Title: Nobody Said

Author: Sarah

Rating: T

Pairing: Meredith & Derek

Disclaimer:well I have money. But nope. Not mine.

Summary:"nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be this hard..." Meredith and Derek, post-Desire. Where do they go from here?

Authors Note:lyrics used are "You've Got A Friend" by James Taylor. Enjoy!

If the sky above you should turn dark and full of clouds,

And that old north wind should begin to blow...

If Izzie was at all disconcerted at the sight of her roommate standing in the living room doorway in the middle of the night, looking like she'd taken a shower but forgotten to take her clothes off, Meredith thought she was really doing a damn good job at hiding it. In fact, she barely looked up from her ice cream. Nevertheless, Meredith felt compelled to explain her somewhat bedraggled appearance.

"Derek and I had a fight."

"A... water fight?" Izzie asked, one eyebrow quirked in amusement.

"No. An earth shattering, breaking all proportions type of fight. In the rain." There was a pause. Eventually, Izzie simply held out her tub of ice cream in response and gestured to the spare spoon resting on the coffee table, sensing this wasn't the time for smart comments. "I don't know what to do, Iz," she added eventually.

"Start from the beginning," Izzie commanded through a mouthful of ice cream, turning slightly to face her friend.

"You mean when we met in a bar? When I found out he had a wife? When he tried to fix things with said wife? When everything was bright and shiny again? When I drowned? Actually, you can probably ignore the first four. So yes. I drowned, and I think I might've completely by accident broken him at the same time."

"I meant tonight, dumbass." Izzie muttered dryly, digging out another spoon of ice cream. "But while we're on the topic, it seriously took you this long to figure that point out?"

"He's very good at pretending to be okay," she muttered in response, sinking a little further into the cushions.

"Okay... okay, we'll deal with that one later. So back to tonight?"

"We had sex," Meredith began, ignoring Izzie's cursory eye roll. "And then I asked him what was wrong, and he said some... things, about the drowning. How he didn't know if he could breathe for me anymore. And I... left."

"Smooth, Mer," Izzie contributed dryly.

"You didn't see the look in his eyes, okay?" she snapped, stabbing the ice cream fiercely with her spoon. Izzie acceded, gesturing a silent apology with her spoon before waiting for her friend to continue. "So I left. The trailer. But I needed a moment to digest the fact that we might have just 

broken up... so I sat down. In the rain. I should've just driven away, then we could've talked about it tomorrow...today," she interrupted herself, glancing at her watch, "whatever, when we hadn't just argued after sex... really good sex by the way, you should try the whole angry sex thing sometime, Iz–"

"Rambling, Meredith," Izzie intervened helpfully.

"Right. Sorry. Uhh... right. He came outside too. We sat in the rain and... Jesus, Iz, he almost left me," she said quietly, closing her eyes for a second. "And to be honest, I couldn't really blame him."

"Do you love him?"

"More than you know," Meredith replied softly, looking down at her fingers.

"Have you told him? Not," she continued quickly, before Meredith could speak, "during or immediately after sex, and not when you're arguing. That's not telling you love him just because you want him to know. So, do you tell him you love him?"

"Not... in so many words..."

"Well maybe that's your problem," Izzie pointed out wisely. "Tell him, Meredith. Tell him just because you can. No agendas." She paused, considering her next statement. "It's not a fix. Everything won't be alright as soon as you say it, but if I know you at all... it'll help."

"He said everything is blue, Iz. Everything. Blue. Because of me... how do I fix that?"

"Don't wear blue?" she offered dryly.

"That's what I said," Meredith countered dryly. "Somehow I don't think wearing pink is quite going to cut it..."

"Where do you stand now?" Izzie asked, gesturing a little with her spoon. "After the fighting, I mean. Did you make up?"

"I think so. I... I promised not to run. And to talk to him. I want to fix this, Iz. I really..." she whispered, the rough edge to her voice confirming that she was telling the truth more than her words ever could.

