`I think,´ Stiles mumbled eyelids growing heavy as the final part of their funeral planning was drawn to an end. Trying to get everything planned out and ready in advance had clearly taken a lot out of Stiles, still Melissa knew Stiles wanted to get it all finished before it was too late, Stiles didn’t want to leave his dad or her with the dreadful task of planning his funeral when he could make it easier on them.
Not that there was anything easy about having to sit, watch and listen as Stiles picked out flowers and the music, and least of all having to be there for the moment Stiles picked out his coffin and headstone. There was nothing easy about it, nothing at all.
`I think it’s,´ Stiles says breathlessly, as if he’d ran a marathon. Stiles hadn’t been running, he hadn’t walked for the past month, and his wheelchair had been used in two weeks for anything more than to move him to the bath or for the time it took to change his sheets.
`It’s good enough, right? ´ Stiles asks sounding so very tired, so very-very tired.
Melissa knew the young man who wasn’t even thirty-years old yet was exhausted in more ways than one, it was as if all the excess energy Stiles had always seemed to possess had been drained from his now skeletally thin body.
Stiles had rapidly grown weaker and weaker since Derek left, the older male claiming he just need a little bit air, a bit of time apart. It had been over a month, close to two, since Derek walked out on Stiles and it was almost as if the will to go on was simply drained from Stiles the moment Derek stopped answering his calls.
For the past four weeks Melissa had taken to staying with Stiles all the time, doing her best to help him spend the last days of his life as comfortable as possible, she slept on the couch that had been dragged next to the bed not that she slept much. Melissa had become Stiles’ primary nurse since he trusted her unconditionally, she was making sure he hanged in there just a little while longer without suffering too much pain during the stubborn process of Stiles waiting for Derek to come home.
Stiles knew he was dying, everyone knew he was dying, and Stiles had stopped trying to fight it all he now did was hang on just so that he could say goodbye to the man he still loved.
They were all trying to keep Stiles around a little bit longer just like Stiles had wished. All Stiles wanted from life was now to see his husband one last time, to die knowing Derek knew how much he’d loved him. Stiles wanted to have a chance to tell his husband to try and find love once more after his passing, to give love a chance once more after Stiles weakening body finally gave out.
All the dying man wanted was to die with his hand held by the one he loved the most, was that too much to ask?
`I think so too,´ Melissa says placing the notebook down and moving to offer Stiles a drink of water, Stiles accepted the straw into his mouth and took a small sip before refusing to take anymore since it would most likely make a reappearance if he drank more than a spoonful of liquid, still she praised him for drinking at least a little even though she could tell it was an unpleasant task for Stiles to do.
`Whe’e De’ke?´ Stiles asked eyes already closing, and that was the question wasn’t it?
Where was the man who’d not been seen or heard from in far too long.
Melissa hadn’t been too surprised when it became known that Derek left, after all he’d almost done it when it became clear Stiles had lost the battle against the cancer that had been ravaging his body without anyone of them noticing, the only reason he hadn’t was because he’d been caught and talked in to staying for Stiles’ sake.
`Scott will find him, ´ Melissa says, she doesn’t promise since she’d already made one too many promises to Stiles that she hadn’t been able to keep. Melissa leans down to plant a small kiss on the cold and clammy forehead, before adjusting Stiles pillow and then the bright red beanie covering his now bald head.
`You just hang in there Stiles, you just hang in a little while longer.´ Melissa begs while squeezing the cold and bony hand tightly, `Just a little while longer, okay sweetheart?.´
`I-I-I’ll try.´ Stiles mumbled, sighing heavily before whispering, `I love him.´
`I know you do,´ Melissa said while trying to fight the tears that had started to fall, but at least Stiles didn’t see her crying there was no need for Stiles to see her cry, he already had to deal with the tears of his father and friends. Melissa would spare him from seeing her cry, she would weep for him once he was gone, and she would do it earnestly.
`And you can tell him soon, ´ she continues to say gently stroking Stiles’ dreadfully pale and cool cheek, `You just keep fighting a little while longer sweetheart – just a little while longer.´
`I’ll try.´ Stiles sighed out slowly. He’s almost asleep when he startles awake asking again where Derek was, and again Melissa had to tell him the same damn thing she’d been saying ever since Derek ran.
`He’ll be here soon, honey. You just rest, alright?´
Stiles gives her a small nod before giving her hand the lightest of squeezes.
Melissa waits until Stiles has settled down before sitting back down in the same damn chair she’d been occupying for almost two months now, she glares at the picture of Derek and Stiles on their wedding day it sits nearby so Stiles could see an image of one of the happiest days of his life. It had been a perfect and beautiful wedding, and no one had ever thought that nine months later Stiles would end-up dying alone, his husband nowhere in sight.
Melissa sits there holding Stiles hand while imagining cutting Derek’s balls of if he ever did come back to show his cowardly face, she imagined all the things she’d yell at him, she might even punch him.
She looks up and away from Stiles sleeping form when John finally returns to the loft. He looks miserable and reeks of whiskey as he sits down beside the bed, taking the free hand of his son into his own, holding it so very tightly. The man had started to avoid being around for the few hours of the day Stiles was awake, then again if the man couldn’t be sober around Stiles well then Melissa preferred John to not be around while Stiles was awake.
