Hey there guys! I have a huge request! In my profile you can find a link to my blog, but it's a German one (written in English, of course) and I'm not quite sure whether people from other countries have access. You don't need to read anything (I'd be glad, though), just tell me whether it works. I'd be so happy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Grey's. Nah. I don't. Really not. All I own is my beloved laptop and a lot of crazy ideas. Well, I could have done worse.

A/N: Gottcha a new update! Hope you enjoy... Please review!

Chapter Six - There are reasons why I think this life sucks

'God, this can't be happening.'

Of course, Derek had somehow managed to remain a big part of her life.

'It's not like you've spent the last twelve years of your life trying to forget him.', she thought, sarcasm in the stupid voice in her head. It kind of reminded her of Cristina, one of the interns she was going to work with. Great, that didn't really help.

Seeing him again at Thanksgiving and Christmas and other oppertunities to meet the family hadn't really helped. Which was why she had skipped some of the major events pretending she was sick and couldn't come. He was her sister's husband, after all, and having slept with him the day before their wedding wasn't exactly a good thing if you wanted to pretend you were just friends with someone. She had just been grateful for having Mark by her side, holding her hand when she was too occupied trying not to run out of the room to realize that people were talking to her.

And now he was here. Being Derek, being the guy she had been in love with forever, being the guy who broke her heart just by doing the right thing. Everything was working out so wonderfully. She was still – or again – with Mark, both trying but failing to make each other and themselves believe they didn't have other people on their minds. King and queen of denial. Denial was good, denial was healthy... Oh, who was she kidding?

She hated herself for not fighting. And she hated Mark for not fighting. They were losers. Mark was there. He was great. He cared about her, he didn't love, but at least care, which was so much more than anyone had ever been able to give her. Still, she didn't want to be with him. He just wasn't enough. And he didn't want to be with her, because she wasn't enough either, even though she was there and great and she cared about him, too. They both cared, nothing more than that. They wanted to be with other people. Other people who they just couldn't have. Meredith and Mark were king and queen of denial, even if they refused to admit that. There was no way they would ever get what they wanted, so maybe, denial wasn't even a bad thing. But it sucked. And Meredith was screwed. And Derek was her boss now. She hated how fate liked to torture her.

'This so isn't happening.'

Okay, in some situations denial didn't work. Not even for the queen of denial.

Flashback IV The annual game of avoidance and denial

"So, how are you and Mark doing?", John said, smiling in a I'm-interestend-in-my-stepdaughter's-lovelife-I'm-a-good-stepfather way at Meredith. Sometimes she hated her stepfather for being so damn curious about everything that was going on with her. He obviously didn't seem to realize this was one of the most dreaded questions he used to ask every time they had a meet-the-family-get-together-little-thingy. She hated talking about her private life, especially if it was as messed up as it was right now. She could talk about med school, her crazy friends and the things she hated about being a med student, but her love life was the one topic she liked best if it wasn't talked about, not even mentioned. She avoided it, even if she was with Mark, even if he held her hand, assuring her she wasn't the only person in the room that didn't want to talk about that, even if he gave her a little kiss on the forehead to prove everyone they were just fine. She hated that topic.

And she and Mark were not the only people at the table who didn't want to talk about it. It was always so hard not to look at Derek when the conversation turned in the direction of her love life. She was feeling guilty around him, she always felt guilty. Guilty and disappointed. Disappointed because he actually sat there, next to her sister, avoiding to look at someone he had considered to be his best friend once. Hell, they were no friends anymore. Not after what had happened. Not after the wedding. And actually he had never been just her friend. She had always expected to marry him one day and all she had gotten was one stupid drunk night with him the day before he got married to her sister. No, she couldn't be friends with him and he didn't even bother to look at her. He hadn't bothered to look at her since she got out of her room, leaving him naked in her bed and since the wedding, the last time they had dared to share a look. It was most likely that he hated her. He probably thought she was this stupid sleaze who had made him cheat on the love of his life. She probably was this stupid sleaze who had made him cheat on the love of his life. He had every right to hate her.

Still, it felt awkward faking a smile every time she had to meet him, avoiding his eyes that were never looking at her anymore these days, pretending she was happy with Mark, she was glad he and Addison were still fine and that nothing had happened between her and Derek the night before his wedding. The bad part was that he knew exactly that she was neither happy nor glad and that something had indeed happened. Even if it had only been one stupid drunk night. She was not the Meredith he had loved like a sister anymore. She was not Meredith at all anymore. She was someone he had to hate for being this stupid sleaze who had made him cheat on the love of his life. She sighed.

"We're fine.", she said, trying to sound honest and happy, and was a little surprised that it didn't sound like a totally absurd lie. Okay, maybe it sounded a little like: "Drop the topic and leave it at that." And actually it was no lie. They were fine, in their Meredith-and-Mark kind of way. They lived together, they talked to each other, they had great sex. Everything was fine. They just weren't in love. It was a silent agreement, that they didn't talk about the fact that their hearts belonged to two other people. They were together because they didn't want to be alone. It was the only reasonable thing to do. It was way better being miserable together than being miserable alone. So, yes, actually they were fine. Just not in the happy-couple kind of way, but in the Meredith-and-Mark kind of way. It was about compassion and comfort, and about getting laid. The dirty ex-mistresses, best friends with a sex life.

Derek still wasn't looking at her. He was looking down at his plate, seeming very occupied with eating his roast beef. Addie didn't seem to be enjoying this whole love life talk either. Especially because any minute they could be asking her the same question, and she didn't really seem to like answering with Mer and Mark listening. Meredith had asked herself more than once how she dealt with this. It was very unlikely that she knew about her little sister and her husband, but she had had sex with Mark. Meredith wasn't judging her or anything, but she was wondering. Sitting at the same table with her husband and her very own "dirty ex-mistress"... It had to feel weird.

'Of course it feels weird. You're doing the same exact thing, Meredith!", she heard the familiar voice in her head interrupting her thoughts again. Unfortunately it was right. And it made her want to throw up in disgust. She didn't want to be this girl. She didn't want to be her sister's husband's dirty ex-mistress. She so didn't want to be this girl.

When it had happened, she had wanted it. She had thought it would be only for a night so that she would be able to go on with her life afterwards. She had thought it would be okay having Derek around, even if she had slept with him, even if she was in love with him. She had thought it was goodbye. Apparently things had not worked out the way they should have. When she left him in her room it had been alright. During the ceremony it had been alright. At the party afterwards it had been alright. The wounds had still been fresh, neither of them expecting scars. They hadn't had enough time to think about what they had done to have digested it. It hadn't hurt. She hadn't expected the pain to come creeping into her heart when she had gotten back home. And it had been far more awkward, even painful, to meet him again the first time they had seen each other after the wedding.

"And how about you? Are you and Derek alright?" Her stepfather's question interrupted her train of thoughts. It was pointed in Addison's direction now and Meredith could feel herself grabbing Mark's hand under the table. Not one of their relatives seemed to notice what John's simple questions did to the four people they were addressed to. They never did. It was like a tradition, an annual game of avoidance and denial, and all they could do was play it with them. But then again, Meredith was the freaking queen of denial and avoidance. She was always good at the game. And the others were getting better at it, too.

'Yeah, Mer, the game is fun!', the sarcastic voice in her head said grinning. Meredith couldn't do anything but think:

'Oh, shut up!"

"We could not be any better, Dad.", Addie said, her smile seeming honest, but right now it was only a mask. Concerning Meredith and Mark, they could be better. Usually they were fine, Meredith knew they were fine, but not as long as the dirty ex-mistresses were around. And she hated the fact that she was one of them. That she would always be one of them.