The Generation Gap
To his utter mortification, Sam discovered that his host had been masturbating to Baywatch while his teenaged grandson and granddaughter held a bizarre argument about girls in the next room.
("For the last time, the aliens did not make me a lesbian!"
"What do you see in girls, anyway?"
"Stupid. What do you see in girls?"
"I don't see girls. I see women.")
"Al," Sam whispered urgently, closing his house robe and fumbling with the remote to shut off the incriminating show. "Are old men always this horny?"
Al rolled his eyes, threw up his hands, and emphatically replied, "Yes."
Burning herbs made Sam cough. His first thought was pot, but there were other smells in the air.
A shirtless boy looked up from kissing another and asked, "You alright, Ethan?" He had a British accent.
"Fine," Sam said.
The boy pushed himself up. Maybe he was closer to manhood, because the bulge in his black jeans was sizable.
"He's just jealous, Ripper," the other boy said. Hands on thigh.
Al appeared just then. His eyebrows rose dramatically. Sam coughed meaningfully at him.
Al read, "You're in London, 1968, and one of those guys is going to die."
Fuck that Shit, Tubby Bitch
He had long, blond hair under a ski cap. He offered Sam a doobie.
"No, thank you," Sam said, hunching his shoulders.
"What the fuck?" he asked. "You just had your annual speechifyin'. You got more, tubby bitch? You goin' fuckin' D.A.R.E on me? Tell a fuckin' scary story about gettin' so paranoid you tried to shoot Randal with a goddamn candy bar? Fuck, lunchbox, I was there. Or you got another 'you don't know shit, I'm so fuckin' mysterious' story about evil drugs?"
Sam blinked. "No. I'm just not interested."
"Vegas dancer, my fuckin' ass," he muttered in reply.
Sam stared. "A dog?"
"A wolf," Al corrected.
"Do I have to stay on all fours?"
"Probably better," Al replied.
"I doubt Ray will appreciate you tackling him again," the mountie admonished, pouring some kibbles.
"I miss pizza."
"You had some yesterday," the mountie answered.
Sam turned. "You understood me?"
The mountie cocked his head. "Of course. You understood me? You weren't looking."
"You're deaf," Al added.
"A lip-reading... wolf?" Sam shook his head. "Can I have pizza? Dog food's like, Grade F."
"Grade C, actually," the mountie replied. "Are you feeling well? Your communications are rarely so concrete."
It Came From Outer Space
Sam didn't know what was happening, but it felt amazingly good.
Then he panicked because his hand was translucent.
"Da'an?" the woman asked. His name, Sam hoped, because otherwise she was speaking another language.
"Yes?" Sam said.
"Did... something happen?"
How to improvise when he had no idea what they'd been doing?
The cavalry arrived. "Tell her you're tired and need to meditate," Al instructed, then-- "It's the future, even to us. We got nothing, except that the... thing in the waiting room... It's an alien."
"I'm... but she's...?" Sam asked.
"Human," Al said sardonically. "Theirs is a special love."
Looking for Answers in All the Wrong Languages
"A wormhole?" Sam repeated. "An Einstein-Rosen bridge? It didn't crush you?"
"Yeah," John laughed, "I can't explain how--hey, wait a minute." He wagged a finger at Sam. "Einstein-Rosen bridge? You're talking English!"
"So are you," Sam said warily.
"Yeah. I'm from Earth," John answered, "but you should be speaking, what, Nebari? Do you have any idea how long it took me to get Aeryn to understand wormholes conceptually instead of phonetically?"
Sam shrugged. "What can I say? I'm a fast learner."
"I know I'm going crazy lately, Chi," John said, "but where the hezmana did you hear about Einstein?"
Sam debated which, in his reflection, was odder: wings or lack of genitalia. Al opined, but Sam was too busy shrugging the wings to listen.
"Hey." The newcomer lowered sunglasses to leer, golden-eyed. "Been awhile since I've seen your feathers out."
Sam considered covering his shame, but didn't have any. "Just trying to remember how to get dressed." He laughed weakly.
The man sauntered over and casually stroked Sam's skin above the feathers. "Preen them for you?"
Al shook his head wildly, but Sam couldn't do it himself. "Sure."
Sam felt a kiss on his neck. Al turned away, disgusted.
Thief in the Night
"You've gotta steal it," Al insisted.
"I do not," Sam retorted, stalking away as best he could.
"Would you believe she'll fence it and give the money to charity?" Al asked.
"No," Sam answered. His spike heel caught in the cobblestones. He fell. His ankle was throbbing; his palm, bleeding. "Guess I can't go on any robbery capers now."
