DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, except Seth. This is not done for profit.
Meredith groaned as her screaming alarm clock awoke her from her alcohol induced slumber. She rolled over and turned it off. Her head was pounding, her throat was dry and sore and she knew that she would have to vomit before the morning was over. If she'd known better she would have regretted drinking herself to sleep but she didn't. It was the only way that she would be able to get to sleep at all. She closed her eyes again and ran over the events of the night before.
"I don't want you dating anybody else," she had told Derek at the hospital. She was sure that he knew what an enormous step this was for her; to admit that the break up sex wasn't enough. She loved him and whilst she couldn't even admit that to herself just yet, she was making progress.
"What are you so chirpy about?" an exhausted Christina had asked as Meredith skipped into the residents' lounge. "Did you get on Hahn's new procedure? Because I have worked way too hard to miss out on-"
"What?... No," Meredith said "I told Derek not to date anybody else." Christina looked noticeably impressed
"And?" Christina asked. "What did he say?"
"He said nothing," Meredith said with a satisfied smile. "He didn't need to. Let's go get a drink."
"We don't finish for another ten minutes," Christina said.
"So we'll be rebels," Meredith said with a mischievous smile. "I know you can do it."
"Oh shut up," Christina said, closing the enormous textbook in front of her. "You're buying."
Meredith and Christina entered Joe's bar chatting away. Christina had stopped sharp when she saw something she wished Meredith didn't have to see.
"What is it?" Meredith asked, following Christina's stunned gaze. In the corner of the bar, away from the noise of the drunken hospital stuff, Derek sat at a table with a woman that Meredith vaguely recognised as a scrub nurse that she had seen on several surgeries.
"Who's that?" Meredith asked.
"I don't know," Christina replied, equally stunned.
"It's probably nothing," Meredith said, turning her eyes away from Derek and back to Christina. "I eat lunch with George and Alex all the time and…" her voice trailed off as she saw Christina's facial expression change dramatically. Meredith turned her head back around to see Derek and the scrub nurse kissing tenderly. Derek gently pulled away and his eyes quickly scanned the room to see if anybody had noticed. He didn't see Meredith and Christina.
"Mer-" Christina started to say.
"Just don't-" Meredith had said, taking off out the door. Christina followed her.
"Meredith, slow down for God's sake. Come on."
"I'm so stupid," Meredith shouted back. "Please, I just want to be alone."
The phone in Meredith's room rang, snapping her out of her thoughts. She didn't know how long she had been lying there, hung-over and replaying what she had seen the night before over in her head. She picked up her phone. It was Christina.
"Where are you?" she asked. "It's 8:30. Our shift started an hour and a half ago."
"What?" Meredith asked.
"You sound like crap," Christina snapped. She wasn't one to mince her words.
"I'll be there as soon as I can," Meredith said, hanging up the phone and forcing herself to get into the shower.
Twenty minutes later Meredith arrived at work.
"You look trashed," Alex said as they crossed paths in the hallway.
"Thanks," she replied sarcastically.
"Grey!" Miranda Bailey called out from behind her. Meredith prepared herself for the onslaught. "Now I don't know why you're here nearly two hours late but you've missed your surgery with Slone."
"I'm sorry," Meredith said. "I won't miss the next one."
"I'm afraid you will," Bailey said. "Stevens has taken your position in plastics for the week. Now I was going to stick you in post op to teach you a lesson but Doctor Shepherd has requested your presence in one of his surgeries this afternoon."
"Can I go to post op?" Meredith asked. Bailey raised her eyebrows at her.
"Are you insane?" she asked.
"Quite possibly," Meredith answered in all seriousness. Bailey shrugged.
"Take it up with Shepherd," she said. Meredith sighed and continued down the hall.
By the afternoon and after two vomiting spells, Meredith had managed to avoid crossing paths with Derek, who had been stuck in a difficult surgery all morning. Her luck changed when she went to visit a patient, trailed by her nervous interns, and saw Derek standing in the room.
"Doctor Grey," he said with a slight smile. "I'm glad you could join us." Meredith didn't reply. "Can you please explain the procedure which we are going to perform on Mister Williamson?"
"Sure," Meredith said with a smile at the patient, trying her hardest not to appear hung-over. She glanced at the notes on the clipboard in front of her.
"Mister Williamson has a grade one benign tumor which is in close proximity to the Vagus nerve. What does this nerve affect?" she asked her interns.
"It affects the involuntary muscles such as the heart and parts of the intestines," George answered.
"Very good," Meredith replied.
"And why do we need to remove this tumor, even though it's not malignant, as soon as possible?" she asked again.
"Because he could die if we don't," one of the interns replied. Meredith winced.
"I'm sorry," Meredith said to her patient. "They're interns who unfortunately have spent too much time looking at textbooks and not enough time with patients."
"It's fine," Mister Johnson replied with a gentle smile. "Everyone has to learn sometime." Meredith smiled sympathetically.
"Doctor Shepherd is going to make an incision into your scalp and then he will remove a piece of your skull to reach the affected area. The size and shape of the tumor means that as far as brain tumors go, it is one of the better ones to have. The area in which it is located means that this procedure will take longer than usual as more delicacy is required. You will be moved to ICU when it's over. Do you have any questions?"
"Those interns won't be touching me will they?" he asked.
"You have my word," Meredith said.
