Summary: Post 7x11 "Disarm". Meredith and Derek, the aftermath and dancing.
Disclaimer: Don't own it. Never claimed to, never will.
A/N: So, I think it's fair to say that 7x11 was the first episode of series seven that truly excited me. It felt like a return to form and it was possibly the first episode of the series where I liked every character and enjoyed every storyline. I could sit here and list countless moments that I adored, but I've given it some thought, and I think it would come down to two (with "then roll over" a close third): Meredith and Derek on the catwalk in second, and the laughter in the gallery just sneaking into first. I did however want to see what happened next for Meredith and Derek, and so I wrote it. It's just my little take on it, so enjoy.
Dance in Public
The doctors and staff of Seattle Grace Mercy West took up a vast area of Joe's that evening, with an almost effortless mix of sorrow and hilarity. Pockets of silent contemplation intermingled easily relative uproar and amusement.
Despite everything that had come back to haunt them, they had survived again. They had helped 26 people survive their very own horror.
And one of their own had returned.
Meredith and Cristina sat slightly removed from their friends, picking at a bowl of nuts and clinking a succession of drinks as the night progressed. Derek had mingled among his friends and colleagues, answering an evening of comments on their swift return to complete, almost blissful normality with a simple answer. They were Meredith and Cristina. It needed no further explaining. It was only when he saw his wife place her head on her folded arms that he suspected it might be time to join them.
Walking over, he rested warm hands over her shoulders, marvelling as ever at the vast expanse they covered on her tiny body. Her shoulders rolled in instant recognition, and she let out a sound akin to a purr as he massaged them gently, shifting slightly on her stool as he pressed his thumbs into the back of her neck, working away some of the tension of the day before leaning down to kiss her neck.
"Mmm, that's good," she mumbled, straightening eventually and leaning comfortably back against him as he moved his hands from her shoulders, snaking both arms around her waist instead. She twisted to press a light kiss to his cheek, her lips warm against his skin.
"Hi," he breathed against her ear, nodding slightly in greeting to Cristina. "Good to see you back, Yang," he told her, sincerity laced through his words. He meant it, and not just for Meredith's sake.
"Thank you, Derek," was Cristina's surprisingly quiet response. Their eyes met for a moment, and he nodded in understanding. "I'm off to find my husband," she announced quickly, rolling her eyes, "before you go all...McDreamy on her and make me regret starting to like you." He could only laugh as she disappeared, loosening his arms slightly as Meredith spun round on her stool, leaning up to press a kiss to his lips.
"I haven't been drinking," she told him quietly, her eyes warm and shining slightly as he processed her words. He'd had his suspicions, surprisingly more so than usual when she rested her head on her arms. Meredith wasn't a sleepy drunk, she was a dance on the porch with a bottle of tequila type of drunk.
Of which he had very fond memories.
"Because of the three heads and sixteen toes?" he asked, chuckling as she nodded and leant up to kiss him again. "How are you doing with the no drinking thing?" he continued, suddenly aware of the three glasses of scotch he'd already consumed and that she could surely taste on his lips.
"Surprisingly okay," she told him eventually, her eyes practically sparkling. "I mean, yeah I could've done with one after today, but it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would." She went quiet for a moment. "And it doesn't bother me that you can drink," she told him quietly, a smile crossing her lips as his face told him that she'd correctly read his mind. "I like kissing you when you taste of scotch," she whispered, pressing her lips to his in a lingering kiss. He laughed against her lips, tightening his arms around her waist.
"And how's Cristina?"
"She's... yeah." Meredith paused, shaking her head slightly as she tried to find the words. "She's Cristina again," she settled on eventually, smiling as his eyes crinkled slightly in understanding. "And she actually likes you," she added, as they both laughed. That really was something neither had expected. "Thank you for helping her come back," she whispered quietly, laying her cheek against his chest as her eyes fluttered shut for a moment.
"You're welcome, sweetheart," he breathed eventually, trailing his fingers slowly up and down her arm. "Tired?" he asked eventually, squeezing her arm gently. She nodded, tipping her head up as she opened her eyes.
