Disclaimer: I don't own Grey's Anatomy, et al.

Author's Note: Just a quick thank you to 'dusko' and 'Mcdreamy's Post-it Wife' for your anonymous comments, I do so appreciate your notes!

So ... we made it ... I sincerely hope you enjoy the ending to this story! Thanks for reading and for commenting, it means a lot. I also hope you enjoy this last piece, I hope it gives you some peace and by all means, listen to the song - James Taylor is just so amazing - so really listen or listen while you read, I am hoping the combination will transcend you to another place or time. ENJOY!

Epilogue – Something in the Way She Moves

There's something in the way she moves,
Or looks my way, or calls my name,
That seems to leave this troubled world behind.
And if I'm feeling down and blue,
Or troubled by some foolish game,
She always seems to make me change my mind.

Chorus:
And I feel fine anytime she's around me now,
She's around me now
Just about all the time
And if I'm well you can tell she's been with me now,
She's been with me now quite a long, long time
And I feel fine.

Every now and then the things I lean on lose their meaning
And I find myself careening
Into places where I should not let me go.
She has the power to go where no one else can find me
And to silently remind me
Of the happiness and the good times that I know, got to know.

It isn't what she's got to say
But how she thinks and where she's been
To me, the words are nice, the way they sound
I like to hear them best that way
It doesn't much matter what they mean
If she says them mostly just to calm me down

Chorus:
And I feel fine anytime she's around me now,
She's around me now
Just about all the time
And if I'm well you can tell she's been with me now,
She's been with me now quite a long, long time
And I feel fine.

###

Epilogue – Something in the Way She Moves

I stood at the midpoint like I had for so many years of my life – just waiting, anticipating – on the precipice of something … monumental. I looked out over the horizon, the sun would begin it's decent behind me within the hour. I closed my eyes and let the cool, late afternoon wind press against me as it always seemed to do … still a silent game of cat and mouse after all these years … even with the low boundary fence we erected years ago – the ever-present wind was there to push me back – to remind me of how far I had come.

I opened my eyes and watched and listened to the leaves rustle and dance within that same wind now. I looked up, the aging pine trees swayed, resisting the wind, much like I did. I looked down at my watch – any time soon, any minute now – thinking I'd maybe sit on the old porch swing and wait – the porch swing that we came to call "the swing of momentum' – after the cabin was finished and we moved out here just before we were married. And there is sat – still today, the focal point of our midpoint garden – perched high above the landscape in a gazebo built especially for it, designed with the overlook side collapsed, offering an unobstructed view of the midpoint and all of its glory.

I took a deep breath and glanced at my watch again, my excitement and anticipation percolating now. I took the fat envelope from my pocket – my surprise, my passion, my muse as of late – running my fingers over our names, before I smiled and put it away again.

Soon enough, soon enough.

I turned around and looked back at the cabin, taking in the simple beauty of it with the sun low in the sky from behind, the short shadows dancing along the aged wood now – accentuating its clean lines, perfect A-Frame and elaborate cobblestone work – I watched the lights come on … my heart raced at the prospect of finding out how the day went, and of course … there was also my surprise. I smiled and turned around – just waiting and anticipating still – as I was destined to for this moment in time.

It was true, many happy and sad times had been celebrated or commemorated over the years on Grey's Point, I smiled now … for if I listened with a close enough ear, surely I would hear – some of those monumental moments replaying in my mind or in the wind all around me, which was fitting as those moments in time had no other place to go – for it was here that those moments lived on in perpetuity. Yes it was true; Grey's Point had certainly been good to us.

"Here's to our first sunrise at 'Grey's Point'."

"You'll always be my everything, especially out here."

"Forevermore."

"Always and forever."

"Happy Birthday Meredith."

"I love you."

"Welcome home."

"Derek, will you marry me?"

"Meredith, will you marry me?"

"Maui's calling."

"I now pronounce you husband and wife."

"So … Shepherd's Point?"

"Hmm … maybe ... soon."

"Kiss me."

"Love me."

"Sex me."

"Sex me, love me … right after Susan's party."

"Oh, is that what we're calling it now?"

"Something like that."

"Well at least we can see our bedroom from the party …,"

"Yeah, there's that …plus, we could always sneak away …,"

"So, are you gonna go with 'Yang-Burke'?"