"Uh, Sam..." Al stared at his hand. "I don't think that's gonna be a problem."
Sam looked down. Healed. He twisted to take the shoe off. His ankle felt fine, too. Bewildered, he demanded, "Al, who the hell is this woman?"
Make a Wish
"Honey," Al said appreciatively. "You can rub me the right way any time."
"I think that's you rubbing me the right way," Sam corrected, surveying his harem clothes with dismay.
"Whatever works," Al answered. "I'm just saying, I love the outfit you're wearing."
"I hate the outfit I'm wearing," Sam said in a mockery of Al's lustful tone, fluttering his eyelashes. "I wish I weren't wearing the outfit I'm wearing."
Then he wasn't.
"Aren't you supposed to grant my wishes?" asked a man behind Sam.
Sam whirled, instinctively covering his crotch and, less instinctively, his chest.
"Not that I mind..."
The man wore a mask, cape, and rubber body suit. With nipples.
"Ziggy says there's an eighty-six percent chance you're here to proposition Mr. Tall, Dark and Gruesome," Al advised.
Sam shifted and felt his spandex stretch. "Oh, boy."
"'Oh, boy' is right," Al said. "He was your guardian for several years, and the minute you--I mean, your host--turned legal, he officially adopted him as his son."
Sam stared. At Al, and then at the guy in the superhero costume.
"The good news is, he's a billionaire," Al added. "Go for the gold, Sam. Go for the gold."
The No-Eyed Bandit
Sam was on the floor of a wrecked bathroom. He started to rise.
"Sam, just--!" Al warned.
Sam paused. "Al?"
"There's a deadly snake somewhere. You're gonna get bit in..." Al whacked the handlink. "Twenty-two seconds. You gotta get out of the trailer very carefully."
Sam exited cautiously. "Well?"
"Well," Al said, "you've gotta get to town for treatment before the... socket... gets infected..."
Al waved at his face.
"She's blind. You'll have to fake that..." Al looked fixedly at the handlink. "Also, you'll need to get her a new job before you leap. She's an assassin."
"It's 1977, and..." Al trailed off, distracted by the sudden appearance of a long, silver spaceship, which disgorged a tall, grey-green alien in an extravagantly gilt costume.
"Albert Michael Calavicci?" said the alien.
"Um, no," said Sam. "My name is Fenchurch. Apparently."
"Not you," the alien said testily, "though that's not your name, either. Him."
"You can see me?" Al asked.
The alien snorted. "You're a right git."
"I beg your pardon!" Al said, outraged.
"And a bit of a pansy at that," the alien added.
Al spluttered incoherently. The alien made his exit.
"Al?" Sam asked. "What just happened?"
GenomeX, Before the Divorce
"Sam?" Al frowned. "Gooshie, center me on Sam!" He moved six inches.
Sam's voice said, "I can turn invisible!"
"Cut it out," Al complained
Sam appeared. "What am I here for?"
"Keeping Mr. Two Last Names from experimenting on himself," Al replied. "It always goes horribly wrong."
Sam raised his eyebrows.
"In his case, it does," Al retorted. "He starts AIDS."
"That's bad," Sam agreed.
"Ziggy thinks he fathered your baby," Al said uncomfortably. "If he gets the opportunity to help raise her, he might not... go nuts."
"So, marry him?" Sam suggested.
"No, no. He's seeing that Adam guy."
"Brighton?" Sam knocked. "Can I come in?"
"When has a door ever stopped you?"
Sam entered. Brighton lay on his bed, arms spread as if crucified. Sam sat down by him.
"It'll be okay," Sam said. "I know what it's like."
Brighton sat up, snorting. "You? Gay? The way you throw yourself at Dad?"
"Well, no," Sam hedged. "I know some gays. One's in the navy..."
"Thanks so much," Al muttered.
"At least," Sam said, "it's not that bad. Your dad's a Broadway producer--probably half the men he knows are gay."
"Huh," Brighton mused. "I hadn't thought of that."
Sam faced a masked man with a gun. He kicked the weapon out of the guy's hand, followed by punching his jaw, then dropped into a defensive stance.
"Vic, what the hell are you doing?" someone asked. Sam glanced back. The speaker was addressing him.
"Trying not to get killed?" Sam guessed. His opponent jabbed. Sam ducked and kicked high.
"Quit goofing off," the man behind him said. "I'm kung fu guy, remember? Just shoot him."
"Oh." Sam found a gun in a shoulder holster. "Put your hands up!"
"Vic! Which part of 'just shoot him' did you not understand?"
