I'm extremely disappointed with the cancellation of Awake. (I mean, c'mon, NBC, you didn't even give it a fighting chance. It was well-received by media critics, but it wasn't promoted well and you cancelled it due to the low ratings that resulted.) And though the show did end with some sense of closure, there is so much still hanging. This fic is my writer's denial of the fact that Awake is indeed over (although there is still a rescue attempt happening on Twitter - #SaveAwake!).
I claim no ownership to Awake, its characters or plot. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made.
Unbetaed. All mistakes can be blamed on NBC and my despondency over their decision about the show.
I'm still debating if I want to extend this or not... I have some ideas for continuance, so for now I'm leaving it as a WIP. However, between family stuff, school and work, RL is kind of kicking ficcing's tail right now. I may end up writing more, but then again, there may not be any more. We'll see. And please forgive me for being so undecided. I hope you enjoy this anyway. (Look at it like the the show. It could end where it is but it could also continue.)
Detective Michael Britten was having a good day to say the least. He was finally free of the dream that had seemed to never end, and he had both his wife and his son with him at last.
The night before had seemed like an eternity, as his dream of alternate realities had gone on and on. He could have sworn it was real, but he couldn't deny the fact that everything had ended and he was now in a world where both Hannah and Rex were alive and well. There had been no car crash, no vast conspiracies within the department, no one chasing him down with a gun, no drugs in any storage lockers and no penguins.
He had already had a wonderful day enjoying his family's company and was making as much as he could of every moment. He loved his family and had always shown it, but he was now determined to never let an opportunity go by in which he didn't tell his wife he loved her or hugged his son.
The three of them had gone to Rex's tennis tournament, and Michael had made sure he cheered louder than any of the other parents in the stands. Now, they were seated at an ice cream shop down the block from the tennis courts, and Michael was content to just sit, sip his milkshake and watch the other two.
As the they neared the end of their dessert, Michael looked between Hannah and Rex and raised an eyebrow. "So, who's up for a movie later tonight?"
"Michael, are you okay?" Hannah asked, regarding her husband across the table. She was smiling, but she also wore a confused expression. "You seem... I don't know. Different today."
"I'm fine," Michael told her, leaning over to give her a kiss. "Perfectly fine."
"Okay..." Hannah looked over at Rex, who was busily texting on his phone. "Rex, what do you think? Is your father acting weird today?"
Rex looked up and shrugged. "A little." He looked over at Michael and grinned mischievously. "But he's always weird."
Hannah and Rex giggled conspiratorially. Michael chuckled as well, but before he could say anything, his phone buzzed.
"Oh, I'm sorry, guys," he said after glancing at the caller ID. "I have to go." He paused momentarily, then stood from the table. "I'll be home after a while."
"Go," Hannah told him, accepting another kiss. "We'll be fine, right, Rex?"
"Yup," the teen nodded.
"Okay then." Michael headed for the door. "Love you both!" he pointed to them with another smile before heading out to his car.
"Bird!" Michael greeted his partner as he shrugged out of his jacket. "Good to see you, buddy."
"Hey, Mike." Bird was typing an email on his computer, but he quickly minimized the window and stood when he saw Michael. "You're late."
"For what? All your text said was to get to the station asap. Harper's looking for me?"
"Yeah." Bird was eyeing him curiously. "Is there a reason you decided to blow off our meeting with our new partners?"
Anything else Michael was thinking flew out the window at that. "Our... our what?"
Bird was looking at him curiously. "Our new partners. You do remember the captain wanted to put you with the new transfer, don't you?"
"Oh, right..." Michael was still confused but decided to pretend he at least slightly knew what was going on. He could see the look on his partner's face and didn't want to have to bother explaining his dream from the night before. It would be too confusing and, anyway, he was fairly certain he was just forgetting the meeting Bird had mentioned. After all, he had had a stressful previous night.
Michael followed Bird to Captain Harper's office, still mulling over the information his partner had given him. The night before must have really messed with his head; he couldn't remember anything about a meeting or new partners. But if he had learned one thing from his dream, it was how to pretend he at least somewhat knew what others were talking about, even if he didn't at all.
When they walked through the office door, Michael looked around at the group waiting on them. He had not been sure who to expect, but he still found himself surprised when both Efrem Vega and Ed Hawkins turned as the door opened.
"Detective Britten," Harper did not sound pleased. "So nice of you to join us."
"Sorry," he apologized, stepping over to take a place along the wall. "It won't happen again." He didn't feel like telling Harper he had completely forgotten about their meeting.
Harper still looked displeased, but she just shook her head. "It better not," she said, then turned her focus on all four of the men. "Thank you all for coming. I believe you're all familiar with the details here. Detective Vega was promoted recently and we were privileged to have Detective Harper join us ..."
Try as he might to pay attention to what the captain was saying, Michael found himself distracted as his thoughts whirled a mile a minute. He had thought the dream the night before had been just that. A dream. But this was too much of a coincidence...
No, it was just a coincidence, he told himself. There was no way-
Michael's attention was pulled back to the present by the sound of his name. The other four were all watching him with a mixture of curiosity and concern written on their faces. Or at least Vega and Hawkins were. Harper and Bird appeared annoyed, Harper more so than Bird.
"I'm sorry. I had a weird night last night," he apologized.
"Anything I should be concerned about?" Harper asked him.
Michael looked around at the others, then shook his head. "Sorry, Captain. Please, continue."
She eyed him with an expression he couldn't quite place as she sighed and wrapped up their meeting. Michael took in only the main points, and those were that he was getting put with Hawkins while Bird and Vega were going to now be working together.
When they were dismissed, Michael ducked out quickly and pulled Bird to the side when his partner- sorry, formerpartner, exited the room behind him.
"Mike, what is going on?" Bird's tone didn't leave much room for argument. "You're acting weird."
"I'm acting weird?" Michael repeated. He glanced around quickly, but no one was paying much attention to them, other than Vega and Hawkins, who were standing together a few paces away. Vega's arms were crossed and his right eyebrow was quirked in a curious expression. Hawkins looked innocent enough standing next to the Hispanic detective, but Michael couldn't easily forget the other man's role in his dream.
"Just watch yourself, okay?" Bird said firmly. He patted Michael on the arm, then turned to join the other two men.