Souls Exposed

By Alia

Disclaimer: All hail Donald Bellisario for he created these wonderful characters and I only get to borrow them for a while. No infringement of copyright intended.

Summary: Sam ponders the changes to his and Al's friendship.

Warnings: None, this story is rated G.

Thanks: To beta readers PJ and Carol for their time and patience.

Comments: Are always welcome and can be sent to aliajones1999@yahoo.com

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Was it really possible, I wondered to look at someone every day and not really see them? To catch only fleeting glimpses of the soul they possess and not see the full beauty of the light that fills them with life.

I have seen Al in situations no other man, woman or even child has ever come close to understanding and still it amazes me each time he opens his heart to share something new with me.

Having long thought that each and every day with him was an unexpected gift, precious in it's own way, it is difficult to say at this juncture of our lives exactly what it is was that drew me to him in the first place. - To forge the friendship we have and to set about turning my dream of traveling in time into a reality with the assistance of a man who is so very different from anyone else I have ever had the good fortune to know, or love.

Yes, I am well aware that love is also a part of friendship. That it is perfectly acceptable in every culture known to man for two men to have a purely platonic relationship based on their mutual admiration and respect for one another.

Isn't love a peculiar emotion though? Because you are never really sure from one day to the next what it is about someone that will catch your eye or make your heart beat a little faster. Most of it comes out of left field anyway and none of us I believe is ever fully prepared for the consequences.

I know I wasn't, prepared, that is, for what would be become of a friendship that somehow managed to not only survive the stormy seas that time and space provided for us both while we were separated, but also the different adjustments each of us has had to make since my return.

Perhaps, given our long history it would be easier to explain what it is that draws and holds me to Al now, rather than to try and understand something that occurred twenty years ago and to which I have no clear recollection of.

With Al I have to admit there are some things that stand out about him and which I guess added to the original attraction. Strangely enough though, they are not the elements of his rather unique personality that most people might think they are.

The eyes have often been said to be the windows to the soul and maybe I am the only one that has noticed that Al's eyes take on a wistful quality and actually appear to sparkle when he smiles at me, lighting his face and lifting years from his age. And yet those same eyes will cloud in moments of anger or frustration showing every emotion and thought within their dark almost bottomless depths. Startling, and at times intimidating the most seasoned of men, not to mention myself on more than one occasion over the years by their sheer intensity alone.

I sigh, as I look down at the man now sleeping peacefully beside me, still feeling completely amazed by the changes that have occurred between us since we first met, and what I had been made privy to tonight when Al had gifted me with another glimpse into his soul. Thinking as I settled myself more comfortably at his side that after so many years as friends what an unexpected surprise it had been to discover that his eyes neither sparkle nor cloud, but simply smolder when he is aroused. More surprising perhaps is to find myself the object of that arousal. To discover the light that had stood as a beacon all the years I was leaping, actually emanated from the man whom I am now finally able to hold in my arms.

The End.

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