"Seriously Derek?"

"What? It's a valid question!"

"How about Bang … Dr. Bang, oh my fucking God … I am brilliant!"

"Of course, you're a double-doctor."

"A brilliant one at that."

"Happy Anniversary, Meredith."

"The stick turned blue, Derek."

"Let's swing, shall we?"

"I love you."

"Happy Birthday Derek."

"She's adorable; she looks just like you Meredith."

"Marry me, Callie."

"Okay George."

"Maui's calling."

"I can't believe my mother's gone, Derek."

"Happy Anniversary, Meredith."

"Mama."

"Dada."

"Peek-a-boo!"

"Once there was a tree …"

"Richard retired."

"And?"

"And so it's time to realize another dream."

"You're going to be an excellent Chief, Derek."

"Happy Anniversary, Meredith."

"Crappy day?"

"The worst."

"I love you."

"It just got better."

"Make love to me."

"I can do that."

"… and she loved a little boy."

"So, what color was it?"

"Blue."

"Blue … light blue or indigo-ish?"

"Blue, as in blue, as blue as it gets … we're having another baby!"

"I love you … so much."

"Happy Anniversary, Derek."

"And every day the boy would come …"

"He was a good dog, Meredith."

"Can you believe we have a son?"

"So handsome, looks just like his Daddy."

"Thank God he has his Mommy's brains."

"Smart kid, good genes."

"I love you."

"… and when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade."

"Alex, we're gonna have a baby."

"You're gonna be a great Mom, Izz."

"Happy Anniversary, Derek."

"It's the first day of Kindergarten."

"Oh Meredith, don't cry … it's only Kindergarten."

"It's only … before we know it they'll be signing up for Drivers' Ed!"

"And …,"

"And then we'll never see them again!"

"Well, you still have a year left with the little monster."

"What little monster?"

"You buddy … you're the little monster!"

"Am not!"

"Are too!"

"I think I'll miss my Mother, Meredith."

"And the boy loved the tree …very much."

"I love you."

"Happy Anniversary, Derek."

"Maui's calling."

"Congratulations graduate."

"Daddy!"

"What?"

"Don't get sappy!"

"I'm proud of you."

"That's good, because I'm proud of you too."

"Derek, we're empty-nesters."

"And the tree was happy."

"We're free Meredith."

"Maui's calling."

"Happy Anniversary, can you believe it's been twenty-five years?"

"How is that possible when you don't look a day over twenty?"

"I love you."

"Dad, how do you know when you're in love?"

"Can you breathe when you look at her?"

"No."

"That's love, son."

"Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest."

"You're retired. How do you feel?"

"How should I feel?"

"Accomplished, you've had an amazing career."

"No … you make me feel that way Meredith."

"Me?"

"Yes, you … you, the kids … you, everything always leads me right back to you."

"And so the boy did."

"I love you."

"And I love you … more."

"Derek, I think it's my turn."

"Maui's calling."

"And the tree was happy."

The wind whipped up, it's familiar push there, shaking me from my private reverie – of those cherished moments and points of time – all but flutters of our history now. I smiled as I heard leaves breaking under footsteps, light ones – crackle, crackle, crackle – barely there … but oh so familiar and welcoming. I smiled widely and turned around – and my heart melted – as it always did, without fail whenever I saw my girl.

She looked now, to me anyway, no different than the very first time I set my eyes upon her … her golden hair much longer now of course – moving in the wind all around her beautiful heart-shaped face – adding more layers and dimensions to her already stunning physique.

She raised her hand up and nodded to me, I smiled, the intense bluish-emerald green of her eyes, visible now – that sparkle there too, the one she saved just for me – the one reminiscent of a peacock's feathers in the sun – iridescent, sparkling – by far the loveliest and most soulful part of her.

The wind barreled down the lawn, I moved my hand through my much shorter haircut and smiled. She came to stand in front of me, her eyes as bright as her future at Seattle Grace. "Hi Daddy," she said breathlessly, her voice soft, almost transparent (as it typically became on the midpoint) – and it was always "daddy", never "dad" or just "hey" or "hi" – I smiled as she pecked me on the cheek with her lips, warm and quick.

