Summery: After putting the weight of her world on her friends' shoulder so many times, Meredith Grey figures that this time it's better just to run leaving behind everything she worked so hard to create. Meredith/Alex

Disclaimer: I don't own Grey's Anatomy.

BTW, this story uses a lot of events that took place on the TV show, but I changed the timeline a bit. Hope you enjoy!

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December 2004…

One week ago…

"I…I… I don't think he's gone." Meredith said looking around the apartment. "He's stuff is still here." His medical books still sat by the bed. She could see his clothes still hanging in the closet. Everything seemed to be in order yet everything was different. It seemed like overnight it was stripped of all the feeling of happiness or love.

"No, it isn't. His trumpet was here. His entire Eugene Foote collection...vinyls and cds...his grandmother's picture was by the bed. His lucky scrub cap was hanging on the door. He's gone." She looked around once more just to be sure. She hoped she wasn't right, and she hoped he had just moved all that stuff earlier that day without her noticing. But in her heart, she knew he was gone. "I'm...I'm free. Damn it. Damn it. Damn it. Damn it. Oh, god. Get this off me. Take this off! Take this off! Please, just...I can't...help me, help me, help me!" She sobbed. Meredith came behind her and literally cut the dress off of her as she wrapped her arms around her person trying her best to comfort her.

--

Meredith stood at the nurses' station lost in her own thoughts. Christina's wedding had failed only three days before, so she and Meredith had spent the last two days in her room trying to soothe her friend.

"Meredith?" Izzie's voice came from behind her in a slightly weepy tone. Turning, she saw her friend on the verge of tears.

"Izzie? What's wrong?"

"Can I talk to you?"

She nodded placing the chart in the correct slot on the counter before following Izzie into an on-call room. Even before the door shut behind them, Izzie collapsed on the bed in tears.

"Izzie, what's wrong?" Izzie wasn't usually one to cry. In fact, she was the only on of the five residents that had always seemed to be happy. She was the one who brighten up everyone else's dark and twisty lives.

"I… I…" She sobbed trying to catch her breath as Meredith stroked her back. "I slept with George." She finally admitted. The strokes down her back paused for a brief second as Meredith stared at her in shock. "He's married, and I slept with him. And it was great. And I can't stop thinking about him. And… and he doesn't remember. And now I'm crying. I'm the dirty mistress."

"Calm down, Izz." Meredith tried to soothe when she found her voice. "You can get through this."

"I love him, Meredith." She finally admitted.

"He loves you too."

Izzie turned over on her back to look at her friend. "No I love him, Meredith." She stressed the word love this time.

"Oh…"

"But he's married. What do I do?"

Meredith sat speechless. Sure, she too had been a situation similar to this. But Derek had remembered their relationship and she didn't know Addison let alone work with her at the time.

--

She left her friend asleep in her bed. It had been four days since the wedding, and Christina hadn't bounced back. For anyone else it would be normal. For Christina, it was anything but. Walking across the hall, she leaned against the door frame to Izzie's room to find her staring. There was something weird about that stare. Maybe it was because Meredith herself had stared that same stare many times before. Maybe it was because knowing that was 'Meredith's dark and twisty' stare, and Izzie was doing it, scared Meredith.

"Izz?" She called pulling Izzie from thought. Her friend glanced over at her, but didn't move from where she stood… staring. "You okay? Need anything?"

"I can't stay in here." She whispered bringing her hand up to touch her face.

"Christina is in my room. You might be able to steal Alex's, though."

Izzie absently nodded before pushing past her friend never answering the original question. Sighing, she rubbed her temple. Alex was her only salvation from the depressed, dark and twisted, angry lives of her friend. Christina was trying to cope in her own way… with alcohol. But she never drank alone. So Meredith always sat there listening to her miserable or sad ramblings sipping on a beer not allowing herself to get drunk. George was always mad, slamming doors, yelling… just generally mad. He really didn't have a way to cope with the anger accumulating between him, Callie, and Izzie. So, he was just mad. But sometimes he'd slip into an alcohol induced depression and babble on and on about Callie and Izzie before passing out only to wake up to anger and a bad hangover. Izzie was always baking. Every time she turned around another pan of cookies was coming out of the oven or cake was being frosted. She was depressed around work, walking around like a miserable puppy looking for love. Then there was Alex, he was Meredith's sweet salvation. With him, there was no drama only the worry of the drama of their friends. She could talk out her stresses with him. Little did she know in brief two days… that would change too.

--

She watched from outside the room as Alex yelled orders while compressing the patient's chest. He looked devastated. The nurse touched his arm whispering that it was too late. Alex stepped away wiping the sweat from his brow. Glancing down at his watch, he called time of death with a solemn voice before turning to walk out.

"Alex…" She whispered as he walked out with his head low. He put up his hand to stop her from talking. "It wasn't your fault." She ignored his hand gesture and walked along side of him. Grabbing his arm, he stopped to look at her. "It wasn't your fault."

"I should have caught it, Mer. It's my fault. I killed him."

"Dr. Grey?" Olivia called. "Your heart transplant patient is seizing."

Meredith glanced at Alex before hurrying away. She already knew what was wrong with her patient.

It didn't take long for her to emerge after calling time of death on her patient. Who would have survived the heart surgery… but the heart had been tainted just like Alex's patient's liver.

He stood where she had left him lost in his own thoughts. It felt like hours before she emerged. He looked at her with hopeful eyes. She could see his heart break as she slowly shook her head.

"Alex…" She called out, but he was already gone. She wanted to go after him, but she had to talk to the patient's family. Making her way to the waiting room, she hoped Alex was okay. "Mr. Walker?" He looked into Meredith's devastated eyes with his hopeful ones. "I'm sorry. We did everything we could."

He fell back into the chair with wide, tearful eyes. "What? She was doing so well."

"The heart she got was infected with rabies. We don't usually screen for rabies, so there was no way to know." She explained sadly.

"She survived a heart transplant. She came back after technically being dead three times. She fought so hard, for so long to die of rabies?" He cried.