Contains spoilers for up to the end of Season 2.
In the end it was simple, really. Meredith had forgotten how simple it could be, to make a choice. She had forgotten that she could do it in her personal life and not just in surgery; she had forgotten that she could make decisions without alcohol or without anyone else looking over her shoulder. She had forgotten, because there were so many things she didn't have control over, that she didn't have a choice about. She hadn't made the choice between sickness and health for her mother, she hadn't made the choice to sleep with, and then fall in love with, a married man.
She wasn't given the opportunity to make those choices. She had forgotten.
She looked at Finn, and she looked at Derek, and she knew that she could stay there forever, just looking, and weighing up the possibilities. She knew that if she waited long enough they'd make the choice for her, they'd walk away and leave her there. She knew that she could choose Finn and let him make his plans for the future, or choose Derek and let him walk away from his wife, because he would.
He really would. She knew it. He'd leave Addison, for her, and it was entirely her choice. Hers. She wasn't her mother. She'd worked hard at not becoming her mother. Men really would leave their wives for her, if she asked. Derek would. She knew he would.
Meredith thought of the maybes, the things that could happen, and would happen, if only she chose. Finn. Derek. Finn. Derek.
She asked herself quickly, quietly, what do you want?
And then, who do you want?
She opened her mouth, and then shut it again, and turned away from both of them.
She was running faster than she needed to, and when Addison caught her it took her a moment to realise that she was where she wanted to be.
She tried to find the words, the I'm sorry for sleeping with your husband. Again. phrased in a way that didn't sound glib, but all that came out was "Addison."
And she couldn't say sorry, because she wasn't even sure that she meant it, so instead she said something she really did mean. "I choose you."
Meredith watched Addison, looked at her, waited, and remembered that just because making a choice could be simple, the consequences were often much more complicated. She remembered how much she hated not having control over this part, over not being able to choose how someone would react to a choice. She remembered how horrible it was to be powerless.
She tried to remember the last time she had made a really good choice in her life, when she had made a personal decision that had worked out for her and left her completely free of doubt.
She had forgotten what it was like, what it felt like, when a choice worked out. When it was unambiguously the right move, and everything slotted into place. When she was reintroduced to elation, and joy, and every fibre in her body smiled.
When Addison kissed her, she remembered.
- end -