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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 bobbiejelly. NOW RATED E FOR EXPLICIT. You're welcome :).

 


 

Chapter 1: Bring The Pain

 


 

"You're not Derek..."

Meredith Grey slurs before she even looks up to see that the person behind her, not only is it certainly not Derek Christopher Shepherd, but it is the one person she least expected to greet her with her own name that night at the bar this very evening.

"I'm not Derek," says Addison Forbes Montgomery.

She is out of her hospital clothes again and she's dressed to the nines in those beautiful pearls that accentuate her curves in her long black dress that always makes Addison seem to Meredith even more formidable than she already was in the first place.

"Where IS Derek?"

Meredith insists and she's sure she's about lost it now because if Derek didn't come to meet her at the bar then surely he'd be at home with his wife, right and so surely his wife wouldn't be - shouldn't be- standing right behind her in this godforsaken place without her godforsaken husband or ex-husband or whoever he was to her - to him - to whomever.

"He's not coming," Addison says flatly.

And the compassion in Addison's voice is carrying over into her speech now and it's making Meredith even more confused. Why on earth would Addison be standing right behind her, sounding sad about being alone? Why is she here without Derek on this disgustingly rainy evening - when she could be holed up in that trailer of his in his arms or something sickly domestic and refined like what real married people with real jobs and real lives do.

 


 

"How did you even know he was supposed to be coming?" Meredith asks and she's not entirely sure why Doctor Montgomery-Shepherd is still answering the long list of questions because it's not like she's ever cared to answer any of Meredith Grey's questions before.

"He told me," Addison says simply as if that says it all.

And the weight of Addison's words sinks into Meredith's bones as she's just about realized that that means that Doctor Addison Forbes Montgomery-Shepherd has heard a Derek Shepherd impersonation of Meredith Grey's voice pleading to him to "Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me" and that he's shared that with the very last person on earth that she'd want to hear those words that had come out of her mouth.

"Oh god just bring the pain already just pile it all on top of itself," Meredith says frustratedly.

"He told me he wasn't sure whether or not he was going to pick you or me, in the end. And before Derek could ever decide, I decided to decide and I decided to end it all for both of us. I left him. For good." Addison says sadly and now Meredith Grey is absolutely sure she can hear the compassion creeping into Addison's words.

And she's so sure that Addison's voice is going to break if Meredith makes her keep talking again.

And so Meredith doesn't.

 


 

Instead, Meredith slides her purse and her coat off of the barstool and gestures to the other doctor.

And as she looks up into Addison's eyes for the first time she has that evening, she offers for her, to sit-

And Addison does.

 


 

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*****END OF CHAPTER 1

 


 

Author's Note:

This is my current "masterwork," if I can even call it that LOL.

It's my favorite story ever to write fanfiction for.

OBSESSED with Meredith/Addison pairing, and F/F pairings on GA in general.

There are currently MANY chapters to this work-

And the genre ranges from the current angst, hurt/comfort

Towards the kindlings of friendships,

And maybe one day, even something more.

Thanks to all who have reviewed this so far,

And I look forward to hearing your thoughts-

In the COMMENTS.

Have a great day everyone,

And take care!

Ps. This work IS updated -

With a new chapter posted on it,

Approximately every once in a while...

Sometimes sooner with encouraging comments!

So stay tuned, and follow/fav to be in the loop.

Much love,

 

Chapter Text


 

Chapter 2: Into You Like A Train

 


 

"How do you know he's not coming?" Meredith asks Addison again. "I know you said he told you but what did he say about why?" Meredith clarifies and Addison clears her throat to answer.

"He said he had to take some time to think and figure things out," Addison said. "He said he'd been looking for me all day. I said he'd finally found me. I asked him if he was going to sign the divorce papers or not. And then he told me what you said. And then he cried a little. And then he drank a whole lot. And finally, he said he'd sign our divorce papers if he had our lawyers talk to each other and if he'd had a little less to drink already" Addison continued.

"Scotch," Meredith says simply. "Scotch," says Addison sadly. "Coming right up," says the bartender and Meredith's too weak to make a big deal of his misunderstanding so Addison waves her hand over the bar to be clear that when she and Meredith had said "Scotch." together that it wasn't because they'd wanted one it was because they're Doctor Shepherd's favorite drink that he was drunk off of right now, probably and that neither of them is his greatest fan for the moment.

It occurs to Meredith then that it's possible that Addison was only lying to her when she said that Derek wasn't coming and that maybe he actually was and she knew that and Addison just didn't want to see him score.

 


 

But when Meredith looks up at Addison's scared expression again,

Somehow she knows that no matter what she has ever thought or used to think-

About Addison Montgomery-Shepherd;

That she isn't a liar.

Addison isn't lying to her tonight, about this, at least.

 


 

And the realization washes over Meredith then as she starts to feel sorry for Addison.

For having come out to Joes, having come out to her all the way here.

Just to tell her that one sentence, that she is 'not Derek.'

And that 'Derek isn't coming'. 

That 'Derek isn't coming' back. For either of them. 

 


 

"I'll take the tequila instead" Meredith insists in a rough and low voice as she nods as if to thank Addison for speaking up for them and then she adds "and add one to my tab for her, too, please" before gesturing towards Addison's surprised sort of half-smile and binging the plate of pretzels closer to where they'd been sitting.

"So." Meredith starts. "So." Mirrors Addison back at her.

"So why didn't you let Derek pick me or choose you or love either one of us?" asks Meredith in a questioning tone. But as if she's genuinely curious and not as if she's angry she didn't give Derek a chance to consider her as an option. Or to consider HER as an option...?

"Because he didn't deserve to," Addison answers almost immediately.

"He doesn't deserve the love that either of us had to offer him" she finishes her sentence honestly.

 


 

And Meredith doesn't answer back immediately as Addison had, she sort of stares right back at her as if she's rolling the words inside of her mind and she's trying to spin them into a way that they make sense to her.

"But how the hell do you know what kind of love I deserve?" Meredith asks of Addison finally. As if she REALLY wants to know.

"Meredith, I think we accept the love we think we deserve," Addison says softly.

And she's looking her right in the eye but the cloudy look in those pale green eyes tells Meredith that she's somewhere else entirely.

And then Meredith realizes that in saying that to her that Addison is also saying that phrase about herself, and it stops her in her tracks for a second.

And for some unreasonable reason, it makes her want to reach out and lay her hands on top of Addison's hands and give them a reassuring squeeze. But she doesn't. She continues with what she was going to say anyway.

"Hell, you hardly know me. " Meredith says even more desperately. She feels like she's shouting even though she's hardly speaking above a whisper.

"You met me after flying in from New York to tell me that I'm the woman who's been screwing your husband and you barely have spoken a word to me except to tell me that you don't want someone who doesn't love you but if there's the slightest chance that Derek does that you're not leaving Seattle," Meredith says all of that in one breath.

Addison sighs at that one. That hadn't been one of her finest moments in Seattle, so to speak.

 


 

"How have you not left Seattle then if he doesn't love you no more" now Meredith has started to slur her words a little more than the last time.

"He still has to sign the divorce papers and so do I" Addison answers curtly before she looks up into Meredith's eyes and she realizes that that in no way suffices as an answer.

"Besides," Addison continues. "I see no reason not to enjoy one of my last few free nights in Seattle before I go," she says in a sort of sad but hopeful tone and Meredith thinks that the glint of 'almost optimistic and hopeful' tearing through Addison's tearful tone might just be even sadder than the just plain regular sad Addison Montgomery-Shepherd voice she's gotten to know so well over the past couple of hours.

Addison looks down as she reaches her right hand to her left hand as a habit to worry a set of rings on her finger that aren't there anymore and for some reason, Meredith doesn't take the comfort in the motion that her situation would suggest she might have.

"Well enjoy the rain while you can" Meredith stirs as she finally looks up and answers Addison with a sigh. "In Seattle when it rains, it pours" she sighs again sharply as if she were speaking metaphorically now about the both of their sad sad lifestyle that's caused for them to wait out here like some blithering idiots for someone who is clearly not coming despite what their stupid blind and darling hopes might say.

 


 

"I was into that man like a train" Meredith tries to explain. "Like it was going at full speed and I just wanted to ride it so badly that I just walked right in front of it and impaled in a gazillion places" she tries to conjure up an image but seems to be failing spectacularly at the metaphors at the moment.

"See, you saying that you wanted to ride my husband so badly would have sounded kinda dirty if you didn't just go on to say that being with him felt a bit like you're being hit by a semi afterward" Addison chuckles at her.

"Well, it seems like at least someone is getting something out of my misery at least it's my sense of humor" Meredith sighs.

"So why are you here alone anyway?" Addison asks Meredith.

"I could ask you the same" Meredith reacts right back.

"But you have your best friends here, why aren't they here forgetting all of the terrible trials that have happened to them too?" Addison inquires sincerely.

"Well my friends started here until I sent them away with how pathetic I was being and I think they're at Seattle Grace now trolling for cool surgeries. And I'm too drunk to join them" Meredith speaks up. "Still I don't blame them there are sometimes cool cases that come in this late at night" Meredith continues.

"Sure there are and sometimes there aren't and I guess it's all luck is the name of the game," Addison says wisely.

 


 

"So why are you out here all alone anyway?" Meredith asks again as if she's suddenly remembered she hasn't gotten an answer out of Addison yet.

"Well unlike you I don't really have any friends here in Seattle," says Addison. "I came out here to get Derek back and I have all of my other friends in New York so really right now all I have for friends is the alcohol," Addison says, and as she says it she realizes how pathetic it must all sound. "And I think I might be drunk also," Addison adds as well.

"So you have no one to drink with you," Meredith asks.

"So I have no one to drink with me," Addison answered.

"So you're drinking with me," Meredith asks another question.

"Yes, so I'm drinking with you" Addison answers again but without all the bitterness that either of them would expect to come out of Addison's mouth after all of that alcohol in her system has lifted her inhibitions.

"Well cheers to the I slept with Derek and now life sucks club" Meredith raises her glass as if it were a nod.

"Cheers to another" Addison raises her glass in return and nods back.

 


 

Somewhere along in the bitterness Meredith might have expected Addison to chew her out or to demean her for all the damage she's done to her marriage, or for Meredith to chew Addison out or to demean her for cheating on Derek with Mark or for telling her she shouldn't go back to him right away.

But Addison doesn't. And Meredith doesn't. And neither of them wants to try to even go there now.

So instead they just sit together, feeling all alone in the Emerald City Bar as they stir their drinks with their straws and let the sharp bite of the ice cubes feel cool upon their weary lips.

 


 

And for some inexplicable reason Meredith and Addison each feel somehow soothed by the solemn grace that is their current and unlikely companionship.

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 2

 


 

Chapter Text


 

Chapter 3: Something to Talk About

 


 

“Just so you know ladies it’s the last call so if you want anything more to drink then ask me now, and after three-thirty, we close the bar so you’d best be calling yourself a cab by then so you’re not stuck outside in the rain,” Joe says softly as he’s sympathetic to both women’s plight.

 

“Do you want another?” Addison offers to Meredith. “I think I owe you one” She answers her own question and Addison motions for Joe for one last refill for both Meredith and herself. 

 

“You know this has been kind of nice” Meredith admits to Addison in her drunk and weary state. “You’re really not as bad as I wish you were” she sighs and Addison smiles softly at that and doesn’t press her to tell anything more about that.

 

“You’re not too terrible yourself” Addison sighs to herself. “Normally I don’t do my drinking with interns but normally I don't drink myself under the table either,” she says. 

 

“You’re getting a divorce,” Meredith says emphatically. “You’re allowed to drink yourself under the table for days if you want to,” she offers.

 

“I don’t think I want to drink myself under the table for days” Addison answers Meredith sympathetically. 

 


 

“The first time I was drunk for an entire two weeks the first time my mother didn’t remember me” Meredith sighs. 

 

“I’m sorry,” says Addison simply.

 

“Doctor Ellis Grey was not an easy woman,” says Meredith. “She was tough on everybody. Wanted them to only be ordinary so she could be extraordinary’ she says, or at least that’s the way it felt to me, being her daughter and all” Meredith concludes.

 

“My mother was not an easy woman either” Addison replies as she realizes she hasn’t really told many people that ever. “Bizzy Forbes,” Addison begins and Meredith is trying to wrap her head around whether or not she’s heard that name but she can’t place it right now. “She had the highest standards for our family as well. She would never let us cry in front of other people and she would never want us to cry outside of our rooms” she sighed. “And I guess I’ve picked up on that habit,” Addison says with a humph.

 

“Well I guess somehow we do have something to talk about,” says Meredith weakly.

 

“I guess we do,” says Addison, sounding sort of surprised at herself.

 

Meredith takes another gulp of her tequila now, not bothering to nurse the drink in tiny sips as Addison had been.




 

“Thank you for letting me know that I'm not a total washout for wasting all my time here staring at nothing as my name changes from Doctor Addison Adrianne Forbes Montgomery-Shepherd to Doctor Addison Adrianne Forbes Montgomery-Nothing” Addison sighs.

 

“Jesus, Addison! If I had a name that was that long I swear I’d be jumping for joy if I were losing the one at the end of it” Meredith exclaims before she can think better of saying something as absurd as what she just did say.

 

“Well you see my parents they wanted to hyphenate but then they never added the hyphen and the Adrienne part is only my middle name and most people don’t ever say that one out loud anyways and the Shepherd part was for Derek because we wanted to be all grown up and cool when we married and the Addison part is just for my first name” she explains. 

 

And Meredith swears she starts laughing alongside Addison because if that’s not the longest explanation she’s ever heard for an even longer name then she’s not sure she’ll be able to keep breathing if she hears about Addison’s drunken explanation about a deeper meaning of the “Forbes” and the “Montgomery” parts.

 

The laughing vibrates deep into their chests now and if there had been a ten-tonne stack of bricks that had hit them over the head earlier at least now it might feel like at least a few of them had been lifted up and away. 




 

As the laughter drifted off at its natural end, some of the sadness returned to their faces but not every once of it. 

 

Addison notices that the frown that had been working its way in Meredith’s forehead has been lessened. Meredith notices that the weary look in Addison’s eyes is no longer as worried as before.

 

When the frown returns in its full form Addison asks her right away, “Meredith what’s wrong” she says in the way a concerned friend might ask her.

 

“My friends are all going to ask if he came back to me the moment I walked through my front door” Meredith answers. “Unless they’ve gotten some super cool surgery which I think that they have not because neither of us has been paged then they’re going to be back at my house watching surgical tapes of my mother while waiting for me to come home and to tell them my McDreamy is my McDreamy again and I just -” Meredith’s voice breaks. 

 

“I just can't, ” Meredith concludes and Addison can tell that she really truly means it. 




 

“Hmm, I guess if it were me and I had to walk into a party at my own place right now either at the Hamptons or at the Brownstone then I guess I wouldn't be super thrilled about that one either” Addison offers.

 

“I just wish all the McDreamy talk and the Derek talk would just all wash away” Meredith sighs.”How did you let it all wash away?” Meredith says wistfully.

 

“I mean here you had my McDreamy and you walked in here all McHot - all leggy and fabulous and annoyingly kind and painfully smart and you’re really not easy to hate, you know! You save  babies. You saved my best friend. Hell, You’re even helping me, here; listening to all of my stupid McProblems with all the stupid McBoys and their stupid boy penises and I know you've got a lot going on right now - But I have to warn you that I’m very well aware that I’m a vapid narcissist when I’m drunk” Meredith rants.

 

“We’re over, Meredith” Addison confirms because apparently she has to again and she gestures to her blank ring finger so Meredith knows that she’s referring to herself and Derek.

 

“Yeah yeah you’re over and yada yada yada but here I am having to be comforted by you when I’m the one who so stupidly thought that this beautiful man could be in love with me and then that McBastard was McMarried and now I think I’m going to McVomit” Meredith yelps because that last one was not a euphemism at all.

 


 

“Ok, ok, ok” Addison rushes as she guides Meredith by a hand wrapped around her shoulders to the bathroom where she holds her hair as Meredith gets sick as Addison wraps her hair into a ponytail to keep it away from her face as rubs soothing circles around her back. 

 

“Ughhh,” Meredith says as she collapses on the bottom of the floor and she leans against the stall of the dirty bar bathroom with her eyes squeezed shut and a tear running down her face. 

 

“I hate this day,” Meredith says.

 

“I hate this day too,” Addison says.

 

And Addison props herself against the bar bathroom stall door and she keeps on rubbing the younger woman’s back as she wraps her arm around her bony shoulders.

 

“I’m lonely, I'm really fucking lonely,” Meredith says and it rips a tear all through Addison’s chest.

 

“I’m really fucking lonely, too,” Addison also says as she sighs and it makes Meredith want to soothe her worried look.

 

They sit there for a moment and they both independently consider becoming like, friends or “whatever” but then they think more of it and so they don’t say anything more. 

 

Wordlessly, Meredith picks herself off of her place on the floor and she begins to rinse out her mouth and wash her hands at the sink.

 

She’s looking into the mirror now and trying her damndest to make herself look like Meredith and Addison looks at Meredith in the mirror from where she’s now standing between the stall doors.

 


 

“You look okay, Grey” Addison offers and she can see how Meredith is smiling just a little bit back at her through the mirror. Meredith mulls these words over as she smoothes out her lipstick again. “Thanks” Meredith replies in a way that Addison knows she’s not just talking about the compliment, she’s talking about the evening and the hair holding and all of it.

 

“You look not too bad yourself Montgomery, for what it’s worth” Meredith offers back. She’s not so sure why she just called her ‘Montgomery’ but calling her “Doctor Addison Adrienne Forbes Montgomery-Nothing” right now just seemed like way too much of a chore and she wasn’t exactly on a first-name basis with her at all either. She wants somehow to call her simply “Addison” as her life depends on it but she knows that that’s not really on the table right now.

 

Addison takes it though without a deeper meaning to the use of her own last name at all. And now she’s just muttering a muted “Thanks” while she’s looking down at her shoes and sighing. 

 

Addison Adrienne Forbes Montgomery -  hiding behind the bad lighting inside of Joe’s bar bathroom and behind her shiny veneer of being almighty and formidable while she’s blushing a bit internally at Meredith Grey’s compliment - and she just can’t for the life of her figure out why... Yet. 


 

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*****END OF CHAPTER 3

 


 

Chapter Text


 

Chapter 4: Let It Be

 


 

When the pair of them finally emerge from the washroom again they see the bar has been vacated and that the only people that are still there are Joe and his boyfriend Walter. Joe has just called Addison and Meredith a cab as he signals to Addison as he explains to her that the taxi company said it was “15 minutes out” that was approximately ten minutes ago. 

 

When Meredith asks him why he’s called just the one cab he says simply that “they're all backed up”. He says to her simply as Joe looks and nods only at Addison over the top of Meredith’s shoulder and he gives the older woman what can only be described as a pleading and significant look as he’s glancing his eyes back from Addison down to Meredith then back up to her again.

 

Nodding at him Addison asserts to her that the cab can drop Meredith off first at her house because it’s on the way to her’s anyhow and Meredith goes along with it all anyway.

 

And Addison is relieved to realize that Meredith is far too out of her mind right now to realize that Addison has no real idea where Meredith’s house even is as related to “her place” and why the hell on earth would she. 

 

And that Addison has never had any place in Seattle to call hers much more less now than ever before. 

 

And that the hotel that she’d planned on staying at after the evening's events is over the overpass in the opposite direction to Meredith's house so it wasn’t at all a shortcut much less a simplicity which she would soon find out as she rode there alone.

 

But Meredith takes it all in at face value anyways and she tugs up at Addison’s sleeve when she sees the cab finally appear so she’s leading the other woman to the taxi where they both tumble into the backseat together and Meredith needs help buckling her seatbelt before Addison supports her neck next to her so she doesn’t get whiplash at ever streetlight that they stop at on the drive over.

 


 

“Keys” ' Addison asks for as she unbuckles Meredith from the car after she’s left her seat and Meredith fumbles through her purse until she’s slipped out the right ones into the Attending’s hand.

 

Addison half-stumbles-with-half-carries the younger woman to her doorstep where she inserts three keys before she figures out which one is for the main door and not the back door or the basement and she’s holding the door open so Meredith can drag her feet in behind her up over the awning.

 

“Help me” Meredith glances with her eyes as she struggles to take a single step without the support of Addison’s hands around her waist so Addison enters the into the house even more along with her and she holds Meredith’s hands to her shoulders so she won’t fall as she unties Meredith’s shoes and slips them off of her feet before shrugging off own her heels onto the doormat with a thump. 

 

Before Addison enters the house fully and she shuts the door behind her silently she glances her eyes around to see if she can sense any traces of Meredith’s roommates roaming about the hallways or between their rooms or around with one another. 

 

But all they can hear is dead silence and the birds that chirp slowly outside of Meredith’s kitchen window on occasion as they tiptoe through the ten-tonne mass of movie boxes and kitchen sets that Meredith has never moved inches since the day she signed over the house to herself.

 

When Addison steps too fast into her and Meredith knocks over a potted plant by the kitchen with her elbow accidentally she just shrugs it all off and says “let it be, let it be” to Addison simply before she beckons for her please to ignore the potted plant where it fell and to keep helping her through the kitchen so that she can be back into bed before morning comes again.

 

“And where exactly is your bedroom, Meredith?” Addison asks her as Meredith drunkenly realizes that Addison would never have any reason on earth to know that from her automatically as she answers “upstairs” before bringing her purse to the table in the entranceway. 

 

“Watch your step here” Addison guides her as if she knew that any more than Meredith now as they both make their way steadily up the staircase towards the first door on the right which is the only room with the door that is unopened. 

 

“They’re all super sounds sleepers” Meredith reassures Addison who she can feel from the careful questions would not want the others to know that she’s been here the night before and so Addison nods as she assists Meredith in reaching her room and falling onto her mattress in heap with all of her clothing still attached on to her. 

 

“Do you want me to-” Addison is not so sure how she should finish such a sentence as she stands dumbly up at her in the doorway because the only other times ever that she’s asked anyone if they’d wanted her to help them undress themselves have all been sexual experiences and this moment between Meredith and herself was most certainly not becoming a sexual experience of any nature or any kind on that night. 

 

“Need your help to tuck me under the covers,” Meredith says sweetly as she struggles to get the blankets to cover her but is currently only succeeding in making them move over a half of her body in one way or another and Addison is relieved when she has realized that in no way has Meredith seen her stutter or stare up blankly before she had answered her question.

 

“You’re not going to change?” Addison asks as she’s concerned that some raindrops have fallen on Meredith’s head and she wonders if Meredith will catch a cold if she stays in her sweaters and jeans all night after she’s already been in them all day. 

 

“Need sleep now, sleeeeepy sleep” Meredith slurs so she knows that she’s far too far gone to notice now anyhow and Addison secretly finds it adorable how rambly she can get when she’s wasted.

 

And so Addison stays just so she can tuck the girl in as she pulls over the sheet trying not to tickle Meredith’s toes and she tugs over the throw blanket so it covers all of Meredith’s feet and her calves. And then she lifts up the duvet all the way up to Meredith’s head before Meredith pokes it out to say “peekaboo” and Addison almost loses it laughing before stopping and realizing that the both of them laughing was making them both now be way too loud. 

 

“Peekaboo you now young Meredith Grey now you get yourself some sleep it’s been quite the long day for us both hasn’t it, huh,” Addison says with her most concerned doctor voice as she clicks her tongue and Meredith grins up at her, eyelids growing heavy and falling further and further until she can no longer keep her eyes open. 

 

“Thanks-” Meredith tries to say more but she’s snoring already and Addison takes this as her cue to shut the lights off to Meredith’s room and to close the bedroom door behind her as she leaves. 

 

Addison ignores Meredith’s earlier orders to leave the potted plant alone because she can’t stand that the plant will probably wilt on its own if left sideways so she straightens the roots out back into its shell and she rights it right onto the table it had taken to before tending to it with some water and with the wear of her hands.

 

She settles Meredith’s coat onto the coat rack even though none of the others have hung theirs there and she silently slips back into the kitchen again so she can wash out her hands before she spies a half-empty bottle of aspirin back under the counter she stores in her hand while she searches for a piece of spare paper and a spare glass for water as well as a pen.

 

Addison then realizes that she doesn’t want to leave the house door wide open behind her all after she’s gone and she’s not going to be crawling through any backdoor windows at this time of night and besides of which Meredith has at least her two housemates and that they’ll see each other soon in the hospital anyway.

 

So she leaves Meredith a note which she doesn’t sign a name to. And she slips the house key off of Meredith’s car key keychain before twisting it to hers where it snaps now it’s securely shut. And she’s securing the door lock to Meredith’s mother’s house and she is testing it behind her before calling herself another cab and feeling even more empty than before as she stumbles into her hotel room alone at the Archfield. 

 

And Addison is sad as she’s thinking she’s got no one to tuck her in tonight and to leave her a note on her kitchen table to say that she should take the two of the aspirin she’s poured out from the bottle when she wakes up along with a tall glass of water she’s poured into the glass from the sink. She won’t find out also that she’ll have her key back soon enough too; and that it was not stolen - (she borrowed it) and that it was simply borrowed for a short time- borrowed because she just didn't want to leave them all unknowingly alone in the house that was unsecured all throughout the night altogether. 

 

And Addison is sad because she’s thinking she’s got no one to hold her or to tell her they’re sorry or to tell her that she’s still desirable and that they’ll stay for them as long as they need for her to feel happy again. 


And Addison is sad because she’s thinking she’ll maybe never ever find love for herself ever, ever again and she’s given her lovers away like she’s given away sharp and broken bottle pieces of her sliced up soul.

 

And Addison finally finds herself crying herself to sleep for the second night in a row since she’s sure as hell not thinking that Grey girl can’t even know how happy she’s got it with her friends falling around her and for even her own generosity in ensuring that she’s safe and sound through the very worst night of her young life, so far.

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 4

 


 

Chapter Text

 


 

Chapter 5: Thanks for the Memories

 


 

When Meredith wakes up she can hardly see before she blinks at least seven times and she struggles to free herself from the swaddle of her blankets that have all been bunched tightly up against her body like a cacoon. 

 

She thinks nothing of it before making a beeline to the bathroom to throw up again as she looks at herself in the mirror at her body barely supporting herself still in yesterday’s clothes as she sighs and she pads her way downstairs to see her potted plant sitting sideways on the kitchen counter slightly to the left of where she remembered she’d planted it just a few mornings ago. 

 

Meredith makes her way over to to the counter where she finds a scrawled note reading 

 

“Meredith, take these two aspirins along with the whole glass of water before going to work in the morning. Your key is not stolen, it was borrowed so that the door could be locked behind you on your way in last night. You’ll get it back soon. Thanks for the Memories. Best Wishes.”

 

Meredith reads the note over at least six or seven times before realizing that it had no name affixed to the bottom of it nor any signatures or particular markings left over on the reverse of it either. 

 

Whoever the mystery man who had helped her settle in last night was, well she wishes she could remember an ounce of it because obviously he would have been a keeper if she hadn't been blackout drunk on him because clearly she could see that he was the definition of a gentleman.

 

She squints so she can see the words that were hidden by a strikethrough as and she smiles to herself wondering what the hell “thanks for the memories” could even possibly mean, and that if it were possible that they were good memories anyways why would the mystery man of Seattle not want her to know in return these nice memories of her?

 

Because this mystery man clearly knew her first name and just how to spell it so she had to have had some special sort of bonding time with him last night at the bar right? 

 

She couldn’t remember anything past her first tequila shooter from the night before now and she’s not even sure that she hadn’t slept with anyone either.

 

She decides that she didn’t think that she did sleep with anyone at all the night before because she was still perfectly dressed in her yesterday clothes when she had woken up this morning and she still had on the same bra and underwear as she had been wearing since she had put on a day ago. 

 

And if she had slept with someone the night before now then she’d probably have taken her pants off at some point and she wouldn’t have wanted to wear the exact same thing tucked into bed like she was if she’d had already had sex and she was getting dressed up for bed after she’d had all that tequila. She decides that if she was too drunk to remember she was too drunk to put on the same panties, pants, and her bra and to have snapped her bra shut before she put on that same sweater again.

 

She’s tortured now even more dark and twisty than usual because for Meredith Grey, the most queen of the mysteries she finds that the not knowing is honestly and truly the worst feeling in the world.

 

Despite this, Meredith follows the instructions and she puts the note into her pocket before any of her best intern friends could find out because heaven knows now that the last thing she needed or wanted would be for rumors to be flying that she had a secret lover somewhere out there in Seattle who knew where they all lived and who still had a key to theirs and her mother’s old house. 

 

She didn’t want to scare them off from seeing her as a person rather than as a serious whore so she shrugs it all off saying to herself that this isn't exactly her first night not knowing who what when where she was doing the night before. 

 

So she picks herself out some light fruit to munch on to wash down with her diet drink as she got herself out of her sweater and her jeans and she put on a new pair to call way up to Izzie and George and whoever happened to be there that she was “going into work early so she could see the charts” before they could and she looked around left and right before she spied her coat on the coatrack - the last place on earth she’d ever look for it and she slipped it on top of her shoulders before she slipped out the door. 

 

 


 

 

Seattle Grace Hospital has some of the very best vending machines in town is what Addison has decided as she strolls through the hospital like a ghost. She selects her favorite potato chips and she’s deciding between two different chocolate bars before she orders them both plus candy and she’s reaching down to get all her snacks from the mouth of the vending machine along with her change. 


She’s struggling to see how she could have handled herself better after her encounter at Meredith’s house last night and she suddenly seems a little bit insecure about her reactions. Was she being overly protective and motherly insisting Meredith take two aspirin before she has breakfast?

 

Was she being overly paranoid when she locked Meredith’s door behind her, stealing her key in the process because she just moved to Seattle so she didn’t know whether or not she should take it or leave it? Was she becoming a crazy person for even caring at all what was happening with Meredith Grey - the blonde intern who whisked her soon-to-be ex-husband off of his feet and seduced him into sleeping with her since she’d stayed in Manhattan?

 

Addison is munching all alone in her office trying to tie her hair back into a high ponytail still so lost, so lost in her thoughts, while she’s being paged 9-1-1 to the Emergency room and she runs off with a huff leaving crumbs and candy and chocolate lining the floor as she knocks over some of her boxes in her hurry.

 

“Over here” someone calls to her as she tries to prepare herself, hearing a caller on someone’s cell phone saying “we’ fine, some redneck tried to outrun the train…” in a thick thick accent before she stumbles upon the case that will keep all of the Attendings extremely occupied for the remainder of the morning well into the evening.

 

 


 

 

The patients were named Bonnie and Tom and they had never met either before being both impaled at the same time by a pole.

 

They were joined now together, cut out as a set by the firefighters before they rode in on an ambulance and had their c-collars strapped onto them and their IV bags hooked up to their arms. 

 

It took a whole crew to transport them as they made their way up to CT and they needed all the help they could get to see what they could do for these two.

 

“Normally Amanda would be a tad upset to see me pressed-up another woman,” the man Tom says as he explains that he is in fact not this woman’s husband. “But I think for this time i’ll get a pass” he finishes his joke and it sends soothing shivers through Addison’s spine as she sees that the blonde-haired woman bonnie she’s laughing along too and telling the man Tom how nice pores that he has as they waltz right on past anyone left in the line right on into the room where they could get scanned at CT.

 

Addison wished she had another resident on the case before Burke, Derek, Bailey, and Richard would inevitably be paged in and for all the superior surgical skill they each and all possessed together she wasn’t so sure she wanted all of that intellect to be thrust into her face just right about now.

 

Somehow she wonders just how the young Doctor Grey had fared after their fighting steps taken to get that drunken girl back into bed the other night and she hopes to high heavens she had taken those aspirins because hell if she needed hers when she had gone out to the drug store to get some before she showed up all thirsty and starving her head empty before showing up to her shift and changing into her salmon-covered scrubs she long hated and loved.

 

She sighed as she left her thoughts drift to the young intern and back as she remembered tucking the tail of blonde hair behind Meredith’s back before she told her goodnight and sighed as she remembered that it was not Derek but Mark who had once done the same for her.

 

 


 

 

Cristina finds the note crumpled up inside Meredith’s coat pocket and she reads it all over without saying a word before Meredith crumples it all up again and throws it in a ball in the trash can. 

 

“There will be absolutely no mystery man hunting behind my back or on my watch do you hear me Cristina” Meredith whispers but bellows as she storms out of the room. And Cristina covertly slips the note up into her hand again before tucking it securely into her breast pocket before shoving some other newspapers into the trash can behind her for good measure.

 

“But what about the missing Meredith key to your house” Cristina whispers into Meredith’s ear as she walks along with her to take the train crash crew back to the trauma room.

 

“If he didn’t take anything last night when I passed out then I don’t know why we should be worried about him doing anything while we’re all still awake” Meredith hushes to her as they roll them quickly and evenly through the maze of the hospital. 

 

“If you say so you’re the one who once knew him so you better be sure,” says Cristina with a raised eyebrow at her.

 

“Cristina I’m sure” Meredith reassures. “He said thank you for the memories and then he crossed it out so he had a good time. 

 

So we do not tell our friends and I hope he doesn’t tell his friends what he found meaning me and I’m sure that he will return me my key like he said that he would and then we can forget all of this happened with my ‘mystery man’ and we can still keep my dignity about being blackout drunk at a bar due to Derek on the down-low so I can stop being the bloody rumor mill beacon and can just be still stupidly sad that that god damned Derek never bothered to even give a damn and show up or try to call when I told him to pick me last night” Meredith says with a snap.

 

When she snaps that’s when Cristina knows when to back off and she’s sure now that Meredith is brought back to her senses because she’s mentioned McDreamy again and after all, mystery man or no, isn’t that who all of this was always going to be about in the first place?

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 5

 


 

 

 

Chapter Text

 


 

Chapter 6: Much Too Much

 


 

“Derek, we need to get a divorce. Now.” Addison insists to her soon to be ex-husband as he sits down looking at her distractedly, clearly thinking more about their train wreck patients or god knows what but whatever it was it wasn’t their divorce papers. 

 

“Addie we can’t sign them now just like that we need the lawyers to look at them with us and to witness them anyways” Derek counters right back to her. “Don’t you even want to try counseling Addison, we would seriously try counseling” Derek tries to suggest to her.


And isn’t it fitting that the divorcing couple can’t even get together to divorce each other because they still can’t stop fighting over every single petty detail as they derail all their conversations?

 

“So you’re saying we can’t even decide to get a divorce Derek really? Is that what we’re saying?” Asks Addison as she begins to scream. “And don’t even think about calling me Addie anymore. You lost that right ages ago when you walked out after letting me soak in the rain. No counseling session on earth will ever forgive what you did” Addison stomps out her feet now. 

 

“Divorce isn’t the life or death decision that needs to be made right now Addison” Derek is shouting right back at her now. “We’ll reschedule the signing of the papers for later, you already shoved your wedding ring back into my palm last night and we can talk about all of the rest of it when there’s not literally two dying people waiting for us to give them their answers” Derek screams out at her. 

 

“Don’t you think this is much too much Derek screaming at each other in an exam room about how much we can’t stand to stay married to each other” screams Addison

 

“This is much too much for me too to have to fight with you even to talk about Derek agrees.

 

“I’m still calling you my ex-husband to anyone who asks” Addison insists. 

 

“Done you’re my ex-wife then Addison” Derek storms at her back.

 

And she’s the first one to make a move towards the door but Derek’s already pushed past her through the door frame before she’s even taken a single step towards leaving the room.

 


 

“Some would say that because he’s more stable so we should move him” Derek advises. “She’s got more serious injuries so we should give her the best shot that we can,” he says softly. 

 

They’re still in the scan room trying to figure out who they should extract first when Addison starts to feel the weariness of the nearly sleepless night to catch up to her so she’s staying quiet.


“She’s certainly a long shot,” Burke says. “It’s hard to tell now whether or not her sick heart can take it,” he adds.

 

“We still have a shot at seeing him through if we save her” Doctor Bailey adds to the discussion. “Hell he’ll hurt like high heavens for harder but if he’s strong enough he can take it” she tries. 

 

“I can’t tell you what to do, it's not only my call” weighs Richard. “So I say we do what we do before we can’t do anymore, I say we have to settle this someway somehow,” he offers. 

 

“We should vote” Addison speaks up for the first time since she’s started here. “We should take all of our opinions into account and then we should see to it we’ve started them into the O.R here as soon as we can,” she says wisely. 

 

All the attendings plus Bailey agree so she passes them each a pen and paper and they pepper their ballots with either a Bonnie or a Tom before letting them fall into a spare scrub cab to be turned over by Derek and Addison the one at a time. 

 

“Bonnie” Addison recognizes her ex-husband’s handwriting as she pulls it out of the pile, being careful not to look up at him so everybody would know how he voted.


“Bonnie” Derek recognizes his ex-wife’s handwriting as he struggles not to see the clouded grey washing over his ex-wife’s green eyes as he stares up at the ceiling before down at the floor.

 

“Tom” Richard reads one not needing to analyze who said it before Bailey reads out:

 

“Tom” as she places the final slip from the pile into Preston Burke’s open hands…

 

And they all look up at each other silently at a standstill as Preston Burke’s lips make out the final deciding vote of moves and who’s name falls first out on the O.R board before being ushered to the ICU should they even recover long enough before being taken alive off of the operating table.




 

 

When they break the news of the Attending’s (plus Bailey’s) decision they first have to explain to them both that they have to move one of them off of the pole while the other waits and that whoever they move will have a slimmer chance of surviving than the others.

 

They say it isn’t fair but they've come to the best conclusion they all could and they say that it’s Bonnie they’ve chosen to stay on the pole and that it’s Tom that will have to weather the storm of having all of his insides shift down right at once while the surgeons stand right by and stabilize them. 

 

“But it’s not fair,” Bonnie offers. “But this is the way that it’s right,” Tom, he offers and with the look on his face he almost knows he’s a goner but that the best gift he can give her is to give her the very best shot that she can to have a better part of a life. 

 

“You’re being so very brave” Bonnie thanks her. “I’m being a gentleman” Tom explains that “a man should never leave a woman without the last of the lifeboats” as if they were both adrift at sea and she says that “it’s not fair either way…” as she trails off but Tom insists for the life of them that it has to be him.

 

“We’re going to do our damndest to save the both of you” Preston Burke offers them.

 

“We’ll try hard every step of the way,” Bailey adds.

 

“They are all a great team” Richard then reassures. 

 

“We are going to save him you’ll see” Addison smiles the very best she can.

 

“And we’re going to save her too” Derek looks at her right in the eye when he says that one right to her instead of looking at Bonnie or Tom or the others. He’s saying that one right to her and she’s realized too late after he’d left that Derek had not really been talking about trains or of Tom or of Bonnie after all.

 


 

They’re in the O.R now and Bonnie and Todd are still cracking jokes. They’re stable enough they’re still talking and they have their loved ones up on the phone to say their goodbyes just in case. But each of their husbands and wives is well on their way by now and Cristina and Meredith have each been recruited to hold up the phones to their ears while they talk and to listen for pages to say that the spouses have finally arrived.

 

“Amanda,” Tom says to his wife as he tries to explain the terrible things that have happened these past hours. “Take care of our loved ones. Amanda, you know I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be the man who lets others live if it's the very last thing I give with my life ” he begs her to promise as Cristina helps him go on with her nodding and the holding of his shoulder to the headphone mic. And Cristina glances a sly look at Meredith now as she smiles at the sweetness of Tom’s words to his lover.  And Meredith smiles back at her and makes a face when Cristina whispers at her “mystery man!”

 

“Danny,” says Bonnie. “I will love you until the end of all time. And I wish you to find the very best for the rest of your life. I know that I might always be there to be beside you but I promise you, you deserve to be loved with all of your heart. And promise me that you’ll find somebody to love you and to kiss you because you deserve to be loved for all of your life” she says trailing off. And Meredith’s heart breaks a little as she hears that last part because she wishes for the life of her that someone would ever say the same if she had gotten hit by a train. And she’s thinking back now to this mystery man and she’s wishing he could be the one to be whispering those things into her ear.  

 

Bonnie asks Tom if he believes in heaven and he says to her “I do” and she says that “I want to” as they have their hands holding on to each other now and they sit waiting for the surgeons to scrub in and to operate. It’s sinful scared they both are to start. Derek says that he’s going to put them to sleep when they’re ready and Addison’s heart almost breaks when Bonnie asks breathlessly if he thinks it will hurt and he says it won’t.

 

Addison remembers when Derek said those same words to her, way back when they were saying “I do” to each other for a whole other reason and shakes his head mouthing "I'm sorry," to Addison, sadly off her staring, when she realizes where her head has just been, his head must have been, too.

 

And Bonnie holds on to every single word Derek says when he tells her he’ll tell her loved ones everything and that he’d do the same for him should the time come and this time it’s Meredith who’s hurt by his words thinking he never shows up when he promises he will with the nod of his head and those McDreamy eyes and now Derek is saying “I’m sorry” for a second time silently with his lips as he looks into Meredith’s cold shoulder and he sighs as if he wishes it had all just been different.

 

But that it wasn’t and he didn’t do what he should have for both or for either Meredith and Addison so he vows to himself that this time will be different and that he’ll do right by his promises to go right to the end of whatever it takes to bring both Tom and Bonnie home. 

 


 

As Addison prepares Bonnie the patient with Meredith she asks cautiously to Meredith “So how was your night last night”, wanting to know how the intern felt about their interactions but not wanting to bring up anything too unwanted. 

 

“Well, I guess I went to the bar, met a man there” Meredith starts and Addison quirks her eyebrow at this part and says nothing. Maybe Meredith had in fact met a man at the bar before she ended up there herself so she motions for the blonde to go on.

 

“Then I guess he took me home but we never did anything and he never took my clothes off and tucked me into bed” Meredith explains as Addison does her very very best to stay still and to take in Meredith’s words.

 

She realizes then that Meredith Grey has absolutely no idea whatsoever what had been talked about, or what had happened or how she helped her into bed the night before because Meredith must have been blackout drunk since before she even sat down next to her. 

 

“I don’t really remember anything at all about that night or how I got home even” Meredith mirrors Addison’s realizations back to her. 

 

“The only reason why I know is that he left a note in my kitchen to tell me to take two aspirin and that he would bring me back my key before long,” Meredith concludes finally. “Don’t say anything about the spare key. I'm not worried or anything” Meredith covers quickly and Addison nods.

 

And it takes all of Addison’s strength not to come clean and tell her that it was her heavy hand that had written the curves and the loops on the “M” of her name on that note. 

 

“Doctor Montgomery-Shepherd, please. Please don't tell Derek or anyone else. Not about the bar, not about the note, not about the mystery man just please don’t tell Derek about anything to do with me” Meredith practically begs. 

 

And Addison’s heart breaks even more when she comes to the conclusion that despite all the hell she put her through that Meredith might still want him to like her and that she’d want her not to interfere with her McDreamy lifestyle. 

 

“Don’t worry about anything Doctor Grey,” Addison says too sweetly to be true. “I promise I swear to you now that I will not tell my ex-husband or anyone else about any of this” Addison motions in a circle to make Meredith understand. 

 

“Wait, your ex-husband?” Meredith asks with a quirk of her eyebrow.



“We’re getting a divorce” Addison sighs as she tells this to Meredith again. 

 

“Oh Addison I’m sorry,” Meredith says rather sincerely and it cracks Addison in two that Meredith is still comforting her. Because it seems just so cruel for the girlfriend to comfort the wife when she could have been anything but understanding and all but leaping into Derek Shepherd's loving arms right now.

 

 


 

 

“So how was your night Doctor Montgomery-, Doctor Montgomery-I-Guess-Nothing...” Meredith asks at her without looking up - like she was just trying so damn hard to be polite to her Attending. 

 

Addison thinks about sharing some more of what happens. She considers telling the truth about telling Meredith how she was kind to her, how Meredith made her feel slightly less lonely. 

 

How drunk and tired Meredith had been, how she’d been so violently sick. How she had admonished her ex-husband with her and how she could hardly stand to stumble home without her support. 

 

She thinks about it for a split second but she thinks no good would ever come of it. She doesn’t want a stupid intern to worship her and she doesn’t need to be called a hero by her ex-wife or anyone else. 


She doesn’t need credit or pity or compassion. She doesn’t need the absolution of her doubt that she did all the right things. She just needs her divorce to settle so she could be well on her way.

And so that maybe, just maybe she could find herself some peace again. So she doesn’t tell Meredith anything more than she knows. 

 

So instead Addison simply lies while looking at her straight to her face. 

 

“It was quiet. Went home early. Nothing exciting.” Addison deadpans.

 

“Oh,” Is all that Meredith could come up with in response to her answer.

 

“Now get back to work,” Addison orders Meredith to stop sitting around next to her on top of the O.R stool.

 

And Meredith does. 

 

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 6

 


 

Chapter Text


 

Chapter 7: Owner of a Lonely Heart

 


 

By now, even Addison notices the talking. The talking, mostly among the interns although the Attendings are no exception to this rule either. The talk about her being an adulteress bitch and for having cheated on the stupidly “perfect” McDreamy. Like they knew anything at all about him.

 

And as much as Addison despises everyone for talking behind her back about her, she hates them even more for talking behind their backs about Meredith. Because this is the last thing the intern deserves after having been sick as a dog in a dirty bar bathroom. They look at both of them as if they were an exhibit - like an exotic bird or a panda at the zoo. 

 

And though Meredith’s so-called friends say they should really do something about it they don’t. And instead, they participate in the sport all the while claiming they are her friends. She even caught the tail end of one of them saying “not to tell Meredith because that panda at the zoo exhibit probably died alone”. 

 

And that is IT for Addison. That is all the hell she can take. So she storms over to all of the interns that are gathering by the nurses' station and she knocks their goddamned charts right out of their goddamned hands as she yells at them to “GO BE A FUCKING DOCTOR YOU PEOPLE” before she moves to turn on her coattails and to storm away, seething.

 

That is until she looks down from the stunned interns and she spies a crumpled paper that looks familiar next to Cristina Yang’s foot. It looks suspiciously like the note she wrote to Meredith that evening when she dropped her off at her house and she’s a bit surprised that someone other than Meredith might be carrying it around. 

 

She doesn’t want all the other interns to see it too, so she quickly picks it up and walks around to Cristina’s other side so she can stick it back into her palm and whisper in her ear to “be a responsible citizen and to take care of what needs to be taken care of” in a cryptically loaded and warning tone before she walks away quickly before Cristina can see the ghosted paleness of Addison Montgomery’s face. 

 

“Th-thanks” Cristina stutters a bit as she watches Addison walking away and she crumples the note back into a call before securing it in the breast pocket of her scrub top.

 

And then Addison walks her way up to the nurse’s station so she can pick up all of her charts in her arms so that no one can see how she writes in them because she has a sort of suspicion that there’s going to be some sort of sleuth game about to be going on here.

 

And also, so she can reassign Doctor Grey to a case that’s worth having with Richard Webber today because hell, she knows Meredith deserves for something special to happen and it wasn’t going to be with her. 

 


 

Cristina is searching for Mer’s ‘mystery man’ again.

 

You see, despite Meredith’s prior recommendation to her earlier that she stop looking out for the ‘mystery man,’ she decides to herself - because she’s Meredith’s person - that is -  that Mer really would rather know who said ‘mystery man’ is but she’s just too exhausted to care to do complete the search herself. 

 

And so she begins her day scouring every sample of handwriting she can get her hands on to see if it matches the cursive from the note. Cristina figures she has a half-decent shot at finding it here among all of the men at Seattle Grace because the Emerald City Bar is just footfalls away from the hospital and the only people who really go there late at night on the weekdays are the people who work here.