"Now, Doctor Grey, if I can get a word in," Derek said. "Mister Williamson, I need you to sign these consent forms and to notify us of your next of kin."
"That would be me," a handsome young man, seated beside the patient said, standing up. "I'm Seth. Your patient's son." He looked at Meredith with a charming smile. He leant forward and kissed her on the cheek. "I'm sorry," he said, with pretend shyness. "I have trouble controlling myself in the presence of such beautiful women." Meredith's interns giggled. Meredith didn't know what to say.
"Doctor Grey!" Meredith and her interns were following Derek into theatre when she heard somebody calling out her name. She turned around to see that it was Seth. "You're about to operate on my father."
"I remember," Meredith replied. Her interns giggled. "Shoo!" she said to them, gesturing for them to go away. "Look, your father is in excellent hands and-"
"I don't doubt that," Seth said with a charming smile. He stood close to Meredith, almost forcing her to take in his strong physique, his baby blue eyes and his perfect hair. He could have been a model, she thought. "What are you doing tonight?" he asked.
"Uh… finishing off assisting in your father's surgery."
Getting drunk and yelling at Derek she thought to herself. "I uh… haven't really thought about it." He handed her an invitation.
"I'm a DJ and I'm opening a new club tonight. My aunt's gonna take over watching Dad here. I asked around and I hear that you have a day off tomorrow so I'm gonna put your name on the door. When you get there you ask for me and I'll give you my undivided attention. I'll get you drinks; play any song you want and give you access to all the VIP areas."
"Thanks, I'll think about it," Meredith said, flattered.
"No thank you for taking care of my father," Seth said. "Please come. I haven't been able to get you out of my head."
Meredith washed her hands under the steaming hot water and then froze when she saw the face of the nurse who went to help her into her surgical gown.
"Problem?" Rose asked. Meredith swallowed.
"No," she uttered unconvincingly. She let Rose help her into her gown and they entered the operating theatre together. Derek's eyes widened when he saw them together. Meredith glared at him.
"Okay are we ready to go he asked?"
"He's out. Whenever you're ready," the Anesthetist said.
"Okay here we go," Derek said, slowly making the incision on Mister Williamson's head which had been shaved and sterilized. A nurse started the music that Derek had previously selected.
"Nice way of telling me," Meredith said quietly. She surprised herself by bringing it up at such a delicate moment.
"What?" Derek replied. Meredith looked towards Rose who was adjusting one of the machines. "How did you-" Derek whispered.
"Well you didn't try too hard to hide it," Meredith whispered back angrily, but also impressed by the incision that Derek had made on Mister Williamson's head. "I saw you at Joe's." Derek sighed.
"I tried to tell you," he said.
"Last night when you told me not to date but you wouldn't let me talk."
"So are we over?" Meredith asked. Derek sighed and didn't answer. He began the dedicate task of cutting into Mister Williamson's skull. "I'm going to page somebody else," Meredith said.
"What?" Derek asked.
"I don't want to be responsible for this patient dying." Meredith stormed out of the OR leaving her stunned interns standing there wide eyed.
Meredith sat in her room with an empty bottle of tequila. She wasn't completely drunk, surprisingly but she was getting there. She checked her phone to see if Derek had called her. Nothing. As she pulled the phone out of her bag the invitation that Seth had given her fell to the floor. She looked at the clock. It was 10:45pm. Meredith knew that she wouldn't be sleeping that night no matter how much she drank so she stumbled into a short skirt, a halter top and heals and caught a taxi to the club.
"Doctor Grey!" Seth greeted her at the door after she had asked for him.
"Call me Meredith," she said, slurring slightly.
"Come with me, gorgeous," Seth said charmingly, putting his arm around her. "You look amazing. Let me get you a drink." They went into the noisy club and pushed through a crowd of people. Seth lifted the rope to the VIP section where a waitress passed them a drink each. Seth took Meredith over to the DJ's booth and together they selected songs and drank, laughing and enjoying each other's company. "Come over here," Seth said, taking Meredith's hand once he had programmed a number of songs into his equipment. He led her into a back room, picking up two more drinks on the way. He pulled a vial out of his pocket once they were away from the crowd. He poured half of it into his drink and sunk it back. "Now this is now you have a good time," he said with a mischievous grin. "Have some."
"What is it?" Meredith asked, slurring even more now.
"It's a little something I like to call fantasy," Seth said. "It makes your wildest dreams come true. It's the best feeling. You forget you're human, you know? You just feel so free."
The doctor in Meredith knew exactly what it was. Somewhere within her she knew exactly what this drug could do for her; good and bad, however in that moment the dark and twisty, angry, hurt and very drunk Meredith overpowered the good, sensible girl. She took the vial and tipped the remainder of the drug into her drink and sunk it back like there was no tomorrow.
"Let's dance," she said to Seth, pulling him out of the room and onto the dance floor.
"What's wrong?" Seth asked Meredith as she stopped dancing. "Come on!" he said, grabbing her arms and trying to dance with her. Meredith pulled away. Everything was spinning. Her chest felt tight and she was having great difficulty breathing. She tried to grab onto something that wasn't moving but everything was spinning. Suddenly she fell to the floor and started convulsing. The women around her started screaming, panicking as Meredith's eyes rolled back in her head and she foamed at the mouth as she thrashed about violently on the floor.
"Somebody call an ambulance!"