Pairing: Derek/Bailey (Dailey)
Summary: Derek gets drafted into the military. He’s only supposed to be gone for 2 years max. But he becomes P.O.W. and Bailey starts losing faith that Derek is still alive, when one day a black government car pulls into their driveway.
A/N: Based on the song “Letters From War” by Mark Shultz. The song is originally about a mother and her son, but it’s very emotional and I think anyone who has had a family member/loved one in the same situation can relate. Please excuse the shitty writing. It’s not well executed. I opened a word doc. and started writing and didn’t stop. There’s no editing, no proofreading, nothing. I don’t even know if it’ll make sense.
“Please… There has to be a way… Please…” Bailey sobbed, tears streaming down his cheeks as he sat next to Derek on the couch. The war was getting bad. Really bad. They had started drafting men to fight over seas, and when Derek had got his letter Bailey broke down.
“Baby if I could change this you know I would…” The other breathed, his arms moving to wrap around Bailey, eyes closed as he clung to his husband. It didn’t matter now… The whole “don’t ask don’t tell thing” or the fact that he was legally married to another man. They would take him anyway, because they thought they needed him.
“I don’t want you to go, Derek…” The smaller male sobbed still. His blue eyes puffy and red.
“I know, Bai. I know…” He kissed Bailey’s forehead. “I’ll write you every day. I promise you.”
Derek left two days later. If Bailey had known that this would be the last time he saw he husband for the next four years, he would have done even more to cherish it. But he had no idea. Derek should only be gone for two years at the most, with leave. But he would be gone so much longer then that.
Bailey sat on the porch of the old country house out in the middle of Georgia, swinging on the porch swing as the summer breeze blew through. He smiled sadly down at the letter in his hands, reading for the fifth time.
I miss you so much babe, you have no idea. I can’t wait until I come home. Only six months, baby. Only six months. And then we can finally get our adoption papers finalized and get our baby girl. You’re going to be a wonderful parent, I just know it. I’ve been thinking about everything at home so much… You’re the one thing that keeps me fighting, Bailey.
Bailey teared up for the fifth time.
I’m sorry, I know this letter is really short. But I have to head out. There’s some stuff going on. I love you honey. You are what I’m fighting for. See you soon.
Bailey lived for the days he got letter from Derek. It made it a little easier for them to be apart. It wasn’t every day, but Bailey understood that that promise was hard to keep. Clutching the letter to his chest, he closed his eyes and sighed again before grabbing some paper and an envelope to begin his letter back to Derek. Soon Derek would be home and they would have their baby girl and everything would be right again. At least he hoped.
I miss you too. Every day. I have dreams that you’re at home in our bed just holding me. You are so good, Derek. And so brave. And everything that I wish I was. You are my hero, baby. Don’t ever forget that. And some day soon, you’re going to be an amazing daddy and our baby is going to look up to you too. I can’t wait until I’m in your arms again. Be safe okay? Come home to me.
Letter’s didn’t come for a month. And then another month. And Derek was due home in three weeks, and Bailey still hadn’t heard anything since that last letter in the summer. But no one had showed up on his doorstep just quite yet.
On one cold December day, when the mail showed up, Bailey collected it from the box and ruffled through it, stopping on a letter from someone whose name he didn’t immediately recognize. His brows knit together as he studied the sloppily scrolled letters on the front. Gnawing at his bottom lip he looked at the name again. ‘Marcus James’. Why did that name sound so familiar. He hesitated before tearing back the yellowing envelope’s flap and pulling out the letter. As he read, his heart nearly broke.
Dear Bailey Tipton-Seigerson,
You probably have no idea who I am. At least, I don’t think you will. I’m no one of importance. I’m writing this letter at the request of someone very dear to you. Derek’s a good friend of mine. The best I’ve made so far actually. I wish I could tell you I was writing this letter under happy circumstances, but I’m not.
Your husband saved my life. We were under fire and falling back. All I remember is trying to get over the top of the hill. I heard the shot before it actually hit me, and then I went down. The pain was horrible. And I remember thinking that I was going to die right there on that hill. But God shined down on me. Now I don’t know if you believe in God, but I do. I don’t think I could manage not too now.
