Wow, I am so sorry it's taken this long to get this up...seems I'm starting a lot of my notes to you guys with that. I'm so sorry. I really had it all nicely typed out. Then school started. Then my computer crashed, and here we are, September, about 9 months after I started this thing. A baby has been born since I've started this thing. And that's really long.
But anyway, this is my gift to you guys. I've got a little of everything in here. This chapter is dedicated to Jonah, who has faithfully reviewed this the whole way, and Erin, who inspired the little MerDer scene in here. I love you guys!!!
Okay, so in this chapter...follow up with "Baby Jesus"...a little bit of intern play...some shippy stuff...lots of tied up loose ends...and a proposal. :D Enjoy!
"Your son is doing quite nicely. His vital signs are stable, and if all goes well, he should be ready to go home in a month," said Addison.
"The heart has taken quite nicely," said Burke. "We'll have to monitor him…"
"Could you call him Luke?" asked Mary politely. "That's what we've decided."
Meredith and Christina, waiting behind Addison and Burke, saw Addison try very hard to conceal a smile. "That would be fine," she said.
"We'll have to monitor Luke for about a month," continued Burke. "Then, if all goes well, he should be able to go home with you."
"We'd just like to thank you for all your help," said Joseph. "Mary and I are truly blessed." Mary smiled at them, then looked over at Luke, who was sleeping peacefully. "You too," he added, to Meredith and Christina.
"Just doing our job," said Addison. "We'll leave you two alone with your son." Burke motioned to Meredith and Christina to follow him and Addison out of the room.
As soon as they were out of the room, Meredith and Christina turned around and waited for their assignments.
"Okay…" Addison studied both girls. "Meredith, once Mr. and Mrs. Nazar leave, you monitor Luke for the rest of the day. Page me if anything happens. Christina…"
"Christina will be getting the food for the Christmas party," interrupted Burke.
"Okay, then," said Addison. "We'll see you around." They turned around and left.
"I think it's better that they didn't name him Jesus…or some form of that," said Christina. "I think I like those people. Have fun watching Baby Jesus."
"Have fun being Santa's Little Helper."
"Alex, you busy?"
Alex looked at the large pile of labs he had to deliver. "Not really."
"Great," said Christina, tossing him a key. "You want to go pick up Christmas dinner? I'll run those labs for you."
"Oh no," said Alex, holding up his hands. "There's no way in hell I'm letting you do that. Because then, when a random surgery comes in, you'll be here. I won't. I'm not stupid."
Christina shrugged. "Fine, I'll go. You might be rethinking that when I tell Meredith what you and Izzie were doing last night." She turned around and started walking toward the front of the hospital.
Christina turned around, a wicked look in her eyes. "What?"
"What did you see?"
"Everything," said Christina. "Bubble gum…seriously, the things you guys do…"
Alex took the keys.
"Merry Christmas! You're an angel!" Christina called out sarcastically.
"Alright," said Bailey to the assembled group of interns (minus Meredith and Alex) in front of her. "Dr. Torres will be in charge. If I have to come down here because of one of you does something stupid, I swear to God, Christmas or not…do you understand?"
"Yes, Dr. Bailey," the interns chorused. As soon as she'd turned the corner, Christina turned to the others. "I'm scrubbing in…if anyone sees Alex, please tell him 'haha' for me, would you?"
Izzie checked her watch. "The carolers are almost here! If you need me, I'll be in peds."
That left George. "Am I the only one who doesn't have anything to do?"
"George! Flu vaccines!" called Callie. "They need volunteers!" She paused at the look on George's face. "Hey, you asked."
Meredith was dozing off in the NICU rocking chair when Derek came in. He snuck up behind her and covered her eyes. "You should be paying attention to the patient," he murmured in her ear, just loud enough that she jumped in the chair, grabbing his hands with hers and dragging them with her hands.
"Oh my God, Derek. I thought someone was attacking me! Don't scare me like that."
"Attacking you…in the middle of all these babies?" asked Derek.
"I was falling asleep. How was I supposed to know?"
"Are you awake now?"
"Yes, no thanks to you," she huffed, getting out of the chair to check on Luke. After a few moments, she made a tiny note on his chart. "He's getting stronger."
Derek smiled, before putting a hand on her shoulder. "You're shaking."
"I'm not completely conscious yet. I didn't mean to…fall asleep. It's just really…easy to fall asleep."
"You're not making any sense," said Derek, moving his hand to the top of her chest. "It's fine. You think I'd bust you on Christmas?"
"What are you doing?"
"Your heart's racing."
"That's from when you woke me up." She placed her hand on top of his. "Your hands are freezing."
"Breathe in, Meredith. It's not good for you."
Meredith sighed, closed her eyes, and inhaled slowly.
