I posted this on Wattpad as well but I thought I'd post it here as well! I hope you enjoy :)
"Mom?" Meredith said, confused.
The last thing she could remember was the anesthesiologist telling her to count backwards from 10 before starting her D&C procedure. Although Meredith hadn't passed the 13 week mark she couldn't bare the thought of the deceased child of her and Derek laying in her womb any longer. The next thing Meredith knew she was standing in an on-call room at Seattle Grace-Mercy West, her deceased mother standing before her.
"I didn't expect to see you here so soon Meredith." Ellis spoke with a coldness to her voice. She was not happy to see Meredith.
"I, I didn't want to die," Meredith began to sob, "why are you here?"
"You're the one that's visiting not me." Ellis stated.
"Visiting? You mean I'm not -"
"No Meredith you're not dead."
"Then what the hell am I doing here?" Meredith was beginning to get irritated with the situation.
"There's a part of you that doesn't want to wake up. You and I both know that in every out patient procedure there's a risk of the patient not waking up. It wasn't until I came here I realized it was all up to the patient."
"Why wouldn't I want to wake up?" Meredith scoffed.
"You're in the middle of a D and C, alone, while your husband is at Seattle Grace, recovering from being shot. As much as you hate to admit it you're alone right now Meredith. You can't go and cry on Derek's shoulder because he has his own stuff, am I right? And you need to be there for him now so when he's all whole and heeled you can tell him you lost your baby and so he can be there for you."
"Stop pretending you know what I'm going through."
"I never said I did. I simply stated what you're going through and why you're here."
"Where is here? Where is Denny and shouldn't George be here?" Meredith was eager to change the subject, her mother's rambling had hit too many chords.
"Things have... changed since you last graced us with your presence." Ellis told her.
"Changed? Changed how? Am I just stuck here with you the entire time?"
"As much as I'd love to be stuck in here with my clearly still angry at me daughter, the world is just outside the door."
"The real world?" Meredith asked, hopeful.
"No, not exactly."
"Can you just tell me what's going on? Please?" Meredith begged.
"Outside this door the world goes on, but it goes on as if you had never entered nor left it. I, for whatever reason, have to show you what the world without Meredith Grey would look like. What people you're close with would be doing if you had never entered their lives. You can see them but they can't see or hear you." Ellis explained.
"So it's like I'm a fricken ghost? This is so goddam pointless I didn't want to die I wanted to get on with my life!" Meredith yelled.
"I'm not the one you have to convince! You can say those words all you want but there is a part inside of you that doesn't want to live. That voice, it may be small now but by God will it continue to grow if you don't confront it now and then it will be too late. Follow me." Ellis opened the door and Meredith followed her out of the room.
The familiar walls of Seattle Grace greeted Meredith's eyes. She felt uneasy but for a reason she couldn't explain. Not that rational thinking would get her far in this place anyways. She saw faces of interns she'd yelled at once or twice but no one so much as blinked as they walked past her and the infamous Ellis Grey.
"They really can't see us, can they?" Meredith asked and struggled to keep up with her mother's lightening pace.
"Why would I make that whole thing up Meredith? I raised you, you know I'm not that good at stories." Ellis remarked.
"I distinctly remember all of my stories centered around some sort of surgery." Meredith chuckled.
"Well, clearly it did you well, look how far you've come." Ellis smiled proudly.
'Not far enough, apparently.' Meredith thought to herself but didn't say anything aloud. The last thing she wanted was her mother to think she agreed a part of her wanted to be here.
"Can I ask where we're going?" Meredith asked, making Ellis stop her speedy pace and face her daughter.
"I pick? I pick what?"
"Where you want to go, who do you want to see first?"
Derek. That's who she wanted to see first. He'd be healthy in this world, walking and not asking for anymore morphine. She shook the thoughts of the real world out of her mind and looked to her mother.
"I want to see the Chief."
They made their way up to the Chief's office. Meredith's heart fluttered at the thought of seeing Derek all whole and healed. She could soak his presence in as long as she wanted without him asking if she was okay. It wasn't that she minded him constantly asking about her state of mind it's just sometimes what she wanted more than anything was to bask in his presence.
Ellis opened the door and Meredith ran in, stopping as she saw Richard Webber behind the Chief's desk looking exhausted. Meredith spun and looked at her mother with fear in her eyes.
