Warning: Matt/John slash and major character death.

John McClane dies at the ripe old age of eighty-six, from completely natural causes. It isn't cancer, or a heart attack, or anything that might have been fixable if caught in time. His heart just stops in the middle of the night, gives up after a lifetime of all the dire shit he's put it through.

Matt calls 911 frantically when he wakes up and feels John terrifyingly still beside him, but he knows before the ambulance even arrives that it's too late and John's gone.

All the things that Matt had thought about thirty fucking years ago when John had told him he was too fucking old for a kid not even into his thirties yet, he hadn't thought about the fact that John was going to die before him. John was a cop and lived a hard life, but still Matt hadn't ever thought about what it meant that John had more than twenty years on him and he was going to have to bury him one day.

Matt rides with to the hospital, even though they declared John DOA. He sits in the waiting room and stares at his hands and wonders what the fuck he's going to do now. He doesn't want to go home, not to the apartment he'd shared with John for the last twenty-seven years, not to his empty bed and empty home. He doesn't want to start the funeral plans or start the phone calls to John's friends and family.

Someone must call Lucy, anyway. The hospital had probably alerted the precinct and one of the detectives there –Matt didn't know which one, most of the guys John had worked with were long retired but John was a cop and Matt had loved a cop and cops took care of their own –had called her. She finds Matt sitting in the hospital, just inside the emergency doors where he'd been since he stumbled out of the ambulance, and wraps her arms around his shoulders.


Matt looks at her, wide-eyed and lost and filled with a hurt he can't begin to name. She looks like her mother, mostly, but she's got John's warm eyes and before Matt realizes it, he's sobbing. Lucy holds him, and he can feel her tears dripping onto his shoulder, soaking through the worn t-shirt he'd worn to bed.

Matt doesn't know how long they sit there and cry, but he knows it's been a while. Eventually, his tears stop and Lucy pulls away, sniffling, and Matt realizes that Lucy's husband is there, probably having driven her in. He's a good guy, Lucy's husband, though John had always said he wasn't good enough for her but then John hadn't thought anyone was good enough for his little girl.

Matt follows Lucy and her husband out to their van. They take him back to their house, where their kids are still all in bed. They've got a spare bedroom that Lucy leads Matt to, but he stops in the hall and nudges open the door to Lucy's youngest child's bedroom. She had three girls before little Johnny who had turned four last month. He didn't look a bit like his grandfather, too much his daddy's son, but he had inherited every bit of John's snark and sarcasm and Matt had never known that toddlers could be smartasses before Lucy's kid proved him wrong.

He's sound asleep in his racecar shaped bed with the spaceship themed bed sheets, one arm curled around the GI Joe John had given him for his birthday. It hurts to look at him, at the little boy who is going to grow up and be perfect just like his grandpa but would probably never remember his namesake.

Lucy takes his hand and leans her head on his shoulder. She doesn't say anything, because what could be said? She's lost her father, is hurting just as bad as Matt is, but she's got her husband and her beautiful kids and what does Matt have?

He's sixty-two years old and the love of his life is dead and he feels like his heart has been ripped out of his chest. He has a stepdaughter that was never really even that; John had asked him when it became legal ten years ago if he wanted to get married but Matt hadn't felt the need for the ceremony, not when they'd been together for twenty years and everything had been so perfect Matt couldn't imagine it ever coming to an end.

Lucy's lost her father and Matt's lost his everything. It isn't fair, but then death never is.