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Falling Apart, Barely Breathing

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Falling Apart, Barely Breathing

 


 

In Which Addison meets Meredith in a bar. Things spiral from there. This is the story about what might have happened after Meredith asks Derek to "Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me" but before he decides to do anything about it, and after SHE decides to do something about it. MerAdd. Meddison. Set during "Bring the Pain" GA. An Addison Montgomery/Meredith Grey - Grey's Anatomy Fanfiction. Written by me, bobbiejelly

 


 

Chapter 25: Keepsake

 


 

By the time Addison has finished her surgery, all of the other interns are already hanging out together around the vending machines, grabbing snacks before heading to check in on John the Teratoma patient. Addison finally succeeded in feeding this machine her damn quarters, and she takes her own set of snacks to check in with John the patient as well. Without even falling over in the slightest, she might have added then if you had asked her.

"Ah, Doctor Boss finally graces us with her presence!" John the patient exclaims widely with a generous amount of clapping. "Here here to the miracle doc with the miracle fingers who makes miracles come true!" he articulates to them all generously.

Addison reddens from all of the praise as she tries to wave away all the clapping and to downplay the 'miracle' part of the success.

"Now, now, John. You know it wasn't only me who was in there operating with you. We can't forget to thank Doctor Alex and Doctor George now can we!" Addison says, raising her own hands to clap in turn with all of them.

"Thanks, Doctor McBoss" Alex smirks at her now, secretly thanking her for calling them sort of by their first names in front of their most favorite of patients.

"It was really nice of you to let us operate with you," says George with his Bambi's eyes again.

But Addison just waves that away too saying that "that was all thanks to Bailey, you should be thanking HER for letting you scrub in with me then" Addison laughs.

(And Addison reddens at that one, realizing the not too far off implication that she had just made that she might have selected… a certain other intern to assist her had she been given the choice… She hopes that the boys won't pick up on and be offended by this little slip of the tongue!)

But luckily for Addison, a figure appears in the doorway, interrupting their conversation (and thus Addison's very awkward rather far-off implications), entirely.

"What are we thankin' me for now?" Miranda Bailey struts in with a smile.

"The boys and Doctor Boss- I mean Doctor ah- Montgomery- just saved John the patient from his non-pregnancy-Teratoma and we were just clapping because you let Alex and George be the assists with Add- I mean Doctor Montgomery-" Izzie Stevens stutters a bit and Cristina swoons at her blushing as she does that.

"Well I am glad that you are having a full recovery, Mr. John, it is lovely to meet you. Now I assure you that Doctor Montgomery and 'ma hooligan interns have done a stellar job here with you. Now enjoy spendin' a little time with MY interns while I have a word here with Doctor Montgomery"

Bailey motions at Addison to come to meet her outside and she's terrified at anything and everything that Bailey could say to her now.

But Bailey is smiling which must be a good sign. She leads her slightly away from the door so the other interns cannot overhear them. And then she says finally to Addison:

"You did a good job, teaching my interns with him. A really good job. And I thank you for that. I know that your life has not been very easy, of late. But unlike some of the other fools in love that I see all around me, you do your damndest to be an actual instructor here nonetheless…"

"Wow, thank you, Bailey, I'm touched, really, I am I just-" Addison is so moved by Bailey's approval. It feels like it's been months since anyone has told her she's done anything right.

"Now don't get too proud and cocky about that, neither. You ain't perfect but you ain't no less perfect than I am all the time for that matter. But for what it's worth, I'd like to offer you a celebration. I want you to throw a surprise party for John's release from the hospital later this afternoon. We haven't told him about all the good news.

And If you think you can trust my little interns with our little secret, then I'll let you borrow them just for a little while so you can come up with some treats and some decorations" Bailey smiles.

And Addison smiles genuinely back at Bailey, and she says to her finally. "You know, he calls me that just because he knows me most. YOU are the REAL Doctor Boss around here" Addison smiles at her.

"Don't I know it" Bailey accepts with a grin. "But the title sounds nice on you too, Addison"

And with that, Bailey is walking away, telling her over her shoulder "invite who you want, make it about 5 o'clock, and not too late, now" before she was gone.

(As Bailey leaves Addison only smiles to herself, thinking that what she knew that maybe even Bailey didn't know yet, as their Doctor Boss - was JUST HOW WELL THAT SHE KNOWS -that this set of interns was so far very, very, very adept at keeping her secrets safe.)

 


 

"John, we do have some more tests to run and I need to speak with the interns, privately if you don't mind" Addison summons them as they say their goodbyes and get up.

(In the back of her mind, Meredith notices that she likes that Addison always says "the interns" and not "my interns" as Bailey might. Of course, she wasn't their direct supervisor like Bailey is. But it is still a nugget of goodness that Meredith notices in Addison. She's noticing a lot of those these days…)

"See you later Doctor Boss" John the patient waves at them. And Addison thinks to herself she's just happy that he never called Meredith "lollipop lady" in front of Cristina because Cristina would have a field day with THAT one.

"Bye-bye Doctor Alex. Bye bye Doctor George. Bye-bye Doctor Izzie. Bye-bye Doctor Cristina. Bye-bye Doctor Lollipop Lady!" John the patient waved at them then.