 

People who work here, plus patient’s loved ones who need to get wasted well out of their minds but Cristina has rationalized that no patient’s family would walk Meredith up to her bedroom and not try anything slutty with her because they’d likely all be too strung out on their own family stuff to ever want to complicate themselves in any of Meredith’s without getting any sex back in return.

 

So she keeps looking, at case after case in chart after chart. She’s become some sort of expert at sneaking into the nurse’s station after her unfortunate ectopic pregnancy accident so she knows all the way past the Attendings to get to the binder shelf where she camps out under the counter reading writing sample to writing sample from every male doctor from A to Z. 

 

And because she’s only looking for the Male Doctor’s names, she doesn’t even notice that absolutely none of the charts located at the station are from Doctor McDreamy’s sort-of ex-wife. 

 

And so she’s still camped there when she finishes all of them, even going through the girl doctors for the second time around in case she missed someone who has a weirdly feminine sounding name. 

 

And she's not satisfied in the least bit because none of them even remotely resemble the way the smooth cursive “M” upon Meredith’s name is noted on the note and the way it curves down back into itself as if it is competing with a star. 

 

So she’s at a loss for words right now before she’s being assigned to a case and she curses when she sees it’s from Doctor Addison-Not-Shepherd-Shepherd because there’s no way in hell this could help in her search for the ‘mystery man’.

 


 

Somewhere along the way Cristina and Izzie are all holding arms with Meredith in the middle when Doctor McDreamy Shepherd walks up to her to say “hey Meredith you know maybe we could talk later” and all of them shake their heads to say “no” before whisking her away. 

 

Meredith does turn her head once to look back at Derek but she doesn’t turn around again. So at least Addison thinks when she sees this that maybe, just maybe, Meredith’s friends aren’t so bad after all. 

 

She sees Stevens tell off Karev for being a terrible jerk after their date that they had had when they were off and she sees Cristina hanging out with Meredith and she thinks that she misses when she had her friends like Mark, Derek, Sam and Naomi when they all used to get along in New York.

 


 

But that certainly does not mean that she’s happy to be being interrogated by the one Cristina Yang right now because she’s paranoid as hell but she’s half as certain that Cristina has said something to Meredith just right before now about Addison having picked up the stupid note that she wrote and having handed it back to her. 

 

What Addison doesn’t know though is that Meredith and Cristina actually hadn’t been talking about that night or that note after all because Cristina hadn’t said that she’d kept it and Meredith made it clear that she didn’t want to talk about it all anyway.

 

So Cristina is just being too nosy as anything anyways and she’s asking a god million questions because she’s being a brown-noser and trying her damn very best so she can potentially scrub in and see some super cool surgery that will have all her friends feeling so jealous for weeks. 

 

And at least Addison’s willing to give her a fighting chance to feel passionate about something over than cracking the “mystery man” case, so she lets her fawn over the two pregnant mothers she’s taking care of right now and ask them all personal questions as if that will help them deliver. 

 

“So how long have you two been together?” Cristina Yang asks them. And she’s asking them as if it were a completely legitimate medical question, no snide in her voice whatsoever before they correct her to say “we’re not lovers, best friends” after they tell the story of wanting to give birth to sibling babies since they became the best friends they were when they were three.

 

And it occurs to her then that Addison should really be jotting all of this down in their files so she takes out one of the chart binders 

 

As Addison does, she furrows her brow at Cristina, who is currently hovering suspiciously over her chart for no particular reason.

 

“Need something, Yang?” Addison asks her as she continues to scribble in the orders.

 

“Just wanted to see what medications they were on. Could you point that out for me?” Cristina asks her politely.

 

“It’s not written in yet but I guess I can get to that part later” Addison sighs, as she scribbles many more notes in her binder as the two of them walk out of the patient’s room and into the hall.

 

“You know it must be lonely for them, I wonder if it’s lonely that they’re not actually lovers they are just friends. I think I’d feel like I was the owner of a lonely heart if I was pregnant with a kid and my best friend was as well but that neither of us had any real lovers ” Cristina asks out loud rather loudly as if she were pondering this to herself.

 

It’s a calculated move, one that Addison does not pick up on because she replies to her immediately without looking up at all.

 

“I think it’s sweet you know that” Addison sighs at Cristina. “I’d almost settle for a platonic life partner some of these days, I think it would take away from the pain and loneliness of having no one at all” Addison sighs even harder.

 

“Do you feel yourself being lonely and having no one to talk to at night?” Cristina asks Addison casually as Addison frowns at her saying that that is a “rather deep and personal question to be asking of your Attending now Yang, don’t you think” before returning to her chart notes with ease.

 

“Well, I was just asking to be polite and to stick on the topic,” Cristina tells her. Besides, I was practicing being better at bedside manner” she shrugs.

 

“Well you’re not at my bedside Cristina, and I hardly doubt you ever will be. But to answer your question yes I do find myself lonely sometimes and I am often quite envious of you and your intern friends” Addison explains.

 

“Well, maybe you could come drinking with us sometimes” Cristina offers politely.

 

“I think I’m a little old to be drinking with Interns” Addison smiles and Cristina laughs a little at the bluntness of her statement but not too loudly to be considered rude, as Addison sighs inwardly at herself because she thinks maybe had gotten too old to be getting along with Grey so well at the bar the other day.

 


 

“Whoa! I think they might have been lying to us about being ‘just friends’ after all!” Cristina yelps and Addison turns around to watch what Cristina has caught out of the corner of her eye looking into the patient’s room. 

 

The two pregnant women who had just said they were not lovers were acting like, well, actual lovers. 

 

They were kissing and groping at each other’s mouths and their hands were wandering all over each other’s bodies.

 

They had their hands under each other’s shirts and they were about to reach into each other’s pants.

 

And that’s when Addison clears her throat loudly with an “ Ahem ” that startles Cristina and makes her turn back to her Attending and to focus on what Addison is telling her to be doing.

 

“We should give them some privacy” Addison explains simply, as she pulls the curtains to the room shut from the outside and pastes an “Exam in Progress - Do Not Enter” sign on their door.

 

“You’re helping your patient’s get laid together before labor?!” Cristina exclaims. “Go, Addison, you may be way cooler than even I ever thought!” Cristina says before she can contain herself.

 

“I think you should probably apologize and we should forget you just said that,” Addison says as she points to the part on the chart where it says her name is typed “Doctor Montgomery” to her with the “-Shepherd” part crossed out in black ink.

 

“Sorry Doctor Montgomery-” Cristina apologizes slowly. 

 

“And also you should really know by now, Yang, that pain management via sexual stimulation has been proven to outweigh the benefits of assistive epidurals during a great many gynecological and obstetric cases.

 

And Cristina nods her head, idly thinking it’s sort of cool that an orgasm really could help with pain management so she’s apologizing again to Addison now.

 

And she’s drawing out just how “so, so sorry she is” as long as she possibly can manage because she’s not actually thinking about pain management or medicine or anything near an apology at all. 

 

She’s thinking about the way Addison was just blushing when she had been caught watching the two women pleasure themselves with each other’s bodies.

 

And the way that she’d gasped when she thought she was about to watch them have sex with each other.

 

And the way that she’d yelped and asked Cristina to help them both, erm, finish… undisturbed.

 

And the way that she seemed a bit shifty, even now, and nervous in a flustered sort of way Cristina didn’t think an Attending usually would be from only a pretty simple set of patients.

 

But mostly, Cristina is comparing the curvy looped “M” with a tail that tucked back around like a star that was staring at her straight in the face on the part of the page where it says 

 

Medications, as follows” in both of the women’s charts where Addison had just handwritten it in her own handwriting, neatly. 

 

And Cristina could swear on her life then and there that Doctor Addison Forbes Montgomery’s handwritten “M”s were a perfect match with the one that was written on the note Meredith had received after her night out at the bar with her ‘mystery man’.

 

And Cristina could hardly contain what she now knew to be true but that Addison didn’t know she had realized because she hadn’t looked up from writing her orders yet. 

 

She could hardly contain herself but yet somehow, she did. 

 

Because oh, boy, was Cristina Yang EVER going to have fun with this one.




 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 7

 


 

Chapter Text


 

Chapter 8: Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

 


 

“Doctor Montgomery-Shep- I Mean just Doctor Montgomery, well not ‘just’, I mean would I be able to speak with you a second, in private?” Cristina Yang asks Addison.

“What is this about?” Addison asks her because she has honestly no idea.

“Well, I have some very important questions about, ah, erm, a patient of yours” Cristina tries not to wince at her slight tremor in her voice.

“And it isn’t these patients?” Addison asks her, a teeny bit annoyed now.

“No, it isn’t. And it’s private .” Cristina insists to her.

And Addison can sense the urgency in Cristina’s tone now, so she follows Doctor Yang into an empty exam room and her eyebrows only twitch up a little when she notices Cristina locking the door to the room behind them.

“What is this about Doctor Yang? We have actual patients to see, you know” Addison questions her as Cristina is motioning at her to surrender the chart she was working on over to her.

“It’s this, this right here” Cristina points to the line that reads “ Medications ” in Addison’s handwriting.

“What about it?” Addison asks her impatiently.

And then she goes pale as a ghost when Cristina pulls out the note from her breast pocket and lays it gently on top of the chart so that the “ M ” of “ Medications ” was lined up with the “ M ” of “ Meredith” on the note she had left for the intern the other evening.

“I know it was you who brought Meredith home the other night,” Cristina says to her softly, looking Addison right in the eye.

“You- You don’t though-” Addison tries her best to deny it despite her voice shaking.

“I already knew it was you who wrote her a note in the morning, she told me” Cristina looks her right in the eye and sees all of her worries swimming around in them right beneath the surface.

“She said you were the one who slid over to her at Joe’s bar that night. That you are the mystery man. And that she remembers all that you said everything you did for her” Cristina continues.

And she watches intently as Addison’s expression changes over from scared to shocked embarrassed all at once before she blinks and shuts down her emotions so she’s looking back at Cristina again with as much of a dignified expression she can manage.

“Why hasn’t she said anything to me about it then?” Addison says to Cristina softly, like she’s hurt and bruised.

 


 

“Oh.

My.

God.

I knew it!”

Cristina exclaims to Addison, now.

 


 

“What?!” Addison exclaims at her.

“But I thought you just said Meredith told you,” Addison exclaims out again at her.

“She never told me a thing she was too drunk out of her mind to remember anything and that hasn’t changed.” Cristina Clarifies.

“So she never told you? So how then do you know?” Addison is waving her hands animatedly now and she’s grateful that this exam room has no open windows.

“Well the handwriting was a big tip-off, you write the letter “M” in a very specific way. But I could never be certain for sure until like, right now” Cristina says to her smugly.

And Addison’s face falls because she feels a pang of betrayal that Cristina has cracked her case so easily and yet she still doesn’t know how Meredith was truly feeling about all of this.

And that’s when Cristina realizes that Addison actually cares what Meredith Grey thinks about her. And that she’s insecure about how she treated Cristina’s best friend and she is seeking reassurance that she wasn’t totally in the wrong there.

So Cristina sighs to her and asks her why she’d been concealing her identity as the ‘mystery man’ all along.

“I mean she’s going to find out eventually whether I say anything to her or not,” Cristina says to her as-a-matter-of-factly.

And Addison nods at her because she knows that after everything that Cristina is right.

“But why do you care so much about her not knowing it was you? And if she’s going to find it out sometime why do you want that to be later rather than sooner?” Cristina asks her tenderly.

“I just don’t want her to know, at least not yet” Addison sighs. “It’s too complicated now. She just found out that I’m the secret McWife that Derek has been hiding from her and that I’m the adulteress bitch that cheated on McDreamy. And that I’m her Attending and her new boss.

That’s a whole lot of heavy to be going around right now. Plus on top of it all, everyone is treating her like she’s the latest issue of “People Magazine” Addison tries to reason with Cristina.

“Yeah, okay. I think I’m starting to understand” Cristina says honestly, looking up at Addison to show her she’s being honest.

Addison nods at her, relieved that at least the fact that they both care about Meredith a great deal is playing out to be in her favor.

“Am I a genius or what though, for figuring it all out so fast” Cristina can’t contain her excited grin. And Addison laughs with her and says “yeah, you do win. I won’t take that one away from you” she nods and extends her hand for Cristina to shake it as if to say “good game”.

“You know, you’re not too bad, Doctor Addison Montgomery,” Cristina says her whole name like that to her compassionately while shaking her hand back in acceptance.

“Cristina you can’t tell her,” Addison says to her harshly and hurt. And she’s practically begging her now, which is unseemly because Addison does never want to be begging an intern for anything, ever again.

 


 

“You really don’t want me to tell her, do you?” Cristina asks her gently.

“No, I really don’t” Addison sighs loudly again.

Cristina brings out the binder page and takes it into her hand before folding it up into her pocket alongside her note to Meredith as Addison’s eyes widen at her.

“You know you have a game to play with me now, don’t you Doctor No-Longer-Mrs.-McDreamy” Cristina jeers at her until Addison finally cracks.

“Fine, Yang, you win. Pick your poison, pick your prize or whatever. Just tell me. What’s it going to take for you not to say a thing to anyone, especially not my ex-husband or Meredith, about all and any of this” Addison asks her.

“Well, what do you have to offer?” Cristina asks her in a complete business mode as Cristina takes out a pen and a pad of paper to make notes about Addison’s… whatever she was going to say to her next.

“I’ll tell the nurses not to page you for anything gross related to L&D” Addison offers.

“Aaaaaaand?” Cristina whines gently.

“You can do my post-ops for the next week if you want to,” Addison adds to her offer.

“Aaaaaaand?” Cristina whines gently even more.

“What do you want from me, Yang? Get to the point we don’t have all day” Addison says, frustrated that she doesn’t have the upper hand here and struggling to take back some sense of control.

“What good surgeries do you have coming up tomorrow?” Cristina states simply and Addison rolls her eyes at herself inwardly at not offering one of those as one of her prizes in the first place.

“Pyloric stenosis baby” Addison explains to her. “The babies have a valve that doesn’t work so well in their digestive systems and it causes them to throw up a lot” she adds, hoping to make the case sound as gross and appealing to Cristina as possible.

“What else ‘you got?” Cristina grimaces slightly as Addison laughs.

“Well actually I am doing 2 pyloric's tomorrow, and that’s about it so if you don’t want either of them then I suggest-” Addison goes to keep going but Cristina cuts her off.

“I’ll ALMOST take the two of the pyloric's AND the nurses forgetting my pager number for all the gross stuff but you can do your own damn post-ops because that’s just scut it’s not actually a prize,” Cristina says cleverly.

“But there’s one more thing I insist on before I cut you a deal” Cristina adds on.

“I already told you I have no more surgeries tomorrow, Yang” Addison insists.

“I'll take the deal that I just told you in return for my silence. But only on the condition that you tell me in all gory details absolutely everything that happened that night,” Cristina tells her.

 


 

“I can keep a poker face from Mer, she never knew I was with Burke or that I was with child until I told her” Cristina advocates for her discretion skills.

“And I kept the father a secret from you. Thanks for saving me by the way and not being the one to tell Burke and your friends. Cristina adds.

“That's how I know I can trust you with this. To keep up your end of the deal AND to tell me the truth” Cristina explains more.

“That’s why I’m not storming up to you like I’m at all mad or upset like I could have. Because I trust you were good to HER the other night when you took her home the other night.

So I’m actually thanking you for being graceful through all this. For not taking advantage or anything you know.” Cristina articulates as Addison thinks.

Addison realizes that it is uncanny how Cristina found out that she’d spent a night with her very intoxicated best friend and she never said anything negative about that except how she was that Addison had been hiding it from her.

“Meredith was so sure she said nothing sexual had happened because she still had her clothes on. If it has been someone else to find her I’m not so sure she’d be able to say the same thing. So thank you at least. For that. If that helps you understand what I’m thinking” Cristina says solemnly.

“I really didn’t do anything like that to her, or with her for that matter. Ever. Wouldn’t dream of it. She was drunk already the first time I sat down next to her. She was hurting, I was there for her. That was it. Then she needed help getting home so I helped her and I made sure the door wasn’t unlocked behind me. That’s it, end of story” Addison says to her briskly.

“I know. I believe you” Cristina says and Addison breathes a sigh of relief.

“I’m just saying that in the future, you know if it ever occurs to you to see just how great my best friend is, that if you ever wanted to go there with her-. Well, if you did and I’m not saying that you do, I’m just saying that I’d trust you with her, that’s all. That you’d do right by her” Cristina looks at the floor now as she’s pretty sure that Addison is going to tear her a new one again.

“Doctor Yang, you know that I’m straight right? I mean I did just divorce my own husband but that was because I slept with her best friend Mark Sloan behind his back so that really says nothing about my sexual orientation” Addison leans into Cristina’s ear to say this.

“Well so WERE those super close friends who are having their babies together and they’ve known each other since they were three and they claim to have never had feelings for each other in that way before they took all of their clothes off each other in the delivery room.

“So I’m not saying it’s possible or impossible either way for you to actually care more about Meredith Grey as more than your sworn enemy who stole your stupid McDreamy from you so straight or not straight or somewhere in between I’m saying whatever I’m good with it, whether you end up with her or with another girl or another guy or whomever else. That’s all I’m saying. That it’s okay” Cristina offers to her with a shrug.

“Well, I’m as straight as those ladies just said that they WERE” Addison confirms with emphasis before she’s cut off again by doctor Yang before realizing that might not have been the best of all the analogies she could have made.

“Well moving on, like I said I’m not judging your lifestyle or identity crisis or anything with all of this all I’m saying to you is thank you for not sleeping with my drunk best friend or letting anyone else do anything with her then for that matter and for taking her home.” Cristina pauses.

“For taking her to her own home away from the prying eyes and hands of those depressed married men who sometimes stalk Emerald City Bar in search of some rebound they’re bound to get laid with because the girl is so eager to get some sex in them after some long evening shift” Cristina explains clearly to her.

And Addison sighs an inaudible relief when she understands that Cristina is not at all implying that she, herself, would have been the one to be taking all of Meredith’s clothes off the back during that night at the bar.

That she was simply thanking her for having taken Meredith off the market that night so she didn’t screw some old creepy man when she was practically unconscious and in search of a rebound.

Which, in retrospect, Addison is also thanking herself for because she’s so sure she wouldn’t want someone to have slept with Meredith Grey when she wouldn’t be able to stand up or remember it after it all happened. And Addison thinks that she also didn’t get herself into some stupid rebound mess right before her divorce. So it had saved both of them if you looked at it that way.

 


 

And idly, Addison wonders if Cristina had all been implying that it was not her... But that it was Meredith, who was at least vaguely bicurious and that Cristina either suspected or knew that because she at first had said “anyone” not just about men when she had implied someone might do something sexual with her.

And then Addison decides that she’s making all of this up to be a much more of a big deal than it has to be. Because really, who would have even skipped to that in their minds when Meredith Grey has been obsessed with Mr. McDreamy as well as her ‘mystery man ’ since the day she arrived in Seattle.

And she’s pulled out of her reverie by Cristina who’s waving her hand in front of her face to tell her she should take the deal now or leave it.

And so Addison does, she shakes Cristina’s hand as Cristina says she promises she won’t tell in exchange for Addison’s surgeries and the nurse’s special treatment.

And she almost breathes a sigh of relief before Cristina unlocks the door to the examination room and moves to leave her alone in the room.

But before she does she looks back at Addison to give her a meaningful nod, but then she winks at her and says that she’ll never tell another soul -

“Unless someone has some even cooler surgery to offer me in return for your stupid pyloric's” Cristina laughs loudly now as she motions to where or not she should the door behind her.

And Addison collapses to the floor with her hands face-palming her head right now as Cristina still stares at her.

She has this sinking feeling like she’s as old and stupid as that grandma who got run over by a reindeer on Christmas eve.

Because the moment she looks up at Yang’s smirking face, that’s when Addison knows she’s just been played.

 

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 8

 


 

 

 

Chapter Text


 

Chapter 9: Begin the Begin

 


 

Meredith knew that this was one of the stupidest plans in the universe.

 

She knew she shouldn't have shrugged off Richard Webber's very kind attempts to get her to scrub in with him on a bowel resection.

 

She knew he was just trying to be kind to her and she believed him when Richard said that it wasn't even his idea to have her on the case to begin with but that he agreed with the other Attending's decision.

 

And yet, here she was, ignoring Richard Webber the way she always had growing up. Because despite what he wanted to believe, he was only her uncle, and he was certainly NOT her father.

 

Not that Thatcher Grey was much of a father to her either but that was way besides the point.

 


 

The point is, that Meredith is now following in what she rationalized to be her mother's footsteps. That is, if she could imagine her mother following through with this part though she knew her mother would never be caught dead flirting with a psychiatrist, no less.

 

But this wasn't really about the flirting and it wasn't really about the psychiatrist, either. It was about her friends getting their hands on the psychiatrist's chart for the 'delusional' patient that had come in last night.

 

The one who was a boy but who claimed to be pregnant so they'd 5150'd him just so they could take a closer look.

 

But Meredith and her friends did not want psychiatry to take a closer look at him. They wanted to be the ones to take a closer look at him.

 

And potentially diagnose and then operate on him.

 

To take out the - whatever - he was hiding inside of him.

 

So to make this all work as planned that's why Meredith was flirting with the boy psychiatrist right now.

 

And she'd like to think that she wasn't even doing too bad of a job at it, either.

 


 

"Ahem" Meredith clears her throat loudly while rapping her knuckles on the Psychiatry office window.

 

The boy psychiatrist looks up at her with a pencil in his mouth no less and frowns as he folds his papers onto his desk and moves closer to where Meredith is standing.

 

He opens the window, pencil still in mouth, as Meredith smiles at him and asks with her most flirty smile: "How 'you doing?"

 

His eyes widen suddenly as he looks down at Meredith's scrubs which are pulled all the way down to show off her cleavage and he takes the pencil out of his mouth with his hand while he waits for what Meredith is about to say to him next.

 

Meredith contemplates the rush of power she feels in her mind when she tries to seduce people - especially when she tries to seduce unsuspecting boy-men. Because Meredith likes to try her magic on people when she knows for sure she can win.

 

"You look good" Meredith continues her assault of compliments now as she attempts to make her eyes as dark and as seductive as humanly possible while also staring at her two friends Izzie and Cristina who is stealing a chart stealthily from the back of the psychiatrist's office.

 

"Come on, we're friends" Meredith continues as he swallows deeply before saying something back to her.

 

"What's my name" the psychiatrist challenges her.

 


 

Meredith simply tilts her head to the side with a smirk as she tries to glance down at his name embroidery quickly but before she manages to read it, he's covered it with his fingers.

 

Meredith clicks her tongue at him as if to admonish him for being so silly before she looks him right in the eye as she prepares for what she's about to say to him next.

 

"Umm… alright." Meredith looks at the floor so an embarrassing blush can show all the way through her rosy cheeks.

 

"So I don't know your name" Meredith admits in a seductive grin, her voice audibly dropping an entire octave as she speaks those words smoothly.

 

By this time her best friends seem to have captured the proper chart because just as they were leaving the psychiatrist man turns around briefly as if he's heard some sort of commotion go on.

 

"It's not like we can't...talk" Meredith tries to continue but her voice has returned to the normal pitch as he frowns, looking behind himself again.

 

"You don't have to be a surgeon for me to talk to you, you know" Meredith lowers her voice again deliberately after having let that thing slide almost once.

 


 

And he's looking up at her again now, only this time he seems almost… interested. Intrigued, to say the least.

 

And judging by the way he's leaning in Meredith thinks she's doing one hell of a job at seducing random strangers.

 

At work, and at will, no less.

 

And Meredith Grey feels pretty damn powerful knowing that it's not only Doctor McDreamy who can be the one who's enjoying the chase.

 

In fact, Meredith Grey feels pretty damn ecstatic that she can have a boy-man wrapped right around her pretty little finger in no less than two seconds flat.

 

"Really" the boy psychiatrist challenges her again.

 

"Really," she says looking him square in the eye now.

 

"Because I thought that you only talked to Attendings" he snarks back at her.

 


 

And if that wasn't the truest truth that could ever be spoken on this entire planet then what would be.

 

Which Meredith obviously doesn't know yet. Or anymoreOr would ever know.

 

If Addison Montgomery had anything to say about it. Because she's been watching this whole entire scene play out from the other end of the hallway

 


 

And she's well beyond angry. She's well beyond furious also. She's right up there with psychotic rage. Or perhaps she's feeling waves of deeply seeded aggression.

 

Because it was beyond each and every one of Addison Montgomery's expectations that she could keep Meredith from drowning herself in some slutty stranger when she's heartbroken.

 

And she keeps her from finding out the secret that's been gnawing at her insides ever since she took the girl home safe and sound.

 

And to whom she offers a decent surgery with a decent surgeon to scrub in on for free no help from her little friends.

 

And after all of that-.

 

Meredith Grey is throwing all of her stupid progress away for some stupid side fling with some stupid boy psychiatrist.

 

Who, for the record, not that anyone was asking, that Addison doesn't know the name of, either.

 


 

And the idea that some slimy looking psychiatrist boy - man - boy - male - boy - penis - boy - could be putting her hands anywhere and everywhere over the delicate flower that was THE Meredith Grey-

 

THE intern that SHE had saved from all those stupid boy-man-penises on countless occasions -

 

That she would be screwing around in no time and throwing her entire career away in the process was just an impossible thought for Addison Montgomery to fathom.

 


 

And to add to it all, what the smug little boy-man had said to her about "only talking to attendings" was clearly referring right to Derek.

 

And Derek was the last thing that Addison wanted to have to deal with anything about today.

 

Because she doesn't like to think about Meredith with Derek.

 

Because she doesn't like to think about Meredith with random bar boys.

 

Because she doesn't like to think about Meredith with random psychiatrists.

 

Because she doesn't like to think about Meredith spending her precious spare time with other Attending Physicians who are not HER-.

 


 

Wait now, what now?! Where on earth had that pesky HER come from ?!

 


 

Addison doesn't like to think about the implications of where her mind just entangled her hatred of sleazy men trying to screw young subordinate interns with her own association with the blonde woman.

 

Addison doesn't like to think about the implications of her wanting to spend any more time with Meredith than she had to. She was, after all, her ex-husband's mistress and she herself was the 'filthy whore' who cheated on her ex-?boyfriend.

 

Addison doesn't like to think about the vague and lustrous possibility that she was not only ANGRY at the boy-man-psychiatrist but that she was JEALOUS of the boy-man-psychiatrist because Meredith Grey had just been hitting overtly on HIM and not HER.

 

Addison doesn't like to think about how she might not be decidedly as straight as she once thought and she really doesn't like to think about how she might just be developing and repressing the most inappropriate of crushes on the most inappropriate person for her to develop an inappropriate crush on, ever.

 

And Addison really doesn't like to think about how she couldn't - could - would - wouldn't - shouldn't - should - maybe - never - definitely - might - maybe - perhaps - someday - fail to - try to - attempt to - never ever attempt to ever reveal to Cristina, MUCH LESS Meredith Grey how she was REALLY (trying, but failing miserably to-) NOT to feel anything.

 

And MUCH LESS THAN THAT was she ever going to act on those feelings - THAT MAY OR MAY NOT ACTUALLY EVER OR HAVE EVER EXIST OR EXISTED - for the woman no matter how much or how strongly or how surely her brain and body and dare she say it - heart - was telling her to act on them.

 

The feelings, that is.

 

The feelings that Addison most definitely WAS NOT HAVING for Meredith Grey.

 

Which she's not going to do any more thinking about as she stands right in front of her.

 


 

So instead of thinking anything more about it, Addison stalks up to Meredith Grey just as the psychiatrist is closing the office window in her face.

 

And Meredith still smirking that smug little grin she's got on when she thinks she's seduced someone and it makes Addison so freaking hot-headed she just wants to scream at her.

 

But she's an Attending of course.

 

So she doesn't.

 

She doesn't scream at Meredith in fact she's hardly said anything to Meredith at all.

 


 

Addison was about to give Meredith an earful about "respect" and "collaborative medicine" and "keeping her professional career intact" by the time she's so close to her now that she's towering over the shorter, blonde intern.

 

And she's staring piercingly into those little blue eyes with her green ones with her very, very severe and serious expression.

 

And she's got her hands waving up in the air in exclamation when she's interrupted by someone else pushing her aside and wedging themselves in between Addison and Meredith.

 

And Addison furrows her brow in confusion as she looks past the person who's pushed her out of the way into the startled and almost scared expression of Meredith Grey who is too stunned to move at all anywhere.

 

So it's Addison who takes a step back allowing the someone who pushed her to take a step forward again.

 

And then Addison focuses her eyes back to the body of the person directly in front of her.

 

Because as fate would have it, it would be them giving Addison a piece of their mind today, rather than the other way around.

 


 

"I haven't told her yet!" Cristina yells at Addison while simultaneously winking at her.

 


 

And Addison is too stunned at her announcement to process her oncoming realization that Cristina Yang had in fact just yelled that OUT LOUD AND IN PUBLIC IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE DAMN HOSPITAL.

 

"I haven't told her yet what this patient is about" She continues in a normal volume this time.

 

 

And now Addison is completely confused all over again because she thought for sure that Yang was talking to her about the "not telling Meredith about the note and ergo their (Meredith and Addison's) drunken encounter" thing.

 

And another eyebrow-raising look at Cristina Yang proves to Addison that she wasn't wrong about Cristina referencing that deal and conversation that she'd had with her.

 

It just meant that Cristina was cleverly disguising that loaded exchange they just shared so that she could keep talking to her about this apparently emergent patient that Cristina and Izzie-

 

(and therefore, also Meredith, though Cristina hadn't told her yet about that part either)

 

-had been complicit in blatantly stealing straight out of the psych ward that very morning.

 

"We were actually on our way looking for you" Cristina speaks to Addison calmly now as if there were nothing unusual and absolutely nothing to be un-calm about.

 

"Why would you be looking for me?" Addison asks her in a way that Cristina can tell she's trying all too hard to keep her voice from shaking when she says all of it to her.

 

"Because HE thinks that he is PREGNANT" Cristina exclaims to her without missing a beat.

 


 

All the while Izzie Stevens-

 

(Who is now standing beside Meredith but who was also previously stealing this chart from the psychiatry office with Cristina before Addison caught them and therefore who saw everything that went on and everything the two had said to each other but who was clueless as to the subtext of everything they were talking about)

 

And Meredith Grey-

 

(Who is standing right behind Cristina Yang but who has her eyes poking up at Addison and who is eyeing her curiously with an embarrassed sort of glance as the realization washes over her that yet another one of the Doctor Shepherds- Well actually Addison isn't even a Doctor Shepherd anymore - Well that yet another one of the Seattle Grace Attendings had just bared witness to her spectacular - probably never going to be an Emmy award-winning - performance of "hitting on a total stranger in public to get something in return that she wasn't supposed to".

 

(The first one being, of course, Derek, who had been the subject of the first set of flirting for something she wasn't supposed to have - which is adulterous sex with her boss - after a drunken night bar encounter)

 

 

And Cristina Yang-

(Who is now pleading with both her eyes at her not to act suspiciously which could rat the both of them out now. Because even though it's Addison's secret that Cristina is keeping from Meredith, she's not the only one who has something to lose here anymore. Cristina could very lose her best friend because lord knows Meredith would really not be happy with her if she finds out from Addison of all people that Cristina - her best friend and her person - had been keeping important secrets - about her - from her.

 

And Addison somehow catches it. She catches on to the importance of the necessity of her own Emmy-award-winning-possibly performance that this situation requires.

 

So she takes the chart from Cristina simply, and without raising her eyes again at either of the three of them, rattles off labs and tests that the interns should order for this "potentially pregnant male-boy-man-person so that they can get a closer look at whatever he might be hiding in that huge protrusion he has hanging out of his abdomen.

 

And Addison swears she can hear Cristina release the breath she didn't know she'd been holding when Addison hands her back the chart with a smirk and tells her she better have a damn good excuse to be keeping her from those disgusting-yet-cute pyloric stenosis babies she was supposed to be operating on today.

 

And Cristina looks at her expectantly, asking her what things that there is that needs to be done for them.

 


 

And the slip of the tongue, subtly switching the "him" to "them" embedded inside the familiar phrasing which she had used only a day ago when she had stuffed that stupid note right back into Cristina's pocket was not lost in Addison's consciousness.

 

So Addison sighs and thinks deeply before looking up, first at Grey, then at Yang again to tell her to figure out as much as she possibly can from external sources about the patient, nodding at Cristina to let her know that she's talking about Meredith as well in double entendre. And she watches in relief as Cristina Yang scurries off again.

 

Then she rips off the requisition form for the labs and presses it into Doctor Steven's chest as she walks past both Grey and Stevens, and from behind she tells Izzie to put a damn rush on those labs and to tell the technician it was for Doctor Montgomery-With-No-Shepherd-On-Her-Name-Anymore. And Izzie does.

 

And before she turns the corner to go check on those two pyloric stenosis babies again like she was going to do before she was so shockingly interrupted, she motions at the still motionless remaining Intern and asks her to follow her.

 

And she peeks down at the room number quietly before she asks Meredith Grey to show her the way to this 'pregnant boy-man-patient's' room'.

 


 

And she swallows hard thinking about how she really wishes, yet doesn't wish at the same time, that Cristina Yang had actually broken her promise to her - that she had traded those surgeries for Meredith's own assigned surgeries - so that she could tell Meredith the dirty little secret - so that Meredith would finally know - remember - re-remember? - that fateful night at the bar and in the cab and in her house -

 

So that Addison could stop feeling like she was lying to the poor girl all the time and just treat her like any other normal surgical intern.

 

And she sighs as Meredith misinterprets her sigh and tries to comfort the weary-looking Addison.

 


 

As Meredith looks up at Addison with her big warm blue eyes, she reaches really far up Addison's taller and fuller body to wrap her arm around Addison's shoulder.

 

So Meredith can tell Addison "thank you" for not ratting her out about flirting with the psychiatrist boy-penis-man just so she and her friends could steal this 'mystery-pregnant-man's chart.

 

So Meredith could, for once, forget about that other 'mystery man' that Addison turns away so Meredith can't see the look on her face when she mentions that.

 

So Meredith could, for once, forget about their past trauma and drama and she could forget about stupid McDreamy and about the fact that Addison was his stupidly pretty McWife.

 

And Addison sighs into the contact as she feels Meredith hold onto her tightly as she tries lamely to pull away.

 

And Addison thinks she really wishes more than anything that she could stop lying to herself about these stupid feelings she's been stupidly having about this stupidly sweet intern.

 

The one right beside her right now who keeps working her way into her heart all the while riling her up with the worst - and the best - kind of crazy that Addison could ever imagine.

 


 

"Time to begin the begin," Addison tells the patient professionally.

 

"Ask me anything" the mystery-boy-man-fake-pregnant-patient grins proudly right up at both of them.

 

"Well look who's ready to be super open and honest, doesn't that make all of our lives so much easier for once," Meredith says without any tinge of a smirk.

 

And the ten-pound lead-weight of the irony is never lost on Addison Montgomery, who simply looks up from writing up in her chart, and smiles to herself, with Meredith's Grey's arm still wrapped tightly around her shoulder.

 


 

*

*

*

*

*

***** END OF CHAPTER 9

 


 

Chapter Text


 

Chapter 10: Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

 


 

They're trying to diagnose a pregnant MAN. As if that weren't at all an oxymoron.

They've shotgunned all the labs, tests and procedures in the books and they were stumped.

Izzie, Cristina, and Meredith were all on the case originally (because they stole it ).

But for whatever reason (that Cristina knew the reason but it wasn't hers to say),

Their Attending wasn't giving them any shit at all about stealing him over from psych.

In fact, if they had to guess they might have said that she looked awfully cheerful for once.

She even brought the other interns George O'Malley and Alex Karev onto the case.

So that they could all work to figure this out together. They didn't know she was trying to,

Well, keep this on the down-low from the other Attendings. She didn't need any extra attention.

Not from people like Richard Webber, or Preston Burke, or, heaven forbid, Derek Shepherd.

No, the last thing that Addison Montgomery needed right now was another pair of eyes on her.

 


 

They thought it was a reward, or at the very least a way to win them over for Doctor Bailey.

Because as she'd said not so long ago to one of them in passing:

"Let me know when you've decided how important it is for you to hate me".

And with the following along of their elaborate plan to diagnose a 'pregnant man',

The group of interns seemed to start to feel the MAGIC and stopped wanting to hate Addison.

They all kind of started to almost, dare they say, like her. She was annoyingly kind.

She was a good teacher. She was fair and equal. And she cared about them, truly.

She wasn't arrogant like Derek, demanding like Burke or old like Webber. She wasn't Bailey.

And the one person who should have every reason under the sun to hate Addison actively,

 


 

Well, Meredith stopped hating her as much (not because of the night at the bar of course,

Because she still couldn't remember the vaguest thing about THAT night. Her mystery night).

But it was because Addison had told her she was getting a divorce and she looked just so, sad.

She looked human almost. So that's why she put her arm around her the other day.

When they went to talk to this 'pregnant man patient'. Because a part of her was happy.

Just that Addison was being nice to her. Probably to get her not to hate her so much.

But a part of Meredith felt honored that someone as formidable as Addison Forbes Montgomery,

Would instantly pick her , to choose her - to be the first one to see the 'pregnant man', that is.

 


 

And so Meredith was content with the idea, that maybe even if she didn't like her really yet.

That she could at least follow suit with the other interns and decide not to hate Addison.

At least not as much as she did the moment she walked into that door over to her and Derek.

To say "Addison Shepherd, and you must be the woman who's been screwing my husband."

Because this Addison, seemed to be a far, far cry from the Addison of that fateful evening.

But alas, Meredith is rambling in her head as she rushes off to pick up the results of the biopsy.

And Cristina was off to pick up the results of the tilt test. And those were in opposite directions.

So after they'd left the patient room, Meredith didn't see either Cristina or Addison after.

Not for the rest of the workday that day. Not in person, anyhow, anyways, and whatever.

 


 

It was the rest of Bailey's interns, Izzie Stevens, George O'Malley, Alex Karev, and Addison,

Who were all stuck inside of that room, grilling the 'pregnant man' for the rest of the day?

They had each taken turns going over diagnostic questionnaires. Asking him all of it.

Nothing was really jelling, and eventually, Addison even brought them some snacks.

They munched on them quietly and thanked her, she even brought them some sodas,

Addison was pulling all of the stops to try to get the junior interns to hate her less.

Addison leaves snacks and sodas for Cristina and Meredith too by their lockers.

This time she leaves a typed note on purpose, one of her business cards on it.

It indicated it was from her and for them , but without her handwriting on any of it.

She said to herself she was just being fair and square. But she did want to treat them.

Them being both Cristina for keeping quiet so far, and Meredith for not hating her much.

At least not overtly. I mean she had had her arm wrapped around Addison's shoulder.

 


 

Eventually, Addison wanders into her own locker. She selects her keys and her coat.

She's decided the 'pregnant person' isn't going to die on them all this evening.

So she leaves them with only the interns for the moment, who are working the night shift.

Meredith and Cristina are not back yet, so she doesn't say goodbye to them at all.

Instead, she says goodnight to George, Izzie, and Alex and tells them to page her if necessary.

They all wave goodbye as does the 'pregnant person', who thanks her for taking him on.

And as she puts on her coat, she sits down for a second, finishing off her own snack and soda.

She's hardly eaten these past few days. And she looks defeated, yet confident. And, different .

 


 

The interns notice Addison's difference in demeanor and to them, she looks just, so, human.

Like she hadn't before when she was only the McWife who had cheated on that McBastard.

As Addison steeles herself to get up and go home to the hotel to sleep, she sighs.

She takes out her set of car keys, and she absent-mindedly runs her finger over one.

She's holding Meredith Grey's house key in the palm of her hand, just feeling the weight of it.

She's letting it fall through her fingers gently, as she picks up the set by the ring.

The boys are bickering over some hot nurse girl chick Olivia again, joking with the patient.

But the one other remaining girl in the room has checked out of that conversation.

 


 

It's Izzie, Izzie Stevens who is sighing and giving Addison what can only be described,

As a "sympathetic look". One that is trying too hard to say "Ugh, boys will be boys."

Which makes Addison smile at her out of the corner of her mouth. And she mouths "Goodluck."

Izzie laughs at that, as Addison takes one last glance back at the room before leaving.

And as she does, in the very bottom of Izzie's subconsciousness, stares at Addison's keys.

And as she does before Addison holds them all in a tight first, she can't help but wonder.

Wonder why one of them seems so out of place on that keychain, and vaguely familiar.

 


 

Meredith finds her spare house key that evening when she stumbles and trips over the doormat in front of her house and she kicks it all over in anger. She then eyes the key that's been placed there and runs it over into her fingers, finding instinctively the small "M" that had been carved there making her sure to god she was holding her own copy and not one of the spare ones she'd made out for her roommates at the start of the year.

She should be happy.

She isn't though.

She doesn't know why.

"Well, that settles that," Meredith says with a sad sigh as she uses her own key now to tumble the lock open and let herself in. She tells herself that it's really for the best that there's not someone let loose in Seattle with a way into her home at any time and that she hadn't needed to tell any of her friends about her predicament other than Cristina who is probably panicking so she texts her she got her key back anonymously before she makes her way over to the kitchen.

As Meredith stares at her un-straight potted plant right now that she's watering she can't help but to think that she really really wishes that this mystery man still had a reason to see her again so she could finally find out who he was. And she's mulling this all over as she gets dressed for bed and gets into it. And Meredith realizes that this is the first time since the day before she started at Seattle Grace that she didn't keep thinking McDreamy thoughts as she falls asleep.

Because, she thinks, 'mystery man' gave her the key back, but he still has the key to her heart .

Meredith fantasizes about what she would say to him if she ever met this man. She fantasizes about saying to him "thank you for taking me home, but not in a slutty way". She fantasizes about saying to him all the things she used to want to say to Derek but now wasn't so sure about saying to Derek. Like how he was dreamy. Damn, Meredith would have to come up with another nickname for him. McMystery she guesses. Calling him 'mystery man' is getting old.

She wonders to herself if she'll ever fall in love with him. Would he even be good looking enough? Would he be any better looking than Derek? Oh god, what if he was worse would she still like him? What if he looked exactly like someone she knew like Doctor Burke, Cristina's boyfriend. Now that would be all kinds of fucked up, now wouldn't it. Or what if he looked like one of her previous one-night stands. What if he WAS one of her previous one-night stands!?

What if she had known him once.

What if he hated her.

What if she hated him ?

Or what if he was even better looking than she could even imagine? Meredith had sure had her choice of good-looking and sweet-talking-lovers when she had been sleeping her way through Europe with her high school best friend Sadie Harries, who still called her "death" and who she still called her "die. What if he had a cool accent like maybe Australian? Or maybe Italian? Or even Irish? She could go for all or any of those super neat accents in a lover. McMystery lover!

 


 

Of course, Meredith could really not go on any longer freaking out about this by herself. So instead she decides to dial and call up her best friend - and her person - Doctor Cristina Yang.

***** INCOMING CALL FROM BEST TWISTED SISTER FRIEND MEREDITH GREY *****

Cristina picks up her phone the third time it rings. She settles in with her pajamas and popcorn and switches on a movie she's seen a thousand times before as she calls her best friend.

"CRISTINA I GOT MY HOUSE KEY BACK FROM THE MYSTERY MAN!" Meredith yells.

"Yeah I got your text, you said. So where was it exactly?"

"Under my doormat. I nearly broke my wrist when I tripped over the corner of it, god. At least I caught myself on the door after" Meredith recounts as Cristina does her very best to wait patiently and not give anything away with her voice.

"So did you like, see anyone put it there?" Cristina asks neutrally.

"No, there was no mystery man to be seen," Meredith says. "The whole street was deserted. And I looked from my bedroom window but nothing, no sounds either. Guess I'll just never know, huh" Meredith says.

"You sound disappointed," says Cristina to her.

"I guess I sort of am. I mean I have my key back which is convenient but I guess, well I guess I liked the mystery of it all. Like I'm liking this 'fake pregnant guy' case because it's fun to solve a mystery. I feel like a spy" says Meredith cheerfully.

"Is that the ONLY reason you like working on that 'pregnant guy' case, Mer" Cristina asks gently.

"Yeah and that all of us are on it together I guess" Meredith shrugs.

"What about working with Addison? Don't you like, hate the She-Satan?" Cristina asks carefully.

"Well, I guess I thought I hated her. I hate the idea of her. And I hate that she's still married to Derek and I hate that she's all leggy and fabulous and annoyingly kind and saved your life so it's really hard to hate her, kind of hate her.

But I guess she's been trying really hard to win me over, like with the potato chips and the diet sodas. And she let me palpate the 'pregnant person's' abdomen by myself.

So even though I still kinda do hate her for hurting Derek and for showing up here unannounced, and I still wouldn't want to like, spend a night hanging out with her-

Cristina snorts at that before she can't contain herself and when Meredith says "What?" In question to her snorting, she sobers up and tells her-

"it's only funny because I can't really imagine Meredith enjoying spending a night with McDreamy's wife either, given who they are to each other" and Meredith nods.

 


 

Cristina releases the breath she's been holding when Meredith accepts as she tells her these sweet little lies at face value and goes on to say that she only put her arm around Addison that one time because she thought she was going to cry over missing Derek.

And so that she could whisper to her "thank-you" for not squealing on them to the chief when they stole that patient from the psych floor and made Meredith flirt with the stupid boy-psychiatrist just because she lost at rock-paper-scissors.

And Cristina nods and accepts this and says to Meredith "Thanks, for telling Addison thanks for not ratting us out" she says genuinely, even if she sort of knew it was a non-issue with Addison.

"You're welcome" Meredith grins at her again.

"So what are you thinking now about this whole 'mystery man thing' Cristina asks ploddingly.

"Well, I have these fantasies that he's gonna be like, Australian, or Italian, or Irish" Meredith says to her.

"Don't you like- speak a bit of Italian" Cristina says to her.

"Yeah I took it in college," says Meredith.

 


 

"Can I ask you something, Meredith?" Cristina says softly.

"Sure go ahead" Meredith answers, wondering what Cristina would have to ask her permission to ask her.

"Did you ever like, kiss a girl, like in college?" Cristina tries to act casually.

"Yeah did you?" Meredith answers without hesitation.

"Sometimes, mostly when I wasn't sober but sometimes when I was. I'm like vaguely somewhere on that spectrum" Cristina shrugs like it's no big deal.

"Why are you asking me this all the sudden? Is it because you wouldn't wanna sleep-over if you knew I slept with women" Meredith asks her, and Cristina can tell she's about to cry.

"OH GOD NO MER! DON'T CRY" she says quickly. "I have no problem with it, I promise and of course I'll still sleep-over. I just wanted to ask you because I once dated a woman and just didn't want to feel all alone" Cristina says, actually honestly.

 


 

She had been with women in college, as well as some of her male professors. And it was something she accepted and was open to. She didn't have any active crushes on anyone right now really.

She had once thought that nurse Olivia was hot, but after the George-Alex-Syphilis incident, she didn't really want to go there with her. Plus she was really into Burke these days.

"Glad you're still my best friend," says Mer.

"Always," says Cristina.

"So you know, I don't think of YOU that way Cristina," Meredith says clearly. "You're my best friend and soulmate and twisted sister and partner in crime and my PERSON.