Let Them Eat Cake
The pets in the shop could tell Sam wasn't their owner, and weren't happy about it.
"Whoa," said the scruffy blond Al said was Leon Orcot. "They aren't gonna do anything freaky like start eating people, are they?"
"I hope not," Sam said. He eyed a growling goat. "Maybe we should... give them the cake?"
"Are you kidding?" Leon demanded. "I waited an hour to get you this thing."
"That's sweet," said Sam said, wondering his host's gender. "Even so."
"If you're sure," Leon said, tossing the box over the couch. The animals descended. "Maybe we should run for it?"
Cause and Effect
"We can't get data on this Tess you're in," Al said. "Her dad was CIA, musta been really hush-hush."
"Ziggy can't find out anything?" Sam asked, sipping his soda.
"No, but we might have a clue why you're here," Al said. "Him."
He pointed his cigar at Alex. Sam turned to watch him flirt with Isabel.
"And when school lets out?" she asked.
"What about him?" Sam said.
"I thought, foreign exchange program, get off the continent..."
"Dies next year," Al answered.
"...just need a break."
"Next year?" Sam demanded. "How can I stop that now?"
"Beats me," Al replied.
Sam I Am
"Damn," Sam swore, certain he'd failed this leap.
"Paul," Sam said, turning to face him.
"Major Davis, sir, and salute him," Al prompted. Sam glared.
"Sam," Paul answered, willing not to stand on formality. "Are you alright?"
"They turned me down--because I'm a woman!" Sam said, incensed.
Paul smiled slightly. "To be fair, there were other reasons."
"Oh?" Sam said cynically.
"They don't put brilliant people like you in the field," Paul replied. "You're better than common cannon fodder."
Sam rolled his eyes. "Project Bluebook isn't 'the field'!"
Paul laughed. "When you crack it, it will be."
On the Dangers of Being Drummer
"Peeper, be careful with that ho!" laughed the boy with his arm around the blonde with pink peace symbols painted on her cheeks.
"What?" Sam asked, shocked.
The other boy, holding the brunette (thin enough to double for Twiggy), said, "Now, Stumpy, you should know how dangerous a tool like that is!"
Sam looked down. He held the handle of a... He picked the implement up, examining its end.
Sam set it down in chagrin.
"You'll put an eye out," Al warned.
Sam blinked. "What?"
"John Pepys dies June 14, 1965, of self-inflicted head trauma... from a hoe."
Mystery of the Rose
"Al, can I ask you a question?" Sam said.
"Sure." Al looked out the window. "What's up?"
"I can't figure out--" Sam gestured at the clothes on the bed, waiting for him to get dressed, "I have the boys' uniform, and Wakaba called me her prince--"
"That's what she said?" Al asked, studying drapes.
"But my roommate's a girl and there's--" Sam opened a drawer. "--bras. Al, am I... female?"
"Well..." Al said.
Sam folded his arms angrily. "You could have said something to stop me from flashing you."
"Not looking! You're fourteen," Al snapped. "You think I'm a pedophile?"
Remaking the Past
"Eighteen ninety-seven," Sam breathed, touching the headstone. "That can't be right, can it?"
"Try nineteen ninety-seven," Al snorted.
"But this is a fresh grave," Sam pointed out.
"Yeah, something's up," Al answered. "But this Edward guy recognized the modern conveniences of the waiting room. Wasn't real happy about them, but he knew what they were."
"What, so these people are doing some kind of historic re-enactment? Like those Civil War battles," Sam suggested.
"Not exactly," Al said.
"Then what?" Sam asked. "Please, Al, explain to me like I'm dressed like I just landed at Plymouth Rock."
"Now you're just exaggerating..."
Unkind to Pretenders
Sam gasped in pain and scrabbled at his wrist, seeking the source. He yanked the bracelet off and flung it away, shocked that it seared his fingers.
"Geez," said Al, raising his eyebrows. "I know you dislike the traditional trappings of femininity, but aren't you overreacting?"
Sam winced. "It burned me." Two overlapping circles, like a Venn diagram, scarred his hand. "Is that--can you see that?"
"Are you sure it's not..." Al whacked the handlink. "Elizabeth's?"
"I'm pretty sure," Sam snapped, but he went to the mirror. Elizabeth's hand was unmarred. "What kind of jewelry does this lady wear?"
"Mr. Whittaker," said Agent Mulder.
"Mulder," his partner hissed.
"Why do you keep insulting her like that?" Scully asked.
"No, no, it's fine," Sam tried to assure them.
"How am I insulting him?" Mulder asked. "He has chest hair sticking out of his dress."
