Okay guys, here it is.

Chapter 27, the final chapter of Fragile Ghosts...

Also, not going to lie, I cried a little writing this and I really hope this is a satisfying ending for Meredith and the team. I really, really like this chapter so I guess I hope you do too.

So, I've never written anything this long before and I've also never finished anything this long before. Most of my stories end unfinished, and I wanted to thank each and every one of you, because without you, Meredith would only be a story in my mind and not on paper. You have inspired me and without your constant support this chapter would never be posted.

So thank you for all the reviews, favourites and follows. Whether you read one chapter or all, just thank you.

Please let this one go out with a bang and give me a last review, it obviously means a lot, so why not!

Disclaimer: I do not own SVU or any of its characters, nor am I making a profit from this work.

Happy reading and thank you,

Liv x

The next few days went by in a panic inducing blur. The precinct had been as busy and loud as ever, with a lot of raised, stressed voices. It hadn't taken long for Meredith to shut everything out, and she'd hardly managed two words to anyone.

From her place in the corner of the squad room, where she managed to tuck herself out of the way. Amanda was talking to one of the other Chicago detectives, who was holding an evidence bag of some kind. Liv was on the phone, Nick and Fin were out chasing a lead and Sergeant Voight was pacing in front of the draw board they'd brought in.

Feeling eyes on her for a change, she swung her focus to the door of the break room, where Erin was emerging, fresh cup of coffee in her hand. The detective raised an eyebrow at the teenager before moving past over to Voight. They were closing in on the perp they had, and all their efforts had been placed into finding his location. The closer they got to him however, the more claustrophobic Meredith felt and it was a feeling she couldn't shake, like something was closing in on her chest, making it harder to breathe.

With a sigh, she pulled herself out of her chair and swinging past Amanda's desk, she pulled her guitar out from under it where she kept it out of the way, and slipping the bag over her shoulder, she hurried toward the door, the one that led to the roof, where it was quiet.

Taking the steps two at a time, she almost missed hearing the door open and close again behind her as a certain Chicago detective followed her slowly, curiously.

Making it to the top floor, Meredith twisted the handle of the door and pushed it open. It was reasonably sunny, and there was a light wind, which ruffled her hair as she moved forward, to sit on the floor, her back against the surrounding wall.

She'd never managed to bring herself to look over the edge. Not because she was scared of the height, but because she was scared of being over come; by herself.

Never the less, the view was something that Meredith had never found the words for and looking out over the city, at the skyscrapers that still towered over where she was it was hard to believe that there was such ugliness, hidden in its deep crevices.

Pulling her guitar from its bag, she held it, not strumming or singing, simply thinking and as a song came to mind, before she could bring herself to sing it, she grabbed a small container from her guitar bag and popped it open, giving a small smile before throwing back a couple of the circular pills.

' do you remember what the city sounded like? so stay up with me, don't fall asleep, because we only have this moment once in our lives… and I knew I couldn't keep you if I tried. But I watched as the distance spread as the shadows grew and the longings came like wolves to devour you… '

Her father crossed her mind as she sang, and eventually she trailed off into silence, and let her guitar fall into her lap. She didn't cry, but placed her guitar next her and moved onto her knees, peering over the ledge, carefully and then with a sense of longing.

She would look at every one in their current double team and every one seemed to fit into place. Even without knowing each other, they managed to work side by side, in harmony. And Meredith couldn't ignore the feeling that she was an outsider and that perhaps she'd never fit in, even if she spent the rest of her life trying to, but what kind of life would that be?

Slumping back down against the wall, she looked up, to see Erin Lindsay, standing at the door that led to the stairs that led back to the squad room, that led back to where she should be.

Not saying anything, and not knowing how long the detective had been there, she looked away. Erin didn't say anything either to start with, but moved forward to sit cross legged next to the teenager.

"How long?" She eventually said softly and Meredith tucked a wild strand of hair behind her ear before exhaling, knowing exactly what she was referring to.

"Few weeks I guess."

"I heard about what happened, and I'm really sorry…" Erin started before Meredith cut her off.

