A/N: Still in mourning after last night's ep as I know many of you are. I hope this can help! Please review :)
The water looked so inviting. Meredith sat on the deck of the boat and gazed out at the calming water. She smiled and sat back, relaxing while the sun shone down on her. She couldn't remember the last vacation she'd taken. It wasn't so much a vacation as a way to avoid her still, it was a good decision on her part.
Life for Meredith had always been complicated. Her parents had divorced when she was 5 and she never saw her father again. Her mother was cold and distant. Life was lonely and Meredith intended to keep it that way. Although she didn't particularly like her mother, she has given her a lot of advice, even if it was accidental. Being cold and distant had worked well for Ellis Grey. She had never gotten hurt, at least not to Meredith's knowledge. Meredith never allowed herself to be in a relationship. She had seen that's when her mother was most fragile and Meredith didn't want to be fragile.
This cruise was a way to avoid for Meredith. She had started letting herself get close to a guy. Next thing she knew they were going on dates. Then they rarely slept alone. They were a couple. And most couples got married; or they broke up. Meredith chose the latter.
Finn had been a nice guy. He was charming and sweet and Meredith knew she could rely on him. However, she never felt the urge to open up to him. The thought that she could live with him for the next 40 years and not divulge her biggest secrets to him scared the shit out of her so she ran. She was good at running away from things.
It was her third day on the cruise and already Finn had stopped leaving messages. He had phoned her the entire first day and left voicemails. The second day he'd left only 2, the second one saying he wouldn't be waiting for her when she got back. She felt relief when he said that. She didn't know how to properly end a relationship since she was used to sneaking out of guys places before the sun rose. Meredith sighed as the breeze began to cool. It was late afternoon which meant Meredith could have a drink and not have people shake their heads at her. Being late afternoon, kids were bound to come hurdling down the deck soon enough which made Meredith long for a drink even more.
It wasn't that Meredith didn't like kids, she loved them; she just didn't like hundreds of them running wild with parents chasing after them.
Meredith entered the bar wearing a sundress accompanied with a shawl. She looked around and saw nothing but balding older men and trophy wives galore. There was definitely no intention to have any hook ups while on the cruise seeing as there really was no place to hide but it would have been nice to have the option.
The day ended in a blur. After throwing back a couple shots of tequila, Meredith headed back to her cabin to leaf through some medical journals. As much as she was loving her vacation she couldn't wait to be back in the OR.
Derek Shepherd was always a romantic. A cheesy, corny, hopeless romantic. As a kid he proposed to his second grade girlfriend after an hour, making a glittery, misspelled poster saying "Will U Merry Me". But alas that love was not meant to be.
He gazed at his girlfriend lovingly across the candlelit table. This cruise had been last minute for Derek. When his girlfriend Rose became suspicious he was hiding something he told her he had been planning a cruise. The truth was he had been trying to work up the courage to propose. Being the hopeless romantic he was, Derek was not just going to half-ass his proposal. There had been many times he could have easily popped out the engagement ring he'd been carrying around the last 2 months but it never seemed right.
"Do you want to go to the bar after this?" Rose asked, dragging Derek out of his thoughts.
"You know they serve alcohol here, right?" Derek smirked.
"It's been months since I've been to a real bar Derek. Months!"
"You go, I'll see you back in our room." Derek smiled as his girlfriend left. He threw some bills on the table and headed back to their room.
He had planned to propose that night. The candlelit restaurant was the perfect place. He had even worn his favorite tie. Their room would be covered with rose petals by the time he got back. Derek was so sure she'd say yes he had tipped some crew members to go all out and decorate their room; all this and he hadn't asked the question.
As he walked down the hall he took the ring out of his pocket and stared at it. He didn't see the woman standing in front of him until he walked into her, making her fall to the floor.
"Umm, ow?!" The woman said annoyed.
"I'm so sorry ma'am are you okay?" Derek asked concerned and reached out hand to help her which she blatantly ignored.
"Seriously? Do I look old enough to be a ma'am?" She huffed.
"No, I didn't mean - look are you alright? I didn't see you."
"Which I find hard to believe. A normal person would see another person standing there. Unless you're blind. Oh my god are you blind? I'm so sorry I didn't -"
"You're rambling. And no, I'm not blind." Derek laughed at the clearly flustered woman.
"Then how the hell did you not see me?"
"I wasn't paying attention." Derek looked down at the ring in his hand; only it wasn't there. "Shit!"
"What? Why are you crawling on the floor?"
"I had an engagement ring. I must have dropped it when I bumped into you." Derek explained still frantically searching the ground. The woman sighed and knelt down to help him look.
"What does it look like?" She asked.
"Well, it's an engagement ring so it shouldn't be hard to miss." Derek answered sarcastically.
