A/N Hi, this chapter should have been up ages ago but my other story got in the way. I plan on updating it regularly from now on though.

Quick reminder of what's happened recently: MerDer are trying for a baby while Mer was invited to take part in five-month research in Europe.


Baby-making sex rocked, fleeted through Meredith's head as Derek's hand slipped inconspicuously under her shirt, teasing the small of her back with his fingertips as they walked together through the corridor of their department. She had heard opinions that trying for a baby took all the fun away, but apparently not for her and Derek. If anything, it served as a good excuse to make love with staggering frequency. It was probably because they were trusting mother nature. They were just acting on their libido, which became the more insatiable, the more they tried to satisfy it. Like now, for example. They were already after a round of the bendy thing in the shower. They barely reached their workplace and the desire coursed in their blood all over again.

"My office or yours?" whispered Derek mischievously catching her earlobe between his teeth.

She glanced around with a giggle and locked her arms around his neck, pressing her body flush against him.

"Mine, I'm in a flexibility mode today," she answered before pulling his lips into a fierce kiss.

They crashed against the wall with a moan as it pushed them together more violently. Derek fumbled blindly for the door handle to Meredith's office behind her heaving form. It was imperative they came inside or they would… come outside for everyone to see. They finally stumbled into the small room, a moan of relief escaped Derek's throat. Nothing would stop him from taking his horny wife, nothing… except…

"Have you two got no regard for feeling of others?" They heard Cristina's amused voice. "My feelings, for example. I can't even work in this hospital without the fear of walking into you in a position taken straight out of a hardcore porn movie."

Derek pulled back with frustration. He could kill Cristina right now. There would be no witnesses other than Meredith and he could give his wife a mind-blowing orgasm to keep her quiet… or loud.

"Dr. Hunt," he gritted out instead, knowing it would piss the female surgeon.

"It's Dr. Yang," she hissed predictably. "Not every woman agrees to put on the collar of patriarchy like your wife."

"We'll hear out your fascinating treatise on feminism sometime later, Dr. Hunt," he answered back pronouncing Owen's surname adamantly. "We've been just about to something more important. Mer, my office…"

To his surprise and irritation, Meredith resisted slightly. She spotted a piece of paper in her best friend's hands, a piece of paper that should be nowhere near Derek.

"We'll finish later," she planted a chaste kiss on his lips and pushed him out to the corridor.

"You can't ask me to leave," he frowned indignantly.

"I think she just did," Cristina wiggled her eyebrows smugly. "Having penis is not everything."

He turned away to his own office with a disgruntled expression as Meredith shut the door into his face.

"You haven't said anything about that," said Cristina a little accusingly, flinging the letter from Paris in the air.

"There's nothing to tell," she remarked lightly. "You spy through my papers now?"

"I was looking for snacks," shrugged Cristina. "I know you're stocked for the midgets. But I found…" Suddenly she grimaced with disgust and distanced the letter, holding it gingerly between two outstretched fingers, like with pincers. "It stinks, did you do the nasty on it?"

Meredith rolled her eyes. "Michael's puppy carried it in his jaws. Besides... Derek doesn't know," she sighed sinking into a chair.

"So, you're not going?"

" ' Course not," Meredith answered decidedly.

"You know what it would do to your chances for the second Harper-Avery in a row?" inquired shrewdly Cristina.

"I know, I also know what it would do to my family."

"Okay," nodded Cristina.

"Okay, what have you been doing here so early?" Meredith nudged her leg under the table.

Cristina shifted with discomfort. She had hoped for an eye to eye conversation with her person, maybe even a freak-out therapy session but in the light of what she learnt from the letter… Surely, Meredith assured that she had no intention whatsoever to leave Seattle. But you didn't just usually say no to a proposition like that… Cristina felt it was too touch-and-go, she went back on her words and said instead, "Owen wants barbecue so… we're gate crashing or something to your wilderness one evening."

Meredith looked at her quizzically quirking her eyebrows. "Owen wants barbecue… and you're such a good little wife to fulfill his wishes from the moment the sun rises…"

Cristina stopped herself from letting out gagging noises and quipped, "He gives me sex."

"Riiiight," gasped Meredith studying her face scrupulously.

"What, you think you and McDreamy have a monopoly for the cheesy?"

"I think we do," grinned Meredith stashing the manhandled envelope deep into her drawer.

"Dr. Shepherd!" a nurse called Derek as he was passing the nurses' station on his way back from the OR. "There's a call for you!"

Mouthing silent thanks to her, he took the receiver and pressed it to his ear.

"Dr. Shepherd speaking."

"Docteur Shepherd?" a male voice speaking with a heavy French accent seemed surprised. "Ah, Docteur Shepherd, neurologist?"

