Best view in Seattle

Derek was out walking in his land. Meredith had left Seattle six months ago, after their break up. He had been on three dates with Rose before finally telling her that it couldn't work, Rose wasn't Meredith and she never would be. He still hadn't built on the land yet, he still lived in a trailer, alone. So whenever he couldn't sleep, which was almost every night he wasn't at the hospital, he took a walk through his land. He thought about Meredith a lot, where she was? Was she happy? Was she single?

He spotted a figure at the top of the hill, overlooking the lake. Where he had wanted to build a house with Meredith. Meredith…it was her. Derek knew it was Meredith, he knew her silhouette.

"Mer…" he said as he slowly approached.

"Derek," she said turning round to face him. "I didn't think you'd be here, I thought you'd be at the hospital."

"Night off," he explained.

"Oh right," she said hesitantly. "I should go…sorry."

"No, don't go," said Derek still in shock, Meredith was the last person he expected to find out here in the middle of the night. "Are you alright? You've been crying."

"I'm fine."

"Liar," he said. "What brings you back to Seattle?"

"It was time to come home," said Meredith quietly as she turned and looked back over the lake. "I ran for long enough."

"Where did you go?"

"Back to Boston."

"But you're home now."

"I'm home now," said Meredith. "I just came here to think…you have the best view in Seattle you know?"

"Right now I do," Derek murmured as he watched Meredith carefully. "So what has you in such a state?"

"Why are you wandering around in the middle of the night?"

"I could ask you the same thing," Derek chuckled.

"I did a terrible thing," Meredith confessed. "I had to clear my head and come home, come back to…my family."

"We all missed you," said Derek. "You just left without a word."

"I know," she sighed. "I'm sorry I didn't say goodbye. I was just too…damaged I suppose and angry…at you."

"For what it's worth I'm sorry for…everything," said Derek. Ever since Meredith had left the guilt of what he had done to her, for having driven her from Seattle had been eating him up inside.

"Thanks," said Meredith sadly.

"So…what terrible thing did you do? You didn't sleep with George again did you?"

"Very funny Derek," said Meredith flatly.

"Tell me," said Derek seriously. "It can't be as bad as you think."

"I'm supposed to be getting married on Saturday," said Meredith.

"Oh," said Derek feeling his insides squirm. She hadn't been alone, she had fallen in love with someone else and had even gone as far as agreeing to marry someone else. When she wouldn't even so much as spend the night with him before she left.

"I called it off."

"Why?" asked Derek, his heart soaring that she wasn't about to become someone else's wife.

"I didn't love him enough," she said numbly. "I thought I did at first but…marriage is forever and I didn't love him enough to love him til death do us part. So I called it off…I broke his heart. I broke a sweet, kind, caring man's heart when all he had ever done is love me and put me back together."

"I'm sorry," said Derek immediately seeing how guilty she felt. "But surely it would have hurt a lot more if you had actually married him."

"Yeah," said Meredith. "Doesn't make it any better now though, does it?"

"No," Derek sighed. "Is there anything I can do to help?"

"No," said Meredith. "I just need to go home and crawl into bed and have good cry."

"Is there anything I can…"

"No there isn't," said Meredith. "But thanks for listening to your ex-girlfriend ramble about another man in the middle of the night, on your land."

"No problem," said Derek kindly. "I still care about you Meredith."

"Thanks Derek," said Meredith resting her hand on his shoulder. "I want to go back to work at Seattle Grace…I hope things won't be too weird between us, in fact I hope they won't be weird at all."

"I'd like to be friends…at least friends."

"Me too," said Meredith. "Goodbye Derek."

"Bye Meredith," said Derek. "Welcome home."

Derek stood there and watched as Meredith walked to her car and drove off. Finally when her car disappeared from view, Derek started to walk back to his trailer feeling like he could finally get a good nights sleep. She was home, back where she belonged.

--

A MONTH LATER

True to his word, Derek became friends with Meredith when she came back to work. Meredith was slowly getting over the guilt of leaving her fiancé and was even starting to date again, something which had not pleased Derek in the least. But they were friends, they had coffee together and talked about work and their personal lives always being careful to avoid talking about their history together.