`De’ek?´ Stiles whispers, eyes still closed, voice hopeful.
`No son.´ John chokes out, tears starting to stream down his now gaunt face.
`Whe’e Erek?´ Stiles whines eyes still closed and breathing a little bit more labored.
`On his way,´ John lies and Melissa glares at him, of course she knows that John only says it to give his son some form of comfort, some hope, but it feels cruel somehow to lie to Stiles like this.
`He’s on his way, I’ll wake you up when he’s here, alright son?´ Stiles seems hesitant but then nods and it doesn’t take long before his breathing slows and he stills as he slips back down into a deep sleep.
`Any news?´ John asks voice low, eyes on his son as if he feared looking away would be the key to unlocking the last remnants of Stiles life which would escape into the darkening evening without a word of goodbye.
`No.´ Melissa answers much as she’d done for weeks now, `None. Peter thinks he might know where he is, so they are checking one last place before giving-up and coming home.´
`That worthless son of a bitch.´ the father of the dying boy growls, and all she does is nod, they stay silent for about ten minutes before Melissa dares to bring-up the fact that they’d finished making plans of Stiles’ funeral, John shakes his head at the information before speaking his voice full of anger and grief.
`This shouldn’t be happening – he’s twenty-five years old. He shouldn’t have to be planning his own fucking funeral.´ Melissa agrees whole heartedly with everything he says, there was nothing right about the situation they found themselves in.
Melissa stirs awake from her sleep, the full moon whispering through the great window of the loft causing Stiles already ghostly pale skin to glow as if he was some phantom of mysteries, she sits up and looks around trying to see if the worthless wolf had indeed returned, but there’s no one there other than she and the dying boy and his father who was sleeping in the uncomfortable chair one hand still grasping on to Stiles’ own hand.
`Where have you been?´ Stiles asks, his chapped lips pulled into a little smile as his now open eyes stare up at nothing, `I’ve – I’ve been waiting.´
`Stiles?´ Melissa says as she pushes the blanket which Isaac had no doubt placed over her sleeping form, `who are you talking too?´
`I knew you would,´ Stiles says to nothing at all, his eyes suddenly alight with joy Melissa hasn’t seen for months, `You always come, when I need you.´
`Stiles, honey, who are you talking too?´ Melissa asks again, her hand instinctively moving over to check on Stiles’ pulse.
`I-I love y-y-you Derek,´ Stiles says then his breathing a little bit labored and yet the boy seems unware of it.
Melissa looks up to where Stiles gaze has settled on, but finds no one there, but she doesn’t have time to ponder the meaning of it as the annoying sound of the heart monitor starts to changes as Stiles own heart threatens to give-up on him.
`No. No.´ Melissa says, chants as she rushes over to the small table that held all of Stiles medication, desperate to get his still young heart to keep beating, to not slow down to a dreadful stop, she hearts Stiles through her chanting say, `I’ve missed you.´ She’s got the syringe in her hand when her phone rings startling John awake, the sound has her dropping the needle but Stiles just continues to smile up at nothing.
`I-I love you Derek,´ there was almost a hint of desperation now in Stiles’ voice as he confesses he doesn’t want to leave Derek.
`But I-I c-c-can’t do this a-a-an-anymore,´ and with a whimper Stiles continued to say, `It’s – it’s j-j-just too painful.´
`Stiles? Son, what’s going on?´ John asks looking around the room searching for someone who isn’t there much like Melissa had done but a moment ago, his awfully groggy as he stumbles forward, `Where’s Derek?´
`Here.´ Stiles breathes out slowly, a smile on his lips as his eyes close, hand rising up as if to take hold of his husbands hand or to grasp at his arm.
`He came back for me,´ Stiles says softly before a long drawn-out breath leaves him, a smile still on his lips, and with an early calm voice Stiles says, `He – he says it’s okay.´
The heart monitor startles both Melissa and John with an obnoxious sound that drowns the ringing of Melissa’s phone, and the moment they turn to look at the machine Stiles hand drops down as if someone had just cut all the strings that had kept him going.
Melissa cries out her protest, as she’s not yet ready to let Stiles go.
John lets out a loud cry of despair that is quickly followed by him pleading for his only child to come back, not to leave him, not yet if ever.
Melissa’s training kicks in quickly enough snuffing out the despair she’d felt, and she starts to try and get the still so young heart back to beating, but no matter what she does it stays still and silent inside of the breathless body, but she doesn’t stop trying not until Isaac pulls her off of Stiles telling her to stop.
Isaac’s arms wrapped around her tightly, almost painfully so, keeping her in place as she fights and demands freedom.
`Let me go! I need to – I need to keep him alive just a little while longer,´ Melissa yells her heart breaking at the sight of John pulling the lifeless body of his son into his arms.
`I – I promised Stiles I’d keep him alive for Derek.´ she cries as she begins to realize she’d failed Stiles.
`Derek’s gone,´ Isaac says voice low, sorrowful, `Derek’s dead, he’s not coming back.´