Crossroads


When Sam opened his eyes he saw the concerned face of MaryAnne looking at him. She was perched on the edge of the couch, her right arm resting against the back rest. She smiled, her eyes soft and caring and not icy like they had been earlier. As she touched her left hand to the side of his face she said, “How do you feel?”

Sam paused a moment as he quickly sorted through the memory images he had seen before he passed out. He had this amazing understanding of Rosco now and what MaryAnne means to him. His memory had never seemed so complete before.

“I feel fine,” he said, speaking from the same strange impulse he’d felt before, only it was stronger now. Sam still had a little control, but he felt like a spectator at the same time. Just along for the ride.

“You sure?”

“Yeah.” He moved to sit up.

“Woah, hold it cousin, you ain’t goin’ nowhere just yet,” MaryAnne said, blocking Sam from moving any further. “I wanna know what happened. Now, Daisy here says you called her ‘MaryAnne’ one minute, then ‘Daisy’ the next and that you said it felt like somebody was ‘jabbin’ ice picks in your head.’ Plus you were runnin’ one hell of a fever.”

“Does it matter now? I’m fine.”

She touched her hand to his forehead. “I’ll admit you ain’t running a fever no more, but Rosco, you can’t be in so much pain at one moment then fifteen minutes later say you’re fine!”

“But I am.”

“I’d really like to have Doc Applebee look at ya. It sounds like you could have had anything from a migraine headache to some kind of serious thing, like an aneurysm.”

“MaryAnne, I don’t think I’d be talking to you if it was an aneurysm.”

“Well, whatever. I still want the Doc to check you out.”

“MaryAnne, I’m fine,” Sam said. He moved to sit up again and succeeded, sliding back into the corner of the couch.

Al appeared suddenly at the backside of the couch. Sam had the fight the urge to look at him, with MaryAnne and everyone still closely watching him.

“Ziggy thinks there’s another leaper involved here,” Al said. “Half of Rosco is with you here, the other half at Project and then half of him from 1987 is there as well. You might as well let MaryAnne take you to see the Doc. You’re all right anyway. Ziggy’s figured out what’s going to happen, but it won’t be for another couple of hours.”

“Rosco, I ain’t arguing with you about this. I want the Doc to check you out.”

Sam kept a straight face, looking from MaryAnne to the rest of the Dukes.

“Oh awright,” he said. He paused and then continued, “If it’ll make you feel better, MaryAnne, you can take me to see the Doc.”

“Thank you,” she said.

* * *

Al went with Sam and MaryAnne to Doc Appleby’s. After being checked over by the Doc, Sam was given the a-ok.

“He’s fine,” the Doc said.

“Are you sure?” MaryAnne asked.

“Yes. As far as I can tell, he’s healthy. He may just be over tired. However, if it happens again, I want to see him back here immediately.”

“He'll be here.”

Sam, however, was itching for the chance to talk to Al about the latest developments in regards to this ‘other leaper.’ He got his chance when he and MaryAnne returned to town so she could get her patrol car and do her regular patrol. They paused a moment on the sidewalk in front of the courthouse. “If you start feeling sick again or anything, you call me on the radio, ya hear?” she said.

“I will.”

“Allright. Otherwise, I’ll see you at the Boar’s Nest for lunch?”

Sam nodded. He watched the patrol car as it drove out of the square and then turned to Al.

“Another leaper??”

“Yeah. Let’s take a little drive, seeing as Rosco’s suppose to be patroling too,” Al said.

As they drove out of town, Al updated Sam on what Ziggy had come up with.

“Okay, first of all, Ziggy’s figured what’s going to happen to MaryAnne. In a couple of hours, Boss Hogg will be returning to Hazzard where Cliff and Ricky will be waiting for him. They’re going to kidnap him and Enos will be calling for Rosco and MaryAnne on the radio. Eventually the car chase that ensues will end up back in town and the whole thing’s going to end in a shootout.”

“So I have to keep her out of the line of fire.”

“Yeah. Try to, anyway.”

“Okay, what’s with this other leaper?”

