Dare You to Move

Author's Note:

This fic is loosely based on a certain set of assumptions and a S2/S3 theory of mine so just stick with me and by all means let me know what you think. I recently heard this song again by Switchfoot called "Dare You to Move" and felt it was perfect for this story, so the entire fic is based on this one song, even though each chapter has its own song inspiration. If you have followed my other stories you know music is really part of the chapters, so take a listen on youtube or wherever you can.

Switchfoot's "Dare You to Move" Lyrics:

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone's here
Everyone's here
Everybody's watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next
What happens next

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
Tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened before

Chapter 1 – My Immortal

Evanescence's, "My Immortal" Lyrics:

I'm so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave
I wish that you would just leave
'Cause your presence still lingers here
And it won't leave me alone

These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have
All of me

You used to captivate me
By your resonating life
Now I'm bound by the life you've left behind
Your face it haunts
My once pleasant dreams
Your voice it chased away
All the sanity in me

I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone
But though you're still with me
I've been alone all along

Chapter 1 – My Immortal

"You can do this, Meredith."

I heard him say, but I couldn't understand why. Why would I see Derek, why him, why then? Visions of his endless blue eyes clouded every millimeter of my brain and my heart was on fire with fear of what would never be as I lifted the bomb from Mr. Carlson's chest cavity and handed it to Dylan. It was as if Derek was there with me, which I know sounds ridiculous, but he was. I wish Derek – or my visions of Derek would just leave me alone – because his presence lingered when he should have been long gone. But then, at my darkest hour he was with me and saw me through … in a blessed way. Derek had abandoned me for Addison, yet in my mind – he was the one who was with me – and that had to count for something. I think.

I left the OR shortly after that, sweat trickled down my spine and the wet fabric rubbed back and forth against the flak jacket, it was abrasive and uncomfortable, yet I felt safe and liberated within its confines. When I turned out of the room, I remember thinking that I would have to tell Derek about that one day, that he saw me through. Maybe, maybe not, I smiled to myself.

And then it hit me – a force so unrecognizable – it was jarring, a fleeting thought ran through my head as it literally spun on my shoulders – the bomb had diffused – for it must have, nothing else could cause physical turmoil like that. I said a silent prayer for Dylan, because I knew in my heart of hearts, that he was gone.

In my life, I had no memory in my bank that could match the sensations that ran through my body at that moment, pain splintered through every fiber of my being and it felt like my nerves were covered with the points of thousands of razor sharp knives as I was thrown to the ground. My muscles and nerves evaporated on impact. It felt like someone had poured acid on me as I melted into the linoleum floor of the surgical wing from the sheer inertia of it all. I remember my head bouncing backwards from the impact and I imagine I looked like one of those dramatic crash test dummies.

And the sound, the horrible sound of the crashing shards of glass as the force of the bomb ripped through everything in its path – including me – I was sure to never forget it. The air was thick with the remnants of blood and cauterized tissue, and something metallic, maybe coolant and grease combined. The last thoughts I had were, Derek, Cristina, Derek, Burke … Derek, Derek, Derek …

I'm not sure how long I was out cold, but within minutes I estimate, Cristina had me and I was whisked off to some place to be thoroughly checked and poked and prodded, although I have no recollection of this. I vaguely recall asking for Dylan, I vaguely recall someone telling me my gut instinct happened to be correct and that Dylan was indeed dead. It was amazing, I really disliked him for the one day I knew him, but I also knew he was probably the most decent man and human being I had met in a very long time.

I don't remember getting up from where ever it was they took me, but I do recall Cristina and Izzie taking me to the interns' locker room and helping me shower the bomb debris away. They washed Dylan down the drain – this man, who was a good man, a decent man – circled the drain under my feet like he was nothing.

My heart pounded away in my chest just thinking about the tragedy of it all, it was all just so incredibly sad and miserable. I had to ask, would these resonating wounds in my mind, body, and spirit ever heal?

And then truth was unavoidable, I needed a reason to get out of bed that morning, and I truly believe, way down deep, that Dylan was it. His job was to save me and he did good. I think. I hope I was worth it. I would like to believe that the reason was Derek, and in a strange way he was too, but Dylan was the catalyst – he restored my hope – and in a strange paradox, his death saved me on many levels, he gave me that second chance, while cradling a fragile bomb in his hands.

But what was I going to do with it, this second chance? Only time would tell.

One burning question that ran through my mind over and over again was: why couldn't I feel anything, was it the body's way of coping, was the pain just too real? I carried this ever-present feeling of being lighter than air, floating and hovering around with no physical pain, no aches, it must have been the adrenaline of it all. I did have that bullet proof vest thingy on, but how could that sustain the force I felt in the hallway? Slowly, I became relaxed though and the events of the day became more concrete and less fuzzy around the edges.

Eventually, I ended up at home with one simple cut on my forehead. I think Izzie and George took me, but I couldn't say for certain. I remember lying on my bed, thinking about being alive and what that meant to me. What was I going to do or change or go after now? I remember thinking about Derek and what he did or didn't mean to me, because in the face of death, I saw him. He was like a beacon of hope – figment of my imagination or not – he was there with me. And our connection, yet again, transcended above all else.

I stared out the window, it was raining and the far off thunder rumbled and for once in my life – I didn't jump – for once in my life I just let it happen without anticipation. I pondered how nothing had really changed since this morning when I lay in this very same bed, miserably thinking and dreaming of Derek without an ounce of hope left in me. Only everything had changed.