(Oops. Spoke too soon!) Addison sighs.

"LOLLIPOP LADY!" Addison can hear Cristina teasing Meredith as she walks to join her right behind Addison. (Sigh, this is going to be one of those days, isn't it…)

"So, here's the thing," Addison says with a mysterious voice, moving the interns away from John the patient's door and into an adjoining exam room.

"Can you keep a secret? Because if you can't I'll let you know when you can join us later. Speak now, or I swear to you I will lay on SO much scut for a month if you let anything slip out now"

Addison says that part quite pointedly to Cristina who's been smirking at her ever since she'd asked about keeping her secrets.

Cristina is giving her a "well wouldn't YOU like to know" look and Addison is avoiding looking at it so instead she looks pointedly at Izzie and George and Alex and finally Meredith who is nodding at her quite excitedly.

"Well alright then" Addison hushes to them, glad for the cards that are in her upper hand for the time being.

"We want to do something nice for John because he's been really lovely to us. And I mean we are in us and Bailey will be joining us later at five" Addison clarifies.

"So like a surprise party!" Meredith exclaims with a shout.

"I never had one of those before growing up," Meredith says sort of sadly, thinking about her mother Ellis Grey and about her father Thatcher Grey who she only remembers pouring cereal for her once or twice and of Richard Webber who was sort of her uncle but was never around for her birthdays.

"Has anyone else had a surprise party before?" Addison asks, wanting to reach out and hold Meredith's hand and squeeze it gently. But of course, she can't do that. Not in front of the others.

So she doesn't and instead allows Cristina to squeeze Meredith's hand in her own while looking at Addison who's giving a sort of a "thank you" of a nod in return.

"Well, I LOVE SURPRISE PARTIES!" Of course, it's Izzie Stevens who knows that.

"Of course you do" Alex Karev jokes with her all the while George is nudging him in the side.

"We should get decorations," says George. "I bet my mother has some," he says then.

"That would be great, O'Malley," Addison says with a smile, trying to maintain some sort of professional boundaries with her interns as they are literally throwing a party as an assignment.

"We should get a cake," Cristina says to her with a smirk.

Addison can't seem to place whey she would be smirking at this part until Izzie Stevens exclaims "Oh my goodness I'll make the vanilla and cherry cake!"

"Oh," Addison says before realizing she'd said it.

"Oh is a lame reaction for the best cake of all time" Cristin deadpans at Addison expectantly.

"Oh, right, Izzie I'm sure your cake is absolutely wonderful, just, yeah sure make it" Addison tries not to fumble.

(Because Cristina must have set her up or something based on some conversation her and Meredith might have had about lollipop flavors in her absence. She'd wanted to find out what vanilla and cherry taste like together and here she was going to find out two of her three desires. The third one, of course, being the taste of Meredith's lips… On hers…)

"Do you not like cherry?" Izzie asks her all scared because Addison is staring now.

"I think she likes cherry. Cherry skittles at least" Meredith smirks at her, saving her.

Despite there not being any actual skittles in Cherry flavor that they had eaten the other night but the other interns didn't know that.

(So they accepted it as Addison tried not to blush at Meredith's smirk that was clearly trying to tell her "I think you seemed to enjoy what my hot breath felt like in your airspace while I was licking those cherry lollipops…)

"Dude, can we have like, booze?" Alex Karev's clearly inappropriate question brings Addison back to reality when she has to say "no but you can have whatever kind of soda you want"

And without missing a beat, Meredith Grey is yelling out "get Doctor Pepper it's mine and, well it's at least MY favorite" she says, winking back at Addison over the other intern's shoulders as they go off to assemble these sweets and decorations.

(Damn interns! Addison swears at herself as she reaches for her car keys and fumbles around with them as a sort of a fidget toy.)

And the sound of Addison's keys jangling is not at all lost on Izzie Stevens, who plans to talk at length about this with Cristina, later that evening.

 


 

"FLOUR!" Izzie yells at Meredith who passes her the ingredients for the cake as she's baking it. They are all at Meredith's house now, as Izzie tries to get Alex to stop eating all of the whipped creams straight out of the bottle before she can beat it into the batter.

"Shoot Alex and George if you don't stop using all that whip cream for foreplay we'll never have enough to use for the cake" Izzie sighs.

"So does that mean if we buy you more than we can have this can for ourselves?" George asks of Izzie with his puppy dog eyes.

"Ugh, fine. Meredith can you go drive and pick up some more at the 7 Eleven?" she asks as Meredith has already started to slip out and collect her wallet and keys before reaching for her coat (on the floor, not on the coat rack) before heading out the door.

"Anything else?" Meredith asks, turning over her shoulder at Izzie, flashing her keys in her hand before leaving.

It makes Izzie take pause, thinking about the whole key thing again, but she recovers quickly enough to tell Meredith to pick up some plant food because that poor potted plant looks a bit needy right now as it hadn't been very well fed at all for quite a long while.

"Got it," says Meredith as she heads out the door.

"Goddammit boys, just take the damn cream and go 'take a nap'. Just remember we're here in the kitchen. I'm putting on some pop music you better not be even louder than BLAST!"