Meredith stumbled into the on call room, she was in the middle of what felt like the longest shift of her life. She immediately spotted Derek asleep on the bottom bunk, she hesitated wondering if she should leave. Being friends with Derek was one thing but sleeping in the same room alone together, that was pushing the friendship boundary. But all the other on call rooms were full and she didn't want to sleep on a gurney in the tunnels. So she scrambled onto the top bunk.

But she couldn't sleep. She could hear Derek's heavy breathing as he slept beneath her. It brought back too many memories. She couldn't sleep in the same room as him, she couldn't do it. Looks like she was going to have to sleep in the tunnels. She jumped off the top bunk and stood looking over Derek.

"It shouldn't be this hard," she said quietly. "I should be able to sleep in the same room as you. We're friends now…again. So why do I miss you?"

Meredith slowly lowered herself so that she was sitting on the edge of Derek's bed.

"I can't stop thinking about Rick (her ex fiancé.) How he is? Is he happier now? Does he hate me? But you know the weird thing is, that's all I think when I think about him. I don't miss him at night when I'm alone, I don't wish he was there when I can't open a jar…I just hate myself for hurting him. But with you…I missed you all the time…I hated you and loved you at the same time. You made me feel things I've never felt before…So I ask myself, why was I ready when Rick proposed but I wasn't ready for any kind of commitment with you? I guess I'll never really know the answer to that."

Meredith got up to leave but just as her hand touched the door handle, she heard Derek's sleepy voice.

"That question has haunted me for the past month," he said. "So why Mer?"

"I don't know," said Meredith, dropping her hand from the door handle.

"Would it have been different if I had just waited," said Derek getting up and standing behind Meredith. He was so close to her, his nose was skimming her hair. "If I could have just been patient for a few months…would we be together? Would I have everything I've wanted since the first moment I laid eyes on you?"

"I-I don't know," stammered Meredith. Having Derek so close was making her nervous.

"I'm sorry I hurt you," said Derek resting his hands on her waist. "I'm sorry for Rose, Sydney everything. You're the last person I ever wanted to hurt."

"I'm sorry too," said Meredith. "For being difficult, not letting you in and for S&M. I knew you hated it…I just couldn't let you go because…I have never felt as safe as I did when I lay in your arms, it was like nothing could ever hurt me. Your arms were like an invisible shield, stopping the world from getting in."

"I just wish I could have lived up to that…been the prince in your happily ever after," said Derek his voice full of regret.

"Yeah me too."

"I bought a ring, you know?" said Derek, it was much easier to tell Meredith these things when they were alone in the dark. "The night I told you I wanted a lifetime with you…"

"Or whoever came along and was willing to give it to you," said Meredith bitterly.

"But I wanted you…I bought the ring for you!"

"I hope you kept the receipt."

"Mer I love you," Derek confessed. "I love you so much, I can't keep pretending I don't. I missed you every single second you were gone…I still miss you because I don't get to be close to you anymore…I'm lucky if get to even touch your hand. You're still the love of my life…and I can't give up on you."

"Derek, don't do this," said Meredith definitely weakening.

"Meredith tell me you don't love me anymore…tell me you don't think about me at all."

"Derek, I can't," she whispered.

"You can."

"What do you want from me?"

"The truth."

"You want the truth? You really want the truth?" said Meredith whipping round to face him.

"Yes," said Derek firmly. "Just tell me the truth please."

"I love you, alright are you happy now I still love you! But I hate myself for it, because you leave me and you call me a whore! You broke me and I swore it was the last time, so I moved on. I met a great guy who loved me, and I loved him. And when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, all I could think about was you! You were the reason I had to leave him because I knew I could never love him even half as much I loved you!"

Derek stood there looking at her in amazement. How had she managed to keep this bottled up? Before he could even think about how to respond Meredith's lips crashed into his.

"I wish I didn't feel like this," Meredith whispered as she pulled away.

"I wish I was the man you deserve," Derek whispered.

"So we both have something to work on then."