"The Chief is, well, the Chief!" Meredith stammered.
"He'd never step down, not here."
"But why? What about Adele?"
"She left him when she found out about the affair."
"So he stayed with you? If it weren't for me he would have stayed with you."
"He did, but he was never more miserable in his life. In this world it was him who tried to kill himself, not me. We eventually got divorced, right before I got Alzheimer's. He never came to visit, he sits at his desk from dusk til dawn, only stopping for a drink in between. He'll be dead a month from now. He can't stand himself and what's he's become."
"How do you know he's going to kill himself?" Meredith asked her eyes filling with tears. Richard had been the closest thing to a father she'd ever known and the thought of him... She couldn't bear to finish the sentence in her head.
"It's why I'm here Meredith. I know the fate of everyone in this world. I know their past and their present. It's my job to show you what the world without Meredith Grey would look like."
"So if I was never born, this is what Richard would be now? A mess of a man and twice divorced."
"The me in this world was miserable with Richard as well. It was a mistake to think the two of us could ever truly be together. We weren't like you and Derek, Meredith. You saved me from having an awful life, Richard too. Come, we should go." Ellis wrapped her arm around her daughter's shoulder and headed to the ER.
"Is that Owen?" Meredith asked seeing the redhead scream at nurses as an incoming trauma came in.
"A very angry man. Needs to get laid." Ellis snorted.
"Mom!" Meredith was shocked to hear those words come out of her mouth.
"Well he's not with Cristina, not that he didn't try. She was harsh, she's harsh with everyone nowadays." Ellis informed her.
"But that's Cristina!" Meredith defended her person.
"All in good time."
They didn't spend much time in the ER. Ellis knew her daughter wasn't close with Owen but still felt the need to show her how he would be if it weren't for her.
"Wait." Meredith said stopping in the middle of the hall. "George, is he...because I don't want his death on my shoulders, I don't want it to be if I was never born he would be alive; saving lives."
"Your life had nothing to do with that boys death. It's the same in this world as it is your world. It was his fate. He never did marry that Callie girl. Things ended quite roughly with them actually. She ended up going off to California with Addison." Ellis explained.
"What happened with them?"
"Do you remember the quarantine Meredith? Derek was the one that talked to George, he helped him with his feelings for Callie. Derek wasn't in love with you when it happened in this world. He told George to run and run fast. Women are nothing but heartache and no woman is worth that, those were his exact words."
"He said that?" Meredith was shocked, never had she thought Derek to be pessimistic when it came to romance.
"Have we not been over me and my imagination enough today Meredith?" Ellis sighed and continued walking towards the OR Board.
Meredith glanced at the OR board before looking back at her mother. Ellis rolled her eyes.
"Look at the board Meredith." Ellis sighed.
She did as she was told. Meredith paid closer attention to the names of surgeries and what familiar face would be performing them. As her eyes scrolled down the board a nurse interrupted her path. The nurse wiped a name and replaced it with another.
"Karev out again?" Another nurse walked up and asked the first.
"Is he ever in?"
"Can you blame him? His girlfriend died here. I wouldn't want to revisit the place she died every day." The second nurse defended.
"Such a shame, Dr. Stevens had such potential." The first nurse said sorrowfully.
"As did Karev." The second nurses agreed.
After a pregnant pause both of the nurses parted allowing Meredith to finish reading the OR board, the nurses conversation clouding her mind. She looked for Yang. Her eyes read fast until she saw her person's name scribbled onto the board; beside a neuro surgery. She was scrubbing in with Derek.
"What is happening? Why were the nurses talking about Izzie and Alex like that? Izzie's fine she had cancer but she's fine? Well, I don't know how fine she is because of the whole thing with Alex and their divorce and whatever, and what about Cristina? Why is she in neuro that girl was cardio the second she got in this hospital! And where the hell is my husband?!" Meredith broke down at end of her ramble. She needed to see Derek.
"Meredith have you not been listening this entire time?" Ellis huffed and dragged her into the OR hall, pushing her through a door and into a scrub room. "Look."
Meredith's eyes scanned the room. They were performing a neurosurgery; they as in Cristina and Derek. Neither spoke much and they both seemed uncomfortable. Everyone in the room looked uncomfortable, like they were waiting for the surgery to be over so they could all rush out. Both Cristina and Derek looked stiff. Cristina's eyes didn't light up every time she held an instrument. And Derek...