"Men" Cristina laughs. "Aren't you glad we gave those up for each other" Izzie coos at her.

"I really am," Cristina says to Izzie then, planting a cute little kiss on the tip of her nose.

 


 

"So I do have a reason for sending everyone away," Izzie says in a sort of a serious tone.

"Yeah?" Cristina asks her, wondering if this is about their relationship.

"It's not about 'us'. I really like what we have and how we're going slow at all. It's about something else entirely" Izzie says gently.

"Uh-huh?" Cristina says a bit confusedly.

"It's about Meredith's missing house key from a while back," Izzie says to her.

And Cristina starts nodding up and down very well.

She's keeping her eyes fierce and determined, not wanting to break Addison's trust after all that she'd done for them.

I mean, heck she was throwing the interns and their favorite patient a party. So Cristina really did not want to mess this up.

(Plus, by this time, Cristina suspects, Meredith will probably not be entirely thrilled at the reveal of the identity of her mystery person. In the beginning, it was cute and humble and all. But now it just seems a bit off that she'd wait so long. And as much as Addison would like to say she knew Meredith, she doesn't know Meredith as much as Cristina knows Meredith…)

(And Cristina knows that Meredith has had trust issues. Her parents were a mess. She didn't really have a dad around. Her mom was a great surgeon but she was never around. She only really had Richard Webber which was hella confusing. And Meredith had told her all of those things over the course of their friendship.)

(So Cristina didn't want Addison to get extremely hurt if Meredith ended up rejecting her for being 'such a liar' or for not trusting her with the truth. Because Meredith was really starting to like Addison. Meredith herself was a changed person after Addison, after having a responsible person looking out for her in her life. Meredith was growing up into someone she could trust…)

(And Meredith knew that. And Addison was someone she thought she could trust. And even Cristina trusted Addison with Meredith. She'd said so herself a long time ago. But that was when Cristina had thought that this nonsense would blow over a lot faster than it did. And now that it's been such a while, Cristina worries about the pain it will cause to the both of them…)

(And she knows that she shouldn't be the person to cause all that pain. So she focuses. On Izzie now. On whatever she is going to say. And whatever happens, she swears to herself that she won't tell a soul what she knows, even if it kills her. And even if it ends up hurting Izzie a bit. Oh, hell. She had to talk with Addison about this. She shouldn't have to choose…)

"So about Meredith's missing key, she had a key missing?" Cristina remembers to add on a question.

"She didn't tell you? She is your PERSON that kind of surprises me" Izzie says to her.

And that makes Cristina happy because Izzie and her started sort of dating. And they didn't define who they were to anyone else yet. But at least Izzie was respectful that Cristina was closer friends with Meredith than she was, and Cristina respected that Izzie was closer to George and Alex as friends. And that they could all just be friends still together.

"Yeah ok I'm kidding she told me she did lose her key. She was just embarrassed about it so I didn't want to say" Cristina says.

"Yeah, I get that. She didn't want to talk about it when I asked her a bit ago" Izzie says.

"Mm" Cristina says noncommittally, motioning for Izzie to go on.

"Well like I said I asked her if she'd lost her key. And she said that she had. But obviously she got it back. She never said anything about either of those things. Losing her key and getting her key back I mean. And so I didn't think much of it. Except for one thing. But it's a secret!"

Izzie looks at Cristina with a look of glee and Cristina is trying to mirror her enthusiasm while simultaneously being scared to high heavens.

"So the thing is, I can't prove anything and I'm never going to ask. But a while back around the same time I noticed a person who had an extra key that looked like our house key on their keyring. They were rubbing their thumb over it like I don't know you might with a coin ..."

Izzie keeps going while Cristina thinks to himself (so far not too bad…)

"And then the thing is, I didn't get close enough to see if it had the "M" for Meredith stamped into it. And her thumb was long covering that part of it anyhow. But she really did have two house keys on her ring. And she also had car keys but those are bigger and different" Izzie says.

(Oh god she's saying it's a SHE now… Cristina thinks. At least Mer never told her about the note! At least she might not know the whole story!)

"And then the thing is, the next day she was parked in a red zone and she asked me to move her car to her parking spot. But when she handed me her car keys, the extra key was gone"

And that's when Cristina hums thoughtfully up at Izzie as if she weren't hanging onto every damn word Izzie is saying.

"So I never asked her about it. I never asked Meredith about it and I never told her what I saw either way. Because it's an INSANE hypothesis right? That I would know the person who had had Meredith's house key when she didn't know what it was? And what reason would Meredith have to give out the keys to our house?" Izzie Stevens starts to ask her.

"Well, I'm glad that no one broke in and stole anything" Cristina tries to play along.

"Yeah, but I don't think they-she-would. I mean I get at the time maybe there was a vendetta against Meredith or something because of McDreamy but I still don't think that… Well, I don't think she would have stolen anything. I actually kind of found it strangely comforting that we knew the person who had our key was the whole time" Izzie concludes.

And she's eyeing Cristina now, not knowing if she should go on.

And Cristina doesn't want to ask her for fear she'll confirm suspicions that were not set in stone.

Cristina knew that trick. She was an expert at that trick. So she was an expert in avoiding that trick.

