DISCLAIMER: I do not own Grey's Anatomy or its characters. I'm just using them for my own odd purposes. Don't sue me. Please? The song lyrics are from Anna Nalick's "Breathe (2 AM)" and Sarah McLachlan's "Angel". These songs are not my property either, just a source of inspiration.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: has anyone else noticed that no one ever really comments on how brave Meredith was in that whole bomb incident? Now, I'm not a huge fan of Meredith's, but still, she did a pretty massive thing and never really gets much in the way of credit for it. So, I'm going to look at it through another set of eyes and try to describe what really happened. Any comments or feedback can be sent to me via my primary email, shaynekale@hotmail.com or my .mac account of the same name.
SPOILERS: Semi-vague spoilers for season 2, episodes 17 and 18.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Verden - Earth
By Kyandralin


(Breathe (2 AM) - Anna Nalick)

"Cause you can't jump the track,we're like cars on a cable
and life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, girl.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe, just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe"

One beat.

One breath.

One moment.

That's all it takes. That's all it took. She made a choice. Actually, she made several, though I didn't hear about them all until later. Even I had heard about her reputation. Meredith Grey, known throughout the hospital as a slut, as the dirty ex-mistress of the married attending, as a dippy, weak, alcoholic blonde, made a choice.

I ran. I was supposed to stay. I wanted to stay. But I didn't. I couldn't. And somehow she was there. Her friend, the cute doctor with the shaggy hair, was the one who took care of me, but she was the one I thought of. I couldn't help it. I'm a paramedic. Like I told him, I was supposed stay, to be the good man in the storm. But all that talk about pink mist, all the fear and the abandonment... I couldn't take anymore. Then she came.

Her other friend, the hyper-intense one with the obvious thing for the tall, dark doctor, wanted her to leave. She wanted her lover to leave. She left. But Dr. Grey... Meredith... she stayed. She stayed and she wouldn't leave. The doctor told her to leave me, her friend told her to leave, the bomb squad guy, whatever his name was, told her to leave. But she didn't. She kept talking, kept saying all the right things. But I still failed her. I still left. I ran, and then her friend had to stitch me up. I could have left the hospital then, I guess, but I... I couldn't, I guess. I mean, she was still there, still standing over that bomb, because of me. I had to know.

I heard her friends talking later. I heard that she wanted to make sure that her roomates could stay in her house if she died. When she died. She told the tall doctor and the bomb squad guy to leave. She told them to go. She was willing to die rather than risk their lives. Not like me. And once again, I knew I had failed her. She not only took my place, but she did what I couldn't. She faced death, not once but many times, and it was because of me.

There's a light at each end of this tunnel, you shout
'Cause you're just as far in as you'll ever be out
These mistakes you've made, you'll just make them again
If you only try turning around.

I waited. I saw when the elevator came down, but she wasn't there. I wanted to thank the tall doctor, Burke, for telling the woman that I had saved her husband, but no. I had to find her. I had to know. So I snuck away from the wife and went to the OR floor. I found her there. She was laying on the floor, somehow out of sight of the elevator and the OR's. All around her was blood and debris. I knew the floor might be dangerous or unstable. I knew the little fires here and there could cause another explosion. But... I made my choice. I stayed. I stayed at her side, talking to her to keep her from going into shock, carrying her as best I could until her friends came looking for her. Then they took her. But I swear she looked back at me. Shock or no, she looked back. And in those eyes, I saw again my choice, and I knew she had forgiven me. How that was possible I don't know. I haven't even forgiven myself.

I followed her friends to the locker room. I saw them washing her, and I saw her other friend come and go. I watched and felt like such an outsider. I had abandoned a dying man. I had abandoned the surgeon and his lover. I had abandoned Meredith, even when she had believed in me. I had to know. I had to know why, and how she'd forgiven me. So I waited. When they took her home I followed them. I saw the married attending come and go. Once he was gone I went to the door, feeling like a stalker or a complete moron. Maybe both. I was about to turn away, but somehow she knew I was there. She turned around, facing me. Those eyes took me in and seemed to swallow me whole. And then she smiled.

2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, its no longer
inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to
And i feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you'll use them, however you want to

It was like she could see everything. There was nothing dippy about her. There was nothing weak or stupid or cowardly. This was Meredith Grey. She had saved so many lives that day. The people in that OR, the whole hospital, the people in the OR next door... and me. She took my place willingly. And all I could do was stare back as she looked at me. Finally, she walked to the door and opened it.

"It wasn't your fault."

Those were the very first words she said to me, and any response I could have made flew out the window. It was different, hearing it from her than from the other doctor. She knew. She knew everything, and he hadn't known anything at all. She saw everything with those eyes, and she still...

"Don't apologize."

That came just as I was about to do just that. And I didn't. Believe me, I wanted to, but... something wouldn't let me. She wouldn't let me.