"Dammit! I don't know if he said it." Meredith huffed in frustration.
"Said what?" Ellis asked confused.
"The thing he always says, before every surgery. He always says it's a beautiful day to save lives but I don't know if he said it."
"Does it matter Meredith?"
"Yes it matters!" Meredith argued.
"Let's wait outside until they're done." Ellis suggested and urged her daughter out of the room.
"Do we have to wait?" Meredith asked, leaning against the wall and tapping her foot impatiently.
"While we wait why don't you ask me a question?" Ellis prompted.
"One question? Do you know how many of questions I have?"
"One. For now."
"Why is Cristina in neuro? We all knew cardio was hers our first day!" Meredith asked.
"After what happened to Burke she couldn't go back to cardio."
"What happened to Burke? And why can't you just give me one damn answer without another question in it?"
"Do you remember the bomb? You weren't there to hold it when that idiot woman released it. Burke was the only one in the room, he didn't make it."
"That's not true, if Burke is dead then Derek should be too, he was operating in the room beside him!" Meredith argued her reality.
"When they told Derek to evacuate he did. His patient died because he wasn't able to perform the surgery."
"That's not Derek!"
"Of course it is Meredith! In this world Derek doesn't care if a patient lives or dies. He isn't your Derek here."
"So Burke, he really? Was Cristina okay? Is she okay?" Meredith panicked. The team scrambled out of the room at lightening speed; all except Cristina and Derek.
"See for yourself." Ellis held the door for her daughter her stomped into the scrub room.
"Good surgery Dr. Yang." Derek spoke roughly.
"Thank you." Cristina replied in monotone.
"You know the procedure for post-op notes?" Derek asked almost annoyed.
"Don't disturb you in your office, straight to the Chief."
"Looks like you do listen, Yang." Derek joked dryly.
Cristina left the room at lightening speed and headed down the hall. Derek walked out not long after, Meredith following him as he headed to his office. Cristina sat on a bed in the hallway, neither her nor Derek acknowledging each other as he walked by.
"Why is Cristina here alone? Shouldn't she be with Owen?"
"They aren't together, remember Meredith?"
"Can you tell me why now?"
"After Burke she kind of isolated herself. Doesn't date, doesn't have friends. Work is all she has. It's why her and Derek work well together. Neither talk much or like to be in social situations. That procedure you saw? That's all of their procedures are like that." Ellis explained.
"And what about Izzie and Alex? You still haven't told me about them."
"I think you should see Derek first."
They made their way to Derek's office and entering without so much as a glance from the people that roamed the halls. Derek sat behind his desk, a half empty bottle of scotch sitting before him as well as a glass filled almost to the brim. He began taking sips; sips was putting it midly. He finished the glass quickly and drew his phone from his pocket.
"Richard? It's Derek, we still on for Joe's tonight? I could really use a drink. Great, okay, see you then." Derek sighed, putting his phone on his desk and pouring himself another drink.
"This isn't what he does everyday right? He has another surgery today! He wouldn't drink on the job." Meredith spat.
"He never fully recovered from losing that patient. Took him almost a month to come back from the woods. He may still work but he never could stop the drinking. Neither could Richard, they drink together every day. That's all they do is drink. Neither talks at Joe's, their eyes don't even leave the glass."
"Was he drunk when he did Izzie's... is she?" Meredith stumbled over her words.
"No, he never performed it. He was asked and turned it down. Too risky he said, and he didn't like to take risks. She died right before he came back to the hospital. Alex has been a wreck since then, barely comes in or even leaves the house of that matter."
"Why is Derek like this I don't understand! He's charming and arrogant and has a god-complex and all that other crap but he's a good surgeon. He takes risks and he definitely takes risks to save his friends lives. He isn't a goddam alcoholic either!"
"Meredith! For the last time this isn't your Derek. This is Derek without you. Don't you understand? If you die in your world he'll be worse than this." Ellis tried to remain calm with her daughter.
"I'm not the person that freaken changed his life! He was charming and arrogant before he met me."
"Don't you get it by now Meredith? You changed his life the moment he talked to you in the bar. In this world, he walked in and got drunk alone and went home. He didn't find his girl in a bar. No one was there for him, he hasn't trusted a woman since Addison. He still hasn't talked to Mark and Addison stepped in this hospital for two seconds before he made sure she was gone for good. No woman made him trust again, or love again and all that romantic crap you like. He is alone because you aren't here for him."
