Hello all! Sorry I haven't replied to feedback from the last chapter yet, but this is the end. I thought about it a lot, and I don't think I'm going to make a sequel. I just feel that I've already told the story I wanted to tell. I am, however, working on two other projects that I think you'll truly enjoy! One of them is a huge beast that I wanted to finish before posting, but if you guys would like me to, I may just go ahead and started posting it. Also, if anyone would like to send me prompts, I'd love to create something with them! Thank you all so much for being so gracious and supportive of my first fic. I only hope that you'll join me again in the future! :)
Derek grunted when two three-year-old knees pounded into his side, effectively crushing any hopes he had of sleeping in today. He rolled away from Meredith to meet the bright and cheerful eyes of his son.
"Morning Zachy," Derek groaned.
"Morning Daddy," Zachary beamed.
"I see you're up nice and early," Derek quipped.
"I not tired anymore," Zach shrugged.
"Well, in that case would you like some breakfast?" Derek asked.
"Pancakes," Zach nodded, "I can wake up Mommy now?"
Derek smiled at the young boy, "No, we need to let Mommy sleep."
"How come?" Zach frowned.
"Remember the new baby?" Derek asked. When Zach nodded, he continued, "He or she makes Mommy very tired. So we need to let her get her rest."
"Okay, Daddy. I give Mommy kiss though?" Zachary tried a new approach.
"Only if you're very quiet and gentle," Derek commanded.
Zachary carefully crawled over his father and planted a big, wet kiss on his mother's cheek, "Sleep good, Mommy."
Much to Derek's dismay, Meredith's green eyes fluttered open at the disturbance.
"Sorry, Mommy," Zach whispered, "I didn't mean to."
Meredith smiled tiredly, "That's okay, Zachy."
Derek smiled softly at her, "How are you feeling?"
"Still pretty bad," she frowned.
Unlike with her first pregnancy, Meredith's morning sickness hadn't resolved itself with the conclusion of her first trimester. She was about halfway through the second, and the illness had been much worse than it ever was with Zachary. While she had a Zofran prescription on hand, Meredith often forewent taking the medication if she wasn't at work.
She had been sick until the early hours of the morning, and Derek had stayed in the bathroom with her, holding her hair back and rubbing her back gently. He'd brought a pillow with him and encouraged her to nap with her head down in his lap as best she could between moments of illness.
When it had finally ended, Derek had carried her exhausted form to bed and tucked her in beside himself.
"Go back to sleep," Derek smiled, "you need it."
"No, that's okay. I'd rather be up with you guys," Meredith stated, though she made no move to sit up.
"You and baby need to rest, Mommy. Daddy says you get tired and I let you sleep," Zach explained.
Meredith sighed, "Fine. But you boys better wake me up in time to go to Grandma's later."
"We will," Derek assured her, leaving a soft kiss on her forehead, "I love you."
Zach, always trying to mimic his father, also kissed his mother's forehead and proclaimed his love for her before scampering out of the room with Derek.
"I love you both, too," Meredith couldn't help but smile as she watched her boys head for the kitchen.
Life was good for her and her little family. She and Derek had tied the knot the June after their engagement at the same church in New York where his parents and sisters had been wed. Carolyn had, rather sneakily, managed to secure the church and a wedding hall even on only six months notice. Meredith and Derek hadn't bothered to question it, they'd simply thanked her. It had been a beautiful ceremony at the end of which not even the great Ellis Grey was dry-eyed.
She and Derek had slowly and somewhat awkwardly managed to form a relationship with the Grey family. Meredith wasn't eager to do so at first, but overtime she became glad to have them back in her life. She and Lexie had grown close, and Derek took the occasional fishing trip with Thatcher. Susan, of course, was wonderful and quite the blessing in their busy lives. Molly was a wonderful person as well, but wasn't around quite as much as the others.
Their time in Seattle had been simply amazing. They'd laughed, cried, fought, and supported each other. Their love only grew stronger along the way. Unfortunately, Dr. Quincy—the head of neuro at Grace—continuously postponed his retirement, so Derek never got to take over the job. Surprisingly enough, he wasn't too upset when Meredith had approached him with a new plan for their life. He liked her idea better than any job.
They'd moved back to New York at the end of Meredith's residency so that she could accept a neuro fellowship at Mt. Sinai. During that time, she became quite the spinal tumor goddess. Derek couldn't have been prouder. Together, they even managed to invent the Shepherd-Grey Method. Their bosses were utterly thrilled that the dream team had returned. Although, no one was as thrilled to have them back in New York as Carolyn.
Most of the staff members at Seattle Grace were sad to see the couple go, none more so than Dr. Bailey. Cristina had opted to do her fellowship at Columbia, so she and Meredith still saw each other often. In face, Zach saw her as one of his aunts. Unfortunately, Cristina and Owen's relationship did not work out in the end. She did, however, meet another cardio surgeon in New York, who she ended up marrying in a small ceremony at city hall with Meredith and Derek as her witnesses.
Once her fellowship ended, she and Derek decided it was time. They'd been together for twelve years and married for five. Both were ready to hear the pitter patter of little Shepherd feet. Zachary was conceived after only two months of trying. Derek had been there every step of the way without complaint. He'd made late night food runs to satisfy her cravings, massaged her swollen ankles, stayed up late and gotten up early to hold her hair back while she was sick, and had been there to hold her hand through every doctor's appointment. And one spring morning, around 3 AM, when Meredith's water broke, Derek had quickly gotten her to the hospital and coached her through twenty-seven hours of labor, which she took like a champ. The entire experience had brought them closer than either thought possible. In the end, they were rewarded with the most perfect little boy either had ever scene. Zachary Michael Shepherd was the spitting image of his father, the only physical evidence that he was Meredith's child being his nose.
Upon hearing the news that she would be a grandmother, Ellis made some calls and was named Chief of Surgery at NYU Medical Center. She immediately moved to New York in order to spend time with her daughter and her newly formed family. Zachary adored his Granny just as she adored him.
Carolyn was beside herself with excitement when Meredith and Derek announced that she would, as she put it, finally be having a Shepherd grandchild. Little Zach stayed with Grandma most days, though he occasionally went to daycare so that Carolyn could have a break.
Several months ago, Meredith and Derek had once again decided that it was time to extend their family. This time, though, they weren't formally trying. Meredith had stopped taking her birth control and they were going to let nature take its course. Soon enough, they were rewarded with Baby Shepherd #2.
Meredith was hoping for her own little clone this time, but, like every mother, really only wanted a healthy baby. The many differences between her two pregnancies kept her hopes high. Derek kept joking that a little Meredith would never hear the word no from his mouth, then he'd smile and kiss her belly, and promise to love them both forever.
And as she drifted back to sleep, the sound of her two favorite boys laughing in the background, Meredith sighed in content. She'd accomplished a lot of things in her life, but her family was the one thing in which she took the most pride.
At the end of the day, they were all she needed. And no matter what happened, no matter where life took her, they would always be enough.