on edge lately. When you saw me with her earlier, I left the gym and saw her walking down the street crying. I went to make sure she was okay, but she’s not is she?”
“I’ve not been myself lately.” Sam and Matthew grabbed a table and sat down. The two others continued their pool table game.
“Yea, so Amy told me. Things must really be hectic for you at work.”
“You’ve no idea. “
“I’m sure your wife has no idea either. That’s probably what’s bothering her, you not talking to her.”
“I don’t want to bother her with my problem. Captain Baites has me working on a top secret project.”
“Maybe you don't want to bother her but you’re creating more of a problem by not telling her how you feel. The more you hold everything in, the more a wall comes between the two of you.”
“Are you a psychologist or something?” Matthew asked.
Sam thought back trying to remember if he took any psychology classes. He then realized it wouldn’t matter if he did anyway, “I took psychology classes in college.”
“Actually, you did.” It was Al, he somehow snuck in without Sam hearing, a trick Al loved to play on him. Absentmindedly, Sam turned around to look at him, but remembered no one else could see Al. He turned back towards Matthew.
“The work you are doing must be very important. But how can you focus on it properly when your home life is in chaos? You need to fix your family life so you can excel at work. Shutting Amy out and drinking your problem away is not going to draw you two together. If your work is hectic, share it with your wife. She’ll thank you, and you can draw on her for support.”
“Good Sam.” Al told him, he checked the display of his hand device and nodded approvingly. “I think that did it Sam.”
Matthew picked himself up from the table. “Thanks, I appreciate your help.”
“And let your wife continue her fitness classes. She wants to look good for herself and for you.”
“Sure, right.” Matthew said. He shook Sam’s hand and walked over to the bartender asking for a coffee to go.
Sam looked over to Al. “Well?”
“You did it Sam. Matthew goes home and patches things up with his wife. The shielding he develops is a success. The incident on the remote island is contained and no one dies.”
“What about Amy and Matthew?”
“They remain married.” Al hits a few more buttons on his device. “Oh, till she dies in 1998 from a car accident. But they are happy till then.”
“Not the happiest of endings I guess.” Sam admitted.
“Maybe not, but you gave them many years of happiness they were not originally going to have. You did good.”
“I know Al, thanks for being here for me. I’m glad I’ve got you as a helper and friend.”
Sam suddenly felt an electrical surge charge his body and in a blinding light his consciousness was gone, returning Andrew back to his body. Sam was moving on to his next adventure.
Next - Writers Block - the Get Away (Part 4)
*This is part 17 of the 20 part 'Time And Alternate Dimension In Space'.
A Doctor Who, Quantum leap, Writers Block, Sliders & Legion of Super Heroes crossover.