Running Up That Hill
A/N: So this is completely new territory for me, but I'm giving it a go. Not much else to say but I hope that you like it, and I don't own anything!
It's late, or perhaps a better way of phrasing it is early. Midnight has long since come about and passed again, and yet sleep just won't come. Unfortunately this has been par for the course recently; she has barely slept since he last held her in his arms at night and that was weeks ago, before his wife showed up and he decided to go back to her.
Exhaustion was beginning to set in. As if being a surgical intern wasn't tiring enough, she wasn't even able to sleep when she should have been taking the opportunity to either, so she wasn't recharging and energy levels were constantly diminishing, add all of that to ever increasing loneliness and it was hardly surprising that her work was beginning to suffer, though she wasn't sure that her supervisors had noticed. However, surely if Bailey had noticed that anything was amiss then she would have said something because that's the sort of person she was.
Finally deciding that trying to sleep was a pointless exercise, she turned over to look at the clock and sighed upon discovering that it was barely 3:30am. She stretched out her muscles and raised herself from the bed; trying and failing not to think about how not so long ago they were sharing that same bed every night, the nostalgia bringing tears to her eyes for the countlessth time. She had to get out of the room; too many memories, but that was pretty much the same for the whole damn house, so she made a decision.
Half an hour later found her walking slowly around the local park, trying to pass by the hours until she had to be at work, another 24 hour shift looming; just what she needs when she can barely function properly. However, at least here the memories couldn't haunt her. If only that were true. The truth of the matter was that the memories were impossible to escape, and maybe a part of her didn't want to be able to, the part that still loved him, despite what he had reduced her to by throwing her by the wayside. She sank down on a nearby bench as they washed over her again, the tears falling from her eyes as she remembered everything…the nameless man in the bar…the awkward morning after…finding out he was her boss…the kiss in the elevator, against her better judgement…his persistence…her reluctance…giving in…breakfast dates…drinking wine together by the docks…the loud and extremely passionate sex that annoyed her roommates no end…the night at his trailer in the back of beyond where they didn't have to worry about disturbing anybody…learning more about each other with each passing day…
The tears fell faster. There was of course one major detail that he had neglected to mention to her; that he had a wife back in New York. He was married. She hadn't known. The way in which she found out was one of the most painful memories that she held, in both her head and her heart…
It had happened at the end of a very testing and stressful day; the day of Richard Webber's (the chief of surgery) secret operation to remove a brain tumour, which had been, thankfully, successful. She had met him in the hospital lobby at the end of their shifts…but she was still unsure of how exactly the following events had come about…one minute he had been helping her to put her coat on, and then the next he had turned to her and said, "Meredith, I'm sorry." Then she had been upon them, and the last thing that she remembered hearing was, "Hello, I'm Addison Shepherd, and you must be the woman who's been screwing my husband."
She choked, sobbing loudly, causing a passer-by, a man walking his dog, to look at her strangely, and she supposed that she probably did look a little strange, a young woman sitting on a park bench at half past four in the morning sobbing her eyes out, but at that moment she really didn't care what anybody thought of her; she had too much on her mind to worry about her appearance, and besides, what idiot walked his dog at that time in the morning?
Retreating back into her thoughts, she remembered when he had had to make his decision, when she had pleaded with him to "Pick me, choose me, love me," alas he had not, and it had been since then that she had been gradually falling to pieces. She no longer slept, ate enough, spent any time with her friends; she had pretty much retreated into herself, and though she knew that her friends were worried about her, she could no longer bring herself to care. Getting through each day was a chore, and having to constantly put on a brave face at work, especially around him and his wife, was exhausting.
On top of all of that, she still had to oversee the care of her mother, and drop into the care facility in which she was housed as much as possible, not that she deserved that considering the way in which she had been treated by said woman as a child and through into adulthood, before she got sick. It also didn't help that her mother was so well known in both the medical field in general, and more specifically at Seattle Grace Hospital, where she now worked as an intern. It certainly wasn't easy being the daughter of the amazing super-surgeon that was Ellis Grey, but she did her best. Correction, she had been doing her best before she ended up in this mess, now she really didn't care.
She looked down at her watch and, noting the time, stood shakily and began to walk slowly back to her car. Once inside, she looked at her reflection in the rear-view mirror and began the process of erasing the tears and exhaustion from her complexion, which unfortunately meant using a lot of make-up, not so good for her skin, but what the hell did it matter; she couldn't look much worse than she already did. Sighing again, she looked over at the clock in the car to double check the time, realising that she didn't have much time to get to the hospital for the beginning of her shift. She turned on the ignition, revving the engine into life, and sped off through the early morning traffic to work.
Once there, she quickly parked the car and headed through the lobby to the elevator, which was, thankfully, waiting for her. She finally made it up to the intern locker room with only minutes to spare before rounds began. Ignoring the other people and goings on around her, she opened her locker and changed quickly before seating herself on the benches running through the centre of the room, between Izzie and Christina. She was keen to not have to talk to either of them, but she knew that that was unlikely, especially since she should have been bringing Izzie in with her this morning, who she was sure would want to find out why she'd had to make alternative plans at such short notice.
However, before either could strike up a conversation, the locker room door opened and in stepped Bailey to give them all their assignments for the upcoming shift.
"Ok then guys. Stevens, Cardio. Karev, Ortho. Grey, Neuro. Yang, Pit. What are you all waiting for? Get out there!"
Perfect. Just brilliant. Bailey had been sheltering her a bit of late, and keeping her away from him wherever possible, but it seemed that things were now back to normal, which meant that today was bound to be hell for her. Just what she needed on zero sleep!
She left the locker room caught up in her own thoughts, at least until she was brought back into reality by a sharp tap on the shoulder. She jumped and turned slightly to the side, Izzie coming into her line of sight as she did so.
"Where were you this morning? You didn't even leave a note!" Izzie demanded,
"I couldn't sleep, so I went to the park to clear my head," She replied wearily, not wanting to get into that particular discussion just then.
"Again? What is going on with you at the moment Meredith? You don't eat or sleep, and none of us have any idea where your head is at most of the time because you don't talk to us anymore…"
"I don't know Izzie, but I can't do this right now, I've gotta go…"
"Meredith, wait!" Izzie called after her as she started to walk way, but she didn't stop, she couldn't stop.
Suddenly feeling very nauseous, she ducked into the nearest bathroom and stumbled into a cubicle. Yet she quickly discovered that there was nothing to bring back up; she hadn't eaten very much at all in the last couple of days. Feeling rough, but shrugging the feeling off, she left the bathroom and continued once again towards her original destination, and him.
Clearly still not paying much attention to the proceedings in the corridor that she was walking along, she never saw the person run out of one of the rooms in front of her and come steaming towards her at full speed, knocking her off of her feet and unconscious before she could even register what was going on…
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