August 22, 2012 – Chocolate Milk Shake Day

Summary: **Part of the 2012 LiveJournal's Twisted Shorts August Fic-A-Day** series, also known as the 'Wacky Holiday Series'. This had to be the strangest leap yet.

Challenge: for the livejournal 2012 August Fic-a-Day Challenge.

Warning: nope.

Timeline: post-season 5 for BtVS; unsure for QL, but change the dates so they line up.

A/N: Buffy has a new job.

Disclaimer: BtVS/AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. Quantum Leap characters belong to Donald Bellisario and Belisarius Productions, Universal Television. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.


The equivalent of Sep 12th

Sam Beckett just finished his current leap and saw the familiar blue lights starting to surround him, which meant he was about to be dropped into another new – and most likely awkward – situation that he had to figure out in about ten seconds or less.

However, when he opened his eyes, it was different somehow. Instinctively he could feel that it was. But how?

He glanced around and saw he was in a diner that could have been the set for Happy Days; how did he know about that show? He didn't watch TV, did he?

A blonde girl came over to his booth with two large glasses filled with what he guessed were chocolate shakes and topped with a generous helping of whipped cream and two cherries each.

"Hi, Sam," she greeted him. "I would ask if you were allergic to chocolate, but that wouldn't matter here anyway, so drink up!"

"Sam?" These leaps were the most confusing because he was named something similar to his real name. They usually made him feel even more homesick for his own time and body.

As if she could hear his thoughts, the girl handed him a mirror and sat down across from him to enjoy her shake. When he looked into the mirror, it felt almost…right to him. Like this was the face he was supposed to have.

To confirm that fact, Al popped in and his eyes widened in shock. "Sam! You're you!"

He was so shocked that he didn't even think to move away from the girl before he answered his friend, "Really? Do I really look like myself, Al?"

Instead of Al answering him, the girl did, "You sure do. And there's another surprise for you." She snapped her fingers and another shake appeared in her hands, which she held out towards Al. "This one's for you, but I'll tell you right now that if you smoke that stinky cigar of yours, I'll put it out on your tongue."

"Wait, you can see me?" Al asked, ignoring/forgetting about the shake appearing out of nowhere and the threat.

"Sure can, now please grab your shake and join us," she replied. "Oh, by the way, my name is Buffy."

Knowing that Al couldn't interact with Sam's timeline, both members of the project watched carefully as his hand approached the glass…expecting it to pass through like it usually would. Al almost jumped when he felt the cold of the ice cream hitting his fingers as they wrapped around the glass.

"I can touch it!" he exclaimed unnecessarily. He went to slap Sam on the shoulder and grinned widely when he actually connected. "Sam!"

Sam jumped up and even though they weren't metrosexual guys, they hugged each other tightly…relishing in the chance to touch each other again after so many years. Then they realized what they were doing and jumped apart awkwardly, muttering about something manly or whatnot. Buffy just chuckled at the two of them.

"I suppose you'd like some answers?" she prompted them to ease the tension.

"That would be nice," Sam said as Al kept smacking his handheld device, looking for answers to explain what was going on.

"Ziggy can't help you in here," Buffy warned. "This is a timeless place. Call it a rest area for people who jump around in time. Or have died, but aren't quite ready for their final destination. Stuff like that."

"So which one am I?" Sam needed to know. "Obviously I know I travel in time, but am I also somebody who died?"

"Just the time travel for you," she replied.

"So why am I here?" Al demanded.

"You don't have to be," Buffy retorted. "The host of this place just thought you'd like to spend some time with Sam where you weren't trying to fix something."

Al wasn't sure what was going on, but he didn't want to leave Sam there all alone, so he quickly backpedaled, "No. …that's okay; I want to stay with Sam." He took a long sip of his shake to prove it, then grimaced as he got an ice cream headache from drinking too fast.

Buffy seemed surprised by the fact he was in pain. "Huh, I didn't think you could get ice cream headaches here. That's too bad. Anyway, you were starting to get a little burnt out from all the leaps, Sam, so it was decided you needed a break. A chance to be in your own skin for a while."

"Can't I just go back to my body at the project? Be done with this?" Sam pleaded.

Shrugging, Buffy said, "Yeah, but then you will lose the Quantum Leap Project entirely. It will pass to your successor, and he or she will have 'discovered' how to move through time like you are. He or she will spend however long leaping from one situation to another, helping people with the help of their best friend. I think next up on the list is either two doctors from New Jersey or a couple forensic detectives from Las Vegas. Take your time deciding, think it over, talk to Al… Most of all, enjoy your shake!"

A/N: I don't own the unnamed fandoms in the last paragraph either. Fairly certain more than one person can figure out who they are. Here's a hint…they aren't 80s shows.