"Everyone's sorry. I'm sick of it. It's too late to be sorry, what's the fucking point? I don't need people to tell me they're sorry. They have nothing to be sorry for."

"I won't say sorry for saying it then." Erin gave a light laugh and eventually Meredith did to.

"I don't know what to do." Meredith looked down at her hands, and only looked up when Erin placed on of hers over the teenagers.

"Well this isn't the way, believe me, I've tried. The weight of the world will only get heavier. There's nothing fun about the lying either, right?" At Meredith's shrug, Erin gave a tiny smile, knowing she might be getting somewhere with the blonde.

"It is what it is."

"It doesn't have to be, though. Ever since the attack, people have been telling you they're sorry, and that's not what you need, all you really need is comfort, yeah? Someone to tell you that it's going to be okay, and not look at you like a bomb that could go off at any minute…?"

Meredith nodded this time before turning to face Erin, and at the sad look on her face, Erin braced herself for the next comment.

"I can't tell mom, it'll kill her. I never should have done this in the first place. I just wanted some control, the upper hand, it was killing me and I almost let it. How can I bring myself to tell my mother that? That I wanted to die? He almost killed me himself, and I was going to finish the job he couldn't do?"

They were silent for a while until Erin spoke up. "You need to see this from a different perspective." She paused before continuing, "Your mom's part of the SVU department, and she worked her way up into this area, to help people that need it, victims, well survivors. These people, need help, shoulders to lean on, and ways to cope. Anyway where I'm going with this, is that we see people in their weakest moments and that's okay, because it's our job to help them get out of those moments."

"I have to tell her, I know that. I got myself into this mess but I need help getting out of it."

At Erin's nod she looked down, fighting against the urge to start crying.

"Will you come with me? When I tell her? I don't think I can do it alone."

"Of course. We can do it later today." Erin placed an arm around her shoulder and Meredith leaned into it, finally defeated.

They sat with their backs against the view of New York for a while until Erin stood, and offered a hand to help Meredith to her feet.

Meredith took it slowly, quickly shoved her guitar back in its case as she knocked the container she'd been keeping her pills in. It hit the concrete and rolled forward, and before Meredith could move or say anything, Erin stepped forward and grabbed it, pocketing it before offering Meredith a half smile.

"Safe with me. I'll get rid of em'."

Following Erin back down the stairs, Meredith found herself slowing, knowing Amanda would be concerned the minute they arrived back in the squad room. Not even a busy room and a stressful case could hide that.

However, when they arrived back down stairs and came through the door, they came to an almost empty room.

Meredith went to breathe a sigh of relief, until the sight of her mother coming out of Cragen's office came into focus.


Hanging back by the door, she looked down in an attempt to get out of the coming event. Erin had taken her promise seriously though and Meredith didn't miss the Chicago detectives next words.

"Can we talk to you?" At Amanda's concerned glance at her daughter Erin gave her a smile, and the teenager followed the two into the hardly needed privacy of the break room.

"What's this about?" Amanda asked quietly once they'd sat down, hardly knowing who to direct the question to. She looked straight at her daughter, when she noticed her hands shaking.

"I just need you to listen and not yell or anything okay?" Meredith said only a little louder than a whisper.


"Well, I wanted to say, tell you that well, I'm not… Fine…." Looking down she felt her cheeks flush and again, found herself holding back hot tears.

Amanda looked to Erin before moving back to her daughter and she leant forward in her seat before speaking.

"Honey, I don't expect you to be okay. What you went through is unthinkable, but we're here to help you. It absolutely nearly killed me when I found you, I thought you were dead. The doctors didn't think you'd make it through surgery and when I got to see you? I've never been more grateful in my life. Because, you are my life. And your father would be saying the same things if he was here right now, because we love you, it's our job. Even if you make stupid decisions, I'm aways going to be here to help you out of them, you're my daughter."

"I've been taking pills…" Meredith said shortly, shrinking back in her seat. Amanda closed her eyes for a moment, and as Meredith looked up she broke down into tears, heaving sobs that she thought would drown her faster than any act of her mind.

Amanda quickly moved round the table, where she kneeled in front of her daughter. Meredith instantly lurched forward into her arms, shaking as she cried.

