For the last time I'd like to thank everyone who's read and reviewed. This chapter is for you, and I hope that you'll be satisfied. I feel I took a chance with this story, since it's not the type that people usually write, not that I know of at least. All of you have made it worth it. Thank you so much for all you've done for me. Okay, I sound stupid now, but I don't care. Because you all really have helped me, and you make me keep trying. So all of you pat yourselves on the back. You made this story happen. And if you hated it, it's all your fault.
Okay, so that will be mine. Whatever.
Thank you again, and I hope to hear from you one last time.
Dorian McCormack had fled the scene quickly; he also had been caught on his way out the door. He was taken into police custody. The people were alerted that the man who had been responsible for the deaths of all those women was caught. So many people were relieved. They really could go outside now. They were free from the danger that they always felt was following them. Things could go back to the way they were. Dorian McCormack could sit in jail for the rest of his life to live with his guilt and only his guilt. Of course he didn't have any guilt to live with, so that wasn't that much of a deal for him.
But not everyone was relieved, not at the price that it cost. The threat was gone, that was true; but so were six amazing women, one of those women being Meredith Grey.
Cristina Yang was sitting by herself in a dark empty hallway. It was quiet because of the late hour, and it was also unbearable. She was trying to accept what she had learned today. She was still trying to figure out how she had even been taken. She should have known. And now…her person was gone, killed at the hand of some messed up madman who had probably enjoyed every second of it.
The fact that she was gone didn't make sense, it didn't seem real. She was Meredith. She was always there, always sure. She was the link that kept them together. Without her…nothing would be right again. She had been through so much in her life. And this was the way she went.
Why had she gone with him? How stupid could she have been? Like he would have let Izzie roam free after everything that had happened. There was no way. She had wasted her time for nothing. She was smarter than that. She knew better. But her friend was in need. Who knows what he said to her or did. Cristina was sure there was a way he could be persuasive enough. But still. There would always be a but still. If only something could have happened, if only someone could have said something.
Tears that she barely ever cried came to her eyes. She was ashamed of showing this weakness. But she could not help it. Her friend was gone, and she hadn't said goodbye. She just died out of nowhere. She had left her here alone, and now she had to deal with it. She had to deal with it by herself. Burke had left her. Now Meredith was gone. She really was alone.
Callie saw Cristina sitting but herself down the hallway. She wasn't sure if it was wise to approach her or not. Cristina wasn't the type of person to try to comfort…but she didn't think that she could just leave her alone there, not without trying first.
She slowly walked up to the spot where Cristina was sitting. Cristina did not look at her; Callie was not even sure if she even noticed her. She hesitated a moment longer, then said, "Are you-are you okay?"
Cristina jumped, which proved Callie's thought that she was oblivious. She quickly wiped her eyes, so Callie didn't see her weakness. But she already did.
"I'm fine," Cristina said at once.
"I don't think you are."
"Well I am. So leave me alone."
"I know it's hard-"
"No, you don't," Cristina said angrily, standing up. "You don't know how I'm feeling right now. My best friend was just murdered. You don't know how if feel."
"Cristina," Callie said sadly, only wanting to help. But Cristina didn't except it and walked away to find a place where everyone would leave her alone.
George was sitting by himself at Izzie's side, listen to the steady sound of the machines and trying to absorb everything that that happened in the last few hours. Izzie was alive, and for that he would be forever grateful. But Meredith wasn't, and he'd forever be sad. The mixture of thankfulness and sorrow confused him. He wished that Meredith could be here with him. Tell him what to do. But that was now quite impossible, and part of the problem. He felt his throat start to burn and tried to fight it. He was trying to be strong. He had to be strong, for himself and Izzie. He knew that she would not take this well. She would blame herself as much as he blamed himself.
He looked up as she moved slightly. His heart beat quickly. She was opening her eyes, and he could no longer stop the tears that he had been fighting. It made it real. She was really alive.
And Meredith really wasn't.
She looked at him. He smiled but tried to hide his tears, just as Cristina had. But Izzie saw through it, just like Callie.
"Why are you crying?" she asked him.
He shook his head. "It's just been really emotional." He looked down for a moment. "Bailey was able to stop the bleeding. Callie also had to work on you-"
"Callie? I'm surprised."
"Well don't be. She's not that terrible."
"She hates me."
"Well then she doesn't hate you that much."
She smiled. "But you're going to be just fine," he said. "You beat it."
"Of course I did," she said. She stopped and her expression changed into worry. George knew what she was going to say before she said anything, and he really wished that she wouldn't.
"Meredith," she said. "I told you where to go, didn't I?"
"Yeah, you did."
"And did you? Did somebody?"
"Yes. Derek and the cops went. They caught him. He's gonna be put away-"
"But Meredith. Did they find her?"
He was silent for a second. "Yes."
"And?" she asked impatiently. "Is she okay? Did they get her out of there?"
George said nothing. Izzie was waiting for him to say something. That fact that he wasn't really scared her.
"George," she said pleadingly. "Just tell me that they got her out of there. Please tell me that."
He just looked at the floor. She felt tears coming to her eyes.
"George please," she whispered.
It took him a minute to look at her again. She now had tears rolling down her face.
"I'm sorry," he said, his voice cracking. "They tried, they really did but-"
"George, don't say this."
"But they couldn't do anything for her. They were too late."
"She can't," she whispered. "I gave you the way to go, I saw her there, and she shouldn't have been. He didn't do that to her. He couldn't have."
