A/N: Bosley and Meredith previously appeared in Goodbye To All That
Ho Ho Ho To All That!
Bosley was beyond annoyed. He managed to get the last flight out of O'Hare bound for Bradley as a gigantic Christmas Nor'easter barreled down on New England but the flight had been re-routed to Syracuse Hancock International Airport because of the diminishing weather conditions at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.
Bosley had spent the last two hours going to every airline at the airport trying to find a flight into New England but it was all stop and he was stuck in Syracuse two days before the holiday.
Bosley hadn't been home since leaving for boot camp sixteen months earlier so he was feeling anxious especially since he had orders to report to Naval Air Station Sigonella Italy after the first of the year and knew every day stuck in Syracuse was one less day spent at home.
He couldn't complain too much, the airport was packed with stranded passengers hoping to get to the East Coast with no luck. He thought about catching a bus or renting a car but weather reports indicated that everything east of Albany New York was socked in. He would hate to be stranded on the side of the road somewhere trying to get home.
The storm was expected to pass through New England late that night and hopefully flights would be back in the air by morning, although there would be massive delays. Still, if he could walk through his parents' front door on Christmas Eve he would be happy.
Bosley wandered through the terminal considering his options – sleep all night in one of the airport chairs with many other people or try to find a motel room. He took a seat in a terminal seat and scrolled through various local hotels and motels looking for a room. Most were full, of course, but he managed to find a room at The Motel Six not that far from the airport following a last minute cancellation and he was glad he had finally caught a break. He booked the room and ordered the Front Desk Clerk not to give it up under any circumstances, even if he had to walk there from the airport.
Bosley let out a breath of relief and he was about to head for the front entrance of the airport to try to catch a cab when his eye caught sight of a young woman sitting in a corner chair alone, looking miserable, a couple of suitcases on wheels piled around her. She was underdressed for the weather conditions and she was frantically strolling through her phone apparently looking for a room like had been.
Tthere was something familiar about the person, even with her LA Dodgers ball cap pulled over her blond hair. It was only when her unzipped coat fell open and Bosley saw the maroon Stanford sweatshirt underneath that he realized who it was.
He laughed with delight as he jumped out of his chair, grabbed his green sea bag and rushed toward the woman.
"Meredith!" He yelled as he approached the needle in the haystack.
Meredith glanced up in a daze and she was momentarily confused when she saw a Sailor in his Dress Blues and Navy pea coat approaching, dragging a sea bag behind him. But then her eyes went wide when she realized who it was.
"Oh My God!" She screamed, leaping from her seat and practically knocking Bosley over when she wrapped him in a powerful hug. "I don't believe it!"
Bosley laughed as he returned the hug, burying his face into her shoulder for a moment just to smell her.
"What did you do to your hair?" He wanted to know when they broke the embrace. "California blond? Are you kidding me?"
She shrugged and blushed with embarrassment. "Just trying to fit in out there," she explained sheepishly. "Look at you! You're practically bald under that dixie cup Sailor's hat!"
"You're heading home?" He asked.
She nodded affirmatively.
"Why so late?" Bosley asked. "Classes must have ended a few days ago."
"My boyfriend wanted me to stay for his family's holiday party," she said.
"Boyfriend?" Bosley asked with interest. "The new Donald?"
"His name is Troy," Meredith said, falling back into her seat and motioning for Bosley to sit next to her. "He's a junior at Stanford but he's from LA. Hence the hat," she said, gesturing to her ballcap.
"Ah, an older man," Bosley smirked. "He's willing to date a sophomore?"
"Shut up," Meredith said, punching him on the arm. "What's that red thing?" She wanted to know, motioning to where she just punched him."
"It's called a crow," he explained. "I'm a Yeoman Third Class Petty Officer."
"Neat," she said with a smile. "So you can't get to Bradley either?" she pouted.
"Nope," Bosley confirmed.
"I can't find a room."
"I got one," he grinned.
