Disclaimer: I own ... nothing...
It was a warm day in Rutherford, Ohio. Everyone was exceptionally happy about this after their 6-month operation in a winter boot camp. Eames lay sprawled out in his lawn chair under an open window, letting the sun warm his skin. Mal and Dom were in the corner of the building, talking about possible baby names for the bump, as Eames refers to it. Arthur wasn't in yet, which was strange. They were all staying at different places but none of the hotels were far from the warehouse. Eames sat up straighter as Arthur walked through the door.
"Sorry I'm late," He murmured as Dom and Mal stood up to start toward Arthur's desk. Eames rises out of his chair to join the team, an annoyed scowl on his face. Had he walked in an hour late, his would've been ripped a new one.
Arthur put his laptop on his desk and booted it up. While it loaded, Arthur began his detailed speech of the next extraction. Eames was barely paying attention, staring blankly at the floor when suddenly he heard something he'd never heard before. Arthur took a pause in his plan. It was a little pause, but he paused. As if he didn't remember what was coming next. Eames looked over at his friends, but they didn't seem to notice and Arthur was already on to the next topic.
Now Eames was paying attention, looking and listening for anything unusual. There! His mind screamed at him and his eyes narrowed in on Arthur's suit. There was lent on it. Not a lot, mind you, but Eames could see the lint on it. And there, another barely noticeable pause. Had he not been a Forger, Eames never would have noticed this. Something is going on with Arthur, something happened last night that caused him to be an hour late… But what?
Arthur couldn't help himself. When he heard they were going to Rutherford, a little piece in him was excited. He wasn't sure what he expected when he arrived; maybe he wanted the town to be different. Maybe, he didn't want to know his way around. Maybe, he didn't want to imagine a cherry red Rambler cruising –spluttering –down the road.
But when Dom suggested they get a hotel to unwind before work tomorrow, he knew he wanted a certain house to still be standing. The team agreed to meet at 8 o'clock and went their separate ways. Dom and Mal grabbed a bus and Arthur and Eames walked in different directions.
Arthur could barely hold in his anxiety. What if- what if it wasn't there anymore? What if someone else lived there? Arthur's heart was in his throat as he rounded the corner and saw the white house he'd grown up in. It was still the same, maybe a little worn down, but the same and that reassured him enough to go up to the front door and ring the bell.
"Just a minute," a gravelly voice said from somewhere in the house. The door opened a minute later and a red-haired woman sucking on a cigarette leaned against the door. "Well hello there stranger. It's been a long time since I saw you."
Arthur smiled. "You remember me?"
"Of course, your family was strange. Very nice, but strange." Arthur smiled and nodded.
"Well don't just stand there, come in." Mrs. Dubcek said. Arthur stepped in and Mrs. Dubcek closed the door behind him. "What brings you back around here?"
"I was wondering if I could rent out the attic." His voice was sheepish and he forced himself not to shuffle his feet.
"Of course," her voice dragged on in a familiar manner. "Couldn't get anyone else to rent it out since you all left," she continued and led Arthur upstairs. She unlocked the door and allowed Arthur to go in. He smiled in appreciation before starting up the stairs. When he reached the top his heart ached.
It was all the same. The mismatched furniture, the old box TV with a VHS, it was all there. He walked through the living room and past the bathroom, to his bedroom, and sat his bag down on his bed. Across the room was an empty bed, Harry's bed. Something prickled in the back of Arthur's eyes and he rubbed his eyes furiously. That –this –was another life; when he was Tommy Solomon; when he had a father, uncle and aunt. A father, uncle and aunt that he left.
Arthur remembers the day like it was yesterday. They were summoned back to the home planet. Back then, he only ever thought himself as Tommy and he missed Earth. After all, he was getting older, old enough to retire even. So he did. The Big Giant Head allowed him to choose where he wanted to retire, since Tommy was so close with Dick.