Scully took Mulder's arm. "I'm very sorry, Mrs. Whittaker. We won't be trouble you again." She dragged him off.
Sam looked at Al. "So what was Mulder--child, animal, or mentally absent?"
"Oh, very funny," Al muttered to the handlink. "Gooshie," he passed on to Sam, "suggests he might be a blond."
Making An Ass Of You And Me
When Sam leaped in to find himself kissing boyish Jake, his first assumption was that he was gay. Jake disabused him of this notion by calling him by his name: Bella.
Sam's second assumption was that he was a woman and straight. This illusion shattered when Jake's shirt came off. And Jake's Ace bandages.
The third assumption Sam made was that he was a lesbian. He didn't discover this was inaccurate until Jake teased him about nearly having committed incest with his secret half-brother, Scout.
So it was a day before Sam determined his real identity here: Bella was bi.
"Not only is this the last show of the tour, but it's the last show we'll ever do." The audience burst into sobbing screams. David Bowie launched into "Rock 'N Roll Suicide."
"Ah, Ziggy's namesake," Al said nostalgically, unperturbed by glitter-faced girls surging through him.
"The computer--our computer--is named after Ziggy Stardust?" Sam asked, disbelieving.
"Whose idea was that?"
"Yours," Al informed him.
A niggling thought worked its way into Sam's brain. "And... am I gay?"
"Gee, Sam, I thought it'd been swiss-cheesed right out of you," Al said, smiling. "You're queer as a three dollar bill."
A Reckoning of the Fandoms, for the curious:
A is for Alienated, a Canadian show ide_cyan pimped to me. It is very funny and the source of my "The Aliens Did Not Make Me a Lesbian" icon. Sam is the grandfather. Bizarrely, this one was 100 words on its first draft. What're the chances?
B is for Buffy. Sam is Ethan Rayne. Tattoos were involved.
C is for Chasing Amy. Sam is Silent Bob, and doesn't know to be Silent. This one's especially for j_crew_guy, though of course they all are.
D is due South. This is for amireal. I decided that I wanted to make at least half of Sam's leaps into females (which is more work than it should be, for some reason), but it didn't occur to me until about R that everyone I'd leaped Sam into was white--even the wolf.
E is for Earth: Final Conflict, my first fandom. Sam is Da'an. This is... oh... roughly first or second season. You know, the good ones.
F is for Farscape. Sam is Chiana--it was too much of a fun idea to pass up. Set early season two or thereabouts.
G is for Good Omens. Sam is Aziraphale. This whole leap probably makes his and Al's heads hurt--Al no doubt easily believes Crowley is a demon, while denying angels, and Sam buys his angel status, while doubting demons.
H is for Highlander--probably the original series, not Raven, since I imagined Sam as Amanda walking along the Seine from Duncan's boat.
I is for I Dream of Jeannie, because I don't know Invisible Man.
J is for Justice League of America, even though I got my canon in bits and bobs from every version of Batman known to man. Thanks to buggery for giggling at it anyway.
K is for Kill Bill, volume two if you want to be specific. *whistles*
L is for Life, the Universe, and Everything, from Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker trilogy. It amused me.
M is for Mutant X. Sam is the girl that still makes Warhol and Adam jealous sixteen years later in the actual series.
N is for The Nanny. The part of Fran Fine will now be played by Sam Beckett. Niles probably took Sam's temperature when he didn't coming onto Mr. Sheffield left, right, and center.
O is for Once a Thief. Sam leaped into Vic. The pretty may explode my brain.
P is for Petshop of Horrors. I wonder if Sam knows any Chinese?
Q is for Quantum Leap, silly.
R is for Roswell. As long as Sam avoids being like Tess for a few days, Alex should be fine.
S is for Stargate. Pre-movie, and yet with series characters. For those of you playing along at home, it was contemplating what was going on in the waiting room on this one that made me want to write Sam Carter/Al.
T is for This is Spinal Tap. Remember how the kept losing drummers? One died of "bizarre gardening accident."
U is for Utena. Sam knows Japanese! It's useful.
V is for The Village. Sam's usual knowledge of history is inapplicable.
W is for Witchblade. Sam is not a woman.
X is for the X-Files. Sam is not a canon character--just an X-file himself.
Y is for Young Americans. Oh, my crazy cross-dressing incestuous teenage soap opera. I love me some Jake.
Z is for Ziggy Stardust. I've been planning to write Sam into attending a Ziggy Stardust concert since before j_crew_guy sprung this crazy challenge on me.
And that's all she wrote :-)