"How about we stop talking about potential criminal minds investigations and we focus on how maybe I can get you to spare some of that whipped cream for MY mouth, eh," Cristina says all seductively.

"Ok, if you promise to text Meredith right away to pick up another can…" Izzie says to her.

"I sure will just let me get my phone. I'll be right back. Save that whipped cream for me!" Cristina smiles.

And she runs to get her phone from her coat pocket (her coat is on the floor next to where Meredith's was, not on the coatrack who even does that?)

And Cristina sends texts to not one but to two people.

She sends one to Meredith to tell her to pick up more whip cream.

But Cristina sends out another set of very urgent text messages as well…

 


 

Text Message, 14:02, Location: Seattle

Cardio God to Skippy Gold

 

CARDIO GOD

[YO SKIPPY. WE NEED TO TALK ASAP. CALL ME.]

[It's about your dirty little secret. Someone's catching on and you don't want that now.]

[Seriously, call me back Skippy Gold. ASAP. And pick up some extra whip cream for the party.]

[I have a feeling we're going to run out of it here…]

Cardio God sets the notifications to LOUD for "Skippy Gold."

 


 

As Meredith heads to the 7 Eleven she's humming in her head now. She's humming to herself the song "Turn to Stone" by Ingrid Michaelson, the one she sang for Addison to help her to fall asleep.

She likes it more now, because of that really cool day they spent together. Meredith decides to pick up some Cheetos and Junior Caramels and Skittles and Milk Chocolate and Doctor Pepper and Vanilla and Cherry Lollipops along with a few cans of whipped cream and the plant food.

She can feel her phone vibrate with a text now.

 


 

Text Message, 14:02, Location: Seattle

Cristina Your Person Yang to Meredith Twisted Sister Grey

 

CRISTINA

[Think of the # of whip cream cans we need for the cake.]

[Then think of how many Alex and George want to eat off each other.]

[Then think of how many me and Izzie might want.]

[Then add however many you and your platonic girlfriend doctor boss lady wants.]

[And then add like two more. And bring them home. Thanks, luv u.]

[See u later. Probs knock first when u come into the door.]

[Izzie and I might be having a 'food fight']

Meredith Twisted Sister Grey marks this text message as "read".

 


 

(God, that's a LOT of whip cream, how am I even going to carry all of this!?)

(That's not what you were thinking. You were thinking about spraying whip cream over Addison Montgomery's extremely toned and sexy body and then licking off every last drop of it until Addison is literally pulling your hair for you to fuck her after you quit teasing…)

(SHUT UP A GIRL CAN DREAM CAN'T THEY.)

(Meredith you're in the middle of a store you might want to stop waving your arms around like that in the air; it's scaring the customers…)

"How many ah, cans of whip cream do you stock here?" Meredith asks the storekeeper.

"Planning a party?" The storekeeper asks her.

"Yes, actually. Our friend is no longer pregnant!" Meredith exclaims with a grin.

"Congratulations! Is it a boy or a girl?" The storekeeper asks, obviously unaware of her meaning.

"Oh, it's a boy. And he wasn't actually pregnant we removed his teratoma the other day so his abdomen isn't swollen like he's pregnant and he doesn't have extremely high levels of female sex hormones anymore, and those were why he had false positives on the pregnancy tests…"

And the storekeeper just stares at her rather slacked-jawed at Meredith's question before she starts to raise an eyebrow at him.

"Um. Congratulations. I guess. Anyways." The storekeeper tries to sound as enthusiastic as possible.

"Thanks, it's a really big day for him. I mean he's a man, not a baby or a boy but it's still... Anyways I shouldn't be telling you this, I mean I'm a DOCTOR and all…" Meredith squirms a bit.

"You're a doctor? That's pretty impressive!" The storekeeper says.

"Yeah. I'm going to be a surgeon" Meredith says.

"Wow, ah, look I know this is sort of a foreword thing but you're really really pretty and you're obviously smart and sensitive and can I get your number?" The storekeeper asks.

It's a woman storekeeper. And normally that might be Meredith's thing. Women seem to be more and more of her thing as of late at least.

And normally Meredith might say "yes" to this kind of request if only to drunkenly text this girl at 3 am with Cristina.

But something seems to be keeping her back from all that, as of late.

(Something that's Addison-shaped and all long and leggy and fabulous maybe?)

(SHUT UP! NOT THE DAMN TIME!)

"Erm, I'm sorry but I'm sort of… involved already" Meredith says.

"But you're not married you don't have a ring," she persists.

"No." She says. Meredith doesn't know more to say than that.

"If you're straight I get that" the shopkeeper somehow remembers to ask/tell that.

"Oh, no, I'm not straight I just- involved" Meredith stumbles a bit.

She's blushing a little. Just because she's being hit on.

But not nearly as much as she blushes for Addison.

She's starting to blush at the thought right about now, so she tries to get the person to help her out with the whip cream stock because she really can't focus right now.

"Over here" the shopkeeper welcomes her.

And Meredith stops once they get there to send a text to Cristina, so she doesn't see another figure arriving into the store at the same time.

 


 

"Hello, do you stock any whip cream?" Addison asks the storekeeper.

(NO. FREAKING. WAY.)

