Derek feels nothing when he wakes up, he’s not angry, he’s not sad, he just doesn’t feel anything. He shuffles around to get ready, to treat this day the exact same as he would any other day, because nothing has changed. He walks down the stairs with a blank expression and pours himself a cup of coffee.
Any second now Stiles is going to come bursting through their front door out of breath and sweating from his morning run. And he’ll kiss Derek’s scowling face and Derek will shove him away complaining that he smells and he won’t hug his husband until he takes a shower. Stiles will just laugh, the merry sound echoing throughout the entire house and it will wake their daughter up. She’ll cry and Stiles will run up to her room and sing to her to calm her back down. And Derek will follow him and wrap his arms around Stiles’ sweaty body and kiss all over his neck to show his appreciation. Then they’ll get into the shower together and get ready for work as Stiles dances around and Derek shakes his head with a smile on his face. They will kiss each other goodbye and get into separate cars and look forward to being in each others arms again at the end of the day.
Except now Derek looks at the clock and it reads 5:45, the time Stiles always comes home in the morning, and that’s when it finally hits him. Stiles is never going to walk through the red door of their house again. He’s never going to hear their daughter’s laughter, or watch her grow up. He’s not going to see his father and Melissa get married, or film Isaac’s reaction when he finally realizes that he’s in love with Cora. He’s going to miss out on so much of the world because of something so little, something so preventable, killed him.
Thinking back on last night, Derek grips the counter so hard that it cracks straight down the middle. His claws extend and his eyes burn blue, clouded over with tears. His daughter starts crying and he shifts back, tries to put on a happy facade to make her smile. He climbs the stairs, his bones aching with emptiness, as he hums a tune he remembers Stiles always sang to her.
See you’re just wasted and thinking about the past again
Claudia. Hey baby. Daddy’s here. Daddy’s gonna make it all better. Derek coos at her as he lifts her out of the crib. He’s gently rocking her and she stops crying as soon as her head connects with his chest. He lulls her with his heart beat and she curls her little hand into his t-shirt.
Now baby, I’m gonna have to tell you something. Can you listen? Claudia just yawns and Derek’s already sobbing.
Papa’s gone away, Claud. her heartbeat quickens at the sound of her father’s name and Derek puts a hand on her small head to comfort himself.
And he’s not coming back. We won’t see him for a very long time. But that doesn’t mean we’re gonna forget him, okay? We’re gonna talk about him all the time and I’ll play you his songs and show you pictures so you won’t ever forget him. Claudia’s falling asleep and Derek smiles down at her.
Someday, I’ll explain how he died, and how he fought so hard to stay with us. I’ll make you understand that there wasn’t anything that could’ve been done to help him. He died the same way as your grandma did. It was genetics and it couldn’t have been stopped. But he loved you, and he loved me. Derek wipes his eyes with his free hand and walks Claudia to his room, humming again.
Darling you’ll be okay
He lies down facing the wall and places her tiny body in front of himself.
Darling you’ll be okay, we’ll be okay. I promise. he kisses her head and she sighs happily, subconsciously wrapping her hand around his thumb. He’s not going into work today, knows that his boss will understand. He wants nothing more than to lie with his daughter and the scent of his lost husband surrounding him.
~ If I were you, I'd put that away
See, you're just wasted
And thinking about the past again
Darling you'll be okay ~