"Yes," he chuckled. He knew well enough what was going on, it wasn't the first time. Every other day there was a mix-up involving him getting paged instead of Meredith, or Meredith being asked for a consult instead of him, the fact that they worked in the same specialty additionally complicating the matter. "I think you wanted to talk to my wife, Meredith."

"Ah, yes," confirmed the man at the other side of the line enthusiastically. "Exactlee! How curious, you are both docteurs?"

"Indeed," laughed Derek. "I'm sorry for the confusion."

"Non, I am sorry for my manners," argued the man. "I didn't introduce myself, Roger Fournier from-"

"From Paris, I know," finished for him Derek. "It's an honor. I'm Derek Shepherd."

"Could I speak to your wife, Docteur Shepherd?"

"She was just pulled to surgery. I'm afraid, it might take hours," explained Derek with a small sigh. They didn't have time to meet after she threw her out of her office to talk to Cristina and it look like they wouldn't meet for a sexy lunch date. "Can you tell me what is this about? I can pass your message as soon as she's finished."

"Bon, I wanted to ask her if she could possibly change her decision," sighed Dr. Fournier. "I know her answer but I insist that her participation in research is invaluable!"

"Research?" repeated Derek, blankness filling his bran. He was sure Meredith didn't mention any project involving as prestigious a figure as Dr. Fournier.

"Are you sure Dr. Shepherd's mind cannot be changed?"

"I'm… not sure," frowned Derek playing by the ear.

"I understand Dr. Shepherd to have prior commitments but really, I cannot imagine better conditions for a study here a Paris. We have rich sponsoring guaranteed, all five months."

"Right," said dryly Derek.

"But you know this already," sighed Dr. Fournier. "I would be très grateful if you could tell your wife I called."

"Of course, Dr. Fournier," assured Derek.

A deep frown creased his forehead as he put down the receiver. How could Meredith not mention an offer of collaboration with one of the most renown neurologists in the world? He shook his head disbelievingly. Not only did she overlook telling him this minor detail, she blatantly ignored him while making the decision. She didn't care asking him for his opinion as it was completely irrelevant in the equation. As though she knew better herself, all by herself… And maybe she did?

"I would have killed her with my own bare hands," Cristina shook her head telling Meredith about her latest patient as they stopped for a quick coffee. "I thought she was never going to decide on the valve: porcine or bovine, porcine or bovine, porcine or bovine… Her whining got me a headache!"

"A little sympathy for your patient, Cris," laughed Meredith. "She was probably unbelievably stressed. It's not a piece of cake from her point of view."

"She wasn't stressed," disagreed Cristina. "She was a woman obsessed. And the operation ran smoothly, no complications, boring!"

Meredith only rolled her eyes laughing. As she shook her head, she spotted her husband walking hurriedly from the elevator and thought maybe they'd have an opportunity for a little tête-à-tête.

"Derek?" she waved at him from the coffee machine. "You have a moment?" she asked him when he caught up with them.

"Actually… I'm heading to the pit for a consult," he answered crisply barely meeting her eyes.

"And later…?" she frowned at him slightly, something seemed off.

"I have a procedure in the schedule," he cut off.

"Yeah, at three," nodded Meredith. "But before-"

"Frankly, I'm tired, I'd like to catch a nap earlier," he muttered checking his pager.

"So, we'll see each other later?" she squinted at him suspiciously.

"Yeah." With that monosyllable he took off, Meredith and Cristina staring at his back in consternation.

"Why is the princess upset?" asked Cristina, her eyebrow raised skeptically.

"I have no idea," Meredith folded her arms over her chest, curious about the reason behind her husband's bad mood.

"He's probably stomping off because his ego's hurting," shrugged Cristina. "Denying sex and all that."

"I didn't deny him anything," argued Meredith. "Just put it off, and seriously, he doesn't get to be offended for that. He must be the most sexually satisfied man in Seattle. Especially now."

"Hey, don't look at me," quipped Cristina. "I didn't invent men."

"Well, if he thinks this attitude will get him laid, he's wrong," promised Meredith.

The rest of the day proved Meredith that maybe she was the one in the wrong. Derek's mysterious behavior couldn't be connected in any way with their sexual life. It would have been too trivial a reason for the silent rage he was exhibiting. It went further than just being cross with her. He was mad, mad and snappy. He was civil in front of the children but it didn't stop him from ignoring her during their ride home and afterwards. He seemed unable to look at her. And he avoided her touch when she passed her hand through his hair when he played with Mike on the carpet in the living room.

With years of experience in handling Derek, Meredith waited for the confrontation until after the kids were put to bed and asleep. She once more checked up on her two little sunshines, turned off the bedside lamp in Bessie's room and with a deep breath, entered her marital bedroom.

Derek was already getting ready for bed, pulling his tee on.

"I thought… we were going to have a bubble bath together," she started cautiously.