Meredith tries to pick up her cans of whip cream as fast as she can to get out of there but instead, she bumps into Addison as she rushes for the cash.

"I'm sorry," Meredith says before Addison can.

And it's that damn apologizing that gets Addison absolutely every freaking time.

"It's not your fault Meredith, I wasn't looking where I was going," Addison says to her softly.

"I-thanks" Meredith says, for Addison telling her it wasn't her fault.

She looks up at Addison's eyes now and smiles.

Even though it makes her panicky and feel like she's skydiving every single time, Meredith still can't help that she's happy to see Addison again.

"So I see you've cornered the market on all the whip cream" Addison is the one finally to smirk up at Meredith now.

"Yeah, Cristina texted me to pick some up" Meredith smiles. "For the cake" she adds.

Only that just makes it worse because she's blushing again. Even harder than before and then that is what finally alerts her to Meredith's friends' alternate uses for whip cream.

(Damn interns asking for me to buy them their sex props. Holy shit!)

(But you were definitely thinking about Meredith Grey licking whip cream off your nipple…)

(Ok she's right next to me now you need to give me a little more heads up than that.)

(Like giving head-)

(OK THIS HAS GOT TO STOP NOW.)

"Oh. Well, I'll let you get it then unless I mean you want me to I can but not because I think that you can't and… You know what, why don't I help you carry all this stuff out to your car and then we can call it a day?" Addison offers so that both of them can get the hell out of there.

(She doesn't offer to buy any of the whipped creams, because firstly she doesn't want to have to tell Meredith how she would even know to buy whip cream because she was NOT going to tell her that Cristina had her number and that Meredith didn't…)

(You do know that wanting to give your intern your number on purpose is a problem right…)

(But yeah good call on the whip cream thing. You don't want to make it seem like you think Meredith is pathetic or can't handle herself or that you're rich and want to show off. That's why you let her buy you tequila at Joe's that night. That and she was so sweet and you just…)

"Thanks," Meredith says to her sincerely, and she picks up the whip cream cans and starts loading them into the grocery cart and motions for you to help her by doing the same.

Once they get to the register though there's another challenge that's lying ahead for them.

"Ah, well now I see why I couldn't get your number, cute doctor girl," the shopkeeper says to Meredith as Addison sort of shoots her a confused and jealous and I don't know what look.

And Meredith only stares at her confused a moment before she goes on.

"Your girlfriend over there, she's a real ten you know," the shopkeeper says.

But before Meredith can negate all those facts, Addison is slipping her hand into Merediths to tell her "why thank you, dear shopkeeper. Well, we best be getting on our way to the party now" in almost a prim proper accent, as Addison only purchases a bottle of sour candy, a bottle of scotch, and some tampons for herself.

(Idly, Meredith wonders whether the scotch is for Addison or for Derek but she doesn't ask either way.)

And Meredith only squeezes onto Addison's hand harder and nods dumbly before helping her carry the whipped cream and load all the bags into her car with the treats and all.

"Why?" Meredith asks all tenderly when they close the trunk, still not wanting to let go of Addison's hand now just yet.

"I just - well I- because I-" Addison fumbles for a second because there IS no good reason.

(Except to feel what it would feel like to have her as your girlfriend even for two minutes because you got jealous when Meredith even turned down a shopkeeper!)

" Well didn't want her to hit on me and I usually had a wedding ring on for that but you know, well I don't but I still am legally married though that's supposed to change soon I just didn't want to explain all that," Addison says a little bit vulnerable to Meredith now.

And she's not even lying, not a little bit. She didn't want to be hit on and she didn't want to have something go on before she was officially single. And she's praying that Meredith will understand.

"Oh, Addison" Meredith calls her by her first name and only narrowly escapes calling her "Addie" like she really wants to.

Meredith squeezes a reassuring pump on her hand,

"You don't have to worry I'm not mad I'm just glad I can help. And by the way, for what it's worth I think you're the bestest fake girlfriend a girl could ask for" Meredith beams at her.

And Addison's heart opens up so much like this. All she wants is to say something- do something - be something to Meredith but she can't and she knows it and Meredith knows it.

So instead Meredith runs soothing circles around where Addison's wedding ring used to be.

And then she says it's a shame she doesn't have it anymore because "throwing it over the ferryboat into the sea would be fun ya know"

And Addison jokes to her that maybe she'll ask for it back when she and Derek divide up their assets just so she CAN throw it into the ocean herself.

And Meredith giggles at that one and tries to pick out her keys from her pocket without untangling their hands.

And when Meredith drops them Addison picks them up, finally releasing their hands as she does.

Meredith mourns the contact and sighs as she does, so she doesn't quite notice the way Addison is thumbing over the engraving of "M" on them.

(As if she's remembering something. As if she's remembering holding it in her very hands before, because Addison was.)

(Addison is remembering how she rolled her thumb and her fingers all over that key for a day before finally returning it with a bit of a sigh.)

(There was no reason for her to want it, but a part of her did. A small or large or whatever part of her wanted to have a keepsake of that night with Meredith. A key to Meredith's Grey's heart if she could put it that way, she thinks maybe...)

"Thanks," Meredith says to Addison genuinely as Addison finally hands her key set over to Meredith.

