Meredith couldn't sleep. She wouldn't sleep. She was too busy making plans, she told Derek. She had so many plans to make. Derek quickly realized that she had no plans to make. She was busying herself with nothing. Thatcher had made any funeral plans long before he even got sick. Thatcher had always been a planner, through and through. He always told Meredith he had to have his ducks in a row. There were no plans that Meredith had to make.
"Here, Mer." Derek said as he held the pills out in front of her. "You need these, baby. You really need to sleep."
"I don't need to sleep. I have things to do. I. Do. Not. Need. To. Sleep." She growled. "That is the last thing I need."
The truth was, she didn't want to sleep. Sleep brought bad dreams. Sleep scared her to death. Sleep was her biggest fear at the moment. Sleep reminded her of things that she didn't want to remember. She had tried to sleep the day she came home from the hospital and she couldn't. She only woke up in a cold sweat.
"It will be okay, Meredith. You need your rest. You aren't eating or sleeping like you should be. You are going to get weak." Derek told her as he rubbed her back. "Come on..." He told her as he held his hand out with the pills and a tall glass of much needed water.
"Fine." Meredith sighed. She was almost sure he would just shove it down her throat and this was just so much easier. "I need enough though. I don't want to wake up right away. Okay?" She asked with a raised brow.
"Okay." Derek agreed. He knew she was afraid to sleep. He had seen her wake up. When she did, it broke his heart. She looked like a lost little girl. She had looked like a lost little girl since the day her dad died. He didn't even feel that he could mourn. He had to be strong for her. "Sleep well." He told her as he tucked her in, not bothering to change her out of her clothes.
Meredith felt a soft kiss on her head just as she closed her eyes. When she closed her eyes, all she could see was her father's cold body. Cold. Dead. Gray. He looked like his name. The first time she had went in, he was laying in the OR. He looked alive. He looked like he could sit up and laugh his fool head off at the joke he had played. He wasn't alive. The surgical team had pulled all the tubes and wires, leaving him for Meredith to see.
Meredith felt sickened, haunted by that vision. She thanked god that she was alone in the room. Derek had come in but she had politely asked him to leave. She felt that she needed to be alone with her father. The minute he left the room, she laid her head on her father's cooling chest. So badly she needed it to be a joke. So badly she needed him to lift his hand and pat her back like he did when she was little.
In that OR, all alone, the thoughts of childhood were forefront. She remembered only the good. It had all been locked up for so long. He was right, he did love her just as he claimed. She remembered how sad he looked when he had to leave her as a little girl. She wasn't thinking about his threats and punishments. She wasn't thinking about the fear he had struck in both she and Derek's hearts.
It seemed that she couldn't come to grips with it. Derek had finally pulled her away after they had to clear the OR. They couldn't leave Thatcher in there when there was a full board, even if the surgery was hours shorter than they thought it would be. Derek pulled her away, Richard saying how sorry he was. He wasn't sorry and she knew it. He was just sorry that it wasn't a success. He was sorry his hospital wouldn't be in the JAMA. He was not sorry for her loss.
Meredith and Derek had went home, only with Meredith to sneak away later. It could still be a joke. She couldn't believe he was dead. So she jumped in her car and snuck away. She had to see that he was really gone. Her mind kept building hopes as she drove towards the hospital. What a surprise it would be. She almost deserved the cruel trick he had played on her.
Suspense built inside of her as she crept down through the tight basement corridors. She was feeling empty, the reality coming to her that her father very well could be in there. In fact, it was most likely and she knew it- She had seen him dead. She drew in a breath as she walked towards the morgue. It was locked. She had to slide her card and she didn't want to. Sure, she was glad there was no one there, but she also didn't want Richard to know she was there and alert Derek.
The feeling that she felt when she opened the door and slid his body out was overwhelming. His cold hard body laid before her, eyes closed but so obviously not asleep. The chills ran down her spine as she crumbled to the floor. That was what made her wake up in a cold sweat. That image. And that was why she didn't want to sleep.