Izzie watched slowly as she fought for words to describe how she felt, the emotion of the evening catching up with her once again, rendering her speechless.

"Talk to him then, just like you promised. Just... talk. Remember how it was at the beginning, when we used to find you flirting around every corner?" Meredith's lips quirked in the hint of a smile, and Izzie shook her head. "Take it back to when it was that simple. But really talk to him this time. Work your issues out. If it's worth it, when it gets to the tough stuff... you'll just talk. Because it's that or lose him, Mer, and I really don't think you want to do that."

"When did you get so wise, Iz?"

"I'm not wise, Mer. I'm so not, you really wouldn't believe me if I told you," Izzie replied softly, digging her spoon aggressively back into the ice cream.

"I'd listen," Meredith offered gently, catching for the first time the almost haunted look in her friend's eyes. "You should've said, if something was wrong. I could've..."

"If anyone knows how well avoidance works, it's you Mer..." Izzie snapped irritably, more annoyed with her own demons than she was with her friend. "...sorry," she added quickly, waiting for the quick shake of Meredith's head in understanding before dropping her head for a long moment. Meredith sighed softly, digging her own spoon companionably into the ice cream alongside Izzie's.

The statement was true, no matter how much she wanted to pretend it wasn't.

There was silence for a long moment, as both lifted their respective spoons to their lips. It wasn't really a companionable silence, not in the traditional sense of the word. More a silence between two people with huge problems...

And even greater communication issues.

"I slept with George," Izzie blurted eventually, at which Meredith's spoon clattered to the table with a metallic thump. "I slept with George and now everything's horrible..."

"You've sat here listening to all of my problems, when you've got enough of your own?" Meredith asked in amazement, reaching out blindly to pick up her spoon as Izzie nodded dumbly. "He's married, Iz!"

"You're a fine one to talk," she muttered in response. "Sorry... sorry." Again, there was silence. "See, I knew I shouldn't have told you!"

"Izzie... Izzie no, but can you blame me for being a little shocked?" Meredith questioned, fighting to fit it all together.

Izzie. George. Sex.

It... wasn't easy.

"Okay, okay. Start... beginning, yes. Start from the beginning," she decided eventually, raising an eyebrow as she dared Izzie to challenge her borrowed phrase. But instead, Izzie just shook her head, defeated.

"We were drunk... really, really drunk, and–"

"That night?!"

"Yes, Meredith, that night. And now I can't... get him out of my head. And he's transferring to Mercy West, and Callie hates me, and..."

"Rambling, Izzie," Meredith cut in gently, resting her head against her friend's shoulder. "You need to tell him, Iz. Even if he doesn't feel the same way, don't you think he deserves to know how you feel?"

"But what if he says... what if he chooses her?"

"Then you need to know, so you can move on."

"When did you get so wise?" Izzie asked with a slight smile, nudging Meredith slightly.

"Consider that a one off," she offered wryly. "It's too late in the evening for profound statements, I'm not even sure where that one came from. This time of night is for...sleep."

"Or sex... no, actually I'm quite enjoying the lack of that on your part..." Izzie offered dryly, receiving a none-too-gentle elbow in her stomach in response.

"So considering we're failing spectacularly at both of those options..."

"Ice cream. This time of night is for ice cream," Izzie decided firmly, wedging the tub in-between them.

Silence descended once more.

But this wasn't a lonely silence, so to speak. At least they were companionable in their loneliness, each lost in their own thoughts as their ice cream supply slowly depleted. Neither of them felt like they'd found some instant solution to their problem, but there was no denying that sharing was pretty much without its downsides.

Sometimes, home truths were what you needed to hear, and those were the sort of things that could only come from a friend.

"It's good ice cream," Meredith offered eventually, accompanying it with a weak smile. "Really good ice cream, actually."

"I know," Izzie replied with a grin, resting her cheek against Meredith's hair as she dug the spoon into the tub again. "Just don't tell Alex where I hide it!"