Summary: Meredith had always had hope that in his heart Derek was still very much hers until the more time passed the more her hope died.
Author's Note: A while ago I was re-reading over some of my early stories, found this and I absolutely hated what was there. I had to rewrite it and make it new and fresh. It is basically the same story but more polished and a little bit more in detail than before. So I hope you all enjoy it again!
Disclaimer: I own nothing!
Derek Shepherd, renowned brain surgeon, sat next to his wife of almost thirteen years in the hospital lobby. It had been a long, very hard day and it showed on both of them as they sat there together.
Anyone could tell, right away that they were exhausted because Addison and Derek were nearly collapsed onto the hard, uncomfortable waiting room chairs.
Addison was still looking over some post-op notes on her last surgery. It was taking longer than it usually did but he did not seem to mind the wait one tiny bit.
Derek just sat calmly next to her and that was pretty much it. Regardless of the wait, he looked like that was the most important thing he had to do at that moment.
They both looked tired and stressed and ready to go home. And they would when Addison finished her work.
He let out a big and almost dramatic yawn as he raised his arms above his head and stretched out any kinks in his body that he had acquired over a day of surgeries.
Then when he was satisfied he could relax his muscles he rested one of his arms over Addison's chair.
A small, soft smile spread slowly from one side of her face to the other and she said something to him.
But what exactly that something was Meredith had no clue.
From her spot leaning against the first floor information desk she was too far away from the married couple to hear what they were saying but she was close enough to see their every move.
It wasn't as if she ever planned to watch them so intently.
Sometimes, it just so happens that Meredith would get a front row seat to the heartbreaking show. At least to her it was heartbreaking but to the two people that were starring in what should have been her life, it was just happy.
Addison and Derek were happy, and married. A deliriously happily married couple and it had become hard not to watch.
This particular part was something that had become a staple of the Shepherds' lives as two surgeons who worked together. They had claimed those same two chairs as their own at the end of every single day. If one were ready to leave before the other, that person would wait until their spouse could show up and they could head home together.
Not once without fail (even emergencies) would one Shepherd head home without the other.
It was one of the first steps they had taken to repair their failing marriage.
It was a well-known fact throughout the hospital that McDreamy and the She-Shepherd had been working on their marriage and their relationship.
It was also well known that they had been extremely successful.
This was much to Meredith's displeasure.
Derek and Addison had been able to fix the damage each had done to their marriage.
They were also able to put the past where it belonged and ever since they had shut the door on that chapter of their lives, it had stayed shut.
As Meredith stood there, almost in the shadows, it was hard not to get lost in the memories.
When she was faced with displays of marital bliss as she was at this very moment it was hard not to remember a time that was so very different. Like those first few months after Addison had come sauntering into the very room they were all currently in.
Back then Meredith had walked around with a sense of perverse pleasure and satisfaction.
Sure, Derek had been unable to sign the papers. She had seen them for her-self to know that and yes, he had chosen his Isabella Rossellini look-alike wife over her.
Meredith knew deep down that Derek would have rather been with her. She knew that because of all of the elevator moments they would share. The name calling from Derek to his wife, Satan and Adulterous Bitch were some of his favorites and proof to Meredith that he did not want Addison.
And on those cold and lonely nights when she could still smell him on her sheets, when she missed him so much it hurt, that knowledge gave her hope.
It was hope that Derek was still, somehow, her McDreamy and that they would one day, have the fairytale McLife they were always meant to share.
Meredith felt an ache in her chest as she watched Derek hand over a small Styrofoam cup that he had been holding to his wife. She wanted to be the one he shared things with so badly.
Addison took it with a gracious smile and sipped at the beverage.
Meredith could only assume it was hot chocolate. It was one of the Shepherds' things, hot chocolate sharing.
Meredith let out a sigh as Addison handed the cup back to her husband and she went back to her musings of a different time and how things began to change.
What should have been her first hint that things were about to take a 180 degree turn? The name calling began to fade until it came to a point where Derek only called his wife one thing, Addison.
No more Satan or Adulterous Bitch. There was none of that.
Yet their moments in the stairwell, and the elevator, and pretty much everywhere else in the hospital would continue. So it had been more than okay to continue to hope he was still hers.
And as she was still lost in her thoughts Meredith heard a beautiful sound, Derek's laugh.
Maybe Addison had told a joke or maybe he had amused himself but there it was. It was a sound that assaulted her senses and made her shiver a little.
Meredith felt an aching in her heart, and she felt it in her bones just how much she missed Derek.
She remembered how it had come to that, the real change in his behavior.
That change was more of a gradual thing.
So gradual, in fact, that Meredith hadn't noticed at first.
The smiles that Derek would send her way became more friendly and professional.
No longer was there a measure of intimacy hidden within. It felt less and less like he had been saving that smile just for her. That smile was the same smile that everyone in the hospital, Bailey, Izzie, Christina and Meredith, got from Dr. Shepherd.