Although he'd never voice the opinion when she was in earshot, he found the sleepy version of his wife incredibly endearing...and the slow, sleepy and unbelievably intimate lovemaking it would lead to them finding themselves tangled up in once they found the privacy of their bedroom was one of his favourite ways to end his day.
"Tired doesn't even cover it... but I don't want to go just yet," her soft voice broke into his thoughts, answering the second question before he even had time to ask it as she leant back against his clasped hands, twisting a little to survey the scene around them. A makeshift dance floor had formed between the tables they were all occupying, and she touched his hand as they watched, pointing to Mark and Lexie amidst the couples. They had, it seemed, well and truly figured things out. He smiled, directing her to look at Cristina and Owen who finally looked like newlyweds should, and she tangled her fingers loosely through his in response. "Who's the guy with Teddy?" she asked eventually, glancing up at him in mild confusion. He shrugged, barely giving her question a second thought as a grin played across his lips as he tugged her gently off her stool. Her eyes flicked between him and the dance floor a couple of times. "You don't dance in public," she accused, letting him lead her over anyway as her own smile grew to match his.
"Maybe I'll make an exception for you," he murmured against her ear, one of her hands still held in his between their bodies as his other arm settled securely around her waist.
"I'm honoured," she laughed, letting her head rest against his shoulder as they swayed gently, barely moving from the spot they started in. "And this is far more appropriate for public dancing than the first time you danced with me..."
"Don't remind me," he shot back easily, although he wouldn't take that moment back for the world. They had been dealing with a death row serial killer while he'd been fighting the memories of his father and she'd been arguing with Cristina. They had danced in the living room to a corny, embarrassing song, because that's what she'd said Cristina would do. He couldn't dance to save his life, but the warmth in her eyes had told him she didn't care.
So maybe he could dance in public, when it was with her.
Meredith's soft laughter filled the room as they tumbled into bed a couple of hours later. Straddling her legs easily, he propped his weight on one arm, reaching the other hand up to brush her hair out of her face, lingering against her still newly cut fringe for a moment. It suited her, and he smiled as he remembered her agonising indecision as she plucked up the courage to get it cut.
She wasn't by any definition high maintenance when it came to her looks, and he found her stunning with her hair pulled back in scrubs and trainers, but the way she'd wrinkled her nose at him in the bathroom mirror as she tried to arrange her hair to simulate a fringe and asked his opinion had made him take her out to dinner after her appointment just so she could put on a dress and show her new haircut off.
"What're you thinking about?" she asked softly, reaching her fingers up to rest over his as he realised they were still lingering in her hair.
"When you got your hair cut," he answered, chuckling. Her laughter met his seconds later, and she shook her head.
"It was a very hard decision!" she defended, still laughing as he lent down to kiss her.
"I know it was," he whispered, kissing her slowly as she looped her arms casually around his neck. "You did get dinner afterwards, though."
"And you got the good loving after that, so I think that makes us even," she countered, laughing as he kissed her slowly.
"Hey, you got something out of that too," he argued, laughing as she pushed his shoulder to flip them over, settling comfortably on top of him. "More than once, I think!"
"You were very generous," she agreed, pressing her lips to his neck. His fingers slid up to her neck, sighing softly as he felt the obvious tension in her muscles.
"Mer," he breathed, rubbing his fingers gently against her skin. "You're so tense...lie down for me?"
"I thought we came home to take advantage of the empty house?" she breathed, kissing his neck again. They had made their escape from Joe's just as it looked like their assortment of cohabitants were notching the party up a gear, spying a rare opportunity to be alone, just for a while.
"We are," he agreed, lifting her easily to her side of the bed and guiding her to lie on her stomach. "But considering that they have heard us having sex countless times, we should make use of the quiet properly, and this can't be comfortable," he pointed out, running his palm gently over her shoulders. She sighed, shaking her head in agreement as she reached down, pulling her jumper over her head.