Derek was glad that Meredith had slept. He had checked her time and again through the night. At some points she looked like she was resting peacefully, then she would start to whimper and at one point she was sweating. He knew how she was feeling, every single bit of it. He didn't know how to help her, other than being supportive. She had learned to be strong all on her own, there wasn't much that she thought she couldn't handle and this seemed to be one of those things.
Derek wasn't sure what they were doing as far as her father's funeral was concerned. It seemed she didn't really talk about it, and he was afraid to bring it up incase it would upset her. He sat at the kitchen table, wondering what to do. Thankfully the kids were still asleep. Meredith had been very absent as far as they were concerned, not that it wasn't expected. Derek drew in a breath and grabbed his phone, dialing the only person he knew to call.
"Hello, son." Carol Shepherd said happily. She was always glad to hear from her son, no matter what was going on. It seemed Derek Shepherd had the ability to make everything better. That was mostly likely because she was sure she had lost him for all those years. She wouldn't let a day go by without appreciating that he was indeed alive.
"Hi, mom." Derek said in a monotone voice. The truth was, he was sad. He was feeling Meredith's pain and there was no way around that. His fingers flipped the teaspoon he had used to stir the sugar in his coffee. He never used sugar but today it seemed like it was needed.
"What's wrong, Derek? What is wrong?" Carol asked with concern. He sounded like his puppy just died and she didn't like it one bit. When Derek hurt, she hurt plain and simple. It had been that way since he was a little boy.
"Thatcher died, mom." Derek said solemnly. Truthfully, he had just plain forgot to tell her. He had been so concerned about Meredith, there wasn't much else going through his head. He knew that she had a fondness for Thatcher and that made his forgetfulness ten times worse.
"What?" Carol asked in shock as she fell to her seat. She had really grown to like Thatcher. In fact, she saw him as someone she could be happy with. For a split second she fantasized about living out the rest of her life with him. That was all it was, a fantasy. She quickly realized that it would be too much for the whole family, especially Derek. "What do you mean? He was going to be fine. He was having the surgery. He was ready. He had plans..."
"I'm surprised you didn't hear- I was so wrapped up. Meredith is a mess, mom. A real mess. She had all these feelings of guilt and hell- I just don't know. I thought for sure you heard it on the news. Everyone knows. I should have told you sooner. It's just Meredith is a wreck and I never leave her side." Derek explained. He could tell but the edge on his mother's voice that she hadn't known, and it hurt him although he was glad it came from him.
"I don't watch the news anymore." She said sadly as she stared at her paisley tablecloth. "And I guess this is why..." A sigh escaped her lips. "I'm just so shocked. He seemed like such a nice guy. He was really trying. God was he sorry for how he had treated Meredith. He was so sorry. I hope she knows... I hope she knows how much she meant to him." Carol told Derek. She wasn't even sure what to say, so much was going through her head. She felt like she genuinely lost a friend. "When is the funeral?"
"I don't even know yet." Derek admitted. "I don't know when the funeral is- I'm afraid to ask her. She is so upset, I'm afraid to ask." Derek said as he admitted his fears. He quickly got quiet as he realized Meredith was standing before him. He could just feel her presence, something he had always been able to sense.
"I'm not a fucking china doll, Derek." Meredith snapped. Derek looked at her in shock, feeling like now he had just upset her more. "The funeral is in two days. We leave tomorrow on the jet with dad." She told him frankly as she poured her coffee. She looked like the wrath of God, hair a matted mess in her day old clothing.
"To Italy? Tomorrow?" Derek asked, surprised that it didn't hit him. Of course Thatcher would go back to Italy. He would be buried in the cemetery on the grounds.
"Yes, Derek. Tomorrow." She responded as she felt queasy. She didn't want to do this, but it seemed life went on, whether she wanted it to or not.
I have been unwell and that is why I haven't been updating. I am trying!