It had been the start of her heartbreak.
Slowly, she became just another one of his colleagues. Just another person he worked with.
Her denial had helped her cope nicely with that particular change. She continued to tell herself that Derek's heart was still very much hers. She still clung to that fact that he still wanted her over Addison.
Yet as even more time passed the elevator moments she had held so dear became fewer with more time in between until at some point they ceased all together.
One day they had found themselves in an elevator alone together and all of the tension, good or bad, they had had before was gone.
It had been a moment of desperation for her. She had mentioned her latest boyfriends and dates, one she even fudged a little to make him believe it was more serious than it had been.
All she got was a polite smile and, "That's nice, Dr. Grey," in response.
It had hurt so much to hear him call her that it had almost made her cry on the spot.
That was the first time that when they were alone he was nothing but respectful and professional. Like any boss would be with someone who worked for him.
But none of that compared to the moment in which all her hope was destroyed.
Meredith's day had been worse than usual misery one got as a surgical intern. It had started out that way, absolutely horrible.
She had fallen out of bed literally. How that had happened, she didn't know.
But it happened. She had the bump on her forehead and a throbbing headache to prove it.
Tylenol hadn't helped any and her morning coffee was having no effect on her whatsoever.
So yeah, her day pretty much sucked.
Right now, Meredith couldn't focus on any of that. She had to find Dr. Burke. The results from the blood tests he had ordered were back from the lab. And he wanted them as soon as possible, his exact words. So that was her task at hand.
And like the good little intern that she was she was racing through the halls trying to get them to him pronto.
Meredith rounded the corner about to head toward the nurses' station when she stopped dead in her tracks.
Derek and Addison stood in front of her. That wasn't what bothered Meredith, though. She saw them all day long so it was not weird to see them together.
No, it was the way they were standing that stopped her ice cold.
She stepped back and rounded the corner once again. Meredith took a deep breath and pressed her back against the wall trying to regain some control over her-self and wrap her mind around what she just saw.
Derek had been standing behind Addison trapping her between him and the counter with his arms on either side of her. Addison had her arms over the counter and had been reading a file of some kind. Derek had his chin resting on her shoulder and was pressing his body close to hers.
The image flashed before her eyes and Meredith felt a panic in her chest.
It was just her luck that she would run into such a private and intimate moment between Derek and Addison. Like the world was out to get her or something. It was getting harder and harder to cope but just when Meredith thought it could not get worse, it did, times twenty.
"I love you so much."
Those three words she had been dying to hear flow from his lips since they met and they weren't for her.
Meredith's world came crashing down in that one singular moment. It had been just one moment and three simple words that meant so much. After that, she no longer had any hope and denial was long gone.
Her worst nightmare had come true.
Derek loved Addison.
A few weeks later, after that one moment on that horrible day, things got worse once again.
Derek and she had been scrubbing out of a successful surgery.
He had finished washing up first then he reached into the pocket of his navy blue scrubs pulled out a platinum ring, placed it on his left ring finger and smiled down at it before walking out the door.
Unbeknownst to Derek, he had left a stunned Meredith standing at the sink, staring at where he had just been standing. She was completely and totally stiff with heartbreak.
Little by little, her world had been ripped apart until there was nothing left to break.
And she had not been prepared for any of it.
Meredith had not been prepared for Addison to walk into the hospital and introduce herself as Derek's wife.
She shook her head a little to rid herself of the hard and hurtful memories as the couple she had been watching began to move.
Derek stood up and put on his brown leather jacket that made him look so rugged and sexy then he moved to pick up both his briefcase and his wife's before holding out his hand to her.
After she took it Derek pulled Addison to her feet and adjusted her coat around her shoulders and fluffed out her hair.
And Meredith saw the small bump that was her stomach was more noticeable when Addison was standing.
The Shepherds were expecting their first child.
Yep, apparently every time Meredith thought it could not get any worse, it always did.
Derek smiled and placed a kiss on Addison's forehead. After he pulled away he motioned for her to go in front of him and said something to his wife.
But once again Meredith was too far away to know what was said.
She sighed as Derek slipped his hand inside Addison's and they left the hospital together, just like they did every night.
No, Meredith had not been prepared for the level of heartbreak she currently experienced.
Meredith hadn't been prepared for Addison to introduce herself. But she was even less prepared for Derek to move on and rebuild his marriage.
And that is exactly what had happened. He had moved on and that was just something she was going to have to live with.
She sighed and looked down at the file on the counter.
Meredith would just have to live with the fact that Derek was living out his McLife the way he was always meant to and he was doing it with the McWife he had had eleven birthdays, eleven holidays, and eleven anniversaries with because as he had told her, that meant something.
Derek had told her, maybe she should have listened.