"May you be happy in the life you have chosen."- Charles Dickens ( A Christmas Carol)

Charlie Crews woke abruptly. He had dreamed. Not nightmares. Those had become seldom and rarely.
No. He had dreamed about ghosts. Not his own ghosts, though, who had been haunting him in prison and the months after. No. It had been a Christmas ghost. One with mistletoes behind the ears and Christmas balls from each of his fingers.
But although he knew he had only been dreaming, he couldn't just turn around and go to sleep again. The dream made him wonder.
The ghost had shown him his life and had asked him if he wanted to change it; because now was his one and only chance to do so.

What if... Would he? Would he chose another life?
One small decision and everything would have gone differently.
He could have taken his money and move away where nothing would remind him of the betrayal. He could have become a lawyer or whatever. Never a cop.
Probably Mickey Rayborn would have laid his eye on someone else on the academy. Probably he'd never had tried do dirty Tom Seybold.
Probably his friends would be alive.
He'd had never gone to prison for twelve years. Maybe have some kids by now.

What if...
Maybe, if the ghost had asked him in reality, he would have taken the offer.
He thought about that for a moment. No prison. No settlement money. No conspiracy.
But then...
He'd never have met people who where now important, even essential for him. If he hadn't been in prison, he'd probably never had met Ted. And Reese.
"I wouldn't do it", he said to nothing in particular. To himself or the ghost from his dream, maybe. A bit loud even, for it caused a soft groan by the woman in his arms. She murmured something unintelligible, turned into him and buried her face in his chest.
"I guess I couldn't change one thing without affecting others. Things I don't wanna change. But I would, because it's all...", he was cut off.
"Shut it, Crews! I'm trying to sleep here!" Her voice heavy with sleep, she still managed to snap at him. Charlie smiled, dragged his partner closer and went back to sleep.
When the ghost returned, he would tell it that he was perfectly happy with what he had in this moment.

silversurf4: thanks for the review! if I can think of anything Reese would get Crews, you'll certainly get to know :)