"You're welcome," Addison says to her, smiling softly as she's lost all in thought again.

"I'll see you later," Meredith says with a grin.

"See you" Addison sort of half-waves.

"You know, for what it's worth I think it's cool that you had a creative answer to turn down that woman. Now that you're gay you know you'll have women and men lining up for you…" Meredith says.

"Are you gonna give me any names?" Addison says before she can take it back in.

"Not while you're still not divorced," Meredith says a bit harshly and adds "It wouldn't be a good thing for a friend and fake girlfriend to do" she adds quickly, to cover herself up more.

"Right. You're really alright Grey" Addison says to Meredith in a thank-you.

"Yeah, I guess you're not really too bad either, Montgomery," Meredith says to her in a smirk at the last-name thing. A sort of an inside joke for them from the other night.

"Haha, not bad, not bad. Well, gladly another time, I gotta run" Addison says turning to her own car.

And with that, she was gone.

Meredith leans up against her own car for a second to take a deep breath.

(Having Addison's hand in hers felt absolutely electrifying. And having Addison say that she's her girlfriend even in pretend made her heart swell so big it almost exploded or something. Wow. Cristina would actually kill her for comparing a crush to something needing heart surgery. Or maybe she wouldn't and just want to cut her heart open…?)

Speaking of Cristina, Meredith remembers to text her back now.

 


 

Text Message, 14:26, Location: Seattle

Meredith Twisted Sister Grey to Cristina Your Person Yang

 

MEREDITH

[Got whole stock of 7 Eleven whip cream.]

[coming now, she's coming now too with sour candies. The red ones I think. ]

[AND she's NOT MY platonic girlfriend doctor boss lady SHE IS MARRIED CRISTINA.]

[u two better be dressed when I get back there.]

Meredith Twisted Sister Grey marks all the rest of her irrelevant text message as "read".

Meredith isn't expecting to get a reply right away, but she does from Cristina.

 

CRISTINA

[haha so you ARE COMING TOGETHER.]

[GOOD JOB MEREDITH GET YOURS SHE IS STUNNING.]

(Goddammit Cristina, why do you have such a dirty mind. Now I'm thinking of all the ways I could make Addison come with a sour candy in her mouth. Jesus, I need to get laid!)

 

MEREDITH

[WE WILL BE ATTENDING THE PARTY TOGETHER AFTER HAVING MET AT RANDOM IN A CONVENIENCE STORE AND THAT'S WHAT SHE BOUGHT AND I BOUGHT THE WHIP CREAM THEIR ENTIRE STOCK NOW SO YOU ARE WELCOME CRISTINA.]

[As I said, Addison is married.]

 

(Meredith replies in a huff then realizes she just could have lied to Cristina about meeting up with Addison she didn't have to know that. Even if Cristina IS her person. DAMN! And now what if she asks about the store and I have to tell her Addison PRETENDED to be my girlfriend. That throws her 'platonic girlfriend comment' to a whole entire level!)

 

CRISTINA

[she's not 4 married long u wanna hit that post-McDreamy divorce papers?]

[because she did confess her love 4 the vaginas not 2 long ago.]

[or r u still wanting that 'mystery person' to come back and sweep u off your feet?]

 

Meredith Grey marks all of her texts now as "Read" and she slams her phone shut without answering Cristina.

 

(Because Meredith has no idea what to say to her other than "YES FUCKING YES I REALLY WANNA HIT ON ADDISON AND DO NAUGHTY THINGS TO HER ALL DAY, NIGHT LONG AND MAKE HER SCREAM OUT MY NAME SO SHE FORGETS OUR McDreamy FOREVER)

And that's not the kind of thing she wants to admit to Cristina yet.

Not with the fifty thousand questions about the 'mystery person' thing that Cristina has just reminded her of because she'd honestly practically forgotten about it just then.

(God, when did her sex life ever get to be this complicated without any of the sex in it!)

 


Meanwhile, finally stopping by her hotel room for a moment to change and to grab a fresh set of clothes for the rest of the evening, Addison checks for any text messages she might have missed earlier while her phone was still charging.

She picks out her red and green scarf that she'd been talking to the boys about and she stuffs it into her purse along with the scotch, tampons, and sour candies. This was going to be a long night when she and Derek finally signed their divorce papers, so it was the least she could do to provide him some comfort.

(The tampons were hers of course and sour candies were for the party. It was only the scotch that was for Derek, of course…)

So when Addison opens her phone she has a near heart attack reading the messages which pop up now:

 


 

Text Message, 14:02, Location: Seattle

Cardio God to Skippy Gold

 

CARDIO GOD

[YO SKIPPY. WE NEED TO TALK ASAP. CALL ME.]

[It's about your dirty little secret. Someone's catching on and you don't want that now.]

[Seriously, call me back Skippy. And pick up some extra whip cream for the party.]

[I have a feeling we're going to run out of it here…]

Cristina sets her phone to vibrate now.

 


 

"SHIT!" Addison swears aloud and scrolls through her contacts to dial Cristina Yang's number.

At least she knew that no one had had a chance to tell Meredith yet because she'd literally just been with her at the 7 Eleven.

