Title: Are You Happy?

Author: Esme

Date: 24th November 2000

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this story. They belong to the creators of Stingers, whose names elude me right at this minute. Don't bother suing me, it wouldn't be worth it. The song lyrics used are "Happy" sung by Wendy Matthews.

Author's notes: when Maryanne suggested that someone write an alternate ending for the season finale, the idea really grabbed me. This is my first Stingers fic, so be nice!!

Spoilers: the last two episodes of this season (the names of which also elude me tonight).

Thanks: first I had no beta-readers, then I had three. Thanks to Suz for being delusional.


- - -

ARE YOU HAPPY?

- - -




* * *
I hope that you listen to the voices inside
They know what you're feeling
Don't push them away
We all need deliverance
From our disarray
* * *

Pete stood at the door, picnic basket hidden behind his back. When he was undercover he had plenty of practise in seducing women, but this was slightly different. He smiled at the thought. Smiled. . . Mac had said that he looked happy. Collette couldn't be too bad for him then. Mac hadn't been looking too happy herself though; she looked tired and unwell. She'd taken Stoney's accident pretty hard, but she seemed to be holding up. That's what they did - you didn't not cope. The job was full of danger and often tragedy. The only choice was to cope with it or quit, and quitting was not an option.

He knocked on the door and was greeted by a bouncing four-year-old and her mother.

* * *
Are you happy, really happy?
Your wishes were granted
But are you happy?
* * *

Mac watched Angie and Danni leave the factory together. They seemed happy and youthful. They were probably off to annoy Oscar, and then to have a few drinks.

She was envious. She was glad her operatives got on well together, and she wasn't feeling left out or jealous, simply envious they were content with their lives.

Mac felt old compared to them. Not that she really was - she'd just gone further in her career and now had responsibilities. Angie and Danni seemed carefree - single and loving it.

Mac wanted more.

* * *
We need more than one thing
But one thing is love
I've been to the mountain
Couldn't see the top
* * *

Danni and Angie waltzed into the hospital room, full of laughs and good wishes. They'd been tempted to bring a basket of fruit but felt Oscar might not have appreciated the gift. Chocolates seemed more appropriate.

Ange hadn't been in to see him much. She'd been so caught up in her case, and had been thankful for that really. There were times when she felt a little on edge around Stone.

Ever since the conversation he'd had with that backpacker murderer, which she wasn't meant to hear, their relationship hadn't been quite the same. She'd been worried about him of course, but spending time alone together was sometimes too awkward.

Right now she was sure he would burst a lung or something, he was so determined to get better. Angie sat back and watched whilst Danni told animated stories of what had been happening in the unit.

* * *
I know you've been looking
Waiting so long
To be happy, really happy
Three wishes were granted
But are you happy?
* * *

As Mac drove home she looked across the park and saw a man on the other side throwing a frisbee to a young girl. For a moment she thought it looked like Pete, but of course it couldn't be. A woman sat watching on a rug, laughing. They were a perfect family, so natural and so. . . happy.

She stepped inside her house and sank in to a chair, all alone. She'd been tempted by Bill's offer of dinner, but thought two lonely people dining together may not be a good idea. She wouldn't be a very good companion tonight anyway. At least Bill wasn't like Brian, maybe dinner would be nice when she was feeling more alive.

The light began to fade outside, but she didn't move to turn on a lamp.

* * *
It's hard to let go
Of all that you know
May you walk with an angel beside
We all need forgiveness
There's no need to hide
* * *

Peter and Collette sat on the couch drinking coffee. Jessie had begged to stay up for as long as possible, but had soon fallen asleep in between them and had been put to bed.

They talked of wild and wonderful things, slowly getting to know each other better. Collette had been apprehensive about getting involved with an undercover cop. There would always be danger and anxiety; but Pete was persistent if nothing else. Their relationship was developing at a pace they could both handle.

Collette sat with her feet curled up on the couch and her head resting on Pete's shoulder. As his lips lingered on her forehead, a gentle smile showed on her face.

* * *
I pray for your moment
To come shining through
It's hard to recover
The things that you lose
All the things you believe in
Are all you require
* * *

After being kicked out of the hospital when visiting hours were over, Angie and Danni headed back to Ange's place. They opened a bottle of red wine and gossiped girl talk for hours. After the past few days, they needed to kick back and relax. It was their own informal debriefing. They occasionally mentioned work, but the conversation was centred around other things. Rather than talking through the issues it was more a case of them being there for each other.

They'd learned how to cope and a good friend was part of the formula.

* * *
To make you happy, really happy
Your wishes were granted
To make you happy
* * *

Mac couldn't sleep, she hadn't slept properly for days. She sat by Oscar's bed, alone with her thoughts. The hospital was silent. There were the occasional footsteps down the hall and the hum of machines everywhere, but a soothing hush blanketed the entire place.

Oscar lay sleeping soundly, exhausted by his efforts to get better. It was well after visiting hours, 1am in fact, but Mac was not disturbing anyone. Hospital staff always seemed to be extra tolerant of police visiting their injured colleagues, regardless of the hour.

A nurse glanced through the door. The patient was getting some much-needed rest. His guardian angel sat watching over him, staring across the bed to be exact. Gazing into nothing.

Her forlorn look showed she needed a companion, even if he was asleep.

* * *
Are you happy, really happy
Your wishes were granted to make you happy
May you be happy, really happy
Your wishes were granted to make you happy
May you be happy, really happy
* * *



finis!
feedback is always appreciated!