Broken Promises for Broken Hearts
The title for this story is taken from the song "Broken
Promises for Broken Hearts" by GW Childs.
The title for this chapter is taken from the song "Finding Resolution" by Craig Richey.
Disclaimer: If they were mine, I'd do all sorts of inappropriate things to them. Particularly to one Patrick Dempsey. Sadly, they are not.
Chapter 1: Finding Resolution
He has never once made a New Year's resolution that he kept. Like probably ninety percent of the population, he makes empty promises to himself every January 1st, and by mid-month he has broken them. In all honesty, he hasn't been the best at keeping promises lately, so a few broken resolutions would fit nicely with his new image. He was fairly certain his wife would agree with him.
The closest he came to ever keeping a resolution was the time he told himself that he wouldn't drink soda anymore, after learning what it would eventually do to his teeth. But really, in the end, all that did was increase his dependence on coffee, as he needed the caffeine to make it through his marathon surgeries and shifts.
But this year – this year would be different. He was making a resolution, and he was determined to keep it. He owed it to everybody. To his marriage. To his career. To himself. To Addison. To Meredith. And so, he was making a resolution.
He was going to let Meredith go. Finally, no strings, for good. He was going to sever the ties that had bound them since the night of the mixer. Since the night she had been destined to be nothing more than a one-night stand, but after which she quickly became a cornerstone in his life.
He had told Addison that it was over. He had told Meredith it was over. He had told himself it was over. He wasn't sure either of the two women had believed him. He certainly hadn't believed himself, and it had become increasingly clear over time that all three parties appeared to be holding their breath. Waiting for the shoe to drop. And so, he was making a resolution. For everyone involved. He was going to let Meredith go.
But with that resolution came the inevitable fine print.
She never made New Year's resolutions. She hadn't made them since she was a teenager and her mother had told her that resolutions were for weak people who had no self-discipline at any other time of year. And so, not wanting to appear weak, Meredith had never made resolutions.
This year was no different. She wasn't making any resolutions. But she was making a promise to herself. She was going to let Derek go.
He had told her it was over. She had told him it was over. They had both told Addison it was over. And yet, she waited. She waited for him to get sick of trying to make his marriage work. She waited for Addison to get sick of seeing her husband make eyes at another woman. She waited for something to tell her that she would have another chance. But nothing came. And so, she was making a promise. To everyone. She was going to let Derek go.
But that promise came with one condition.
She looked up as he stepped on to the elevator and the doors closed. "Hey."
"Happy New Year."
"Happy New Year to you."
"You working tonight?"
"Nope. Headed home. You?"
"Headed home as well." He shifted his briefcase in his hands. "Big plans to watch the ball drop?"
She shook her head. "I'm not really a big ball-watcher." At that, he quirked his eyebrow. "Shut up," she warned before continuing. "And thankfully, Izzie – the holiday queen – is on call. So I won't be subjected to it involuntarily. And I have my house to myself." She paused. "How about you?"
He shook his head. "No plans. Addison is working, so I'll probably just hang out at the trailer."
She nodded and they fell into an awkward silence as the elevator descended to the lobby. The doors opened and he paused for a moment before stepping through them.
"Goodnight," she replied, watching him walk away for a moment before hopping through the closing doors.