Fandom: Grey's Anatomy
Status: Complete (one shot)
Disclaimer : Characters and show belongs to Shonda Rhimes. Title belongs to The Research .
Author's Note: It takes place right now, somewhere during season 7 of Grey's Anatomy and season 4 of Private Practice. It's all canon. No flashback, no alternative universe.
Lonely hearts still beat the same.
It's a special day for you, not that you celebrate it but it still feels special to you. Actually, you haven't celebrated it in such a long time but still you like to remember it, to think about what you and Derekhad.
May 12th. The date of your wedding. You still remember the best day of your life like it was yesterday. The sun was shining high, you were so happy because the life you had always wanted was about to start. All your family and friends were there, you were as beautiful as a princess. That day is a day you'll never forget, no matter what.
You're in Los Angeles now. It's 5.30 am but you can't sleep anymore. Your shift starts in six hours but you know you won't be able to fall asleep again. Trying not make any sound because you don't want to wake Sam up, you walk to your walk-in closet and take a big red box. It's well hidden under an untidy pile of clothes you don't wear anymore. This box is full of memories and you only open it on May 12th. Every year.
The sound of your feet on the marble stairs are barely audible, you really don't want to wake Sam up. You want to do this on your own, like you've always done. It's already hot outside so you decide to go to your balcony. There's a gentle breeze; sun and breeze, just the weather you like the most.
You sit on your lawn chair with the red box on your knees. You take a deep breath and then you open it. As you open it, you get carried away by memories. There are a lot of things in this box and even if you and Derek got divorced many years ago, they still hurt you like the first time.
The first thing you pick is a necklace Derek gave you as a birthday present the first year you were a couple. It's beautiful. It's made of white gold with a topaz set in a heart-shaped pendant. He said that that topaz matched perfectly with your eyes. You've worn it since that day. When you and Derek got divorced, though, you felt like you couldn't wear it anymore. You just couldn't.
You gently put it back into the box and then you take a little piece of paper. It's all ruined but you don't care, you just can't throw it away. There's the song Derek wrote for you written on it. Our eyes met over the cadaver, and I knew that I had to have her… You start singing to yourself. You sigh a little remembering how happy you two were. Everybody wanted what you two had.
Then, you grab an intense light blue tie. He forgot it at your brownstone when he left for Seattle. Once arrived in Seattle, you really wanted to give it back to him but when you realized that you two were done for good, you decided to keep it for yourself. It still smells the same, you think while smelling it. The tie smells good, it smells like his favorite perfume.
After the tie, your hand reaches something cold, stiff and white. You grumble a little and then you take it out the box. It's a pregnancy test. Negative. The only one that you've ever taken in your life. You and Derek had been married for five years when you thought you were pregnant. You really wished to be pregnant. But you weren't. You cried so much. After that, you and Derek tried to have a child so badly but it never happened. Maybe you weren't supposed to have a child, to be a mother. Who knows.
At last, the most important thing. Your wedding picture. You and Derek were so happy that you could feel your happiness, your joy, from the picture itself. Your red hair loose on your shoulders, your extremely beautiful white dress, a bouquet of red roses in your hands. Derek's by your side, his arm around your waist. A single crystal tear slides on your left cheek. Your fingers caress gently the picture, your memory flies to the best day of your life. Actually, you always cry a little on your anniversary day. It doesn't matter that you and Derek are not married anymore – he's even already married to Meredith and you're in a serious relationship with Sam – but on the day of your anniversary you can feel him right beside you, like he was on your wedding picture.
There's one thing you don't know, though. Derek is sitting all alone on the couch, Meredith's sleeping upstairs in their bedroom. He's having a scotch, he doesn't care it's not even breakfast time and he has something in his hands. Something he's caressing and staring at with such a broken look on his face. It's your wedding picture. The very same you're holding in your hands right now. He does that every year, just like you. He also keeps the picture hidden somewhere in his dresser. Just like you, he thinks that not seeing the picture every fucking day will keep your memory vague. He doesn't want to get hurt, he doesn't want to remember, he just wants to forget. Because thinking of you still hurts him, just like thinking of him still hurts you. May 12th. Sometimes he cries on this day but he'd be too proud to admit it.
Two people, one soul. You still love him but you don't know that he still loves you. You've both moved on, you're kinda happy with Sam but deeply in your heart you know that Derek's the real love of your life. Your soulmate. He is now married to Meredith but, every year, looking at you in the pictures, he knows that he's not over you. He knows he still loves you and he always will. Deeply in his heart, he always will.
You gently close the red box, go upstairs and hide it where it's supposed to be. You lay down on your bed next to Sam, you close your eyes and try to think about something funny, something not related to Derek, something to cheer you up. His presence still lingers in your mind, though.
You don't know that Derek's doing the same thing, except for the fact that he's lying on the couch. He's trying to think about his surgeries scheduled for that day but he can't stop thinking about how happy and in love with each other you were so many years ago.
The end of a relationship doesn't mean that love is over, too. Sometimes, people make terrible mistakes and they just take the easier way to fix them. They decide to let go, to start fresh. They think they need a new beginning but it's not always as easy as it seems. Love doesn't end with two signatures on the divorce papers. It takes you a lot more to forget the love you feel for a person, especially when it comes to your soulmate. It might take you weeks, months or even years to realize it. When you do, it will be too late; life will have already taken advantage of the situation. Thing is, though, that lonely hearts still beat the same.