“Ziggy thinks that another leaper has leapt into Rosco in 1987, a couple weeks out from where we're at now. The Rosco in our holding area is half and half, which is why he’s having such a hard time waking up. It’s possible that you could leap from here to a couple of weeks from now, with our holding area as a gateway.”

“Any idea what the other leaper is up to?”

“No. As always, Ziggy’s working on all of that.”

* * *

When Sam went to the Boar’s Nest to meet MaryAnne for lunch, Al returned to Project to see if Ziggy had come up with anything new. The Nest was pretty busy at the lunch hour. The Duke boys were there, along with Cooter and Daisy was rushing around trying to keep up with all the orders.

“Maybe I oughta give ya a hand,” MaryAnne suggested as Daisy came around the bar.

Daisy smiled. “I’ve been spoiled by having another waitress to help out. I can handle it tho’. If it does get to be too much I may just take ya up on that.”

MaryAnne smiled. A man who was sitting at the end of the bar spoke up. “I think you oughta help out,” he said. “I like you better when you’re a waitress here anyway. You’re a lot more friendlier.”

MaryAnne glanced at the guy and said, “I’m sure Daisy can handle everything just fine. She did it long before I got here.”

The man got up from his seat and approached MaryAnne and Sam. “Yeah, but you’re a nice addition to the place. Although not dressed in that uniform.”

MaryAnne crinkled her nose at the stench of beer that eminated from him. He clearly had had plenty to drink thus far.

“Why don’t you buzz off?” Sam said. He looked at the name patch on his dirty work suit. Marty.

Marty glared at the Sheriff. “Rosco, why don’t you retire and save us all the grief.”

The half of Rosco that was with Sam was starting to get ticked off at this point. On impulse, Sam said, “Why don’t you shut yer mouth, boy, or would you rather I do it for ya?”

“Rosco, please--” MaryAnne started.

“Ooh, I’m scared. Ol’ Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, the toughest sheriff in Hazzard history, is gonna beat me up. Oooh.” Marty rolled his eyes at Sam and then looked at MaryAnne. “Seeing as your not working here, why don’t you let me buy ya a beer. Maybe we can get a little friendlier later.” He tried to take her by the arm but Sam grabbed a hold of him.

“I think it’d be best, if you were to just be movin’ along now.”

“Why don’t you mind yer own bidness,” the workman retorted and swung at Sam with a right cross.

MaryAnne gasped as Sam reeled and leaned over the counter of the bar from the force of the blow. Bo and Luke had seen what was going on and stood up from their table at this point and approached the bar.

“Oh, Rosco, are you allright?” MaryAnne asked.

“I’m fine,” he replied rubbing the side of his jaw. “I was hoping he’d do that.”

“What?” MaryAnne asked, but before she could pry further Sam turned to the trouble maker.

Al appeared at this point standing next to MaryAnne.

“I don’t think you have any idea what you just started,” Sam said to Marty. “But why don’t we step outside and finish this.”

“Rosco!” MaryAnne exclaimed.

“Sam, what the hell are you doing?” Al asked.

“Rosco, wait a minute,” Luke said. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Hush. I ain’t gonna stand here and let him talk that trash mouth to MaryAnne or think that he can push me around and get away with it.” Sam looked at the man. “You messin’ with the wrong man.” He pointed towards the door. “Outside.”

The boys stepped away from Marty as Sam started towards the door.

“Sam, for pete’s sake, I don’t really recommend that you do this,” Al said.

“Rosco, don’t do this,” MaryAnne said. “You’re gonna get hurt.”

Marty, however, didn’t care where this was finished and grabbed Sam by the right shoulder and turned him around. He attempted to plant a right cross but Sam raised his left arm to block it and barrel loaded his right hand into the guy’s midsection. Marty was momentarily fazed and then swung at Sam again.

MaryAnne and Al both flinched as the fist connected to Rosco’s face. Sam reeled to the side and caught his balance on the edge of the doorway. He turned slightly and lifted his right leg, planting his boot in the workman’s stomach.

