Chapter 7: In Which We Chase Back the Butterflies
“You’ve done this before” Addison moans as she comes down from her powerful aftershocks. “So have you” Meredith smirks right back at her.
“I mean before me, before you ate me out on your desk you’d already done this before” Meredith explains as if it weren’t obvious to her statement.
“I’ve done this before,” Addison admits. “More than a few times” she adds, to be completely clear, with a laugh.
“Really?” Meredith is intrigued and she starts to think she’s going to get to know something she’s been wanting to know for a very long time.
“Well, my best friend Naomi and I hooked up a few times during sophomore year. I lived for those drunken nights but she just said it was because of the booze and that it wasn’t as much of her thing as it was mine” Addison just says softly.
“We never told anybody because she was with Sam and I was with Derek at the time, we were young” she explained.
“Did Derek ever know when you were together?” Meredith asks her.
They’re under the covers again, enjoying their post-sex haze and cuddling.
“Know what Grey? I think you've forgotten some nouns there. And some verbs, too.” She laughs.
“Know that well you, that well you're - you know-”
Meredith does this motioning gesture with her hands and it amuses Addison to pieces because she laughs with her mouth wide open as Meredith struggles to recover from her terrible impersonation.
“No. I mean not that I ever told him I liked women. If he knew he never said anything, either way, Addison says softly.
“Did you want him to know?” asks Meredith as if she’s not trying to ask Addison a much more personal question.
“Did it feel like you were hiding something from him?”
She asks because she’s sort of asking if SHE should tell Derek she likes women and also she’s asking because she’s not sure she cares too much about Derek when she could keep holding this wonderful woman here in her arms.
“If I wanted him to know at some point it would have been for the wrong reasons, for me to make him jealous or insecure or to turn him on at the thought of me with another woman” Addison explains.
“There was never a good time,” she adds.
“And so I'd just as rather Derek never know about me and Naomi or any of those other ex-girlfriends that had come and gone and for him to think of me as the simple vanilla pillow princess that he always thought that I was.” Addison laughs.
“You are far, far from a vanilla pillow princess” Meredith smirks and Addison laughs. “But I think I knew that from the moment I met you,” she adds. “It was sort of jarring to see you standing next to him all leggy and fabulous when you looked like you would be a beast to be in bed with while he was just you know, sort of McDreamy about it,” she says but not with the sort of reverence she’d had previously reserved for the McDreamy naming.
“Did it make you feel like you were hiding from him?” asks Meredith sincerely, thinking that the one McTitle that they sure never did go wrong with was to call Addison McHot.
“I guess it made me feel like I was waiting for something, I’m still waiting for something,” Addison says with a sigh.
“I guess I feel like I’m waiting for something too,” says Meredith.
And the weight of the words seems to weigh down on them for a moment.
Addison has always cared for Meredith, much more than she’d care to admit to anyone, much less to admit it to Meredith herself. And she’s not so sure that even today would make her want to spill her secret.
Meredith finally breaks the silence with Addison when she asks her “remember the time you told me 'good girl' after I didn't go back to Derek, was that because it meant that you could go back to Derek? Or because Derek was a bad guy in your mind and you wanted to protect me?” Meredith asks.
“It was because if you didn't go back to Derek then maybe, just maybe you could have had a shot with me” And Addison finally says it.
She finally says the thing she’s been holding back from saying for years because she’s just so scared of hurting Derek’s feelings but after she’s had a taste of the girl for herself, she’s sure as hell not going to put up a fight.
And Addison is scared. She’s chilled to the bone. She’s terrified that Meredith will turn away from her or tell her to get lost or to get the hell out of her own damn office because she’s in a roundabout way telling her that she’s in love and has been in love with her for a super long time and she’s not even single right now.
And the only other times that Addison remembers she’s felt ever so terrified have been the moments when she thought Meredith was not going to make it. The first time was when that stupid bomb went off at the hospital and George told her that Meredith was the one who had her hand on the bomb. And she’s sitting there delivering Bailey’s baby with the only thought in her head that Meredith could die right there and then and she'd never ever told her how much she thought Meredith could be a great surgeon.
