Chapter 1 Meredith was driving into work and running late. She was speeding a little, down the residential streets of Seattle. Since she had just talked to her husband about his speeding problem, this made her feel a little bit like a hypocrite. However he had been going 125mph on the highway not 40mph in a 30 zone. Plus he'd gotten himself thrown in jail multiple times. SHe doubted she'd end up in jail for going a little over the speed limit.
Her pager went off and she checked the screen quickly smiling as she saw it was the very man she was thinking of. She was on Derek's service this week which meant she really didn't need to worry too much about getting to work a little late, however she was now more then just a little late. Even her own husband may get mad at her for being almost a half hour late. She reached for her phone, looking away from the road for a split second. That was all the time it took for her to not notice a car run through the red light at the intersection in front of her and hit her side of the car in a T-Bone. After the car settled she had time to realize she was upside down, hear her pager go off again and someones scream before the world went dark.

Derek Shepherd tried paging his wife for the 3rd time. She was on his service this week and he had a surgery that, though it wasn't emergent, he thought was pretty interesting. He knew Meredith should have been at the hospital 45 mins ago. But she wasn't answering her pages. He tried to think if he'd done something to get her to try to avoid him but couldn't think of anything. As he went in search of her best friend he smiled remembering this morning when he'd left her in their nice warm bed.
He finished dressing in his blue button down shirt and black dress slacks and walked to the bed leaning over to kiss her softly on the lips whispering, "Goodbye, see you later" to her sleeping form. As he pulled away her hand snaked up and pulled him closer for a longer deeper kiss. He laughed kissing her back. He tried to pull away again but she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down on top of her. "Meredith I'm going to be late!" He laughed again.
"So?" She said kissing him again.
He shook his head kissing her deeply before getting up quickly, avoiding her grasp.
"I'll see you later. Remember you're on my service this week, so we'll be spending a lot of time together... maybe even a little bit in an on-call room," He winked at her smiling from the doorway now as her pout turned to a smile too. Then he walked out of their bedroom and headed to work.
He finally found Cristina talking to Teddy at the nurses station.
"Cristina! Have you seen Meredith?" He called out.
"No she wasn't here yet when I got here. Isn't she on your service this week?" "Yes but she's not answering my pages." He started to worry.
"What'd you do this time McDreamy?" Cristina asked sarcastically.
"Nothing," Derek said defensively, "We've been fine, since she told me..." He glanced at Teddy who was watching intently, "Since she told me... anyway I didn't do anything. I'm starting to worry now Cristina, she's almost an hour late, and that's not Meredith."
"You're right that's definitely not like her. I'll try calling her... maybe you did something stupid and you don't even know it. Typical McDreamy." She shook her head pulling out her phone.
Derek just ignored her, waiting.
"McDreamy?" Teddy asked out of the blue, Derek barely even registering that she'd said anything. "I'm sorry what?" He turned his head to look at her.
"Cristina called you McDreamy. I was just curious. I've never heard... Why McDreamy?"
"Well umm, it's kind of a long..." Derek stopped talking as Cristina started talking.
"Hey Mer it's Cris. Your Post-It is wondering where you are since you're on his service and I'm sure he has an empty on-call room for you booked. Anyway call me when you get this. Bye," She hung up and looked at Derek. "She's not answering, I wonder where she is."
Derek ran a hand through his hair racking his brain trying to think of where she could be.
"So, McDreamy?" Teddy said again.
"Oh it's really a long story and..." Derek tried to brush it off.
"Oh shut up McDreamy it's not a long story," Cristina cut him off and turned to Teddy, "When they first started seeing each other and Meredith was all mooning over him and worrying about whether she should date an attending or not and Shepherd was trying to convince her to I dubbed him McDreamy, I mean look at him" Cris and Teddy both turned to look Derek, who was now leaning against the nurses station, up and down. "Plus he obviously had a way with words to get Meredith to cave and date her boss."