Derek came back for me. He carried me down off that hill because he heard me call for help. He knew I was still alive and he came back. He went back again, to get someone else, but he didn’t come back. The guys who saw tell me he was taken.
We don’t know where they took him. We don’t even know if he’s still alive. I was urged not to write this letter, but I figured you ought to know. I know I would want too. Also, Derek made me promise that if anything happened to him that I would let you know. I owe him that much.
Some of the guys have lost hope that Derek is alive. I have’t. I wont think it for a minute unless they find a body. I know this must be hard for you to read, and I’m sorry.
Your husband is the bravest man I’ve ever met. And every day I pray that he’ll be coming home to you soon. He talked so much about you. He told me that you were the sweetest most beautiful thing that he had ever met. He told me that you two were trying to adopt a baby and that you’ve been having trouble. He kept a picture of you two in his helmet everywhere he went. I know he loves you very much, and I know he wouldn’t want you to be scared… But I know thats a lot to ask.
Please, if you ever need anything don’t hesitate to come to me. I will help you any way I can. My prayers are with you, Bailey. Don’t lose hope.
Bailey didn’t even realize he was crying until a few tears dripped from his face and landed onto the parchment, smearing the ink slightly. Derek was a prisoner of war. Derek might never come home. The notion was killing him. Curling up on the sofa in one of Derek’s old t-shirts, he sobbed again.
Days passed into weeks, and weeks into months. Bailey didn’t want to lose hope, but he was starting too. It seemed so unlikely after a year and a half with no further word, except an occasional phone call to tell him they still hadn’t found anything, that Derek would come home at all. But he kept writing letters and mailing them off, every day. Marcus and his wife would visit now and again to check up on him, but mostly Bailey stayed by himself.
It was November again, and Bailey sat on the front porch, staring out at the yard, orange and brown and red leaves covered every inch of grass. His hand were wrapped loosely around the mug of coffee, keeping them warm against the slight chill of the autumn breeze. With a sigh he stood and headed for the door. But as he opened it a noise stopped him.
Turning to look out to the long, dirt driveway, his eyes caught sight of a black car. Perhaps it was Marcus and his wife coming to check on him again. But when his eyes caught sight of the American flag that flew from it’s antenna, and symbol on its door, the mug slipped from his hands and felt to the porch, shattering. His heart raced and his eyes welled with tears. No. It couldn’t… He couldn’t have… Tears started streaming down his face before he could stop them, and his knees grew weak. He took a couple of steps towards the stairs of the porch before collapsing to sit there on them, broken and hopeless. His head lowered to rest on his knees as he cried, his body shaking.
The man who got out of the driver seat glanced at him before going around to open the door on the passenger side, but Bailey didn’t look up until he heard someone clear their throat. Casting his blue eyes towards the car again, it suddenly felt like the wind had been knocked out of him.
There stood a man in uniform, the navy cap atop his head and medals pinned to his chest. His features were tired but so very familiar. Bailey pulled himself up to stand on shaking limbs and took a step down from the porch and onto the grass. The man looked down and reached into the inner pocket of his uniform jacket, pulling out a bundle of letters.
“I’m following orders from your letters.” His voice was soft. And Bailey’s face broke again. He sprinted the distance between him and the car and threw himself into Derek’s arms, sobbing uncontrollably. Derek hugged him tight and squeezed his eyes shut. Bailey’s grip on him didn’t loosen for several minutes. But when it did, he pulled back, his hands moving up to rest on either side of Derek’s face, bringing their lips together for the first time in four years in a passionate kiss.
“I told you I’d come home, Bailey.” He whispered, their foreheads resting together. The blue-eyed male continued to cry. “Shhh baby I’ve got you… I’ve got you and I’m never leaving again… Never.”
“I thought you were…”
“I know. I know… I’m so sorry.” He kissed Bailey again. “I love you. I thought of you every minute of every day. And I knew I had to fight. Because I had to come home to you, Bailey. You kept me alive out there. You’re the reason I’m still here.”
“I love you, Derek.” Bailey whispered through his tears. “I love you so much.”
“I love you too, Bailey. I’m here now. I’m home.”