Disappearances happen in science. Disease can suddenly fade away, tumors go missing, and we open someone up to discover the cancer is gone. It’s unexplained. It’s rare, but it happens. We call it misdiagnosis. Say we never saw it in the first place, any explanation but the truth. That life is full of vanishing acts. If something that we didn’t know we had disappears...do we miss it?
“It makes you think. You know, if I went missing would anyone notice I was gone?” The question seems so unimportant now than when she asked Karev.
Because she wasn’t supposed to walk in to an exam room from Miranda’s page and see Meredith lying there, slightly blue, intubated, flat-lined. The breath leaves her body, and she stands staring at the intern as the door falls shut behind her.
This, this couldn’t be happening. This wasn’t allowed to be happening.
“Charge to 300. Clear.”
This was Meredith Grey, for God’s sake.
“Oh my God,” she says because that’s all she can say. Because this was Meredith.
She couldn’t just stand there. She put on her glasses, makes her way closer. She suggests a warm peritoneal lavage, something, anything because Meredith had to live, she had to get through this.
“Come on, Meredith, don’t do this.” Not to me, please.
The door opens again, and she looks back, sees Derek, how despondent he was, taking in the tears in his eyes. She looks back at Meredith, feels her heart constrict tightly.
How could I let myself fall in love with my ex-husband’s girlfriend?
“This is my fault. She was pulling away from me and I just…”
Fear pulled at her chest, confusion knitting her brows together, “You think she went into the water on purpose?”
Derek looked at her, “She knows how to swim,” his voice cracked just slightly, his voice dropping to a whisper, “She’s a good swimmer.”
“Derek, you don’t know that she’s…” She stops because Meredith was good at hiding things. She kept her Mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis hidden for months. But someone would notice if she was depressed, right? Someone would have realized. She held his face in her hands, resolve coming into her voice, “No, you do not get to break down, you do not get to fall apart. Not when there’s still a chance, and there still is a chance, Derek, okay?”
He looks at her, wearily, “Okay.”
Her pager goes off for the second time that day. As much as she’d rather stay and get updates about Meredith, this Jane Doe was still her priority.
“Okay,” she says softly.
She loved Meredith, but so did Derek. And she couldn’t - wouldn’t - be the reason they broke up.
How could I fall in love with the dirty mistress?
Meredith was awake. She was awake and breathing on her own. She observes them talking, Derek sitting in the chair by Meredith’s bed. He never looked at her like that.
“I did,” Mark says. “I do.”
Yeah, yeah Mark does. And once upon a time, she wanted Mark. Once upon a time, she had wanted Derek. But now, now all she wanted was the blonde currently smiling at her ex-husband. Fate was cruel.
“You should hide it more.” Mark says.
She blinks, looking over at him, “Hide what?”
He smirks, “Your obvious pining.”
She scoffs softly, “I’m not pining after Derek.”
He nudges her shoulder before starting to walk away, “I know.”
She feels her face flush slightly before focusing back on the couple in the room.
How could I not love her?
Her first stop in the hospital the next day is to check on the Jane Doe. Seeing Karev looking at her chart, she makes her way to him. It had been wrong to kiss him, and it wouldn’t be happening again. And he knew that. So there was nothing to worry about.
“Any news on Jane Doe?”
“We know her baby’s a girl, but there’s no change in her amnesia, so no name.”
“Okay, good.” She hands the chart back, starts down the hall “Keep me posted.”
“Hey, where are you going?”
“I have a thing,” She starts, changes her mind, “Page me if anything changes, Karev.”
She has to see Meredith. Sweet, strong Meredith. The woman who she could never hate, no matter what. Because she, Addison Montgomery, is completely in love with the intern her husband had picked up in a bar.
She stops outside Meredith’s room, looks in on her. The blonde is still asleep, a peaceful look on her face.
Against her better judgment, she steps into the room. Her heart pounds loudly in her ears. This wasn’t smart. But the intern was asleep, so it wasn’t like she could hear her.