"It's okay, you're allowed to break darling, you're allowed." Amanda said quietly, as she ran her hand up and down her daughters back in a soothing manner.

Out of the corner of her eye she noticed Erin stand and slip out the door, giving them their privacy.

"I didn't want to disappoint you." Meredith said between sobs, and eventually after a few more words of comfort from Amanda, her hiccuping cries turned into quiet tears.

"You know I love you, but I think we need to realise that ultimately, you need help. More than I can give you by myself."

"I know." Meredith said softly.

"Come here." Amanda whispered, feeling tears of her own beginning to well in her eyes, as her and her daughter fell back into a hug.

They stayed in the break room for a while, mostly finding some sort of strength in each others comfort, but eventually Amanda brought up the idea of Meredith going into a treatment clinic.

The words had stung at first, but Meredith knew she had to do it, for herself more than anything.

"I have a few contacts I can talk to, okay?" Amanda asked and Meredith nodded.

"Thank you." They fell back into silence before Meredith gave a half smile.

"Did you solve the case?"

Amanda gave a small laugh before she nodded. "Something like that."

"I'm glad. But does that mean the Chicago team will be leaving?"

At another of Amanda's nods Meredith gave a sad look. "I never got to talk to any of them…" She drifted off before shrugging.

"How about I go get on the phone, before everyone arrives back?"

The two stood at the suggestion and Meredith followed her mother back to her desk, and as Amanda sat down to look through her drawers, Meredith moved over to Erin, who was sitting at Nick's desk to give her a hug.

"Thank you Erin." Meredith said and smiled at Erin's comment.

"Anytime, kid. Life happens, sometimes faster than we live it, it's hard to get perspective on that."

With a nod and another small smile, Meredith moved back over to Amanda, as she heard the rest of the team come through the doors of the squad room. Liv and Voight moved straight past, on either side of the perp who was in cuffs. Fin and Halstead followed them toward the interrogation room and Nick moved straight to Amanda's desk.

At the sight of Meredith, who had quite obviously been crying he gave her a questioning look and she moved forward, before he could hear the nature of Amanda's conversation.

"You better look after her." Meredith told him with a quipped eyebrow, before hurrying into a hug. Eventually Nick moved back, and looked her in the eye.

"Where are you going to be?" He asked quietly, and Meredith sighed before answering.

"Getting help, I suppose."

Amanda hung up her phone then and turned her chair to face the two.

"The place I called has no spaces, but I was given the contact of someone who can take you."

"Guess I should pack my bags then." Meredith gave a rye laugh before noticing Nick's confused expression.

"I'm uh, getting help..." She said softly. "You could say I came clean, about everything."

He gave a small nod, still not saying anything, and then he moved forward and pulled her into a hug. Neither of them needed to say anything.


It was late afternoon by the time the suspect had been taken into custody, and Amanda had organised a clinic that had a bed for Meredith.

Meredith hadn't really known what to expect the others to think at the news and for a while she'd hoped that they wouldn't find out, but that was the inevitable thing about family. Secrets were hard to keep.

They'd all hugged her and even the rest of the Chicago team had wished her well, and even at their accepting nature, Meredith couldn't hide the fact she was letting them down.

"It's time to go Mere, they wanted you there by tonight…" Amanda eventually said, pulling the teenager away from everyone.

With a small smile and nod, Meredith hugged them all one last time and went to follow Amanda and Nick, who said he would drive them.

They were just reaching the elevator when Erin caught up to them, and after glancing at her mother, Meredith stepped away to meet her.

"Thank you again, Erin." Meredith murmured and was a little surprised when the woman drew her in for a hug.

"I know this seems unimaginable and you probably feel stripped down to your raw truths, but this is your chance for things to fall back into place." She started softly before drawing to a whisper, "and call me if you happen to need a friend, but Meredith, you better not go breaking my heart." Erin handed her a paper business card, that the teenager recognised as hers. There was something written on the back of it in small handwriting, but Meredith pushed it into her pocket, for later.

With one last wave, she hurried after Amanda and Nick into the elevator and down to Nick's car. They stopped off at his apartment on their way, so Meredith could pack a few of her things and the last thing she placed in her bag was both a picture of her and her father, and a picture of her, Nick and Amanda.