"Hi sweetheart," I said, draping my arm around her shoulders as she moved to stand next to me – shoulder to shoulder, her warmth and happiness radiating all around us now – I smiled, my heart full of pride and love.

"I like the hair," she teased, giving me a sidelong glance. "I'm not sure Mom is gonna like it though," she ribbed, knowing as much as I do how much her mother hates shorter haircuts on me.

"Well, I thought it would be better to start off on the shorter side for the trip –"

"She's gonna kill you," she laughed like the devil.

"I know, I know," I mused softly as a shiver coursed through my body, just thinking about the flash of Meredith's green eyes, for even when angry, she was so damn sexy, even now … even still after all these years. So. Damn. Sexy.

"So, are you all packed?" she asked, her voice carried off into the wind, her eyes trained on the midpoint too. "Do I even want to know what you packed for Mom?" she asked incredulously.

"The basics, some of the more detailed stuff we might need, she can shop on Maui," I smiled.

"So … tomorrow morning … wow, it's finally here," she offered softly, her mind working as fast as her hair moving through the wind now.

"Yep, we're all set, just waiting on your Mom – I was told to meet her here – that she has something for me … what do you know about that?" I asked after a second, always curious when Meredith was up to something.

"Me?" she laughed, her cheeks turning pink. "I know what you know," she offered elusively, always on her Mother's side I mused with a smile.

And not that I minded at all … for Meredith's bond with our children was immense and ended up being everything I ever hoped and dreamed being a Mother would be for her – all consuming, spiritual, life-giving, treasured and calming – just what it was meant to be and so much more than that for her… and for us.

"And your brother?" I asked, sparring gently.

"He's brainless and clueless," she offered, true to form teasing her younger, more serious sibling.

I laughed. "Your mother used to call me that, a long, long time ago," I reflected for a beat. "So … really, I know she has some kind of thing cooking, can't you just tell me what you know?" I asked, egging her on.

"Look, all I know is that she's been running around for the last week – worried sick about retiring – despite her six-month exit strategy to walk out of the hospital arm in arm with Aunt Cris … today … and that's the extent of what I'll tell you I know," she dished back with a sly smile, one that didn't fool me for one second.

"Was I this bad?" I played along, watching her blue-green eyes betray her; full well knowing Meredith Grey wouldn't retire and walk out of Seattle Grace until she was good and ready to do so. I smiled and sighed, just thinking about her now.

"Oh Daddy, do you really want to go there?" she asked incredulously, with a huge smile. "I mean c'mon – it's hard for her – she was practically raised in that place," she breathed. "And Aunt Cris!" she added. "God, she'd never be able to walk out of there without Mom taking her with her," she exclaimed softly, her pride in her mother bubbling over now as she spoke.

I smiled, shaking my head; she was dangerously close to her mother's clone sometimes. "Well, it's good you'll be there … trading places," I mused, catching her eyes.

"Daddy, being the head of Aunt Mandy's clinic hardly qualifies as trading places with Mom," she laughed, peeking up, her blond hair blowing in the wind, her eyes sparkling with amusement now. "But … I'll take the compliment anyway," she smiled all the same.

"It'll always be Aunt Mandy's clinic to you, won't it?" I asked, smiling now as my thoughts drifted to our old friend Bailey, just as feisty now as the day we met her.

"Isn't that what it is to you?" she asked, her cheeks blushing from what she would call 'unwarranted undivided attention'.

"No," I smiled and shook my head. "It's yours now, the Board even said so," I teased happily now, just a father drunk on his daughter's accomplishments. "Your mother and I are more than proud of you, you know that," I said, draping my arm around her – a little squeeze to her small frame from me, a little lean into my larger one, daughter, Daddy comfort – we warmed each other up.

"Don't speak too soon, I have a meeting with the Board on Monday … the big thirty-year gala fundraiser is only six months away," she sighed, her pretty eyes darting around, her mind on the task at hand already. She leaned into me once more, her hip nudging against mine.

"Thirty years," I sighed with a smile just thinking about my life with Meredith – thirty years, thirty years, thirty years – I smiled. "You'll be fine and we'll be home by then, checkbook in hand," I kidded, hoping to allay some of her trepidation … even for just this moment in time.

"What's this?" she asked, nudging my side. I pulled the fat envelope out and handed it to her.

"The trip, the tickets, the itinerary, all of it," I said, she looked up and smiled.

