Joe's was crowded and noisy tonight, a welcome distraction for Derek's mind. His thoughts were running endlessly through his head, trying to make sense of everything. And yet… he felt like he just needed to not-think for awhile.

He paused in the doorway, taking in the sight. It was smoky, the people with cigarettes in the corners. The scent of alcohol seeped from the pores of every passing person. And the music was almost too loud. No one would see this as a romantic place. Yet he did. He did because this was where he had met Meredith for the first time.

So much had happened in that year. He had divorced Addison, something he never thought he'd do but knew had been a long time coming. He had met the love of his life, realized he was in love with her, and yet had still put her through too much emotional pain before finally getting to just enjoy life with her. And now he was stuck in the same hellhole he'd been in before he met her.

Because now she had given up. She was avoiding. And even after her speech this morning, and his acceptance of it, she had forgotten he was supposed to be coming over. She had forgotten, and had instead taken to drowning shots with Alex and Izzie. She was avoiding. She was giving up. And he didn't like it.

Moving towards the bar, he sat down in the stool, noticing that his leg accidentally bumped the person next to him. "Sorry," He started, finally looking up when he had settled. He found himself looking into the eyes of a young woman. Pretty, but plainly so. Apparently trying very hard to get laid, from the looks of her fresh makeup and flirty ensemble. "Hi," He said with a smile.

"Hi," She said back, shooting a flirty smile at him. "Sorry if this is forward, but…can I buy you a drink?" She asked coyly, leaning forward on the bar. He smiled. He didn't know what he was doing, but this didn't feel right. Not right at all.

And it was when he looked into her eyes he realized. Realized she wasn't Meredith. She wasn't the love of his life. She wasn't the woman he had almost lost.

He had almost lost Meredith.

And now what was he doing? Sitting here, in the place where they first met half-flirting with another woman. God, he was such an ass. Who cares if she was avoiding? Since when had that ever stopped him?

"I…" He said, trailing off as the emotion hit him. The emotion that he might never get Meredith back after this. If he accepted the drink. If he flirted with this woman. He may never get her back. And he couldn't live with that.

"No. I'm sorry…no, you can't," He said tersely, but with a small smile, and he stood up, ignoring her bewildered look. He grabbed his coat, slapping a bill on the bar for Joe. Standing up, he strode to the door.

He loved Meredith. With everything in him. And how he ever thought he could let her go, or even ignore her…was impossible. Ever fiber of his being was meant to be with her. So that's where he was headed.

To win his Meredith back.