Life is Short

A/N: I'm not sure if I like this or not, but I'm going to post it anyway. It's probably been done a million times, but oh well. Alternate take on the ending of 2.17 (As We Know It.) Some dialogue is taken, but not much. MerDer.

Derek sat quietly in the lobby after the bomb scare. He couldn't bring himself to go home to Addison, his wife, when Meredith had been so close to death. He couldn't bring himself to say "I love you" to his wife when he couldn't love her. He couldn't bring himself to live a lie anymore. He had almost lost his Meredith. And that was the one thing he couldn't stand for.

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Derek stood in Meredith's doorway. She looked as if she had been asleep, so he said quietly, "Sorry to wake you."

"I wasn't asleep." She looked apathetic as she whispered this.

"Oh. Okay." They stood silently in her front entryway until he broke the silence. "So you almost died today."

She nodded. "Yeah. I almost died today."

He could see that she didn't want to pursuer the topic, so he muttered, "Glad you didn't die today," and turned away. But he stopped himself and remembered what he had come for. "Mer," he called.

She turned back towards him and nodded.

Derek let himself back in the door and walked towards her, not stopping until he was inches from her face. "I can't go back home," he started. "I can't go back home and lay in bed next to I woman I can't, I won't love. I won't love her because I have you. You're the one thing I have left. I lost everything and you're the one thing I have left. And today I almost lost you. I can't lose you too." He broke in to sobs and muttered again, "I can't lose you again."

Meredith wrapped her arms aound him and calmed him until all that was left of his breakdown was the continual mantra of "I can't lose you" whispered from his lips.

"Meredith," he said after regaining his composure. "Meredith, I can't lose you. I still love you, and I'll always love you. Life is too short to be with the one you don't love. I'm so sorry. For everything."

In response, she deeply kissed him. "I love you too."

FIN

A/N: I don't know if I like it or not. Review and tell me what you think. But no flames, because I don't even know if I like it, so you probably won't like it.