People in the Nest started scattering to the sides as Marty tumbled to the floor. They watched in awe as Rosco stayed on the offensive and approached Marty as he got to his feet. Sam walloped him in the face with his right, then his left, then another right. The trouble maker stepped back with each punch and Sam delivered another thundering blow to the face and the guy reeled back and fell onto the table of one of the booths. Sam then grabbed him and threw him into the middle of the Boar’s Nest, crashing a table as a result.

Sam touched the back of his hand to his face, checking to see if his lip was bleeding. It wasn’t and he looked down at Marty.

“Had enough? Or would you like me to remove your head for ya, free of charge?”

“Rosco, stop it!” MaryAnne exclaimed rushing over to him. “You damn fool. What the HELL possessed you to do THAT?”

“I’d like to know the same thing,” Al said.

“MaryAnne, he was bein’ fresh towards you. He coulda roughed you up or somethin’.”

“And I would have knocked him into the middle of next week if he had tried. Never mind that! Rosco, where did you learn to fight like that??”

“Well, I’m sorry, MaryAnne, but--well, he hit first!”

“Rosco, don’t apologize,” Bo said. “You did great!”

“Yeah,” Luke said. “Couldn’t have done better ourselves.”

MaryAnne glared at the boys. “Will you two hush.” She then looked at Marty on the floor and pulled out her hand cuffs.
“Okay, Mister, you’re under arrest. For assualtin’ an officer.”

MaryAnne took his arm and started to put the handcuffs on him as Marty got to his feet. Luke held one of the man’s arms but both he and MaryAnne had let their guard down. The drunk workman pulled his arm away from Luke and suddenly pushed MaryAnne to the floor. He swung back at Luke with his elbow, hitting the dark haired cousin in the stomach. Bo tried to subdue the guy but was rewarded with a fist to the face.

Seeing MaryAnne get pushed to the floor sent shock waves through Sam. He spun around and delivered a lightening quick roudhouse kick, knocking Marty in the chest and sending him flying back on to another table which went crashing to the floor. The boys and MaryAnne and everybody else in the Boar’s Nest were looking at Rosco in absolute shock.

“My Lord...” Luke said.

Al came up beside Sam. “Sam! Dammit, Rosco is not, I repeat, NOT a martial arts expert!”

“I couldn’t help it,” Sam mumbled.

“You keep this up, you’re gonna land Rosco in deeper ca-ca than MaryAnne’s in.”

Sam stepped over to MaryAnne who was lifting herself off the floor.

“You okay?” he asked, gently taking her by the arm as she got to her feet.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” she replied. She then started laughing and said, “Okay, who are you and what have you done to Rosco?”

The boys were laughing too. “What a kick,” Bo said. As everyone complimented Rosco on his sudden ability to handle himself in a fisticuff, Sam glanced at Al, who was looking at him sternly, not particularly amused by what had just taken place.

* * *

The boys assisted MaryAnne and Sam with putting Marty in Rosco’s patrol car and escorting him back to town to the jail. After the boys left the booking room, MaryAnne turned to Sam.

“I think Boss is gonna be none too happy when he finds out two tables got broken at the Boar’s Nest," MaryAnne said. "Of course, I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he finds out WHO broke ‘em.”

“He’ll probably take it out of my pay won’t he?”

MaryAnne nodded. “As soon as he get over the initial shock,” she giggled.

Sam giggled too. Giggled like Rosco, which means it came out as “khee, khee!”

Al looked at Sam. “What the hell was THAT?”

“Well,” MaryAnne said, “I’m gonna go do my patrol now. I’ll see ya later okay?”

Sam smiled and nodded. He and Al watched her leave the booking room and then Sam turned to Al.

“THAT was a giggle.”

“Damn weirdest giggle I’ve ever heard.”

“Felt weird too. Look, I’m sorry for what I did at the Boar’s Nest, but you wouldn’t believe the anger I felt from Rosco. For once in his life he could put somebody in their place in a fight and I helped him do it. I told you I’ve been getting really strong residuals from him and I’ve been doing things on impulse. I can’t guarantee that won’t happen again.”

