do you get deja vu? Groundhog Day/timeloop au
Groundhog Day AU for New Beginnings/Fight or Flight. When Doug attacks Maddie at her home, she fights back, but Chimney doesn't survive the knife attack, leaving Maddie's world shattered...until she wakes up, and she's started the whole day over again...
A/N: To simplify things, New Beginnings and Fight or Flight are now the same day. While this will be clear as the story goes on, I just thought I'd sum it up to make this an easier reading experience so that y'all aren't constantly trying to figure out how things fit in. At the end of what would be New Beginnings, Doug attacks Chimney, and goes in to attack Maddie. Maddie fights back, and survives his attack, but by the time she gets outside Chimney has already died. So kind of a mashup/deletion of Fight or Flight. I definitely had to tweak the timelines a little, and speed up her date to the same night. Anyway, enough explanations. I love Groundhog Day AUs and I hope I do this justice. Enjoy ~Meowser
Maddie woke up to her alarm as usual, but not as usual, she had a smile on her face. Today was the day. She looked at the papers on her bedside table; the papers she'd signed last night after meeting with her attorney Donna. Finally. She was finally doing it.
She got ready for the day, showering and brushing her teeth, before going out to see Buck standing in the kitchen.
"Hey," she grinned. "So." She held up the papers in the Manila envelope. "Today is the day."
"Finally," he said, putting down his cereal bowl. Some milk splashed out, landing on his LAFD shirt. He groaned, dabbing at it. "You know, I am so proud of you, Maddie."
"And I am so grateful to you," she replied, ruffling his hair as she walked past. "And use seltzer." Buck protested, brushing his hair back, just as he'd done when he was a kid. Some things never changed. "Listen, don't tell Chim," she warned, as Buck grabbed a blue LaCroix from the fridge. "I want to stop by the firehouse and tell him myself on my lunch break."
"Man, you are not letting any time go to waste," Buck laughed, and Maddie blushed. "Also, will you drink this if I open it because you know I don't like LaCroix."
"It's hardly a rush," she protested. "I've known him since what, October? And yeah, I'll finish it."
"Yeah, yeah," Buck said. "I'm happy for you guys. A little grossed out, but mostly happy. You deserve someone better, you know?" He cracked open the seltzer can, dabbing a little on his shirt. "Okay, that should be fine," he said. "I'll see you later, okay? Probably at the firehouse, so please don't get too busy with Chimney."
"Oh my god, I'm just going to talk to him," she protested, her face a bright red now.
"For you and Chimney, talking is practically second base," Buck scoffed. "Don't forget I've been third wheel all too many times with you. Hey!" He ducked as Maddie tossed the dish towel at him, a grin on his face. "Are you really going to deny it?"
"Get out," she said, and he laughed again as he grabbed his duffel. She smiled after him, unable to help herself. Life was so different now, so much happier. She'd missed him, she really had.
One of her first callers was a young boy, and the call left a chill in Maddie's bones. "I think something is up with this caller," Maddie told Sue, explaining the situation.
"Why don't you request a welfare check?" Sue said. "You know, you can trust your instincts on these things. You didn't have to check in with me."
"Thank you," Maddie said, already knowing which officer she'd radio to do the welfare check.
Athena had already completed the welfare check, and was at dispatch to check in with Maddie, and listen to the call. "That noise, right there," she said. "I'm going to have to go back. You were right, Maddie. This wasn't nothing."
"I was afraid of that," Maddie said, her stomach twisting.
"Hey, I heard from Bobby that you're filing today," Athena said, as she was getting ready to go. "Congratulations. No one deserves a fresh start more than you, Maddie."
"I should have known it would already have spread around," Maddie said, shaking her head. "But thank you."
Athena chuckled. "Do you know those people were actually taking bets on me and Bobby? Just count yourself lucky."
"I am," Maddie said.
When she got to the 118, Maddie was so relieved to find that the fire truck was in house. And she was even more relieved to see Chimney standing right there. She wondered if Buck had done some behind the scenes orchestrating for her, but she was too nervously excited to dwell much on it as she approached Chimney.
She'd had a troubling day at work dealing with the Stevie situation, and having to call Athena in for a welfare check, so the sight of Chimney's smile was an all too welcome distraction. "Hey," he called. "What brings you by? Looking for Buck?"
"No, I came to see you," she smiled. "To give you this." She handed him the papers, and Chimney took them, his brows quirking when he saw the contents.
"Divorce papers," he said. "It feels so sudden." She laughed at the joke, a little, but she was too nervous to really smile, and she could see Chimney realizing it; he sobered. "This is a really big step, Maddie. He's going to know where you are. You sure about this?
"Yeah, I know it's a risk," she said. "But the only way I'm ever going to feel free of him is to be free of him."
"Okay," Chimney said. "If you're sure, I'm here for you. Whatever you need."
She looked into his eyes, his kind brown eyes, and she felt her heart skip yet another beat. He was such a good man. "Well, you told me once that your calendar was wide open, when I was ready," she hedged, a smile playing at her lips. Her heart beat so fast she thought it would jump out of her chest.