A massage from her husband wasn't exactly something she planned on turning down, and it would be nice to enjoy one in peace for a change. Resting her head on folded arms, she smiled as she felt him unhook her bra gently, easing the straps off her shoulders.
"You just wanted a creative way to get me naked, didn't you?" she murmured, hearing him chuckle as his fingers pressed expertly into her shoulder muscles, applying the perfect amount of pressure to ease the tension that had formed.
"I like to keep it varied," he agreed with a laugh, working the tension out of her muscles as she closed her eyes, settling into the feeling.
The next thing she knew, he was kissing her cheek as she blinked sleepily, pushing herself up on her arms.
"Did I fall asleep?" she asked, slightly disorientated. She never fell asleep during his massages; they felt too good to miss. He nodded, smoothing her hair down gently. She supposed it had something to do with the quiet surrounding them – normally there was plenty of noise to ensure she stayed awake.
"You were only out for about fifteen minutes," he told her softly, gently easing his fingers against her shoulders again. "I thought about leaving you, but I know you don't like sleeping on your stomach." Said stomach flipped very slightly at the reminder that now, he really did know her almost as well as she knew herself.
"Thank you," she answered gratefully, rolling her shoulders carefully as he stilled his fingers. "God you have magic hands," she breathed, dropping her head as he started laughing.
"You've said that many times...not always in such an innocent context," he pointed out, kissing her softly. "Get some sleep, sweetheart," he told her. She shook her head, sitting up and facing him, fingers reaching for the buttons on his shirt.
"You've had an awful day, too," she told him, pushing his shirt off his shoulders and resting her fingers against the gentle bump of the scar working its way down his chest. He covered her small hand with his for a moment, quiet until she shifted, letting him roll onto his stomach. He felt her straddle his hips, groaning slightly as her fingers dug pleasurably into the knots of tension across his shoulders. "Jesus, Derek," she breathed eventually. "I was tense, but you must be in agony." He kept his eyes shut, making no move to deny her assumption. "Derek?" she asked eventually, her voice soft as she moved both hands to his left shoulder, easing a particularly tight muscle.
"Mer," he murmured in response, his voice taking on the low, breathy tone he reserved for the times they were in bed together. It was different from the deep I need you now sort of voice, but it was intimate nonetheless.
Sent shivers down her spine, in fact.
"Today was tough," she spoke softly, starting to knead the tension out of his shoulders. She had been one of those with tears in their eyes as they watched the drama unfold on the small tv screen in the waiting room. He had stood rigid, save the thumb that rubbed small, anxious circles on her waist.
She had still been mad at him at that point, but that hadn't stopped her worrying.
"Meredith," he chided eventually, rolling his shoulder slightly in response to her work. "Stop trying to be strong for everyone."
"I'm allowed to worry about my husband," she argued softly, stopping her ministrations for a moment to run her fingers through his hair.
"We were arguing all day," he commented eventually, regret evident in his voice as her fingers returned to his shoulders. "We were reliving everything and all we could do was snipe at one another."
"I still knew you were there for me," she told him softly, feeling his shoulders beginning to free up underneath her hands.
"Me too," he sighed eventually. To love each other even when they hated each other. If there had ever been a day to prove that one... well, they'd just lived through it. "It's just... Meredith," he breathed. "You told him to shoot you?"
She was silent for a while, considering how best to respond.
"If that's what you want to talk about," she replied slowly, "then you need to roll over." Allowing herself a smile at the mirroring of his words from the night before, she shook her head slightly. "This isn't a conversation I can have with the back of your head." He stretched, shifting beneath her and rolling onto his back. She met him with a smile that spread to her eyes, her fingers coming to rest on his cheek. "I didn't mean for you to find out that way," she told him eventually. "There just never seemed to be the right time to tell you... anything, really. But yes, I did. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, and before you even star t to argue, you know you'd do the same." They were both silent for a while as they accepted the truth in her statement. She shifted lower on his hips, lying against him and resting her head on his shoulder.