Or when Meredith had almost drowned in the sea off the coast of the sound and she looked so scared and pale and lifeless in that hospital bed and Addison just stared down at her all concerned and scared for her asking her whole team just how long it had been.
Or when she got a call from Derek after he’d been shot in the hallway of Seattle Grace and all she had been wondering the whole time is if Meredith had been shot, too and it took him a holy ten minutes to tell her a yes or no because he’d been recounting her the entire story of the bullet through his chest in chronological order.
“I don't think I’m going to be strong enough to leave him, Addison”
Is all Meredith says simply? And it’s not a clear yes but it’s not a clear no either. And Addison takes it at face value to tell the intern her own truth.
“There was a time in my life when I was feeling the exact same thing, Addison sighs
“I’m sorry you had to go through all that Addison” Meredith apologizes to her and holds her to her chest tightly.
“It's not your fault it wasn’t you” Addison explains it to her. “It was over long before you, or Mark, or me for that matter. We were never meant to be after all” Addison says.
“You’re really fucking lonely aren’t you,” asks Meredith tenderly.
Addison is taken aback by the bluntness of Meredith’s statement and she’s even sadder now that she realizes that what the intern has just said is true.
“You’re extremely cute when you curse” Addison deflects and Meredith takes it as a compliment.
“You know it’s a sin you’re alone because you really are fucking lovely” Meredith swears again on purpose just so she can see Addison smile.
And Addison thinks at the full tooth smile Meredith gave her that time she was admitted to the hospital and they all thought she was pregnant.
“You remember that time you were on morphine for your appendix?” asks Addison.
“Oh god I remember thanking all of my boyfriends for being there” Meredith groans internally at her embarrassment.
“You were deciding between picking which boyfriend to choose and you were asking if I knew or how I knew that Derek was the one,” Addison said. “And I said I thought Derek would never hurt me, at least not in the way I hurt him” she explains.
“And from that, I somehow figured out or something that Derek and I were supposed to be or something” Meredith tries to remember.
“Yes and that you did,” Addison says.
“I’m starting to think that me and Derek were never meant to be as much as I thought,” Meredith says to her bravely.
“I remember staring down at you then and thinking to myself that I wanted to ask you then” Addison starts. “I wanted to ask you if you’d consider me, consider me to be one of your lovers when you were dating again” Addison finally admits to her.
“But you didn’t, I would have remembered’ Meredith says. “We already talked about how I wanted to ask YOU out back then but I never knew you were thinking it too. You never said” Meredith looks into Addison’s deep green eyes.
“Well I’m saying it now,” Addison says with a gesture.
“I still don’t know if I could leave him, he’s such a good guy. And you said you wanted to kick my ass once for not trying with him” Meredith laughs.
“Do you think that if he is the one leaving you that you could stay away?” Addison asks her.
And Meredith pauses for a second as her breath hitches in her throat. And she doesn’t answer Addison because she doesn’t have an answer for herself. Because the cold and ugly truth is that you really really don't know.
When Derek parks his keys in his pocket and he locks his office door and he goes inside the hall and he knows that this time that something is different. Nothing is different, everything is the same. But yet still, something’s different. And he stands there for a while.
And then he knows.
There are moments for Derek, usually in the O.R when he just knows what’s going to happen next. So he goes upstairs. And he’s going down the hall trying to prepare himself for what he’s going to see when he walks into Addison’s office.
He steps on someone’s jacket. That doesn’t belong to him. And everything he thinks he knows, just shifts. Because the jacket doesn't belong to him is a jacket that he recognizes. And what he knows now is that when he goes into Addison’s office, he’s not just going to see that his girlfriend is cheating on him.
He’s going to see that his girlfriend is cheating on him with Addison. Who happened to be his ex-wife.
It’s just so pedestrian. Common, dirty, cruel. Mostly cruel.
And he left and he came out of his office back into the hallway.