"I want to go back I need to see Derek! I need to see everyone because this isn't what things are supposed to be like."
"Are you sure you want to go back Meredith?" Ellis asked calmly.
"Yes! I need my husband I need to know he's okay, I need to see Cristina! I need to see everyone please, Mom, let me go back." Meredith sobbed.
"All you have to do is wake up Meredith."
Meredith shut her eyes and tried to fall asleep and wake back up back in her own world. Her mother's words echoed in her ears and soon became unfamiliar. Meredith's eyes fluttered open to see a smiling nurse standing before her.
"Welcome back." The nurse said warmly. "We called your emergency contact since you didn't leave us a name. Doctor Yang is in the waiting room. Remember to take it easy and get lots of rest."
"Thank you." Meredith smiled in return.
Cristina sat in the waiting room, standing and rushing towards Meredith as soon as she saw her. Cristina pulled Meredith into an embrace.
"We don't have to talk about it." Cristina whispered, Meredith only able to nod in fear of becoming a sobbing mess in front of a crowd. "Come on, Derek's been asking for you all day and I can only keep him in the dark for so long. And you know, you don't have to tell him right now. This is about you right now, okay?"
Meredith nodded once again and walked with Cristina out of the waiting room and into the parking lot. Meredith dozed off on her way to Seattle Grace. The drive would have been quiet anyhow, Cristina knew Meredith would talk when she was ready; to both her and Derek.
"Mer." Cristina slowly shook her awake. "Got you a wheelchair so you don't have to, um, walk up all the steps.
"Thanks." Meredith smiled weakly and sat in the chair, Cristina rolling the chair into the hospital and straight for the elevator.
"He hasn't had drugs all day today. He's kind of tired and bitchy but he refuses them. I just, I just thought you'd like to know."
"Cristina, thank you, I love you." Meredith gripped her best friends hand that was placed on her shoulder.
"You saved Owen, I saved Derek, an eye for an eye right?"
"I don't really think that's what the phrase means." Meredith chuckled.
"Whatever." Cristina huffed and trudged down the hallway pushing Meredith's wheelchair towards Derek's room.
"Can you put a chair over by the bed? Damn nurse must have put it back again."
"Yeah, sure." Cristina agreed and carried a chair, placing it beside Derek's bed.
"Thanks." Meredith said.
"Stop thanking me, you'd do the same for me. He should wake up soon, usually he doesn't sleep this long." Cristina said and left.
Meredith got out of her wheelchair and put it just outside the door for someone to take away. She walked over to the chair beside her sleeping husband, gripping his left hand and placing her head beside his hip.
"Mer?" His voice gave her goosebumps. Meredith looked up at him and smiled.
"I am." Meredith grinned.
"You okay?" He asked gently.
"Yeah." Meredith said unconvincingly.
"What is it?"
"Tell you later, we both need to sleep." Meredith stroked her husband's arm.
"I just woke up." Derek chuckled.
"Well I need to sleep. Can I -" Meredith gestured towards her climbing beside him, prompting Derek to slide over to the edge of the bed, Meredith coming up and curling into his chest.
"Better?" He asked and wrapped his arms around her.
"Mhmm." Meredith sighed.
"You hear I'm drug free today?" Derek smiled proudly.
"I did." Meredith smiled back at him and stretched her neck, placing a kiss on his jawline. "Means I can take you home soon."
"I miss our bed, fits two people much more comfortably."
"I don't know this is pretty comfy." Meredith joked.
"It's just because I'm here."
"Damn right it is." Meredith hugged him closer.
"You sure you're okay?"
"Am I not allowed to love my husband?"
"I'm all for the loving, more loving I say." Derek smiled as Meredith giggled, his hand bringing her chin upwards so he could kiss her lovingly. "You know how much you mean to me right? I know this has been rough on you and I haven't thank you nearly enough but thank you, for everything. And I love you."
"I love you too." Meredith looked up at him with tears filling her eyes.
He needed her. She changed him. They belonged to each other. Meredith kissed him one last time before snuggling up beside him and her head on his shoulder with she slowly drifted off to sleep and she knew when she woke up she'd be right back in Derek's arms because that was where she wanted to be.