A/N - 9/25/11 – This one-shot was not meant to cover it all, but to at least get the conversation started. Whether good or bad, I'd be most grateful for your comment. Thanks so very much to each of you that left a review for the first part, you have no idea how much it means to get feedback. Warm regards, Jasmin

Have replied to all that had links available. Maureen, as always thank you for your kind and inspiring words. Peacefulreader, thank you for taking the time to leave such a detailed thoughtful message.

Broken Vows … Unfulfilled Promises – Part 2

Their bedroom became a battle ground, a series of mutual verbal barbs spewing in the minutes that followed; illogical, irrational, and not in any particular order that would make sense to anyone but them; the wounded, with wounds that had cut deep into their hearts and souls.

"What about you," Derek retorted. "You think you have no one to answer to …you're above consequences…never thinking beyond the moment…"

"Your words and promises mean nothing…" Meredith accused, not even listening to his last statement.

"I can't trust you," he yelled; guilt, the corresponding reaction, immediately sparked by the words that followed her mention of the god-forsaken night when he'd batted away his mother's ring. Then, he walked away from her. Again.

"I've had a hell of a lot more reasons not to trust you," she yelled back, "from the day we met. But, that hasn't stopped me from loving you… it hasn't stopped me from being at your side…even when you were drunk and pushing me away," he flinched, it was as though she was reading his mind, "it hasn't stopped me from forgiving you, every time you've said or done things that hurt me…"

"What about you?" He knew it wasn't a very convincing argument. "You've hurt me too. Every chance you get…every time we argue…you throw the past in my face…"

"Because," she yelled at him, "I can't forget…and you always remind me how unworthy I am…how insignificant…"

"I've apologized over and over," he told her, but her tirade continued, almost irrationally.

"You haven't even asked me how I am…how I feel," she paused briefly and gathered her composure, suddenly quieter, softer. "How it feels…to have your heart break in a million pieces…when I know my husband," she emphasized, "doesn't think it's worth trying to understand what happened…not worth trying to figure out what made me do something I hardly understand myself… and then," she took a deep breath, "reminds me… my crappy genes also make me unworthy of being a mother…of giving you what you want…and walks away…from me," she didn't even attempt to hide her tears from him, "you weren't here Derek… I brought our little girl home…and you weren't here…"

"I've been here," Derek said defensively. "I've taken care of her. I love her."

"You…" Meredith told him, "were supposed to love me too," her voice breaking as sadness overwhelmed her, "the one person I thought would always love me…you don't love me."

"If you loved me," he retorted, regret surfacing simultaneously as he knew his words were false, yet his shame was reflected in anger, "you wouldn't have betrayed me…our trust."

"It wasn't just me Derek…" she said. "You haven't talked to me…haven't made an effort to understand. I know what I did was wrong…I do know that…but, I didn't do it to hurt you…or maliciously…I thought was helping Adele, but you…you're deliberately hurting me…"

"You could have told me Meredith," the tone of his voice became louder. "But, it's always the same…keeping things from me."

"Is it Derek?" She challenged. "How long has it been since I've kept something from you?"

"You wouldn't tell me…"

"I couldn't tell you," she said, "don't you get it? I thought it would make it worse. I didn't want to implicate you…for once," she repeated his words from long ago. "I was taking responsibilities for my actions…"

"But," he reminded her. "You didn't think about the consequences, if you had told me," his anger diminishing slightly as he thought of all she'd said this morning.

"You're right. I didn't think of the consequences. I recognize that. But, it was already too late. What could you have done? How would it have helped?" She asked him.

"We could have figured it out," he told her.

"Derek," Meredith challenged, again, but her voice was softer, her tone spoke of understanding. "If you really think that…if you think we could have figured it out, then why are you so angry with me now?"

"You lied to me," he answered immediately, then paused. "You didn't trust me," anger absent for the first time in days. "I hated that you wouldn't trust me."

"But," she said, the energy devoted to anger totally spent. "I never broke our vows…read them…"

"I…" he looked stunned. His mother was right. His wife thought in hues of grey.