"But I don't wanna date you, not because you're not hot and all just because I would never wanna wreck what we have together you know?"

"I'm a bit of a mess in relationships and you deserve better than me. I need someone stable. And I'm kinda hung up on this mystery man right now, plus Derek." Meredith says.

"It's okay Mer, I wouldn't wanna date you either. You're really beautiful but just not for me. And I have a thing for Burke and you know it. By the way, how is he?" Cristina asks her.

"Seems moody," Meredith says. "He doesn't talk to me 'cause I'm besties with you," she says.

"Sounds about right," Cristina says. "Thanks anyhow," she says.

"Good luck Cristina. Thanks for calming me down. I was freaking the hell out about this mystery man and my key. I think I'm going to take a hot shower now. Bye" Meredith says.

"See you later, twin" Cristina hangs up the phone and sighs.

She knows a whole heck of a lot more than she used to know now.

And she knows just who she wants to text about it, too.

 


 

Downstairs in Meredith's household, Izzie and George and Alex were all hanging out. They moved from the kitchen after dinner and Mer had left to call Cristina in a panic then shower.

They watched old surgery tapes of Ellis Grey they could find and they made bets with each other about this 'mystery pregnancy' patient of theirs. Currently, the wager was at $100.

George and Alex were distracted because they thought that they'd seen glimpses of a really hot girl go by the house earlier that was all wrapped up with a scarf over her face.

They were talking about how hot a body she had but that she was weirdly snooping around their front porch looking for a mailbox before she bent over and inspected their doormat and left.

Izzie, only half paying attention to this conversation, vaguely wonders if this has anything to do with the fact that Addison had earlier been fidgeting with a familiar-looking key on her ring.

But she decided against mentioning this because the last thing that Izzie wanted was for anyone to think that she had some weird obsession with their boss or that she thought she was hot.

Plus, she wasn't even sure if what she saw was true, nor if what the boys said they saw was true. For all, they know they could be saying "I saw what I saw" just to one-up each other.

 


 

Text Message, Time 19:02, Location, Seattle.

CRISTINA YANG TO NEW CONTACT - ADDISON FORBES MONTGOMERY.

 

CRISTINA

[ SO I JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE FROM URGENT CALL FROM MEREDITH GREY TELLING ME THAT SHE GOT HER KEY BACK FROM HER MYSTERY MAN. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF MS. RULER-OF-ALL-THAT-IS-EVIL?]

ADDISON

[Where did she find it? And how do you even know my number?]

CRISTINA

[Your number was on your charts. The piece I stole. Remember? The one I am holding hostage as proof of your writing that matches your note writing that proves you are Meredith's 'mystery man'. That one. It had a phone number typed on the bottom of it and I thought I'd give it a shot.]

ADDISON

[DID YOU TEXT THE OTHER PHONE NUMBER ON IT. And where did she find her key?]

CRISTINA

[No, why? And she found it where you left it I imagine.]

ADDISON

[The other phone number is the one for my office. So if you texted that one first I would have had your above text on my work voicemail and that is NOT exactly something I would like to have beeping for the chief of surgery to walk by and hear.]

[And I left it under the mat on her doorstep is that what she told you?]

CRISTINA

[Oh, sorry. Chill. It didn't happen. I texted only this number first. And yes she said it was under the doormat which she tripped over and almost fell when she found it. If she injured herself trying to get in her door and had to miss work she could sue you. You're lucky.]

ADDISON

[Why is it then, that somehow, I don't feel so lucky right now? Also don't give my number to your friends, please. I am your ATTENDING.]

CRISTINA

[Do you not feel lucky because you are not GETTING LUCKY? ;) . Just sayin']

ADDISON

[CRISTINA YANG THIS IS SO INAPPROPRIATE I AM NOT HAVING THAT CONVERSATION WITH YOU.]

CRISTINA

[I'll take that as a hard "YES" then. A yes that you're not feeling so lucky right now, because of the "NO" that you're not getting any lately.]

ADDISON

[WHAT MAKES YOU SO SURE.]

Addison is feeling completely annoyed at this intern's lack of discretion. And also at the complete and utter accuracy of her statements. God, Addison needed to get laid. If she had someone to get laid with she'd have them shove her up against the wall of this godforsaken hotel room and make out with her roughly till she caved and shoved their fingers into her.

CRISTINA

[If you were getting laid, Addison, you wouldn't be texting your intern from your hotel room, you'd be banging them against the wall in said hotel room.]

Now that's just scary, just how good a read Cristina is, Addison thinks to herself.

ADDISON

[CRISTINA I AM WARNING YOU.]

CRISTINA

[What are you going to do? Show the chief all your texts? Then he'd be reading the ones about your sexual frustrations along with your secret 'mystery man' lesbian lover dual identity.]

ADDISON

[I AM NOT A LESBIAN.]

CRISTINA

[Well, if you ever wanna find out if you swing that way I can recommend some great internet apps out there to you. There's Grindr but that's only for boys and there's Her the app which is only for girls and then there's Tinder and that's out there for everyone. So if you ask me, I'd say go for Tinder. Or try them all at once and see if that's working for ya]

ADDISON

[Cristina, I AM MARRIED .]

CRISTINA

[Didn't stop you from going to the bar all alone before. Plus I mean everyone who's anyone knows that you're getting a divorce like, tomorrow. If you think that your voice is quiet when you are yelling at Derek I am sorry but you are sorely mistaken]

ADDISON

[I AM NOT GOING ON ANY DATING APPS I AM STILL MARRIED]

CRISTINA

[Well when you're not, you can just look them up then. Or you can save yourself the trouble and just go hit on your dark and twisty intern crush who you've been spending all your time with that 'not pregnant patient' and stalking with snacks and sodas.]

ADDISON

[THOSE SNACKS WERE FOR EVERYONE. AND GREY WAS WORKING ON THE CASE SAME AS YOU. I WAS WITH HER TO GIVE HER A BREAK BECAUSE I FELT BAD FOR HER ENDING UP BREAKING UP WITH DEREK WHEN I SHOWED UP IN SEATTLE.]

CRISTINA

[Dude, that's like the gayest thing you've ever said.]

ADDISON

[Ugh, whatever just because it sounds gay to eat snacks apparently it doesn't mean I actually am gay in any way shape or form. And I DO NOT have a thing for GREY.]

CRISTINA

[Feeling bad for your ex-husband's ex-mistress, feeding her snacks and soda while wrapping your arm around her waist, hanging out in a mystery patient's room, carrying her into her house, leaving her a note and then NOT telling her the note was from you are the things that are gay, Addison.

[Snacks are just an Addison-shaped symptom, which I am grateful for because they were delicious, by the way. But yeah they are the symptom, and not the cause. And they're not exclusive to gays either.]

ADDISON

[She was beaten up pretty badly by my idiot ex-husband. It was a girl-code thing. Solidarity against the Derek of the world. She called it the 'people who dated Derek and now life sucks' club.

CRISTINA

[If you have your own private club name then I take back everything I just said. You're already dating apparently and you're basically going to move in with each other next week due to lesbian U-HAULING. Good for you, I bet that the hotel gets expensive, not that you care because you're like a billionaire. Just promise me this; that when having sex with my best friend that you close the door and don't make me watch. Because I don't need to see my best friend getting naked with my boss in her bed.]

ADDISON

[WE ARE NOT A COUPLE FOR THE LAST TIME CRISTINA.]

Addison does her very best to erase the images of a naked Meredith Grey in her bed hat just flushed through her mind. And she'd like to say that she was succeeding but mostly she was just making things worse.

CRISTINA

[OOPS, Hit a nerve.]

[Well, anyways, if you do wanna consider going out with her later once you get over your gay panic, there's that neat little Vietnamese place on Bank Street she likes. I personally hate Vietnamese, despite being slightly Korean, so it would be a huge favor for me if you take her there instead so she'll stop bugging me.]

ADDISON

[I AM NOT TAKING MEREDITH OUT TO DINNER SO YOU CAN STOP SENDING ME RECOMMENDATIONS YANG.]

CRISTINA

[But I bet you'd like it if she begged you ;) ]

[Think of it as a favor, it's not like you lived here long. Try it out for yourself. Maybe you'll love it or maybe you'll hate it and we can dislike it mutually.]

ADDISON

[I'm not answering any of that. And I'm not taking your bullshit anymore Cristina, it's getting late and we both still have work tomorrow so if you're not going to tell me why you really started texting me then I'm going to stop replying. I do have other things on a weekday night you know.]

CRISTINA

[Ok, fine if you're going to get all hot and bothered about it I'll stop sending you date night suggestions.]

[And if you want me to keep all of this AND the other night AND the note all to myself then you're going to have to up the ante on my deal.]

ADDISON

[You're already on the 'pregnant person as well as the two pylorics' with me that's all I even have right now as a caseload, Yang. I'm sorry but I don't have anything else to give you]

CRISTINA

[Still, you could maybe perhaps put in a good word for me with Doctor Preston Burke for me? He's still mad about the whole not telling him I was pregnant thing and I still sort of miss him. Professionally, I mean. I want in on some cardio crap. So can you give a good word to Burke about me and then I can say that we're even?]

ADDISON

[Cristina this blackmailing is getting to be a tad bit ridiculous you do know that, right?]

CRISTINA

[WELL HELLO THERE, POT, MEET KETTLE! You're the one who insists it's no big deal at all that you took Doctor Grey home one evening after having drunken conversations about how you both hate your mutual ex. So you left her a note and she wants to know who it is. It's not like you did anything you could regret so why do you even care not to tell her.]

[Normally I wouldn't be nice enough to tell you you should get rid of the one thing I can hold over your head but I think you're starting to lose it, Doctor Montgomery, and I really don't want to miss out on any more of your cool medicine just because you're having a severe mental crisis.]

ADDISON

[Well it's good to know what I deeply and truly mean to you, Yang. But seriously I'll take it. I'll tell Doctor Burke to consider you for the next big cardio procedure if you can keep your damn mouth shut to Meredith until I can figure out what the hell I'm supposed to be telling her.]

Addison is frantically typing with her fingers now because not only is she infuriated with the young intern, she's infuriated with herself because she both can't bring herself tell Meredith and can't shake these favors she's doing for Cristina and she can't crack this stupid 'pregnant man' case even with the help of - ALL. OF. BAILEY's. INTERNS. So yes, Addison is furious.

CRISTINA

[See you tomorrow, Doctor Montgomery-Nothing. I will thank you for those sick and diseased hearts when I see them. I won't give your number to friends or total strangers. And about your stupid little note and your stupid little night with my best friend, you know my lips sealed. I know.]

Cristina thinks that this is going to be the end of teasing Addison tonight because she'd already gotten what she wanted so she shrugs. But before she knows it, her phone lights up again and Cristina reads it.

ADDISON

[YOU ARE ONE TWISTED SISTER CRISTINA, WISHING FOR ACTUAL HEART TRAUMA.]

She answers her quickly, not expecting a reply. But one comes to her anyhow.

CRISTINA

[NOT AS TWISTED AS YOU, DOCTOR NOT MRS. McDREAMY. BUT I AM A 'TWISTED SISTER' NO LESS. ME AND MEREDITH ALREADY STOLE TWISTED SISTERS SO YOU TWO NEED TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING ELSE TO CALL YOURSELVES]

Christina types to her in ALL CAPS.

ADDISON

[THERE IS NOTHING GOING ON BETWEEN ME AND GREY. WE DON'T NEED A NICKNAME OR A SHIP NAME OR A COUPLE CONTEST OR FOR YOU TO TALK ABOUT HOW MEREDITH SUGGESTED TEAM 'Slept with Derek so now life sucks' club' BECAUSE SHE WAS DRUNK AND DOESN'T REMEMBER ANY OF THAT ANYWAY. SO GET OUT OF MY PHONE IT'S GETTING WAY TOO LATE TO BE UP TALKING TO YOU ABOUT THIS]

Addison replies in all caps. She lets the "Doctor-Not-Mrs.-McDreamy" part slide because she's almost proud of that one anyway because it separates her from Derek. And besides of which, she can only pick at one battle at once.

CRISTINA

[WHATEVER YOU SAY, DOCTOR SO-McHOT-FOR-HER. I NEVER SAID A DAMN THING ABOUT SHIP NAMES WHICH I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW HOW YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT TERM. NOR MENTIONED A COUPLE CONTEST. ME AND MER ARE TWISTED SISTERS AND WE ARE NOTHING MORE THAN BEST FRIENDS AND ALWAYS WILL BE. YOU SET YOURSELF UP TO FALL INTO THAT ONE ALL ON YOUR OWN. SO THINK ABOUT THAT WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO PIN ALL OF YOUR CRISES ON DOCTOR CRISTINA.

ADDISON

[OK, But seriously, before you go you need to change your contact for me in your phone because I don't need people to read these messages over your shoulder and know it was me, nor do I need them to know you even have my number. So change it or no surgeries for you.]

CRISTINA

[Got any preferences? Oh, and BTW you better change me in your contacts to be "Cardio Goddess" because I sure as hell will be and you can't let people know you have an intern on your phone anyhow. Show me a screenshot to prove it.]

ADDISON

[Done. Here's a photo.]

*** IMAGE MESSAGE TO CARDIO GODDESS OUTGOING ***

*** IMAGE MESSAGE FROM ADDISON FORBES MONTGOMERY INCOMING ***

CRISTINA

[Looking good. Like I said any suggestions for your super-secret pseudonym?]

ADDISON

[Skippy Gold.]

CRISTINA

[WHO is SKIPPY GOLD to you?]

ADDISON

[High School Prom Date. Fellow Band Geek Member. Star Wars Fan.]

CRISTINA

[Man or Woman?]

ADDISON

[SKIPPY GOLD IS A BOY CRISTINA YOU ARE GRASPING AT NOTHING HERE. NOW SEND ME THE DAMN SCREENSHOT OF YOUR CONTACT OF ME SO WE CAN END THIS CONVERSATION AND GO TO BED AND GO TO SLEEP LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE WHO ARE NORMAL CO-WORKERS AT A NORMAL HOSPITAL AND NOT AT IRONICALLY-NAMED GRACE, BECAUSE THIS SURE AS HELL IS NOT A GRACEFUL TRANSITION FOR ME.]

 

*** IMAGE MESSAGE TO SKIPPY GOLD OUTGOING ***

*** IMAGE MESSAGE FROM CARDIO GODDESS INCOMING ***

 


 

Addison only goes wide-eyed and sighs when she sees what popped up on her screen. It's a gorgeously framed photo of Meredith Grey wearing nothing but a skimpy sundress and a beautiful flowered necklace in front of a mirror.

She looks like she could be posing for the cover of a magazine if it weren't for the absence of any makeup at all - it must have been before she did any of that because her makeup tray is open on the counter in the picture.

She looks so naturally beautiful, in a humble and sweet kind of way and it positively kills Addison that Meredith would dress up that way for someone as unfortunate as her soon to be officially ex-husband, Derek. The thought made her roll her eyes inwardly at him.

Addison stares into the Intern's blue eyes through her phone and she wonders what Meredith was thinking when she was getting all dolled up for him. Was she thinking they'd be together happily ever after? Was she thinking she was going to get together with him?

Good lord, she wonders if Meredith was thinking about sleeping with him while Cristina was taking that picture. Surely they were best friends they'd talked about that stuff. And the image it conjures in Addison's mind of Meredith being held on by Derek just repulses her further.

She says to herself it's because it's her Derek. And because he had no business being such a stupid pig and an ass to her. And she says that she thinks that lots of women are beautiful and that doesn't have much to do with being gay. Everyone likes other women's looks, she thinks.

 

*** IMAGE MESSAGE TO SKIPPY GOLD OUTGOING ***

*** IMAGE MESSAGE FROM CARDIO GODDESS INCOMING ***

 

And Addison's train of thought is completely interrupted by another image popping up on her screen. It's the photo proof of Cristina's contacts having changed her pseudonym for her number to be labeled as "Skippy Gold." She kicks herself mentally for almost forgetting.

CRISTINA

[Sorry I sent the wrong one by mistake. I hope you secretly enjoy this cute picture of Meredith that I took when she was getting ready for a date with Derek a while back. Hey if you get over your self-loathing and self-denial you can always look at it when you wanna have a good time. ]

[Goodnight]

ADDISON

[Night Cristina. And stop calling me Addison. It's Doctor Montgomery to you...]

CRISTINA

[Goodnight Doctor Montgomery, sweet dreams ;) ]

 


 

Addison sighs at the wink and decides that nothing at all productive and nothing good for her is going to come of texting Cristina back even more after all of the mischief and teasing.

She wants to start looking at the phone again at that picture of Meredith, but she didn't want to prove Cristina right that she was enjoying the fact that she'd sent that picture by accident.

So she puts down her phone with a slam and pours herself a drink and settles into the tub. Sleeping soundly tonight was going to be one hell of a hard day's night.

When Addison finally falls asleep after enjoying a long and hot bath,

She hopes for a sound, soothing and dreamless sleep.

She just wants to fade away from all of this drama and all of this intrigue.

But just her luck because the universe wants to throw her a new one.

All Addison dreams about that stupid key.

And how even though she's sure that Meredith has safely found it,

She can't help but wonder what might have been or what might have happened,

If someone else had found it there first instead of Meredith herself.

And how much she seemed to care that no harm would come to this young Grey girl.

 


 

*****END OF CHAPTER 10.

 

Chapter Text


 

Chapter 11: Break On Through, Part One

 


 

“Never have I everrrrrr-”  The ‘pregnant man’ begins, and the Interns grin widely before looking expectantly at a certain redhead Attending. 

 

“Dude, sweet! I love this game!” says Alex Karev.

 

“I’ll play, I’m so going to beat you though, Alex,” says George O’Malley.

 

“I’m going to beat all of you” Alex replies with a gruff.

 

“IN YOUR DREAMS, EVIL SPAWN”  Huffs Cristina in annoyance.

 

“Ooh, does Alex have all kinds of secret pain” Izzie teases.

 

“Well I’ve never played this game without any tequila before but I guess we can’t let’s all go to the bar right now, can we” Meredith nods.

 

“Come on Doctor Boss” The ‘pregnant man’ begs at Addison with puppy dog eyes. The results of my labs are going to take hours to come in, this way you keep me in a good mood and keep me company, and let’s be real if this is cancer then we know I’m dying. 

 

My partner died in an accident a few years back and I’ve been alone ever since. This is my dying wish for my doctors to play a little game with me. Can you do that?” he pleads.

 

“I’d like to reassure you that we’re doing everything we can to make sure you’re not ACTUALLY dying,” Addison says with a raise of her eyebrows. 

 


 

Addison’s first thought is that if he makes HER play TOO that she might reveal something that is a little too incriminating for her students to respect her ever again.

 

But the interns are looking at her with a look of concern, rather than just pure amusement. 

 

And silently, Addison realizes that they might be right. That this might be one of this man’s last good days if it IS cancer, and she doesn’t want to take that away from him.

 

She also thinks to herself this could both be a way to find out a whole lot more about her headfuck breakfast club that is Bailey’s group of Interns. Who she’s trying to win over.

 

“Alright just for a little while” Addison finally acquiesced. But not because you’re dying, but because I’m being supportive and compassionate. As your Doctor” she says with a smile.


And the look of pure joy and whimsy on all the interns faces when she says “yes”, just might make it all worth it already. 

 

“You’re the COOLEST, Doctor Montgomery” Meredith gushes to her with a genuine smile.

 

And Addison can’t help but bite the corner of her lips and blush just the teeniest bit at the compliment. 

 


 

No one notices this though-

 

(except for Cristina, who seems to always have her eyes firmly locked to Addison’s face whenever she talks to Meredith). 

 

(except for Meredith herself, who is inordinately pleased that she’s managed to give Doctor Montgomery a flash of happiness).

 

And the game begins to go on when the ‘pregnant man-patient- begins to raise all of his ten fingers in the air and ask them his first question.

 

“Never have I ever” he begins again, motioning for the others to show all their hands as well. “Never have I ever kissed a girl” he smirks lightly, mostly at Izzie, as he explains to them all that he’s queerer than a three-dollar-bill.

 

He guessed correctly about Izzie, because Izzie sheepishly puts down her thumb in annoyance. “Ugh, it was just a few dozen drunk makeouts at a frat party” she explained to the room. 

 

“Dude , that’s awesome ” Alex Karev doesn’t even seem to mind when he has to put his thumb down too. 

 

George looks up at Izzie then shifts uncomfortably, as he puts down his thumb too, clearly enjoying the thought. 

 

Cristina and Meredith both laugh with each other and say “College” in relevance to their phone conversation just the previous night as they put their thumbs down.

 

And even as Cristina is laughing, she can’t help but smirk at Addison, who is biting her lip even harder trying not to picture Meredith “in College” as sweeping images of lusty, naughty makeout sessions are flooding her imagination right now and flustering her more. 

 


 

Once they are both done laughing, everyone in the room now - especially Meredith and Cristina - are looking at Addison expectantly but none of her fingers budge at all.

 

“What?” she asks them honestly. She wasn’t actually lying, she had not ever kissed a woman before. Ever. 

 

“Wait where did YOU go to college? Were you the only woman THERE???” blurts out Izzie.

 

“I went to Yale for my undergrad, Columbia for med school” Addison answers simply. 

 

“And what kind of parties did you not get invited to then?” Cristina taunts her. 

 

“Hey, I was FUN! It’s just that I was never in a sorority. I was really serious about studies, and Derek, Mark, Sam and Naomi were all really close friends at the time and so we mostly just partied together at one of our apartments” Addison explained.

 

“So you and Naomi never…” Meredith trails off but her question is heavily implied. 

 

The flash of relief that washes through Meredith’s eyes is not lost on Cristina who is watching Meredith look at Addison as she starts to answer. This only makes Cristina smirk even wider.

 

And as Addison looks at them all, but mostly to Meredith (just because she’s the one who asked her that question, right…) she just says ‘no me and Naomi were never like that. We were both in relationships almost as soon as we met. We were happy back then, in the relationships, I mean… Addison trails off in a sigh of nostalgia. 


And she immediately regrets saying this because the brief look of pain that overtakes Meredith when she said she used to be happy while dating Derek makes her hurt more. 

 

But she misinterprets the meaning of that pain because when Meredith finally answers, she says to HER, “I’m sorry, Addison, again. I’m sorry.” and looks down.  





 

Addison thought that she was going to be upset about hearing about her and Derek’s good past but clearly she has been preoccupied in blaming herself for Addison’s divorce.

 

“Hey- Hey look at me Meredith” Addison says to her as Addison automatically places a hand on Meredith’s shoulder to soothe her. 

 

“Derek and I were over long before Seattle and long before you” Addison speaks softly. “We were over before I ever cheated on him with Mark. He was never home, I felt unwanted and I was looking for his attention in all the wrong ways. We were never going to work out anyhow”.

 

“You really don’t think it was all because of me?” Meredith looks up at her, a tear running all down her face. 


“Oh, no Meredith. It wasn’t all because of you. I was angry at Derek when I showed up and he had a girlfriend. But I wasn’t mad at YOU. You really didn’t know. He never told you - that’s on him” she says as she moves her hand to Meredith’s cheek to brush away all of her tears.

 

“Thank you Addison” Meredith says, using her first name for the first time since the night at the bar that she doesn’t remember. 

 

“I needed to hear that. I needed to know that. From you” Meredith looks up tenderly. 

 

“I’m sorry you never learned that sooner” Addison says, looking into Meredith’s eyes,

 

As Cristina sighs a sigh of exasperation because of the irony of the fact that Addison has probably told her that at least twice already while she was drunk,

 

And Addison shoots Cristina a harsh glare over Meredith’s shoulder, as she says “come here, girl” to Meredith as she pulls her in for a tight hug.

 

Meredith sobs a bit, but not as much as she had at the bar (because she is SOBER right now, of course, and she hadn’t JUST been abandoned by her McDreamy). 

 

And Addison holds her tight to her chest until she finally sinks in and nestles her head onto Addison’s shoulder, and Addison rubs aimless circles on her back and on her arms to help calm Meredith down. 

 


 

“It’s going to be okay, Addison,” Meredith says to her softly. “I thought that was supposed to be my line in this situation” Meredith only laughs as Addison does too. And they hold on tightly. 

 

Thank you , Addison” Meredith finally says to her, as she pulls away from her embrace and moves to sit back on her own chair again. 

 

And there’s a certain WEIGHT to her declaration of gratitude. A certain weight that has Addison flashing back to Meredith saying “Thank You” to her in the bathroom at Joe’s, off of Addison’s compliment but meaning to say it for all of Addison’s company. 

 

And as Addison shifts over to sit back into her own chair fully again, she has a brief sense of loss that the warm contact with the blonde intern had brought her. 

 

And she’s wondering, idly, if she’ll ever have a genuine reason to hug Meredith Grey again.

 

And Addison can tell now that she’s a million miles away because she snaps herself out of it before Meredith has the chance to read all of her cards right off of her face. 

 

And she sighs and Meredith smiles contentedly, as if the weight of the world had been lifted right off of her shoulders.

 

And Cristina is smiling at Addison now, while she also takes Meredith’s hand into her own to offer her some support. She’s smiling at Addison without the traces of a telltale smirk.

 

As if she were trying to send a telepathic message to her, as if Cristina is trying to tell Addison a silent “Thank-You” too, a “Thank-You” for helping out my friend again. For taking care of her. For telling her it’s not her fault. For telling her it’s going to be okay. For taking some of her pain away”...

 


 

And Addison chances one last look up at Meredith, who is tracing circles around Cristina’s hand with her thumb as she looks back up at Addison again. And says with a sudden force of determination. 

 

“No offense, Addison” she begins without stopping. “But your soon to be ex-husband is sort of an ass” Meredith finishes boldly. 

 

And there could be no more perfect statement that would bring Addison tumbling into tears from her fit of laughter that followed as she tries to squeeze out 

 

“None taken, Meredith, because he so IS!”. 

 

And once Meredith had joined in, the rest of the room felt comfortable following in their footsteps and laughing all along with them. 

 

And if the moment could not have gotten at all more perfect than it already had been, 

 

Derek, with the epitome of bad (or good, depending on who you were in this situation) timing, 

 

Decides to open the door right then and there to walk into a room full of doctors plus their patient all laughing hysterically at his own expense, unbeknownst to him. 

 


 

“They’re laughing at all the fake baby names we’re making up for my belly”

 

It’s the ‘pregnant-man-patient” who ends up saving all of their asses from total destruction.

 

“Oh, that IS funny” Derek says, flashing his trademark McDreamy smile along with a giggle. 

 

“What’s winning so far?” he asks genuinely, wanting to be a part of the jokes as well.

 

“Well we were thinking maybe McBaby,” Alex says without missing a beat. 


“Or maybe McBiggie, because look at that thing it’s just got to be HUGE” George follows along.

 

“I think I might call it McBigMac” the patient guffaws. “Who knows maybe it’s all my incessant eating that’s just given me this big belly” he laughs as he pats his stomach, making a joke at his own expense. 

 

And it makes all of them appreciate him so, so much more, as the patient who adds to their lives in a meaningful way. 

 

“McJesus” Izzie exclaims to them. “Look, we know it’s like a miraculous virgin birth,” Izzies says. And the full context of why this is so funny is lost on Derek who had not been there when the patient had admitted he had never, ever, kissed a woman in his life. But still, Derek laughs along anyhow. 

 


 

“How about McMedicalMystery?” Cristina says enthusiastically. 

 

“That’s like way too many names it’s like, WAY too long” Meredith exclaims to her, eyes crinkling as she admonishes Cristina in a joking manner. 

 

And Addison cannot help but flashback to the time that Meredith had drunkenly said the same thing to her . And how she’d just about had a fit when she told the girl that her name used to be “Doctor Addison Adrienne Forbes Montgomery-Shepherd”. 

 

But neither Meredith has the memory at the surface to share that moment with her again, nor had she actually told Cristina that particular tidbit of information, so Addison was in the clear for anyone finding out after her smiling at the way Meredith said that.

 

But Addison was also feeling just a bit lonely that she was missing out here on a chance to have had a pretty funny inside joke, to share along with just Meredith.

 

And speaking of Meredith, her contribution after studying the patient again is “McTeacher” she says with a dignified smile. “Because no matter what happens today, whether it’s really a baby or not, I learned more from this case than any others so far,” she says thoughtfully.

 

And the indirect compliment takes a long time to register in Addison’s mind, but once it finally does, she likes to think to herself that Meredith was implicitly calling HER the McTeacher. And that she’s the last one of Bailey’s interns to have finally, finally realized how unimportant it was to them to keep hating her. 

 

“You know if we get this thing out of me, I’m going to call it my McMiracle after you miracle workers” the patient adds into their joking again. But this time he’s genuine about all of his sentiment. And it reminds them how far they still have to go before they break on through to their solution.

 


 

“What do you think, Addie?” Derek calls her by her nickname, snapping her out of her reverie and to that Addison shoots Derek a very mean look as she glares at him. 

 

“I think it should be McMistake if it is a girl, and McBastard, if it’s a boy” Addison, shoots at him a little harsher than he would have liked. “I’m saying this because it’s clearly been causing our patient some serious pain right now,” Addison says to him with a frown. 


She’s making a reference to the interns right now, about how she knows that they call Derek McBastard behind his back and she’s basically insulting her soon to be ex-husband right in front of them. 

 

And it’s not the most professional thing she’s ever said, a far cry from it. But it shuts him up quick, and she thinks that the interns have earned it, that she’s earned it, and that he had it coming for him for bursting into the door and trying to be all McDreamy when he is calling her by a nickname she’s now only reserved for her best friends and he’s STILL staring at Meredith.

 

And Meredith is avoiding his gaze because she’s not really interested in his moves all right now, after what Addison said about his part in their breakup, and so she’s refusing to give Derek the satisfaction of laughing while looking at him at his joke. 

 

And the sight of that sort of makes Addison grin again, and soften at her edges from where she was mad before. And when Meredith finally does look up, it’s not at Derek but at Addison. And slowly but surely she’s starting to see why a man like Derek might fly across the country to try his best to get over from someone like Addison. 

 


 

Because from up close and personal, Addison-No-Longer-Shepherd, is really, really hard not to like. 

 





***END OF CHAPTER 11

Chapter Text


 

Chapter 12: Break On Through, Part Two

 


 

"Are we going to keep playing Never Have I Ever?" Alex Karev asks in a sort of whiny tone.

"Yeah, we only actually went like one round before everyone started to talk about other things and share stories and cry" George O'Malley says.

"But that's the best part of drinking games. Thinking about all the great stories we have to share with each other" Izzie explains to him.

"This room is like, vegas, right? Like what happens in this room stays in this room and we don't talk about it, right?

George says with a nervous glancing, which is funny because he's hardly said anything incriminating about himself yet and people wonder what he even has to hide.

"Yes, this room is like Vegas" Meredith confirms. "No one talks about it after to anyone. Ever."

"I, for one, can keep a hell of a good secret" Cristina Yang smirks widely.

She purposely doesn't even meet Addison's eyes to see that the redhead is nodding subconsciously at her assertion, so as not to raise Meredith's suspicion.

" Well I'm basically a goner anyhow," the 'pregnant patient' says to them all. "But if this is the last day of my life, it's happened in the blink of an eye but I wouldn't want to change a thing".

"You're not DYING" Addison confirms with a determined huff. "We like you too much to let you die NOW" she asserts, and the compassion that seeps into her voice is so deep and vulnerable that all the interns look up at her with a bit of a stare.

"I cannot BELIEVE I am involved with any of this" Derek Shepherd says as he walks by and possessively sits between Addison and Meredith, much to their mutual distaste.

So they decide to play one more round of "Never have I ever" so that they can go round and ask each other one question each.

Alex says "never has he ever kissed a boy" and everyone puts down a thumb, even O'Malley.

This makes Alex raise an eyebrow at him before George explains he was six and they laugh.

All the other interns put a finger down without hesitating. Addison sort of winces as she watches Meredith do this but hides it with a cough.

Derek also puts a finger down, and off the intern's shocked look, Addison says "We once had a three-way with Mark when we were drunk" and she shrugs.

It makes Meredith quirk her eyebrow up curiously at Derek, who is blushing furiously, and then finally at Addison, who she is looking to for an explanation.

Because ironically enough, if somewhere along the line Derek, Mark and Addison had all slept with each other at the same time, why had Addison's adultery with Mark from Derek even mattered at that point?

Sensing Meredith's and everyone's confusion, Addison went on to say "Derek didn't like it. The three-way, that is. He gets jealous." she concludes.

 


 

He gets jealous.

Addison rolls these words off the tip of her tongue.

Like she's lying even though she had been telling the truth.

She does not reveal to anyone, much to Derek Shepherd's pleading relief, that in that complete and intoxicated state he was in on that night at the Hampton's with his best friend and his wife, that it was not necessarily Mark he was jealous over for sleeping wither, that actually it had been Derek who got jealous of Addison, for sleeping with Mark.

Addison knew this, but knew better than to say anything to him at the time. Derek kept saying that he had been drunk and that he didn't remember. Didn't remember that he spent the night watching Mark make love to his wife, before he stepped in and had his best friend do the same to him.

And that Addison had spent most of the night watching her husband fall into bed with his male best friend, who was loving it too. And then the next morning they both claimed not to have remembered anything at all, just that they were never going to do this ever again.

No matter how much Addison tried to get either of them to talk about it, they didn't. Mark left her alone for a while. Derek started drinking more scotch than he saved. He started going to work earlier, coming home later.

Not wanting to have sex with her. And she could never confirm that it was because of that night he had spent having sex with her, then Mark Sloan because he refused to talk about it.

So he never came home anymore. He started to lose his temper more frequently. He got all possessive of her. She still loved him in a way, or wanted to try. But he was always angry.

And she was lonely that night in Brownstone. And Mark Sloan was there. And both of them were hurting. And Addison kissed Mark. And Mark kissed her back. And Addison throws off his coat to the floor before leading him into her bedroom.

And when Derek found them sleeping together hours later he left her out in the rain, before letting her in again and then walking away.

Derek never talked to Mark again. She never told Mark what she thought she knew.

She was going to. Addison had planned on asking him that night.

But it was the one night that Derek had come home early.

And it was the night that he left for Seattle, and never looked back.

And Addison has never told the whole story to anyone, ever.

And she swears that she probably never, ever will.

 


 

George says "never have I ever been married".

And that makes everyone groan because only Derek and Addison put down a finger and they already knew that already.

Derek twists his wedding ring in his hand, the one he's still wearing.

And Addison moves to do the same before she feels it's not there.

"I wish I could have gotten married," the pregnant patient says to the doctors.

"It's still not even legal here and I wanted to try, just to have a ceremony and rings and all that.

But we were on the way to our non-legal wedding when we got hit by a car" says the patient.

"I lived. He didn't," he says sadly.

"I'm sorry" Meredith is the first person to say this.

Meredith is always the first person to say that she's sorry.

And the empathy and compassion she displays never fails to make Addison's heart pull a little tighter each time.

There's a moment of reflection where everyone sits around again.

Before Izzie is offering them a new question to ponder.

 


 

"Never have I ever had sex in this hospital" Izzie Stevens smirked up at everyone.

God, she's almost as smug as Cristina, Addison rolls her eyes inwardly.

Alex proudly puts down his finger. George does as well.

The 'pregnant patient' does not, and everybody laughs at that.

Cristina does and everyone shrugs and Alex tries really hard not to say "Burke McBabies" so it comes out as a sort of a snort instead.

Meredith sighs when she puts one down as well, eyes flickering up to Derek then down again in shame.

Addison catches this and frowns a deep frown.

"You cheated on me with Mark in New York" Derek says, off her looking at his finger moving down, assuming she's angry because Meredith slept with him.

Only she's flaring in rage at a whole other thing, that she's mad because apparently-

Meredith was banging her ex-husband in the hospital no less and it makes her mad because a part of her wanted Meredith for herself.

Luckily for her, the rage is the same on the outside.

Because on the inside she's fuming at her subconscious like a cartoon character.

 


 

Addison is freaking the hell out because her brain had just told her that not only did she want Meredith Grey to herself, but apparently it was saying to her also that she wanted to screw her among the very floors of this HOSPITAL, no less.

Ugh, what a lifetime of working a surgeon does for one's knowledge of places to get laid at her workplace, Addison sighs inwardly to herself. She imagines how hot it would be to have Meredith fuck her, right in the open under the stairwell, or in the supply closets, or in the elevators, or in the scan rooms, or in the MRI lab, or the exam rooms, or the on-call rooms…

The list went on and on as she struggled to focus on the conversation that was going on around her about which intern slept with whom, and where. All she could think about was having Meredith Grey, back her against the wall of the Attendings lounge and tear all her clothes off.

 


 

Addison can feel her cheeks reddening and her core tightening. She was squeezing her long fingernails down into her fists before frowning (at herself). Luckily these signs were taken to others as signals she was annoyed, not turned on, in this situation.

When Addison pointedly doesn't put a finger down at that one and everyone is staring at her, yet again, and she mumbles something that sounded like a swear word before looking at Derek.

"Well it's not like you cared for me enough even to try" Addison says to him dryly.

"Because I'm apparently that entirely as appealing to you as a stranger" she lapsed again.

Derek mumbles something like a sorry at her but Addison looks away as he shrugs at her.

And Cristina does not fail to miss the relieved expression that Addison's face contorts to once she's certain that Derek was not going to propose in a porn-cliche-way for them to 'change that right now'.

Meredith glances up at Addison sort of sympathetically, as if she's trying to say to her again, I'm so, so sorry Addison for screwing your husband.

I really didn't know, and I know you forgive me but you just sort of found out that we screwed here right under your nose.

And so your life must kind of suck right now. And I'm sorry.

And it's the damnedest thing.

That Meredith Grey would be seeking her forgiveness or something right now as her own husband Derek didn't show even one ounce of remorse at his antics.

Addison lets a smile curl to the side of her mouth just for Meredith, to let her know she's not angry at her, at least not that angry.

She really didn't know so it's not fair to make her feel guilty for hooking up with who she believed was her own boyfriend at the time together.

And her heart warms and she stares just a little when she sees out of the corner of her eye,

Just small enough so no one else can see but her, but just wide enough that she can tell.

And she feels more than smug knowing that even though Derek is looking at Meredith,

 


 

That all of that smile is only for her.

She can feel it in her bones and in her veins.

With all of her fibers of her being.

She can feel Cristina smirking at her.

So she knows to drop her gaze into Meredith's eyes.

And smile at the floor instead.

And try like hell to wipe the shit-eating grin,

From creeping onto her face right now

And she thinks she has it handled.

Has it all under control.

She could keep this under control.

She could keep herself professional.

She could keep a secret still.

She could work alongside everyone.

Ahem, everyone, including Meredith.

She could try like hell not to go completely and utterly mad.

 


 

Because, still.

It IS maddening, to say the least.

For Addison.

To think.

That.

Again.

Meredith.

Meredith Grey!

Had given her ex-husband.

Something that she never knew that,

Never knew that she'd been wanting for so long,

Something she knew she'd keep wanting for. Like she's waiting.

For that something - that someone, to finally consider her, Addison Montgomery.

To be one of her options. And to give her one of those cheesy,

Adorable, young intern speeches that she'd already

Given Derek. One of those impulsively

Carefully worded speeches.

Pick Me. Choose me.

Love Me.

Love.

Addison,

Addison Montgomery.

Addison Adrienne Forbes Montgomery.

Was falling, so epically, so quickly, so terrifyingly, ridiculously,

She was falling like she would never see or feel the ground underneath her,

Never feel the comforting ground to lay upon and thank the earth for her solid footing again,

Never ever come back down to this earth because she was so immersed in the

Complete lack of oxygen that this fall had generated under her

Because from where she had started falling,

She never even knew, never ever,

Would ever know she was,

Falling in - what - like?

Falling, in Love?!

With HER?

For her?

In.

Love.

With

The One

And the Only,

Doctor Meredith Grey.

And she didn't know it quite then.

She couldn't put a finger to the feeling.

She would never be able to articulate much less ADMIT.

That she was falling so hard and so fast and so dangerously, so recklessly.

In love with her ex-husband's ex-mistress. Her Intern, her co-worker. Her maybe even friend.

And there was absolutely no way, no one, nothing anybody in the whole entire world

Could stop the oncoming train that was leaving the station.

It was leaving the station to take her for a ride.

She was into this woman like a train.

And like hell, did she want,

To go for a ride.

Addison.

Wanted.

Meredith.

She, she

*

**

Has Wanted Meredith.

*

*

*

She's wanted her.

*

*

*

*

*

Wants her.

*

*

*

*
*

FUCK.

*


*
*

*

*

*

" FUCK."

Addison realizes she's spoken that one word aloud. She was thinking of outrageously explicit images and thoughts about a certain lusty blonde intern.

Addison has absolutely no clue where they are in the conversation now.

So her swearing makes everyone snap to her in surprise.

And she flushes completely as she looks at them completely confused.

As they wonder what the hell that they said to make her

Swear like that so loud and so sharply,

In front of a PATIENT, no less.

 


 

"I agree"

The unlikely voice of Dr. Cristina Yang swoops in to save her.

"I'm all for switching to play "Truth or Dare" instead later, but I think that we should break now, says Cristina.

"I want to get some snacks before we start. Doctor Montgomery treated us last time." says Meredith.

"We should all go now and bring back some munchies and buy for her this time instead." says Izzie.

"What do you like to put into your mouth huh, Doctor Montgomery?" Christina asks and winks at her.

With her eyebrows arched so high they almost come off of her head.

"I mean something sweet? Something Salty? A mix of Both?" Cristina continues.

"Everyone has a guilty pleasure snack. I bet that yours is delicious" Cristina quips.

"Speak up Addison or I'll have to keep guessing. Somehow, I don't think I'm wrong" Cristina smirks.

 


 

It's devilish and dangerous how she tilts her voice on that one, and Addison is flicking her eyes,

Only for one split half-of-a-millisecond to Meredith Grey's body back to hers again.

Such a marginal gesture that not even Meredith quite catches it.

She's playing with fire right in front of everyone else.

She's milking it for all that it's worth.

And good hell is it working.

Because Addison,

Is speechless.

Can't

Figure out

Anything, ANYTHING

That would be work appropriate to say.

So she stutters something completely incoherent.

And looks up in Cristina's eyes in panic, as if silently begging for mercy,

Before Meredith Grey saves her again, telling her best friend: "She bought me some Cheetos."

"Why don't we get her a pack of those, and some gummies, and some chocolate, and a soda?"

Meredith says without any sense of double-entendre or euphemisms, at all.

And Cristina flashes her a last-minute wink before she leaves,

To pick up the snacks with all her intern friends,

And she's left nodding dumbly,

At Meredith's suggestion.

So that they'll leave.

So she can,

Stop.

For,

One freaking

Second in her panicking

Once again. As Derek,

Just looks at her,

Confused.

Before,

He,

Asks

Her to

Explain why

She agreed to Cristina.

And her suggestions about her snacks.

He looks up at her with a furrowed brow and she's

Completely and utterly horrified and terrified he'll find out what she's

Been thinking about all along. All her dirty thoughts and loaded secrets and exchanges.

But all she sees when she looks up at him with those big, wide round eyes.

It is a touch of compassion and sympathy and really more confusion.

So she asks him why he is staring at her like he's confused.

And Derek finally tells her why he is so confused.

At her acceptance of Cristina's snacks.

"Because," Derek says to her.

I do KNOW YOU.

You know.

I

Do.

I still remember.

I remember some things,

About you, we were together,

For eleven years.

So I know.

You.

I.

Know.

That.

You.

Hate.

Cheetos.

He concludes.

With a shudder from Addison.

When he tries to run his hand on her shoulder.

She bats his hand away from her indignantly so she can face him.

"I used to hate Cheetos when I was with you." she begins.

Beck then when we were married.

I hated Cheetos.

And now,

I like

Cheetos.

I like Cheetos and

I like other things that

I did not like, when I was with you.

People's tastes change, Derek, you know.

People change, their tastes change and their life changes.

I'm changing, I'm growing up, I'm learning, and I'm moving on from you.

So I don't need you to come in here and put your hand on my shoulder to tell me no Cheetos.

Because now that I'm free from you and our sham of a marriage, and that

I'm free from your hovering gaze and your nights you stayed away,

And your stupid trailer on that stupid piece of land.

With that house, you will never build.

Well, let me just tell you.

I will eat Cheetos.

Cheetos.

Yummy.

Mm.

I will, I will eat them.

I will eat them without you.

I will eat out all the damn Cheetos I please.

And I swear to you Derek, I swear to you over and over.

I will tell you that my God Damned stupid Cheetos, will be so fucking delicious.

And so much more satisfying than any other snack foods or meals,

That I have ever, or ever will, enjoy with Mark, or with You,

Or any other man from my past, ever again.

And with that, Addison walks away,

She says sorry to the patient.

She slams the door.

She leaves him.

Alone.

*

*

*

Alone, and without any Cheetos.

*


*

*

**

*****END OF CHAPTER 12

Chapter Text


 

Chapter 13: Break On Through, Part Three






Dear Meredith,

 

Thank you for the chats yesterday. I’m sorry I slammed the door on your face. You’re right, we can talk even if I am not a surgeon. I am a psychiatrist and if you ever want to talk again do not hesitate to visit me at the window. Have a good day and hello to your friends.

 

Ps. My name is Arthur. 

Thanks for the Memories.”

 

 




Meredith held the second note she had ever received from a mystery lover in her life.

 

She had found it in her locker in an envelope when she went for snacks.

 

And for some reason, she felt different about this one. 

 

First of all, Arthur signed his name to the note. 

 

And second of all, he’d blown her off,

 

And Meredith was confused.

 

Was this - HIM?

 

‘Mystery man’?

 

 They had both written the same line of “Thanks for the Memories. So could it be true?

 

Could the mystery be solved?

 

Could she finally know who had taken her home that night at the bar?

 

Meredith wanted to know the answer for real, but in all honesty she was feeling crushed.

 

She had pictured all of these beautiful exotic men to have been her potential suitor. 


And now that she had an idea, well, this person just didn’t seem so special to her.

 

Sure, Meredith had liked how she felt when she’d been seducing him for sport.

 

But she hadn’t even given him a second thought since her game. 

 

And she thought that HE knew that she was just putting on over him.

 

Was that what this was to HIM? Was SHE just a part of a twisted little game?

 

Was HE laughing with his friends about this wild goose chase with a mystery woman,

 

That he had been sending notes with “Thanks for the Memories” written on them.

 

Finally revealing his true crush on her after they’d talked?

 

Was he the guy from the bar who carried her home and didn’t try to take her clothes off?

 

(Was he the one who brought her the aspirin and water and fixed her plant-)

 

(Though, after she’d knocked that plant over, that it just REFUSED to be straight. )

 

(She had tied a literal pole in the flowerpot to try to straighten it.)

 

(But it had it’s own little way of remaining as queer as it’s shape and resisting.)

 

(So Meredith had given up on trying to fix her stupid potted plant, she accepted it.)

 

(And had watered it as it leaned just a little bit more sideways as each day passed again.)

 

But besides that, had he been the one to know she had work the next day?

 

Or had tucked her in so tightly like neither her parents nor Richard ever had?

 

Or that he’d known to lock the door behind him and sneak the key back to her?

 

All of these questions, the one that Meredith found the most pressing,

 

Was that if this was the same person as that night at the bar,

 

Then why would he sign this note here and not the other one?

 

Because they had talked and she had flirted with him?

 

Maybe, thought Meredith. 

 

Or maybe not. 