(Yeah you REALLY liked to be her fake girlfriend. The sweet looks she gives you. The way her hand feels in yours. How she had to have help packing those whip cream cans in the car. Yes, YOU are the definition of "whipped" much more even all that whip cream now combined…)

 

***** OUTGOING CALL FROM SKIPPY GOLD TO CARDIO GOD *****

***** INCOMING CALL FROM SKIPPY GOLD TO CARDIO GOD *****

 


 

Cristina Yang picks up her phone on the very first ring, as she licks the final patch of whip cream off of Izzie's neck and tells her to lick the rest off of herself because it's an urgent call from her mother she has to take or else she'll yell.

Izzie seems to buy this as she sexily makes a show of taking the cream off her chin with two fingers and sucks it into her lips with a hum.

Cristina winks at her for showing this as she runs up to Meredith's currently unoccupied bedroom to take the incoming call now from Addison.

"YO SKIPPY, WHAT'S UP THIRD COUSIN YO" Cristina says the pseudonym loud enough so Addison knows she's supposed to follow along with this charade.

"Hey ah-" Addison doesn't know quite what to say back.

"You can call me Cristina, SKIPPY, it's okay we're like third cousins even though you know that I hate star wars" Cristina smirks over the phone as Addison senses it.

Addison realizes that she's right, it would be more suspicious to call her "Cardio God" if anyone is listening so at least this way she doesn't have to add that to Yang's ego.

"Hey, so I got your text, what's up," Addison asks in a concerned tone.

"Well, SKIPPY, you see my someone I know and you also know just said to me she remembers someone she knows that's called ADDISON had an extra key on THEIR car keys not too long ago, and that ADDISON didn't have an extra when she helped ADDISON park her car the other day" Cristina is whispering that part in case Izzie can hear her and Addison sets her sound to "loud" because she's at the Archfield anyhow.

"And did your friend say anything more? About the key or about this "ADDISON-PERSON" Addison asks Cristina with a worry and also trying not to mess up the 3rd person's.

"Well, she mentioned someone Meredith Grey also had a missing key not too long ago that reappeared and that she asked this Meredith Grey person if they lost their keys and got them back and she said yes but don't worry about it… But obviously she was worried enough to tell ME about it" Cristina says to Addison in a huff.

"So what do you think I should do about it then?" Addison asks her sort of dumbly.

"Well, SKIPPY, unfortunately, I have no GOLDEN solutions for you, but I'll say that my friend that you know did say TO ME ironically enough to keep this all our secret. And I know she's buttering me up and trying to make me feel all special so I didn't say anything more before we started… baking the cake some more but I just thought that I should call you. It's been a while cousin SKIPPY GOLD" she says.

"Yeah, good to talk to you too I guess," Addison says with a big sigh.

"You know, I ran into her at the store earlier," Addison says without thinking now.

"Umm - who did you run into Skippy? Cristina asks as if she doesn't know.

"Well - YOU KNOW WHO. Anyways-" Addison starts up again.

"Jeez it's not like Voldemort it's not like he-who-shall-not-be-named. You're never gonna get in her pants if you compare her to a demon" Cristina says to her full smirk now.

"I shall have you know that I have already claimed the ruler-of-all-that-is-evil title thank you very much," Addison says to her quickly and smirks herself at her quick-witted response.

"Well, either way, did you get that whipped cream I asked you for now SKIPPY?" Cristina said to her in question.

"No, Meredith bought the whole store out," Addison says. "She's probably on her way back to her house now you know," Addison says.

And with that Cristina pries her door open to see someone pull up in their car.

"SHIT YOU'RE RIGHT SHE'S BACK SOON. Anyways you know what I know now. And I'm getting a bit tired of this game. So you need to get your papers done so I can relax and enjoy myself, and really I'm telling you this as YOUR PERSONAL WINGWOMAN that I still trust you with my bestie. I'm not taking that back from you at all…." Cristin says softly now as possible as she can hear Meredith start to walk towards the steps.

"Just know she has trust-things going on, you know from being abandoned by McDreamy. So just, you need to tell her even if it hurts her at first. Because the longer you wait she'll feel like you might be ashamed of helping her. And I know that's the opposite of what you want. I'm keeping this secret because I know it'll hurt you both if she hears it from anywhere else. But you're time is running out SKIPPY. So, you better go be a Jedi because you don't want to end up Darth Vader" Cristina ends with an analogy which she knows will annoy Addison but also provide cover with her "SKIPPY GOLD" persona.

So when she hears Meredith open the door to the house now, she only hears a faint "Thank you so, so, so much Cristina. And thank you for trusting me with her. I won't let you down I promise" before she hangs up the phone and texts Addison she didn't mean to drop the call but she has to go now.

And Cristina lies flat on her back now, smirking because Addison didn't even deny any of her feelings towards Grey that time in her texts or calls.

And Addison lies flat on her back now, sighing, running her own set of keys through her fingers as a habit like she used to twirl her wedding ring around.

But without Meredith's key on it, it just doesn't feel the same.

 


 

Now that the cake is baked, the boys somehow magically appear in the kitchen, freshly showered after their little 'naptime' with each other.

