The Epilogue
by Lee Kirkland

     It was his second Leap through time and although he was
prepared for it, Vincentstaggered a little when he leaped back
home.  As he tried to regain his footing, his balance becamemore
precarious, so he stopped and tightened his grip.
       He looked down, wanting his eyes to confirm what his heart
already knew, but all he couldsee was the soft brown hair across
her cheek; she was wrapped in his cloak, and her face wasburied
against his neck.
     "Catherine?" he asked softly.
     She lifted her face and he set her gently on her feet,
unable to stop staring.  His handstouched her face.
     "Vincent?  Is something wrong?"  The sound of her voice was
food for a starving man.
       "No," he said, brushing away a stray wisp of hair and
stroking gentle fingers across hercheek.  "I just want to look at
     She looked tired, with faint purple smudges under her eyes,
but he didn't think he'd everseen a more beautiful sight.  All he
wanted was to stand here forever, holding her; his eyes
filledwith tears of joy.
     Smiling at him, she touched a finger to his cheek.  "Don't
cry," she whispered.  "I'm herenow.  I'm safe.  I knew you would
     Her faith wounded him, knowing as he did, that he had not
found her, but his joy wasgreater than all else, and he returned
her smile.  A moment later, her expression becameunfocused and
her eyes grew distant as her body tensed.  She's in labor, he
remembered.  "It's allright," he whispered, holding her.  "I'm
     As the contraction eased, she relaxed against him.
     "Catherine okay?" a tentative voice asked from the end of
the passage.  "Catherine hurt?"
     "Catherine is fine, Mouse," Vincent answered his friend. 
"She's having a baby."  My baby? That's what she told Sam...
      Mouse asked it aloud.  "Vincent's baby?"
     For the first time in more than six months, Vincent heard
the sweet sound of Catherine'slaughter.  "Yes, Mouse, Vincent's
     The young man grinned.  "Okay, good, okay, fine."  He came
closer and held outsomething.  "For Catherine."
     Vincent reached out for the soft bundle and looked at it
curiously.  "Socks?"
     "Clean!" Mouse promised quickly.  "Good socks.  Warm.  Mary
     "I'm sure they're fine socks, Mouse, but why?"
     "No shoes!"  Mouse pointed down and Vincent looked.
       Catherine was barefoot, and her feet looked cold on the
dusty tunnel floor.
       "Thank you, Mouse," she said, smiling.  Mouse gallantly
offered Catherine an arm forbalance and Vincent knelt, pulling
the borrowed socks up over her feet.
      "Mouse, why do you happen to have a pair of clean socks
with you?" Catherine asked ashe straightened.
     "Always carry," Mouse proclaimed.  "Mouse goes far.  Father
says, don't want blisters,wear clean socks."
     "Thank you, Mouse," Vincent said.  "Your help tonight was
invaluable."  He felt safesaying that, since Al had told him
Mouse was guiding Sam through the tunnels.
      Mouse beamed.  "Saved Catherine!" he boasted.
     "Yes, Mouse.  Vincent told me how you helped," Catherine
said.  Stepping forward, shesurprised and embarrassed poor Mouse
with a warm hug.  "Thank you."
     Mouse ducked his head and backed away.  "Gotta go," he said,
blushing.  "Tell everyone!"
      "Mouse.  Go to Father first.  Tell him Catherine is safe
and she's about to have a child."
     Mouse nodded, hurried around a corner and was gone.
     Vincent didn't see him leave; he had eyes only for
Catherine.  "You're well?" he askedanxiously.  "Did they hurt
you?  The man called Gabriel..."
     She came back into his arms and he tucked his cloak around
her more snugly, unable tostop touching her.  "He wanted the
baby," she said flatly.  "He took care of me because he neededme
for that."  She looked at him.  "Vincent, how did you know his
     "A friend," Vincent said slowly, wondering how much he could
tell her.  "He helped tofind you.  He told me."
     "His name is Albert.  You've never met him."
     "I'd like to."
     "I don't know if that will be possible," Vincent said. 
"There is another who helped, andyou have met him, though I have
not.  His name is Sam."
     She frowned.  "I don't remember anyone called Sam."
     Vincent smiled.  "There is no reason why you should," he
said.  "Nevertheless, without hishelp, and Albert's..." his voice
broke.  "I would have lost you."
     Her arms went around his neck and he held her as tightly as
he dared, acutely aware of therounded swell of her abdomen
pressing against him; lightly he touched it.
       "Catherine, if you have no objection, I would like to name
our son after my friend."
     "A son?  You can tell it's a boy?"  Her smile was a mixture
of wonder and joy.
     "I know it is a son," Vincent said carefully, not revealing
how he came by that knowledge. "May we call him Albert?"  He
already knew her answer would be yes.
     The tunnels are quiet except for the occasional sound of a
passing subway train above orthe gentle tapping on the pipes
acknowledges that all is well in the tunnels.  It is late and
thesetranquil sounds are reassuring.  So much has happened
recently that my mind and heart canscarcely contain the maelstrom
of emotions that stir within.
     The entries have been few in this new journal; it's not been
a time for writing.  The wordshave not provided the catharsis for
which I long; perhaps tonight they will.
     Catherine sleeps behind me, in my bed; our son sleeps beside
her.  They are here.  Theyare safe.  I marvel at all that has
happened today.  I would like to forget the nightmare, but
Iremember searching for her, night after night... without even
our bond to sustain me.
     I was almost at the point of desperation when I "leaped". 
(The concept is still difficult forme to comprehend even after
experiencing it twice, but it saved Catherine's life... I owe so
muchto Sam and Albert.)
     To "leap" back and find Catherine in my arms was more than I
could have imagined, evenwith what Albert had told me.  All I
could do was look at her, touch her... try to convince myselfthat
she was real.
     As I carried her to my chamber, I began to sense the
nebulous stirrings of our bond... butit seemed different this
time.  It seemed to come from Catherine... but moreso from
within.  Idared not concentrate on it; part of me feared its loss
once again and its existence was tenuous. At that moment
Catherine's welfare was more important.  She was in pain and I
needed no bondto feel it.  I was even more afraid knowing that
her pain was because of the child she wascarrying, my child. I
tried to comfort her as best I could, telling her things that
might distract her.
     Although it seemed like forever to me, Catherine's labor
actually progressed quite rapidly. I wished only that I could
draw the pain away from her, yet I was helpless to do so.  As
Iwitnessed the birth of our son, I was filled with such wonder at
the miracle unfolding before me; Iwas so proud of Catherine, her
love, her courage, her unflagging belief in me... in us.  I
rememberthose moments when I first held him.  He's beautiful... I
wish that Albert and Sam were here toshare this with me.
      I find myself missing Albert and wishing I could have known
him better.  If only I couldmeet Sam and thank him for what he's
given me.  "If in the twilight of memory we should meetonce more,
we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper
song.  And if ourhands should meet in another dream we shall
build another tower in the sky."  I wish I could sharethese words
of Gibran with them.
       I am learning what it must be like for Catherine to carry
the secret of the tunnels... and me. Would Catherine and Father
really believe I travelled in time?  Would my friends believe Sam
andI exchanged places?  Or would they think I was like Dorothy
after the twister, dreaming it all? What would Catherine say if
she knew I had gone out into the daylight and felt the sunshine
onmy face?  That for once I'd been able to experience the beauty
of her world from outside thepages of a book?
     I'm changed now; things will never be the same.  I know that
Catherine and I can share alife together... and that we will.
Will she be surprised when I tell her our next child will be
adaughter... that her name will be Samantha?  Or will she smile
and accept it as another surprisethat life together brings us. 
Will she ever know?  Will I ever be able to tell her?  Do I need


