It sounds... foreign.
Strange, but that is the first thought that crosses my mind when I realise where I am.
"Welcome home Dr Beckett," Ziggy's voice greets me.
"Al..." the word comes out of my mouth like a benediction it's the only clear thought in my mind, where is he?
"The Admiral has been paged and will arrive shortly," Ziggy's voice returned.
Shortly... now would be better... I need... Al...
He's here, he's looks... older.
It's strange; I never noticed it all this time, leaping around in time, but here, now, he looks older and tired... stranger still is that I've never seen a more beautiful sight.
He pulls me into a hug and I go, clutching onto him just as tightly.
"Welcome home Sammy," He says, tears in his eyes.
It's the most... inane thing to say after all this time, but it's the only word I can seem to wrap my mind around aside from his name.
I know I'm crying too and we are probably a peculiar sight, sitting here on the floor of the acceleration chamber, holding onto each other so tightly it's hard to breathe... and crying.
Things are starting to become clearer. Things I'd forgotten with my Swiss cheesed memory are starting to trickle back like watching a movie unfold in my head.
Al and I still haven't moved, completely disregarding the crowd that I'm sure has gathered outside the room if the shadows falling across the door are anything to go on.
It's strange, the things I'm remembering. The first equation Al and I ever worked together on the project, the day the building started on the project site, the first time we... oh...
"I was scared," I say suddenly, and it's all there, all makes sense, why I did what I did, what's been going on around here it's all there. He pulls back enough to give me a confused look. "Why I... I..." I don't need to say anymore, he knows, I can see it in his eyes, he knows and it's okay, he understands, doesn't blame me, doesn't hate me.
"I love you," I whisper, gently smiling, hoping it's enough.
"I love you too Sammy," He tells me. He smiles back, gently taking my face in his hands, and kissing me.
Maybe the words weren't enough but I know this is, I feel it, whatever fear there was before it's gone, washed away by too long zipping around in a thousand different lives, only one constant, only one reality and it's the only one I'll need for the rest of my life.