She'd hid from them for weeks, but in the end it was family that was going to get her through this, and that was something Meredith didn't want to forget.


The drive took longer than expected and Meredith was half asleep when they finally arrived at the clinic, and the second thoughts began to kick in as she was helped out of the back seat.

Instinctively grabbing her mothers hand as they moved toward the entry, Amanda pulled her daughter closer, wrapping a hand round her waist in a hope of comfort and with a smile at Nick, who held the door for them, the three entered the building.

They were met at reception by a nurse with a name badge of Sasha and she allowed them a few minutes of goodbye.

Meredith didn't have much to say, and there weren't enough minutes left in the day for Amanda to tell her what she needed, but they settled on a hug and the promise that Amanda would try come visit her in the next few days. Meredith gave Nick a quick hug too and her words surprised him a little, but as soon as she'd said them he knew what she meant.

"Remember what I said; look after her."

With that, she hugged Amanda once more before Sasha picked up her bag and led her down the hall and through a set of double doors

This was it, and it seemed dire, but a surge of hope crossed Meredith's mind at the thought that maybe she'd made her father proud and at the idea he was happy, for Amanda's sake.

And Nick had just started the car when he turned to face Amanda, and before he could say anything himself, she spoke.

"I think we should have a break, from whatever this is you know?

Nick shook his head.

"You're an idiot, loveable, but an idiot. I love you, Amanda and none of this should mean we need to take a break. Family is what Meredith needs more than anything right now and it's also what you need because, what she's going through? You're going through too and that's something you can't do alone."

"Nick…." Amanda trailed off, looking down at her hands, but her gaze was quickly brought back up to Nick at his next words.

"When Meredith gets out of rehab, we're getting married okay? I love you and I love Meredith, like she's my own and I want us to be a family, whatever that means."

They stared at each other for a minute before Amanda moved forward and met Nick in a kiss and it was at that moment when she realised how lucky she was to have met such a guy. When Paul died, she never thought she'd know anyone as kind and wonderful as him, but the day Nick walked through the doors of the squad room, there was a spark.

There was no denying that.


It was later that night when Meredith finally pulled the card Erin had given her out of her pocket to read and when she did, she didn't think she'd ever read anything so true.

The view's always pretty from a distance and it always seems like that, until you see it up close. Then all you see is broken buildings and relationships and people and you think you'll never see it in the same beautiful way again. Life's always romantically idealistic from a distance, but there is nothing romantic about living a window shop kind of life. And in the end, there's something pretty about the ugly grittiness that life is, that we make it. Because it's real, and so are you. Life goes on.

Remember that.

I don't really have much more to say, but I hope you liked this final chapter.

Overall, I'm super happy with the characterisation and the development of Meredith and the others and I feel like I gave them all a satisfactory ending?

Some of you may not like my decision to include Erin in such a huge way but I really felt like her character was a good one to help Meredith understand how she needed help. I was a little stuck on how to write her but in the end I just went with it in a way where I wrote her as the person I needed when I was in a position only a little different to Meredith.

This story is incredibly close to my heart and I am so, so glad that all you out there have loved it as much as I've loved writing it.

It seems only yesterday that I had 3000 words of this written and went through and changed Olivia to Amanda. Imagine how different the story would have been if Meredith was Olivia's daughter? But there were already a few out there so I wanted to do something different and look how it paid off?

I know I've had a few requests to write a sequel of some sorts and if you are interested please PM me on here with some sort of idea to get the ball rolling, because at the moment I don't really have anything and it all depends where you want Meredith to go…

I hope the Rollaro in this chapter was alright and I'm pretty pleased with how their relationship moved and developed through the story.

Again thank you so much for reading and reviewing this, you all seem to have become pretty invested in Meredith and yeah, I don't really know what to say or how to thank you all to be honest…

Anyway so this is the end and you know, look out for a sequel?

Flick me a final review if you feel like it, let me know how you liked it

And any ideas for a sequel…

Thank you, you are all superb, as Amanda would say!

Much love,

Liv x