I thought about Bailey and Tucker and their new baby … talk about life and death hanging in the balance! Thank God, good won over evil in that battle of doom. I prayed for Tucker's smooth recovery and that their baby, a boy, I think, was healthy. I tried to put myself in Bailey's shoes, but I just couldn't because I had no hope for a husband and babies of my own.

Woman to woman, I could empathize. But to be in that exact position, part of me realized it would never come to fruition – call it fate or destiny or just the cruelty of karma – those hopes and dreams weren't in the cards for me.

I believed this in large part because I already had given my heart and soul away and I knew only one man could return them to me, and well, that wasn't about to happen. My chest tightened slightly at the thought, even now, and I didn't fight it or suppress it or push it down as I normally would – instead I embraced it – in a strange way, well, because it was my right to.

My lids shut and I saw the pools of Derek's deep blue eyes as they scanned my face – back and forth – but he didn't say anything. Sleep almost came and the darkness was about to cloud over my visions of him, but there was a knock on my bedroom door and Izzie informed me that someone was downstairs waiting for me. I knew Cristina would come right up, and hell, even Alex would come right up at this point. I had no family to speak of, no mother or father to worry over me, so it could only have been one other person: Derek.

I went downstairs and he was there, he looked awful and worried, his spirit laden with concern that no amount of time would be able to erase. There was something indescribable in his eyes too – concentrated fear and relief mixed into one heavy emotion – if that was even possible. He was wearing pretty typical Derek garb, navy blue cashmere v-neck sweater over a pinstripe button down shirt, his jacket and slacks, and even though he looked familiar and he was a sight for sore eyes, he was on an entirely different plane of space and time.

He looked like how I felt. Everything was fuzzy around the edges, like a dream, was he really there, did he really care? I found it hard to believe, although deep down in my core, I knew he never stopped ... caring.

I recall I made a conscious decision to be straight with him, even in the face of embarrassment, because I really, really did want to hold onto the memory of that last happy kiss I was struggling to remember, because our kisses were always so real and full of love and hope. I can't explain why, but just wanted it – the memory – even if it wasn't mine, even if I could recall how lips felt against mine any time I wanted to, it wasn't the same. I wanted that memory in my bank, I was chasing the dream.

I know, pathetic, Cristina would kill me if she heard this one.

But then like a miracle, it turned out Derek held the memory for both of us and that suited me just fine. It was a glimmer of hope just to know that he remembered, maybe that he hadn't forgotten about me or us. I know he is another woman's man – he made his choice and we both have to live with it – but if I'm gonna to be honest, I can't say that I don't want him and that I don't miss him, because I do.

When Derek left that night, I kind of remember a flash of relief consuming me and I think both of us were glad I didn't die, which was amazing because I woke up needing a reason to live and yet there I was happy about being saved and safely home.

But what were wenowhat was I going to do with the second chance? I was seeking clarity from all of this instead of avoiding, which was pretty healthy. So I'll ask that question again, what should I do with this chance?

I should be a more supportive friend to my family, try not to be so self-involved, which is a laugh and a half because just months ago, it pained me to even ask anyone to live with me, let alone care about me.

I should try to find my father …I should, but not because I want to.

I should try to understand Derek because it's hard, and now I realize it must be hard for him too … to not be with me … it's just so hard to watch him be a shell of the man I once knew and the truth was, we were haunted and captivated by each other, there was no way out of that, I should try to find a way out …I should, but I can't say I will.

I should tell Izzie to forgive Alex completely and just fully give in to the temptation she is trying to hide from everyone, because way down deep Alex is a good guy. And I know, she'd have to dig really deep, but in the end, Alex is the kind of guy who would be the one to lift you up and carry you out of your worst nightmare. And that had to count for something.

I should be more attentive to my mother … it isn't her fault she ended up this way. I'm just angry and disappointed, I know she was miserable when I was young, I mean, how could I not with all the blood and all the terror and all the screaming and all the endless hurt. But she's hopeless now, and that's not her fault.

I should befriend Derek and have hope that one day he will be my friend too.

I should be a better intern again, get back on top of my game; I should be the one to beat.

I should tell Cristina to tell Burke that she unequivocally loves him, because whether he said it to "sleeping her" or just plain old her, he said it – he said he loves her – which is more than I can say for a lot of other people.

I should resolve to stop dreaming about making love to Derek every night – stop tormenting myself – find someone available and nice, someone who's also damaged, someone who might actually "get me", find that way out, a way out of the memory of his hands and mouth all over me. My mind was relentless with pure torture – dreaming about another woman's man – I should let it all go, fly out of me, but I know I won't, I just can't seem to part with visions of Derek lulling me to sleep every night … I just can't stop seeing Derek.

I should do a lot of things. But only time would tell.

As the tedious collection of thoughts ran amuck in my head, I realized just how deafening the silence around me actually was and I kind of felt like everything was not really happening at all. It was almost like people were talking without speaking and moving without taking action. It was as if I was a witness or just some bystander to it all in some polarizing alternate universe. Even though deep down, I knew I wasn't.

I wished someone would just shake me awake for real, or just end this halfway house feeling that consumed me, but I was incredibly tired. So instead I closed my eyes to it all and saw the beautiful angry sea of Derek's blue eyes and got lost in them immediately. Eventually, I focused so intensely that all I could see were the pits of his pupils, the gateway to his sad soul, and I silently wept inside. Then almost without warning, my old friend, the solace of darkness came and blurred my focus on his raging eyes, halting the images and mantras in my head from their relentless battle of good over evil.

Chapter 2 to follow.