 

And either way, one thing that Meredith could say for certain,

 

Is that this note did not make her feel nearly as special as the one from the other night.

 

This one felt like it was offering her something only to be given something in return.

 

The note from the other night felt like it was offering something,

 

And that the ‘mystery person’ didn’t even want anything in return.

 

Or for her to know who the hell the mystery person is, or was, or whatever. 

 

Meredith didn’t know at all what to think about all of this. 

 

So she runs off with her note and with her three bags of Cheetos to go find her.

 


 

“Do you think it’s the same person?” Cristina asks her gently.

 

“I don’t know what to think,” says Meredith in frustration.

 

“Why do you think it might be your mystery man?” Cristina asks her.

 

“There was the same line at the bottom. Thanks for the Memories .”

 

Meredith says to her. 

 

“Anything else?” Cristina asks her.

 

“Well, he gave it to me when I wasn’t there,” says Meredith flatly.

 

“Well does the handwriting look at all the same to you?” Cristina asks her.

 

“I don’t KNOW that Cristina. How would I?” It was ages ago.

 

“I threw out that note after you had seen it and besides, we were both drunk,” Meredith says.

 

“I can’t write for the life of me when I am intoxicated, so how would it help at all?” she says. 

 

“True,” Cristina says. “You were drunk, the first night. And you’re both not, this time” she says.

 

“At least I hope to god not,” says Cristina. “Drinking at work would be such a hazard,” she says.

 

“WORK! That’s it!” Meredith says. 

 

“I’ll just ask this Arthur person what he was doing that night, and if his story matches-” 

 

“Well, then I will know. And if it doesn’t at all, then I guess I won’t know” Meredith gleams.

 

“Excellent detective skills” Cristina nods affirmatively. 

 

Cristina is glad that Meredith is going to figure out this part at least, on her own.

 


 

“Hey what is that?” Izzie Stevens comes up behind them to look. 

 

“Nothing” Meredith tries to hide it.

 

“Oh, come on. I was the one who stole the chart from Psychiatry for you” Izzie whines.

 

“Ah, you and me both,” Cristina says to her.

 

“Exactly,” says Izzie. “She should be showing you and me both” Izzie says.

 

“Alright,” Meredith concedes and shows Izzie. 

 

“Well do you like him?” Izzie asks her. 

 

“I don’t even know,” says Meredith giving Cristina a sympathetic look.


She doesn’t want to explain everything to Izzie, so she just shrugs and says “he’s ok”

 

Cristina shrugs back and says “she doesn’t know him they’ve only talked like once, probably” 

 

Meredith smiles a bit at that inside joke between them and says to Izzie

 

“It’s true. I’ve asked for things in psychiatry before but I never concentrated till now,” she says.

 

“Do you want to go see me flirt and try to get him to tell me about his lifestyle? She offers.

 

“Wouldn’t miss it!” says Izzie, as the three join arms and lead on the way.

 





Meanwhile, the ‘pregnant patient’ is getting restless, wanting the others to come back.

 

Alex and George have offered him snacks, but he can’t eat a thing. 

 

“If I have to have an operation I have to have a clean stomach,” he says. 

 

“Yeah that sucks man,” says Alex. “Do you want to smell the chocolate I got?” he offers.

 

And George just unwraps different gummies for him to smell too. 

 

And they decide that having lunch in the ‘pregnant patient’ room is the best. 

 

 




Derek and Addison are arguing over the labs they had ordered for the patient.

 

Addison had pushed a rush on them but they were not processed correctly.

 

When Derek tries to blame it all on her, she pushes back finally.

 

“You should have just let it be under Montgomery-Shepherd then we wouldn’t be here” he says.

 

“I don’t want to go by your name anymore,” Addison says to him.

 

“I’ve lived under your shadow long enough. I’m not Shadow-Shepherd or She-Shep anymore”

 

Their argument has caught the attention of Burke, Richard, and Bailey, 

 

And so they try to quiet down their squabble so they can save face at the hospital. 

 




When Meredith arrives at the window, the note tucked in her breast pocket he’s waiting.

 

Arthur the boy-psychiatrist is smirking up on her and it makes Meredith feel a bit slimy.

 

“Well hello there, young lady. Are you here to share with me all of your feelings?” he says.

 

“And what if I only want to talk to you about yours” Meredith quips right back at him.

 

“Well what would you want to know about me,” he asks her. “I’m an open book.”

 

“Well, I’d like to know first how you spend your nights after work,” Meredith asks. 

 

“Well, usually I go for a drink,” he says cryptically.

 

And Izzie is watching this all with interest.

 

While Cristina is watching it all with apprehension.

 

She knows the man is just one move away from revealing himself.

 

As being the NOT ‘mystery-not-man-person’ from Meredith’s life.

 

And Cristina is conflicted as to whether she’s going to be upset or relieved when that happens.






Because she sees the way Addison looks at and treats Meredith.

 

And she trusts her and that hasn’t changed.

 

But she hasn’t seen the same amount of enthusiasm coming from Meredith.

 

About her friendship towards Addison, she means.

 

And she has no doubt that Meredith would want to fall in love,

 

With this ‘mystery person’ of hers once she knows.

 

But what Cristina wonders is if Meredith would make the same choice on her own.

 

If she would have naturally gravitated towards potentially dating Addison Montgomery.

 

And she thinks that’s an important distinction to make, 

 

Because Addison still is their boss. She’s still and attending. And she’s still older.

 

Even without all their history, she knows better than anyone what dating your boss can be like.

 

Sure, Addison can’t exactly knock Meredith up with baby McTwisted. 

 

And she couldn’t be as big of a jackass that Derek Shepherd has been to Addison and Meredith

 

While dating each of them, respectively, though not at all distinctively at different times...

 

But It’s the preconceived illusion Meredith already has she could fall in love with, 

 

Her ‘mystery man’ or ‘mystery person’ fantasies coming true to being Addison and liking that,

 

Which wouldn’t be the same as liking, and knowing, then falling for real Addison, for real.

 

And she worries, (bout the whole Derek thing) thinking, even if Addison didn’t care for her ex,

 

And even if Meredith is completely over McDreamy, 

 

That even if Addison never speaks a word of their past to her ever again,

 

There’s still the whole Derek being a douchebag that Cristina concerns herself with.

 

And Meredith being closer to Addison would inevitably bring a jealous Derek around.

 

And Cristina sighs inwardly at having to walk Meredith through that. 

 

And lastly, what Cristina is worried about finally,

 

Is that Meredith very well could end up being the one breaking Addison’s heart.

 

Because Addison would treat her like a crown jewel and give her everything,

 

But Meredith could just feel obligated to like or love her or be friends or more,

 

Or be flirty and kind to her in a way that leads Addison on to too much, too fast.

 

Just because Addison was (is?) (could be) (would be) (will be?) her hero. 


And Cristina knows that Addison despises being a hero.

 

Because unlike Derek Shepherd, she’s actually humble in grace.

 

But even with the self-awareness that Addison has,

 

Meredith might not know how much Addison actually cares about her,

 

Not at least, before it’s too late that is. Because Addison still hides her affections,

 

The way she’s probably been wired to around Mark and Derek,

 

And Cristina can see just how much Addison is struggling with the whole-

 

“Liking a woman thing”. 

 

Like she’s actually having panic attacks in front of patients , panicking.

 

So it might not be clear just how fragile Addison was, or is, or could be in return.

 

And even Addison herself would probably never know this already about herself yet.

 

Not when the vulnerability she has built into her is centered uniquely upon Meredith, that is. 

 

Because Addison to the naked eye is prim and proper, a hotshot doctor who’s hot even, to boot.

 

She’s what every boy (or girl…) dreams of, she’s stylish, she’s sexy, she’s powerful yet gentle.

 

She’s the sort of enigma one wouldn't know unless looking at her the was Cristina does,

 

Like she’s trying to examine the crevices and the cracks in her armor, ones that can,

 

And potentially would be extremely painful if prodded and stabbed at the source.

 

Although Meredith would never hurt anyone on purpose, much less Addison,

 

Cristina worries that if she takes too long to feel good in an answer,

 

To fully commit to, or (in the off chance she doesn’t want to,) break away cleanly from Addison,

 

That Addison will either drive in too deep like a whore on tequila and try to drown herself, 

 

or run away completely back away to New York where she came from again.

 

Because you see, on the one half of the coin, she has plans, that if, it is

 

Addison who unfortunately ends up being the one to break Meredith’s heart,

 

Then Cristina already promised she’d kick the shit out of her entirely.

 

But if Meredith is the one to break Addison’s (heart, mind-body-spirit-entire existential existence)

 

Then Cristina’s all but sure that there isn’t anyone around her who cares to catch her.

 

And Cristina knows that it can't be her, to catch Addison,

 

Because she has to stand by Meredith no matter what. 

 

So Cristina hopes to dear life Meredith won’t hurt Addison,

 

Because she knows that Meredith will never, ever, forgive herself

 

If she finds out that she hurt her mystery lover/hero, even the teeniest bit, even by accident..

 


 

Izzie brushes into Cristina’s shoulder by accident, 

 

She bumps her as they both watch Meredith flirt and exchange.

 

It brings Cristina back into the reality,

 

As they watch as Meredith finally asks him what he was doing on Monday.

 

And as Arthur, the psychiatrist describes how he was working a shift the whole night,

 

And how yes, that he’s sure he never went by Joe’s or went drinking,

 

Cristina can feel her whole body tense as she sees Meredith’s face contort. 

 

Meredith’s expression changes from confusion to disappointment, to sadness,

 

To anger (for wasting her time) and eventually to acceptance.

 

She converses with him absently a bit longer,

 

To not seem suspicious.

 

And she pulls the note from him out of her pocket,

 

To ask how and why he put it there.

 

And as the psychiatrist boy-man continues to chatter,

 

Izzie can feel just how tense Cristina has gotten, and she reaches to take Cristina’s hand. 

 

Cristina accepts it, feeling the warm heat of Izzie’s fingers wrapped into her own.

 

And she takes comfort in the fact,

 

That no matter what happens, 

 

That Meredith still had more friends than her,

 

And that she, Cristina has someone else who’s reminding her now,

 

That she can lean on her too.

 


 

“He is so NOT” the one,” Meredith says in a huff, as they land back in the locker room alone.

 

She’s looking at Cristina first, to signal she’s talking about the ‘mystery person’ game.

 

Cristina nods slightly to accept this, as Izzie nods in a different understanding.

 

“I’m sorry Meredith,” Izzie Stevens says to her.

 

“I’m sorry if you wanted him to be someone date-worthy. 

 

I guess not everyone can be a McDreamy, now can they” Izzie sighs. 

 

And Cristina tries hard not to choke on her water when Izzie says this all so casually.

 

And Meredith only pulls at her lips with a slight smile. 

 

“I think I’m getting a bit NOT into McDreamy anymore anyway” she huffs loudly.

 

“At least not the Derek-shaped ones, anyhow” she huffs more.

 

And Cristina can’t help when a smile grows on her skin.

 

And she says to both Izzie and Meredith without a hint of a smirk.

 

“You know, boys are-” Cristina starts.

 

“Boys are just assholes” Izzie finishes her sentence for Cristina. 

 

“Boys are just stupid. Stupid boy-penisis. Stupid Boys” Meredith grunts. 

 

And all they can do is to laugh a good laugh at that one.

 


 

“We should play Truth or Dare,” says the ‘pregnant patient’ from his bed.

 

“Well you’re awfully cheerful” Addison offers “for someone whose labs I had lost in transition”

 

Derek nods as Addison takes the complete fall for the failure and doesn’t flinch at all-

 

Not even an inch when Addison frowns at him for not saying anything more than nothing.

 

“Fine” Derek pouts roughly. And the gruff voice appeals to no one now. 

 

“I’ll go first I’m not 007 anymore I am George who could operate on a heart in an elevator guy”

 

George says with confidence as he brags at his save with Doctor Burke and Richard,

 

The one he had had during their snack break.

 

Yes, during his snack break, George O’Malley plugged a hole in a patient’s aorta. 


And all he wanted to do now was sit here and play games with all of his friends.

 

And lord knows, he deserves it.  

 

the patient asks her as if it were his turn again.

 

And they let him because well, he really might be dying,

 

“Truth or Dare” asks the ‘pregnant man’ patiently. 

 

So they let him go on as if none of them had anything really to ask,

 

Because they actually didn’t. Not anything that any of them could.

 

Ask that is, or make someone do. Not in front of their boss, or in front of their interns.


At the very least when it was the patient who was calling the shots for the doctors,

 

They could always have said that it was out of their control.

 

“Truth” he picks confidently, as the ‘pregnant patient’ considers.

 

“Did you like kissing the boy?” he asks, thoughtful.

 

“Yeah, I think I really, really did,” George says to him without shame. 

 

And no one moves a muscle other than smiling at him proudly.

 

Because George O’Malley saved a heart in an elevator today,

 

But his coming out was even braver than every inch of all of that. 

 


 

“Izzie Stevens Truth or Dare” 

 

And Izzie ponders before saying “Truth”

 

And the patient asks Izzie to tell them about the type of women she used to kiss at parties.

 

“Long black curly hair, asian mostly, umm, not too short or too tall, good kissers”

 

She’s not lying, she’s not making anything up as she recalls.

 

And she glances very quickly at Cristina after answering with her eyes on the ceiling. 

 

And without turning her head at all, Cristina Yang sees the flicker of Izzie’s eyes.

 

And Meredith doesn’t notice Izzie’s glance upwards, just the clench of Cristina’s hand into hers. 

 

And this time it’s Addison catching Cristina being the one to bite her lip hard,

 

As the smallest tinge of blush spreads across her whole face. 

 

And if she were Cristina which she isn’t, she would feel the gloat of superiority washing in.

 

But she isn’t, and Addison doesn’t. Instead, she feels a smile coming on,

 

As she likes to imagine that Cristina Yang just might find her happiness someday soon also. 






Alex calls for a dare before the patient even asks him the question.

 

The patient guffaws at his forwardness and asks him to do a handstand upside-down. 

 

As he does this (while having Addison hold up his feet so he doesn’t kick anyone)

 

He has his eyes closed in effort so he doesn’t notice George O’Malley ogling his upper body.

 

And George keeps on Ogling it as Alex’s shirt rides up to his belly button.

 

And Addison mercifully tries to help keep it tucked in or tucked up or whatever,

 

but she doesn’t want to touch Alex’s pants accidentally or brush his hands across his chest.

 

So as the shirt rides up for the second time, all Alex says to everyone is

 

“Well, I hope you like the show ladies and gentleman” with a shit-eating grin.

 

“First one’s free, but you know kisses cost extra” he winks at no one. 

 

And all the tension in the room just seems to disappear as he giggles.

 


 

And when Cristina picks “Truth”, she smirks wider than a Cheshire cat at his suggestion.


“Read out the last 6 people you text messaged to and say in three words what you talked about”

 

So Cristina pulls out her phone and pauses dramatically before she speaks. 



1 - George O’Malley, “Heart In Elevator”



And George grins even wider at that one. 




2 - Preston Burke, “Are we Over?”



Cristina sort of winces at that one. And she answers everyone’s question before they ask it. 

 

She just says to them “I texted him yes, by the way” before continuing on down the list.



3 - Meredith Grey, “Is Psychiatry Sexy?” 



Izzie and Meredith laugh at their inside joke for this one. 

 

And Cristina laughs loudly as she catches Addison glare at her for encouraging it.

 

 And then Meredith answers to everyone (not just Addison, though it feels that way)

 

“Turns out that it really isn’t for me” as she laughs. 

 

She pulls out the note from Arthur she had been holding earlier and said

 

“He wrote to me thanks for the memories, but I have no good memories of him. So I said no”

 

And Addison almost has a stroke at the familiar phrasing,

 

Noticing the coincidence of the words they both used in a note,

 

As she panics and wonders if Cristina let anything slip,

 

Or if it triggered some deep-seated memory to re-surface itself at this time.

 

But she sits back down relaxed in her seat again when Cristina says,

 

“Nope, it’s definitely a NO to that question” right to Addison in subtext.



  1. Alex Karev, “Where is X-Rays



“He got lost”, Cristina said simply. 

 

“I was NOT,” says Alex insistently.


“You were in the basement .” she begins.

 

“You passed the morgue on your way past the billing ” she laughs.



  1. Izzie Stevens “Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry”



“She was at the grocery store and wanted to know if I wanted some ice cream,” Cristina said.




  1. Skippy Gold” Cristina says extremely confidently. “Restaurants, Crime and Powerful Ships” 




She says this while looking directly opposite of Addison,

 

Who is looking down at her toes now, redding more by the minute.

 

“Hey wasn’t Skippy Gold your High School Prom Date?” Derek asks Addison openly.

 

“He sure was” Cristina confirms as Addison looks up at her in alarm.

 

“He told me that himself years ago. He’s like my third cousin or something” she smiles.

 

 And the lies roll of Cristina so smoothly like butter,

 

As Addison’s eyebrow-raised expression only adds to the plausibility of her “experience”

 

“You said you would never tell anyone, ever about Skippy Gold” Addison says bitterly.

 

“It’s ok Addison,” Cristina says her first name and gets away with it all.

 

“I know he was a terrible prom date to you. No one needs that much Star Wars talk in one night”

 

Cristina recites from what Addison had said about her memory.

 

“Oh, I remember you saying that!” Derek chips in excitement. 


“SEE,” Cristina says to him with a fake - oh - so - fake - nod of approval.

 

“I don't want to talk about it” Addison huffs.

 

And no one takes it as weird at all Addison would want to stop talking about high school.

 

So as Cristina smirks wider and Addison does her best to ignore her,

 

Meredith smiles sympathetically back over Derek’s shoulder at Addison,

 

And when Addison finally looks up and sees her offering this,

 

It’s all Addison can do not to jump up and kiss her right then. 

 

(she doesn’t, obviously, because this is a hospital . She thought. obviously. )

 


 

“Truth or Dare is for babies” Derek Shepherd admonishes roughly.

 

It’s like, ironically uncanny just how childish he is actually being. 

 

As he’s watched everyone’s turns go by and enjoyed them,

 

Not wanting to take any risks for himself.

 

“Well be a big baby for us now will you Shepherd”, the patient now admonishes him.

 

Much to ALL of the intern’s cheering delight. (And also Addison's, though more subtly.)

 

“What, are you chicken? ” he says. And Derek takes all the bait. 

 

“Not at all, ask me anything” Derek challenges with a determined look. 

 

Ugh, ego much, Meredith curses under her breath, thinking that she’s been quiet.

 

Addison is just close enough to her and grins.

 

Meredith looks up and smiles again quickly before scoffing at Derek 

 

And the thought that she feels like she’s winning somehow pleases Addison immensely.

 

“You have to pick one, you know,” the pregnant man says as if he doesn’t know.

 

“Dare, then,” Derek says, not wanting people asking him embarrassing questions.

 

“I dare you to kiss Doctor Alex” the patient gets right to the point. 

 

Addison’s eyes widen at this in surprise before she looks firmly down at the floor. 

 

She’s biting her lip now not to react to this and she looks away before she sees Derek moving.

 

He stomps firmly over to Alex Karev now and towers over the younger boy at his seat. 

 

He doesn’t hesitate or make light of it all, he just leans right on in,

 

and sticks his tongue right down Alex’s throat deeply before ending the kiss,

 

Almost as quickly as it has just begun. 

 

Alex looked at him in a stunned haze as if he had imagined the whole thing. 

 

And after that he just smiles at the patient and tells him “not bad, dude, Gays’ got it ‘some good”

 

And the interns laugh mildly at the patient’s new bolder requests.

 

And Derek sits down in a sulk not saying one extra word for the rest of the game. 

 

And yet, Addison does not miss the sad look in her ex-husband’s eyes,

 

And the subconscious licking of his lips, as if remembering the taste of Alex’s tongue and

 

The clenching of his fists, the same way he had, when he woke up from bedding Mark Sloan.

 


 

“Truth or Dare,” asks the ‘pregnant man’ contentedly, now directed at Meredith.

 

“Ah, I think Dare then I guess” Meredith shrugs with no mind. 

 

“I dare you to eat lick one of those kids lollipops - he points at the ones for the children leftover -

 

“And pretend that you’re making out with them out loud as you eat it,” he says 

 

And if there could be a word for something greater than utter fucking delight and glee ,

 

It still wouldn’t be able to measure up to the joy on all of Derek’s and Addison’s and Cristina’s-

 

On each of those three people’s faces now, all for similar but slightly dissimilar reasonings.

 

On Derek’s of course, because he wanted to see Meredith’s mouth move over the sucker.

 

On Addison’s of course, for the same reason as Derek and because her core actually clenched

 

When she realized she was probably going to see the situation make Meredith moan.

 

And on Cristina’s, because she could tell just by the pop of the question,

 

That in every way, shape or form, that Derek and Addison were both at the entirety-

 

Of Meredith Grey’s most seductive and erotic of mercy’s.

 

And they neither of the three of them or any of them at all,

 

Were going to be able to cry out “uncle” before they are way past the gone.

 


 

Meredith picks out the cherry popsicle and unwraps it carefully at its seams.

 

She feels her delicate fingers untangle it before she sucks it into her mouth,

 

For the first time. She’s grown up on these suckers, having been bribed,

 

By her mother and father (and occasionally Richard) with them all the time.

 

So she knows that the Cherry is her favorite. It tastes just like, RED , she thinks.

 

(Red just like Addison Montgomery’s hair, she thinks actively as she eyes Addison now)

 

And Addison is watching her with a piercing sort of gaze as her hands gripped her seat. 

 

And Meredith savors the way Ms. Montgomery is appreciating her now,

 

Because she’s never quite seen that dark look in her eye before,

 

But it is strangely and insanely sexy all at the same time and Meredith likes it.

 

She likes it a hell of a lot more than the way Derek’s jaw is opened right now.

 

She actually hates that a whole lot. So she asks Derek to leave for a moment.

 

And he protests before she says “it’s just a baby game to you anyhow.”

 

Then he gruffs before saying he has better things to be doing as a Doctor.

 

But everyone ignores him as he shuts the door tightly, feeling put-out.






And once Derek is gone Meredith continues her game. She raises her eyebrows-

 

Just as she’s staring into Addison’s eyes, and she moans . At her.

 

And for a minute she thinks maybe she should restrain herself.

 

Addison being who she is and being her boss and her Attending and all.

 

But the Derek thing just seems all so far away now. And Alex KISSED Derek.

 

So a few noises here and there from herself while locking eyes with Addison,

 

Well compared to what Derek did couldn’t get her into as much of a trouble.

 

And for some other reason (that reason being Addison’s eyes are almost black)

 

She doesn’t think she has to have an official conversation about this at all. 

 

 Because if anyone did ask her questions, she has Addison to make up excuses for it all.

 

Because she wasn’t going to give away to HER boss or to anyone what SHE was doing now.

 


 

And in name what Addison is doing right now is trying not to explode,

 

As Meredith sees her crossing her legs back and forth, and biting her tongue and her cheek.

 

And Meredith smirks at her (even wider than Cristina is smirking at both of them now)-

 

As she watches what the sound of her tongue licking the lollipops in board strokes does to her.

 

The result is so much more than she could imagine. Addison is grinning now, hiding it. 

 

But she’s grinning as Meredith is smirking and licking with the pad of her tongue.

 

And there’s nothing on earth that can keep Addison from imagining that tongue on HER tongue.

 

So Meredith is doing with her tongue now what she’d do with Addison’s mouth given a chance.

 

She sucks on the sucker with the whole of her lips, turning them a bright red like lipstick.

 

And absently Meredith wonders what Addison’s lipstick would taste like.

 

What her lips would taste like on hers. And maybe this attraction was absurd.

 

Maybe it was cataclysmic in epic proportions. To lust over her boyfriends, not even ex-wife-yet? 

 

God, she really was such a whore. But I guess so was Addison. And the thought turns her on.

 

So she doesn’t even blink as she allows the sucker to grow smaller and smaller.

 

And she smacks at her lips together and does a flirty kissing sound in the air. 

 

And Meredith is flirting for real, big time, this time. Not the lame stuff,

 

The stuff she was doing to the boy-man-psychiatrist. No, sir. This was real.

 

She was pulling all the stops, as Addison’s stare almost made HER heart stop.

 

And once the sucker was over, she leaned into Addison close just as she sat down.

 

To tell her that “Cherry sure is a good flavor. It tastes just like a cherry chapstick” 

 

And she says this in rhythm as if she were rhyming out the Katy Perry song,

 

As she allowed the warm breath of her candy-kisses lips to pass over Addison's own.

 

And she could just about taste the hint of sweetness and sugar, that she imagined,

 

Beyond her wildest doubts, that Meredith’s mouth would taste exactly like,

 

If she were to lose herself in all thought and just lean over and kiss her senseless.

 

But before she could move a muscle, before she could lose all of her self-control,

 

Meredith had already made up her mind for her. As she sat down into her seat.

 

She pulled away from Addison’s alluring stares, and towards the smug Cristina on her side.

 

And she smirked up at her so Addison would know that SHE knew,

 

Just how erotic an experience it had been for both of them.

 

And if Addison could move in her chair right now without it being too obvious,

 

She would have noticed just how wet her tight clothes were becoming,

 

And how turned on she really actually was, in the middle of this patient’s room,

 

In the middle of a HOSPITAL. In the middle of her WORKPLACE. In the middle of SEATTLE.

 

Where she’d never ever thought that she’d be sitting with her tongue out just a little,

 

As she licked her lips subconsciously thinking she was sure to god going to HELL,

 

For thinking the thoughts she was thinking about Doctor Grey at this very moment.

 

(Namely the ones about Meredith fucking her on this very floor right about now, for reference.)

 


 

If Addison thought that she was having it bad right fucking now, then she would be right.

 

(Well, except for the ‘pregnant patient’ who seemed to be regretting it in his male gay-ness)

 

But she wouldn’t be right if she had been thinking that she was the only one.

 

Obviously the boys - both George and Alex are both freaking out a small bit over there.

 

And even Cristina, who tried her very damndest to not think of her friend that way, liked it.

 

And Izzie Stevens also appreciated it and appreciated much more about watching Cristina.

 

Izzie is eyeing Cristina now and she’s staring so hard and getting away with it too,

 

Because Cristina is staring directly at Addison now, with a look of impatience.

 

“Doctor Montgomery?” Cristina tries to snap Addison out of it before Meredith notices.

 

“Addison?” Cristina tries gently over and over again but Addison is gone it appears.

 

“Addie?” Meredith tries her nickname, and the combination of that and her voice work.

 

“Yeah-huh” Addison sort of mumbles as she tries to bring her heart rate down,

 

As well as her body temperature and her pulse and get control of her darkening eyes. 

 

“It’s your turn ” Meredith sort of insists to her as Addison furrows her brow in confusion.

 


 

“Truth or Dare, Doctor Boss” the ‘pregnant patient’ finally asks her (saves her).

 

“Oh, right. Ah. Dare, then, I guess.” Addison says noncommittally. 

 

Because of she sure as hell has quite a few unwanted truths she cares to not let sneak out now.

 

“Well that’s an easy one, I have just the proper thing for a doctor like you,” the patient says.

 

And as much as Addison would like to say she’s prepared for anything a patient could say,

 

Addison is left entirely unprepared for what is about to unfold after what the patient says next.

 

“I Dare you, Doctor Boss, to be kissed by a woman. Right here, and right now, in front of us.”

 


 

Addison chokes out the moment he says this. And she can’t help but look over at Meredith.

 

And Meredith is looking wide-eyed back at her too. And then there’s a moment.

 

A moment when they both search in each other’s souls to see if they want the same thing.

 

They look at each other with reference, with curiosity, with lust, with hope and loss and fear.

 

And they’re terrified, because if the next moment does not live up to all of their desires,

 

Then they are no longer sure what would ever be possible. The world would just die.

 

Just go purely extinct and the both of them, Meredith and Addison, would just stop.

 

They would cease to even exist. They would never, ever, be them again.

 

They would never be the same with or without this, not after, either way. 

 

And either way, they knew that they had to make a choice. Now or Never.

 

And the wanted, yearned for, longed for, NEEDED to know they would both think the same.

 

 


 

 

That they’d both pick each other 



That they’d both choose each other. 



That they’d both LOVE one another.



“Pick me, choose me, love me”



The words echoed in Meredith’s ears as she remembered saying them to Derek.

 

And then she thinks now she has said those words to the very wrong person entirely.



“Pick me, choose me, love me”



The words echoed in Addison’s ears as she remembered Derek saying them to her.

 

Only they weren’t even FOR her. They were reserved only for him. From Meredith.



“Pick me, choose me, love me”

 

The words echoed in Meredith’s ears as she vaguely remembered hearing them again,

 

But this time falling to her out of someone else’s lips who she can’t quite understand yet.

 

And she tries to soothe her aching brain but she feels all lightheaded and numb.

 

She feels like ten tonnes of tequila, she thinks she might be onto something now, but not quite.



“Pick me, choose me, love me”

 

Addison remembers mimicking Meredith back that night at the bar.

 

And now she wishes she’d meant it to her then, and that Derek wasn’t there, 

 

Only Meredith saying those words not through him, for him,

 

But directly to HER. 



And the moment seems endless as the two of them feel trapped in eternity together.

 

They are staring at each other’s eyes, each other’s lips, each other’s mouths.

 

And they are staring as if into each other their souls, into their minds, into their hearts. 



And they think that they are finally drunk off anticipation enough to decide.

 

To make the decision for themselves and for each other.

 

To make the decision that will dictate their destiny.

 


 

“The Human life is made up of choices. 

 

Yes or no? 

 

In or out? 

 

Up or down? 

 

And then there are the choices that matter: 

 

to love or hate, 

 

to be a hero or to be a coward, 

 

to fight or to give in, to live or die... 

 

Live or die? 

 

That's the important choice, 

 

and it's not always in our hands. 

 

Yes or no? 

 

In or out? 

 

Up or down? 

 

Live or die? 

 

Hero or coward? 

 

Fight or give in? 

 

I'll say it again, 

 

to make sure you hear me: 

 

The Human life is made up of choices. 

 

Live or die? 

 

That's the important choice… 

 

and it's not always in our hands.”

 




And just when Meredith and Addison both thought the decision was in their hands, it wasn’t.

 

Because before either Meredith or Addison could stop staring long enough to move a muscle,

 

Yang did. 

 

Cristina wordlessly got up out of her chair.

 

She pushed her way over to the chair where Derek Shepherd had earlier occupied.

 

And she sat herself down right between them; between Addison and Meredith. 

 

And she mouthed an “I’m sorry, don’t hate me” at Meredith quickly,

 

Before Cristina turned her head around,

 

And brought a hand to Addison.

 

And she cupped her face.

 

She whispered

 

“Not yet”

 

“Go”

 

And then,

 

Cristina could feel her.

 

Cristina could feel Addison’s lips on hers.

 

Cristina could feel Addison’s mouth on hers, too.

 

Cristina could feel how Addison’s tongue moved when she sucked it.

 

Cristina could feel how Addison’s throat groaned out when she kissed her rough.

 

Cristina could feel how Addison’s hands tightened up when she slid her tongue all inside.

 

Cristina could feel how Addison’s body shuddered when she gave it her all, have her everything.

 


 

As if Cristina couldn’t feel as well, the way that just and now, how she’d taken everything away.

 

Taken away what Addison and Meredith both thought that this moment would be.

 

The moment in front of everyone in the room yet just for them also.

 

The moment their desire was consummated finally.

 

The moment Addison came out.

 

The moment for MerAdd.

 

Their moment.

 

Theirs. 

 

Not-

 


 

Not-

 

Cristina’s moment to slide in right in front of Meredith and kiss the hell out of her right there!

 

Meredith was beside herself furious at Cristina now who is looking back at her empathetically.

 

And Cristina thinks Meredith is about to cry. So she holds her now, holds her hand.

 

And she looks at her best friend right in the eye. And she tells her. “I know” and that’s it.

 

And at that moment, despite Meredith saying absolutely nothing else to her at all,

 

Meredith understood. 

 

She knew what Cristina had done FOR her, not against her. FOR Addison, not against her.

 

And Addison didn’t quite understand yet what Meredith had come to understand.

 

Because Addison and Cristina are close now, but she’s MEREDITH’s person, not hers.

 

So when Addison looks up at Cristina, all drunk and hurt,

 

Cristina looks Addison then, right in the eye. And she tells her. “I know” and that’s it.

 

And Addison seems to understand from her too, that they’ll talk about it after.

 

After Izzie stops staring open-mouthed at Cristina. 

 

(Which Cristina is trying not to be sort of high-key really happy about)

 

And George and Alex stop whooping at both of them in delight.

 

And the patient stops cringing to himself and then laughs in humor and lightness again.

 

And with that, the patient senses that the rest of them need some time to recover.

 

So he says to them “Thank You” and says they were all very brave.

 

And Addison says “You’re welcome, I’ll get those tests to you soon”

 

And he just smiles at them all and says “live while we’re young.”

 

And Addison sends Izzie to pick up the labs.

 

And she sends George to go pick up the tilt test.

 

And she sends Alex to deliver the update to the chief.

 

And they all leave with a nod, without a word.

 


 

And, impulsively, she sends Meredith Grey to go deliver that note back to the psychiatrist.

 

And she tells her she probably doesn’t want to go near him. The boy-man psychiatrist.

 

Because Addison is jealous of the psychiatrist but doesn’t know how to deal with it.

 

But she still feels annoyed enough to tell Meredith she should avoid the psychiatrist 

 

As if she knew something about him Meredith didn’t because she had 

 

“Been around longer as a doctor” and she “Knew about him back in the day”

 

Meredith buys it, or at least she happily pretends to, but Cristina gives her a questioning look 

 

And then when it’s only the two of them Addison just sits down and shrugs and says “thanks.”

 

As if she’s starting to understand, but not quite and she still wants to talk about it. 

 

And Cristina says to her thanks for the thing about the psychiatrist anyhow.

 

Because he looked like he wanted to ride Meredith Grey like a carousel.

 

And Carousels clearly have Meredith Grey the CREEPs as her mother said. 

 

And so Meredith goes off to give the note back to the psychiatrist as she is told and say “no”

 


 

And Addison asks Cristina with her eyes why she didn’t hesitate to volunteer to kiss her

 

And she asked her it was at all to make the Doctor Stevens sort of jealous,

 

And Cristina shifts uncomfortably at the thought and says a shy “yes” to her,

 

Addison is relieved Cristina has no upper hand for the very first time in their up relationship

 

But because she’s just so Addison , and she’s been so grateful to Cristina,

 

Addison just smiles widely saying super genuinely that Stevens is an excellent doctor,

 

As is Cristina, and that they would be lucky to have each other.

 

And Cristina says “well, huh, I guess that means you must ‘ship’ us together then, hey?”

 

And Addison laughs as she says she does ‘ship’ them, whatever , and that she’s glad for her.

 

Because she never really truly said to Cristina how scared Izzie looked when she saw her-

 

Saw Addison in the halls as she was running to find her to say that ‘her friend’-

 

‘Her friend’ needed Addison to operate on her immediately. And she understood why.

 

And Cristina says thanks, not knowing this unfamiliar territory of Addison looking out for her-

 

As well as everyone else in their “breakfast club’ - seeing as she had blackmailed her -

 

Literally only a few days ago. And called her out for Skippy Gold. And also kissed her.

 

But they both knew even though it was Addison’s first kiss with a woman it didn’t matter.






“You still matter to me, you know,” Addison says. “The Interns. Bailey’s Interns” she adds.

 

“You all do,” Addison adds quickly. “I know,” Cristina says to her with wide eyes.

 

“You are like, crazy. And we - I- need that from you. I need you to never not care” Cristina says. 

 

And that’s when Addison knows that Cristina is doing the thing where she’s talking-

 

But actually talking with Addison about something- someone else again.

 

“It’s okay to let yourself be cared for back too,” Cristina says in a way that mirrors Meredith a bit.

 

“I care about you back ya know. And not only for surgeries. That was just a joke.” Cristina says.

 

“I don’t ever love you- not in that way at least and I won’t ever love like that”- Cristina begins.

 

“But I do love you as our teacher, I love you as our genuine friend. I love you as my mentor”

 

Cristina continues. “And I love you for being a better boss than Burke ever was to me-”

 

Cristina trails off a bit and now Addison is not sure where she’s even going with this at all. 

 


 

“When I first got here, Meredith had her McDreamy and I wanted mine” she continues

 

“And I knew I wanted to be a heart surgeon so I wanted Preston Burke,” she says.

 

“So I let him take pieces away from me. I let him hold on to me like on a leash” she says.

 

“I know he’s been taking pieces from me. Chips pieces of me away like glass” she says softer.

 

And for all that they’ve interacted with each other, Addison has never ever seen Cristina Yang,

 

THE ,Cristina Yang looks so vulnerable to her. “I’m so sorry,” Addison says slowly.

 

“I know Preston’s my friend. So if you ever need anything from me, I have influence” she says.

 

“Thank you Doctor Montgomery,” Cristina says to her genuinely, she hardly ever calls her that.



Cristina is relieved that she talked to Addison about this because she would talk to Meredith-

 

But she didn’t want to bring up any comparisons or bad flashbacks about Derek.

 

“Thank you, for saving me,” Cristina says to her again as if she just remembers again.

 

“Thank YOU for saving me,” Addison says to her barely above a whisper.

 

“You know if things were different, and I wasn’t your student, and you weren’t crushing on Mer-”

 

Cristina begins before Addison could jump to say something to her quickly about that last one. 

 

“If things had been different” Cristina says with weight so that Addison knows she means Derek,

 

“I think that we could have been friends,” Cristina says to her, offering up a handshake.

 

“We can be friends in a few short years Yang, after I’m through with kicking your ass” she adds.

 

“I really do hope so,” Cristina says in a careful way, as Addison notes that the tone has shifted.

 

The conversation has shifted back to Addison’s question which she still hasn’t answered yet.

 

And she doesn’t even have to ask it out loud because Cristina knows what she means.

 




“I kissed you because I didn’t want Meredith to kiss you then,” Cristina says softly.

 

“It wasn’t really for me, or for Izzie to make her jealous or all that” Cristina adds again.

 

“But- why?” Addison asks her. “Knowing all that you know, why would you?” she asks.

 

“Knowing all that I know” Cristina starts up again. “I know you,” Cristina says.

 

“I know you need to have a fighting chance. I know you don’t have much net under your feet”

 

She elaborates before Addison questions her. “I want it to work you you know, I really do-”

 

“You’ve both been hurt by Derek. You have an invisible bond. You’re both broke, you can fix it”

 

“When you’re ready when she’s ready. When you both have some fucking self-respect built up”

 

Addison flinches at Cristina’s harsh words and swearing but the flash in her eyes says it's true.

 

“I think you could make Meredith Grey really happy. And I think that someday she’ll want YOU”

 

Addison can’t stop a flash of hope and a grin to come out as Cristina softens gently.

 

“But if/then it does happen, I want it to happen in a way that is real,” Cristina says to her wisely.

 

“We accept the love that we think we deserve, Doctor Montgomery” Addison hears her own line.

 

It brings tears to her eyes and Cristina moves to hold onto Addison’s shoulder softly.

 

“I learned that the hard way over Burke. It took an almost McBaby for me to really know-” 

 

“But I know I deserve more than him. And he needs someone who is not me” she says.

 

“And you deserve- you both deserve more from each other too,” Cristina says simply.

 


 

“I don’t want your lives to be a joke or a game,” Cristina says. 

 

“You could be something beautiful. You both are really beautiful. You’re anything but ordinary”

 

Cristina is going a bit far away so Addison is seeming to be a bit lost all over again.

 

“You could be something extraordinary together, even if you’re more than ordinary apart”

 

Cristina says to her finally. “And it will be one of the great privileges of my life-”

 

Cristina sighs before she says it. “To have gotten to watch it all happen” she concludes.






And before Addison can say anything she forgets herself entirely.

 

And she’s wrapping her arms around Cristina Yang’s shoulders.

 

And Cristina is holding her close, even though normally she doesn’t like to be held.

 

And it should feel insane, that Addison is being held like this by a student.

 

But some of these days, she hardly feels like she’s a teacher at all.

 

So she just takes it all in and appreciates all the honest truths.

 

And they just stand there awhile, living, breathing.

 

They stand there as Cristina settles as well

 

They stand there until they stop crying.

 

They stand there until they breathe.

 

They stand there together.

 

With each other.

 

Waiting.

 

Now.




 

As if they are each waiting for something truly important, that is just about to begin.

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 13

 


 

Chapter Text


 

Chapter 14: Break On Through, Part Four

 


 

Cristina Yang is used to being woken up by her alarm clock.

 

Or by her pager. 

 

Or by the birds chirping.

 

Or by a tow-truck.

 

Or by a regular truck.

 

Or by anything else, really, 

 

Other than being woken up,

 

The way she was being woken up,

 

Like, RIGHT NOW. 

 

That is, with all of the yelling,

 

And the screaming,

 

And the shouting,

 

And finally the poking.

 

Ok, the poking is finally what does it. 

 

It finally wakes Cristina Yang up,

 

And makes her listen,

 

To the person,

 

Who was yelling 

 

and screaming and shouting,

 

For her to “WAKE THE HELL UP”

 

So that apparently,

 

She could be yelled at even more. 

 

‘Ugh, well this is going to be a hell of a day,’

 

Cristina thinks, with a heavy sigh, at herself. 

 

“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DID THAT!?”

 

“HOW COULD YOU DO THAT!?”



“WHY DID YOU DO THAT!?”

 


 

Correction:



‘This is going to be a day of complete hell’. 

 

And Cristina sighs at herself, again.

 


 

Coming Mer!” 

 


 

Cristina finally gets up and stops ignoring all of the yelling and screaming and shouting, as well as banging on her apartment door and letting the yelling, screaming, shouting girl out of the cold Seattle raindrops and into her cold Seattle apartment. God, she really should turn the heat on.

 

She makes her best friend a hot cup of tea before she chugs down a diet soda for herself. She would offer Meredith something for breakfast if she had it, but all she usually kept at the house was diet soda (which she had already been drinking straight out of the bottle), as well as liquor. 

 

So instead, she settles on pouring her friend a cup of hot water, which she fills in with one of her last remaining teabags from when Burke used to come over to her place from time to time. Usually, he had avoided it, because he was a stickler for order and she was, well, a big, pig .

 

But she still had some tea leftover, not for Burke at all anymore, and more for occasions like this. Where she would become an impromptu hostess for an uninvited houseguest, who storms over to her apartment at the very crack of dawn , to ask “ HOW COULD YOU DO THAT!? ”.

 

And to be quite truthful, Cristina’s not at all upset at her. She’s not upset at her friend at all. Her friend, who just so happens to be stirring at her tea with her finger and warming her hands on her mug as she waited for Cristina to open up another can of diet soda before starting again.

 

“I can’t believe you did that” Meredith finally asks her in a soft whispery voice. And Cristina’s heart almost breaks at that one, because Meredith’s soft whispery voice is much more terrifying than all of her yelling. “I’m sorry” Cristina repeats to her. She’s said it already; she says it again.

 

“Thank-You,” Meredith says to her softly as she stares into the tea leaves like she’s trying to read her own fortune. “You know it was all a part of a game, right?” Cristina asks her tenderly, as Meredith just sort of nods like she’s not sure she even believes in her answer. “ The Game.

 

Meredith sighs again, and Cristina sighs as well because now she can hear the capital “G” in Meredith’s voice when she said to her the “Game”, which means she’s referring not only to their Never Have I Ever & Truth Or Dare, games, but to the “Game” that was their surgical residency. 

 

“I just, I never thought it was all gonna be so damn hard ” Meredith sighs loudly at her again. “Yeah. Being an intern does kinda suck sometimes” Cristina agrees. “What about you though, you’re like over, OVER ” with Doctor Burke now. Are you doing ok with all of that Cristina?



Meredith takes a break from her own thought process and problems to consider Cristina’s feelings for once in their conversations that morning. “Yeah, I think I am doing okay,” Cristina says honestly like she’s just starting to believe it herself. “I’m glad I didn’t have to have the-

 

Cristina doesn’t know whether she’s supposed to say “the baby” or “the abortion” in conclusion to that last sentence so instead, she just says nothing as she goes to pour herself a cup of tea as well. “I’m sorry,” says Meredith softly. And she holds out her hand to brush it over Cristina’s. 

 

With all the drama that had been going around in the hospital; Derek, ‘mystery man’, psychiatrist Arthur, Never Have I Ever, Truth or Dare, budding “like-mances”, they hadn’t really had any time just to talk with each other about Cristina’s recovery from surgery and from her lost near-child. 

 

And it was comforting to Cristina that her best friend would carve out the time to talk just about her. So she lets Meredith hold her hand for a while until she only pulls it away just to test her tea to see if it has cooled off enough yet. Then she sipped it and Meredith sipped her tea, too. 

 

That is until Meredith’s hand came to reach over to hold Cristina’s hand again at the same time that Cristina tried to reach to grab a lump of sugar from the edge of the counter. And as their elbows collided the both of their teacups flew into midair before they landed on the floor. Clunk.

“Sorry I spilled all the tea” Meredith apologizes for the second time already that morning. “Well, it’s not like you haven't been “ spilling the tea” at me all this morning. Cristina looks up at her with a soft sort of laugh, to reassure Meredith that she hadn’t shattered their friendship in teacups.

 


 

“Do you have any more interesting t ea to spill?” Meredith asks of Cristina. “Come on I could use a distraction, hell knows you’ve been thinking about my ‘mystery person’ drama since last week says Meredith, guessing correctly again. Cristina thinks about her two options with another sigh. 

 

She could talk to Meredith again about the ‘mystery person drama’ which somewhere along the way Meredith has stopped calling the ‘mystery man drama’ and idly, Cristina wonders if her subconscious is trying to rein her - the hell. Or she could talk about her own tea. Her stuff.

 

‘My stuff it is’  Cristina says with one final gulp of her second diet soda she hadn’t finished before the start of the spilled tea incident. “So some tea about me” Cristina says to her with a shy and embarrassed smile. “My tea right now is that I have my eye on someone new, now”

 

She says this all in one breath before looking up slowly at Meredith again, while simultaneously worrying the rim of the soda can in with her thumb. “So are you going to tell me about this new person you have your eye on then?” Meredith asks her with huge interest, Cristina says “Yeah.”

 

Ten minutes later after they had both discussed all the pros and cons of Izzie Stevens’ fresh baking skills (pros: chocolate cupcakes, the french toast, and homemade bread, cons: oatmeal cookies, anything with only raisins and bacon-flavored brownies) as well as her looks.

 

“Did you save that Bethany Whispers’ poster that Alex had plastered all over the hospital walls?!” Meredith exclaims with a shout after she finally thought all of it through. “ NO ” Cristina tries to lie through her teeth about it, but apparently, her smooth lying skills don’t apply this time.



 “OH MY GOD, YOU HAVE THEM IN YOUR BEDROOM, DON’T YOU!” Meredith says with a shout, and she runs off to Cristina’s room before she can even attempt passively to body-block her. “She IS hot though, in like a barbie blonde kinda way,” Meredith says very objectively.

 

“She’s literally a freaking MODEL ” Cristina insists to her with reverence. And Meredith instantly makes fun of her for that one because if it weren’t the first words Cristina ever said to her about all the interns it was to admonish the fact that she’d heard “one of them is a model.

 

“Hey, I didn’t know that a hot Doctor Model could be more than just a dichotomy” Cristina whines at her as Meredith sees her Ogling Izzie Stevens’ face in the poster shot. “Ya know if you wanna sleepover at my place she sometimes walks around in Hello Kitty Underwear” Meredith smirks.