"So, you decided to tell her?" she asked, unable to hide the surprise in her voice. "I thought you were gonna wait until you were at the villa, what happened?" she asked, smiling brightly now at the thought of the big reveal.

"Ah … just too excited, she'll be surprised here, she'll be just as surprised," I smiled, thinking about the carefully orchestrated trip I had planned.

The wind whipped up all around us then, sending fallen leaves scattering in the air and across the well trimmed lawn. We stood together for several minutes, our eyes trained on the landscape in front of us, leaning on each other in another cherished moment, basking in the glory of the midpoint.

"I'll miss you Daddy," she whispered into the wind.

"I'll miss you too sweetheart," I said, my heart melting a little bit now. "But before we know it … it'll be New Year's week and you and your brother will come –"

"Yeah …," she sighed. "New Year's on Bora-Bora, I can't wait," she giggled.

"Me either," I sighed, thinking about our surprise for Meredith, a special New Year's celebration for the special beginning of the next phase of our life together.

"I'm freezing, do you want to wait inside for Mom?" she asked quietly as she turned into me, we hugged for a beat and I secretly cherished the moment more than most, for it would have to sustain me for a long while.

We pulled away and she smiled, her eyes sparkling, brimming with unshed tears, she sniffled. "See you inside," I said, pushing her hair away from her face.

And as I watched my grown daughter go – my baby still – I took in all she had to offer. She was a fine woman, a good strong head on her shoulders. Her forward-thinking mind will be good for the clinic, she's an attribute, a fighter for the rights of those less fortunate than her and I couldn't be more proud, as a father … she has been a dream realized. And her brother, a gentleman through and through … and so damn smart, a computer whiz kid, in heated talks with the government about some advanced satellite missile software he developed with his brainiac girlfriend in their spare time. He's another dream … fulfilled. Wonders never ceased for the Shepherd clan and I couldn't be more proud of this family, right here, right now.

I kept my eyes on her shrinking form still and she was almost at the back door when I saw it open. I held my breath at that moment – don't ask me why – maybe it was all the waiting and anticipating, but for some reason, I melted just a little bit at the thought of seeing Meredith and then she appeared, right out of the doorway, a midnight blue cashmere blanket wrapped around her shoulders, a file folder in her hands … most notable was the brilliant smile raging across her whole face as she embraced her baby girl.

I watched the two women in my life hug, holding onto each other for dear life, swaying in the wind – suspended in time – another indelible moment for all of us. Meredith pulled back first … their minds moving as fast as their lips would take them now as they leafed through a file Meredith held in her hands. They embraced once more, one headed inside to the warmth and the other – my Meredith – stepped off of the back porch and made her way to meet me … just like she planned we would for this moment on 'Grey's Point'.

I turned to watch Meredith approach me, the sun setting behind her, soon to disappear below the cabin and like no time had passed; I was back at our wedding day. I first waited for that glimmer of her – and then I'll never forget, a flare of her ecru gown flew out of the doorway – and my heart leapt into my throat in awe of what we were about to do. I watched her with bated breath now, exactly how I did on that cherished day nearly thirty years ago. With her hair flowing behind her, our then new cabin, our place on Grey's Point, our pride and joy as her backdrop – the place where we would come to raise our children and celebrate our lives together – our house of dreams.

Yes, if I closed my eyes, I could see her clear as day – right where I left her, held captive deep within my mind's eye – her wedding dress flowing all around her, her electrifying green eyes locked on mine, keeping me in the moment with her (even when my eyes clouded over with thick tears), she held me there and she never let me go. Her hair wild and crazy, walking toward me – alone – for she said that she would be the one to give herself away to me … because she loved me and she needed me and she wanted me … for forever and a day.

And now as she held me there, those same beautiful eyes locked on mine as she came near, I was reminded (as I frequently was) that she could have been that same woman – my Meredith, shrouded in that ecru wedding gown – and she was … the same woman I married. The same woman I have loved for … ever. Except that over our years together she'd evolved into so much more – because even though she had long-since been my everything – she had created new ways for me to fall deeply in love with her over and over and over again without even trying.

In the end, my love for Meredith Grey really transcended above all else in my life – she's my core, she's in me, she's with me all the time – and I'm proud that our love for one another has really lived a life all its own, it's become …

Timeless …

Endless …

Limitless …

Undefined …

Forever evolving …

just like us.

