Derek meets up with Ivy and their kid for dinner or lunch but when their kid sees him she gets excited and runs into the street to see him.
(AN: Sorry it took longer than originally promised. My heart was broken and I had to put it back together to finish this… also I spent like an hour trying to figure out what Ivy would order for Derek because I am neurotic.)
“She’ll have the grilled cheese and I’ll have the Waldorf salad. Oh, and my husband is meeting us, can you get him the gazpacho,” Ivy ordered as her three-year old sat coloring intensely outside the cafe.
“Emma, honey, what are you doing?”
“I’m drawing a picture for Daddy to put in his script.” Ivy sighed. Derek was in the middle of a new play and that meant he didn’t have a lot of time to see his wife or - more importantly - his daughter much. She didn’t blame him. It was the same thing when Ivy was in a show. It was just what came with the job.
Still, Emma was beginning to notice her parents’ absence more and more. It broke Derek’s and Ivy’s hearts to be away from her so much, but they had to work. That’s why they started putting pictures of Emma and drawings she made in their scripts. Everyone felt a little closer to each other. And Emma loved to make things for them to bring to rehearsal.
“I’m sure he’ll love it,” Ivy said as she checked her phone only to find a disappointing text from Derek.
idiot playwright still talking about edits. hate him. miss you. be there soon as I can.
Great. Emma looked up from her crayons to see her mother frowning at her phone.
“You OK, Mommy?” She asked.
“I’m fine, baby, but Daddy’s going to be a little late.”
The little girl’s face fell, but this wasn’t the first time she heard something like this.
“Ok,” she said quietly and went back to coloring. Ivy tried not to notice that she was pushing her crayons on the paper with a bit more force.
Twenty minutes later she was glad she had ordered the gazpacho for Derek because anything else would have gone cold while they were waiting for him to arrive. She had finished her salad and had gotten Emma to eat some of her grilled cheese, but her daughter had insisted on saving the majority of her lunch to eat with Derek. She was still working hard on her drawing when Ivy’s phone lit up with another text.
pulling up now.
Ivy looked across the street to see a cab pull up to the curb. “Finally,” she said.
Emma’s head whipped up at the sound of her mother’s voice. She followed her gaze to the cab where they could now see Derek getting out.
“Daddy!” she said and before Ivy could stop her she grabbed her drawing, jumped out of her seat and ran into the street to meet Derek.
“EMMA!” Ivy heard herself screaming she chased after her, but Emma was already pretty far ahead.
Derek seeing what was happening sprinted to their daughter and grabbed her up just as an on-coming car slammed on it’s brakes.
Ivy’s heart had stopped. She didn’t even realize what was happening until the car honked it’s horn aggressively telling them to get out of the street.
Instinctively, Ivy flipped the driver off and tried to resist the urge to go over there and beat the shit out of him for almost hitting her child. Derek was walked over to her with a now crying Emma.
“M-my picture! My pic-picture!” Emma wailed. Ivy inspected her closely as Derek sat her down at their table, making sure there wasn’t a scratch or bruise or broken bone before she registered that Emma no longer had her drawing. It must have gotten lost in the shuffle somehow. That was why she had run into the street, to give Derek her picture.
“Emma Margaret Wills, you are not to ever, EVER, do that again. You DO NOT run into the street like that. It’s not safe. You could have been seriously hurt!” Ivy felt herself begin to cry. She was relieved that nothing more serious had happened, but she was still angry and scared. At Emma for running into the street. At herself for yelling at her daughter. At Derek for being late. At herself again for not being a better mother. She felt like a failure on all accounts.
“B-but I had to show Daddy the picture and now it’s gone,” Emma choked out between tears.
“Emma,” Derek said with such force that it momentarily ceased her tantrum, “I don’t care about your picture. The only thing I care about is that you and your mum are safe. You should never go in the street with out a grown up. Do you understand?”
Emma just nodded her head.
“Good,” Derek said as he pulled her into a hug and kissed the top of her head. “Now how about you make me another drawing while I eat my lunch?”
They spent the next several minutes in silence. Ivy had wiped away her tears and tried to get her breathing back to normal. She didn’t want to think about what could have happened, but she couldn’t help thinking that spending so much time away from Emma was the route of the problem.
“I think I need to take a break,” she said suddenly.
“You’re not even eating,” Derek looked up from his gazpacho, confused.
“No, I mean from working. Well, not working entirely, but the soap has been asking me back and they’re really flexible. If I wanted I could make it so I only have to shoot a few times a month or less….”
“Whoa, slow down,” Derek interrupted. “What are you talking about?”
“Derek,” Ivy began looking at their daughter who was quietly coloring and pretending not to listen to her parents. “We have both been working not stop since Emma was born, I don’t want to miss everything. My mother missed everything. This was a wake-up call. I need to back away for a while.”
Derek sat quietly. Ivy was sure he was about to try and talk her out of it, but her mind was made up. The theatre world needed to take a back seat for a while, she loved her work, but her daughter had to come first. She couldn’t let-
“I’m going to quit the play,” Derek said suddenly.
“You’re right. We need to pull back. I hate the bloody thing anyway.”
“You can’t do that,” It was one thing for her to put her career on hold, but Derek’s was still in a more fragile place than her’s was.
“Why the hell not? We’ve both got our Tony’s for Gatsby. We don’t really need the money. You can do the soap and I’ll direct the occasional CSI.”
“Derek, your reputation -”
“I don’t give a -” he turned to look at his daughter who was taking a bite out of her grilled cheese and not even bothering to hide the fact that she was listening anymore, “flying you-know-what about my reputation, Ivy. I care about our family.”
He had a point.
“A flying what, Daddy?” Emma suddenly asked. Ivy laughed. Derek laughed. Emma was still confused, but she just went back to her drawing.
They were a family. And their family came first.