 

“As incredibly tempting as that sounds to me right about now” Cristina starts in a fantasizing gaze, “I’m not sure if sleeping in some other girl’s bed right now sends the message that I might or might not be trying to send in the whole recent future” Cristina smirks right back at Meredith.

 

“Oh, come on Izzie knows that you and I are not and that we’re never gonna be like, a thing ” Meredith giggles. “Yeah but what if she doesn’t know that and not she we all know - and Izzie knows that we all used to kiss on girls back in the day - what if she thinks that we are, now”

 

Cristina starts fretting and it’s Meredith who calms her down this time, stroking soothing patterns into Cristina’s back as she squeezes her shoulder reassuringly. “Ya know we can just tell her we’re like completely platonic, for soulmates, ” Meredith says to her as if that made total sense. 

 

“I’m not so sure that’s gonna make sense if you hear yourself saying that like out loud to anybody who isn’t right in this room like right now ” Cristina rambles as she explains the dicey logic that Meredith has just laid out there before her. “ Alright,” Meredith says with a sigh. 

 

“But I really did want you to come over soon though,” she says in a hopeful way, letting Cristina know that Meredith really misses her. “And I don’t want it to change, us, ” Meredith says to her. “Not like the us that you’d say hypothetically about you and Izzie, like us , friends, us.”  

 

“Oh Mer, nothing’s gonna change us!” Cristina exclaims now. “We were best friends while you were with Derek and I was with Burke. We were best friends though you McDreamy Breakups and my Burke McBaby’s and Breakups and all of the rest. I’ll- I’ll never make it without you”



Cristina’s voice is all soft and tender now. And she’s even hugging Meredith tighter, tighter than she ever has before. And then she asks her pensively “do you think we could be? I mean Izzie and Me?” she says all soft and vulnerable. It makes Meredith melt that Cristina cares so much. 

 

“I think that you really could be something beautiful” Meredith finally says honestly. “You really think so?” Cristina asks her again. “I really, really do,” Meredith says. “And I’m glad. Because YOU are my PERSON Cristina, but Izzie’s my friend too. She deserves someone like you.”

 

And it’s probably the most generous offer that Meredith has ever had to make for her friend. Because she knew that Burke wasn’t being good to her. She held her tongue so that Cristina could learn that about him and her all on her own, despite it all being just so damn hard. 

 

But this, this is different now. With Cristina with Burke, Meredith knew that Cristina would need her, need someone to lean on, to complain to and to hold on to. But with this- if this- happened with Izzie, then Meredith knew there was a piece of Cristina that wouldn’t be just her’s anymore.

 

And that thought scared the crap out of Meredith. And the thought scared the crap out of Cristina, in both the same way that Meredith thought, also the other way. If in the future, that Meredith fell in love, and that they loved her back fully, she'd lose a piece of her, Mer, as well. 

 


 

“Did you wish it was Izzie, that you kissed for the dare?” Meredith asks her softly when she finally thinks to ask Cristina about that. “In a way, selfishly, I guess I did” Cristina admits in a way she still wouldn’t to Addison, the way she had admitted she kissed Addison to save her then.

 

“But I think that it’s better. Or at least I try to justify it to myself in that way” Cristina says with a thoughtful look, then softens again. “We accept the love that we think we deserve, Mer” Cristina says this tagline to her best friend, as she’s said to Addison only just the other day, as well. 

 

“Are you saying you’re not sure you deserve to be loved by Izzie Stevens” Mer catches her thoughts as they scatter into space now. “Yeah, that’s what I was saying, I guess” Cristina shrugs. And her eyes are all hollow when she looks up at Mer again. “I think you do,” Mer says.

 

“I really do, I think you deserve to be loved by her whole, if she likes you that way, if she wants you back too,” Meredith says. “And she deserves you, too. As much as I wanna keep you all to myself. But then I’d have to give you the sex. And I don’t wanna do that. So then, Izzie it is!”

 

“Well, that escalated quickly” Cristina deadpans at Meredith. “Well I mean that’s what people like, in love wanna do, right?” Meredith quirks right back at her. “Well, yeah but I mean I never even asked her yet,” Cristina says like a gentleman. “Wow, I wish I was less of a whore like you.”

 

“You are so not a whore, Meredith,” Cristina says to her seriously. “I mean, you like to do it ” but that doesn’t make you a whore. “But I like to do it with inappropriate people. In inappropriate places. In inappropriate WAYS” Mer insists. “Ok, I didn’t have to know about the last one!!!”

 

Cristina is teasing Mer now so she’s lightening up a little and she won’t feel so down. “Ok but seriously, none of those are actually a problem as long as long as you respect the person’s wishes and they respect you back. I think your problem is the latter, not the former” she says.

 

“So you don’t think that my thinking nasty naughty nurses' thoughts about someone super really inappropriate is gonna make me even more of a whore?” Meredith asks her again. “Nah, I think if anyone was being a bit of a whore then it’s McDerek. He had a secret McWife for chrissake”

 

“I wish I could make that McDream go away” Meredith sighs as she looks down away from Cristina’s eye contact. “So you don’t miss him? Not even at all? Cristina asks her rather seriously this time. “No, not in a wanna be friends way. Not even in a wanna screw him way”

 

“I’m proud of you Meredith,” Cristina says to her genuinely. “I’m glad that you’re building up some of your self-respect,” she says gratefully. “I think I’m growing into, someone I could trust,” Meredith says thoughtfully as she twirls Cristina’s hair on her shoulder. “I’m growing, ” she says.

 

“You’re growing,” Cristina says to Meredith again, proudly this time. “I’m glad”

 


 

‘She’s ready, you know’. A nagging voice enters Cristina’s mind as she smiles up at Meredith. ‘It’s almost time now. She’s going to figure it out all on her own, Cristina knows. And it’s a relief, really. When all of the waiting is finally over, Meredith has grown into somebody she can trust. 

 


 

And that, more importantly, that she knows it for herself. That no matter what, Meredith will be okay.

 

And Maybe, Cristina thinks idly in her mind. If the Izzie thing doesn't go too well for her, 

 

Or even if it does, then she knows for sure after today that she'll have Meredith here to catch her. 

 




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***** END OF CHAPTER 14

 





Chapter Text



Chapter 15: Break on Through, Part Five

 


 

“Izzie, can I ask you ah, a question? Promise you won’t be mad or run off on me and say that I’m weird and messed up and going all dark and twisty on you all over again…” Meredith rambles as she tries really hard to get to her point, but is thus far, failing rather spectacularly. 

 

“Hit me with your best shot,” Izzie says to her with a grin.

 

“If I didn’t actually like that song un-ironically I would so walk away from you right now,” Meredith says to Izzie with a giggle.

 

Seriously, hit me with your best shot,” Izzie asks her finally.

 

“WhatDoYouThinkAboutAddison?” Meredith asks her, saying all of her words in one breath.

 

“Umm, I think you’re going to have to say that a whole lot more slower if you expect me to answer you” Izzie replies to her, seriously.

 

Seriously?” Meredith exclaims in an astonishingly similar tone to her friend Izzie.

 

Seriously!” Izzie says to her so Meredith knows for certain she’s serious.

 

“What do you think about Addison ?” Meredith tries to say in an even tone now. 

 

“Why do you wanna know what I think about Addison? Izzie says to her, but without her breath catching on Addison’s name in the same way Meredith’s had when she had said it. 

 

“I just, I wanna know what you think, that’s all. She said to you once that you had like, a gift for her specialty, right?” Meredith is grasping at nothing but the compliment seems to work wonders.

 

“Right, yeah. That was really nice of her I think” Izzie says. 

 

“Anything, else…” Meredith tries to ask her without being suspicious.

 

“Are you asking like an ‘I want to gather ammunition against her to get Derek back, way’?” Asks Izzie.

 

“No.” Meredith considers that one for a second before she answers in complete honesty. 

 

“Really, no,” she says to Izzie, surprising even herself a little bit. 

 

“Well that’s progress,” Izzie says with a smile.

 

“I guess it is,” says Meredith with a smile back at her as well.

 

“Hey, do you know what happened to our potted plant over there?” Izzie asks, slightly changing the subject to something a little less incriminating for the both of them. 

 

(For Mer, because she’s got a bit of a stubborn sudden sexual attraction she’s trying to hide or unhide or attempt to vaguely not understand)

 

(for Izzie, because she really does have a knack for birthing babies, and Addison is a really great teacher to her, and she doesn’t want to say anything to Meredith that could mess all that up.)

 

“Yeah what about it?” Meredith asks her as she looks at the left-leaning plant that is still sitting on the countertop where it hadn’t been moved since the night Meredith had been drunk.

 

“It’s like, less and less straight every day,” Izzie says. “I seriously tried to straighten it with some tape and glue and a ruler, but I think it only made it even more queer-shaped than yesterday,” Izzie says.

 

“I know, ” Meredith says with a huff. “I tried to straighten it out with my pencils, but it didn’t go too well either I guess” Meredith concedes.

 

“Well It’s not like being queer is the worst that can happen to a plant anyhow” Izzie shrugs.

 

“Yeah I mean it hasn’t been straight since I knocked it over the night I professed my love to Derek and he didn’t pick me and I drank myself under the table and I must have knocked it over the table as well when I got home,” Meredith says to her.

 

“Do you remember knocking it over then, Meredith?” Izzie asks her innocently.

 

“No, not really,” Meredith says. “It’s all just really fuzzy. I just think that it wasn’t somebody else who touched it. I think it was me, that’s all. Or maybe it was because somebody bumped into me and I knocked into IT” Meredith tries to rationalize based on what has previously happened when she’s been blackout drunk.

 

“I think that someone bumping into you and you bumping into the plant is the most logical reason I can think of that it can’t be called straight anymore,” Izzie says. 

 

“But I mean it sure does look happy there. It’s all perky and has little flowers blooming on it. I think if I were a plant if I had to pick between being straight and lame or being queer and have flowers, then I would definitely want the queer flowers” Izzie says with a chirp.

 

“Me too,” Meredith says. “Besides, straight plants are so boring . I mean anyone can have a petunia that goes in one direction, but not everyone can have a potted plant that can get some fun going in more than one way” Meredith says. “At least, if I were a plant I would hope I’d be one of the fun ones” she sighs.

 

“Speaking of fun, what do you say we go to Joe’s this evening?” Izzie asks her. 

 

“Sure,'' Meredith says to her. “But you gotta stop me after six shots of tequila,” Meredith says to her. “I was already at seven last time that I was at that bar, and that’s the very last thing I remember. I remember seven empty shot glasses turned over in front of me and reaching for the eighth. And I don’t remember anything else about it after that” Meredith sighs.

 

“Six shots it is,” Izzie says gratefully, at least that her friend was starting to her own limits. 

 

“Let’s make it five,” Meredith says to her. “Just in case, better safe than sorry” she adds.

 

“Deal,” Izzie says easily. “I think we should just ask Joe how many shots he already knows you can handle, and ask him for a special favor to never let you have more than that at once,” Izzie says.

 

“I think that sounds like a great plan,” says Meredith. “He’s a pretty good guy, Joe is. I should leave him a tip” Meredith muses.

 

“Oh, and about your Addison question; don’t you dare tell anyone I said this, but the way she was looking at you when you were licking on that lollipop, I swear I thought she was gonna orgasm like inside of her pants,” Izzie says in a hushed whisper.

 

“SERIOUSLY?!” Meredith practically leaps onto the table.

 

“Yeah, that and she looked like she wanted to jump your bones right in the patient room” Izzie says objectively, as if she were delivering an oral report. 

 

“That’s not funny, ” Meredith says to her as if she’s making it all up. Because I mean, it does kind of sound all made up. Or effed up. You know what I mean. 

 

The ex-wife stares lustfully at her now intern who was recently once her ex-husband’s ex-girlfriend or mistress or whore, Meredith thinks to herself. That sounds worse than TV.

 

But it got Meredith thinking about what Izzie had said. And Izzie talked about other instances where she’d caught Doctor Montgomery staring at Meredith Grey.

 

And maybe it was only because she was previously with Derek, but Izzie says she’d almost beg to differ because the look on Addison’s face when she’d first arrived was far from the looks she was giving Meredith (and Meredith’s body)-now. 

 

“Shoot we’re running late!” Izzie says all the sudden, interrupting Meredith’s - whatever - while packing a hodgepodge of cookies and muffins into a tupperware to share with each other at lunch.

 


 

“You’re driving!” Izzie says to Meredith who grabs her coat (not from the coat rack from the chair) as well as her keys.  

 

“Coming!” Meredith leaps up off of the chair as she follows the blonde intern out of the door.

 

“BOYS” Meredith yells at her roommates and friends.

 

“If you wanna ride you come now” Meredith yells. 

 

Alex and George (who have just had an interesting sleepover in George’s room and therefore are both riding along with them) come running out the door as they leave it.

 

And when Meredith locks the door to the house right behind her, Izzie can’t help but to focus again on that smooth “M” carved into it and the shiny weight of Meredith’s key as it falls into her palm. 



“So how was your sleepover?” the girls ask of the boys on the way, to be polite.

 

“It was ah, good” George O’Malley says with a bit of a stutter.

 

“You seem a bit tired” says Meredith out of concern a bit to both of them. 


“Long night” Alex replied curtly, not going into any more detail than that. 

 

“Can I ask you something?” Meredith asks them the same way she asked Izzie earlier. 

 

“What do you think of Addison?” Meredith asks them without waiting for them to reply. 

 

“She’s really HOT, like McHot, HOT” Alex says with enthusiasm. 

 

“She’s hot,” George says with less enthusiasm than Alex. “She’s like, really tall,” he adds. “And her hair is REALLY RED,” he says. “Like, if Addison were entirely a color, she would be just Red,” he says as if that made any sense at all to anyone.

 

“Dude, I’d do her, you know, like if she offered. Like if she came right up to me and started kissing me I’d kiss her back. And I’d do her in the on-call room if she followed me inside of one and took all my clothes off” Alex says crassly and the whole thing makes Meredith furious for no reason she can explain in particular.

 

God, you’re such a PIG” Meredith exclaims at him forcefully, eyeing him through the rearview mirror of her car. “Addison is a lady who wears fancy brand-name shoes everywhere. She has perfect clothes, perfect hair and she always smells like brown sugar ” Meredith says to no one in particular, but mostly at Alex.

 

“I can’t believe you can be thinking about having a quickie with her when you’re on her service” Meredith sulks. 

 

“You ASKED,” Alex says to her. “Look, I may be a lot of things but I’m not a liar. I tell people the truth if that’s the only thing I got going for me. So if you don’t like what you hear, you shouldn’t ask those kinds of questions” Alex says with a gruff.

 

“You DID ask,” George says, and Meredith concedes her point.

 

“Does she actually always smell like brown sugar?” Izzie asks her and wonders why Meredith would have known that. 

 

“I don’t know but I think so,” says Meredith. “I just noticed it in the scrub room, because she must have had perfume on her hands before she went in and it smelled a bit like your cookies” Meredith says as a compliment. “The GOOD cookies” she adds, for good measure.

 

“Ooh those are nice, can you make them again?” George O’Malley asks.

 

And with that the quartet of interns had already switched to another topic, giving Meredith a chance to calm down after what she had just heard. 

 

The boys are suspicious but they don’t figure out anything remotely important. 

 

They are into each other, but it’s a bit awkward. So they ask Mer and Izzie about it.

 

“Hey, you guys are like kinda gay right?” Alex asks, this time it’s his turn to be on edge.

 

“Why?” Meredith asks him. “Wanna come over to the dark side?” Izzie teases him.

 

“If Alex were coming over to the dark side wouldn’t he NOT be doing it with people like, well, the two of you?” George stumbles on his sentence of hypotheticals.

 

“Right.” says Izzie. “But he can still ask,” Izzie offers.

 

“How did you know ?” Alex says to them simply.

 

“I was really into princesses when I was a kid” Izzie starts.

 

“Wow who knew, Bethany Whispers” Alex mocks her as she gives him a fake scathing look.

 

“Anyways, when I was into all the princesses I thought I wanted to marry them instead of their princes. Not all the time, but mostly” Izzie explains to him simply.

 

“How did you know?” George asks Meredith, curiously, as if he were digging deeper for a reason which may or may not have something specific to do with HIM. 

 

“Well I wasn’t as young as Izzie” Meredith starts. “But I would get these vivid dreams” Meredith explains. 

 

“And then I’d see these women, walking around in my real life. And when I touched them, or they touched me in some way, I could feel it , ya know” Meredith tries to explain.

 

“It’s like I feel like my body wants to move closer to girls. Or have their hands wrap around me like a glove” she tries harder and still feels like she’s missing her mark.

 

“Were you ever in love with a woman?” Meredith asks of Izzie. 

 

“Not yet, not in love, in love. But I could be someday” Izzie says. “I’ve dated some girl here. I find girls better kissers but then that’s just me” she says. 

 

“Have you?” Izzie asks Meredith quietly now.

 

“Been in love? With a woman? Or dated one? Or what?” Meredith sort of fumbles on what she is saying.

 

“All of them I guess? George says with a puzzled look.

 

“Hey don’t think of this in a gross way” Izzie catches on to her friend. “Sorry” George mutters.

 

“In love, I don’t think so quite yet, but I easily could,” Meredith starts to say. “I dated one woman, Sadie a long time ago. She left me or I left her in Amsterdam. It wasn’t pretty” Meredith says. “But while it was happening it was the best that I’ve had so far at least” Meredith shrugs.

 

“As in-” Alex starts to say before Izzie reaches into the back seat and slaps his wrist. 

 

“We do NOT need to ask Mer that '' she saves Meredith from the obvious trouble.

 

‘Thank-you ” Meredith is mouthing to Izzie as she re-focuses her eyes on the road. 

 

“What about you boys then, how about those boy-on-boy kisses” Meredith teases back.

 

“You know, for what it’s worth Mer I get why you called that boy McDreamy. He’s good with his tongue” Alex says with a grin. 

 

SERIOUSLY?!” Izzie is exclaiming at him and he pulls his wrist away so that Izzie can’t slap it again. 

 

And strangely, the thought of Derek’s tongue in someone else’s mouth doesn’t send her into as much of a rage as it did when Addison’s tongue was in Cristina Yang’s mouth

 

Because that made her all kinds of dark and twisty and made her run all the way to her apartment at six-thirty this morning, which she hadn’t explained to her friends yet why she had already been up watering their super-queer plant when they stumbled down looking for coffee.

 

And bang on her door and poke at her window. And wake her up way too god early just to ask her why she kissed Addison Montgomery. Instead of what - not kissing her? Letting Izzie kiss her instead? Meredith thinks that might have made her feel worse.

 


 

Let her kiss Addison?! Meredith is in a frenzy now, remembering just how close Addison’s lips had been to her own and how soft and soothing they seemed. She remembered looking deep into Addison’s green eyes with her blue ones and noticing Addison’s eyes darkening as Meredith drew nearer. 

 

Had Izzie been right? Had Addison been THAT attracted to her? She wonders…

 


 

The thought consumes Meredith for the rest of their car ride as the boys chat along with each other about kissing boys and decide it’s not even all bad. 

 

“My dad was super homophobic” Alex admits to everyone. That got them listening because they hadn’t heard about Alex’s past before now, at all. 

 

“He was a dick though, so I didn’t really know about guys until college” Alex says. 

 


 

‘College’ Meredith thinks. She thinks about all the steamy makeout sessions she’d had with all the beautiful women there. She thinks about how sweet their lips tasted. How feverish they were. How she always felt a tinge of pride when she was the first woman they’d been with and they loved it... 

 

‘If Addison really did want to hump her bones right then, Meredith would have been the very first woman to touch her, like that ever.’ Meredith relishes the thought. ‘God, how she could devour that beautiful body’ she wonders. How the hell did Derek ever let a bombshell like that, go?

 


 

“Anyone up for Joe’s tonight?” Izzie asks, breaking Meredith out of her thoughts. 

 

“Absolutely!” everyone cheers. “Nine PM and Mer’s not allowed to have more than five shots at once. We have to ask Joe exactly how many she had when she blacked out last time and make sure she never goes near it again” Izzie explains the plan that they’re in on. 

 

“WE’RE GONNA PARTYYYYYY” Alex cheers with a whoop. 

 

And with that they were parking in the front of the hospital and walking right on inside. 

 


 

Addison’s car is in the wrong spot today. She comes up to her usual spot and she sees it’s been occupied already by a vaguely familiar-looking car. God, interns , Addison mutters.

 

She thinks it won’t be a problem until an announcement comes over the P.A system asking them to please move the car that’s parked in the red zone. 

 

“Oh, no, I think I’m parked in a red zone” Addison says aloud in panic. 

 

She asks Izzie to move it for her because she has to operate on a fake pregnancy guy for an outpatient procedure. 

 

Addison promises Izzie that she’ll get to assist and the boys think they’ve won but they’re only doing the pre-op prep. 

 

Addison sighs and she’s sure as glad that this didn’t happen when she had Meredith’s key still attached to her own. 

 

Izzie notices that Addison doesn’t have the familiar-looking key on that ring anymore but doesn’t care or know enough to say anything about it or ask. 

 

She just decides to get on Addison’s good side since they’ve clearly bonded.

 

Addison asks Izzie about the boys in her life and she looks at her like “Do you see that I have to put up with” and Addison laughs.

 

She thinks that Addison is alright, right now. And that Izzie wishes she could have given Mer that honest answer this morning when she had asked her. Though she wondered why she had asked her. 

 

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that they looked like they were eye sexing each other during the Truth or Dare game the other day. Probably . Izzie thinks to herself.

 

But she sure as HELL wasn’t going to ask Addison about THAT.

 

When Izzie asks Addison a question back about the boys in her life, then she says she’s “not doing to talk about Derek” to her. To which Izzie agrees wholeheartedly and curses herself for asking such a dumb question.

 

Izzie apologizes and says that she’s lost herself and she forgot who Addison was.

 

And Addison takes that as a compliment and says that she’s not ready to move on anyhow. 

 

“Plus that no man has caught any of her interest since the whole Derek and Mark ordeal.”

 

The way Addison says this she’s not trying to imply that a woman had caught at least her INTEREST since she lost Derek. But she’s not exactly subtle in the way she’s not denying it, either and Izzie starts to notice she’s getting shifty under Izzie Stevens’ gaze. 

 

Izzie says “I'll keep an eye out for any potential suitors for you Addison”, to which she laughs.

 

She says “it’s nice to have an intern as a wing woman”, and Izzie agrees if Addison agrees to help her too.

 

Addison says she will, and then for some reason, Izzie confesses her terrible time with Alex,

 

Despite all the weirdness going around at Seattle Grace recently, chatting with Addison didn’t seem like it was at all weird after their games. It just seemed like she was talking with a friend. A REALLY SMART FRIEND, who shows her cool medical stuff. 

 

But still, more than a regular boss would be. She likes it. She likes talking to Addison, she thinks. Much more than she ever tolerated talking to Burke or to Derek or to Richard or to Bailey , Izzie also lumps in with that thought. 

 

She asks Addison “what’s the greatest lengths that she’s ever done to be good for someone, when it hasn’t worked out, but that wasn’t about the whole Mark or Derek thing”, carefully.

 

And Addison tells her about how a long, LONG time ago, she asked one of her good friends Sam Bennett not to ask her out but ask her best girl, friend Naomi out instead.

 

Because she had the biggest crush on him and she knew it, and she didn’t want a boy to ever come between them. Naomi is Addison’s person she explains.

 

“Like me and George?” Izzie says. “Or like Mer and Cristina,” she adds. “Yeah,” Addison says.

 

“And they got married together - Sam and Naomi I mean. They have a kid now. She’s gorgeous. I'm her godmother and I don’t get to see her as much as I wish I could” she says sadly.

 


 

Addison thinks about how if she had just said that sentence to Meredith, she would probably wrap an arm or a hand around her hip or her shoulder now, and say to her “I’m sorry” softly as if it were at all her own fault for a problem that happened maybe even before she was in high school. Then Addison thinks about why she is thinking about talking to Meredith while she's talking to Izzie and she freaks out a little before coming back to her senses. 

 


 

Izzie Stevens doesn’t wrap her arm around Addison’s shoulder or apologize. Instead, she just smiles and says to her. “You’re a really good person, Doctor Montgomery. I know you might not always do the perfect thing. But I think that that was sort of the perfect thing then” she says to her. 

 

And it has been so long since someone told her she’s doing or done something right, that Addison sighs in content at the intern’s genuine compliment. 

 

Addison says to Izzie how she did that for her friend and never told Naomi that. She never would, never could. Not if it could cost them their marriage and their friendship with Addison. 

 

“Does it sort of stress you out to keep all of those secrets?” Izzie pry's at her a little and Addison’s not sure exactly what Izzie is and isn’t asking her about it.

 

“It does, a little” Addison finally answers truthfully, though she’s thinking to herself more about the secret whatever she’s been keeping from Meredith this whole time. 

 

“You know, this has been nice,” Izzie finally says to her.

 

“I told you, you had a knack for my specialty, Stevens,” Addison says to her and Izzie smiles at the compliment again.

 

“No I meant the talking,” Izzie says to her. “You treat me-us-interns. You treat us like we’re really people. And for what it’s worth, that’s worth a lot to me right now” Izzie says. 

 

Addison says “thank you too” for the company to Izzie and stops her before this conversation could get any weirder.

 

“Maybe you’ll meet a better boy or girl for yourself at Joe's or that Alex will sharpen up.” she laughs. And Izzie laughs too and notices how Addison hadn’t only said to her boy OR girl, but both. 

 

“Izzie says hey maybe I’ll ask Joe to point out someone who’s confessed their life tragedy to him. I bet he has all the best stories about EVERYONE” Izzie cheers up with a grin.

 

Addison says that “he sure probably does after all of these years”. And Addison sighs.

 


 

Addison realizes she REALLY needs to go to the bar tonight to tell Joe not to tell Meredith not to tell any of the other interns or her husband that she took Meredith home that night and tucked her in bed when he’d called only one cab for them both. And then she realizes the more she says that whole monologue in her head, that she’s starting to sound more and more insane. 

 


 

*

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***** END OF CHAPTER 15

 




Chapter Text

Previously, on “Falling Apart, Barely Breathing”:

 


 

“Maybe you’ll meet a better boy or girl for yourself at Joe's or that Alex will sharpen up.” she laughs. And Izzie laughs too and notices how Addison hadn’t only said to her boy OR girl, but both.

“Izzie says hey maybe I’ll ask Joe to point out someone who’s confessed their life tragedy to him. I bet he has all the best stories about EVERYONE” Izzie cheers up with a grin.

Addison says that “he sure probably does after all of these years”. And Addison sighs. 

Addison realizes she REALLY needs to go to the bar tonight to tell Joe not to tell Meredith not to tell any of the other interns or her husband that she took Meredith home that night and tucked  her in bed when he’d called only one cab for them both. And then she realizes the more she says that whole monologue in her head, that she’s starting to sound more and more insane. 

 


 

Chapter 16: Break On Through, Part Six

 


 

“Hey Addison, can I ask you one more thing” Izzie pulls Addison out of her reverie and shifts uncomfortably.

 

What could Izzie possibly be asking me. NOW.’ Addison thinks to herself.

 

“Maybe, I might not answer.” Addison shrugs noncommittally. 

 

“What did it feel like?” Izzie begins her question before Addison catches on.

 

“To kiss Cristina Yang?” she finally says, simply.

 

Addison chokes for a minute and tries rather unsuccessfully to cover it up with a cough. 

 

Izzie only looks at her with intent as her eyes glaze over a bit as Addison tries to recover. 

 


 

Addison is reliving the experience of the raven-haired intern shoving her tongue down her throat and her soft lips caressing Addison’s. She’s decided that kissing a woman is different than kissing a man and that she can’t help but wonder what… other women tasted like...

 

Addison could see her lipstick on Cristina’s lips after that and it made her feel a bit guilty. Not that she had anything to be guilty about, right???

 

‘Well, I mean you’re technically still married’

 

‘Yeah, but that’s not what you’re feeling guilty about, now is it?’

 

‘Right. I was thinking about how I wished it was Meredith shoving her tongue down my throat.’

 

‘Ah, yes. The lusty intern you can’t seem to get out of your head. You’re really into her aren’t you?’

 

‘Oh, god shut UP. Christ, I am ATTRACTED to her. Because she’s always empathetic, she sees lines between good and evil that shine a light on the darkest days, she’s undeniably sexy. She’s a talented surgeon who has a way with patients. She brought ME some Cheetos which I started to like. She’s funny, witty, always seems to smell like lavender and I just, can’t get enough of her’

 

‘Wow, that was a real Nicholas Sparks monologue there, you might be gayer than Ellen DeGeneres if you keep going like this at that rate’

 

‘There is no GOING like this. I’m not GOING anywhere. I am MARRIED. God, I really need to be not married anymore. I am SO going to call the lawyers to file the paperwork this evening with Derek. I just can't STAND having to have his name attached to mine anymore. No, sir.’

 

‘You can’t stand being married to Derek because you want your shot at dating Meredith and you don’t want to be a cheater anymore.’ says her thoughts. 

 

‘Well actually I can’t stand Derek as well so that’s ALSO the point, but yes, if I ever wanted to, hypothetically speaking, make any advances towards my soon-to-be-ex-husband's-ex-girlfriend/mistress then yes, a divorce would be necessary’

 

‘You realize that this “fatal attraction” type puppy crush has got you sweating out of your skin almost 24/7 now. To the point that it’s getting INSANE, right? I mean you were just fantasizing about her tongue down your throat while standing in front of your OTHER intern. You know, the blonde one who used your keys to move your car this morning when you parked in a red zone.”

 

‘You know, the one who is standing RIGHT THERE STILL WAITING ON AN ANSWER’

 

‘Shit’

 


 

‘SHIT’ Addison swears as she breaks out of her internal dialogue. God, she had to stop having those at such inopportune times. 

 

“KISSING CRISTINA WAS SHIT FOR YOU?! Jesus, Addison” Izzie swears at her using her first name before her eyes open up wide when she knows she’s wrong and she tries to backtrack immediately.

 

“Oh, no, no, I am so sorry I didn’t mean to say that” Addison forgives her and doesn’t mention her cursing. 

 

“Oh” is all Izzie says back and then she’s staring right at her again as if she was trying to get a better answer. 

 

"Why? Why do you want to know? Why this, why now? Addison asks of Izzie. 

 

“I just want to know what your first experience kissing a woman was like. I won’t tell anyone else about it. I won’t tell Cristina what you say no matter what so you can be honest, I promise.” Izzie reassures. 

 

No, Izzie would DEFINITELY NOT be telling Cristina Yang about this. Not about the fact that she’s talking to Addison now about how Cristina’s lips must have tasted on hers. And how she’s maybe, okay, REALLY high-key jealous that Addison had gotten to kiss on Cristina, and she hadn’t. 

 

“Well…” Addison hesitates because she wonders how on EARTH she has become the kind of Attending physician who was about to describe how her intern’s lips felt when they were sucking her lips into them while she was on her lap.

 


 

But then Addison goes on because she also realizes that Izzie really seems to want an answer, and not for a porny reason like to fantasize about after, but because she seems to care about Addison’s feelings about it all and she seems like she genuinely just wants to know.



And besides of which, her own Ex-Husband was the kind of Attending who had been screwing an intern while still being married and not even telling her (the McBastard he was), Preston Burke was the kind of Attending who knocked another intern up and then was apparently so awful that she felt she had to HIDE IT, from him until she collapsed and nearly died.

 

And Richard Webber Chief of Surgery was no saint at all, either. Even SHE had known about his life-defining affair with the one Doctor Ellis Grey which had lasted for YEARS, which he thought no one else ever knew about. (But everyone had known about it. Even Adele Webber had known about it. And she talked to Addison about it and that’s how Addison knew.)

 

Was that why she felt sorry for Meredith Grey? Because she never really had a clear family because her mother was off having an affair with the Chief of Surgery and her father, Thatcher Grey was too dim-witted and drunk to even recognize it for what it was? Because she felt pity for this girl who was sort of like Richard Webber - Still her friend now - His kind of transplanted daughter?

 

No, that can’t be right, Addison thinks better of this to herself. Addison hadn’t thought about Richard Webber and Ellis Grey in years and years. She thinks that maybe all of this is why she and Adele became friends because they both felt so lonely when their husbands didn’t come home. And maybe how she and Richard became close friends because they could relate to each other because they had both been having affairs. God, was she like some kind of GO-TO-GIRL-ABOUT-ADULTERY-NOW? 

 

I mean, technically, that kiss with Cristina was adultery too because she and Derek hadn’t signed and sent in their divorce papers yet. But whatever. It’s not like Derek was ever coming back to her anyways. No, that she’d want him to. Not when she could maybe have Meredith Grey alongside her instead… Jesus, Addison. You REALLY have to get it together at work…

 


 

“Kissing Cristina was good.” Addison deadpans. At Izzie's raised eyebrow she continues for a second.

 

“She’s a good kisser. End of story.” Addison adds curtly.

 

“Did you like it, enjoy it… With her… I mean with a woman... The kissing… I mean….”

 

Izzie trails off because she’s asked the question she’d wanted to ask and tried to cover it up with the other question she should have asked first… Not that she should be asking Addison any of this at all, but was it really so obvious she was asking because she wanted Cristina…?

 

  “Well, yes. I did enjoy kissing a woman I guess. Thanks for checking in and asking, Izzie” Addison says with a shrug. 

 

Tell me if you’d want to do it again? With her? Would You? Would SHE?

 

“Cristina doesn’t want to kiss me again, by the way, for whatever that’s worth to you,” Addison says, as she can feel Izzie’s eyes asking her silently in a question she can’t seem to make herself form. 

 

“She told me that, after. Cristina did. Just so you know. She’s not into me. It was more of a just for a game or a dare sort of thing.” Addison says so Izzie is clear.

 

The last thing that Addison needs now is for the whole hospital to think that she’s suddenly pining over Cristina Yang. Because THAT would be ten tonnes of effed up right there.

 


 

Because then it could get around to Meredith who might think she doesn’t want her ... Addison thinks in her head before she can stop herself. And that, that right there. That for some reason that Meredith Grey might think that even if she’s into women - now - was already - is? Anyways, that even if she’d be willing to kiss another woman again-

 

For Meredith Grey to think that Addison is single. Ready to mingle, and not wanting to mingle with HER just because she kissed Cristina Yang on a dare - THAT, was the new scariest thought that started to mill about back and forth through Addison’s racing mind.

 

THAT would be so much worse, even, than Meredith finding out about the note, her previous worst fear on earth. WOW. Ok, Addison. Glad to know you’re not afraid of bombings or drownings or shootings or car crashes or plane crashes or electrocution sinkholes or fires.

 

It’s real good to know you have all your priorities straight. Or gay. Or bisexual. Or WHATEVER. 

 




“Why are you asking me this Stevens? Is this a proposition? Because I really don’t think that this is a good way to ask a girl out” Addison says to her, teasing her gently to lighten the mood. All in the while hoping to god that she’s correct in guessing that Izzie did NOT have a ‘thing for her’.

 

“No, I’m not propositioning you” Izzie laughs and exclaims all of the sudden, to Addison’s relief.

 

“I mean like, not that I do find you attractive, as a person and as ah- a woman. Don’t take that wrong. It’s just that I really want to be on your specialty and I don’t want to date my boss.” she stammers. 

 

And Addison is at least mostly convinced by now, that at the very least the good that has come out of this very inappropriate conversation which she was also sort of enjoying in a weird way along with Izzie Stevens, was that at least she knew then that this intern was not going to pine over her endlessly. 

 

And she already knew from Cristina that SHE had a thing for Izzie now, which Addison was being super careful not to give away in her answers, either. And so among Bailey’s interns, that just left Karev, O’Malley, and Grey. And she would turn down both of those boys in a heartbeat if it would give her even the slimmest fighting chance to be with Doctor Meredith Grey…

 


 

“And also, I have my eye on- on someone else that’s all” Izzie says to her shyly.

 

Perfect! Addison’s brain is just screaming at her out loud now. Now I know all of the girl doctors at Seattle Grace now other than me are not interested in me except for Doctor Grey who just might be someday. SCORE!...

 

And maybe now Addison would get to tease Izzie just a little bit for fun here and there. Somehow she’s feeling that being on this side of the equation was much more of a satisfying experience than being on the other end of it as she previously had been all before. 

 

“Are you going to tell me who IS? Addison asks her with a smug sort of look.

 

“Maybe?” Izzie’s motioning her to offer her something in return for that information.

 

God damn these interns are clever, Addison thinks to herself. I wonder if Grey is this smart...

 

“I’ll put you with Cristina Yang on 2 Pyloric Stenosis babies once we schedule them if you tell me who your secret love-interest is” Addison offers with a generous huff, she’s not actually annoyed, just amused. 

 


 

And the way Izzie’s face lights up bright the moment Addison mentions her name, Addison knows right away it’s Cristina she’s thinking about, and that’s why Izzie was asking Addison about kissing Cristina, and that’s why she was being so shifty earlier. Good, at least she’s not still trying to figure out information about the damn note thing again. 

 

“It’s Cristina,” Izzie says to her finally, mimicking Addison’s thoughts about it exactly.

 

“Well that works out well for you, now doesn’t it,” Addison says with a grin without missing a beat.

 

“Yes and no.” Izzie hesitates all vulnerable again. It’s great to spend time with her, but I don’t know how she feels about me yet. And with her being in the room and you KNOWING the whole time while we’re in the room, it’s just…” and Izzie trails off again.

 

“YOU CAN'T TELL HER!” Izzie exclaims with a yell to her, pleading for some understanding.

 

The irony washes over Addison, but she’s glad that this time she has the upper hand. And that also she secretly knows that somehow, she doesn’t think Cristina liking Izzie back is going to be any sort of problem whatsoever, based on what Cristina Yang had already said to her. Go Izzie!

 

“I won’t but you better be prepared, medically, I mean,” Addison says to her seriously.

 

“And I swear to god, Izzie if your flirting gets in the way of the patient care I’m kicking you off of the case do you hear me,” Addison says to her with a slight piercing glare, so that Izzie knows that she’s speaking in her Attending Physician and Teacher Voice, not her ‘sort of your buddy voice’.

 

“YES OF COURSE!” Izzie exclaims to her with almost a shout. “I WILL BE SOOOO READY”

 

“And treat Cristina right. I mean, if she goes out with you and all. Or even if she doesn’t.” Addison says, her eyes softening into something that’s full of sincerity and compassion. 

 

“She’s a good friend to you. I don’t want you to lose touch with that. She’s been so supportive and there for all of you, (Us, myself included...), and so are you, too. The five of you interns share an unbreakable bond. It’s one of the closest classes of Interns I’ve seen in my lifetime. It’s truly something MAGIC-al” Addison says to her.”

 

“Really?” Izzie says to her with both pride and joy as Addison nods at her in silent confirmation.

 

“I don’t want to see any of you getting hurt,” Addison says to her, ever so softly.

 


 

And the pain and the heartbreak that shines through Addison’s eyes into Izzie’s makes Izzie want to say the same thing right back to her for some reason, but she just can’t bring herself to say it to her, because she can’t quite figure out why it would ever be as relevant.

 


 

And Izzie nods to her slowly, showing she truly understands what Addison means, and she promises to treat Izzie well and to keep her friends close to her so they stick together. 

 

“And for what it’s worth, I think you’d have a better time with her, than with any of the boys.” Addison lightens now, her angst and her worries all washing away from her face. 

 

“Yeah? Really?” Asks Izzie hopefully.

 

“I do,” says Addison genuinely without having to think about it at all.

 


 

“We accept the love that we think we deserve, Doctor Stevens” Addison says to her-

 

In the same exact way, in the same tone of voice, she remembers she told Meredith that first night. And in the same way Cristina had said to her just the other day. And all of those instances did not make the sentence any less powerful or any less relevant to everyone than the other times.

 

“Thank you, Doctor Montgomery,” Izzie says to her right back. 

 

“I think I really needed to hear that today,” Izzie says with a hush. 

 


 

“I have one last question for YOU,” Addison says with a tease in her voice again.

 

“What?” Izzie indulges her, it’s the least she can do seeing as Addison said she’d keep her crush a secret, all but set her up with her in a procedure. 

 

“Do you like Vietnamese food? Maybe you don’t, and that’s VERY okay, see I happen to have a restaurant recommendation from someone I know, but I don’t know if I like Vietnamese or if it’s a good place to take someone for dinner, so I want someone else to take someone there first for Vietnamese... But I also heard from someone else it wasn’t that good… Addison trails off as she thinks maybe her gentle nudge . away from the Vietnamese food might have backfired....

 

“Vietnamese isn’t exactly my favorite but thank you Addison” Izzie says with a shrug.

 

“Do you happen to know of any really good Italian places though?” Izzie asks earnestly.

 

“I do,” Addison says with relief. “There’s one on main just south of second street” she adds.

 

“Thanks so much Doctor Montgomery” Izzie says to her earnestly.

 

“You’re welcome Izzie,” Addison says to her, pleased. “Have a really good evening”

 

Addison hopes sincerely that it’s Cristina she’s planning to take out on her date, and that it all works out for them.

 

Both Cristina and Izzie have been really good to Addison since she’s moved here.

 

It was funny to say that, them being only her interns and all. But she felt like she was starting to bond with them, in a professional yet friendly kind of way.

 

Addison really hopes that it’ll last. She really DOES care for her students.

 


 

Speaking of students though, Addison’s mind snaps to how astute her students are and how at least one of them knows her secret magical identity as Meredith’s ‘mystery man’,

 

And Joe would remember that she was with Meredith too - AHHHH.

 

‘How could I not have thought of telling Joe not to say anything’ Addison thinks to herself in a panic.

 

God, covering up a whole secret Identity was so much more work than covering up an affair had been when she was with Mark behind Derek’s back all those years ago.

 

‘Maybe it was because you were in it together with the mystery person in hiding’ Addison thinks to herself as she considers this. ‘ But in all things considered, this is a really stupid thing to be thinking about ‘Addison sighs at herself. 

 

God, she really needed to get to Joe’s before all those interns did. 

 

“I hope I will, and no problem with the car thing. I know you probably wouldn’t want to be drinking with your interns, but say hello to us at Joe's tonight if you see us there tonight after dinner tonight. Me and Meredith and Cristina and etc are all going and we want to ask Joe some important questions and ask him for a special favor.” Izzie says to her without the telltale signs of a smirk at least.

 

Though Izzie HAS been asking her more and more personal questions all day.

 

And it has been a while since the incident at hand, but Addison isn’t so sure that Joe’s even the setting won’t bring all of Meredith’s memories completely back to life again.

 

Addison has no idea what other i mportant information Joe might have to dole out to the interns, but she’s sure as hell going to speed out of the scrub room as soon as she could to find out. 

 

“Ah, right. See you there I guess” Addison says.

 

As Izzie jumps off the O.R. stool, leaving her alone in the scrub room.

 


 

And Addison thinks that she might now be utterly and totally, screwed.

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 16

 




Chapter Text


 

Chapter 17: Break on Through, Part Seven




 

By the time Addison finishes her clean-up after Izzie Stevens leaves her along in the prep room, Addison is completely starving. She’s craving salt and sugar again, and embarrassingly enough she has no more of those snacks from the other day still stored in her office. 

 

She’d munched on all of those while nervously imagining hypothetical conversations she may or may never have with the Meredith Grey. And while she’s been freaking out internally about all of this, Addison has been burning through all those raw calories like a bonfire. 

 

So she’s standing in front of the vending machines again, trying to feed it her dollar. But for whatever reason, the machine just doesn’t seem to want to give her anything that she wants.

 

“Motherfucker!” Addison curses loudly at the vending machine, kicking it slightly with the tip of her high-heeled shoes. 

 

“Jeez, what did it do to you, now?” Addison hears a voice call out to her teasingly behind her and she swivels around to see who is behind her. She’s startled because she instantly recognizes the sweet voice of the blonde and she’s somehow overjoyed now to hear it directed at her. 

 

So Addison spins around herself, albeit much too fast apparently for these 6-inch Prada pump heels. She’s extremely off-balance now and she feels like she’s heading right for the ground. “Ahh” she screams out involuntarily as the world starts to whiz right around her. 

 

“Oh, Addie, watch out” Meredith calls out to her as she’s heading to hit her head hard on the wall. “Steady” Meredith soothes her as Addison feels a small but strong pair of arms wrap around her waist tightly. “Relax” Meredith coos at her so she stops tensing her body up. 

 

Addison listens to Meredith’s recommendation and stops struggling. She sinks into Meredith’s arms as Meredith steadies her back on her feet again. Addison just barely manages to not fall over.

 

As Meredith holds her, so tightly for a moment Addison’s body stops spinning but her mind starts spinning even faster and faster than before. A flurry of emotions fly through Addison’s brain as she indulges herself in how damn good her body just fits inside of Meredith’s smaller one. 

 

Meredith’s head rests so sweetly into the crook of Addison’s neck and Addison can’t stop herself before she’s pulling the Grey girl closer and wrapping her arms in return around Meredith’s back and shoulders. She can feel Meredith tuck her head now, into the space right above her chest. 

 

Addison inhales sharply as she regains her balance. The cool scent of lavender invades all her senses. Addison feels suddenly like she's gotten a bit drunk off of the sweetness of how Meredith smells and feels to her and all of this makes Addison cling onto Meredith even more.

 


 

Meredith nuzzles herself into Addison’s chest and her eyes are closed lightly as she holds Addison as she stops swaying back and forth. She can feel Addison’s heartbeat as she presses her ear to listen to it. It was beating fast before when she caught her, but now Meredith feels Addison’s heart rate speed up even more (as her own does as well…)

 

Sensing that Addison is a bit nervous around her but not willing to pull away from her just yet, Meredith rubs soothing circles on Addison’s back in an attempt to calm her down after her unfortunate near-fall.

 

(From her height of 5’10’’, Meredith thinks, Addison having hit her head on the way - had Meredith not having been there to catch her, that is -would have been reason enough to have needed to have gotten Addie here a DAMN head CT!)

 


 

Meredith so close to her now, Addison thinks to herself. She is closer to her than she’s ever physically been before, even more than that first night when Addie held up Mer’s hair and sat next to the girl on the floor. Addison has never had a reason to hug Meredith before now. 

 

Not that this was a hug per se but it certainly involved Addison running her hands around Meredith’s teeny waist and even lifting her up slightly onto her toes because factoring in her high heels she’s at least half a foot taller than the blonde intern. 



 

The heat of Addison’s body against Meredith’s own made her feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She would stay here all day next to Addison if it meant she could keep feeling her back smooth over under her touch, and if it meant that Addison would keep holding her waist so nice.

 

And Meredith thinks to herself Addison really DOES smell like brown sugar and spice because she can feel her perfume, as well as her natural scent and the combination, is driving Meredith just the teensiest bit more insane. She inhales as sharply as she can into Addison without being suspicious. She allows the warm air to soothe all her senses. It made Meredith feel so alive .

 

 




And as much as both Addison and Meredith might have liked that this moment be endless, this moment in time it was destined to end. The rustling of feet coming closer down the hall caused them to snap back to reality and push away from each other suddenly, and fix their clothes. 

 

They stepped away from each other, two more steps as they tried to look nonchalant about it. But the deep reddening onto both of their faces showed that what happened meant something so different entirely. “Ah-” Addison starts with a false start. “Th-thanks” Addison stutters again. Ohmygod!