I closed my eyes briefly as she took the last couple of steps to reach me – she was still there in my mind's eye – and when I opened my eyes, she stood in front of me.

"Derek Shepherd, where did all of your hair go?" she teased lightly, a hint of sarcasm in her voice, but I knew she was just trying to deflect the attention away from her.

I laughed big and folded her into my arms, hugging her tight, letting the warmth and familiarity of our bubble of energy consume us, cloak us, steal the wind and make the moment ours.

"Congratulations, you did it," I breathed, feeling her tremble ever so slightly under my touch. "Shh, you did good, you'll be fine … you did good," I soothed.

"I know," she said, peeking up, her hot cheeks flushed from the cooler air. "You should see Cris!" she giggled, and then I knew everything was going to be fine … as long as Meredith's giggled … there was hope.

"It's not like they ban you when you retire," I assured with a smile. "But in this one case, this one time, I can say … it'll get easier," I offered.

"I know," she whispered. "Kiss it better for now … just kiss me," she ordered breathlessly and before she could blink I covered my mouth over hers.

We kissed then like we always would and always had – with consumption, with our hearts and souls and everything in between – I swept my tongue along hers and she fought for control, still kissing like we did when we first met, without abandon, without a care in the world, totally lost and yet completely found.

"I love you Meredith," I said against her lips. "And I'm so damn proud of you," I said smiling, before she swayed in the wind slightly, holding her file in her hands, the blanket in her fists.

"I love you … more," she smiled, bright and carefree now, all better. "Want to swing?" she asked.

"Sure, lets," I agreed and we walked over and up the couple of steps to the gazebo.

I sat down on the swing and Meredith sat on my lap sideways, this had always been our thing. She draped the blanket over our legs and burrowed deeper into my body, squirming, settling, moving until she was comfortable.

"All better," she breathed, pressing tiny kisses to my neck and up to my earlobe. "Hmm, I missed you today," she said reflectively.

"Me too, me too … do you want to talk about it? Last surgery … last save?" I asked, moving my free hand along the beautiful line of her cheek bone.

"I'm okay, it was time … I think our trip helps … Maui's calling," she mused with a relaxed smile. I smiled too, pressing my nose to the back of her earlobe, breathing her in.

"Hmm, about that … I have a surprise for you," I whispered, reaching down for the travel documents.

"I have one for you too," she whispered. "Yours first," she said softly, kissing my cheek, holding her hand there for a moment, her eyes flashed to mine – stunning me with the intensity of her beauty – much how she always had and always would. I faltered, my heart on fire and then smiled.

I snaked the fat envelope from my pocket and laid it across her lap. She ran her fingers over our names – back and forth – before eying me curiously, I smiled. "Do you remember that very first time we went up to Haleakala to bike down?" I asked, my heart rate accelerated with excitement.

"It was my surprise for you …," she smiled, relaxing into me further. "Cristina's non-honeymoon," she reflected.

"Yes … well, you might not remember them, but … ah, well there was this family there, grandparents … and two of their grandkids," I said, Meredith turned her head up, I found her eyes in the dimming light.

"I remember them," she said, her eyes shimmering now with recollection.

"Well, I had a very short chat with the grandfather – that trip they were on – they had both retired and they were taking a trip around the world and for some reason, this idea always stayed with me …,"

"I remember, I …," she mused with a smile, interjecting.

"You remember what?" I asked, somewhat mystified now.

"I heard you speaking with him," she said, her eyes shining. "We were riding up to the crater, it was pitch black and I fell asleep, but I woke up when I heard your voice," she laughed. "I kept my eyes closed though," she said, peeking up to me, my heart raced … after all this time, a lifetime of … secretly planning. I laughed.

"Why, why did you do that?" I asked, smiling, for my wife always seemed to surprise me.

"I don't remember, I mean, I do … I remember thinking that it was a kind of a private moment for you," she smiled.

I pressed my lips together … what could I say?

"Well," I laughed. "I planned one for us – a trip around the world, Meredith – I somehow always wanted to live that moment, take that trip – be that retired man with his wife and her shining eyes and the way they looked at each other – I wanted to be that man with you," I said as Meredith turned into me.