Meredith opened one eye. "I know how to breathe, you know." But she obeyed.
Derek waited until her heart slowed down before taking his hand off her chest. When Meredith opened her eyes, he was smiling. "Merry Christmas."
Meredith didn't return the greeting, but she did smile back, and that was good enough.
"Where's Christina?" asked Alex, hurrying to put down several casseroles.
"Oh…I don't know…surgery, I think," said Izzie. "Oh! She says to tell you 'haha.'"
"She totally blackmailed me. She knows what happened last night…Izzie, are you listening?"
"It's Christmas, Alex. Let it go." They had a brief staring battle over this (Izzie won) before Alex rolled his eyes. "Well, I picked something up for you while I was out." He rummaged around in a plastic bag and pulled out a stuffed bunny. "It screamed 'Izzie,' so here you go. Merry Christmas."
Izzie accepted the bunny, slightly surprised. "You already got me something."
"If you don't want it, I can take it back…or donate it to peds."
"No!" Izzie held the bunny closer to her. "I love bunnies. Thanks."
Alex laughed. "You're welcome."
"Stevens, Karev…thank God," said Callie, running in and looking very tired. "We need more help with vaccines. You're not busy, right?" She didn't wait for an answer. "Great…go ahead to the ER."
Izzie and Alex exchanged a look. "Okay." They didn't get very far, though, before they were stopped.
"Izzie! Alex! Great! You get to be the first to know!" Jonah was bouncing up and down, black curls springing all over the place.
Izzie and Alex jerked their heads toward Callie. Jonah's eyes widened. "Oh." She lowered her voice to a whisper. "Where are you going?"
"Flu vaccines…we'll walk and you talk," suggested Izzie.
The smile returned to Jonah's face. "Okay." The three continued down the hallway. Callie, satisfied, nodded and walked the other way. When Jonah saw this, she started talking again. "You're never going to guess what happened this morning."
"Christina knows about the bubble gum?" asked Alex. "We already knew that. I have no idea how she found out. She was in her room all night! Does she sleep at all? What is that?"
Jonah held out her left hand. A cluster of diamonds sparkled on the appropriate finger.
Izzie's eyes got huge. "He didn't!"
"He did! This morning, right after we left," said Jonah breathlessly. "We're getting married!"
"Congrats," said Alex, nodding. "That's great."
"You guys are the first to know," said Jonah, as they approached the ER. "Anyway, I'm going to go tell everyone else before Debbie does it for me. I'll see you guys later. This is the best Christmas ever!" She bounced away happily.
Izzie sighed. "How romantic is that?"
Alex shook his head. "Too much for me. Come on, we have a bunch of screaming kids to stick needles into."
Izzie spotted George right away. "George! Have you talked to Jonah yet?"
"She and Chris are engaged!"
"Izzie, she wanted to tell everyone herself," hissed Alex.
"So he'll pretend he hasn't heard yet!" exclaimed Izzie. "I had to tell someone."
"That's awesome!" said George. He turned to the little girl. "Did you hear that? My friend's getting married."
"Really?" she asked, eyes wide. George used the moment to administer the injection.
"Really," said George. He put a band-aid over her arm. "And you're done."
"I didn't feel anything," she said, doubtfully.
"Well, I put it in there, I promise," said George. "You can go home."
The little girl stuck out her finger. "Pinky promise?"
George linked his pinky with hers. "Pinky promise. You won't get the flu now."
The little girl's mom, who was sitting to the side, looked extremely relieved. "Thank you, Dr. O'Malley."
"No problem," said George, letting the little girl have her choice of lollipops. After they left, he turned to Izzie and Alex. "The syringes are in that bin over there…you can take Booth 5 and 6."
"Hey look, Christina!" said Izzie. "Christina! I have to tell you something!"
"Oh, boy," muttered Alex.
"Hey," said Derek. "I didn't think I'd see you here."
"Well, after staying up so late last night, Addi took me back to the hotel to sleep," said Brianna. "But it got kind of boring, so I got a cab back here."
"And that's okay with Addison?" asked Derek.
Brianna shrugged. "I guess…it's not like I haven't done it before."
"I heard you talked to your mom last night."
"How long are you staying?"
"Um…right now, it looks like I'm staying indefinitely," she replied, a bit of a catch in her voice. There was a pause while she tried to collect herself. "I don't really know." She stopped Derek before he could say anything. "I'm alright…it just kinda sucks."
Derek shrugged. "Let's sit," he said, pointing to a stretcher in the hallway. He pointedly ignored the fact that she had to climb up into it (though she'd grown since he'd last saw her, she was still nowhere near where her aunt was) for her pride's sake. Brianna leaned back against the wall and sighed.