"I know."

And she did. And so did I. She had forgiven me, though if I had asked I know she would have said there was nothing to forgive. She was nothing like the stories made her out to be. I wondered briefly, staring at her from her doorstep that night, if that was caused by her close call with death, and it might have been, but I don't think it was just that. I think that was just her, the side no one sees because no one wanted to. No one wanted to see that the brilliant Dr. Grey not only had looks and a talent for surgery, but she had a personality as well. A good one at that.


I did, only then realizing that I hadn't been. There were so many things I wanted to say, but none of them would come, leaving me helpless before her eyes. She stood there for a long time, waiting, but I still couldn't say anything. She started to turn, and finally I got my voice back.

"Dr. Grey..."

She turned, tilting her head in a way that made her hair fall perfectly. Of course it would be perfect. She was Meredith Grey.


That confused me, but before I could ask, she smiled again, and I was once again reduced to a staring mute.

"Call me Meredith."

I didn't know what to say, but for some bizarre reason, I found myself reaching out to her. I very gently touched that cut on her forehead, wondering what would have been different if I had stayed.


I looked back into her eyes, freezing immediately. I was sure I had gone too far by touching her, but then she caught my hand, pressing it against her cheek. I could feel her soft skin under my hand, and the warmth of it played havoc with my senses. She felt so solid, so real, but... how could she be real? She was an angel. She was...


But you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.
and breathe, just breathe.
woah breathe, just breathe,
oh breathe, just breathe
oh breathe, just breathe.

I was sure I had turned some unattractive shade of purple, but she didn't laugh or mock me. She took my hand, the hand that had been inside a man's body and held a bomb in place for a time, and she pressed it to her heart. I could feel the beat, slow but steady, and when I looked back up at her, she smiled again.

"I'm not a ghost. I'm not dead. I'm here, right in front of you."

(Sarah McLachlan - Angel)

in the arms of an angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear
you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort there

I wanted to run. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. But I didn't do any of that. Very, very slowly, I smiled too. Finally, I got it.

"We're alive. We survived."

She nodded, and finally, finally I moved. Very slowly I stepped forward and wrapped my arms around her, holding her as tightly as she was suddenly holding me. I can't remember much after that, but somehow we ended up in her bedroom, on her bed. No, we did not have sex that night. It was nothing like that. It was better. We held each other and we cried. We cried out all our fears, all the pain and the stress until all that was left was peace.

"Stay with me tonight."

I expected to be surprised. I wasn't. I had wanted her to say those words. I had waited to hear those words. I tucked us both in, letting myself revel in the peace and comfort that came with sharing space with Meredith Grey. She was my angel of mercy, my saving grace. I fell asleep that night, and I know I should have had nightmares. To this day I wonder how she stopped them. Then again, she says I stopped hers too. Maybe I'll never know.

What I do know is that Meredith Grey is not a tramp. She's not a slut or a dirty ex-mistress. She broke up with the guy when she found out he was married. No one ever gave her credit for that of course. And she was not a dumb blonde. She was brilliant, talented, and so much more. She was, above all, in no way weak. She's the strongest person I've ever known.

I sit here now watching the sun rise over Seattle, and all I can think of is Meredith. Of course, it helps that she's currently pressed against my side with her arm curled around me. She seems so fragile, but I know better. She should have played the lead character in that movie Unbreakable. After all, she is. I learned that that first night, and over and over again since then. It's been two years since our first night together. It took a year of random encounters for us to start meeting intentionally. It took another two months of that for us to start dating. Another day before we had gone to bed together, this time for much more than release of fears.

I don't know how it happened, really. It was like...

One beat.

One breath.

One moment.

And there we were. There she was. And I loved her. That was all it took. That look, the length of a heartbeat, as her friends took her away. That sigh as she held me. That one moment when it all came together, and we let go of everything and kissed. And the world made sense.

I rest now in the arms of an angel, taken from the wreckage of a disaster and placed safely on terra firma. She is my world now. I am still a paramedic, but now, because of her, I am the good man in the storm. I've proven myself. And now...


She grumbles faintly, and I smile as she looks up at me and processes.

"Is today Sunday?"


She smiles, and once again I am flying. Once again I am grounded.

"Happy anniversary, Hannah. And congratulations in advance for the promotion. I know the ceremony isn't until later, but..."



Okay, maybe sometimes she can be a little stupid. But that's okay. I love her just the way she is.

"Shut up."

She tries to glare at me, but then she laughs. She knows that there really is no other way to keep her from babbling on and on sometimes.



"Thank you for bringing me back to earth."

I smile. I understand. We understand each other all too well sometimes.

"I love you too, Meredith."

And my world is complete. All because of one moment, one breath, one choice.

in the arms of an angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear
you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort there
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here

And in the arms of my angel, I am at peace.

The End

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