 


 

“Maybe you need something more substantial in your stomach,” Meredith says to her compassionately. (As if it were not completely absurd that an underfed intern would be the one to nudge Addison about her healthy eating habits which have become slightly less healthy, as of late. 

 

“Maybe you might need to pace yourself and build up a bit more of a tolerance- Since eating all of these Cheetos all of the sudden seems to make it so hard for you to just walk straight, Doctor Montgomery,” Meredith says to her, completely and genuinely concerned for her and not smirking.

 

She’s staring up at Addison’s face now, in awe a bit but also in… friendship?

 

(Addison can’t quite place Meredith’s expression and she starts to fumble with the money in her hand and in her pocket again as she tries to remember what the heck she was even standing there in front of her for in the first place.)

 

“Here, let me,” Meredith offers to her, holding her hand out flat and exposing her palm.

 

“Coins,” Meredith insists at her as if she were asking her for a scalpel.

 

“Coins,” Addison says to her, placing them in her palm, a sly smile tugging at the corners of her lips. 

 

“So are you sure you want Cheetos again if they make you go crazy and walk into the walls?” Meredith glances, NOW smirking at her. 

 

“I’ve resigned myself to eating out all of the Cheetos because if I try to retrain myself I’ll just end up craving them anyhow. And the withdrawal appears to be more of a hindrance than the indulgence” Addison explains so simply to Meredith. 

 

“Well I guess then it’s good that you’re starting to learn what you like,” Meredith says to her with a slightly shy grin. 




 

“How about you Grey, you getting any Cheetos these days?” Addison asks her blankly.

 

“Ah, I’m not getting as much Cheetos as I’d like to, these days, but I guess that a treat with you now, couldn’t hurt anyone,” she says cheerfully.

 

“But you don’t have to buy them for me anymore, not today at least. It’s too much, already, what you done for me- us- my friends. I- I- Thank-you” Meredith fumbles as well with her coin and she can’t quite figure out why. 

 

“It’s no problem Grey, it’s my pleasure indeed,” Addison says to her more formally now that there are others wandering the hallways. 

 

She lets Meredith pay for her own food this time though, sensing and understanding the blonde’s need to assert to herself- and enjoying and admiring her independence and strength. 

 


 

“Wanna go eat out our Cheetos together???” Meredith asks with a high pitch squeal.

 

“I think I might need a soda first Grey’ Addison only laughs at her squeal.


“Truth be told, I knew I was hungry before but I’m getting quite thirsty” she shrugs.

 

“Here, diet sodas on me!” Meredith rushes to the other vending machine. 

 

“Sure can you get me a Diet Doctor Pepper?” Addison asks her, deciding that she should let Meredith treat her more often if it made her so happy.

 

“Sure! I’ll get one too and two straws and then we can go slurp our ‘Doctor’s together” Meredith exclaims with a shout. 


 

(Before Meredith realizing the potential of the double-entendre of what she just said. And as the realization of the double meaning of her words sinks right into her head... )

 

Addison can see Meredith’s face change from bright red to white back to blush again as she shifts awkwardly over to hand Addison her soda.

 

But then she recovers tremendously even before Addison does and she smirks wide and far before leaning close into Addison’s ear:

 

“Thank goodness you suggested we get sodas as well Doctor Montgomery” she hushes. 

 

“Because my thirst has been gnawing at my whole body all morning long.” she finishes her sentence. She’s so close to Addison’s ear now she’s practically biting it and Addison can feel the warm touch of Meredith’s breath on her neck.

 

It raises her goosebumps all over her skin and it makes Addison shiver with anticipation.

 

But the moment was gone now, as fast as it’d come. 

 

Before Addison could open her eyes she hadn’t noticed that they were closing, Meredith Grey had already begun stalking down the hallway in search of those straws.

 


 

“When do you get off Addie?” Meredith tries using Derek’s nickname for her to see if she would notice.

 

“Ah-” (In about maybe two minues- IF THAT if you were just keeping like, all of THAT up.) 

 

“Ah- I- Get-Off- Ugh- Ah” (Addison stands with her mouth quiet agape before closing it firmly to mumble out) “My shift ends at eight.” Addison finally deadpans.

 

“Well that sounds lucky for you,” Meredith says to her, chipper. Not catching Addison almost say something that seems kinda vaguely inappropriate.

 

“We’re all going to Joe’s sooner or later we might see you there then since you’re going to be getting off so early” Meredith concludes.

 

“Right,” Addison answers simply, not trusting herself to speak more than one syllable at a time. 

 

“OOPS, gotta run! My pager just went off and I better get those scans up before Bailey yells at me more!” Meredith exclaims suddenly.

 

“Goodluck” Addison says to her (in both MASSIVE disappointments as well as relief,) as Meredith Grey starts turning away from her now.

 

“We’ll eat Cheetos and slurp on Doctor’s together some other time!” Meredith looks over her shoulder and promises her in a huff. 

 




(Mmm, you bet we will Grey… Addison’s mind goes THERE all the way.)

 

(God, Addie get it together you got to stop thinking about Grey getting you naked every time that she sees you got that look on your face.)

 

(She’s going to see it soon you know if she’s not seen it already.)

 

(Wait didn’t she just call you Addie a bunch - your NICKNAME reserved for your family and close friends and you just didn’t notice till now how you liked the sound of it rolling off of her lips.)

 

(But maybe shouldn’t you have said something to her about all those double-entendres she was clearly making at you and you were hardly not at all encouraging her.)

 

(Are you actually so turned on right now just having been half-hugged by this woman, inhaled her shampoo and heard like four sentences come out of her mouth?)

 

(SERIOUSLY are you though? Because you seem all hot and bothered and uptight since - a while now and you ARE actually walking to walls at your workplace.)

 

(You can’t walk straight in a line to save your damn life when you hear her and you’re probably feeling a little tight in those panties just about now. You might actually explode if you don’t do SOMETHING about that.)

 

(You REALLY should do something about that. Either GIVE INTO IT AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF - you're a big girl, Addie, now - or go get some cold water right on your face because you look all fucked out now and you haven't even had a damn kiss with her yet.)

(Wait what the fuck was that YET happening in that last sentence. God you’re still waiting on the lawyers for the god damned divorce and you’re already thinking about ways to kiss the Grey girl.)


(God, Addie you really ARE such a whore. Or maybe just sexual. Or maybe that you’re just GREY-SEXUAL. Who knows? But either way, you better get it together now, because here comes Chief Webber and Bailey and Burke.)

 




“ADDIE” Richard Webber waves over at as Addison smiles back at him. (But the term of endearment does not fall oh, so nearly as sweetly falling off of HIS lips -or from ANYONE ELSES at all for that matter, indeed...)

 

“Well you sure look like you’re in a good mood today” he smiles at you too. (And that smile and everyone else’s smiles are not as eclipsing as compared to Grey’s, to her now.)

 


“Well, I just got some Cheetos and slur- drank some Diet Doctor Pepper so I’m all good to go again-” (Addison stops talking before she starts saying things she really shouldn’t again)

 

“Oh well that’s great then you can help out with our help with a consult,” Richard says to her still smiling brightly. (Shit I really AM turned so way the fuck on. How the hell am I even supposed to OPERATE being this all turned on during a WORKDAY no less? GOD ADDIE, GET IT TOGETHER FOR FUCKS SAKE-)

 

“Ah- Ok I will be right. I just have to get a drink I’m so thirsty” Addison fumbles (Great, now you’re even being weird now in front of YOUR BOSS. FUCK ME SIDEWAYS.)(ITS JUST AN EXPRESSION NOW SUBCONSCIOUS BRAIN. NO NEED TO IMAGINE MEREDITH GREW SCREWING YOU SIDEWAYS. OR FRONTWAYS. OR TAKING YOU FROM THE BEHIND LIKE YOU WANT HER TO-)

 

“Didn’t you just say you drank a Doctor Pepper?” Richard asks her, seeing her right through her lies. “I can’t have you running off to the washroom every ten minutes during surgery now you know that now Addie,” Richard says in a gentle tone. (Holy god he’s actually right about that one I really can’t concentrate I need to figure at least something out! Or Richard’s gonna see what I’m fumbling around all about and then he’s definitely going to freak the hell out...at me...)

 

“Right, of course, Richard. Just let me go to the washroom first so that won’t be a problem.” Addison recovers, (Mostly.) rightly, finally.

 

“Meet me in O.R. Two when you’re done. We have a semi-urgent patient to work on with Doctors Burke, Bailey and Shepherd. I expect you can all be on your very best behavior even given the circumstances.” (OH. SHIT. BAILEY. BURKE. AND GOD FUCKING DAMNIT. DEREK!)

 

Richard says this with a sort of a tense tone this time. Because he can’t feel what’s going on with Addie for real, all he can feel is that Addie is nervous and when’s starting to shake a bit. HE blames this all on her history with -Shepherd. (This time. At least. Addie sure got herself lucky there. Well she DIDN’T get lucky and that was the point. YOU ARE REALLY NOT GOING TO STOP GOING THERE TODAY ARE YOU YOU GODFORSAKING MOTHERFUCKING BRAIN.)

 

“Of course Richard,” Addison says very politely. “You know I always do my job right.” She adds on. (Well if Richard wants nice I’ll play NICER than Derek, you’ll see.)

 

“That you do very well, Addison,” Richard says to her in a compliment. “You always have, and that’s why I always want to keep you around.” He says sweetly. (AWE!)

 

And Addison smiles up at him before rushing off as fast as she can to splash some goddamned cold water down her face.

 


 

(As Addison ponders then, idly to herself, that it’s good Richard Webber still likes me a heck of a lot - because he’s basically a transplanted Dad to Meredith Grey….)

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 17

 

Chapter Text

PREVIOUSLY ON “FALLING APART, BARELY BREATHING”:

 


 

“ADDIE” Richard Webber waves over, as Addison smiles back at him.

“Well you sure look like you’re in a good mood today” he smiles at you too. 

“Well, I just got some Cheetos and slur- drank some Diet Doctor Pepper so I’m all good to go again-” 

“Oh well that’s great then you can help out with our help with a consult,” Richard says to her still smiling brightly.  

“Ah- Ok I will be right. I just have to get a drink I’m so thirsty” Addison fumbles 

“Didn’t you just say you drank a Doctor Pepper?” Richard asks her, seeing her right through her lies. “I can’t have you running off to the washroom every ten minutes during surgery now you know that now Addie,” Richard says in a gentle tone. 

“Right, of course, Richard. Just let me go to the washroom first so that won’t be a problem.” Addison recovers, rightly, finally.

“Meet me in O.R. Two when you’re done. We have a semi-urgent patient to work on with Doctors Burke, Bailey and Shepherd. I expect you can all be on your very best behavior even given the circumstances.” (OH. SHIT. BAILEY. BURKE. AND GOD FUCKING DAMNIT. DEREK!)

Richard says this with a sort of a tense tone this time. Because he can’t feel what’s going on with Addie for real, all he can feel is that Addie is nervous and starts to shake a bit. HE blames this all on her history with -Shepherd. 

“Of course Richard,” Addison says very politely. “You know I always do my job right.” She adds on. (Well if Richard wants nice I’ll play NICER than Derek, you’ll see.)

“That you do very well, Addison,” Richard says to her in a compliment. “You always have, and that’s why I always want to keep you around.” He says sweetly. (AWE!)

And Addison smiles up at him before rushing off as fast as she can to splash some goddamn cold water down her face.

(As Addison ponders then, idly to herself, that it’s good Richard Webber still likes me a heck of a lot - because he’s basically a transplanted Dad to Meredith Grey….)

 


 

 Chapter 18: Break On Through, Part Eight

 


 

(Addison huffs as she rubs on her forearms in the scrub room. ‘The last thing that I needed today was to be in an operating room with Richard Webber, Preston Burke and my REALLY soon to be ex-husband Derek Shepherd. The very last thing she wanted today.)

(At the very least, at least Bailey will be there to keep me company and hopefully, to dispel some of the tension’. Addison sighs inwardly at that one. At least she won’t be the only female..). 

(Plus, there’s also the nagging feeling that I’m forgetting something here. Oh right - I am. I’m forgetting that as we speak, the interns are probably finishing up most of their days and they will be heading off to - what - go out for dinner? Have dinner at home? Go drinking? Go to Joe’s.) 

“JOE’s” Addison curses aloud. 

“Huh?” Miranda Bailey asks, looking up at Addison rather expectantly.

“Oh- I- I went out to Joe’s a while back and I forgot something important there. I just remembered I have to call Joe- Or go to Joe’s right after work” Addison says to Bailey who seems to accept it. 

“Glad to see you’re building a life for yourself here in Seattle,” Bailey says to her genuinely.

“Thanks, Bailey,” Addison says to her. You’re a good friend, you know.” Addison adds.

“I AM a good friend to my friends, of which I do consider you to be one of them. I am, however, on to you and your trickery Doctor Montgomery” Bailey says in her wonderful accent. 

“On to me about…” Addison feigns ignorance because she’s not so sure what inappropriate feelings or behaviors she could be referring to and she doesn’t want to give - technically she should be Bailey’s boss seeing as Addison is an Attending and Bailey is only a resident.  

But She’s Bailey, so everyone knows that in the grand order of things, that Spiritually, Bailey is actually much far above pretty much everyone else at Seattle Grace Hospital. And that she has a way of knowing everything about everyone, this ability is limited to knowing things all the damn time. 

So if Addison had to be worried about anyone other than the interns figuring out her little tricks and games, it was going to be Bailey. God. ( And here Addison thought she was grateful to have another woman in that O.R. to be a buffer for her against all the boys…)

 


 

“I know you’ve been spending so much time with MY interns over this pregnant-not-pregnant man mystery case, but if you only play games with them they ain’t gonna learn nothing,” Bailey says to her with an eyebrow up.

“Right, sorry Bailey,” Addison says to her sheepishly, trying not to sound relieved that Bailey hadn’t said stop talking to Meredith Grey.

“No more free snacks for MY suck-ups, they’ be sucking up even more now” Bailey grins at her to let her know she’s not actually mad after all. “Got it, no more snacks” Addison smiles back.

“Well, I’m done scrubbing in so I’d say you are because you started before me. I always scrub for at least 4 minutes and 36 seconds before surgery because I sing  “Think” by Aretha Franklin, at least two times, Bailey says as she walks out of the scrub room. ( And so it begins, Addison thinks to herself with a sigh.)

 


 

“CLAMP” Derek is shouting at Addison again as he tries to repair the damage inside of this patient again.

Of course, he’s not actually yelling at Addison (at least not directly-that is) he’s yelling at the scrub nurse which is even worse. It’s worse because she’s the best scrub nurse there even IS. 

And he’s taking her for granted and not even giving her a second of thought as he takes the instruments from her hands and yells for the moment to move over faster.

 


 

“ANOTHER CLAMP DAMNIT!” Derek is fuming right now. What he’s actually upset about not even Addison knows. But she knows him enough that she knows that it has nothing to do with the clamps or the nurse or the craniectomy he’s attempting right now. 

“WHY ARE YOU SO SLOW WITH THESE CLAMPS,” Derek says desperately at the nurse. 

“Derek calms down” Addison shouts at her then. She can’t stand seeing her bullied like this and Addison knows she can take him on.

“SHUT UP ADDIE,” Derek says to Addison now with a hiss. “CLAMP!” He calls out again to no one in particular.

“SHUT IT SHEP-” Even Richard Webber is yelling at Derek now. “There’s no need to berate nurse Bohkee over here now, she’s been by my side since before I was even a doctor and I will not have her being belittled by anyone in my O.R,” Richard says sensibly.

Addison mouths at him a silent “thank-you” before checking on the status of this female patient’s reproductive organs. 

 


 

 “WATCH OUT SHE’S IN V-FIB,” Preston Burke says to them as he charges the internal paddles.

“CLEAR” Burke says loudly before everyone pulls their hands away. 

“SINUS TACH,” Bailey says to them all in relief as they watch the heart rate return to its normal rhythm again and oxygen saturation in the body climb higher and higher.

“Whew” Addison breathes out a sigh of relief as she checks out the patient again.

“Oh, no I think I might need to do some stitching” Addison finds there’s some damage to the outermost part of the cervix. 

“It’s okay we can work around you!” Doctor Burke smiles widely at Addison and it makes Addison feel a bit weird for a second as she frowns at his chipper expression. 

“Here I’ll help you retract” Bailey offers as Addison stitches up the loose flesh where it tore. 

“What lovely work and such lovely hands you have Addison” Burke is saying to her now. Something is definitely weird now because she has never seen Preston Burke ever act this way-

Except for maybe when he was hitting on Cristina Yang-

 


 

Oh, no. Was Doctor Preston Burke seriously hitting on her in the middle of an operation!?

(You didn’t seem to mind at all when Meredith was being all flirty in front of a patient)

(Yeah but he wasn’t at risk of dying from bleeding out on the table at the time)

(That’s not why your mind and you know it Doctor Montgomery.)

(Shut UP not here not now while I’m working! I could kill this patient right here if I’m not careful.)

(At least even my innermost thoughts call me Doctor Montgomery when in an O.R.)

(SHUT IT!)

 


 

“SHUT IT!” Addison yells involuntarily staring right into the body cavity now.

“God these should SHUT IT!” Addison recovers her speech as she plays that she was referring to the suture technique the whole time. (Good one!) (ADDISON - 1, HER BRAIN SO FAR - 0)

“Nice work Addie,” Richard says over her shoulder with a smile. Addison beams up at him, thinking it’s nice that someone thinks she’s been doing something right for a change.

“Have you been talking to Cristina at all” Burke is eyeing her with a meaningful glance.

(Oh. That’s why he was sucking up then. HE wants ME to put in a good word with HER.)

(Meanwhile, ages ago I promised I’d put in a good word to HIM, about HER.)

(But that was before the whole breakup and the liking Izzie Stevens thing…)

(So what would Cristina Yang want me to do now???)

Addison receives her answer to that question accidentally, as she rolls her eyes at the thought and ends up catching a glimpse of Doctor Yang in the gallery.

She shoots Cristina a sympathetic sort of look as a silent question of what she should say.

Cristina mouths the words “help me” to her in a panic, so she thinks that she’s understood Cristina still wants to be in on his surgeries, despite her not wanting to speak with him personally.

“Yes, I have been talking to Cristina, she says she’s been reading up on your next few cases and that she wants in on one,” Addison says to him curtly as Cristina quietly presses the intercom to listen in. 

“Well, you can tell Doctor Yang she can ask me herself” Burke just huffs at her angrily as Addison glances up to the gallery again.

Cristina’s insistent look and not subtle wink make Addison sigh now, because that’s their ‘secret signal’ for ‘get me what I want or I will show that damn note thing to Meredith’ so Addison continues to try to win Burke over. 

 


 

“Say, Preston, don’t you think that taking Yang on as a student again would show off your skills as an exceptional Attending” Addison puts on a sort of a mock flirty tone.

But he falls for it though because he seems to be considering it. 

And as an added unintentional benefit to this plan, Derek flashes with jealousy she hasn’t seen over her in almost over a decade. 

Addison knows it’s not healthy to feel pride this way, but she does. And it doesn’t mean at all that Addison want’s DEREK back. But it’s about having power over him, making him feel more even after all of this mess. 

And it makes her feel desirable for the first time in a long time (coming from Derek at least.)

But she knows that this is not really about HER. It’s about the fact that she’s pressing him to set up the meeting with the lawyers. And about how his divorce might tarnish his ‘near perfect reputation.’

And it’s about how despite the fact that Derek doesn’t love her anymore and he has not in a while, that the simple fact is that Derek Shepherd liked that he owned her in a sense, and that she was off the market then and even now, away from everyone else. 

And this thought angers Addison all over again. Because here she was keeping his dirty little secret about Mark and the Men, while he was over there still talking to Burke about how he still wanted to date Meredith.

And it took every ounce of restraint that Addison could find in her body not to go all of “say anything” on Derek Shepherd again because as much as she wanted to, she knew it wasn’t worth it if it wasn’t for the right reasons.

A part of Addison knew that Meredith had mentioned being done with Derek.

But a part of Addison knew that Meredith loved him once (as did she) and that feelings don’t always disappear right when one wants them to. 

 


 

(Addie, you should give her a shot with him) Addison’s subconscious brain starts to think again. 

(You said you didn’t want someone who doesn’t want you back. So you better be sure that it’s you that she wants) Addison thinks deeply now. 

(But what if I lose her?) Addison thinks with a sad smile. 

(If she doesn’t want you you’re not going to push her a Derek did. You are better than that.) 

(Addison’s thoughts explain to her soundly. )

Yet the thought of potentially losing her chance with Grey forever seeps in deeply.

As Addison sews up her final stitch at the cervix she starts up once again, asking Burke about Cristina.

“If you say so Doctor Montgomery” Burke tries to show her his sexiest smile.

Addison’s gone the other route this time, complimenting Cristina’s admittedly superior-for-an-intern surgical techniques, 

(At least he’s not being all McGROSS with my now thinks Addison idly.) 

(And she thinks she even sees Bailey and Webber smile up at her for her win for their Intern.)

(And she wonders what on earth Preston Burke’s McNAME would have been.)

(Because if abandoning his pregnant girlfriend because she was too scared he would make her keep it or make the decision for her was anything to say, she didn’t think even McBASTARD would have been a strong enough word for him.)

(Besides, McBASTARD has already been taken up by Addison’s soon to be ex-husband.)

 


 

As Addison looks up at the gallery now, trying to shoot Cristina Yang a successful smile and an empathetic look, she’s not only met with Yang’s eyes but also many others she knows.

It takes every ounce of her being for Addison not to drop her scalpel when she sees all of Bailey’s interns looking down at their O.R. gig. 

Addison finds herself smiling, looking straight up into the eyes of Alex and Izzie and George who all nod down to her in approval. 

And as Cristina winks back at her and signs her a subtle thumbs-up, Addison can’t stop from looking. She’s looking for HER.

Addison wishes she could freeze at that moment in time.

The interns all up in the gallery cheering her on.

Richard and Bailey agree with her as she sticks up for nurse Bohkee.

Derek, looking a bit jealous she might finally move on from him.

Winning a win for Cristina - really because she actually wanted to not even because of the blackmail anymore. 

And all that is going on but it’s the farthest thing from her mind right now. 

 


 

Addison looking up at - (Take a Random Guess Who?!).

Who is also smiling? 

At HER. 

FOR HER.

JUST, AT HER!

With her bright beady eyes whispering “thank-you” along with her very best friend.

Just for Addison. (I DID THAT! I MADE THAT ALL HAPPEN I MADE HER SMILE LIKE THAT!!!)

If she could leave her a note right now it would surely be right to say-

“To Addison from Meredith, you did a good thing, Addie, for the Interns. Thank you, Addie, you just did a really good thing for my friend. You did a really great thing. A really good thing for me, too.” 

But it’s Meredith’s smile, brighter than all of those other bright smiles, 

That makes Addison’s heart melt, even more now than before. 

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 18


 



Chapter Text

PREVIOUSLY ON “FALLING APART, BARELY BREATHING”:

 


 

Addison looking up at - (Take a Random Guess Who).

 

Who is also smiling! 

 

At HER. 

 

FOR HER.

 

JUST, AT HER.

 

With her bright beady eyes whispering “thank-you” along with her very best friend.

 

Just for Addison. (I DID THAT! I MADE THAT ALL HAPPEN I MADE HER SMILE LIKE THAT!!!)

 

If she could leave her a note right now it would surely be right to say-

 

“To Addison from Meredith, you did a good thing Addie for the Interns. Thank you Addie you just did a really good thing for my friend. You did a really great thing. A really good thing for me, too.” 

 

But it’s Meredith’s smile, brighter than all of those other bright smiles, 

 

That makes Addison’s heart melt, now, even more than before. 

 


 

Chapter 19: Break On Through, Part Nine

 


 

“Can I ask you a question?” Meredith says to Cristina while watching Addison (Oh, and the other doctors) operate from the gallery. 

 

They’ve turned off their speakerphone now so they can hear the gentle murmurs from in the O.R., but the doctors below them can’t hear what THEY’RE saying.

 

Sensing what will come next, Cristina braces herself for this answer.

 

“WhatWasItLikeToKissAddison?” Meredith stutters as fast as she can.

 

“Say again?” Cristina whispers closer into her ear this time.

 

“What was it like to kiss Addison ?” Meredith asks with a bit of a - reverence - when she pronounces Addison’s name to Cristina.

 

“Well…” Cristina looks into Mer’s big blue eyes, pausing before she begins.

 


 

“Addison is a very good kisser. She likes it when you suck on her bottom lip, and when you bite it. Her lips are soft and full. And she tastes like some sort of sugar and spice. It’s nice, really.”

 

Cristina gives a good answer, but she’s careful not to gush too much. Firstly, because she knows that Izzie is eyeing her careful now with a slight look of jealousy. Which, she doesn’t particularly mind, either. 

 

But mostly, Cristina is careful because she doesn’t want to seem like Addison was extremely into HER (Cristina), as she knows very well that this is not the case. And she doesn’t want to over-or under-sell the kissing abilities of their mutual boss.

 

Considering all of those nitty-gritty details makes Cristina’s head sort of ache, as she’s starting to grow weary of this whole ‘mystery-man-not-a-man-at-all’ game. And she’s looking into Meredith’s eyes now trying to read into her best friend’s expression.

 

“Hey, what’s going through your head right now?” Cristina asks Meredith rather tenderly.

 

“I-I-” Meredith stutters before she’s ready to start. She wants to share with Cristina, share everything that’s going on inside her head.

 


 

(She’s a bit fuzzy starting to think of it all. Those warm fuzzy feelings were growing stronger for the redhead Attending with each passing second. It was getting hard to contain all of them!)

 

(But on the other hand, Meredith is still super hung-up on this mystery person of hers. She doesn’t talk about it too much with Cristina. But Cristina KNOWS her, she would understand.)

 

(She’s not sure why she feels this special draw or special pull towards this unknown person who once took her home. But the detail in being cared for, without any sex, here in Seattle… Was…)

 

(It was just something special. It had to have been someone extremely selfless. And extremely selfless and caring people are not usually the types who frequent the bar across the street.)

 

(Usually, Meredith’s one night stands and drunken tequila lays are so bottom-of-the-barrel that she’s embarrassed to mention them. But she’s embarrassed to mention THIS one for the opposite reason.)

 

(She’s scared to get too attached to someone who might no longer be interested in her after all. I mean they left her a note with no NAME on it for god’s sakes and she got her key back shortly after with no more notes and no words and no signs.)

 

(Maybe this ‘mystery person’ - somewhere along in the bitterness Meredith had resigned herself that she had no proof it was a man. Or a woman. But she didn’t want to generalize either.)

 

(Maybe this ‘mystery person’ did not ever or would not have any romantic potential with her at all. At first, Meredith had thought that it had been a love note. But could they just be a friend?)

 


 

“Mer?” “Hey, what’s going through your head right now?” Cristina asks Meredith rather tenderly. Even more tenderly than the first time.

 

“Oh, I was just thinking about, well, Addison ” Meredith lets her name fall from her lips before she realizes she’s said it.

 

“Ah,” Cristina says to her simply. “What are you thinking about then?” Cristina offers her.

 

“Well, I guess I was thinking about kissing Addison,” Meredith says before cursing internally at herself for letting that part slip out easily as well.

 

“But just ah- because you were talking about it- I mean-” Meredith fumbles, trying to backtrack even more. 

 

“It’s okay for you to think about that,” Cristina says. And it might have been one of those perfect things for Cristina to have said to her in that moment then. 

 

“You don’t think that that’s wrong?” Meredith asks quite suspiciously. 

 

“No, I don’t think that it’s wrong” Cristina smiles to her simply. 

 

“But it SHOULD be, right? I mean I broke up her MARRIAGE. I dated her HUSBAND."

 

"She didn’t know about ME."

 

"I didn’t know about HER."

 

"And then she shows up here all leggy and fabulous and I just - I just couldn’t ever look away,” Meredith says sort of in a daze. 

 

“I mean when you put it THAT way, it is a little messed up. But I mean you are dark and twisty McMeredith. If the She-Shepherd is sort of your thing you be you” Cristina jokes with her.

 

“But she wouldn’t be She-Shepherd once she divorces the He-Shepherd” Meredith says to her hopefully.

 

“Touché” Cristina laughs along with that one.

 




“So what IS it about you and married people though? This might be a problem if it becomes pathological” Cristina says sympathetically to Mer.

 

“I don’t know and I’m not sure the married part had anything to do with it. I AM NOT A HOMEWRECKER, or at least I don’t try to be” Meredith says with a huff.

 

“It’s true; Derek didn’t even tell you about Addison” Cristina nods at her gently.

 

“And then Addison shows up and she’s not hard to hate you know. And she saved your damn life and I just can’t get OVER that” Meredith says with slightly watering eyes at Cristina.

 

“Hey, I’m not going anywhere,” she says gently. “I know, but that’s because Addison’s fingers are MAGICAL!” Meredith says before she thinks more of it.

 

“What?” Meredith says with a confused sort of look.

 

“Nothing I’m just wondering if you were just thinking about Addison’s magical fingers running all through your hair or rubbing circles onto your thighs” Cristina smirks at her. 

 

“CRISTINA!” Meredith exclaims. “I WAS JUST TALKING ABOUT SURGERY!”

 

“But I bet NOW that you’re thinking about her hands in other places. On YOUR places” Cristina laughs at her as she sees Meredith’s face start to flush and her eyes start to wander below.

 

As Meredith starts to consider some of the scenarios and more that Cristina mentioned...

 


 

(Like Addison’s fingers up over her thigh. Lacing them with hers and then kissing them with her lips. Like Addison running all up and down Meredith’s legs. Like getting to touch ADDISON’s legs.)

 

(Like her fingers falling upon her thin waist again like she had when Meredith held her. Getting to hold Addison’s body so much closer to hers again. Like Meredith feeling how she breathes.)

 

(Like feeling how Addison’s luscious Red hair would feel running through her own fingers through it. Seriously, she looked like a GODDESS. How could Derek give THAT up, she just had to ask him someday…)

 

(Oh and Addison’s hands running through HER hair. Meredith imagines that would feel just AMAZING. And having her long fingertips brush over her lips. And dip over her breasts…)

 

(And run down her back. Oh and her long fingernails. Meredith imagines her on top of Addison and Addison digging her nails right into Meredith’s back. The pain and the pleasure.)

 

(I wonder how Addison LIKES IT in bed. Is she tender and soft? Is she quick, fast and dirty? Is she a slow kisser or a fast kisser? Does she like tongues? I like lots of tongue Mer thinks.)

 

(Would she kiss the way Derek does because that’s what she’s used to? If I kiss her should I kiss her the way Derek kisses ME because I would guess that’s how she liked it?)

 

(Or would that just not make sense because if she’s splitting with him maybe their sex wasn’t great at all. See it’s weird because I’ve been in bed with Derek. And I have a crush on Addison. But I don’t like to think of them in bed TOGETHER because then I get jealous of DEREK.)

 

(And that makes me rage. And then I start thinking angry thoughts. And then I start thinking angry kinky sex angry thoughts. Like if I ever got mad with Addison how I’d just back her right into a wall.)

 

(And then I’d start kissing her rough till she begged me. And then I still wouldn’t stop kissing her until she took my hand by the wrist and shoved my fingers inside of her pants.)

 

(And then I’d screw her all senseless until she finished so hard. And then I’d want her all over again so I’d throw her onto my bed. And then I would ravage her body with hot kisses and touches.)

 

(And then I’d finally let her touch me back once she’s come several times. And then I’d want her to go HARDER and FASTER and MORE. So then I’d buck my hips into her. And then she might pull my hair.)

 

(Or maybe I’d pull on HER hair. Or at least bit her earlobe. I bet her collarbone would taste really delicious. And that I’d want to give her all sorts of hickeys so everyone knows that she’s MINE.)

 

(And I’d want her to suck on MY neck too so I could feel her hot breath there. And then I’d want to feel her tongue there. And then I’d want her mouth on my breasts. And I’d love that Mmm-)

 


 

“Mmm-” Meredith imagines…

 

“MEREDITH!” Cristina shoves her into her side.

 

“Whoa, what?” Meredith asks her as if nothing had happened.

 

“You were MOANING, in the gallery, of the O.R. that we’re sitting in!” Cristina hushes to her.

 

“OH SHIT!” Meredith swears suddenly and cups her hand to her mouth.

 

“Jeez, you were calling out like a whore. I’m sure that Ms. McDreamy would probably get off on it and all. But I am NOT Addison so I do NOT need to hear you moaning for her” Cristina says.

 

“I am SO EMBARRASSED” Meredith blushes profusely.

 


 

“There is a lot more sort of serious things that I like about Addison ” Meredith starts up again.

 

Cristina nods more at Meredith to go on, knowing Mer could go on all day about her crushes.

 

“She should hate me but she never ever has. The first day I worked with her she requested me;

 

"I thought it was to torture me but it wasn’t. She just wanted to see who I was. Some morbid curiosity maybe? Some penchant for self-destruct buttons? Who knows..." 

 


 

Cristina starts to smile at Meredith finally expressing her feelings for Addison. To someone at least. To her best friend. 

 

It was hard for Cristina. It was hard in the beginning, hard for her now.

 

She felt like she had to be this sort of unhelpful Yoda at times; playing the two sides of the coin like an intricate dance.

 

She wishes that sometimes, someone in her life had done this for her.

 

Well, okay. Addison had sort of helped her. And Mer. Well, all her friends really. She was lucky.

 

Not that she needed much help to sense that she and Izzie had possibility - maybe? Cristina can see the way Izzie is eyeing her curiously and how she just looked away after stating. 

 

So maybe she doesn’t need that much help in the ladies department, after all. Or maybe it was just so much sheer dumb luck that the girl that she liked-liked her back or so it seemed that way…

 


 

“Hey, are you listening Cristina!” Mer exclaims at her all of the sudden. “Huh, yeah. Right. Addison.” Cristina fumbles. 

 

“Stop staring at your crush when I’m talking to YOU about MINE,” Meredith says to her. 

 

“Hey POT, meet KETTLE!” Cristina whisper-shouts back at her. 

 

“You’re staring at Addison right here right now!” Cristina says right back.

 

“Shhh, I think Addison is giving directions. I wanna hear her talk” Meredith hushes her with her shoulder a bit.

 

"Case in point” Cristina mutters as they listen in on the surgery below.

 

They can’t really hear them well, with no microphone on. But they don’t dare switch the switch talking about what they’re talking about. 

 


 

Burke, Bailey, Richard, Derek, and Addison are all still operating on this woman who is in not such good shape.

 

Luckily, she has stabilized for now and appears to be doing better. 

 

During this time the doctors tend to talk about other things as they finish the tedious work of sutures and stitches.

 

And somehow, as always (to the frustration of Miranda Bailey especially,) the doctors are now talking about their own love lives. 

 

“So how was Cristina in, you know?” Derek asks Burke out in the open.

 

“Pretty damn good,” Burke starts to say. But Addison cuts him right off to say “I do NOT want to hear it, Preston” giving him a rather nasty glare.

 

Bailey and Richard get mad at Burke for taking advantage and being the kind of guy who would want a little girlfriend to feel the need to lie for him.

 

“Why are you interested in her?” Derek asks her in a tease. 

 

“WHAT?!” Addison exclaims, going red by the second. “WHAT WOULD MAKE YOU THINK THAT!” she exclaims.

 


 

“Well, the fact that you are denying it so far makes it seem rather plausible,” Derek says to her then. 

 

“That doesn’t mean that I’m interested, Derek, just rather shook up that you are my husband and that you’re asking me if I want to date one of our colleague's ex-girlfriends??”

 

“After she JUST had an ectopic pregnancy that I had to save her from which she was hiding from you-

 

Preston Burke because she might have been afraid you’d make her keep it or abort it or do something that she did NOT want to do with her own body.

 

Burke is being a tool to Cristina for breaking it off, Addison thinks. 

 

“So that’s what I’m so upset over.” Addison lands rather far from her starting point.

 

“See, the way you just defended her both to me and to her ex-boyfriend makes me wonder even more than before.

 

"Are you turning into a lesbian Addie? I got to say maybe our marriage was bound to fail for that anyhow” Derek says to her with a McStupid McSmirk.

 

“I- I- I DO NOT HAVE A THING OR A CRUSH ON CRISTINA!” Addison exclaims with a thud.

 


 

“It’s okay if you do I would understand it rather well” Preston Burke starts to offer.

 

“Really Preston, why would that be?” Addison asks him.

 

But she regrets asking that question the way he smirks at her then. It’s a dirty rather suggestive smile that Addison starts to see as SO much more repulsive than ever before.

 

“Because you both are extremely hot and attractive and driven young women,” Burke says to her. “And I’ve been attracted to both of you at times, so I can see where you might be attracted to each other that’s all” Burke confirms.

 

Bailey is giving Webber a pleading look to make them stop this, but Webber is concentrating rather hard on his surgery so he’s not really hearing a whole lot of what anybody is saying.

 

“NEVER GONNA HAPPEN, PRESTON,” Addison says with a humph. “The nerve of you even, flirting with a MARRIED WOMAN while she operates on a PATIENT with her HUSBAND as her assistant” Addison fumes now again.

 

“But you always keep insisting you call him your EX-HUSBAND” Preston Burke shrugs at her.

 

“She does,” Derek confirms with a shrug. “I find it alright actually I still have my eye on someone else anyways. Plus I talked to the lawyers now and we can get the divorce settled potentially by tomorrow night. Are you free then? Derek asks her. “We could go to dinner first,” he offers.

 

Addison bursts into a snort because “divorcing people don’t go on dinner dates, Derek” she just says to him in a sort of a huff. “But we’re just having dinner anyways,” he says in his McDreamy eyes. 

 

“Just to say goodbye though” Addison finds herself giving in to him. 

 

“Just until the divorce. Just until you go.” Derek looks up at her hollow this time. Like he’s searching for something like he wants not to have her back, but for something.

 


 

It’s fascinating that they are both happy to be separating. But there still is this pull. They were friends for a long time so it’s understandable they’d feel a longing for a specific closure. 

 

“Do you have anything in mind?” Derek asks her. “No, just not Italian or Vietnamese,” Addison asks of him

 

(Because secretly she sort of wants to take MEREDITH there, to the Vietnamese place Cristina Yang name-dropped her ages ago. And she wants to go there the first time with HER and not HIM.)

 

“How about Thai then?” Derek asks with a smile. Like he’s asking her out on their first date all over again. Which was also Thai. 

 

“Trying to reel in some nostalgia” Addison asks a bit bitterly. 

 

“It’s just - I knew you liked it that’s all,” he says honestly and Addison accepts Derek’s answer.

 

“Or at least, you wouldn’t hate it” his eyes roughen over again and Addison sighs.

 

“Very well, Thai it is” Addison concedes now.

 


 

“So are you?” Derek questions at her once again.

 

“Am I?” Mirrors Addison with a questioning tone.

 

“Are you becoming a LESBIAN?” Derek says with a jeer.

 

“God, you really don’t give up on that one, do you” she swears.

 

“Lesbians are hot,” Burke says to her the same way a 14-year-old boy might.

 

“They are,” Derek adds with a smirk.

 

“Ugh, men” Addison wants to throw something like a brick at them now.

 

“Ugh, men is what usually lesbians think about boys in the bedroom” BAILEY now chimes in here.

 

“WHAT!” Addison exclaims at Miranda this time. 

 

“Well, you ASKED” Bailey gives her that all-knowing glance.

 


 

“Ugh, fine. I find women attractive. But I don't want to date Cristina Yang. Are we satisfied now?” Addison says with a huff.

 


 

“I KNEW IT,” says Derek. “You always looked at your best friend Naomi sort of that way. Mostly while you were drunk but there was a look in your eye. A look that used to be only for me…” Derek continues.

 

“It was the lust look. The one you’d get when you were on your like- cycle or something. The one that meant that I should take an early night off, buy a bottle of champagne and wash the sheets over again” Derek says with a smirk.

 

“I- really? You did all that? ” Addison says in surprise. “You have certain tells in your body you know. When you want something. When you want SEX. Like your hips move more than before, or you start to rub on my shoulders more often” he says. 

 

“I’m surprised you’re only telling me this now,” Addison says a bit stunned. 

 

“It hurt to say it because it wasn’t always directed at ME,” Derek says with sadness. 

 

“And more than half the time it seemed like it was about a woman,” he says. “You’d see a hot girl at the beach or at the bar. Sometimes you’d flirt with her, subconsciously, I guess, at least. More times it was that they would be flirting with YOU. And you'd, I don't know you'd just enjoy it a lot, a lot more than one might expect...from someone completely straight” he says.

 

“It was all really innocent, you never moved forward. But the way that you looked at those women, the way that those women molded you in their hands if they did touch you, even accidentally. I don’t know, I guess I always wondered, that’s all” he says softly. And Addison just nods at him in simple understanding.

 

Addison realizes the pain he might have caused to Derek through this. But she gives him a look that lets him know it’s on his side too. 

 

Addison has been watching for years how Derek has fallen in love with his male best friend. And she’s sad in a way, too that her husband could not admit this part of who he was, either. 

 

And the difference now is that Addison is admitting her (apparently not-so-newfound-) feelings of attraction towards the same sex - in her case towards women - in general -

 

(generally directed to one woman in particular - Meredith Grey - But she's not ready to admit THAT part out loud to anyone - anyone ELSE - not yet at least...) .

 

But she’s not going to force out Derek to do the same unless he wants to, which he clearly doesn’t because he’s looking away...

 




(As Meredith looks down at the pain and the sadness in Addison’s eyes, all she wants is to be able to hold on to her tight. She wants to wrap her arms around this tall woman just like she did when she slipped.)

 

(Meredith wants to catch Addie right out of the air. She wants to be there when she falls. She wants to be around for her hurt. Meredith wants to be the kind of person her mystery person was to her.)

 

(Although she’s still not over that ‘mystery person’. And although her crush on this woman is still in its infancy. Or maybe it’s preschool or even it’s childhood years. Maybe teenage? Yes, Teenage feelings that’ll do.)

 

(Meredith still thinks to herself, throughout all the heartache she’s had; she’s never had the same as Addison either. Sure they were both hurt by Derek. But she was never married then divorced.)

 

(She was never in something so deep 11 years - half Meredith’s life Addison had been with this person. And now she can see all the mixed emotions clouding Addison’s face. And all Meredith wants to do is to brush the tears off of Addison’s cheek and to tell her she’s okay.)

 





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***** END OF CHAPTER 19


 

Chapter Text

PREVIOUSLY ON “FALLING APART, BARELY BREATHING”:

 




“Mer?” “Hey, what’s going through your head right now?” Cristina asks Meredith rather tenderly. Even more tenderly than the first time.

 

“Oh, I was just thinking about, well, Addison ” Meredith lets her name fall from her lips before she realizes she’s said it.

 

“Ah,” Cristina says to her simply. “What are you thinking about then?” Cristina offers her.

 

“Well, I guess I was thinking about kissing Addison ,” Meredith says before cursing internally at herself for letting that part slip out easily as well.

 


 

 “So are you?” Derek questions her once again.

 

“Am I?” Mirrors Addison with a questioning tone.

 

“Are you becoming a LESBIAN?” Derek says with a jeer.

 

“God, you really don’t give up on that one, do you” she swears.

 

“Lesbians are hot,” Burke says to her the same way a 14-year-old boy might.

 

“They are,” Derek adds with a smirk.

 

“Ugh, men” Addison wants to throw something like a brick at them now.

 

“Ugh, men are what usually lesbians think about boys in the bedroom” BAILEY now chimes in here.

 

“WHAT!” Addison exclaims at Miranda this time. 

 

“Well, you ASKED” Bailey gives her that all-knowing glance.

 


 

“Ugh, fine. I find women attractive. But I don't want to date Cristina Yang. Are we satisfied now?” Addison says with a huff.

 


 

“I KNEW IT,” says Derek. “You always looked at your best friend Naomi sort of that way. Mostly while you were drunk but there was a look in your eye. A look that used to be only for me…” Derek continues.

 

“It was the lust look. The one you’d get when you were on your like- cycle or something. The one that meant that I should take an early night off, buy a bottle of champagne and wash the sheets over again” Derek says with a smirk.

 

“I- really? You did all that? ” Addison says in surprise. “You have certain tells in your body you know. When you want something. When you want SEX. Like your hips move more than before, or you start to rub on my shoulders more often” he says. 

 

“I’m surprised you’re only telling me this now,” Addison says, a bit stunned. 

 

“It hurt to say it because it wasn’t always directed at ME,” Derek says with sadness. 

 

“And more than half the time it seemed like it was about a woman,” he says. “You’d see a hot girl at the beach or at the bar. Sometimes you’d flirt with her, subconsciously, I guess, at least. More times it was that they would be flirting with YOU. And you'd, I don't know you'd just enjoy it a lot , a lot more than one might expect...from someone completely straight ” he says.

 

“It was all really innocent, you never moved forward. But the way that you looked at those women, the way that those women molded you in their hands if they did touch you, even accidentally. I don’t know, I guess I always wondered, that’s all” he says softly. And Addison just nods at him in simple understanding.

 


 

Addison realizes the pain he might have caused to Derek through this. But she gives him a look that lets him know it’s on his side too. 

 

Addison has been watching for years how Derek has fallen in love with his male best friend. And she’s sad in a way, too that her husband could not admit this part of who he was, either. 

 

And the difference now is that Addison is admitting her (apparently not-so-newfound-) feelings of attraction towards the same sex - in her case towards women - in general -

 

(generally directed to one woman in particular - Meredith Grey - But she's not ready to admit THAT part out loud to anyone - anyone ELSE - not yet at least...) .

 

But she’s not going to force out Derek to do the same unless he wants to, which he clearly doesn’t because he’s looking away...

 


  

(As Meredith looks down at the pain and the sadness in Addison’s eyes, all she wants is to be able to hold on to her tight. She wants to wrap her arms around this tall woman just like she did when she slipped.)

 

(Meredith wants to catch Addie right out of the air. She wants to be there when she falls. She wants to be around for her hurt. Meredith wants to be the kind of person her mystery person was to her.)

 

(Although she’s still not over that ‘mystery person’. And although her crush on this woman is still in its infancy. Or maybe it’s preschool or even it’s childhood years. Maybe teenage? Yes, Teenage feelings that’ll do.)

 

(Meredith still thinks to herself, throughout all the heartache she’s had; she’s never had the same as Addison either. Sure they were both hurt by Derek. But she was never married then divorced.)

 

(She was never in something so deep 11 years - half Meredith’s life Addison had been with this person. And now she can see all the mixed emotions clouding Addison’s face. And all Meredith wants to do is to brush the tears off of Addison’s cheek and to tell her she’s okay.)

 

 




Chapter 20: Break On Through Part Ten

 




(The moment that Addison realizes the words that had just come out of her mouth she realizes it’s far too late now to take them back.)

 

(Yes, what choice wording that was. Addison has officially “Come Out” to an entire O.R of Attending physicians as well as Miranda Bailey. And she’s not sure what to think of all this…)

 

“Bovie,” Richard Webber asks of Bokhee, the scrub nurse. “Bovie” she confirms as she places the tool in the palm of Richard’s hand.

 

(Did I say it inside of my head? Did they not even hear a word of that conversation? Did I imagine it? Is that why no one is reacting to the fact that I am newly BISEXUAL!?)

 

(Maybe not so NEWLY, more like, newly DECLARED. Or ANNOUNCED, rather....)

 


 

“So like, you really want to lick the pussy?!” Is Preston Burke’s next scintillating question.