"It wouldn't be too bad staying here," she said, after a while. "I mean, if I had to leave, I'd miss you guys. And I'd probably end up back here anyway."
"You still want to be a surgeon after hanging out with us all this time?" asked Derek, amused.
Brianna's answer was sure. "Yes."
"Well, we'll just make the best out of all of this," said Derek. "That's pretty much all that we can do."
"Weren't you off like, fifteen minutes ago?" asked Mark, approaching Addison who was standing, in her street clothes, in front of the NICU.
Addison checked her watch. "Oh, I didn't notice."
Mark laughed. "Right. Says the woman who hasn't been late for anything in…well, how long have we known each other?"
"The interns aren't the only ones who like to hang out with the babies."
"Well, it's kind of my job."
Mark shook his head. "Have you heard the latest news?"
"Gossip on Christmas?" Addison asked. "Does that woman ever sleep?"
"Jonah and Chris are engaged."
Addison smiled. "Really? That's wonderful."
"Yeah…told me herself. If she comes to tell you, just pretend I didn't tell you, okay?"
Addison laughed. "Okay."
"Now, do you think you could tear yourself away from the babies for an hour so we can go eat? Not that hospital Christmas food is anything to look forward to, but…"
"Burke made the food," said Addison. "It'll be good, I promise." She sighed. "Okay, let's go. It's just so…good, when a baby born on Christmas…lives through it, I guess. I've seen so many die on Christmas, but these…" She gestured to the babies. "It's like an extra miracle when they live."
Mark stared back at the babies. He'd always admired what Addison did, but he hated that she'd had to deal with their deaths all the time. Sometimes he felt, that in spite of all the years Addison had been doing her job, each baby that died took a little part of her with it. He remembered their internship, when he'd comfort her crying and wonder if this job was going to take her with it. "We could stay longer, if you want."
"Could we?" She stared back through the glass. In the corner, Meredith was standing over Luke, her back to them.
Mark looked down at her. "Sure."
The man next to Addison turned to her. "Which one's yours?"
Addison crossed her arms across her chest. "Oh, none," she answered. She snuck the tiniest of glances at Mark. "Yet. I work here."
The man grinned. "That one's mine." He pointed to the baby girl closest to the window.
Rules were thrown to the winds for the Seattle Grace Christmas dinner, as the doctors turned Conference Room #2 into the site of a banquet. Decorations (courtesy of Brianna) hung from the walls, looking like real snow was falling in the room. Lines between interns, residents, and attendings didn't exist for the night, and with Bailey and the Chief at home with their families, everyone took the opportunity to sit with whomever they liked.
The dinner Burke had made really did include everything, ranging from turkey to pie, along with several deserts by Izzie. Meredith had all the leftover food from her house brought over, and there was more than enough. Izzie suggested sharing with the patients, and the rest of the staff agreed.
After everyone had eaten, they began to break off into their groups. The nurses took the center of the room, and the four attendings, interns, and Callie took the corner farthest away. Derek and Meredith sat against the wall, her head on his shoulder. Christina sat next to her with Jonah. Burke sat between them. Alex, Izzie, and George lay in the middle of the angular half circle, George's head on Callie's lap. On Derek's other side, Mark sat against the wall, with Addison on his lap and Brianna on her lap.
"Let's see the ring again," said Christina. Jonah held out her hand.
"That's a whole lot of sparkle," said Brianna. She turned to Addison. "I want a ring like that when I get married."
"I think your mother would hope that's a little farther off for you," said Addison.
"Where's Chris?" asked Meredith.
"I'll see him in an hour," said Jonah happily. "When I told my resident, she decided to let me go home early."
"That's awesome," muttered Callie. She was already falling asleep.
"This is the best Christmas ever," sighed Jonah. Now, everyone was pretty used to her hanging out with them. Her resident and Bailey had some kind of mutual unspoken agreement to share her. Not that anyone complained or even cared. They'd simply accepted her as part of their family.
"I can't wait until New Year's," said Alex. "Hey!"
Everyone had thrown a peanut at him.
"Well, I am definitely happy to be spending Christmas with you guys," said Mark. "I'm serious…stop laughing."
"I'm not laughing at you," said Brianna. "I'm just…laughing in general."
"I'll second that," said Callie. "I like the way Christmas works around here."
"With our little fractured family," finished Izzie.
"You're so cheesy," said Meredith.
"Hey, can we just agree that we're all kind of happy right now? And that that doesn't happen very often? And we should shut up and enjoy it?" asked Derek.
There was a silence, which Christina broke. "Well, you can't really argue with that."
She couldn't have said it better.
Once again, thank you everyone! You guys all deserve cookies for staying with me for this long! 3 If you liked this, click on my name and head over and read my other stuff.
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