And his feeling sends him back decades in time to when he walked in on Addie screwing Mark in the Brownstone in New York.
And Derek knows now that this time, unlike even the last time, that he is going to be losing everything.
And when he finally does take a breath and steps into Addison’s office, he’s astonished at the sight that he sees.
Both Meredith and Addison are completely stark naked and they are set in the middle of the plush carpet flooring that Addison had insisted on installing so long ago.
And between both of their naked bodies, Derek can see all the fresh bruises and bite marks and scratches and hickeys his ex-wife must have given her from all the rough sex they’d been having together.
And clearly Addison must have been feeling the same because she was sporting some pretty nasty brand markings he imagined Meredith had made on her while suckling her hard with her tongue.
Derek hears a low buzzing noise as he grows closer and as he steps in he sees Meredith screwing Addison with a hot pink butterfly vibrator that she’s shoving into Addison’s tight center.
And Addison in return has her four fingers up into Meredith’s slit as she’s fucking her back with passionate fervor.
And no one has heard the sound of Derek’s slight footfalls over the muffled cries of Meredith’s voice as she cries out “faster Addison”.
And no one hears the soft sigh from Derek’s sad expression over the muted screams of Addison’s voice as she cries out “harder Meredith”.
And as each of them stays in their own little worlds with each other they climb higher and higher as they pleasure each other to high heavens.
And then the crest of the wave finally washes over them both and they cry out one last time that they’re coming over and over and they turn the toy off.
And they look at each other with such tender, loving touch and it’s then that Derek’s heart breaks because he knows that neither of them is ever, ever coming back to him.
And he lets them wait for a moment, for them to hold each other close because he knows they both care for the tender cuddling after they’ve had some amazing and mind-blowing and athletic sex.
And he watches how Addison tucks a piece of Meredith’s hair behind her ear and off of her face.
And he watches how Meredith brushes the side of Addison’s cheek.
And he watches them kiss each other again and again.
And he watches them tuck into each other and warms themselves up again.
And then he doesn’t want to watch any more so he clears his throat loudly so that they finally notice he’s there.
“I’m so sorry Derek” Addison is the first one to say.
“I’m so sorry Derek” Meredith is the second one to say.
“I can’t look at either of you anymore,” Derek finally has something to say.
And Meredith and Addison watch him as he says everything that he’s wanted to say.
“We aren’t Derek and Addison anymore. And we aren’t Derek and Meredith anymore either. I’m giving up my McDreamy hat. I’m going away or you’re going away we can figure that all out later. And I know now that if I go, that we’ll never ever get through this. I know that if I go now, that I’ll never have a chance. With either of you. Ever again.
And I’m going to go. Because I’m not going to wait around here watching you two fall in love with each other even more than you already have. So this is the last time I’m going to kiss either of you. This is goodbye. I know I’m a goner” He says softly. “I can’t believe that McMeredith got my McSeattle and she’s got my McWife” Derek laughs and they laugh softly with him and nod up as if in thanks.
And it is honestly and truly the most selfless and graceful most McDreamy thing that Derek Christopher Shepherd has ever said to either of them.
He kisses them both on the lips. One last time. First Addison. Then Meredith. And he turns to them both, meeting Meredith in the eye as he says before he walks.
“Your lips taste so sweet, they taste just like her”.
Derek looks from Meredith to Addison back to Meredith again.
“And by the way, not that you were wondering, but.
I never knew.
About the whole liking women thing.
About either of you.”
“Not until just now.”
Derek confirms with a nod of his head.
And then he turns away, without another word.
And then he closes the door.
And then he was gone.
“You didn’t go back to him, good girl,” Addison says as she stares at Meredith who hasn’t made a move to go chase Derek back into the rain.
“Somehow I feel like you’ve said that very same thing to me not too long ago,” says Meredith with a smirk up to Addison, remembering one of the very first times those two ever talked.
They are wearing each other’s white coats right now and underneath they are wearing each other’s clothes.
Addison ends up in Meredith’s college Dartmouth hoodie and Meredith has on one of Addison’s skirts.