And they're asking for samples of the cake which makes Izzie and Cristina bat their arms away with both of their hands.

Meredith is now hopped up on the counter, making a card for John the patient and getting everyone to sign it.

At this Cristina texts Addison to give her a heads up about the card and to bring along a signature stamp if she has one of only her first name so the "M"s won't give her all away, to which Addison thanks her.

Cristina says to everyone she's texting her cousin and her mother and they just believe her.

And once Mer passes the card around she says she wishes there was something else they could do, and then Izzie suggests a sort of secret santa.

They can all chip in a gift and John the patient has to guess who each one is from.

And they love the idea entirely so they go to pick them out.

 


 

As soon as they get to the hospital, Cristina gives Meredith a knowing smirk as Meredith ignores it.

She ignores the "hah-platonic-girlfriend-all-the-way" look when she goes running to try to find Addison to tell her about the 'secret Santa'.

And she's shy about where she finds her because it's outside the attending's lounge with Richard, Derek, Burke, and Webber and Addison is laughing at something Bailey just joined them and started saying.

So she approaches the group of older doctors to finally blurt out "we want to give John the patient a secret Santa all of keepsakes. The budget is $10 each no more. And it has to be from secret Santa so he can guess as a surprise" Meredith finally says to them.

She's trying hard not to only smile at Addison now who is only smiling back at her. And Meredith finally mumbles "put them in the basket that will be outside his room in the hall so we can bring them in all at once" as she stares up and down at Addison one more time before she leaves.

And she can feel someone is following her and she has a feeling that it's Addison. So Meredith keeps walking quickly so that Addison won't catch up to her right in front of her… their... Derek.

Eventually, she lets Addison catch up to her before motioning to her with her eyes to follow her into the empty scan room.

"Me and Derek we ah, we talked yesterday by the way. I didn't mention that in the store or in front of my friends but we talked" Meredith says.

"And?" Addison asks, suddenly rather seriously.

"He doesn't think we- that we were- that ah- you-me- ah- cheating….him…" Meredith mumbles because she was about to say something very inappropriate for the workplace...

(Also you couldn't say 'he doesn't think that we were fucking' with at all a straight face…)

(HA-STRAIGHT-AS NEITHER OF YOU NOR YOUR POTTED PLANT WHICH YOU ALSO FORGOT TO FEED WITH THAT NEW PLANT FOOD BY THE WAY.)

(OOPS. SORRY PLANT. DAMN, I DO NEED TO FEED THE PLANT! IT'S GETTING SO STRESSED OUT LATELY IT'S THE LEAST YOU CAN DO FOR IT MER!)

"Good" Addison cuts Meredith off before she says something that would make her chest go red.

"Good," Meredith says succinctly back at her.

"Is he…" Addison doesn't know what question or emotion to ask about.

"He's upset but then he told me about the night you left him, how you left him a note and he was drinking scotch and you left him water and aspirin. I thought it was sweet of you you know for Derek given the circumstances. And then he asked where you went that night and I said you went home and had an early night because that's what you said."

(Addison is nodding now but she's freaking out internally.)

"And I didn't tell him this but someone left me a mystery note not too long ago. I guess what I'm trying to say is that nice people are around Seattle. Like you. That's all. And my mystery person and you just kinda think alike in some ways. That's all."

(Addison is blinking hard because she doesn't want to give anything up with her face.)

"And yeah so.. Also, can you still keep that 'mystery person' thing a secret by the way? I only ever told Cristina about it and kind of you about it a long time ago and we never talked about it again and I don't want my friends to give me hell or especially Derek" Meredith pleads with her.

(And Addison considers telling her it all right there and then. She's on the cusp of figuring it all anyhow. But she doesn't think it's right while she's still not separated from Derek. So she holds her tongue and nods at her and tells her it will be okay…)

(Then Addison asks her if she feels better now, about Derek and the rest. And Meredith does.)

"Of course Meredith. I won't tell a soul" Addison promises.

Meredith nods at her in gratitude and Addison tries to smile through it.

"Hey, I have a question for you unrelated though" Addison changes the topic gently.

"I know what I want to get for John the patient, but I need your help with it if you want to tag-team" she smiles sweetly.

And once Meredith hears the idea she's jumping for joy and hugging Addison at just how perfect it will be.

And Addison hugs her back before releasing her and she's thankful all the same.

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 25

 


 

Author's Note:

Thanks all, here's a creative chapter that I never thought would happen till recently.

But I really enjoyed it and I hope you do too!

Drama is heating up and so is the fluff!

What is your favorite part of this chapter?

What do you think Meredith and Addison's gift for John will be?

(If you get it SPOT ON, I will gift you a MerAdd one shot in your honor, and you get to pick the prompt!

(For the offer to be valid you have to guess before the next chapter is posted. You have likely 20 hours from the post time of this chapter so get going with those guesses!)

(So happy guessing, readers, can't wait to hear your thoughts... but I bet I have something planned that you never expected!)

Enjoy the next approximately max 36-48 hours before the next installment. I do update almost daily now, like clockwork. But if I have enough written and I get enough reviews I MAY POST EARLY!

 


 

THANK YOU FOR READING! LEAVE A NOTE, IT WILL MAKE MY DAY :D