"The bathroom is all yours," he said dismissively grabbing the alarm clock to set the hour.

"I don't want it to be all mine," she tried softly walking up behind him and hugging him around his waist. She nuzzled her nose into his back, he was all fresh from the shower. "I want to share with you…"

"You could have fooled me," he muttered under his breath but loudly enough for Meredith to hear.

She let go off him and walked around to face him. "What's wrong? You've been acting like that since the afternoon so don't you think you should tell me what's the problem?"

"You don't know what's the problem," he repeated coldly. "The wedding vows didn't say anything about lying because I didn't think we needed it."

Derek's accusation and the hurt she saw clearly in his eyes knocked the air of her chest. "What… what are you talking about? I haven't lied to you about anything!" she said desperately.

"Maybe not directly," he finally faced her. "But you lied by omission, you can't deny that!"

All color seemed to drain from her face. "What…?" she asked feebly. "Derek, let's just sit down and talk-"

"I don't think it's me you should be talking to," snorted Derek. "I spoke with Dr. Fournier today. He wants you to contact him."

Meredith opened her mouth to say something but felt at a loss for words. Derek knew about the offer of the study in Paris. He wasn't supposed to learn like that, she was supposed to tell him, later.

"Now you're speechless," he pointed out pitilessly.

"Derek, I wanted to tell you…" she began her apologies, immediately realizing the words she chose couldn't be more cliché.

"You wanted?" he mocked her. "And you couldn't, right? You didn't have time? Wait, we only work and live together. It's so hard to scrape some time together, isn't it?"

"We just had… more important things on our minds," she tried to explain.

"Of course, I bet you told Cristina." He looked at her knowingly and slid under the covers.

"I didn't tell her." Meredith passed a hand over her forehead tiredly. "She found the letter."

"Convenient," he commented dryly.

She sat on the bed beside him and gently caressed his forearm.

"Derek, I am truly sorry you learned that way," she looked at him pleadingly. "But… I said no anyway. I didn't think there was much to discuss."

"Not much to discuss? Meredith!" he shook his head disbelievingly. "You get invited to a research project worth millions of dollars and there isn't much to discuss?"

"Derek, we're trying for a baby," argued Meredith. "We have two small children. Why would I ever consider going away for five months?"

"Maybe at least you could include me in your plans?" he bit back raising his eyebrows.

"I did, you were constantly on my mind-"

"Oh, so you did this for me?" he laughed bitterly. "You sacrificed yourself for me?"

"I didn't say that!" she gasped. "And certainly I didn't think that!"

"I have no idea what you thought, Meredith. I always had trouble guessing what's going on in your head."

"Derek! I-"

A sudden rustle coming from the baby monitor interrupted them and Michael's sleepy voice sounded in the room.

"Mommy? Mommy!"

"I'm going to check on Mike," said Meredith standing up and walking swiftly to the door. "We're going to talk about it when I'm back."

She quietly entered her little son's room finding him fussing in the bed.

"Mikey," she whispered. "Are you alright, Sweetie?"

"Mommy," he mumbled, sleep clouding his head.

She lit the little lamp that made shiny boats and ships drift on the dark walls and ceiling and crouched beside the bed, putting an arm around her son.

"What is it, Honey?" she asked sweetly, her thumbs caressing his cheeks. "Does your tummy hurt?"

"Nuh-uh," he shook his head, his dark curly locks making stark contrast with the pillow even in the dimmed lights.

"Did you have a bad dream?" she bumped her nose into his playfully.

"No!" he giggled.

"So you just woke up and wanted mommy?" she kissed both of his cheeks.

"Yes," he yawned quietly, his eyelids fluttering.

"And mommy is here," she whispered lovingly. "You can sleep soundly, little one. Mommy is here."

She tucked him and whispered, "I love you."

"Laff…" he huffed back, sleep already reclaiming his little body.

She stayed beside him a little longer, his peaceful steady breathing acting like a balm on her nerves. She liked to think she wasn't the worst mother in the world, she liked to think she gave them the sense of security her own childhood so blatantly lacked. She was there when they needed her and she wasn't going to change that. Certainly not for a rush of surgery, not for her career.

Finally, she got to her feet and tiptoed back to the master bedroom, intent on apologizing once more to her husband and making peace with him. However, Derek was already fast asleep. Or at least, he was pretending to be. With a sigh of resignation, she moved to the bathroom and filled the bath with water. As she let her limbs soak up in the warmth, her worries seemed to dissipate momentarily. Derek had a right to be mad at her, she kept a big secret from him. But even he couldn't reproach her long for choosing their family over medicine.

A/N If you're still interested in this fic, please give me a shout out. It was on hiatus since November so there might be a considerable loss of interest.

I'm off to see the sneak peeks for Thursday.