Al nodded. “Considering you’ve got half of him with you, I guess I can understand.”

“How long until this shootout is supposed to take place?”

Al looked at the handlink. “About 45 minutes.”

“Has Ziggy got anything yet on that other leaper?”

Al pushed some buttons on the handlink. He shook his head. “Nothing on the leaper, but she did find some information about Rosco as he was following MaryAnne’s death.”

“How’s that?”

“Well, he was completely devastated by it. It just tore him apart. Plus he blamed himself for it, basically believing that if he had done something different he would’ve been able to save her. The first few months he was a mess. He quit his job as Sheriff and he disappeared the first two weeks after her death. When he did return to Hazzard, needless to say, he was never quite himself again.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah.”

Sam thought for a moment. “Two weeks," he said. "This other leaper is at some point in the two to three weeks after the events here. You think maybe this other leaper is trying to help Rosco? You know, help him adjust?”

Al nodded thoughtfully. “Could be. Thing is, if you save MaryAnne, and if this other leaper is trying to help Rosco adjust, they could end up out of a job.”

Sam looked at Al. “Maybe that’s the whole idea.”

* * *

Cliff and Ricky sat in their car for almost an hour, across the street from the courthouse watching for Boss's white Caddy to return to town. When it did, they stepped out of their car and intercepted Boss before he got to the steps of the courthouse.
Boss stopped when he saw them coming. "Cliff, Ricky, I've been trying to locate you fellas. Uh, it would appear I neglected to tell you boys something."

Cliff's face was neutral. "Yeah," he said. "It's not nice for friends to decieve now is it?"

Boss knew that Cliff already knew about the paste jewelry. "Cliff--"

"Shut up." Cliff pulled out his gun. "Let's go, Hogg. I'll show you what happens when anyone tries to deceive me." Cliff grabbed Boss by the arm and with Ricky they walked back to their car.

Coming into town at that moment was Enos, who watched as Boss was escorted to the light brown sedan. He caught just a glimpse of the gun Cliff had in his hand and how it was pointed at Boss.

"Possumonagumbush!!" Enos exclaimed and stepped on the acclerator. He brought the patrol car sliding around the square, causing Cliff to turn to look. When he saw the sight of the white sheriff's car, he pushed Boss into the car and then scrambled in
and tore off with the deputy following in hot pursuit.

As they screamed out of the square, Enos picked up his radio mike. "This is deputy Enos Strate calling the Sheriff. Sheriff, Mr. Hogg's just been kidnapped!!"

Sam and Al looked at the radio up on the booking desk. Sam ran up and grabbed the mike. "Enos, this is the Sheriff. What happened?"

"I was just coming into town and I saw these two men escorting Mr. Hogg to a car and one them had a gun pointed at him. I'm after them now on State 7. I'd appreciate some help."

"Ten-four, Enos, I'm on my way," Sam said completely on impulse.

"I'm coming too, Enos," MaryAnne said from somewhere.

Sam had to fight his and Rosco's own impulse to tell her to not to. It would have been a wasted effort anyway. MaryAnne rarely took no for an answer. Sam ran out of the courthouse to Rosco's patrol car. He got in and then suddnely stopped. "Wait. Where the hell is State 7?" he wondered aloud.

Rosco supplied the answer by making Sam start the car and push on the accelerator and then guided him to where State 7 was. While Sam was trying to catch up to the chase, he listened to the exchange going on on the radio. In the time it had taken Sam to go from the courthouse to Rosco's patrol car, the Duke boys had called Enos and told him they would help as well.

"We'll head over to Ridge Road," Luke said, "try to cut 'em off."

"Hey I just got an idea," MaryAnne said. "If you guys can turn 'em around, why don't we try to corrall them in town? Me and Rosco can come in on 36, if you guys can bring them back down State 7."

"I think we can do just that," Luke said. "Enos, Rosco you copy?"

"Ten-four," Enos said.