"No running," she repeated their vows. "Ever."

He was speechless. She was right. They'd both been wrong, but she hadn't run. Unlike in the past, she'd wanted to talk. Had spent a week seeking him out, not hiding behind a wall of avoidance, and then realization dawned on him loud and clear with the fear that had kept him awake at night and led to his early morning journey, which had gone so horribly wrong the minute he'd seen the reproach in her eyes.

"Even when I've hated you," Meredith said quietly, sadly. "I've loved you…and you don't…"

"I do love you," he said. Finally, admitting, accepting the reason for his overwhelming anger.

"Our vows Derek…" she said, without accusation, only facts, "they mean nothing to you."

"They mean everything," he said emphatically. "Even if I haven't…even…" fears engulfed him.

"I understand," Meredith said meekly, and his guilt resurfaced.

"What do you understand?" he asked, owning up to his actions. "That I've failed you, again?"

"Derek," she said, her heart filled with pain at the loss of their dreams, their inability to communicate. "You didn't fail me. We failed each other," she admitted, "and we need to decide if this…whatever this is," she waved her hand toward the framed vows, "is worth saving."

"I've been so angry with you," he began, like Meredith had earlier, responding to his own emotions, rather than her words. "So angry at what you did…" his voice was choked, and he pursed his lips, "you…" he shook his head, "you…" his eyes filled with tears, admitting to her, for the first time, the underlying fear responsible for feeding his anger, "ruined our chance…"

"Did I?" her eyes glittered as his, instinctively knowing their fears were the same. "Have I?"

"You…" he met her gaze, unwavering, "you….ruined my chance to make sure…to find a cure…to make sure you'd always," she bridged the distance between them, as he looked down, then whispered, "remember."

"Don't you think," she said softly, tenderly she cupped his face. "I know…at first," she continued, "it was without thinking…only for Adele…to give her back what my mother took from her…"

"You," Derek said, shaking his head, "are not responsible."

"Then," Meredith interrupted him, "these days that followed," and admitted, "the time spent with Zola…thinking of the future…I knew…there had been more selfish reasons." A knowing, sad filled, smile on her face. "All I could think about, all I could imagine…was that one day… one day that could be me… remembering…no matter how long we'd been together… remembering…only that you picked her…that you'd chosen Addison."

"Meredith…"

"And maybe," neither was able to prevent the tears from falling, "just maybe… and selfishly…if Adele could be ok…I could be too…and never forget…you…and our little girl…"

"Oh God," Derek groaned, "oh God…" his voice broke, as her arms opened to him, and they embraced each other, and gave in to their fears; fears left unspoken in the aftermath of her decision; mutual fears of a future where losing each other, emotionally, loomed over that lifetime he'd dreamed for them together, those hundred years where he'd die in her arms.

Tears, heartbreakingly, shed over broken vows and unfulfilled promises paved the path toward healing, and the journey to forgiveness, and to a reaffirming of vows meant to be forever; vows long ago fated for a legendary and extraordinary couple; tears of regret, and ultimately, of hope that led to vows never again meant to be broken and promises always fulfilled.

A/N – It's rather unlikely we will ever see Meredith & Derek talk or have their reconciliation unfold on the screen. My expectations for Grey's are only of disillusions in regard to Meredith and Derek. Given the continued insistence from Rhimes to continue with the "screw you Meredith" syndrome, it would not surprise me for her to begin manifesting signs of early onset of Alzheimer's and for the character of Derek Shepherd to be killed as the season ends. Like George & Izzie, it appears if any of the actors dare to disagree with Rhimes, retaliation on screen is her response. What a shame, she indeed owns the characters and chooses not to capitalize on Dempsey/Pompeo chemistry, and for incomprehensible reasons is angered at fans/viewers passion to see this "legendary" couple happy. Rhimes' loss, as personally, and I know many others that feel the same, will never support any of her future productions.

Thanks again for reading, truly would appreciate your comments after this 2nd part.