 

(Whelp, nope I guess I really DID say that last part out loud, now didn’t I- Well, here goes…)

 

Addison thinks to herself how she’ll handle this onslaught… what if the INTERNS had heard.

 

(What if MEREDITH GREY had just heard, heard her declaration of homosexual tendencies!!!!????)

 


 

Meanwhile, Bailey’s interns are now throwing LITERAL peanuts at each other in the gallery.

 

“Seriously!” Izzie says to them all when she doesn’t share.

 

“It’s the PEANUT GALLERY!!!” Alex says to her as if he’d been the most genius person in the whole wide world to think of THAT one. 

 

“It sure is the peanut gallery,” Izzie says back to him without sharing more, missing the play on words completely as the other interns are laughing from Alec Karev’s pun.

 

“Ooh look at that quality repair,” Cristina Yang says. She’s looking down with open eyes as the surgeons complete a tricky part. 

 

“Nice!” George O’Malley cheers, pretending he’s not leaning closer to Alex to pick a peanut off his scrub top with the tip of his tongue.

 

“YOU GUYS!” Meredith admonishes them all. 

 

“How can you be actually eating PEANUTS OFF OF EACH OTHER IN THE DAMN GALLERY!” Meredith yells just a little.

 

“Well you were just m-” Cristina cuts herself off before she mentions it.

 

“YOU DO NOT EVEN FINISH THAT SENTENCE CRISTINA!” Meredith looks at her seriously.

 

“You were just mentioning that it’s pretty cool how sort of soundproof these walls are, right?” Cristina says with a smirk.

 

Meredith knows she’s had a clever word that starts with an “m” planned all ready to go.

 


 

“Yeah, I was just mentioning that,” Meredith says with a grin. “And it’s right that I mention it because we wouldn’t want the ATTENDINGS to know all this peanut nonsense we’re talking about in our own PEANUT gallery in the gallery up here.” Meredith laughs.

 

“Plus we can say that when we tell them we couldn’t hear a single word they have been saying to each other for the past like hour and a half and we don’t want to always be on the speakerphone” Meredith shrugs. 

 

“I used to come here as a kid and play with my anatomy jane doll. She had so many removable parts. I even got the pregnancy extension set for my eleventh birthday” Meredith says to them all excitedly.

 

“Wow, even your childhood was medical. I am SO jealous of your inbred MEDICAL ROYALTY” Cristina says to her all in a fake huff.

 

“Yeah, well if YOUR mother was Ellis Grey you wouldn’t say that for SURE” Meredith whines to the others.

 

“Hey, you’ve met MY MOTHER, ya wanna trade for a decade?” Cristina laughs.

 

“Ok, I see your point!” Meredith squeals at her, reaching over to steal another one of Izzie Stevens’ peanuts.

 

“Well lucky you! My mom was nice when she wasn’t all sick” Alex says.

 

It’s the first time Alex has said anything at all about his family and everyone thinks about that.

 

But then he looks all scared and awkward and NOT Alex Karev,

 

So then George O’Malley saves him by saying that HIS mother Louise O’Malley literally knits swears like, “ALL OF THE TIME, IN EVERY SINGLE COLOR EVER!”

 

And they all laugh and Meredith jokes that if she ever gives up sex and drinking maybe she’ll take up knitting sometime.

 

And then Izzie Stevens throws a peanut at her because she says that’s the “most absurd thing she’s ever heard.”

 

And Cristina leans over REAL close to Izzie so SHE can steal a peanut on purpose.

 

And Izzie purposely leans away and back in her chair so Cristina will practically have to crawl right onto her lap to get one.

 


 

(And Meredith smiles at them both and thinks about how SHE’D like to be crawling on SOMEONE’s lap just about now.)

 

(And she’s sort of happy because she’s still just having gotten over not-McDreamy)

 

(And she’s really found herself in these recent times without anyone.)

 

(So she just sits there, in silence, watching George and Alex smooch once before laughing.)

 

(And watch how Cristina and Izzie are holding hands under their chairs now.)

 

(And how she’s the only one of Bailey’s group of their interns who is all alone now.)

 

(And she’s still thinking about that damn ‘mystery person’ and the note they left her)

 

(She wonders if Cristina secretly kept it. That would be a Cristina-shaped sort of thing to do.)

 


 

(She wants to ask her but she’s having so much fun with Izzie now she won’t bother her.)

 

(And she wonders more about this mystery and how long in her life she’ll have to keep wondering.)

 

(She’s decided she should maybe consider setting a timeline. Like a personal boundry)

 

(Like, if she doesn’t find the ‘mystery person’ in the next three weeks or two she should give up on them.)

 

(Because she’s not sure she’s willing to be with someone who’s held out that long to a secret.)

 

(And maybe they were trying to give her space to breathe and to get over her breakup.)

 

(She imagines she spoke about Derek that night since they broke up then.)

 

(So maybe they were just waiting until she was ready.)

 

(IS SHE READY??? How would she know how WILL she know?)

 

(Meredith thinks to herself as she joins in her friend’s conversation again.)

 

(She’s focused on what they are saying now so she can’t hear all the banter below.)

 




“So like, you really want to lick the pussy?!” Is Preston Burke’s second time asking that question!

 

(Whelp, how the hell do I even ANSWER a question so vulgar as that while at work.)

 

(Truth be told, Addison’s not necessarily gotten THAT far into her fantasies, so she’s sort of lost.)

 

“Well if you need any hands-on lessons about how to give love to a woman, well you know where to find me” Burke snickers a bit to her as he reaches over her hand for a clamp.

 

(‘EW!’ Oh wow, if you’re thinking ‘EW’ about men in bed all a sudden maybe you really ARE gayer than you even though you were in the first place…)

 




“Well that’s a generous offer, Preston but I’ll have to politely decline,” Addison says to her colleague politely.

 

She doesn’t want to rise to his bait unnecessarily, nor feigned any sort of interest whatsoever.

 

“You know I bet that she’d like women better. I mean she’s a GYNO for god’s sakes. She practically LIVES for vaginas. Should you be working at your job? Is that even appropriate to have your patients around you?” Derek says to her a bit meanly.

 

But before Addison steps in, to defend herself, it’s Miranda Bailey who seems to have her back beyond her wildest expectations.

 


 

“Doctor Montgomery has been nothing but professional with her patient care, and I’ll say that it’s very brave of her to be opening up a very vulnerable part of her own personal life with us.” Bailey starts.

 

“And furthermore, I do not believe that a person’s sexual orientation, much less their anything else like that for that matter - should have any sort of overlapping generalization to do with their work.” Bailey continues.

 

“And we all know that the correct term for Addison Montgomery’s chosen medical specialty is OBGYN, as well as neonatal and fetal surgery, notwithstanding her groundbreaking genetics research. So you can stick your prejudices back up where they came from!” Bailey concludes.

 

“Thank-Thank-You” Addison stammers out a bit at Bailey’s bold stance.

 

“That’s no problem, Doctor Montgomery,” Bailey says to her, using her unmarried name on purpose because she knows that Addison likes that now.

 




“But you better not be foolin’ around with any of MY interns you hear that. Not man nor woman interns I don’t want no more Attendings getting in any more of my intern’s pants.” Bailey says to her sternly.

 

“The last thing that MY students need is for the likes of their teachers, their mentors, and their superiors to be taking off all their clothes with them and then breaking their hearts all over here left and right” Bailey adds. 

 

“Because when all that happens, now that affects MY day. And my day is hard enough handling the likes of YOU FOOLS-” Bailey gestures to the Attendings around the room now to know that she’s talking all about THEM now. 

 


 

(Good God, Bailey sure is some BADASS at bringing some sense into people!)

 

(About that bringing that sense into people, you did hear that part about not ‘foolin’ around’ with interns right? And that was directed at YOU, too, about a certain GREY girl as well…)

 

(Oh, hush now, Bailey’s not even finished what she’s going to say! Listen to the rest first.)

 




“So if you want to screw around with men, women, people in general then don’t go screwing around with your students or anyone else lower than you on this food chain in the hospital” Bailey doesn’t waver, not even one little bit.

 

“But that said, I know that the heart wants what it wants sometimes, and you just can’t help yourself from that. I don’t want to deprive anyone THE LOVES OF THEIR LIVES-”

 

Bailey softens a bit when she says that. “Hell, I know I found one of MY lovers and he wasn’t even in the same type of job that I have and I love him all the same. It ain’t perfect but we have what we have now together. And I know I wouldn’t have wanted to have rules from that...” Baile keeps on explaining.

 

“Look, all I’m asking is that if - if you do decide to date one of the interns - ESPECIALLY if it’s one of MY interns like you two both did before…”

 

(Bailey is eyeing both Preston Burke and Derek Shepherd for the moment at least, not you at least, Addie.)

 

“Then I suggest you think long and hard about whether you’re doing this because it’s for YOUR best interests in your lives or for THEIRS. Because there’s a fine, fine line between love and a waste of time…”

 

“And I don’t want any of MY interns or anyone else’s interns for that matter to be wastin’ they’ time on the likes of YOU if you don’t know for certain that’s what THEY want as much as it is what YOU want…” Bailey continues.

 

By now even Richard Webber is smiling proudly at his young protege to be delivering what he himself cannot even construct in such a well-ordered manner. 

 


 

(Given his own past ANTICS around Seattle Grace it might have fallen on deaf ears coming from HIM.)

 

(Him being the one who was screwing Meredith Grey’s MOTHER in this very hospital.)

 

(While she was still with Meredith’s father before she left him, but Richard never left Adele.)

 

(Wow, being in that kind of love triangle must SUCK” Addison thinks ironically to herself…)

 

(And then Addison zones out again just for a few moments.)

 


 

(And speaking of Meredith, she’s now considering all of HER potential lovers.)

 

(SHE doesn’t want to be caught in a permanent love triangle like her 2 or 3 parents-? )

 

(And how will she ever pick between these two lovers if they come forward at once!)

 

(Because she has sort of mythical things on to both of them.-)

 


 

(Them being the mystery person’ and ADDISON, that is.)

 

(She knows it’s maybe not healthy to think of either of them all this much or this way.)

 

(But as her friends are giggling and sharing their peanuts and their peanut-gallery jokes and opinions all around her, she’s with her BEST FRIENDS and she should be happy.)

 

(She IS happy, she loves them, they love her too. Some of them REALLY seem to be loving each OTHER right about damn now.)

 

(And she lets her mind wander again, Meredith looks at how her friends are feeding each other peanuts in the so-called-bubble of a PEANUT GALLERY.)

 


 

(And how SHE’d like to be feeding Addison peanuts right out of the box.)

 

(And how she’d break all the rules of the gallery just to take Addison a snack.)

 

(And that she’d love it if someday Addison would give her the same)

 

(BUT THAT SHE DOESN’T KNOW IF ADDISON WOULD EVEN EVER LIKE WOMEN AT ALL- much less someone so scrawny and small like herself without all the other crap who she was to that girl.)

 


 

(And she doesn’t know if Addison would be the type of Attending to want to date a STUDENT.)

 

(AND one with all of her dark and twisty and mommy and daddy issues like, also…)

 

(And even in her magical gay fantasy world where ADDISON really DID want her BACK…)

 

(And she doesn’t know if she would want to wait, like FOUR YEARS to go out with her.)

 

(But she’s not so sure that she WOULDN’T want to wait for Addison, then, either.)

 

(There’s a sneaking part of her that’s sort of saying she’d wait forever if she could have that beautiful girl…)

 


 

(Meredith stares down at Bailey now, who seems to be giving a lecture or something.)

 

(But the room is too quiet to hear anything without the speakerphone.)

 

(So all she hears is the laughter of her friends, which joins in with them all out anyhow-)

 

(Even if she looks away periodically, subtly and not too easy to notice, sometimes, she looks down to the O.R from her seat in the gallery but never for too long or too hard.,)

 

(But just for a second so she can watch Addison Montgomery’s hands weave her stitches…)

 


 

Addison bats an eye up to the gallery now, and all the interns as she weaves her last stitches, still listening to all of Miranda Bailey’s speech whirring by.

 

She can see the interns all laughing and sneaking peanuts into the gallery.

 

Addison smiles to herself, remembering her residency days and how she once did the same.

 

(Addison focuses back on Bailey’s speech completely now.)

 


 

“So if you’re certain that what you want and what they want and what you two are capable of is an ADULT, MATURE, HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP, then MAYBE I will consider it a good thing. BUT ONLY IF, and only if, you recognize that until the day they graduate from the program-”


“That you - we - not that I’m at all on the scene right now - but that we, as their teachers, will ALWAYS have the upper hand. So it’s much harder to navigate consent, and sex, and rules, and boundaries, and pacing while you’re dealing with someone who’s your student” Bailey says.

 

And as she drones on more, the interns are all snuggled together-some more than others at least...




 

Despite Cristina Yang being totally invested in cuddling with Izzie during this long operation,

 

Something she hasn’t and won’t mention YET is that she can read lips like a pro.

 

While she was examining the superior surgical skills of the surgeons down there,

 

She’d also read off of Addison’s lips that she’d said she was attracted to women, but just not HER, Cristina Yang.

 

Now, to anyone else a comment like that might have HURT.

 

But to Cristina, it all came as a sort of relief.

 


 

She’s already had that conversation with Addison, and they had a mutual disinterest in liking EACH other, that way at least.

 

Though Cristina admits to herself Addison IS a good kisser, she’s a good kisser in that she imagines what IZZIE kisses like.

 

And that’s what she’s MOSTLY just thinking about now.

 

But she’s also thinking in the back of her mind, that probably Meredith would really like how Addison kisses. 

 

And by the look on her face just short hours ago she seemed pretty stoked on the idea.

 

And how Addison has come out to HER ex-boyfriend and Meredith’s ex-boyfriend and all of their bosses both Bailey and Webber.

 


 

But she hasn’t really come out to the interns - namely Meredith - in the open.

 

And Cristina thinks this is one of those moments she should save for Addison to do for herself. Coming out is personal and important she knew already.

 

So she keeps quiet about the lips she’s read, checking the looks on the other intern’s faces to see if they saw what SHE saw.

 

But they hadn’t seen it, because she knew them and Cristina knew they would have said something.

 

So then she cuddles even closer into Izzie right now, she wraps her arm over Izzie’s shoulder as Izzie plants a soft kiss over her head.

 

And she decides to be happy, for Addison to share the truth she knew from the beginning, for Meredith to start to share her feelings about Addison.

 


 


Happy for George and Alex to have found a new piece of their existence and to enjoy each other,

 

For herself, to being resigned to meddling in her “unhelpful-at-times” Yoda behavior.

 

And she just lets herself be adrift and at peace, as she closes her eyes just for a second so she can enjoy Izzie’s head fall into the crook of her neck, as she tucks her head down right into hers.

 


 

“We are not children anymore, we’re all of age. Bailey continues again with her rant.

 

There’s nothing WRONG, per se, with them the interns dating you or you dating them. But there will always be questions; always a risk of giving them an upper hand in their surgeries or not and going the other way and punishing them, too” Bailey continues.

 

“And there will always be an amount that they will think that you are their heroes, and they may love you for that, and not for you you are outside of the O.R” Bailey says gently, knowing that that one might strike a nerve with Preston Burke and Derek Shepherd.

 

“I’m not gonna make a rule. It’s not right for me to make a rule. I’m not gonna make you kiss and tell. I’m not gonna ask you to tell me who you kiss and I beg of you PLEASE to spare me the gory details. I do not talk about sex - EVER. Not any KIND of sex-” Bailey rambles.

 

“But I do talk about people’s feelings, and I do talk about people’s hearts. And I do talk about communication, and learning, and love and of loss. So if you ever want to come to me and ask me your REAL questions, because you CARE about somebody that damn much-”

 

“And I mean that you CARE about somebody, not that you lust over them or have these dirty little dreams or secrets about them. If you honestly do care, and you want to do things the right way, you come to talk to me about YOUR feelings (not theirs!) and you talk to the Chief, and he’ll be there.-”

 


 

“And we’ll be there for each other. We’ll get through this. We’ll see” Bailey smiles.

 

And as she finishes up her long speech, and as the room is silent for a second. 

 

And as the boys hang their heads a bit, reflecting on what they’d done in their past,

 

Addison thinks quietly to herself for a moment. About all of what Bailey’s just said.

 




(Addison thinks about how SHE feels about Meredith, and how MEREDITH might feel about HER-)

 

(She thinks of all the ADDED complications they have between them. Her divorcing Derek, Meredith previously dating Derek. Derek’s secret about HER. Addison’s secret about HERSELF.)

 

(Addison realizes that in all that she’s been trying to protect Meredith from herself, but is she doing more harm than good hiding behind that note and that key and that damn potted plant?)

 

(Speaking of that damn potted plant, Addison wonders idly if it managed to straighten itself out after she’d knocked into Meredith who’d knocked into it and knocked it over.)

 

(She’d tried to straighten it out when she laid it there in the kitchen but every time she touched it, the plant just seemed to be less and less straight so she gave up on straightening it and just made sure it was soothed into its pot with some water.)

 

(Like all it needed was someone to care for it, to cherish it. To love it then, after it had just been knocked over and had been neglected on the ground, almost completely trampled over by the time Addison had circled back to it after putting Meredith to sleep...)

 

(She even talked to it a bit before she left. Like who even does that?? Talk to a potted plant. That's how really fucking lonely she was then. Still is. Sorta...)

 

(They say it’s good for carbon dioxide or photosynthesis or something…To talk to plants. I mean?)

 

(Oh, heck Addison you’re getting yourself WAY off of topic!)

 

(STUPID POTTED PLANTS THE DAMN THINGS NEVER STAY STRAIGHT WHEN I TRY TO TOUCH THOSE THINGS ANYWAYS. MAYBE I GUESS I DON’T HAVE A GREEN THUMB AFTER ALL!)

 


 

At least by this time, Addison has realized she zones out in a thought spiral often enough that she brings herself back before anyone can ask her more questions.

 

“So you’ll think about everything I just said? ALL OF YOU” Bailey is even eyeing at Richard now.

 

“Yes, I will think about it, thank you, Bailey, ” Addison says to her in a way that Bailey knows-

 

Knows Addison’s not talking only about her long speech, but also about the way she stood up for her.

 

“Well, you’re very welcome,” Bailey says to her with the same subtext.

 

“BOYS!” Bailey bellows out loud for them to get their attention.

 

“Yes, Bailey” Preston Burke, Derek Shepherd - Even Richard Webber mumble in unison.

 

“Well, that’s good then. And congratulations again Addison, as I said, it’s an honorable step” Bailey smiles.

 

And Addison smiles back at Bailey, honestly glad for all that she sticks up for the Interns, too.

 


 

Addison chances another glance up to the gallery now, and Meredith Grey meets her eye just for one second before she’s looked away and blushing again.

 

And Addison has the very same reaction that Meredith does and she tries to hide it by then looking right at the floor.

 

Bailey never misses one, ever, so she sees exactly how Addison and HER INTERN MEREDITH GREY were just making eyes at EACH OTHER.

 

But she’s not going to have that conversation with Addison, now.

 

And she might not even have to if they never act on it all anyhow.

 


 

Bailey thinks that there might be a bigger story here, but she keeps to herself, trusting Addison entirely.

 

(Because unlike all those 3 boys, she does trust Addison most, and she thinks that she’s someone that Meredith Grey might grow into trusting as well.)

 

So instead, all Miranda Bailey does is that she looks up at Addison, looks her right in the eye.

 

Bailey can see the weariness, the hurt, and the loss. She can see the sadness, but she can see hope , as well. In Addison’s eyes, she can see the teeniest glint of hope, that is. 

 

So she turns to her fully and says to her softly “We accept the love that we think we deserve, Addison,” tenderly caressing the syllables of Addison’s first name, even though they are in the O.R right now.

 

Because Bailey is not talking to “Doctor Montgomery-Shepherd” anymore. She’s not talking to “Doctor Addison Montgomery,” either. Bailey is speaking directly to her, now. 

 

As a friend.

 

And hell if it isn’t exactly the words that Addison needed to hear right now.

 

All she needed from Bailey or anyone, then, is to know that no matter what, that someone is at her side.

 


 

As they finish up the operation, an urgent page comes for all of them - even the interns - from down in pathology.

 

The ‘pregnant man’ apparently has a Teratoma, the results just came back.

 

Addison smiles as she sees the interns scurry down to 

 

Richard assigns Addison to take out the Teratoma first as it still resembles a pregnancy, and Bailey assigns Karev and O’Malley to work with her on the abdomen.

 


 

Addison tries not to frown when she doesn’t get Grey.

 

And Bailey tries not to smirk a little at her near-frown.

 

Richard assigns Preston Burke and Bailey to keep operating with him and Derek down here on their current patient, and Bailey asks for Grey, Yang, and Stevens to stay in working with them.

 


 

 

But at least, Addison thinks to herself, at least I know they’re not all TALKING TO JOE! AND ASKING JOE QUESTIONS ABOUT HER! AND THAT NIGHT!

 




(And Addison decides at that moment that she’s not ready to share her feelings to Meredith, ABOUT MEREDITH)

 

(She’s not ready to share her identity as the 'mystery man'.)

 

*But that she’s just outed herself to an entire room full of her work-equals, not social equals always… or at least in her humble opinion though Webber and Bailey are certainly alright.)

 

(And that she’s tired of being so lonely and afraid about 'all of this gay business.')

 

(So the moment the interns are about to rush off to their assignments,)

 


 

Addison comes out loud and proud to say “Oh, and by the way, I’m at least kinda HALF-GAY, I mean for real I mean- I- Girls- Am-women…. You know have a good afternoon”

 


 

(Addison stumbles and reddens completely. She’s at a loss of her words so she looks down.)


(She looks down RIGHT AT THE FLOOR. She doesn’t look up, not for hours it feels like.)

 


 

(And she doesn’t look up because she can’t bear to see the shocked look on everyone’s face.)

 

(She doesn’t look up at all before half the interns have gone to scrub in and she-)

 

(And Alex Karev and George O’Malley have left the room to care for the ‘not-a-mystery-pregnancy-patient-no-more’)

 


 

(She doesn’t look up. She didn’t look up. Addison NEVER changed even a glance up.)

 

Not before she’s already out into the hall and long gone from the room.

 




(But, if Addison HAD looked up, she might have given a glance to her crush on the Intern-)

 

(The intern Meredith Grey. Who would have smiled back at her with a wink and a blush.)

 


 

(And then maybe they might have known then, known how Addison felt for her.)

 

(Meredith might have known how Addison felt al the things that she, more and more felt back.)

 

(Maybe they might have sensed even MORE from that moment - mysteries, secrets revealed?)

 

(But Addison never looked up, never glanced even once to her - anyone’s way.)

 


 

(So Meredith is just standing there with Cristina and Izzie inside the scrub room.)

 

(She’s staring at the blank space at where Addison had just then been standing.)

 

(She can feel Cristina SMIRKING at her from over there.)

 




(But Meredith doesn’t even look up at Cristina, either,)

 

(Because Meredith Grey doesn’t quite want her best friend Cristina to know yet-)

(Though she has no idea how much Cristina already knows yet-)

 


 

(Just how happy Addison Montgomery's newfound admission about her being at least half-Gay, had made Meredith Grey's whole day-)

 


 

*

*

*

*

*

***** END OF CHAPTER 20

 


 

Author’s Note:

THANK-YOU folks all SO MUCH for the raving reviews of this piece. Every kudos/like/star. Everytime this story is followed or favorited or bookmarked or subscribed to. Every COMMENT - I live for your comments and waking up to them every day is my favorite. I’d LOVE some feedback on this work as we know it. It’s not the end of the world though, even if you can’t. 

 

But I’d still love to know your feelings, your favorite moments, your funny quotes, the things you are surprised at. And also the things that you might wonder about, or be frustrated or feel another emotion by reading this one. It’s a SLOOOOOOOW burn, I know. But we ARE getting there. I mean, hell, ADDISON JUST CAME OUT ! GO ADDISON ! And Meredith was THERE!

 

So what do you think will happen next? Let me know in the reviews, I ALWAYS write back to each and every one if I can (I can’t on fanfiction if you are a guest…). And I love the long and daily discussions picking the chapter apart. Fans have given me lots of plot ideas and have helped to plug some MAJOR plot holes (like JOE outing Addison. So if you find mistakes tell me and help I’ll REALLY appreciate it.

 

Enjoy the next approximately 24-48 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 <3 <3 <3

 




Chapter Text

PREVIOUSLY ON “FALLING APART, BARELY BREATHING”:

 

Note that this flashback sequence has been drastically shortened and updated, based on wonderfully helpful reviews from readers like you. THANKS!

 


 

 ADDISON

 

(What if MEREDITH GREY had just heard, heard her declaration of homosexual tendencies!!!!????)

 


 

MEREDITH

 

(Meredith is still thinking about that damn ‘mystery person’ and the note they left her)

 

(Because she’s not sure she’s willing to be with someone who’s held out that long to a secret.)

 

(IS SHE READY??? How would she know how WILL she know?)

 

(Or maybe she wants ADDISON.)

 

(BUT THAT SHE DOESN’T KNOW IF ADDISON WOULD EVEN EVER LIKE WOMEN AT ALL)

 

(And she doesn’t know if Addison would be the type of Attending to want to date a STUDENT.)

 

(But she’s not so sure that she WOULDN’T want to wait for Addison once she's no longer her student, then, either.)  

 


 

ADDISON 

 

(DAMN NO LONGER PREGNANT PATIENT. AND DAMN AILEY FOR NOT PUTTING ME WITH GREY.

 

(But at least, if all the interns are in surgery tonight, Addison thinks to herself-)

 

(At least I know they’re not all TALKING TO JOE! AND ASKING JOE QUESTIONS ABOUT HER! AND THAT NIGHT!)

 

(Addison doesn't want to hide ALL her secrets anymore... so the moment the interns are about to rush off to their assignments,)

 


 

Addison comes out loud and proud to say “Oh, and by the way, I’m at least kinda HALF-GAY, I mean for real I mean- I- Girls- Am-women…. You know have a good afternoon”

 

 

( And Addison never looked up, never glanced even once to her - Meredith- or anyone else as she moved to leave the O.R)

 


 

MEREDITH  

 

(SHe's blushing and smiling to herself now. Hiding her smile from her best friend Cristina. Though she has no idea how much Cristina already knows yet-)

 

(Just how happy Addison Montgomery's newfound admission about her being at least half-Gay, had made Meredith Grey's whole day...)

 


 

END OF FLASHBACK SEQUENCE

 


 

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 21: Break On Through Part Eleven

 





Addison scrubs out to do surgery with George O’Malley and Alex Karev.



The boys ask her if she is “really Bi or Gay”. 



When she says yes, they ask her for a threesome, to which she says “no thank-you”.

 




They go to tell the patient the diagnosis. A Teratoma inside of his abdomen.



He’s relieved that the surgery gives him a good chance at survival. 

 

And he says to call him John.

 

They all exclaim - “Seriously?” - because “that’s the name they give patients when they don’t have an identity card” they laugh.



“Hey, don’t make fun of my name!” John the ‘no-longer-pregnant’ patient says to all of them.



The boys come out to him saying that “dude we’re like Gay Bros” (Alex) and

 

“I mean we’re Bisexual Bros. Like Bi Bros. Sort of like Super Mario Bros. But GAY ” (George).

 

And then they both look at Addison expectantly.

 

And thus Addison flushes, embarrassed a little, before coming out as “Bisexual also, but not a Bro .”



They thank him for asking George that question (did you like kissing that boy), and for giving Derek that dare (having Derek kiss Alex).



Addison winces a bit at that last, but she doesn’t let it show to the Interns, turning away slightly instead.



He asks for a word with the boys “gay men to gay men” And Addison agrees reluctantly.

 




While the boys have their “Super Bi Bros” chat, Addison tries to call Joe the Bartender, to tell him not to tell Meredith that she had drinks with her that night.



But every time that she calls him he doesn’t pick up.

 




The boys get a safe-sex talk from the patient, and they laugh because he’s so wise and he’s supposed to be the patient and they are supposed to be the doctors.



He just says he wishes his whole life was ahead of him, and not to let true love go.



Then he says, “Tell you what, boys. I’ll keep Doctor Boss busy here for 30 minutes, so if you two want to find a place to be alone for that time, set an alarm, wash up and be back as soon as you can” he says.



“Are you seriously offering to cover for us while we go off to have sex? Awesome!” Alex exclaims.



“Least I can do for you fellows for saving my life. Now take some of these condoms from that tin over there, be safe and have fun. And send Doctor Boss in would you?”

 


“Sure thing, you’re the very best!” George cheers. He takes a pile of condoms and stuffs them into his pants before eyeing Alex with enthusiasm.



“Your patient needs you, ‘Doctor Boss’, Alex says to Addison in a smirking tone as he rushes off after George O'Malley to the nearest on-call room or supply closet or wherever.

 




Addison laughs as they run off and the patient winks at them.

 

“Pretend you don’t know, please, Doctor Boss” the patient pleads with her.

 

“It’s more exciting, scandalous and fun for them that way,” the patient John says. 

 

Addison only nods with a chuckle, as she examines the patient’s vitals one last time.

 

The patient asks if they can call his dead boyfriend’s family together in case anything happens during surgery. 

 

“I haven't talked to them in years. Not since he left me” the patient

 

Addison wants desperately to know what happened, but she doesn’t want to pry.

 

So instead, she settles on counting the beats of John-the-patient’s heart.

 

And as she hears the thump-thump-thump, Addison swears that she feels his heartbeats calling out for his lover.

 




“We were over, after this happened” John the patient begins, answering Addison’s question despite her never having asked it in the first place. (Out LOUD, at least…)

 

“When this started to happen to me, I was so ashamed. I thought I was protecting him…”

 

John continues “but the truth is, I was protecting myself. When it finally got bad, I didn’t say. And when it got worse, I still never said.”

 

John says to Addison with sad eyes now.

 

“I thought at the time that if he knew my darkest secrets that he would run from me and never come back…”

 

John continues as Addison tries to gain the courage to look him in the eye.

 

“So I shut down, I made excuses. I asked people to lie for me. I stopped opening up” the patient says to her softer, even, now than before. 

 

“But then when he finally read it on my medical bills which had come in the mail without me having had the chance to hide them from me, that’s when it was over” John says.

 

“And the funny thing is, that he said he would have stayed if he knew. He understood that I wanted to protect him.

 

"But he didn’t want to be protected” John explains.

 

“I had never thought about it like that before,” the patient continues.

 

“I never thought that he’d want to know and to see all the pain and the worst of me. I didn’t know that he’d have loved me for ALL OF ME” John says now with a sharp sigh.

 

“But, alas, here we are. And the worst of it is, is that it was the hiding and the running and the lying by omission that was what drove him away. He still loved me . I still loved him. I love him…”

 

The patient explains how he had loved the love of his life until the day his lover died, but that he never got to keep him after he's broken his vows to be truthful to him.

 


 

“Are you trying to teach me a lesson about honesty , Mr. John?” Addison asks a bit sharply.

 

“Well, not intentionally no. I was just telling you the story of my life. Unless you have something you’re hiding from someone you love, Doctor Boss?”

 

Addison’s eyes flash over with a layer of guilt, and sorrow and fear. She’s not sure she should be telling him this. Or anyone this. Ever.

 

(But then she thinks that maybe this never is part of the problem. Maybe instead of the Teratoma that this patient has growing inside of him-)

 

(Maybe that’s like the secret note that Cristina is still keeping hostage along with the sample chart with her handwriting…)

 

(Maybe she should just come clean before it's too late for her to have her chance with Meredith. Maybe after what Bailey just said that shouldn’t matter.)

 

(Maybe they shouldn’t be at all because of who they were to each other, who they were to Derek, who they were now as a teacher and student.)

 

(Maybe she should just ASK this nice patient what he might advise her to do. Normally she would ask advice from Bailey, she always had good advice, but Grey was HER INTERN…)

 

(And she can’t ask Richard Webber for advice EITHER because he’s like family to Meredith. And she can’t ask Preston Burke for advice because he’ll just ask them for a THREESOME - EW!)

 

(And she can’t ask any of the Interns - not any of the ones who are not Grey or Cristina at least - because then they would KNOW all her secrets and go right and TELL them to Grey-)

 

(Even if nothing good comes of it she should probably tell Meredith this all HERSELF- right?)

 

(God, she wonders to herself how she can even consider herself a good teacher when she’s all messed up in her own life…)

 

(She wishes she could just get some new color upon her bare walls, that she could start over…)

 

(I wish I could start over… that’s the hardest part…)

 




“I wish I could start over… that’s the hardest part…” Addison sighs, eyes widening when she realizes she’s done it AGAIN - she’s said her INSIDE thoughts out LOUD.

 

“You realize you could start over?” John the patient asks of her as she prepares him.

 

“I do,” Addison decides to give into it. “And I know that I’m supposed to be the Doctor here and you’re supposed to be the patient…”

 

“And I know that doctor-patient-privilege is supposed to be me keeping your secrets not you keeping mine....” Addison tries to be concise with what she’s asking of John.

 

“But I really do need to talk. I’m really fucking lonely and I have no one to talk to. And the last time I talked was to a QUEER-AS-HECK-POTTED-PLANT - please don’t ask…!

 

John the patient only nods up affirmatively at Addison, asking her to go on. 

 

“Who am I going to tell?” John the patient, he laughs. “I’ll be asleep on your table, I won’t be able to talk” he guffaws his signature laugh.

 


 

“Well, the time before that that I talked was to my soon to be ex-husband’s ex-mistress, who was sort of his girlfriend before she met me and realized that he was McMarried still....”

 

“And then she kept me company on that rainy day. And she was hurt by her boyfriend. And I was hurt by my husband. And we were both hurt by DEREK . And we sat there together…”

 

(Addison sighs as she remembers it all so, so vividly to this day.)

 

“I brought her home afterward, we shared a cab and she gave me her keys. I tucked her in for the night, fixed up her house, hung up her coat on the coatrack and I wrote her a not with no name”

 

Addison tries to explain it all quickly. She’s missing details she’s sure. But it feels so good to share with someone her story. Someone new who was not at all a part of it. 

 

(Not in the same way that Grey and Yang and all of the Doctors here are, in the same way.)

 

“And then the next morning she woke up and thought that it had been a man. And that she had a complete blackout that night since before I was there…” Addison continues on and on.

 

“And then she asked me what I did that night and I lied. I told her nothing exciting. That I had an early night. And I never said a word about that night to her, not ever again…” she rambles.

 

“But then the intern matched my handwriting. I’m not sure no one else has. Well I do, I’ve been typing up all of my charts and writing only in my home” Addison says. 

 

“Not that I have a home anymore, I still live here in a hotel… I have a trust fund… ok, you know what let’s not get into THAT part right now!” she says off John’s rather incredulous look.

 

“And I didn’t want to be her hero. I didn’t want to be someone treating her like a toy. But I wanted to protect her. And I wanted to take away all her pain…” Addison rambles again.

 

“And then I just wanted her to like me. And people teased me about LIKING her. And I told them that I was straight but I guess you know that I’m bent now. Or wait, BI now? Not sure…I’m new..”

 

“And anyway so I still have not told her. And one of her friends is keeping that secret for me as well. And she’s sort of holding me hostage. And I think the interns will figure it out soon…”

 

“And I’m just so, so scared that once she finds out, she won’t let me have her, not even like this. That I won’t have her as anything at all… not as a teacher, or an attending, or as a friend or as MORE…”

 


 

(And Addison realizes that she’s admitting her newfound feelings for Grey for the very first time. When she and Cristina had talked about this it was all hypothetical.)

 

(But apparently hypothetical love is not dead here, apparently. Because it’s been blossoming into something much more…)

 


 

“And see I wish I could just KNOW, that she will run away or she’ll stay.”

 

“You’ll never KNOW,” John says to her wisely. “You’ll never KNOW that for SURE,” he adds.

 

“But I can tell you this surely; the longer you wait, the harder it gets."

 


 

"It’s the hardest part, but it’s like taking out all of this lump from me…” the patient has caught on to her metaphor as well.

 

“The longer I waited to tell, the worse it got for everyone. But when I come to get help, I’m taking my chances at a new start.

 

The surgery is not guaranteed, nor are your chances with them” he says carefully.

 

“But YOU can tell ME for certain, that this not-pregnant-belly of mine would have been outpatient if I had come in months ago.

 

And maybe day surgery if I had come in weeks ago…”

 

“But now it’s an hours-long-surgery that will take up a whole team.

 

And I’ll be out, I’ll be gone, under the knife in your hands.

 

But I trust those hands, Doctor Boss. I trust you still, and I trust your sidekicks” he grins and Addison grins at that one too.

 


 

“But at the end of the day, my fate is out of my hands because I waited too long to make my choice, so my choice was chosen for me.

 

Have you ever seen an instance like this?”

 

John is trying to be relatable and it brings up her and Derek’s marriage for Addison.

 

“Yes, in fact. Yes, it does. My husband couldn’t choose between me and his mistress. She asked him to “pick me, choose me, love me.” and then he asked ME what he should decide…”

 

Addison groans at the memory about that night in the trailer. Her very LAST night at the trailer…

 

“And in the end I didn’t let him pick her, or choose me, or love either of us. I decided to end it all for the both of us, for Meredith and I both - FUCK. I didn’t mean to say Meredith. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. I need you to forget that I said that IMMEDIATELY!” Addison flushes and freaks out.

 

“It’s okay, you’ve said it now. You’re doing great, just go on. I promised I wouldn’t tell” he comforts her.

 

“She comforted me. That evening I told her he wasn’t coming. He wasn’t coming to get her because he wasn’t sure what he wanted. And I was sure of what I wanted. So I pressed my rings to his palm. And I said “goodbye, Derek.” she sighs.

 

“And I was the one to walk away then. I decided to decide. I took us out of his hands. And I went to the bar to tell her that. I went to tell her - Meredith - damn you know now anyhow….”

 

“I went to tell her he would not show. Because I thought she should know . Because I thought that it would be torture for her to drink while she’s waiting, and maybe never get home”

 

“And I thought that she’d want company, after he’d hurt her not once not twice but again. But really I think I wanted the company. I needed someone I could trust. 

 

And for some reason I trusted her” Addison is pouring her heart out now as the patient is nearly moved to tears.

 

“She’d been hurt by the same person, broken, bruised and all blue. And I wanted somehow to save her. So she wouldn’t become like me when she grows up. She might, growing up with HIM.” Addison articulates rather bluntly.

 

“He wasn’t right for me; but he wasn’t right for her, either. And I just wanted to carry her home that night. She is so young. And I don’t want her to lose that.” Addison says.

 


 

“But I think that she already has” John speaks up now. “She’s lost some pieces of herself from him that night. Maybe not as many as you, maybe more. But all that matters is that you were there for HER without thinking of receiving anything at all in return” John the patient now articulates.

 

“And all these pieces, they can have glue. Real friendship and real relationships can glue a soul back together. If you’re willing to be around when the bruises peel off before they heal” he says. 

 

“But let’s go back to your soon to be ex-husband’s situation for a second. You say ‘he had two loves, he had two hearts instead of one’. You said ‘young man, what have you done’ John quotes an old poem that fits the situation so well. 

 

“And what has hurt you is that you felt his love had been divided. He didn’t commit and he didn’t give you either of you the love that you deserved to be offered” John says.

 

“And now let’s take that and extrapolate that onto YOUR situation. That Grey girl that you carried home the other night, is probably still at least a little bit in love with that ‘mystery person’”

 

“It’s natural for her to fantasize about what might have been if that person had revealed themselves sooner, or who might do so soon enough,” John says.

 


 

“But if she starts to love someone else, or be interested in someone else, she will face a half-love, a half-life, and a half-truth” he puts simply.

 

“She won’t be able to accept the love that she truly deserves, or even the love that she might think she deserves” Addison rolls this modification of this popular wisdom around her head.

 

“She won’t be able to let go - of her ‘mystery person’ ergo of you. Nor be able to let go of any lover she may like - ergo of anyone - of man or woman - or even of YOU.” John says softly.

 


 

“ME?!” Addison exclaims incredulously. “Why would you add me twice to your equation??”

 

“Well your reaction sure speaks volumes about your secret loves and desires, Doctor Boss” he smiles up at her. John tries not to smirk at her, but he slowly starts to.

 

And Addison starts to smile back at him, because she’s finally got someone to help her through this.

 

“Destiny works in wild and wonderful ways, Doctor Boss” John begins again.

 

“Dying does that to you. It brings you wisdom. It brings you light” he says simply.

 

“I know you’ll say I’m not DYING- if you can help it all, at least” John interrupts in Addison’s thoughts.

 


 

“But I’ll say this; I see you care so, so much about this Grey girl. I see you watch her, I see you cherish her, I see you’ve carried her home through the night” he says in compliment.

 

“And I’ve heard you’ve been hurt before, have been neglected before, have been a giver before, have had to hide your needs before, and have had to lie before” he explains seriously to her.

 

“And I see these things colliding, in that you’ve always accepted the love that YOU think you’ve deserved. You’ve accepted to be humble, and you’ve accepted to exist only in the shadows” he says.

 

“You play a guardian of Angels, for the most part, Doctor Boss. But you’ve always been a giver, and relationships take give AND take. You do not have to feel all guilty, about asking for what you need” he says to her and her eyes sadden.

 


 

“You don’t have to feel unwelcome, to say what’s too much, and what’s too kind,” he says.

 

“And you don’t have to feel so lonely if only you would let the love come in” John finishes quietly.

 

“But I’m still lost in all your metaphors,” Addison says with such compassion.

 


 

“I’m saying that you do need to share this secret. You have to get this off your chest. You have to go and tell this Grey girl what has happened that night instead-”

 

“Instead of watching as the time goes by and your chances all run out-”

 

“Instead of  worrying about your options until they are no longer even there-”

 

“Instead of leaving her with half-lives when she could truly have a whole-”

 

“Instead of not taking a chance, and risking not having anything left at all-”

 

“And instead of waiting as the love of your life, might float on by, without knowing she could catch you, as much as you want to catch her.” John finally concludes.

 

“It’s okay to fall, Doctor Montgomery,” the patient says to her with her first name now.

 

“It’s okay to fall in someone’s arms,” he says. 

 


 

“I HAVE, she’s caught me when I fell one time when I was buying Cheetos from the machine” Addison explains, deciding it’s the least of things to be embarrassed about right now.

 

“And did it feel right to be caught by her, to be held by her and to be cherished by her?” John is asking, looking right into her eye.

 

“You don’t have to answer me that, you don’t answer that. Not her, not now, for me” he says quickly.

 

“That answer, that should guide your judgment. So that YOU don’t end up like ME” John says.

 


 

“So I think I have my answer, thanks to all your help, thank you so much for your help, John”

 

“It’s been a pleasure, Doctor boss now, let's YOU help ME out now” he laughs.

 

“We will do our very best, to help you out and help you up,” Addison adds.

 

“You’ve been our favorite patient for weeks now, and you’ve opened up our eyes.

 

You’ve helped us laugh, you’ve helped us, love. You’ve helped us well upon our way” she says.

 

“You’ve helped me live, you’ve helped me laugh, and you’ve inspired me to love again,” he says. 

 


 

“Now I would like to leave a voicemail, would you help me with your phone?” John asks.

 

And Addison says sure as he dials his lover’s mother’s number all by heart.

 

And then John calls her all to tell her, 

 

“How he’d almost had it all. And how he wished he’d let himself fall enough to tell his husband the truth. And that if he had time before he had passed that he would have chased him all again.”

 

“Because true love, it was worth having, but he accepts the love he thinks he deserves now. And he’s realized that he's had it, at least one great love in all his life. And he thanks her for her son. And he thanks her for his life. And then thanks her all for everything, for everything he’s done.”

 

“And then he finally says he’s sorry, for all the lies, the time, the gone.” And then he cries a little, shakes a little and then he cries on Addison’s shoulder.

 

And she holds him as he recovers, from the tears and all the fears. And she holds him as he rests now, from having shared and for having listened.

 

And she holds him as he tells her his last wishes should this be the last time he’s on earth.

 

And she holds him and starts crying, too, when he tells her finally, to “go chase after that lollipop girl, until the very end of the earth. Tell her your secrets, let her ask you her questions. And then let her love you, let her catch you. And let yourself fall. Let yourself fall in her arms. And let yourselves fall in love” he says.

 

And Addison watches as the clearness comes over his expression, and feels as her own foggy green eyes have finally cleared up a little more than they have been in a long time.

 


 

And she leans down and presses a tender kiss to the man’s temple, before saying “thank you, for everything.” and then Addison promises, that she’ll tell the truth, and that she’ll try, and that she’ll fall. And that she’ll never look back after this moment, until she’s truly letting go, of all the pain of her past.

 

And he thanks her, for everything as well, for being the very best Doctor Boss there is.

 

And then he says it’s finally time, for him to decide finally, for him to decide to do the right thing, and for him to trust her and her team. To fall onto her operating table, and to trust that Karev, O’Malley, and Addison Montgomery, can give him the chance to live another life, no longer a half-life. 

 

One in which he will accept the love that John truly deserves.

 




And after the emotional moment has passed, Addison finally summons the 2 boys.

 

“Did you have a good workout, boys?” John the patient asks of George and Alex with a wink.

 

“Very athletic,” George says sweetly. As John, the patient only smiles.

 

“Yeah, I feel like, euphoric ” Alex says, unable to contain a sly smirk.

 

“We took the stairs ” George exclaims without warning. John laughs out loud now, with tears of joy replacing tears of all.

 

“And not the elevator ?” Addison lilts with her voice. EVERYONE knew that elevators were extremely potent aphrodisiacs around here. 

 

“Nah, what’s the rush in that ” Alex exclaims at them all. “There’s nowhere to go in there, with the stairs you can go up and go down all day without stopping” Alex smirks even wider.

 

And George punches him slightly on the arm telling him to “shhh, shut up ”.

 


 

And at this moment Addison reddens as she realizes that they had been literal when they had just mentioned they’d spent all their newfound free time in the stairwell.

 

“You boys better not be too tired in my O.R after all of that exercise ” Addison sobers herself up immediately, and she teases them lightly as they all laugh it off. 

 

The patient mouths at Addison “thank-you” and, and Addison smiles at him back.

 


 

And then to herself, Addison thinks that it really should be Alex and/or George to be the ones to be gracing her with their words of appreciation.

 

For the sex, she means, for that. 

 

But Addison decides to start to follow his advice now, not to be humble beyond repair.

 

So instead of turning away or denying him his sincere gratitude,

 

Addison turns to John and says to him, out loud now “you are most wonderfully welcome.” 

 

And she really, REALLY means it.

 


  

 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 21

 


 

Author’s Note:

 

NOTE: YES, I still totally REMEMBER Meredith Grey, Cristina Yang, Izzie Stevens, Richard Webber, Miranda Bailey, Preston Burke, Derek Shepherd & Nurse Bokhee exist... You’ll just have to wait till the next few days to see that they’ve been up to in the meantime!

 

THANK-YOU folks all SO MUCH for the raving reviews of this piece. Every kudos/like/star. Every time this story is followed or favorit-ed or bookmark-ed or subscribed to this story. Every COMMENT - I live for your comments and waking up to them every day is my favorite. I’d LOVE some feedback on this work as we know it. It’s not the end of the world though, even if you can’t, I understand. :D 

But I’d still love to know your feelings, your favorite moments, your funny quotes, the things you are surprised at. And also the things that you might wonder about, or be frustrated or feel another emotion by reading this one. It’s a SLOOOOOOOW burn, I know. But we ARE getting there. I promise.  

