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It's Just a Leap to the Left

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In Sam's mind, past leaps are never more than hazy wisps of memory, like someone else's dreams. There's always someone right in front of him who needs saving, so he doesn't have time to stop and think about whoever he was saving yesterday, or ten years ago, or ten years on.

But sometimes, when it's dark and quiet, and he lies awake in a bed that's never his own... he remembers things.

Racing back in at the last minute, running awkwardly in six-inch heels. Diving into the pool. Feeling the strange, reticulated sensation of water flowing over his legs in fishnet stockings.

But he wasn't a woman. Not that time.

Sam remembers the desperate effort of dragging dead weight out of the water (no, not dead, not yet) and doing chest compressions on slippery, glittery skin. He remembers giving the kiss of life to a mouth he'd kissed before, that very night, still tasting of dark, passionate lipstick. He remembers feeling not just anxious, but vaguely hysterical, as though it all seemed unreal even at the time.

Eyelashes thick with mascara fluttered open, and once-stilled lungs breathed again in wet, heavy gasps. Astonished eyes met Sam's, streaked with makeup flowing down his cheeks like tears. It's a startled look Sam has often seen, in that brief space between when he gets it right and when time pulls him onward. Are you who you should be? Is this what's supposed to happen?

Then the painted mouth pursed into a smirking, inexplicably knowing smile, and a hand cradled the back of Sam's neck. Lips were on his again, tongues intertwining. A kiss of thank-you? Maybe. But it could have also been a kiss just because kisses feel good, and Sam was there, and when two people find themselves gloriously alive, there is no better way to celebrate than pleasure.

All too soon, that kiss and that place and that time faded away. And as they faded, even though it didn't make any sense, Sam could have sworn that he felt the floor beneath them rise, and rise, and rise.

Sam is tired (when is he not?) and the memories slip out of his grasp. As he falls into exhausted sleep, an odd, stray thought crosses his mind, which he won't remember in the morning:

Just like Sam, all Frank really wanted was to go home.