"I'm trying to help you here you don't have to be such an ass." The woman stood and unlocked her door, turning the light on and kneeling down to pick up Derek's engagement ring. "Is this it?" She asked, twirling it on her finger.
"Oh thank God." Derek stood and grabbed the ring, placing it safely back in his pocket.
"Did she say no?" The woman asked frankly.
"Why would you think she'd say no?" Derek replied harshly.
"You just, I don't know you just look sad. Not the type of things most guys getting engaged look like. There's no sparkle or whatever."
"Well," Derek began, trying to think if the woman had given him her name.
"Meredith." The woman answered.
"Well Meredith to answer your question she hasn't said no because I haven't asked."
"So you think she'll say no?"
"Why would you think that?"
"You just told me she hasn't said no because you haven't asked implying there's a possibility of her saying no. And like I said, you look sad."
"I do not look sad. I'm a surgeon, if anything I look tired." Derek argued.
"Join the club. And for the record, if you think there's even the possibility she'll say no then clearly she's not the right one to ask." Meredith said before shutting her door abruptly.
It didn't take Derek long to clean up his room. There were still a few rose petals here and there but he knew his girlfriend wouldn't notice. Before changing he took the engagement ring out of his pocket once again and twirled it around in his fingers like Meredith had when she picked it up.
The woman wouldn't leave his mind. She was so unlike anyone he'd ever met. She didn't know his name and yet she had no hesitation calling him an ass. He placed the ring safely back in his pocket before retiring to bed for the night.
Meredith poured herself a glass of red wine and sat on her bed, flipping through channels. She settled on some trashy reality show to use as background noise while she leafed through some medical journals she'd brought along. When Meredith returned from her cruise she'd have her place as an attending at Seattle Grace. Neuro was her specialty. Oddly enough her mother encouraged this. Meredith was glad for the support but knew deep down it was because there was only room for one Grey in general surgery.
She never had read an article about other Neurosurgeons. Meredith didn't feel like saving lives was meant to be a competition, although according to Ellis everything was a competition. Even still, Meredith was completely unaware of the fact that the man she had bumped into was her biggest rival. Derek Shepherd was a neuro-God but if anyone ever asked Meredith about him she'd be dumbfounded. Instead of putting energy into brooding and hating fellow surgeons, Meredith focused on trying to solve the unsolvable. Right now she was working on a treatment for rare tumors. Her ideology was that if the tumor was infected with an illness it would die on its own although she had yet to test her method.
It was the final day of the cruise. As much as Meredith had enjoyed her time away she really couldn't wait to cut someone open. She had not stopped thinking about the handsome man who surely must be engaged by now. She hadn't seen him since they had bumped into each other about a week ago.
As she walked into the bar for the last time she spotted a familiar face. She smirked and walked over to the arrogant, most-likely-engaged man she hadn't been able to stop thinking about.
"Fancy meeting you here." She smiled and sat down beside him.
"Thought I'd enjoy my last day on this cruise before returning to reality." He chuckled.
"Trouble in paradise?" She asked and took a shot of tequila.
"Tequila, huh?" Derek ignored her question.
"What about it?"
"You just don't seem like that kind of girl. I see you I think Cosmo or Martini. Definitely not tequila."
"I'm full of surprises."
"Oh are you now?" Derek chuckled.
"Mhmm." Meredith said.
The two of them had slowly inched closer to each other. Meredith could feel heat radiating off of him like a furnace. Every time Derek inhaled he was overwhelmed with the smell of lavender. It was intoxicating.
"Where's you fiancee?" Meredith asked in a low voice.
"I'm not engaged."
"Mm, that ring you dropped says differently."
"Maybe I never proposed."
"Or she said no." Meredith joked and Derek smiled.
"She hasn't said no."
"So there's a she. Interesting it's me here with you and not her."
"It's a complicated relationship." Derek said.
"It shouldn't be."
"Are you a relationship guru, Meredith?"
"I just know enough about failed relationships to give advice."
"Don't be." Meredith waved off his apology and took another shot.
"Do you want to talk about the guy?" Derek asked.
"What guy? I never said there was a guy."
"When I bumped into you, you told me I looked sad. You look sad too, Meredith."
"I'm not sad and there was no guy."
"Whatever you say." Derek said and casually sipped on his scotch.
"Okay, yes there was a guy but I haven't had enough to tequila to talk about it, okay?" Meredith confessed.
"So drink more. I want to help."
"I'm a doctor, it's in my blood to help."
"Is that how you pick up all the girls?" Meredith giggled.
"I have a girlfriend."
"Well, she's very lucky to have a doctor such as yourself as her boyfriend."
"I feel like you don't believe me."
"Too bad you'll never know." Meredith smiled and hopped of the bar stool. She stood and walked out of the bar, glancing over her shoulder to look at Derek one last time.