"So you're the one I should blame for all these years of ribbing about that nickname?" Derek asked interrupting her, "I never knew it was you that started that whole McNickname. Did you nickname Mark too?"
"Oh no that was," Cristina started.
"Mark has a nickname too?" Teddy asked, "Why haven't I heard these nicknames?"
"Oh yes Mark definitely has a nickname. And you haven't heard them probably because they just aren't used as much anymore. Though every once in a while they do something and it sparks a new wave of it. Like when McDreamy proposed in the elevator. Oh that was definitely a spark that got the McDreamy nickname going again."
"So what's Mark's nickname?" Teddy asked.
"McSteamy." Cristina said smirking.
"Who came up with that if it wasn't you?" Derek asked again, "Was it Stevens?"
"No it was actually Meredith, right after you'd punched him the first time, and he was suturing his own face. She asked one of us to get x-rays for him since she didn't think it would be right for her to take him. And so McSteamy was born."
"Meredith named him McSteamy?"
"You punched Mark? More then once?" Derek and Teddy spoke at the same time and Cristina laughed.
"That's a long story too," Derek said in avoidance. "Oh now you don't wanna talk?" Cristina said, "Mark showed up while Shepherd was still married to Addison. The first thing he did when he got here was flirt with Meredith. So Shepherd punched him."
"But you were married to Addison. Why would you care if anyone flirted with Grey?" Teddy asked confused.
"Do you not listen to any gossip whatsoever?" Cristina asked as Derek shifted his feet, feeling more and more uncomfortable.
"No not really." Teddy said.
"So you haven't heard anything of the golden couple's story?" "Cristina..." Derek groaned.
"Oh quiet McDreamy you know anyone in this hospital would tell her their version if she asked. Why not let her get it from some one who knows the story well?"
Derek just shook his head, then sighed in relief as his pager went off. He looked down at it and frowned at the unfamiliar number. He picked up the phone at the nurses desk as Cristina began telling Teddy basically the story of his life in Seattle starting with his one night stand with Meredith. Though he showed he was annoyed with her on the outside he smiled on the inside as he listened to the story of he and his wife's rocky beginnings until someone picked up the phone on the other line. "Seattle Presbyterian Hospital, how may I help you?" He heard a very cheerful voice say.
"Um hi my name is Dr. Derek Shepherd. I just received a page from this number."
"Oh," He heard the lady gasp slightly, "Just a moment Dr. let me transfer you,"
"But," Before he could say anything the line transferred to that annoying music you hear when you're put on hold. He sighed and began listening to Cristina again.
"So they were doing a clinical trial, and Derek was dating Rose, and Meredith was seeing Dr. Wyatt, and they been told they could only do one more or they were going to be shut down. Meredith convinced Shepherd to do two more surgeries in one day and they finally got it right. Then she built him a house of candles," Derek smiled remembering her ramble of being extraordinary together and then their kiss, "And they got back together and started living together and," "Why a house of candles?" Teddy asked. Apparently she'd been quite interested in their lives but had never been interested enough to ask someone.
While Cristina went on to explain the trailer and the cliff and the rest of their story someone came back on the line.
"Dr. Derek Shepherd?" A gentleman's voice said.
"Yes I'm Dr. Shepherd. Do you guys need a neurosurgeon or something?" Derek asked.
"Um no why would we need a neurosurgeon?" The gentlemen asked.
"Well you just paged your rivals Head of Neuro-Surgery I figured you needed me for a case?" Derek asked confused now.
"Oh no Dr. we did page because of an emergency but its not neuro related." "Well then why did you..." Derek broke off realizing the possibility of why they would be calling him for an emergency.
"We had a MVC come in about 10 mins ago and the young lady had your name in her wallet. Her phone was broken so your number was the only one we could use to contact somebody to let them know she was in an accident."
Derek's heart sped up and his lungs seemed to refuse to work and he leaned heavily on the nurses station. Cristina stopped talking and both her and Teddy turned to him.