Of course he chose Earth but he'll never forget that look of betrayal and jealousy Dick –his High Commander –gave him. So he tried to go back to college and tried to pretend everything was normal; tried to pretend he didn't miss them. It didn't work and he dropped out of college before he even finished freshmen year. He couldn't deal with the fact that every time he had to go to the Dean's office he could see the holes in the ceiling from where Dick helped him nail the Dean's desk to the ceiling.
That's when he met Cobb. He was a senior at the same university and saw how sad and lonely Arthur was. He also knew how smart he was. Arthur had convinced himself he'd never have to come back to Rutherford. Never have to remember the team –the family –he left behind. And here he was.
He sighed and walked back out into the living room and into the kitchen. Arthur smiled with affection at the black and white pig hanging above the refrigerator. A yellowing piece of paper caught his eye. It was sitting on the table, held down by a small powder compact. Recognition stirred in him at sight of the compact and he reached down for the note.
The Big Giant Head let us come back to tell you good-bye. You weren't here though, so we modified this compact to reach Harry if you ever want to talk to us. We hope you have a great retirement, Officer.
Sally, Dick, and Harry
Also, if you could tell Don that I still love him, that would be sweet. And Dick wants you to keep tabs on Mary (but you don't have to if you don't want to)
I'll miss you Tommy. Love Harry.
The last part looked as though it was scribbled hurriedly. As if he did it right before they left. Tears sprang to his eyes and almost leaked out as he realized they came back to see him, to tell him this in person. And he wasn't here. He didn't even come back here. Had he known about this compact, it would have made his life so much easier, knowing they were only a phone call away. Hesitantly, he opened the compact. The screen was fuzzy, pixilated.
"Harry?" Arthur called out. There was no response so he tried a little louder. "Harry!" Suddenly the screen colored black and a series of numbers listed on the screen.
"We're sorry; the transmitter you are trying to reach is in travel mode. Please hang up and try again."
Arthur closed the compact and slipped it into his suit pocket, determined to reach his family at the first possible moment, whether he had to stay up all night or not.
When the Dick, Sally and Harry landed back on Earth, they felt as if they were home. The air was thicker than before and their clothes were outdated, but they were home. Sally's hands immediately went to her chest.
"Hello girls," She said with a smile.
"Isn't it great to be back," Dick asked, sharing a knowing smile with his team.
"That was the longest year of my life."
"Well, imagine how Tommy feels, it's been about ten years since he's seen us," Harry said, nodding with a pleased look on his face. Sally gave him a look.
"Right," She rolled her eyes and smiled at Dick, who looked at Sally with a questioning gaze.
"Dick, it hasn't really been ten years has it?"
"Well, yes Lieutenant, Earth years are much faster than -" Dick, however, was interrupted by Harry freezing, hands suspended in air.
"In coming message from Tommy Solomon…" Sally gasped and a smile split her face in two.
"Harry? Can you hear me? It says it should be working…" Tommy's voice exited Harry's mouth in an unnerving manner.
"Alright, well I, uh, just wanted to know how you guys are doing. I have the compact on me so; just, just give me a ring." Static-like sounds came from Harry for a few seconds before he spoke normal again.
"Resuming normal function in three, two, one. Achoo." Harry sneezed into his hand. "Well, what'd I miss?"
"It was Tommy," Dick all but shouted. "He finally contacted us!"
"What'd he say Dick?"
"He wants to know how we are! Ring him up Harry and let him know!" Dick ordered and Harry switched on the Transmitter.
"Contacting Tommy Solomon. Please hold." Harry sent a virtual letter, pertaining the mission they were assigned to and how much they missed him on it. "Resuming normal function in three, two, one. Achoo!"
"Alright," Dick said importantly. "First things first. Sally, drive us to Dubcek's place. See if we can stay there. Harry, you make sure you're always with either me or Sally, so we know if Tommy tries to reach us."
"Yes, sir." Harry and Sally said in unison, saluting.
"Where will you be Commander?"
"I have to go find Mary!"
Alright, well this is a sorry attempt at my two favorite things. I've never even attempted to write the 3rd Rock characters so sorry for that mess. Actually, sorry for this whole mess, but please review and let me know if I should cancel this attempt or continue... Thanks so much:)