The chaos of their clothing is caused not by their fear but for their excitement at what lies ahead.
They head right to the nursery where they take a second to coo at Callie’s new baby and practice breaking the news.
“You know, with all that’s been said about Derek so far, the least I can say about him is that he does have good taste in girls” Meredith grins at Addison.
“You really don’t say - right back at you,” says Addison.
Then they head right into Callie’s room where Arizona and Mark and literally all of their friends are around them.
And then they’re holding hands again and they’re giggling as if they were small.
And they’re not only certain they know are sure.
So they lean in and kiss.
They kiss one another.
And they know that this;
Their friends' cheers of happiness;
Which matches their very own happiness;
It is the beginning of everything.
Neither Addison nor Meredith last long before giving all over again as a teasing touch from Meredith over Addison’s thighs and a slutty smile from Meredith’s mouth into Addison’s shoulder is enough to send both of them barrelling back to Addison’s office in a frenzy.
“Take off all your clothes, now” Addison commands Meredith as she undresses her shirt and pants.
“Speak for yourself, woman” Meredith pleads with her as she slips off her skirt and panties again and Addison helps to slip Meredith’s top over her shoulders.
And this time at least they have the sense in them to tightly lock the door, to turn down the shades and to shove the desk over to block any unwanted visitors from entering.
They up some music to block out the noise and Meredith plus in her phone, to a playlist, she’s made only for Addison.
And each of them smiles as they bring their hands to each other and soothe their soft lips in a searing embrace.
“You know dirty office sex always really was sort of my thing” Addison admits with a laugh as Meredith pulls onto Addison’s coat collars so she’s backing her back up against the wall.
“How am I not even surprised” Meredith giggled back as she brings both of her hands to feel Addison’s tight stomach up under her shirt.
“You know that I lost my virginity to a woman in the backseat of my childhood Mercedes when I was seventeen years old” Addison starts to share parts of her past with the blonde now.
“See, you mentioning that you had a childhood Mercedes all to call your own makes you seem like the sort of mythical thing that makes me want to tear all your clothes off” Meredith laughs as she rips the scrub top up off of Addison’s shoulders.
“What was your past with the women?” Addison asks because she’s actually curious at that now.
“Well I had this super sweet girlfriend through med school and her name was Sadie Harris. She slept her way through Europe with me until she cheated on me in Amsterdam when we went dancing. And after all that, it was never the same” Meredith sighs.
“School sweethearts can suck” Addison affirms with her. “My ex-girlfriend Natalie dumped me because she said I was bad at drawing.
Like is that even a good reason?”
Addison swears at the thought of it as Meredith shakes her head “no” sympathetically in response to her.
“I can’t think of even one single good reason why someone would leave you when they could keep you,” Meredith says to her and it’s so breathtaking.
And Addison admits to her that she finally understands why her ex-husband would leave her to screw a scrawny little intern like her because she could not ever get over the addiction she now had to screw the intern that is Meredith Grey.
Meredith asks her if that makes her forgive him, for Addison to forgive Derek for all of the pain that he did.
And Addison says that she’s at peace with that all now. She says that if him leaving her led to her leaving New York and to meeting Meredith then she decides that that’s something she can live with.
And Meredith agrees that she needed to come back to Derek so she knew that it was right to leave him.
And so Addison decides that she is going to stay.
She is going to keep all her property in LA so she could have a beach house there and that her and Meredith can stay in Seattle.
And so they can keep on keep having all this mind-blowing sex while Meredith can still screw an attending (but not for surgeries of course) and Addison can stop saying she’s single.
And as they both move their hands lower so they are gyrating off of each other’s centers now they both think as their orgasms overtake them together that now they are finally done . They are done with all of the boys, and all of the bars, and all of the searching for the pieces of their souls that are separate from them.
Because they have found themselves and their souls in each other.
And if they were chasing away all of the butterflies before now, after now they are chasing the butterflies to come back.
Because that magical butterfly feeling is one that they hope to keep with them for a very, very long time.