Title: Reasons to Cry, Reasons to Smile
Character/s: Sheriff Stilinski and Melissa McCall
Summary: It seemed like a small miracle that she had been able to show so much of their life together. It never mattered to her how large or small something was, she made a record of it.
Warnings: anonical minor character death, pre-Teen Wolf
Word Count: 839
Author's Notes: ritten for fullmoon_ficlet's Photographs challenge. Yes, my muse is an evil wench! I promise eventually I will write happy stories! But I hope y'all enjoy this all the same.
John parked his squad car in front of the McCall house. Exhaustion had seeped into every bone in his body. He climbed out and walked to the front door, ringing the bell. Melissa answered and gave him a sad smile. She opened the door further and invited him inside. The boys were crashed out in the living room on the couch. Stiles was curled up on the end furthest from the door, his fuzzy head sticking out from his blanket cocoon. He moved closer to his son and shook where he thought his shoulder was, saying, “Stiles, it's time to go home, buddy.”
Stiles let a soft whimper and burrowed deeper into the blanket. He and Melissa huffed laughs and she said quietly, “Just take the blanket with you. I'll get it back from you later.”
“Thanks,” he replied and bent down, picking up Stiles. Balancing him on his hip, John said softly, “Thanks again for taking care of him.”
Melissa moved closer to them and rubbed the boy's shorn head. “It's no problem. You guys are family.”
Stiles let out another moan and John and Melissa moved towards the door. She gave him a hug before he turned back to his car. He struggled to open the door without dropping his bundle but succeeded in not dropping him. The drive back to the house was quiet, save for Stiles's soft snores. John pulled into his driveway and turned off his car. Stiles shifted slightly in his arms when he was picked up but slept on, able to sleep through anything. John set him down on the couch while he locked up then headed upstairs. He placed Stiles in his bed, bending down to kiss his head and whisper, “I love you, son.”
He made his way to his bedroom and stripped himself of his work clothes, leaving on his undershirt and boxers. Climbing into his bed, he stayed sitting up and pulled off his bedside table a small bottle of whiskey and the family photo album. He removed the lid from the bottle and took a few nips, opening the album with his free hand. This album was full of the best shots of the three of them. All of our favorite memories in one place, Stella had explained when she gave it to him.
The first photos were of their wedding day. It was a collection of formal and informal shots. The two of them posing under a tree, or after they cut the cake, the shock on his face as she tried to shove a large piece in his mouth. One of his favorites was of them dancing. Whoever had taken it had caught Stella resting her head on his shoulder, her eyes closed with a soft smile across her lips.
Their honeymoon photos were next. They had gone to San Francisco. They had tried to pack in as many sights as they could on that trip. When they went out each other, Stella didn't leave without her camera. There were shots of them on the beach, riding the railcar, and of course standing near the Golden Gate Bridge. I don't want to miss a single thing, she had said somewhere in the middle of the trip.
The bulk of the album was of Stiles. There were shots of her in various stages of the pregnancy, looking less than thrilled at times for being photographed. Next was when he was born. One of Stella's favorites was John posing with a couple of his buddies from work, all of them with (unlit) cigars in their mouths, with Stiles in his arms.
Stella had loved taking pictures of their son. She always sent little bundles of pictures to their parents: John struggling to change a diaper, Stiles getting a bath, or him and Stella playing on the floor, surrounded with toys. Then there was Stiles walking, bumping into everything, different birthday parties with his face smeared with cake and icing, and raising hell with Scott. The shots of Stiles at his first day of school never failed to tug at his heartstrings. He stood at the end of driveway with John, complete with a Star Wars backpack and a Scooby Doo lunchbox. He had tried to get out of it, but Stella pulled the mom card. “Do it for me, sweetheart.”
It seemed like a small miracle that she had been able to show so much of their life together. It never mattered to her how large or small something was, she made a record of it, whether it had been photos, videos, or journals. But she had always had a knack for that, loving the little moments and telling their story. John was happy, knowing that Stiles had inherited that from her. At the beginning on the inside of the cover, she had written, “When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.” He traced her words, knowing that this album was intended to be that smile.
A/N- I hope y'all enjoyed this! Feedback is loved like Stiles loves curly fries!