"Sam."

His sense of hearing was always the first to return. If there was one constant in Quantum Leaping, that was it. It was comforting in its own way, knowing something was going to happen and it was always going to happen.

"Sam."

It was voice he recognized. Nearly drowned out by the sound of Bobby Holly singing…singing what?

"Press the brake, Sam."

No. Not Bobby Holly. Buddy Holly. The voice was all but concealed by sound of Buddy Holly singing about how that'd be the day he die loud enough to cause his ears to ring. Wait, was that really just ringing in his ears?

"Sam, press the brake!"

Al. And he sounded terrified.

The brake?

"That'll be the day when you say good-bye"

He felt the smoothness of the steering wheel in his hand even before he could actually see it. The engine roared as he unconsciously pressed on the accelerator. He heard Al scream "No, the other brake, Sam!" as the car hurdled over a pothole in the dusty road. Dark bangs fell in front of his eyes as the car shimmied violently beneath him. It suddenly registered that his host body was much too small for the car he navigated. Those eyes couldn't make out anything further than the hood in front of him. The top of his head just barely reached the top of the steering wheel currently clutched tightly with tiny fingers.

"You give me all your lovin' and your ta-urtle-dovin'…"

"The brake, Sam, dammit, the brake!"

With effort—still not used to the body in which he now dwelled—he pressed a small foot, soon joined by the other, down on the brake pedal. The steering wheel shuttered in his hands, the brake pedal pulsated beneath his feet, and the tires skidded across the dusty terrain. His heart pounded (something in Al's voice had caused that) as the car continued for another five seconds—he had silently ticked off the agonizing moments in his mind. The car finally came to rest, slightly cocked toward the left.

A smile hinted on his host's lips just as a sudden gust of wind rocked the car violently. "'Cause that'll be the da-ay-ay…"Buddy Holly was cut short by a short burst of static. Eyes widened as he watched the train rush past. It wasn't ringing he heard in his ears; it was the sound of the train's whistle as it had approached the crossing.

He turned to Al, who had been racing alongside him on his left and let out a chuckle of relief.

"Christ, Sam that was too close."

"Christ, Sam, whydja stop?" He turned sharply in his seat, confused and pleasantly surprised at the sound of his own name. Much more surprised than when he finally noticed the young boy seated next to him. "We coulda beat it."

"No, you wouldn't have." Al countered morosely, even though the freckled boy wouldn't have heard.

He opened his mouth, as if to relay the message to the young passenger before He—whomever He, or She, or It was--decided to cut his time short.

He Leaped.