"Do... do you know... who she is?" Derek barely got out, praying it was just a patient of his and not...
"Yes Dr. she had her hospital ID in her car. Her name is Meredith Grey"
"Oh my god..." Derek got out as he layed his forehead on the nurses station, "Is... how is... is she ok?" "Sir are you ok?" the man said hearing the change in Derek's voice.
"Tell me she's ok," He was a little more forceful this time.
"I'm sorry Dr. I can't give out personal information without the patients consent."
"I'm her husband!" Derek yelled into the phone and now both Cristina and Teddy's expressions showed surprise and concern, "Tell me she's ok, I'm her husband you can talk to me." "I'm sorry Dr. I can't give you personal information. She didn't have a ring on and her last name isn't the same as yours. There's no indication that she's married that we can tell." "I am her husband! Just because she doesn't wear a ring or have my last name doesn't mean we aren't married. You have to tell me she's ok!"
"I'm sorry.."
"Don't tell me you're sorry!" Derek cut him off, "If you won't tell me what her injuries are please just tell me she's ok, that she'll be ok, please!" Derek started to sound desperate.
The man hesitated but finally said, "She should be fine Dr."
Derek hung up as soon as he heard she would be ok and started running for his office to get his keys.
"Derek!" Cristina yelled running after him, "Where are you going?"
"Seattle Pres. Meredith was in an accident and they wont tell me what happened because they don't think I'm her husband." Derek said as he reached his office grabbed his keys and started off for his car. "Derek wait, I'll drive." Cristina grabbed his keys from his hand.
"Cristina!" Derek made an unsuccessful grab for them.
"You are in no shape to drive and you'd probably speed anyway. And! Meredith would kill me if she found out I let you drive in this state and you ended up in an accident too"
Derek stared for about two seconds before moving to the passenger side and getting in. Teddy came running up and got in the back seat as and Derek turned around, looking at her confused.
"Seattle Pres just paged me saying they needed a consult for an MVC."
Derek's eyes got big and his breath caught again. Teddy was amazed with the transformation of this man and the way all of his emotions were right there on his face. "I don't know if its for her. They just said it was a MVC. It could be someone else.
Derek just turned around and stared out the window. Why did this have to happen to them? Hadn't they been through enough already?
The rest of the trip was silent and as they pulled up to the emergency doors the car was still rolling to a stop when Derek jumped out and ran through the doors still dressed in his scrubs. He ran up to the nurses station directly in front of him. And the nurse sitting there looked up at him startled as his hands slammed on the counter.
"I need to know where Meredith Grey is? I was told she was brought here after an accident."
"And who are you?" The nurse asked looking at him curiously in his scrubs.
"I'm her..."
"Doctor," Cristina cut him off sending him a look, "This is Dr Derek Shepherd and Dr Teddy Altman. Dr. Shepherd is a neurosurgeon and Dr Altman a CardioThoracic Surgeon. Dr. Altman was paged for a consult on a MVC and decided to bring Dr Shepherd along thinking he may be needed as well."
"And you are..." The nurse questioned.
"A resident at Seattle Grace here to learn from Dr. Altman," Cristina smiled.
The nurse looked at them skeptically but shrugged as her phone started to ring. "Ms. Grey is in Trauma Room 2, right over there," The nurse gestured to their right.
Derek took off almost at a run until he got to the room where the blinds were open and he could see Meredith laying on a hospital bed. He slid to a stop as he stared at his wife lying there helpless and broken. He could see a gash on her forehead and a Dr was looking at her wrist. Her top had been cut open and she was just in her bra. He noticed the defibrillator sitting next to a Dr and his breath stopped yet again. Until he saw on a monitor that though her heartbeat wasn't good it was still there. Cristina and Teddy finally caught up with him and shook him out of his daze. They walked to the door and Teddy walked in first. A couple of the Drs glanced up.