Sam picked up the radio mike. "Uh, yeah, ten-four." He put the mike down. “36?” he wondered. Then on impulse, he swung the patrol car around and drove back down State 7, then cut down County 21. As he came to the intersection he saw another white Plymouth Fury and saw MaryAnne at the wheel.

While Sam and MaryAnne were heading down Route 36, the boys and Enos were trying to get the little sedan turned around. After blocking the Ridge Road, thus preventing Cliff from leaving State 7, Bo took the General back down the Ridge Road.
Luke picked up the CB mike. “Shepherd, Bo Peep you got your ears on?”

“This is Shepherd.”

“We’re gonna need your help. Coupla guys kidnapped Boss and we’re gonna try to get them back to town. We need you and Daisy to block Peach Tree Lane and Snake Nation Road.”

“Ten-four, Luke, we’re on our way.”

The General came off of Ridge Road, onto Route 11 and then came flying out on to State 7 just after the brown sedan and Enos went by. Cliff had to stay on State 7 going by Peach Tree Lane and then Snake Nation Road. Bo cut the General across country to try to beat Cliff to where State 7 split with County 16 and Tucker Road. If the boys could keep Cliff on Tucker Road, they would be able to get him to double back on to State 7 and back into town.

Bo got the General blocking County 16 just in time, sending the little sedan sliding onto Tucker Road. Enos was right on the tail of the sedan and Bo swung the General around to join after them.

Tucker Road came out on to County 21, which lead back to State 7. Luke picked up the CB mike as the cars swung back onto State 7.

“Rosco, MaryAnne, this is Luke. Those fellas are heading back towards town.”

“Ten-four, Luke,” MaryAnne said. “Rosco and I are ready.”

Cliff drove back into town, came around the square and as he came around by the courthouse, he brought the sedan to a side sliding stop to avoid colliding with MaryAnne’s cruiser that was parked across the road, blocking it. Blocking him from beind where Enos and the boys in the General.

MaryAnne got out of her car and stood by the trunk pointing her gun at the two kidnappers. Sam stepped out of Rosco’s patrol car and kept a careful eye on what was going on.

“Allright,” MaryAnne said. “Out of the car.”

Cliff and Ricky along with Boss got out of the car.

“Nothing funny now,” she said. “Boss, come over to this side.” She gestured to the front of her patrol car that was perpendicular with the side walk in front of the courthouse.

Boss hesitated a moment, then started to walk. MaryAnne watched him out of the corner of her eye. Cliff remained very still, looking back and forth between MaryAnne and Boss. Refusing to let this end quietly, Cliff suddenly whipped out his pistol from his pant waist and aimed it at Boss.

“Boss! Get down!!” MaryAnne exclaimed. Boss dropped to the ground and Sam threw himself at MaryAnne just as Cliff changed his aim and the gun went off. MaryAnne pulled the trigger of her gun just as Rosco’s shoulder collided with her side and they sailed to the ground behind the patrol car.

The bullet from MaryAnne’s gun caught Cliff in the shoulder. He dropped his gun and reeled from the shot. Enos, along with Bo and Luke ran over to apprehend the two.

Sam pushed himself up off the ground and looked at MaryAnne. She didn’t stir as he moved his weight off her side.

“MaryAnne?” As Sam gently turned her on her back, he had Al beside him and Boss Hogg coming around the front of the car.

“Is she allright?” Boss asked. “Oh my Lord...”

Sam saw it too. The bright crimson spot on the front of MaryAnne’s blue shirt.

“Oh God,” Sam said. “Oh God no...” He looked at her, staring into her blue eyes.

“Rosco,” she whispered reaching her hand to his face. When her fingers touched his cheek Sam could feel the half of Rosco that was with him be ripped apart and as he took her hand into his, the tingling that signaled he was about to leap enveloped him. "No..." he cried. He squeezed MaryAnne's hand, but there would be nothing to stop the leap. As Rosco closed his eyes to the tears, Sam closed his eyes as the blue light intesified and he was no longer in Hazzard County.

---------------
Next Chapter...A Mistake in Time (continued)