"Just, uh, name the date and time," he said.
"Tonight," she said. "I know it's sudden, but I figured why wait? Seven?"
"Actually I'm kind of busy," he said, and she knew she'd asked too early, opening her mouth to rescind the invitation, but he was already shaking his head. "I'm kidding. Yes. I can't wait. So. Tonight."
"Yeah," she said, and the smile on her face was so big that it hurt. She leaned in, pressing a kiss to his cheek, and she heard the whistles from above, looking to see Eddie, Bobby, Buck, and Hen standing there clapping.
She was too happy to be embarrassed.
"There's a boy named Stevie on the line for you," Sue said. "I need you to know that he's the current subject of an AMBER alert."
"Oh my god," Maddie said. She listened to Stevie's panicked words.
"I need the police lady that you sent out to the house earlier," Stevie said. "I'm at the bus station but I don't know where I'm going, I don't remember."
"Okay, you're going to have to listen to me," Maddie said, carefully laying out instructions, but before she could there was a garbled noise. It sounded like Stevie said 'dad'.
"Hello?" She said. "Hello," she repeated. The line was dead. She tried to call back, but there was no answer.
"We accessed the security footage," Athena said, on the other end of the phone. "Stevie was taken by his so-called father, and we're going to have to continue the hunt."
"That's awful," Maddie said, her heart sinking. "God, I can't help but blame myself. What if we'd figured it out earlier?"
"You can't do that, Maddie," Athena cautioned. "The only person who holds fault in any scenario is the person who enacted the crime."
"I know," Maddie sighed, feeling crushed. Her phone buzzed; another call was coming in. She checked, and it was Donna. "Listen, my attorney is calling me, I'll have to get back to you."
"No problem," Athena said. "And we'll keep searching for Stevie."
Maddie switched over to Donna. "Hey," she said. "Did you serve Doug?"
"We couldn't find him," Donna said. "He was placed on leave after the incident with Laurie, and after going to the house and talking to some neighbors, no one has seen him in months."
Maddie felt her stomach plummet. What would this mean for her?
She heard the doorbell ring, and checked to see Chimney waving up at her, a smile on his face. Maddie let him in without thinking, still on the phone. "Thanks for letting me know," she said, hanging up the phone. There was a sudden heaviness in the air. Her phone buzzed again; one of her many motion sensors going off. Maddie checked the feed, and felt like her blood froze in her veins. She could see a dark figure attacking Chimney, and leaving him on the ground for dead.
She didn't know what to do. She almost dove for the fireplace, grabbing the poker. She remembered Buck's words from earlier in the week, something about getting Doug with her right hook if she ever saw him again, and she felt sick.
Was it Doug outside? Was it some random attacker?
She had to defend herself, she had to get help for Chimney.
She steeled herself, knowing that whoever walked through that door...she was ready.
And when her ex husband stepped through, she nailed him straight in the face with her fireplace poker, and he dropped to the ground. Maddie had already dialed 911 by the time she got outside, and Chimney was there, on the ground. There was a bouquet of roses next to him, and Maddie felt like she couldn't breathe. There was so much blood. So much.
She placed the phone on the ground, on speaker. "I need assistance right now," she said, rattling off all of the specifics. She was so in shock that she didn't realize that the operator on the other end of the line was Josh until he said her name.
"Maddie," he urged.
"Josh?" She sobbed. "Oh my god, Josh. I'm performing CPR and I'm applying pressure but Chimney isn't showing any good signs, and Doug is inside and I think I hit him hard enough, but I don't know if this will do any good."
Her hands were completely covered in blood. Maddie tried to brush hair back from her face, and ended up with blood on her cheek. She was touching Chimney, the man she adored, the man she couldn't live without. She was free from Doug, but at what cost?
Chimney was unmoving, unspeaking.
The police reached them before the ambulance, confirming that Doug was dead. When the ambulance got there, Maddie climbed inside with them, not letting the paramedics tell her no. She held Chimney's hand the whole way, and when they got to the hospital, somehow Buck was there, waiting for her with Athena.
Josh must have alerted them.
She fell into her brother's arms, sobbing incoherently as the medics rushed Chimney into surgery, but she already knew what the result would be.
Maddie stared at the evening news report. Buck had gone down the hall to check at the desk for an update. She saw a familiar face, and startled, staring at the TV.
"In local news, the body of the boy who called 911 earlier has been found," the announcer rattled off. "In a disturbing twist of events, it's been discovered that he was actually a kidnapping victim, raised by his kidnapper."
The woman went on to give the rest of the details, but Maddie felt like her heart was frozen. Stevie. Stevie had died too.
There was a doctor coming out of surgery, looking for someone, and Maddie stood up. She knew the words that were coming, she just did. She was an ER nurse, she knew which victims made it, and which didn't.
"We couldn't save him," the doctor said, but Maddie didn't hear any more words. She was falling, falling, falling, her whole world going black.