Meredith&Cristina. "It's still dark. And raining. And you're still lying in bed with your best friend who was left at the altar and you're the girl who can't handle relationships when you have the perfect man." Spoilers up to 4x03. Inspired by Regina Spektor's "Lacrimosa."

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. (Shonda Rimes, Shondaland, ABC, et al.) The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.

The Easier Way
by lostlikealice

Is this supposed to be easy? Because it's not.

It's not.

No one said life was easy, but you know that. Because, well, your life sucks. No one is about to say that Meredith Grey's life doesn't suck. No one's about to say that her life sucking isn't just a little bit her fault, though, either. Because everyone knows that you don't exactly make things easy for yourself. Oh no. It's not the way of a Grey to make their life easier.

No, it's easier to make the bad decision.

It's easier to break up your potentially perfect relationship, and instead keep it all sex, secret and dirty and in closets and on-call rooms. It's easier when your panties end up in the pocket of his tux or he has to sneak out minutes before you, because then he's not depending on you and you're not depending on him.

It's raining. It's dark and you're lying in your bed with Cristina (not like that) and you've been pointedly not talking at all -- definitely not girl-talking -- for a half hour now. Because sometimes what you need most is someone who you know will keep you from getting self-centered and talking about yourself and obsessing.

Not that you obsess anymore. Not really.

"The sex is still good," you say to Cristina.

Cristina gives you a look, a skeptical look, her practically trademarked deadpan skeptical look. "Of course the sex is good. Dirty forbidden sex is always better."

You tilt your head up to look at the ceiling. "It's not like that," you explain. "It's not forbidden. No one's stopping us. I'm a resident now and -- he's still my boss, but everyone knows."

"Everyone who cares, except me, thinks you're broken up," Cristina says. "Anyway, you're the one who broke up with him. You think it's forbidden, so it's forbidden, and so it's forbidden sex. Really great forbidden sex."

"I never said it was dirty sex," you say after a moment.

"It's you and McDreamy. Of course it's dirty sex. All you two have to do is stand next to each other and everyone else can feel your dirty nympho vibes. No offense," Cristina adds. "There is nothing wrong with dirty."

"Well, then." Okay, that's settled, you and Derek are having dirty secret forbidden sex. "That's everything."

She sits up, examining you as though thinking she'll be able to find your lies by just looking at you. "That's it?"

"It's S&M. Sex and mocking," you say quickly, as her eyebrows shoot up. "That's all we do."

"You have sex and you mock each other." Cristina appraises that. "Not bad."

Izzie would hate this. This is why Cristina's your person, because she gets it. "Yeah, it's underrated. The sex-only thing, I mean. Well. And the mocking."

Cristina falls silent and you guess she's just bored with the topic or something, so you roll onto your stomach and flick on the light. "Ow. Turn that off," she commands.

"It's dark," you point out.

"It was okay," she says. "Come on, Meredith."

You shrug and flick it off, laying on your stomach again and looking at her. "Do you want to go drink at Joe's or something?"

She considers it. "Nah." She looks at you and rolls her eyes, running her fingers through her hair and laying heavily back on the pillow in some sort of exasperation. "Meredith."

Well, you can't help but be curious. "What?" you ask.

"I'm asking this because you obviously want me to but I swear I don't need detail. Okay?"

"Shoot," you say, with an open gesture.

Cristina gives an exasperated little sigh but goes on and asks. "You don't really want this S&M thing with McDreamy, do you?"

So it is the question you were expecting. Too bad you didn't bother thinking up a nice little answer and here's hoping you won't ramble. "Um."

She nods to herself and closes her eyes. "I knew it. What's the problem now?"

You look at her with a slightly amused yet appalled look. "I just said 'Um,' let me finish."

"Okay. Okay, then go on, finish." Cristina gestures, impatient.

"I'm going to! Cristina!"

"Fine. Okay, good. Go on."

It takes a while for you to find words. Because this is one of those things you don't like putting words to, because then you might say them, and then Derek might hear them. Since you're not known for having sense when talking to Derek. (Pick me, choose me, love me. Right.) "He's not going to go," you say. "He cheated on Addison with me and then he cheated on Addison with me again and I dated Finn and then I drowned and -- look, he's sticking around. He's not going to go."

"...I'm sorry, is there something wrong with that?" Cristina says after a moment.

You really only realize your faux pas at that point. "Oh. Sorry."

"It's nothing. Go on."

"Really?"

"Yes. Stop it. You're going to give me a headache. I'm dealing. I'm fine. Go on."

"If you're sure -- "

"Meredith."

You give in, you raise your arms in frustration to curse your bad luck. Right. Your bad luck in securing the hot amazing famous neurology surgeon who wants to spend his life with you. "He's not going to go. What do I do with him? I'm probably going to live until I'm eighty-something, that's another fifty years with Derek. What do you do for fifty years?"

"I don't know," Cristina says. And you can hear just the echo of bitterness and regret in her voice because she'll probably never get married and have the happily ever after. Burke was her last shot. She didn't want it, not before Burke. Now she does, sort of, and really, you do not want to play 20 questions with her on this. But she goes on. "I think you're supposed to have kids and go to family parties and grow sick to death of each other. And then die."

"Oh, is that it," you say ironically. "Looking forward to that, really."

"So let me get this straight," she says, ignoring you. "You want the jealousy rights and the possession rights over McDreamy but you don't want the responsibilities that go with having an actual relationship. And you know he's not leaving you so of course he'll let you get away with it."

You pause and take that in. "You just made me sound sort of like a bitch," you point out.

"It's more fucked-up than bitchy," Cristina reassures you. "Interesting psych case."

"Shut up," you say with a sigh, dropping your face into the pillow.

Cristina stays silent, thinking or letting you think, before she says, "Don't worry about it."

"I'm not," you mutter. But you are. Sort of. In the back of your head, in the place you can drown out with tequila.

"Yes you are."

"Am not."

"Mature."

"Surgery-stealer."

"Dirty-sex-hider."

You concede that with a shrug. "I'll talk to him eventually."

Cristina rolls over onto her side to look at you. "I'm sure."

You look her right in the face, your eyebrows raised. "I mean it," you say.

"Okay," she says. "Whatever you say."

You grab your pillow and push it into her face. She pushes it away. "Okay, I am so not getting into the stereotypical girl's pillowfight right now."

"Spoilsport," you say, seizing your pillow again. "Do you want to sleep?"

Cristina closes her eyes. "... Yeah. I want to sleep."

You fluff your pillow and rest against it. "Good. Me too."

It's still dark. And raining. And you're still lying in bed with your best friend who was left at the altar and you're the girl who can't handle relationships when you have the perfect man. No, things aren't easy and they aren't simple, but at least in this room right now one thing is obvious.

It is so, so much easier to make the bad decision.