He accepted her new position easily, winding an arm around her shoulders. Her skin was warm against his, and it was comforting.
"There's still stuff you haven't told me," he commented eventually, his voice rumbling through her body with a statement more than a question.
"Derek... yes," she said eventually. "But please, don't make me tell you it tonight?" she asked very softly. "I will explain it all, but please... don't make me relive it all again. Not tonight."
"Okay," he agreed easily, grip tightening on her slightly. "But I do want you to tell me one day. Soon," he added. "And I'm sorry if it's felt like no one realised you went through a trauma too. You just...you're so strong. I've told you before that it's a strength. I think... that maybe I needed to believe that you were fine to get through it myself, but that was selfish."
"Derek, if anyone was allowed to be selfish after what we went through..."
"The speeding, the jail, the recklessness..." he shook his head. "You didn't deserve any of that, and you didn't deserve to feel like no one cared about how you were coping."
"I know you care," she whispered softly, not quite finding it in herself to argue with what he said.
"I love you, Meredith," he told her quietly. "I don't... have I told you how lucky I was to have you to come back to?"
"No," she whispered, her voice cracking slightly as she pressed her palm against his chest, lifting herself slightly to look into his eyes.
"You make me feel like everything's going to be okay, but it's more than that. You make me feel like it's okay not to be okay. That it's alright to need someone else from time to time, and I should've taken the time to show you the same. You lived through the same tragedy we all did, Meredith, with more. You were the wife in the waiting room..."
"Scrub room, actually," she whispered, her voice thick with tears. "Floor, to be precise."
"Wife on the scrub room floor," he corrected, his smile warm as he brushed a thumb beneath her eye to catch the tears that fell. "You told a gunman to shoot you..." he shook his head slightly, still trying to comprehend the fact that had quite literally floored him in the OR. It would take some digesting, he knew that much. But he would deal with himself later. "You had a miscarriage, your husband was being a bit of an ass, you lost your best friend and you've been single-handedly trying to hold up almost every person we know. All while dealing with our own struggle to get pregnant." She was crying properly now, her face turned into his shoulder. "It's okay to cry," he told her quietly. "Meredith... it's okay," he breathed. "I told you earlier you amaze me, but it's time for me to step up and help you cope, and I need you to let me."
She nodded, choking out a breath as she sobbed. He tightened his hold on her instantly, fingers tangling through her hair as she finally let herself relax.
Let someone else be strong, for once.
Minutes passed, and he would've found it hard to deny the wetness in his own eyes when she eventually looked up, her eyes red and full of moisture.
"Hey," he whispered, brushing her hair gently off her face.
"Hi," she breathed eventually, reaching up to press her lips to his. Slowly, quietly. Like they had all the time in the world to enjoy it. She pulled away after what seemed like minutes, covering her face with her hands in a surprising moment of vanity. "I must look a mess," she whispered, sounding as surprised at her own words as he was. He laughed softly, gently moving her hands from her face.
"You look beautiful," he corrected, leaning down for another kiss.
"I really do love you," she told him quietly, her voice ever so slightly hoarse as her eyes told the real story. He smiled back, his response clear in his eyes.
And he realised he missed her. Just her, without all the complications, the dramas and the underlying motives. Because they were really good, just the two of them.
Suddenly, he realised.
"I think that maybe, with all this baby talk, we might have forgotten what it's like to forget about the outcome and have sex just for us," he commented quietly. She nodded slowly, fingertips tracing the scar down his chest with a touch that was feather-light.
"I miss it," she confessed quietly, her palm resting flat on his stomach.
"Maybe we should forget about making a baby... just for tonight?" he suggested, rewarded instantly with a winning smile from his wife.
"That... sounds perfect," she told him softly, leaning up to kiss him slowly.
"The house is still quiet," he observed with a smile, lips hovering against hers. "And I'm feeling very generous tonight," he added, rolling easily so she was trapped beneath him, capturing her lips with his again.
"No... roll over?" she whispered, her eyes sparkling with everything but tears this time.
"No rolling over."