The Post War Dream

Summary: Hal told Maggie about his post war dream, but then he gets taken by Skitters right before her eyes. Will Hal get to live his post war dream or is there nothing left but nightmares? Set at the end of season 3.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of it and I'm not making any money from this, although if anybody wants to pay me to do this it would be greatly appreciated. Payments in chocolates are especially encouraged, and yes I know people don't read the disclaimer, but still it's worth a shot right?

Author's note: I started writing this almost right after the season finale of season 3. When I had written about half the story my hard drive was damaged and I lost everything. With great relieve I dug out the backups I had made, I opened the backup of this story and realised I had made the backup just before I wrote some of the most important (and difficult) parts of this story. I bravely refused to cry (Although the cussing has probably gotten me uninvited to the block party), but I was too disheartened to start over, so I gave up on the story. Then season 4 started and suddenly I was once again inspired and decided to go for a rewrite after all. This means this story ignores all of season 4!

Should we shout, should we scream
"What happened to the post war dream?"

-Pink Floyd

"Why are you pushing me away?" Hal asked almost casually as he scanned his surroundings using a sniper scope.

"What makes you think I am?" Maggie retaliated.

Hal snorted. "I'm not stupid Maggie."

"Fine what makes you think I owe you an explanation?"

Hal shrugged. "Because just a couple of months ago you said you weren't gonna give up on me and that you wouldn't run away this time."

Maggie remained awfully quiet.

"From where I'm standing it looks suspiciously like you're running." Hal continued.

Maggie opened her mouth to answer, but stopped when Matt came running up to them.

"Five mechs and at least twenty-five skitters, dad, Weaver, Pope and Tector are in position." Matt reported in between trying to catch his breath.

"Then all we're waiting for is Ben and Deni." Maggie announced, a little too relieved by the change of subject for Hal's liking.

"Well, that didn't take long." Matt quipped as the first explosion sounded not too far away.

Hal and Maggie rushed to their bikes and jumped on.

"Hop on Matt." Hal announced and Matt climbed on behind him. "Hold on!" Hal told him as they sped off.

One more mech crashed to the ground and Maggie cheered. "Four mechs down and one to go!"

"And one bike down unfortunately." Hal stared morosely at the smouldering remains of Maggie's bike. "Three people won't fit on one bike."

Maggie shrugged. "I guess we're walking then."

"What's this we? You wrecked it, you walk." Hal smirked.

"Uhm guys?" Matt pointed down the street where another five Mechs had appeared, and sure enough another five appeared on the other side of the street as well.

As the first explosion shook the ground Hal pushed Matt inside the nearest building. "Inside! We've got to hide, we can't fight this!"

"Basement!" Maggie shouted over the noise of another explosion.

Even underground the explosions from the Mech fire shook the earth. Maggie immediately started searching the basement for anything they could use.

"Hal I'm scared." Matt admitted.

Hal pulled his little brother into a tight hug. "It's gonna be alright Matt, we just have to wait it out down here."

"And we're in luck, there's a whole stash of food here!" Maggie called from the back of the basement.

"See..." Hal started, but suddenly the loudest explosion yet shook the building. Hal threw himself on top of Matt just before the ceiling came down and everything went black.

"Hal? Hal wake up, please wake up!"

The desperation in Matt's voice was all the motivation Hal needed to open his eyes. "I'm awake Matt." He coughed out. It took a moment before he could focus on Matt's tear stained face, there was blood mixed with the salty water. "Matt are you hurt?"

Matt shook his head. "Not bad anyway."

Hal tried to move and managed not to scream out in pain too loudly as his left leg exploded in white hot pain.

"Hal?" Matt's voice wavered with fear.

"I'm okay, my leg is just trapped underneath something." Hal tried to sound confident. A cough sounded from somewhere. "Maggie, are you okay?"

"I'm in one piece, but I think I'm trapped." Maggie answered.

Hal cursed inwardly. "Trapped how?"

"Boxed in, I can't move any of it, can you get help?" Maggie asked hopefully.