She held my head with her long surgeon's fingers, her eyes shimmering against the sunset behind me – she rubbed her nose against mine, nudging me – she pressed her perfect heart-shaped lips over mine, the perfect fit, every time. "Ask me to go, Derek," she said into my mouth. "Ask me," she whispered and I melted inside.

"Will you take a trip around the world with me, Meredith?" I said, my lips a half of an inch from hers, her hot breath pumping in and out of my mouth.

"Yes, my love … I love you," she whispered, moving her mouth directly over my ear. "So much, I love everything about our world here, but I can't wait to see the rest of it … with you," she murmured.

And if it was possible – and of course it was – I fell in love with Meredith all over again in that moment as she turned my head in her hands and kissed me once more on the lips, pumping her mouth over mine, darting her tongue in … just for a taste. I pulled away first, her wild locks everywhere, tangled in my fingers.

"Me too, sun rises and sunsets all over the world, everywhere – six months worth, without even thinking – we'll see it, just like home, just like Grey's Point," I found myself rambling.

"Grey's Point," Meredith murmured into my neck, squirming over my lap again now. I looked down. "Hold on," she said as she fished what looked like her drivers' license and passport from her jacket pocket. "Here," she said, handing her documents to me.

I opened her passport and then looked at her drivers' license, which was dated with today's date and her passport renewed in the previous month. I stared at her name as it became blurred around the edges, the typeface disappearing now and all that was left was the meaning of her grand gesture.

Meredith Shepherd

I smiled, making a sidelong glance at my wife of almost thirty years – my wife, who for professional reasons did not change her name when we were married – her more recent secret appointments not lost on me now.

"You changed your name," I said, stating the fact, my heart raced … Meredith is a Shepherd. I smiled wide and big and proud. I looked up and caught the happiness in her eyes.

Meredith is a Shepherd.

"Well, I'm not a surgeon anymore," she said, smiling.

Meredith is a Shepherd.

"So," I said curiously, she only giggled.

Meredith is a Shepherd.

"So, I'm gonna spend the rest of my life being Mrs. Shepherd," she said resolutely, a hint of mischief in her eyes … my heart went absolutely nuts.

Meredith is a Shepherd.

"You're a Shepherd, Meredith," I whispered, kissing her quickly on the sound of her new name.

"I am, Derek … I always have been, you know that – in here, in me – I just …," her voice trailed off, a small tear escaped from her eye and I smiled, wiped it away and held her tighter.

I rested my chin on her shoulder, "I love you," I whispered, cherishing the moment for a beat. "Oh God," I sighed. "My mother would have been so happy … another Mrs. Shepherd," I laughed.

"Hmm, I love you Derek," Meredith said, so soft, so evenly, her voice was carried out into the wind. "I have another surprise for you," she said, kissing my lips, once twice. "The folder … it's for you," she said, before she pressed another kiss against my lips.

I reached down to the bench and picked the file up; Meredith turned in my lap and opened the file up. I craned my chin over her shoulder and peeked inside the file with her and there before us lay the title deed for 'Grey's Point' … renamed appropriately and finally thirty years later, 'Shepherd's Point'.

I sucked in a deep breath and smiled, breathing my wife in, the essence of her, the aura of us as I held this cherished memory, this moment in time in my mind's eye.

"See that Derek … another dream realized, another promise fulfilled … Grey's Point has finally become Shepherd's Point," she whispered, leaning back and into me. I pressed my nose to the back of her ear and put my mouth on her neck, kissing and nipping at her skin as I went.

"Finally," I whispered.

"Finally," she whispered.

Meredith closed the file, stood and turned into me as I made to stand only to take her in my arms – to hold her, kiss her, love her – very much like we had done for countless nights during our lifetime together to date. And as we gathered up our things and headed down the steps of the gazebo, walking together, arms around each other now – eyes forward, on our place, our pride and joy, our house of dreams – with the bright orange sky of the sunset above it, we could only smile and relish in all that we had become and all that we had to still look forward to in this lifetime and beyond.

The cherished view of the midpoint behind us now as we walked away to pack for our trip around the world, a trip over which we would see countless midpoints – but knowing that deep within our hearts only one midpoint on this earth really mattered and that was ours – finally ours … 'Shepherd's Point'.

The End.