Everything about Paris fascinates Derrick. From the shape of her eyes to her tiny lips and hands. Her amazing intellect and quiet personality... he can’t believe she’s really his daughter. She’s too perfect.
Then again he sees himself in all her features, so she must be his. Go figure.
But as soon as he sees Kenzie his smile tends to disappear. The questions linger between them, why he came back now and not sooner. He has no answer for her so instead they replace the questions with an empty kind of silence neither can really stand.
Madrid has been working day in and day out on a way to make Ireland visible. She’s had no breakthroughs but with her step dad back in town maybe his expertise in experimental medicine can help.
She fills him in on the research she’s done and the formulas she’s tested to give an imaginary creature a corporeal form. He seems truly impressed with all her work.
“Perhaps you’re going about this in an improper angle.” He hints, choosing his words carefully. “I read up on so called Imaginary Friends when I was in school and they’re not truly imaginary. They’re real, they exist in a sense that although you and I can’t see Dublin’s friend, we can’t simply walk through her either.”
“So then what should I do?”
“Instead of making her corporeal.. maybe try transforming her. Into a sim like you and I.”
Bingo. The research behind the “cure” for vampirism is public record, and Madrid uses it as a basis for her formula. The notes are only half-completed and no one to date has been able to finish them, but Madrid doesn’t need to know how to reverse undeath. She just needs to know how to give life.
In only a day she has a formula that she thinks will work.
“So this’ll really work?” Dublin asks.
Madrid shrugs. “Thats what my research says. But if Ireland blows up instead or something be sure to tell me, okay? I uh... I may have exposed it to too much plutonium.”
Ireland and Dublin decide to take their chances.
What Derrick failed to tell Madrid was that the formula she was looking for was one that could be bought from the science office these days in exchange for a couple bucks. He thought it would be better for her to figure it out herself, and he was right. He remembers the feeling of accomplishment well, although he hasn’t felt it in so long. He brought his research home with him, but nothing makes any sense anymore. He can’t read for more than a few minutes before the words get blurry and he needs to set the book down. He knows whats wrong but he refuses to consider the possibility of what his time in the tombs led to.
Hearing Kenzie coming up behind him he stands to greet her, taking her hands in his.
“I love you.”
“I love you.”
“I know.” She doesn’t smile, just looking at him curiously. “Is... is everything okay? You’ve been acting sort of weird ever since coming home. Did anything happen in Egypt?”
Mentally, Derrick kicks himself to not being able to hide things better. “No of course not. Everything’s fine and you don’t have to worry, alright Kenzie?”
He pulls her close and she wraps her arms around him protectively. “Okay, Derrick. I trust you. Just remember, I’m here for you, and I love you so much.”
He keeps her close for a moment longer, trying to memorize everything about her. From the feel of her body pressed to his to the sound of her voice saying she loves him.
His research in Egypt came to one dead end after another and he left the way he'd come after far too long in those underground caverns. The only thing he knew was how you contracted the disease, it was airborne, and with every breath he took underground the sicker he felt. It was only upon his return that he'd understood just how sick he was.
And this wasn’t something Kenzie needed to know. At least not yet. Not until he knew if the illness truly was terminal.
Ireland is given Maddie’s old room to sleep in. One day she’ll bunk with a child-age Paris, but for now the room is all hers.
She’s a bit neurotic and Derrick takes advantage of that whenever they’re alone together.
“What is it?”
“Experimental treatment. I wanna see if I can turn your hair normal.”
“Your step-dad’s giving me drugs again.”
“Just go with it.” Dublin sighs. “Mom says he’s just going through a phase or something.”
“Guys are weird.”
“Yeah they-... hey!”
Aunt Jessica sent Kenzie and Derrick a digital frame for their honeymoon photos. Whenever Kenzie comes downstairs she always sees the frame paused at the picture of the sarcophagus she took, Derrick studying it carefully.
She’s had enough. “You have to tell me what’s going on in your mind.”
He pauses, considering his words before shrugging and saying: “I have to go back.”
Her blood runs cold. “What?”
“I have to go back.” He repeats. “I can’t stay here anymore, pretending that nothing happened. I was so close to a cure and I threw all that away because I got weak and wanted to see our daughter, to hold her and not feel like a total failure for once in my life.”
Kenzie groans. “Oh you are NOT pulling the pity me card, are you?”
“It’s the truth, Kenzie! If we hadn’t had Paris I’d still be in Egypt and the cure would be completed by now! I wouldn't be-”
She loses her temper, cutting him off before he can let his worries slip. “Don’t you dare blame this on your daughter and me. You’re a workaholic nut who doesn’t realize how good he’s got it. If you want to go back to Egypt fine, do it. See if I care. But if you walk through that door you’d better never plan on coming back. You won’t be welcome here anymore and for as long as I live you will never come near our daughter again.”
“Kenzie you’re being unreasonable!”
“Just shut up, Derrick. Please don’t come near me ever again, I don’t- we don’t need you. I've raised Paris so far just fine on my own, and we'll be just as fine without you.”
She goes to bed by herself that night, locking the door behind her so Derrick won’t come in after her.
In the morning it takes only a moment for her to realize he’s really gone. And he’s never coming back.
Damn Ireland came out HOT. O_o I was surprised. I did have a bit too much fun picking out her clothes and hair though because the default IF doll clothing bugs me. (Although I kept the skirt cause its pretty).
Derrick made me sad... but hey. Single Parent roll. Although I cannot confirm or deny that we will not be seeing him again.