"I'm Dr Altman, I was paged for an MVC?" Teddy asked calmly staring at the monitors already seeing a problem.
"Finally," One Dr said. "She's been going in and out of V-Fib and we're not sure why. Our Head of CT isn't here and I've never seen this so we decided to call over to Seattle Grace for some help. We're able to stable her for about ten minutes at a time and then she goes into V-Fib again."
Teddy walks over and listens to Meredith's heart and then feel around her chest. "She has a broken rib that keeps press against her heart." Teddy says and hears Derek gasp behind her.
"Who's this?" The Dr that seems to be in charge asks. When Derek doesn't answer Teddy steps in.
"This is my colleague Dr Shepherd. He's a neurosurgeon. I figured MVC you may need his help to."
"Shepherd?" One of what seem to be the interns asks, "the Shepherd Method Shepherd?"
"Um," Derek clears his throat still having troubles breathing but starting to become aware of his surrounds besides just Meredith on a hospital bed, "Ya that Shepherd"
"Wow you're like a legend in the neuro world," the intern grins like he's meeting a rockstar.
"Thank you Dr Stratton," the Dr at Meredith's head says sarcastically, "And thank you Dr Shepherd for your concern in our needs for a neurosurgeon but I feel quite capable of handling a slight concussion."
Derek recognizes the voice and focuses on the Dr.
"Oh, Dr Lewiston. I hadn't realized you lived in Seattle now," Derek said still coming out of his daze.
"You guys know each other?" Teddy asked trying to get Derek fully aware as she continued to listen to Mer's heart to make sure there weren't any other problems besides the broken rib which though was serious if unknown, was easily monitored and fixed.
"We went to college together." Dr Lewiston said with a bit of a sneer. Derek shook his head still unsure after all these years why the man disliked him so much. They'd barely known each other in college. The only real reason they got to know each other was that they'd both been interested in neuro and had taken many classes together but had never become friends. Mostly because Derek didn't like the way the man operated. He was more concerned with his image then the medicine it seemed in college. And from what Derek had heard of him as a Dr that hadn't changed. Meredith's body started to shake pulling Derek out of his thoughts and sending his heart racing again.
"She's seizing!" Teddy called out, "I thought you said she only had a concussion?" She yelled at Lewiston as she held Mer down trying to keep her chest still as possible to prevent the rib from pressing any further into her heart.
"There was no indication for anything else," Lewiston said as Mer finally stopped seizing.
"Except maybe the fact that she was in a car accident!" Derek yelled at him and moved to nudge him out of the way as he began to examine her himself.
"Derek," Teddy said in a low voice.
"I'm going to examine her since obviously he's incapable," Lewiston started to speak but Cristina nudged him out of the way too and gave him a look.
"Shouldn't you be wearing gloves?" He decided to say instead.
Derek just glared at him for a second before returning to Mer as he ran his fingers over her scalp. Teddy pushed an area on Mer's side and her heart rate began to return to normal. "I think that should help her heart but I'd like to get some tests done." She said and glanced up at Derek, who's fingers now were covered in Mer's blood as he felt around her forehead.
"Dr. Shepherd?" Teddy tried to get his attention and succeeded when he looked up at her.
"She has a slight compressed skull fracture that shouldn't be too severe but I think she needs some brain scans done too." He whispered.
Teddy looked around at the group of interns just standing there.
"Well? Is anyone going to get the scans and tests? Don't all jump at once." As the intern who'd recognized Derek's name, jumped forward for the chart and the tests and scans they'd written down Derek held onto his tight for a second to get the intern to look up at him.
"You better take excellent care of her. If anything happens to her so help me..."
"Derek!" Teddy cut him off again and he let go and the intern moved to push Mer's bed. Derek ran his hand over her hair softly as she was pushed out the door and whispered inaudibly "I love you." Cristina the closest to him was the only one who heard and looked at him. She put a hand on his arm and when Mer was out of sight he looked at her. "She knows." Cris whispered.