It had been two hours since she left Mark in the diner. She hadn't heard or seen him in hours. Part of her wished she wouldn't. She hadn't fallen asleep at all since Richard left. She just lied in the bed Richard so graciously offered. Tears rolled off her cheeks in waves. Every now and then she'd find the strength to stop them, but they always came back with a vengeance. Her eyes moved from the window to Allie every time she made a noise in her sleep. Finally, Allie seemed less restless, and she was able to focus on her thoughts. She stared longingly out the window as if it held the answers to all the problems. As if right outside the window was the cure for leukemia and the ability to make Mark come back to her and her children.
She didn't hear him or pretended not to when he stood in the doorway. His eyes moved between the two beds. Meredith was lying on her back staring at the ceiling deep in thought. And his daughter lied restlessly in bed. Even though her hair was thin and her body looked so frail, she still was the most gorgeous little girl he had ever seen. Tears rushed to his eyes. How could he be so stupid? His daughter was sick, and he hadn't been there. He had chosen to run when his relationship with Meredith became tough. Now, his daughter, who he never got the chance to get to know, was fighting for her life. He wiped a tear that had slipped over the rims of his eye.
Sadness overtook his whole body. Slowly, he made his way into the room. His eyes shifted from his daughter to Meredith. Tears filled his eyes. Usually, he would fight them off, but right now, he didn't have the strength. She didn't notice him until she moved her eyes over to Allie and her gaze caught his. She slowly pulled herself up so she was resting back on her elbows and stared at him.
"Can we talk?" He whispered in a shaky voice.
She stared at him for a second. Her eyes lingered over his for a few moments before she nodded and slipped out of bed. He sniffled hoping to rid his eyes of the tears that were forming more and more rapidly in his eyes. She slipped on her shoes and gestured for him to follow. He wordlessly followed her to the nurses' station where he told a nurse to watch Allie then to the elevator. They didn't speak as they rode to the first floor and headed to the cafeteria. He followed her outside and sat opposite her at a table. She tried to avoid his eyes as long as possible as they sat in silence.
"I'm sorry, Meredith." His voice sounded nothing like the strong man in front of her. Instead, it sounded shaky and full of sadness. She glanced up at him and gave him a small, quickly fleeting smile.
"It isn't your fault." She tired to assure. Her voice was just above a whisper.
"Yes it was. I…" He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers. "I thought I had lost you. When New York General closed down…" She felt her heart break as his words hit her. She wasn't exactly sure why. Could she have prevented all this by not going to Boston to be with her mother? "I don't even know. I was hurt and confused. So… I came here." By the time he ended he sounded so emotionally drained. Silence hung in the air for a few minutes.
"You never lost me." She whispered. He looked at her. Their eyes were interlocked as if they couldn't force themselves to look away. He was never one to show his emotions, but his eyes were filled with a sadness she had never seen. Slowly, she reached out and squeezed his hand.
"I want us to be okay." He whispered. "I want to be there for you and the kids."
She gave him a soft smile. "It's going to take some time." He nodded giving her a small smile.