“We don’t get unlimited chances to have the things we want,” she says softly, “Nothing is worse than missing an opportunity that could’ve changed your life,” she chuckles bitterly, “And I - I missed my chance, Meredith. With you.” She sighs, “But that’s - that’s what happens when you’re the adulterous wife, I suppose.” Her pager goes off, and she leaves without a second thought. She’s said her peace; it was time to move on.
I never thought I’d ever end up alone.
It's a few days later that Meredith is discharged. Since the morning she’d poured out her heart to the sleeping intern, she’d avoided her room. Physically Meredith was fine. Healthy. Karev mentioned it to her in passing. Meredith still needed a few more days to recuperate before coming back to work. Which was good. Derek would take care of her. And she would move past her obvious pining, as Mark had called it.
The day was long and exhausting. Still no memory on Jane Doe, the baby was doing fine. And so here she was sitting at Joe’s, nursing a scotch on the rocks. Her pride wouldn’t let her cry. It wasn't like she had any claim to Meredith anyway.
She looks over in confusion as Derek plops down beside her, ordering a scotch for himself.
“Don’t you have a recuperating girlfriend to tend to?” She questions before she can stop herself.
He chuckles bitterly, “Had. Meredith dumped me. Again.”
“What?” She and Derek had been doing just fine before the day of the ferry boat crash. “What happened?”
“She said she loves someone else. That it just took her awhile to realize it.”
“Oh,” she took another sip, “I’m sorry, Derek.”
Her pager goes off, and despite just getting off an 16 hour shift, she reluctantly heads to the hospital.
Love was so overrated.
She’s paged to an on-call room, and she blinks, looking at Callie expectantly as the brunette waits outside the room.
“Callie, you could’ve just sent a text.”
The ortho smiles slightly, “This is a one-time chance, so don’t screw it up.”
“Just go,” Callie winks at her, “Nothing bad. Go in there.”
She frowns, straightens her coat, and opens the door.
And then she blinks, even more confused. Because there was Meredith, sitting on the on-call bed, smiling softly.
It wasn’t often that she was speechless, but the words wouldn’t come.
“Uh, hi, Dr. Grey,” it took a few seconds before she could form a cohesive sentence, “You’re still recovering; why aren’t you home?”
“I have intimacy issues,” Meredith begins, “And abandonment issues. And I snore.”
“I uh…” What was she supposed to say to all that?
“And I broke up with Derek.”
That one she could comment on, “He’s nursing his wounds at Joe’s.”
“I broke up with Derek because I realized I didn’t want to miss my chance.”
“Your chance?” Her mouth is suddenly dry.
“I don’t want to miss my chance either, Addison.”
She was dreaming. This was a dream and she would wake up anytime.
“Why aren’t you home, Meredith?” She’s not sure when she moved to sit on the bed beside the blonde, but her feet had moved on their own.
“I had to tell you that you weren’t missing your chance,” Meredith’s fingers cover hers gently, “I needed you to know that I…when I went into the water, I stopped fighting, for just a second. I don’t want to stop fighting again. Even if you are the adulterous wife.”
She laughs, “You heard of all that, did you?”
“Yeah. I was going to interrupt, but you seemed on a warpath.” She had been, hadn’t she? “You’re off duty tonight. You should go home and sleep.”
She smiles softly, “And what about you? You need to go home and rest.”
“I will. I just wanted to tell you that I loved you before someone else did.” She loves me.
“Someone else?” she questions.
“Mark, for one. He loves you.”
“I don’t want Mark,” she replies, “I love you, Meredith. I’m sorry it took me so long to realize it.”
“I’m not,” Meredith counters, “If it hadn’t been for Derek, I would probably be dead right now, in the bay.”
She didn’t want to even think about right now.
“How about I get you home? I’m sure your roommates are worried.”
“Probably,” Meredith replies, “But I did leave a note.”
She takes Meredith’s hand, pulls her to her feet, “Come on then.”
Maybe love wasn’t as overrated as she thought.