It's 1 am in Seattle. The last couple of weeks have been. . .weird? Meredith has been receiving blank calls almost every night. The first time, she wrote it off as just a juvenile prank, but she was getting more irritated after each call. This time she was ready to go off at the caller, but as she answers the call, fully armed with rage, she hears, “Meredith…?”
A familiar voice that she hasn’t heard for years. She feels her heart skip a beat, an inexplicable lump in her throat. Was this Derek’s voice? Was this someone’s idea of a blasphemous joke?
“Meredith, are you still there?”
Words don’t seem to want to leave her mouth. She's dumbfounded.
“Mer, it’s me, Derek. I’ve been trying to find the right words to say to you, to explain the situation to you, but I don’t know how. I want to come back, Meredith.”
“Whoever you are, this isn’t funny.”
“Don’t hang up! Just listen. It’s me. Meet me at the pier tomorrow at 8 and we’ll take the ferry boat together.”
She doesn’t say anything, she can't. She tosses and turns the whole night. The next morning, she wakes up, get the kids ready and for the first time in about 5 years, she puts on some blush and mascara. She wears her Dartmouth t-shirt, the one with the hole, Derek absolutely loved it. It was Amelia’s turn to drop the kids this morning, so that wasn’t something she had to worry about.
She goes to the pier, and there he is - her knight in shining whatever, Derek. She walks towards him, a tear rolling down her cheek. She can’t help it, this is what she has been dreaming about for years. For McDreamy to come back, for the pain to stop, for her kids to finally meet their father again. But she had moved on, she taught herself to be happy without him and how the heck did this happen anyway?
Derek looks at her, he sheds a tear. Neither of them know what to say, but he has to explain himself.
He starts off awkwardly. “Umm, so I’ve been working for the President in DC, and I didn’t have a choice but to. . .”
Meredith cuts him off. “You didn’t have a choice? We were a family and you left us? You died! I saw you die. I had a baby!”
“Hear me out Meredith, I didn’t have a choice. I had to do it this way, we had to keep the entire operation a secret.”
“What operation? What secret? Did the President tell you to fake your death too? Do you know how much has happened in the last few years?”
“Yes. . . I mean no, he didn’t ask me to fake my death, but I couldn’t just disappear on you. I figured this would be easier.”
“Easier? How has this been easier on us? I had our child, Derek. He doesn’t even know you. This wasn’t easy.”
“I know it wasn’t, I’ve been checking up on you ever since. . ."
“Ever since you faked your death?”
“Yes, ever since I faked my death. I know that nothing will make it okay. But I’m here now. No more secrets now."
As he leans to kiss her, Meredith takes a step back. “I don’t know what to do about this. I don’t know how to process this. I need to go to work. I’ve moved on, Derek.”
“I know Meredith, take your time. I just want you to know I’m back and I’m coming back to work. Also, congratulations on the Harper Avery Award, I always knew you had it in you,” a vain attempt at flirting with her to make the conversation light, as if that was even possible.
She hugs him and takes his hand to feel him - to know that he is real and it isn’t just a dream. They take the ferry boat together, he notices his scrub cap sticking out of Meredith’s bag and gently smiles at her. They ride together in complete silence.
As they reach the hospital, she enters the Attending’s Lounge, just like she had entered it the day she announced his death. There’s a lot of bickering and chatter in the background, and she whispers, “He’s back. He’s not dead.”
Nobody hears her, she shouts “He’s back! He’s not dead!”
Time stands still, everyone is looking at Meredith while she is standing at the door and Derek walks in.
“I can explain,” he says, as Amelia, his sister, walks towards him.
She hugs him and starts to cry. Meredith is silent. She went through unfathomable pain, and now, she didn’t have to be in pain. She remembers what she had said to Riggs when Megan was found - “Don’t apologise, if this were Derek, I’d have already been gone.”
So she waits for Derek to speak to Amelia, and then takes him by his hand towards the elevator he had proposed to her in, and she kisses him, letting him know she still wants him to be her “knight in shining whatever.”