There was a knock at the door. Out the window over the sink the sky seemed to understand the emotions filling the house. The sky was grey and the the ground was peppered with drops that fell from the sky. The soup bubbled on the stove as Derek moved to the front door.
The door swung open and the stale air inside the house was moved with the fresh intake of air.
“Hey,” the sheriff was on the porch. Dressed in his uniform he was either going home or heading into the station. “How is he?” Derek stepped aside as his father-in-law stepped into their home.
“Hasn’t eaten yet. He won’t even come out of the bedroom.” Derek shoved his hands into the pockets of sweatpants. The sheriff looked up the stairs to the landing as though he could see into their bedroom. The baby gate was still up.
“Well, what happened has been hard.” John crossed his arms and rubbed his nose with his fingers. “I’m just heading to the station now. Wanted to check on you boys. Make sure everything was,” he sighed “ okay.”
“We’re dealing,” Derek picks up his hand and runs it over his eyes.
“You getting any sleep boy?”
“No. Every time I close my eyes I see her. Her little body laying there,” tears fall from his face, he breath became labored. The sheriff walked up and hugged him and Derek snatched his arms around. John clapped his hand onto the back of Derek’s neck.
The two men stood there until Derek pulled away and wiped his tears on his hands.
“It’s just, hard.” Derek sniffed and turned to find a tissue.
“I know son. Tell Stiles I came by. Tell him I love him too. I have to head to the station. I wish I could stay longer.” The older man move to the door and Derek followed him. “If you boys need anything you know that Melissa and I are here for you.”
“Sure thing John.” With a nod the sheriff turned to his cruiser and waved as he backed out of the drive way.
The bowl of soup in his hands was hot. He stood outside their bedroom door unsure if he should knock or not. He could hear the faint heartbeat that lies within.
He doesn’t get a response. He never does. He opens the door slowly. Scarred he might spook his husband. He feels like he’s stalking a gazelle, the slightest move can send him scurrying away into the opposite direction.
“Stiles?” He breathes out. Less than a whisper. The lump of bedding didn’t move. “I warmed up some soup for you.” He moved slowly to the bed. The eggs he brought for breakfast still sit on the nightstand. The bacon was gone though. A sip or two of orange juice was gone as well.
He put the bowl down and picked up the plate and glass. “You had some bacon,” Derek tried, “that’s good. Your dad stopped by. Wanted to check on us.” Nothing. He nodded to himself and turned to leaved.
“I should have known something was wrong.” A voice came from under the blankets. “I should have known something was wrong.”
Derek turned and rushed to put the food down and sat on the bed. He looked to find where the voice was coming from, ending up just putting his hand on the lump and waiting for Stiles to pop up out of the tangle of bed sheets.
“You couldn’t have possibly known something was wrong, Stiles.”
“I should have, though. I carried her for 9 months. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN DEREK.” Stiles popped out of the cove of bedding.
Derek wrapped his arms around his husband as soon as his body was visible. Stiles started sobbing. Loud, heavy, uncontrollable sobs filled the room. Derek just hugged him tighter. Silent tears fall from his eyes and leak into his hair.
Stiles buries his face into Derek’s shirt. Snot falls from his nose and tears soak the spot on his shoulder.
“I should have…” Stiles yelled.
“Shhh,” Derek held Stiles as the man clutched his fists and beat on his husband’s chest as though he was trying to get away.“You couldn’t possibly have known."
"I can’t stop seeing her. Just there, in the bassinet you made her. In that adorable ducky onesie. I shouldn’t have left her.She wasn’t ready to leave me.”
Derek didn’t know what to say to that. It was his idea to move the bassinet to the nursery. He knew Stiles blamed him a little for the death of their infant daughter. He mostly blames himself though.
They woke up and they argued over who would go get her up for breakfast. After a quick rock, paper, scissors tournament Derek got out of bed and walked the short distance to the nursery. He cooed a good morning to his daughter and leaned into the bassinet only to see her face pale and very eerily still.
He called for Stiles and Stiles meandered in joking about not being able to get his daughter awake and ready for breakfast. He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Derek staring. He asked what was wrong and all Derek could do was turn to look at him with tears in his eyes.
Stiles ran to the bassinet and looked at her. His eyes filled with tears as he covered his mouth with his hand and tears started pouring out of his eyes. He barked out for Derek to call 911 and Derek turned to run to find a phone. Stiles scooped up the lifeless body of his baby girl and fell to the floor. His sobs filled the house as Derek gave the operator their address and yelling that his baby wasn’t breathing.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome said the doctor.
Stiles wouldn’t let their precious girl out of his sight. Barely letting the physician look at her. He couldn’t stop crying.
It was the worst day or their life.
Now it was a week after they buried her in the Hale plot. Stiles barely looked at Derek since that day.
“I’m so sorry,” Derek finally whispered.
“I think we need a break,” the words fell out of his mouth messily but with confidence. He was turning the onsie over in his hands. The pale blue contrasted with the yellow ducks splendidly. They faint smell of her sweet mixture of them two lingered faintly in the garment. “I’ll stay with my dad for a while.”
Derek’s heart sank. “Okay. Whatever you need.” Derek hated it. He need to be with his mate now more than anything, but Stiles needed to be alone. He understood. “I love you, Stiles.”
“You should go. I’m going to pack.” Derek released Stiles, picked up the food and left the room. Stiles didn’t make any eye contact as Derek walked out of the room.
He fell back into the bed and began sobbing again. Derek closed the door and slid down to sit on the floor. He held his head in his hands and cried.
He lost his daughter, the only family he had and now Stiles wants to leave him too.