Dedicated to Mandyg67! Thanks for all your support!
A/N: 20 Years later!
NEW YORK 2035
Bailey Shepherd nodded at the server and picked up a champagne flute from the proffered tray. He sighed and shifted in his tux, it felt so uncomfortable. He sighed and scanned the lively crowd of Harper Avery nominees and their guests. Where was she?
"Hey." A familiar voice whispered in his ear.
"Ellis," He said, "Have you seen mom?"
His younger sister shook her head, "I thought I saw her talking with someone from Mass Gen... but I don't know anymore. Have you seen Zo?"
"No," He said, taking a sip of the champagne and scrunching up his face. He was still trying to acquire the taste of wine.
"Where's Mom?" Zola asked, approaching from the other side.
"You haven't seen her either?" Bailey asked. Crap.
"Relax, she's probably fine..." Zola said. "Let her enjoy this, she won a Harper Avery and practically cured diabetes."
"I know," Bailey muttered. He sighed, "she had a lot of wine though..."
"Hey, we could ask that security officer..." Ellis pointed to a young dark haired man in the corner, "He's kinda cute," she said, biting her lip. "C'mon, Zo- lets check this guy out."
Noah Porter Benson checked his watch and scanned the crowd again. It was a simple summer job, security. His mother reccomended it while he went to school at Colombia. But it was boring. And this event was boring. One more hour though...
"Scuse'me," a woman approached. She was older, with a slight frame and wore a long strapless lavender dress. She looked a little familiar somehow. He nodded at her.
"Ma'am," he said.
She scrunched her face into what could've been a scowl at that, "Iss Doctor."
"Yeah... so Imma little losss... whars the baathroom?"
He smiled, she definitely had a little to much wine, he thought. He jerked his thumb down the hall. "First door on the right."
She swallowed, and clutched her belly. "Ugh. Thaans." and with surprising grace for someone as inebriated as she, she walked past him.
He shook his head slightly and continued to keep an eye on things. A few minutes later, two young women strode purposely up to him. What now?
"Hey," the younger brunette said, "Have you seen our Mom? She's about this tall, blondish grey hair and she was wearing a lavender dress?"
"Oh, yeah..." Noah said, "She went down that way-" He pointed down the hall. "The restroom, first door on the right."
The dark skinned girl sighed and rolled her eyes... "I'll go check on her."
Ellis watched Zola go down the hall, thankful her big sis would take care of Mom for now. Not like Mom needed help, she'd been doing great, fantastic even. Winning the Harper Avery tonight though had totally shocked her, and Ellis thought her mother just wasn't used to all the attention. But now, she was here, at this award thingy and she was a little bored.
She looked up at the security officer. He was tall, broad shouldered and...hot. She should say something. Something not stupid. "So..." she said, biting the corner of her lip, "Moms huh?" Stupid stupid stupid...
To her surprise, the man snorted, "Tell me about it. My mom was the Chief of Police."
Ellis shook her head. "That's nothing, my mom almost got blown up."
He raised a dark eyebrow, his eyes lighting up with curiosity. "Really?"
Meredith sat in the crowded booth with her kids. She picked up the menu's and passed them around for everyone to look at. Although she already knew what she wanted.
"Really Mom?" Zola asked scrunching her nose at the falling apart ambiance around them. They were in a diner... A diner that must've been a hundred years old.
"It's just what we do..." she said. "This is where I meet up with Olivia when I'm in New York. So... get used to it. Besides, I need my grease." This earned a snort from Bailey and a glower from Zola.
"Whatever," Meredith sighed. She was still a little hung over and a little in shock over last night. She couldn't believe it. She won a freakin Harper Avery! She took a moment to look at all her kids and see how grown up they were. It was hard to imagine she'd only been a couple years younger than Ellis when she'd stumbled after her mother for this event only to be blown off.
She could never blow her kids off like that. Ever.
She looked at Ellis and smirked... "So, someone was busy last night..."
"Mom!" Ellis' face flushed.
"So who was tall dark and handsome?"
"Nobody, we just went for coffee."
"Well did you at least kiss or something? Details, I need details!"
"I am not telling my mother details about my dating life!"
Meredith playfully pouted, it was fun teasing her daughter. But seriously, who was that guy? He seemed familiar somehow. She looked at her watch, Olivia should be here any minute. This was the first time she'd see her kids in probably fifteen years. While the two of them had met occasionally or sent a few emails, life had been pretty busy for both of them and it'd been hard to keep in touch. Still, she wanted to impart this with her kids... this place, this diner where Olivia plied her with coffee and fries and Big Sistered her.
She wanted her kids to know that it was okay to trust people... it was okay to make friends, even if you might not see them for a long time, because sometimes you just pick up where you left off.
She cleared her throat. "Um... guys," they stopped their bickering. "I, um... I'm proud of you all okay? Even if you screw up or do stupid things. I want you to know that..."
"We know mom," Bailey said.
"You okay?" Olivia asked her son as she walked beside him. They were about a block away from the diner.
"Yeah," He smiled.
"So who was that girl?"
"Uh..." Noah's tanned face turned a slght pink. "We just went for coffee."
"I know... Was she nice? Is she going to stay here?"
"I don't know," he said.
Olivia shook her head. Boys.
"So we're meeting your friend?" he asked as they opened the door to the diner.
"Yeah, Mer and I go way back-"
"Oh God, Ma it's her!"
"What?" Olivia looked to the corner booth where Noah pointed. Her jaw nearly dropped to the floor. Meredith Grey and three young adults who were obviously Zola, Bailey and Ellis.
Meredith beamed when she saw them, then Zola leaned in and whispered something in her ear. "Wait," she said, gesturing to Noah. "He's tall dark and handsome?"
When she said that, Ellis turned in her seat and nearly dropped the cup of coffee in her hands. Her face was as red as a tomato, "Oh my God," she gasped.
Olivia and Meredith shared an incredulous look, then burst out laughing.
They watched their 20-something year old kids engrossed in conversation at the booth. They had already retreated to the counter, to give their kids some space.
Meredith looked at Ellis, and sighed. "I can't believe I sat in that same booth, that long ago."
Olivia raised an eyebrow. "I can't believe we're sitting here now."
"I know," Meredith said. "All of us."
"Yeah..." Olivia smiled though, a small lazy smile. "We did it." She held up her coffee cup.
"We did it." Meredith replied, she raised her cup and clinked it against her own.
They did it. They grew up. They watched their kids grow up. And they outgrew the pain of the past. As the two women watched their kids interact they knew one thing for sure... they were not at all like their mothers.