About the Author

Lee Kirkland is a pseudonym for Sue Hernandez and Becky Bain. 
(Denver-based group) meeting in December of 1988 and began
writing together shortly after that.  Altogether, Lee has
written four B&B 'zines (WHERE THE RAINBOW ENDS, Vols. 1-4),
three B&B/Quantum Leap crossovers (QUANTUM BEAST Vols. 1-3), and
several short stories.  Writing alone, Becky has written three
'zines, ETERNITY,  ETERNITY 2: I Shall Emerge,  ETERNITY 3:
Collected Dreams, and some short stories.  In addition, working
with Beth Druhan, she helped produce (and has a story in) a B&B
'zine called THE HAT ON THE BENCH IN CENTRAL PARK, in which each
of five writers wrote a story using that image.

Lee's 'zines are all now out of print.  All will eventually be
available via Father's Online Library.

Lee's short stories, The Catnip Caper and Sleeping Beauty, are
available via Father's Online Library.  Her story Absolution
appeared in the TUNNELCON II con 'zine; Vincent, I Don't Think
We're in Verona Anymore, appeared in MacWombat Press' OLD SOULS.

Becky's individual work can be ordered as follows:

ETERNITY and ETERNITY 2 are now out of print.  ETERNITY 3
is $17 USA, $19 FC or CAN, $24 Europe.  THE HAT ON THE BENCH IN
CENTRAL PARK is $14 USA, $16 FC or CAN, $20 Europe.  Order from:
Becky Bain, 16845 Hightree Drive, Elbert CO 80106, or Email
rbain@clsp.uswest.net for further information.

Becky's short stories have appeared in WITHIN THE CRYSTAL ROSE
Vols. 5 (Star Light, Star Bright, under the pseudonym Anna
Gerard), 6 (Riches, also under Anna Gerard), 7 (Little Boy
Lost), and 8 (The Choice) all available from Mountain Rose Press,
MacWombat Press' BEST MIRRORS (Not Ever), in the GREAT
EXPECTATIONS con 'zine (Fairy Time), the TUNNELCON III con
'zine (Green Eyed), the REFLECTIONS con 'zine (Forsaken), and THE