He said nothing, just looked at her. She could not except that this had happened. Because if this had happened, then it was her fault. Meredith was there for her. So she could save her. And in the end, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't return the favor. She could not imagine Meredith not being there. The world wouldn't be right without Meredith in it. Izzie remembered when Denny died. That had also been her fault. She might as well stay away from people. Then maybe she wouldn't be responsible for anyone else's death.
Miranda Bailey watched them from outside the door. She had this emptiness in her. She had save one of them, and lost the other. It was a miracle that Izzie was alive, that was true. That made things better. But it didn't seem that way right now. Right now it seemed that nothing had gone right. He was caught. Izzie lived. But still it felt that nothing had gone right. Meredith had been through so much…and for it to be like the way it was…she didn't deserve that. Bailey wondered if any of them would really ever accept what had happened. She did believe that every one of them would find a way to blame themselves.
Alex Karev sat in the empty gallery, staring down at the OR below. Meredith Grey had been killed…dark and twisty Meredith. She was indeed dark and twisty inside, but she always found a way to get through it. She was able to keep herself together. She was a strong, admirable person. Just like Lexie had been. Both of them were gone…that was hard to believe. Both sisters, both young, both killed by the same guy. It was crazy to think that. It was crazy to think that it had happened to either of them. Always there, always sure. And now they were gone, suddenly, unexpectedly. It would be hard to get used to the fact that neither of them were coming back. Not with the way that it happened. Because it shouldn't have happened. And it was hard to think that it did.
Someone came into the room. It was Bailey. She had been going around, trying to check on her residents. She had not found Cristina yet, but she planned on finding her soon. She did not know how Cristina would handle this. And Alex…where there had already been Lexie.
She sat down next to him. He did not look at her. She looked at the floor for a minute.
"Izzie woke up," she said. He looked at her.
"I'm glad," he said, and sounded it despite the sadness in his voice. "I was worried."
"Yeah," Bailey agreed. He looked away again. She was trying to think of something to say. She had comforted many families in these situations, but this time it was different. She could not even comfort herself.
"I know it was unexpected," she said. "And I know that makes it harder than anything. We weren't prepared, and now all of a sudden she's gone, when she wasn't supposed to be."
"None of them were," he said. She sighed.
"I know," she said. "And I know that-that it's going to be hard."
"Yeah, I don't need this speech, I know how it goes," he said firmly. "I don't need to hear it. I could recite it to you."
She sighed again. This wasn't going to be easy for any of them. And she did not know how long it would take for it to become easier. Maybe never. She knew that she would never forget it. She'd never forget Meredith Grey and what happened on this day.
Mark Sloan walked into the dark, nearly empty conference room. He hesitated for a moment; he felt like he had already lived this moment before. It wasn't all that long ago that a very similar situation happened. Except this time, there was no chance it saving her.
Derek was sitting against the wall by himself, trying to hide from the outside world. All he could think about was that he should be home with Meredith right now, holding her close. He could not imagine going home now. He could not imagine ever sleeping again. Not when Meredith was not lying there next to him. He had done so much to her, had hurt her too many times…and then in her time of need, he was unable to save her. He should have been able to save her. He saved people every day. Why could he not save her?
Mark approached him cautiously. Derek looked up at him. They looked at each other for a long time, as though silently communicating. And it wasn't hard to do. Mark did not need to ask Derek anything; he could see every emotion sketched on his face: fear, loss, anger, confusion. He was not Derek Shepard right now, not the brilliant adored Neurosurgeon. He was a lost scared man, completely broken inside.
"I went into surgery," Derek said. "I went into surgery, and that's the last time I saw her. The whole time I was in surgery, she had been taken and was in the hands of that…."
He seemed not to find a harsh enough word.
"You couldn't have known," Mark said. "There was no way. No one knew that she was gone until the girl said something."
Derek shook his head. "I never thought that when I got out of that surgery that I'd hear that Meredith was taken. And I tried. I know I tried. But I didn't try hard enough."
"I watched it happen," Derek said, cutting him off and looking angry; he was supposed to be blamed for this. Anyone who didn't was wrong. "I was right there. I watched him kill her Mark. I was there. I saw her die. And you said I tried? He didn't have me held back. I wasn't paralyzed. I tried to reason with him. I should have known that that wouldn't do any good. How stupid could I be?"
"Reasoning was logical," Mark said, knowing that he wasn't going to get Derek to see his way. "He was crazy. If you'd done anything else he would have just killed you both right there and-"
"Well right now I think it would be a whole hell of a lot better if I was with her," Derek said angrily and stood up. They looked at each other for another few moments, then Derek left the room.
Everyone was dressed in black and not speaking much. George sat next to Izzie, who had insisted on letting her come, but since then hadn't said a word. Cristina was sitting upright and seemed to be in her own world. A world of shock that they were here. It really happened. This was really their friend's funeral.
Derek was sitting upfront by himself. He was staring at the casket that was holding the woman he loved. The woman he had planned on spending the rest of his life with. She was there in front of him. She was there as though she were sleeping. But she wasn't. not unless you called it sleeping for eternity. He could not go any closer than he was. He could not see her that way. He could not say goodbye.
Tears came to his eyes and he looked away. Several people were looking at him but didn't say anything. He didn't care if they talked about them. As long as they didn't dare speak to them he was fine with it. They had no idea how he was feeling. No one had been there. None of them had witnessed it like he did. None of them could ever understand. Meredith had been everything to him, his life, his one true love. He never saw himself with any one else, and did not think that he ever could.
No matter how hard he tried, he never would.