Hal threw the beam pinning down his leg a dirty look, he knew without trying that he wasn't going to be able to move it. "No, my leg is trapped, I'm not going anywhere."

"Well, that sucks." Maggie summarized.

"I can get help." Matt stood up determined.

"Matt!" Hal grabbed his little brother's leg to stop him.

Matt knelt back down next to Hal. "I can do it Hal, I have to."

Hal nodded even though he didn't like the idea at all. "Just be careful Matt... I love you." He added.

"I love you too, I'll come back with help, I promise!" Matt hugged Hal, then climbed out of the basement.

"So why are you pushing me away?"

"This again?" Maggie sighed.

"Well, you can't run away now." Hal answered and Maggie could almost hear the sad smile which she knew he was wearing right now.

"Speaking of running, how's your leg?" Maggie skilfully changed the subject.

"It's not good, but there is really nothing I can do about it right now, so why are you pushing me away?"

"Because..." Maggie stopped, she knew she owed Hal an explanation, but she would have to have an explanation first.

"Because is not an answer." Hal huffed in annoyance.

"I know that." Maggie snapped. "Give me a minute."

"A minute to come up with another change of subject?" Hal asked and Maggie couldn't quite blame him for the comment.

"No, a minute to figure it out." Maggie started picking at the rubble surrounding her as if the answer she was looking for was hidden just underneath it.

"Figure out how to explain it?" Hal asked confused.

Maggie shook her head even though she knew Hal couldn't see her. "To figure out why I'm pushing you away."

"You don't know why you're doing it?" Hal's confusion had only grown.

"No, I mean, I know some things, but, I don't know..." Maggie groaned with frustration.

"Start with some things, heck, maybe I can help you figure it out." Maggie knew he wanted it to be a joke, but it hadn't come out as a joke.

"You had to tell me about your post war dream." Maggie sighed.

There was silence, then finally. "What?"

"Your dream of a suburban house with a wife and a couple of kids."

"What's wrong with that?" Hal asked affronted.

Maggie snorted. "Your dream probably includes a family dog with a stupid name like... Rover or something."

Hal was no closer to understanding the problem and it was frustrating him. "What are you talking about?"

Maggie started digging at the rubble with more vigour, the need to escape growing ever more pressing. "I'm not cut out for that."

"You don't want to be safe, have a family who love you?" Hal tried to understand, but he simply couldn't wrap his mind around it.

"Of course I do, that's why I'm scared." Maggie spoke barely above a whisper, Maggie didn't talk about her fears, she just didn't.

"Scared? What are you afraid of?" Hal coaxed softly.

"Of screwing it all up." She admitted.

Hal was quiet for a long time and Maggie could almost hear the pieces click in his mind. Suddenly she realized she was actually hearing something. "Do you hear that, do you think it's the rescue party?"

She had finally managed to pick a small hole in her prison and through it she could just make out the shape of Hal lying on the floor. For a moment she thought he was going to accuse her of changing the subject again, then he said: "I don't think so, if it was the 2nd Mass they'd call out for us, let us now they were coming."

What Hal was saying made sense to Maggie and it scared her. "If it's not the 2nd Mass then who's coming?"

Hal didn't answer her question. "Whatever happens Maggie, don't make a sound, you're hidden away, they might not see you." He ordered instead.

"What about you?" This question too remained unanswered.

Maggie was still screaming his name when they found her.

"Where's Hal, he was right here, where is he Maggie?" Matt's panicked voice broke through her sobbing, she stared silently at the spot Matt was pointing at, tears still streaming down her face.

"What happened Maggie?" Tom's shape blocked the tiny hole in Maggie's prison, plunging it in darkness. She could hear Ben directing some people away from the rubble as he started to make light work of clearing it away.

"I tried...I screamed, I tried." She finally sobbed.

"Maggie what happened?" Tom asked again gently, but fear made his voice hitch.

"They took him." She told him softly.

"Who took him?" Another gentle question tainted with fear.


Maggie's prison opened up and Tom enveloped her in a fatherly hug. It took her a moment to realize he was crying too.

End of chapter one.