Meredith's face lit up. "Really!? Oh My God! A Christmas Miracle!"
"I was about to try to find a cab."
"Can I come with you?" She asked hopefully.
"Of course," he laughed.
He stood and put the duffle bag over his shoulder and took the handle of one of Meredith's wheelie suitcases while she took the other one. They began walking toward the front entrance.
"You didn't dress for New England?" Bosley frowned, motioning with his chin toward her light jacket.
"It was 84 degrees when I left LA," she shrugged.
"It's 33 degrees here," Bosley pointed out.
"At least it's not snowing."
"Wait here," Bosley requested and Meredith stood in the foyer while her friend went out into the cold to try to flag down a cab.
He glanced back and saw her watching him. Wow, what were the chances of bumping into his longtime hometown friend In Syracuse New York of all places? He hadn't seen her since she drove off for her Freshman year of college in the backseat of her father's SUV, taking Meredith, her Uncle, and her brother on a cross country trip to drop her off at Stanford.
A few days later Bosley was off for Navy boot camp. It almost seemed like a lifetime ago that they were last together but it was really only sixteen months although so much had changed for both of them since then.
It didn't take too long for Bosley to flag down a cab (the uniform didn't hurt) and he motioned for Meredith to join him. She hurried through the door with her suitcase which the cabbie helped put in the trunk before the two passengers got into the backseat of the cab.
"Motel Six," Bosley requested and the cab sped out of the airport.
The motel wasn't that far from the airport and the two old friends barely had time to mention their flights and how the pilots though they might beat the storm but forecasters had misjudged the speed and intensity of the blizzard and the planes were forced to detour to Syracuse.
The cab pulled into the motel parking lot. Bosley paid the bill and helped the cabbie dig the luggage out of the trunk. Meredith followed him into the lobby and they checked in at the front desk, assigned to Room 204 on the second floor.
The room was comfortable although Meredith turned up the heat.
"Let me get out of this monkey suit," Bosley said. "You're supposed to travel in uniform when you're under orders," he explained.
"You're under orders?" Meredith asked, taking a seat in the cushiony arm chair in the corner.
"Heading for Italy after New Year's," he said.
"Wow," an impressed Meredith replied. "I'll have to come visit you there!"
"Won't Troy mind?"
She laughed. "Poor Bose. First Donald, now Troy. You've always endured my boyfriends."
He peeled out of his uniform and put on a pair of jeans and a blue Navy sweatshirt. He didn't care if Meredith saw him in his skivvies since she had seen him in the raw on their last night together (don't tell Troy).
"It still seems like just yesterday that we started middle school together," Meredith remarked.
"We're a long way from Hillsboro now," Bosley replied, falling onto the one queen sized bed in the room.
"Why didn't you tell me you were coming home for Christmas?" Meredith asked. "I haven't heard from you in forever."
"I was going to surprise you," Bosley said. "At your parents' traditional Christmas Eve gathering. I was going to don Uncle Joey's Santa costume and fake you out."
"Poor Uncle Joey," Meredith sighed. "Christmas isn't the same without him."
"It feels like I've been gone forever," Bosley said as he stretched out on the bed and folded his hands behind his head on the pillow.
"You have," Meredith told him, slipping off the chair and lying beside him on the bed. "This is the third time home for me."
"Do you miss it?"
"As much as I thought I would," Meredith admitted. "It's hard saying goodbye to all that."
"But you're enjoying California."
"It's hard not to," she smiled.
"You moved on?"
"I'll always be a Hillsboro girl no matter where I go," Meredith vowed. "But it is a little weirder now. The house seems so empty. My room doesn't feel the same. I'm almost like a visitor guest when I come home now."
"Goodbye To All That," Bosley sighed. "We knew it was going to happen."
"Are you saying we can't go home again?" Meredith pouted.
"I'm just saying it can never be the same again," Bosley replied. "We grew up whether or not we wanted to."
"Christmas still makes me feel like a little kid though," Meredith smiled.