So what do you think will happen next? Let me know in the reviews, I ALWAYS write back to each and everyone if I can (I can’t on fanfiction if you are a guest…). And I love the long and daily discussions picking the chapter apart. Fans have given me lots of plot ideas and have helped to plug some MAJOR plot holes (like JOE outing Addison). So if you find mistakes tell me and help I’ll REALLY appreciate it.

Enjoy the next approximately 24-48 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!

 


 

END OF AUTHOR'S NOTES.

 


 

THANK YOU FOR READING !!!!! LEAVE A NOTE, IT WILL MAKE MY DAY <3 <3 <3

 


 




Chapter Text

PREVIOUSLY ON “FALLING APART, BARELY BREATHING”:

 


 

Addison holds the no-longer-fake-pregnant-because-he-has-a-teratoma-patient, named John as he cries. And she starts crying, too, when he tells her finally, to “go chase after that lollipop girl, until the very end of the earth. Tell her your secrets, let her ask you her questions. And then let her love you, let her catch you. And let yourself fall. Let yourself fall in her arms. And let yourselves fall in love” he says. 

And Addison watches as the clearness comes over his expression, and feels as her own foggy green eyes have finally cleared up a little more than they have been in a long time...

 


 

E ND OF FLASHBACK SEQUENCE.

 


 

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 22: Break On Through Part Twelve

 


 

 

**** This section occurs in chronological parallel with the previous chapter, in the same timeframe where Addison was talking with the patient, Alex & George were having fun, and the patient has had his operation.****

Ergo, I could say, "Meanwhile in O.R TWO..."

 

 

“So who knew, Addison Montgomery is a lesbian!” Meredith tries to sound subtle and not at all chipper at this (for her, at least) very exciting news. 

 

Cristina smirks a bit at Meredith who tries to look away first but Cristina catches her eye and Meredith blushes.

 

‘And what a cool way to come out, too, in an O.R no less!” Izzie says all romantically.

 

“Well, if you put it THAT way, I guess” Meredith laughs a bit nervously.

 

“Well do you want to go around and share all our ‘coming out stories’ Cristina says with a shrug as she stands at the side of the patient.

 

“Yeah!” Izzie says excitedly, mostly because she really wants to hear Cristina’s.

 

“As long as your storytime does not interfere with my teaching time, I suppose I can allow it” Bailey pipes in with a hum.


She’s trying to be extra supportive of this because she knows that the other attendings (except probably Addison) would be very encouraging and accepting towards them all. 

 

“Well, I guess I’ll go first then” Izzie answers her very own question.

 

“So I grew up in a trailer park. But you knew that that’s not new. But what you might not have known is that the trailer parks always threw the most WILD of parties. And I liked to go to the parties in high school…” Izzie begins.

 

“And there were always these girls making out with these girls. And like I said before I always pictured myself with the princesses when I grew up. And these girls they both looked like princesses.” she adds.

 

“And anyway, one night my friends and I were at this one party playing the game spin-the-bottle. And there was a chance for me to join in the game. So I played spin-the-bottle and then I got a girl. And that was the first time that I kissed one” Izzie keeps going.

 

“Did you share that story with Addison? You two have a whole lot in common with your coming out experiences” Cristina smirks up at her and side-glancing at Meredith, just so she could see Meredith give her a frown. 

 

“We haven’t talked about that together, no. But maybe later. But anyhow, after she kissed me I asked her to do it again. And then we played 7 minutes in heaven, and then we were together then, too” Izzie says.

 

“So you're coming out of the closet, occurred while exiting a physical CLOSET!” Meredith now exclaims to her.

 

“Isn’t that SO ROMANTIC” Izzie swoons and Cristina swoons at that too and she says that it is.

 

“So how did you come out to your family then?” This time it’s Preston Burke trying to be nice and supportive as he sees Bailey’s and Richard’s piercing eyes on him.

 

“When I brought that girl home for dinner with my mom, I never said it was a girl because where we lived it always happened. So she just cooked her dinner like any other date. She told me later after we broke up when she moved out of Chehalis that she wished we’d still be seeing each other so that I wouldn’t have gotten all pregnant” Izzie says to her. 

 

“You were pregnant?” Meredith asks her gently.

 

“Yeah, I got pregnant in high school and gave the baby up for adoption,” Izzie says. 

 

“That’s really brave,” Cristina says very supportively. 

 

“Thanks,” says Izzie. 

 

“But I want to hear more of YOUR stories” Izzie exclaims.






“Alright here goes. So I had a bit of a thing with my college professor-”

 

“YOU DATED A WOMAN COLLEGE PROFESSOR!” Derek exclaims at her incredulously.

 

“No, Derek, I didn't. I was starting to tell the damn story,” Cristina says to him after she’s interrupted.

 

“So after I broke it off with him because he wanted it to be serious, I started sleeping around more. And I was attracted to talent and not genitalia, so I would spy on the smartest person in the whole class. And I would ask them out, boy or girl” Cristina offers.

 

“And sometimes they’d say yes, sometimes they’d say no. Sometimes I was a bit drunk, but other times I wasn’t” Cristina says all the same. 

 

And it wasn’t a big deal for me or any of my friends. But it was sort of a big deal to tell my mom. Because we come from a traditional family and she never grew up to be cool about it. It took her a while to accept it; to accept me. But she came around when my college girlfriend cleaned our whole house. She said she was good for me” Cristina says. 

 

“It didn’t work out with her for similar reasons to Izzie. She moved to Colorado to become a singer or a rock-climber. Not really sure which she was really good at both along with all of her academics” Cristina laughs.

 

“Wow so you really liked climbing up with walls with her, I bet” Izzie jokes lightly.

 

And to that Cristina leans over to whisper to Izzie, ‘not as much as I’d like it with YOU’ before moving away again.

 

“I really like that story. I'm glad I got to hear it” Meredith says to her. 

 

“Thanks, Meredith,” Cristina says.

 




“How about you, then,” asks Izzie.

“Yeah, go on, Mer” smiles Cristina.

“Well, for starters, the first time I kissed a girl was at a national science fair conference somewhere. We were the co-winners and she was the cutest thing ever I thought, that I knew- well that I knew back then anyways-”

Meredith cuts herself off before telling more of the story.

(Truth be told, now that she thinks about it, she looks sorta like ADDISON... Meredith Thinks…)

(Maybe you have like a TYPE, Meredith thinks to herself. Like tall leggy redheads… Meredith blushes more now. )

(Yeah but this girl wasn’t NEARLY so tall and leggy as ADDISON is, and she’s not as COOL!)

“So you were telling us about this winner of the science fair…?” Cristina eggs her on to pull her out of a thought spiral and save her from further embarrassment.

“Right, the science fair! Anyhow she was- Good looking- And she asked me out and so I said yes-” 

(Meredith takes a pause because she almost DESCRIBED this woman who looked shockingly like Addison and she DIDN'T need her friends much less anyone else there to see the parallels as clearly as she did right then.)

“And we went out for a drive to one of those old-fashioned drive-in movie theaters that she knew first hand because she lived there nearby. And the movie was ‘dazed and confused…”

“And in that movie, there are two girls who were kissing. And then we thought we’d try it so we started kissing. And then we kept kissing. And then we stopped watching the movie and started to-”

Meredith was going to keep going, forgetting herself at the moment as she relives parts of that fantasy.

(Running her hands through red hair, kissing soft candy lips, having those soft candy lips run up on Meredith’s neck, leaving hickeys that boys all made fun of her for weeks for…)

(Meredith wonders if Addison’s lips taste that sweet. She never asked Cristina that because she thought it might be a bit weird. And she wonders if Addison would kiss her on the neck…)

(And she wonders if Addison would leave marks on her neck. Would she bite her there? God, Meredith can hardly contain a loud moan at the thought. Would Addison bruise if SHE kissed her... )

(Addison’s skin looks so soft to Meredith. She thinks it would feel like silk if she ran her fingers over it. She thinks it would bruise easily but she imagines kissing Addison on the neck anyhow…)

(She imagines marking all over Addison’s neck and shoulders. To show everybody she’s HERS and no one else’s, not Derek’s or otherwise. She imagines Addison kissing her neck all again…)

“And then I think that’s enough of THAT part of the story for me at least” Richard Webber breaks into Meredith’s fantasies with a rough of his voice.

“Meredith, I know you don’t want me to treat you any differently, but I can’t help it if sometimes I feel like another family member to you. And as you uncle and father figure it makes me feel, rather ill, to hear about you in such… compromising positions…” he says.

“But I AM proud of you, for being yourself,” Richard says in his best dad-voice ever.

Thank-you” Meredith says with a gesture. He’s taking it all in much better than Thatcher Grey did.

“So how did you come out then, to your family?” This time Richard is really eyeing her curiously.

“Well after the conference, I wanted to fly back on the weekend to see this girl over again. But my mom didn’t understand why I cared so much, until I told her I like-liked her” she says.

“And I wouldn't have thought that my mother would ever understand. But she really seemed to and that’s one of the best moments I ever had with my mom, Ellis Grey” Meredith says.

“When I told my dad that, he just drank a lot of scotch” Meredith sort of winces at that one.

“And as for you, well I guess my coming out to uncle Richard moment just happened like, LIVE” Meredith grins as Richard gives her a nod of approval.

“I’m sorry I never told you earlier, Richard. It just never came up,” she says.

“That’s okay, darling. I understand” Richard says to her back. 

“Have you called your mother recently?” he asks her then.

“Not that recently” Meredith smiles. “Well tell her I said hello” Richard smiles at her.

 


 

Well those are some fine stories if I do say so myself” Bailey says to them supportively.

“Anyone else wants to share and tell?” Bailey looks around, asking inclusively.

Derek looks hard at the ground, not saying a single word.

His expression of darkness is darker, and Meredith notices the shift in him but doesn’t quite put the meaning together with it.

“Well, I will say that I have been with men in my lifetime” Preston Burke finally admits to them. 

“My mama Burke was very not proud. She was very homophobic and quite hard to please” Burke continues.

 “So I thought it was okay to call people homophobic slurs growing up” he adds. “But I’m really glad that those days are behind me,” Burke says with a sigh.

They nod at him, all of him. But Baley is still eyeing him with a mild huff because of the way he’d been behaving towards Addison, earlier.

“Have you been with a man, Richard, Derek?” Burke asks the others innocently.

And Richard says no without much of a tone of surprise, and just says that he does find men attractive, but has never met one particularly he was interested in while he was single anyhow”

And when he asks Derek, he mumbles out a harsh “NO.” 

And then he looks at the floor again and no one wants to ask him any more than that. 

“Well I’ve only been with one woman in my lifetime, I take relationships very seriously” Bailey says, surprising nearly everything.

“It was before I ever met my husband, and she was also very beautiful. My girl version of Idris Elba” she sighs. 

“And my mamma and my dad didn't approve of that neither.

They were upset about it for a long, long, time before they thought that something might change. But it ain’t like that. It don’t never changes. But I never was with a woman long term so they never really needed to fully accept it” Bailey says. 

“I’m sorry,” Meredith says softly and gently.

(If Addison were here, she might remark that Meredith was always the first one to say she’s sorry, even if she never caused any pain in the first place. And that it always seemed to help.)

“Well, thank-you, Grey,” Bailey says with a smile. “I’m glad that your folks came around for you all, at least mostly,” she says. 

 


 

“Well, I might have an idea why your mother was so accepting of it” Richard speaks up.

Meredith snaps her eyes up to her transplanted parent in a bit of a shock.

“Well, before she met me at least before I really knew her she had a best friend you know. They were as close as you and Cristina” he gestures between Meredith and them. 

“And she was your mother’s person. Her name was Marie Cerone” Richard says softly.

“MY AUNTIE MARIE!” Meredith exclaims, thinking she hasn’t seen this aunt in quite a while.

“Your auntie Marie” he confirms. “Those two were close, very intimately. Your mother was a lot like Cristina, in a good way” Richard says with a smile and Cristina BEAMS at the compliment.

“And Marie-Cerone was a whole lot like Izzie, now that I think about it” Richard says in afterthought.

And I never really talked about it with her, after we- after we weren’t all that close anymore…

(Richard trails off a bit now, not wanting to get into his whole adulterous love affair with Meredith’s Mother right now because he hadn’t really thought about how, yet.)

“And I saw those two kissing one time. Marie-Cerone and your mother. And it wasn’t in a just friends sort of way. It was an “I really think they’re in love with each other, way” he says.

And there is a moment where Cristina and Izzie piece together the parallels between them and Richard’s story and the smile at each other with their eyes before looking away.

“And they never got to be together, because your mother broke her heart. She was too afraid of what people would think, what it would mean for her career.” Richard trails off. 

Back then, being women with women was not accepted as much as it is now” he says.

“And your mother wanted to be extraordinary. So she went down a road with Marie-Cerone. And she was the one to walk away from that part of their relationship” he says this.

(Richard doesn’t say WHY he knows this. Why he knew that Ellis had been heartbroken and that no matter what Ellis said to him, that he always felt second-best compared to Marie-Cerone in Ellis’ life, and that he didn’t want to imagine what Thatcher might feel like, coming in only a third…)

“When Marie-Cerone had one of the most painful experiences of her life at work-”

(Richard doesn’t go into detail about this part because it is too painful to tell.)

“Your mother did help her heal. She was there the whole way. But she never let Marie-Cerone have all of her. She never let herself love Marie-Cerone back the way she wanted to. She never let her touch her, never let the relationship progress to be more” Richard recounts.

“And so they were just that for a long time. They were much more than friends but much less than anything else” Richard says.

 


 

“And that was enough for her. It was enough for her for YEARS, for the both of them” Richard says.

“But careers got in the way, jealousy got in the way, research, grants, Harper-Avery awards…”

“Anyways, your mother had some great love in her lifetime, at least I think so-”

(Richard covers this one up as quickly as he can but no one seems to notice)

“But none of them compared to that one. She was her ONE, I think, she was” Richard says.

“She still talks to her sometimes, but not as much as Marie-Cerone always wants to” this time it’s Meredith who adds on more details to the story.

“They always seemed close. My mother always lit up when she called” Meredith says.

“They would talk there for hours, she would have her own world with her” Meredith adds.

“Yes, I think they did” Richard confirms, noticing how succinctly that Meredith had put this.

“That’s so sad that they never got to be together” Izzie sighs.

“It really is, I mean I’m all for career and awards and I don’t know. I don’t know yet what I would choose. I like to think I’m growing into a better person… more human…” Cristina says.

Izzie has the instinct to reach out to hold Cristina’s hand but she can’t, she smiles instead.

 


 

(Meredith considers this story for quite a long time before coming up with a response.)

“If I knew the love of my life was waiting for me, I understand why it might be a comfort, at least for a while, to be like you said; to be more than just friends, but less than anything else; to be in love with them, and so close, and yet at a distance,” Meredith Grey thinks.

(She’s thinking of Addison now. She vaguely sees her thoughts glance occasionally to her mystery lover. But she’s half-but-convinced that this mystery person just is never going to exist to her and to tell her all their secrets. So she resigns herself to thinking of Addison more.)

(She thinks of if she and Addison ever became close like that if they were just friends, and a bit more, but less than anything else. How would she feel? How would she know? Would it be the right thing for them? Maybe it would NOW because Addison is in a DIVORCE…)

(But in a way it all just seems so damn LONELY. How could you wait there, not knowing if you could ever have them more than that, to go more than halfway, to go more than all the way in with them head-over-heels… Addison has pretty heels. She looks even leggier in her shoes..)

 


 

“But I don’t know if I could live like that, live like that, forever?” Meredith questions.

"I don't know if that's a good thing for me or for them, to keep them so close but yet so far away," she says breathlessly.

“If someone was going through something where they needed a friend more than they needed a lover, then I can understand wanting to be the person they need you to be at the time,” she explains. 

“If what the love of my life needed a friend then I guess maybe I understand I would want to be that to them. But I still would, I would still WANT them. I would still crave them. And being around them it would make me so dizzy sometimes, at least that's how I think I would-could-ah-”

Meredith lets her voice trail off completely now, as she lets it all sink in what she’s saying.

 


 

(About WHOM she’s saying these things, she thinks to herself. About her mystery lover still, but mostly not. Mostly, she's thinking about ADDISON...)

 


 

(Could she be just Addison’s friend if Addison doesn’t or didn’t like her back that way?)

(Could she even stand it? Being that emotionally intimate with her and then not being able to touch them in more than a friendly way? Not being able to kiss her like she wanted to-)

(IF SHE WANTED TO WHOA. All of these thoughts are so powerful and all over the place…)

(Would my love be enough to be enough for me if she only lets me have her like that, rather than nothing at all? Would I stay or go? Would I walk away? Would I leave her?)

(As more than a friend, but less than anything else… If it were Addison, would I ever walk away? Or would I stay? If I were only ever going to be second-best to her)

(How long would I stay by her side and then never let go?)

 


 

Meredith ponders this question over every which way in her mind, for a very very long time.

And by the time she’s done thinking about this question, and questions like this, she’s all dazed and confused now herself. So she takes a deep sigh. And when they’re out of the O.R, Richard Webber puts his hand on her shoulder.

“You, be good for your mother,” he says like he’s trying to say more but he doesn’t know what else he can offer.

Maybe I’ll see if my mom wants to call Marie-Cerone when I talk with her,” Meredith says to him.

“I think that your mother would like that very much,” Richard says with a sad smile. 

 


 

  (Because what Meredith doesn’t know then, is that at the time Richard had been willing to give up Ellis if it meant she could be with her one- her Marie-Cerone. But Ellis said no thank-you. And he tried to understand, and she cried, he held her. And he felt selfish, to hold her like that. To hold her still, even after she had Thatcher, and he had Adele. But still, Ellis was heartbroken. And she loved him back, but loved him only as her second best-. But he never let go...)

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 22

 


 

Author’s Note:

 

THANK-YOU folks all SO MUCH for the raving reviews of this piece. Every kudos/like/star. Everytime this story is followed or favorit-ed or bookmark-ed or subscribed to this story. Every COMMENT - I live for your comments and waking up to them every day is my favorite. I’d LOVE some feedback on this work as we know it. It’s not the end of the world though, even if you can’t, I understand. :D

 

But I’d still love to know your feelings, your favorite moments, your funny quotes, the things you are surprised at. And also the things that you might wonder about, or be frustrated or feel another emotion by reading this one. It’s a SLOOOOOOOW burn, I know. But we ARE getting there. 

 

So what do you think will happen next? Let me know in the reviews, I ALWAYS write back to each and every one if I can (I can’t on fanfiction if you are a guest…). And I love the long and daily discussions picking the chapter apart. Fans have given me lots of plot ideas and have helped to plug some MAJOR plot holes (like JOE outing Addison). So if you find mistakes tell me and help I’ll REALLY appreciate it.

 

Enjoy the next approximately 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 <3 <3 <3

 


 

 

Chapter Text

Author’s Note:

This is the longest chapter posted of this one so far,

And it is ALL for you, fans. All for you.

ENJOY!

@bobbiejelly

 


 

PREVIOUSLY ON “FALLING APART, BARELY BREATHING”:




 

Meredith lets her voice trail off completely now, as she lets it all sink in what she’s saying...

(About WHOM she’s saying these things, she thinks to herself. About her mystery lover still, but mostly not. Mostly, she's thinking about ADDISON...)

(Could she be just Addison’s friend if Addison doesn’t or didn’t like her back that way?)

(Could she even stand it? Being that emotionally intimate with her and then not being able to touch them in more than a friendly way? Not being able to kiss her like she wanted to-)

(Would my love be enough to be enough for me if she only lets me have her like that, rather than nothing at all? Would I stay or go? Would I walk away? Would I leave her?)

(As more than a friend, but less than anything else… If it were Addison, would I ever walk away? Or would I stay? If I were only ever going to be second-best to her)

(How long would I stay by her side and then not let go?)

 


 

END OF FLASHBACK SEQUENCE.

 


 

 

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 23: What a Difference a Day Makes

 


 

“You never know the biggest day of your life is going to be the biggest. The days you think are going to be big ones, they are never as big as you make them out to be in your head. It’s the regular days, the ones that start out normal. Those are the days that end up being the biggest….” - Izzie Stevens, in her voiceover voice.





During the operation on the Teratoma patient, John, Addison is enjoying her company.


She’s enjoying the simple banter with the boys, Alex Karev and George O’Malley.


Much more than she might have otherwise expected to enjoy their company, that is (them being only her interns.)


But she enjoys how they all get along. And how they let her get along with them, with them.


And Addison is grateful, more than anything, that each of them has such a supportive group of friends at their side.


And she’s grateful they have each other’s backs, even if they’re also competing against each other.


And she’s grateful they’re dating each other rather than dating people like Derek or Burke all over again.


And she’s grateful they’re letting her into their lives. She feels like she’s slightly at least, a part of their quirky little world. And it’s something she’s strangely proud of.


More proud at least than of being a part of the Seattle Grace Attending Physician’s club at times. 


God, even Bailey didn’t have that cross to bear, her being only a resident. (Not that anyone treated her like “only a resident”- or had in a very long time.)


So she tries to keep a good distance, to maintain a good line with them, to be a good teacher (not a FRIEND-FRIEND like they were.)


And to be a good mentor, just a mentor who could relate to their antics and empathize with their conflicts.


And it was a good place for a line. At least, it had been. Before the subject of women.

 




   

When Alex had brought up the topic of women, Addison’s first instinct was to tell him to shut up about all that in HER O.R. 


But they were asking innocently enough- at least by Addison’s messed up standards as of late.


(Innocently enough being innocently asking her not in a way that they thought that she was crushing on someone, and crushing on that special someone quite hard, at that.)


(Innocently enough being innocently asking her about her nights and days and the way that she dresses just to ask for a girl’s perspective, and not to reveal anything.)


So she lets them keep asking her things, and she asks them things too.


They ask her about her celebrity crushes, and she says that she’s had some for Emma Watson and Jennifer Lawrence (like literally everyone else!)


And they agree with her about both of those, as they go on to weigh the pros and cons of all of the Kardashians.


And then THAT’s how they got on the subject of fashion.


And then THAT’s how they started to ask her about her clothing choices.


And then THAT’s how the started to ask her about if she liked to wear scarves.


(Addison does; partially out of the style and also partially about the fact that they covered the hickeys that she enjoyed having her lovers put on her in bed.)


(Not that that had been a particular problem of hers, as of late…)


(But still, not like she was going to give George and Alex the kind of satisfaction that an answer like THAT would elicit. Ugh. Men.)


“Yes, I like to wear scarves sometimes,” Addison says noncommittally.


“You like them or you like that they cover the bite marks?” Alex Karev shrugs at her with a shit-eating grin.


Addison only scoffs in annoyance (because he’s so RIGHT about that part as well…)


And then George asks some seemingly more wholesome type questions about the color and the fabric of the scarves that she wears.


He plays it off as if he’s just asking her because his Mother, Louise O’Malley is super-super into scarves (and she IS, but that’s not why George is at all asking..)


“Yes I like scarves in a variety of colors,” Addison says a bit shortly.


(Because she’s now thinking back to the idea of Meredith Grey giving her hickeys all over her neck and she’s starting to get aroused in the operating room at the thought…)


(God, she REALLY needs to get laid…)


(God, she REALLY needs to get a goddamned divorce so she could get laid as she pleases…)


“Do you like any red scarves?” George asks her with his very best Bambi's eyes.


“Yes, O’Malley, I do in fact. I have one of my favorite red scarves with a green pattern on it. And it looks very nice matching my eyes. And you’d think that the color would mesh together like christmas but it truly is stylish all the same.”


And THAT seems to satisfy both of the boys because they say thank you as they shut up so she can operate.


And this is one of those other instances she might later have wished she’d had looked up.


Because if she HAD looked up at either or both of the boys at that moment, then she would have potentially noticed the way that they were looking at each other all knowingly.


Because the description of the scarf Addison has matches exactly with the description of the scarf that some mysterious person had been sneaking around their house wearing not at all long ago.


The hot girl they thought they’d imagined they’d seen when they were snooping from the small window from out of the attic.


The one that was so freaking small that Addison would not have known they were home, as she had spied at all the other windows when she’d gone and hid Meredith’s key back under the doormat but hadn’t known about THAT one.


But the realization didn’t do much more for the boys than to turn them on at the thought.


Because they didn’t know about the ‘mystery man’, they didn’t know about the mystery note. And they didn’t know about the mutual obsession between Addison Montgomery and Meredith Grey.


SO, all they got to think to themselves was how they were certainly going to talk to each other later about how their hot Doctor Boss lady was the one sneaking around outside of their house in a really cool and really hot red and green scarf.

 

 





“So what’s your type? Alex asks her with a jeer.


As he’s already gotten a bit of an imagery of Addison he can’t help himself but ask for more details.


Sure he had O’Malley but that didn’t mean that either of them would pass up an opportunity to fantasize about more girl-on-girl.


“Well, what’s YOUR type then?” Addison asks trying desperately to change the subject.


“Well, I guess I could go for some fiery redheads if you ever want to wing back to my side” Alex gives him a look that looks so SHOCKINGLY like Mark Sloan the way he smirks and it makes Addison sort of giggle uncontrollably.


“I’m sorry you just remind me of someone that I know” Addison laughs.


“Did you DO that person that you know?” Alex asks her in a tease.


He didn’t expect the answer to be yes, but the way that Addison flushes, totally embarrassed h=gives him all the answers that he needs.


“So was he GOOD,” Alex asks her in another jeer.


He’s not seriously trying to get into his boss’s pants.


He’s more trying to get George O’Malley to keep giving him that jealous and scathing look that overtakes his Bambi eyes with something much more possessive.


“Enough stop bothering Doctor Montgomery” George O’Malley saves her from answering.


“Thank you, O'Malley,” Addison says to him sincerely.


And George just tries to nudge Alex Karev with a gentle shove before Addison threatens to separate the two of them on opposite sides of the O.R table if they can’t get it together and behave,

 

 




 

The minute the surgery is finished, the boys run off somewhere to fuck.


So Addison is wandering the halls absently, vaguely hungry but still on-call till eight.


So eventually she wanders to her office, hoping she still has some snacks there but then finding she has none again.


(Damn interns making me all flustered to the point that I binge snacks.) Addison thinks to herself in a huff, on the way to find the vending machine to indulge in some salty and sugary forms of nourishment.




 

As Izzie, Cristina, Meredith, Burke, Webber, Derek finish up THEIR surgery together, Izzie and Cristina predictably go to spend some alone time together as well.


They cuddle up in an on-call room and make out slow and steady, tasting each other like this for the first time. They don’t want to rush things too fast too soon. 


So they just let themselves kiss and kiss and nothing more. And as Izzie kisses Cristina softly she thinks it’s a wonder she ever thought that ‘doctor model’ was an insult after all.


Burke and Webber and Derek all head to Webber’s office as they drink a bit and talk about their love problems. Webber pours the drinks and doesn’t take any, because he is an alcoholic but allows the others to enjoy it.


Derek talks about losing both Meredith and Addison. And how that was pissing him off that they seemed to be cordial with each other and not hating in the least.


Burke talks about losing both Cristina and his Burke McBaby. Which Cristina was never going to have but that he didn’t know that anyhow.


And Webber talks to them about how he still cares for Meredith’s mother Ellis Grey, but ‘just as a friend’ which they sort of buy, as eventually, he remembers to talk about Adele.


Bailey doesn’t want any of it, so she heads to the cafeteria to buy herself some dinner and then finally calls her husband.


So Meredith Grey is left wandering the halls completely absently, She’s used to having a scattered team of interns around her, or some of them at least.


And even when they weren’t there, she’s used to having Derek chase her, or doctors paging her and ‘mystery lover’ mysteries to solve.


But the halls are strangely empty, not even Nurse Olivia is in sight.


So she eventually turns the corner and she’s delighted at the sight of a friendly face.






“So do you need a hand with that again or should I just let you fall to your death and laugh?” Meredith Grey quirks at the redhead attending who’s cursing at the vending machine while it refuses to swallow her quarter.


“Goddammit, why won’t you give me what I WANT, you damn machine” Addison yells at it rather idly, because she doesn’t like to yell at people but she yells when she’s upset.


“Careful it might start to hold a grudge against you” Meredith grins with a little bit of a smirk.


“Meredith” Addison turns rather breathlessly, but she’s careful not to tumble into thin air this time.


“Well, at least you’re still well on your feet this time” Meredith teases Addison playfully.


“Yes, well, it seems as though I’m securing better footing, now, these days,” Addison says rather thoughtfully as if she hasn’t been thinking about it that much before.


“Well it’s good to see you upright,” Meredith says, though I don’t know how much longer I can keep standing after all of that O.R time,” Meredith says sweetly.


“You still call Grey?” Addison says, not trusting herself not to stutter if she says “Meredith” again.


“Yup, I get off at the same time as you” Meredith smirks at her in a sort of knowing way to see if Addison’s breath will catch at that not-really-even-that-clever innuendo.


“Hah, Grey, yes it appears we do have the same shift” Addison recovers rather smoothly and this only serves to make Addison seem all that more mythical to Meredith.


“What do you say we split those sodas and our snacks together, now,” Meredith says with big blue eyes.


“Come ON, Addison, you promised that we would, earlier” she whines playfully.


“Yeah, I guess I sort of did, didn’t I” Addison smiles at her really big.


Addison hands Meredith the quarters, as Meredith brushes her fingers on purpose all over Addison’s palm as she takes them painstakingly slowly, one by one, by one by one.


And then she turns to feed the quarters into the machine before it spits out two bags of Cheetos, some milk chocolate and skittles.


“Seriously, sugar much?” Addison questions all her purchases.


“Come on you gotta TASTE THE RAINBOW, Addison, god you just came out have a little pride!” Meredith beams at her and she can’t help but let the pride and acceptance swell inside her chest.


“Alright then let ME get the sodas this time then” as Addison manages to successfully feed the dollar bills into the bill acceptor at the like seventh time that she rearranges it.


(Meredith has to squelch an overwhelming desire to press her whole body up into Addison’s as she struggles like that to feel the heat of all her body by her own.)


“Well, we better get straws so we can suck on all our doctor’s” Meredith smirks and turns before Addison can admonish her for that. But truth be had it the straw dispenser only had one straw anyhow. And when Addison reached into the soda machine, she found that they’d only managed to get one of the two sodas for between them.


“It’s ok, I don’t like to share usually, but I guess I’ll share with YOU” Meredith laces with some subtext that Addison has to try to not get all her hopes up about hearing.


Meredith has the instinct to take Addison by the hand to lead her away to somewhere more comfortable. But she checks herself before she does and instead points in that direction, keeping her hands to herself and on the snacks.

 

 





“We should probably check on the patient when he wakes up,” Addison says. “The one that is no longer pregnant, and no longer has a teratoma” she clarifies.


“You know, you’re a pretty amazing surgeon” Meredith blurts out, smiling wide at Addison before she could contain herself.


“Thank you, Grey,” Addison says to her with a smile. And she tries so, so hard not to mean it in her mind as something more.


“Hey, maybe we can hang out in that on-call room” Meredith gestures.


But they are met with a firm “GET OUT” from a couple making out so they rush off to find another.


But their luck does not improve as they start to open the door to the NEXT on-call room where they’re met with moans and pants and then some banging against the back of the door.


So they don’t open that one, obviously as they search for an on-call room that’s not being currently… occupied but after they’ve scoured the whole hospital they resign themselves to the nearest supply closet then instead.


“Well at least they have these blankets,” Meredith says in a bit of a heap as she takes one down off the top shelf.


And Addison could have come to help her, seeing as she’s taller and she has more reach than the smaller intern.


But she’s secretly allowing herself to catch a glance at Meredith’s midriff as she stretches out both of her arms up over her head.


And then she tries to grab onto the nearest… something because she’s suddenly not so steady on her feet all over again.


“Careful” Meredith steadies her, but to Addison’s disappointment, Meredith doesn’t wrap her arms all around her this time.


But the contact still feels like fire, even more now than just the last time. And so Meredith secretly squishes herself a bit closer and closer to Addison until she’s practically in the same airspace as she reaches for another set of blankets.


“We want one to be our pillow, one to sit on and one for our legs” Meredith shrugs as she justifies a reason to have her body this close to Addison’s.


And Addison lets out an involuntary whine when Meredith finally moves away and moves to sit against the free wall and extend her legs out and wiggle her toes at her.


“Well, come, sit” Meredith pats the spot right next to her, and Addison considers whether or not this is a good idea.


“Well we’re sharing one soda anyhow and if we sit apart we’ll spill,” she says.


So Addison does go to sit next to Meredith and Meredith scooches so they’re touching again.


And Addison doesn’t move away at all so their shoulders are parallel and flush to each other.

 

 




 

“HEYYYY” Meredith steals the pack of junior caramels from Addison because she’s insisting that Addison is hogging them from her.


“Well YOU ate all the skittles practically I only got like seven” Addison smirks back at her in feigned annoyance.


“Well, at least I gave you one of every COLOR,” Meredith says generously.


“Or else how else would you know which ones you liked the taste of more?” she quirks.


“Well I’ve had skittles BEFORE you know, Grey” Addison still calls her by her last name because it’s shorter and well, she thinks that she might die if Meredith calls her “Addison.”


“Well I didn’t know that about you, Montgomery because you didn’t like Cheetos before like now and now you do so maybe your tastes changed,” Meredith says with a pointed look.


“Well I guess that you win that one, Grey” Addison huffs and she feels warm when she hears Meredith tease her with her last name.


“Want some soda, now, Montgomery” Meredith is milking this last-name thing for all it’s worth.


“Mm, I’m getting thirsty” Addison says in a lower voice than she intends to and her own eyes darken at the thought.


Meredith just watches in fascination as Addison’s lips latch around the straw and she sucks in a big mouthful of Doctor Pepper before swallowing it slowly through her long and elegant throat.


“Mm,” Addison moans involuntarily before realizing where she did.


And Addison reddens at her own reaction and Meredith just teases her saying she ‘ didn’t know the Doctor could even taste so good on her tongue’.


(Oh, GOD, did Meredith just go THERE! Addison thinks to herself in a flushed hum)


“It’s good you should have some” Addison passes her the bottle because she doesn’t trust herself with the sweetness anymore.


Only Meredith makes a sort of similar show of looking Addison in the eye as she tugs her bottom lip to the straw as she sucks it all in.


And just the thought that Addison’s just had her lips were Meredith’s mouth is now making Meredith flush herself all hot and wanting.


God, they need to turn the heat down in this closet because you’d think they’d all be boiling.


“Wanna have one of the last Caramels?” Meredith says to Addison with a tease.


At Addison’s ‘sure’ Meredith, she FEEDS IT TO HER, allowing her fingers to reach slightly into Addison’s mouth as she attaches her lips to it, and thus to Meredith’s fingers.


And the feeling of Addison’s mouth all over her hands now is driving Meredith completely wild; she has to take a few deep breaths before finishing turning away and the rest of the caramels herself without offering any more to Addison.

With all the food and soda gone now, the sexual tension was growing stronger and stronger.


They no longer had a distraction from looking at each other and feeling the way each other’s bodies moved against each other.


Sure, it was only a brush of the shoulder here and a touch of the elbow there.


But it was enough to make them both glad they were wearing thick scrubs and panties and that they had a blanket over their legs right now, so the other wouldn’t see just how turned on and wet they were both becoming.


Addison shifts a bit nervously and uncomfortably at the throbbing between her thighs and this reaction is not unnoticed then by Meredith who bites the side of her lip in agony.


And thy might have stayed in that tantalizing situation all day long, just touching ‘platonically’ and teasing each other. 


And Addison wrapping her finger around one of Meredith’s hair curls.


And Meredith examines Addison’s necklace just for an excuse to stare right at her chest.


But all good things must come to an end, and in a life-saving yet also soul-crushing encounter where the two are staring into each other’s eyes as if they were daring the other to lean right on in and to close the gap between them...

 


 

 

Well, both of their pagers go off at once, and Meredith swears a loud “fuck” at the interruption, and Addison tries so hard not to ignore it in a huff.



But they do obey their pagers and they’re on their feet in a second, leaving the blankets tucked on the floor and putting the snack wrappers in the recycling.


“So this is really good news, he is AWAKE!” Addison tries to sound as positive as she can while trying not to sound disappointed she didn’t end up making out with the hot intern.


“Yeah, it’s good. I mean he was so good to us, about everything” Meredith says genuinely.


(Oh, Meredith, you really have no idea just how damn good he has been to ‘US’ Addison thinks…)


“DOCTOR BOSS AND LOLLIPOP LADY!” The patient John exclaims in happiness.


“Look who’s no longer ‘with child’ now”  Meredith grins at him without surprise.


“Yes, well I am no longer carrying a twenty-pound weight, lucky me,” John says.


“And I’m John by the way if I didn’t introduce myself.” “Meredith” Meredith answers. 


“But I mean I think it’s cute if you wanna keep calling me ‘lollipop lady’ Meredith grins.


(She smiles at him sweetly in a doe-eyed look that must have fooled my husband… Addison thinks with a slight annoyance. But she’s clearly working her charm on him so that every time he talks about her all I can think of is how her mouth moved on that sucker…)


And then the patient must have read Addison’s mind because he was pointing to the tub of lollipops and motioning for Meredith to grab them.


“Well I think we can all use a little indulgence can’t we, I haven’t been allowed to eat well in days!” The patient says.


So he nods at Addison to reach them (because I’m closer to the shelf Addison thinks?)


Only this time she can see out of the corner of her eye it’s Meredith’s turn to cast a longing look at Addison’s ass,


The patient never misses a beat before he pulls out the cherry one to offer to Meredith.


“You remembered,” Meredith says sweetly, genuinely happy someone did that for her.


“You, Doctor Boss can have the strawberry or vanilla” he offers the remaining ones to me.


“Hmm, I guess I’ll have vanilla…” Addison says as she tries incredibly hard not to imagine what the combination of cherry and vanilla and Meredith Grey’s lips might taste like.


“Well that sounds good I’ll have the lemon-lime” he steals one from the bottom.


And now that everyone’s unwrapping their suckers with their fingernails, the patient comments as if off the top of his head that “Doctor Boss sure must have some marvelous fingers” as Meredith tries to say “she does” without sounding WAY too lustily about the topic.


And with candy in our mouths now the sounds of tongues over the sweet suckers and the taste of the sweetness and flavors mixed with the involuntary moans coming out of Addison’s mouth and the ones that Meredith is letting out now on purpose


Well, all that is to say that it’s a damn good thing that John the patient keeps the conversation going with them both because they’d have a hard time getting a syllable out at all edgewise without his short specific questions.

 

 





Off John the patient’s gentle questioning, Meredith ends up sharing the story of her childhood when she rode on the carousel at the fair with her mother Ellis Grey.


And Addison ends up sharing the story she fell off her bike and almost broke her wrist before her brother Archer carried her all the way home to their house after.


John says that they seem to have very happy families and to this, they end up looking at each other and saying something along the lines of “you have no idea” in tandem.


(And it pulls at Addison’s heartstrings because Meredith is clearly experiencing all of this for the first time, while SHE is remembering how Meredith and she talked.)


(They’d talked that night when she went to Joe’s bar to tell her Derek wasn’t coming and then the first subject they both shared other than the ‘we dated Derek and now life sucks club’ was about how they both had difficult mothers.)


(And Addison remembers how they’d joked about Addison having many, many names and how Meredith had found this insanely funny after many shots of tequila.)


Meredith can see that Addison is somewhere far, far away in her thoughts now.


So she waves her own lollipop in front of Addison’s face and calls her “Addie” softly to bring her back.


The sweet sweet smell of Meredith’s cherry pop - A smell she’d experienced once before during the last time they’d been in this room licking lollipops together -


It was starting to drive Addison wild but her nickname made her snap out of it as she tried to rejoin the conversation without too many hesitations.






“So what’s up about your love lives, you go first Miss Lollipop Girl” John the patient asks Meredith directly, and he smiles and nods welcomingly at Addison who shoots him a rather vulnerable and terrified look.


“Addison - Doctor Montgomery!” Meredith tries to take her out of her glazed eyes.


“You bellowed, Doctor Grey” Addison huffs out in a reactionary slight of wince.

 

“Hi,” Meredith says then with a bit of a giggle. She wanted to lighten the mood.

 

“You certainly are, aren't you..” Addison responded as if that type of response seemed to make any type of sense at all. Not. Like that was not a coherent sentence at all.

 

“But you're not pregnant,” Addison concluded with a grin to show she could joke too. “And you’re not even fake-pregnant like our John-guy-here” she softens at his smile.

 

“No.” Meredith paused before asking Addison what she really cared to ask her now.

 

“Are you okay?” Meredith asks Addison as she sees that Addison looks suddenly scared, even more, scared than she remembers ever seeing her before.

 

(And the way that Meredith asks her all so tenderly makes Addison remember when Meredith had taken off her purse and things and offered her the barstool…)

 

“Fine.” she paused a beat “How are you?” Addison tries not to snap for no reason.

 

“I'm trying to choose between two people...” Meredith started before Addison cut her off.

 

“Well, okay, good luck with that.” she huffs out as she stands up abruptly, heading towards the door. 

 

(Addison doesn’t want to hear about Meredith pining over Derek… because she’s married to him still… She tries to lie to herself at least.)

 

(Scratch that. She doesn’t want to hear about Meredith pining over anyone that isn’t HER.)

 

(Shoot. What if she’s pining over the mystery lover but she doesn’t know it’s Me. Fuck. What if I give it all away or John gives it all away I’m screwed I’m screwed….)

 

Meredith's voice stopped her as she reached the door jam and she stopped her in her tracks.

 

“How did you know Derek was the one?” Meredith asks about him simply.

 

Addison spun back around on her high heels in alarm. She hadn’t been expecting THAT one from Meredith after they’d almost been dare she say flirting all day.

 

“Excuse me?” Addison stammers out before Meredith could interrupt her.

 

“I know you hated me and all, and you don't owe me anything… nothing.. no thing.. what was I saying?” Meredith’s stammering too and Addison doesn’t know how to take that.

 

Addison rolled her eyes. A bit at that one, because she really DOES NOT HATE HER. SHE DOES NOT HATE HER AT ALL...

 

(And maybe she never really hated her at all. I mean she didn’t KNOW about Derek and her, meeting his secret estranged wife must surely have been a shock…)

 

“Derek.” Meredith snaps her right back into focus as Addison takes a deep breath in.

 

“Oh right” Meredith said, pausing. “I would know if he was the one right? I mean you knew, right?” Meredith is asking because she wants to know if Addison will ever think that maybemaybemaybe that she could be Addison’s new ONE, someday.

 

“I didn't know..” Addison fumbled for her words “Derek's the kind of guy... I just knew he wouldn't hurt me. Not on purpose anyway. Not the way I hurt him.” Addison concludes.

 

“He hurt me, you know when he chose you,” Meredith says in all her seriousness.

 

Meredith looked down at her hands until Addison started speaking, speaking really frankly and openly to Meredith about Derek for the first time since that bar night.

 

“I should have let him go, I should have stepped aside, been a better person… I should have done a lot of things.” Addison stammers and she’s not so sure she can speak.

 

“Me too.” Meredith agrees “A lot of things.” Meredith tries to articulate her meaning.

 

“I don't hate you,” Addison says after a long and weighted pause.

 

(And it’s the closest thing she can bring herself to Meredith that won’t make her voice break.)

 

(It’s the closest thing she can say to the 'I’m sorry' that Meredith has already given her.)

 

(It’s the closest thing she can bring herself to say that’s not 'be my best friend or EVEN MORE.)

 

(It’s the closest thing she can say that’s not a ‘pick me choose me love me’)

 

(It’s the closest thing she’s said so far to acknowledge all her feelings towards Meredith.)

 

“How come we've never talked like this before?” Meredith asked simply in the most innocent of tones. And John the patient shoots Addison a sympathetic look as she looks down at the floor, dropping Meredith’s gaze for a second and sighs to herself.

 

(“The only reason YOU THINK we’re talking like this now for the very FIRST TIME is that I know you didn’t remember any of it from that night at Joe’s once the alcohol had worn off.”)

 

(Addison thinks every single word of that sentence in her head but she doesn’t move to say it all out loud. It’s still too painful. She sees Meredith’s cards out on the table now.)

 

(She’s even opened up to her about Derek, even more now than the last time.)

 

(But she’s so scared of Meredith’s tender voice, the one that always makes Addison’s heart throb a bit like when she apologizes or asks if she’s okay.)

 

(And the weight of all of this makes her not being able to do anything more than shrug at Meredith now. Hoping that somehow she’d catch on she didn’t want to talk about it.)

 

Meredith nodded at Addison’s clearly conflicted expression.

 

She decided not to push as Addison had clearly opened up to her more about Derek and about her life than she really ever had before.

 

And so instead she looks into the reassuring eyes of John the patient who smiles up at the “lollipop girl” and wishes her good luck and says that he hopes her true love is only just around the corner.

 

Meredith leans in to give the patient a hug now. And as Meredith does, Addison smiles down at John as well.

 

And Addison almost jumps out of her skin when John gives her what can only be described as a “knowing wink” if there ever was one.

 


 

As if he were saying to her “you got a chance you know. You get your girl you know. She’s a keeper Meredith Grey, she is, you know. You tell her everything, you tell her, now go...”

 

And Addison is still paralyzed in her place as Meredith ends the hug with John the patient.


And John the patient asks for a bit of quiet so he can sleep and suggests that those two might try to do the same if they planned on doing anything at all that evening.


And Meredith says they’re still planning to go to Joe’s and she nods up at Addison so that she knows that she’s still offering the invitation for Addison to join her friends.


And Addison nods and smiles so Meredith knows she’ll join her and they both laugh when John offers them more lollipops for the road.


“No, no you keep them,” Meredith says to him. “They belong in this room anyway,” she says. “And I want this room to be special. Because YOU make it special and I don’t want us to be eating hospital lollops without you to hang out with” Meredith grins.


And it’s the perfect thing to say because it makes all of them sigh in friendship. And it makes Addison sigh of relief because she won’t be tortured by x-rated-imagery of Meredith Grey’s tongue before the next surgery at least.


(She’s not so sure she could handle that and she doesn’t want to jump Meredith… yet. Meaning not while she’s still married legally to Derek, at least for now. For her sake.)


(And Meredith sighs in relief for that very very same reason. Because she doesn’t want to make Addison be a cheater behind Derek’s back. She wasn’t going to be like Mark to her.)

 

So after the lollipop debate is settled they leave John the patient alone to sleep.


And they thank him once again, for all his fun and all these games.


And all John says to them in return is “thank you for saving my life - all of you and for allowing me to be a part of it. It’s an honor to see who you were those days ago to turn into who you are today, and to imagine just how extraordinary that you will all become.”




 

 

After that near-tearful speech, Meredith and Addison wander a bit around the hospital again. They get some water, freshen up, but still stay by each other’s sides.


They have a few hours left to go on their on-call time and they are tired.


But they don’t want to risk seeing anyone almost naked again so they stumble back.


For a while, they enjoy the search as if they’re really just enjoying running through the halls like Meredith remembers doing when she was a child growing up here.


Meredith tells some of these stories to Addison now, about how she had a doll called ‘anatomy jane’ who had all these little plastic removable body parts.


And Addison tells her about the times she and Archer would have ice cream and how he had always been her best friend to him then growing up.


And then sometime eventually Meredith asks what Addison’s middle name is. And when she says her full name “Addison Adrianne Forbes Montgomery-Used-To-Be-Shepherd-”


Then her heart clenches tighter as Meredith has the exact same reaction  that Meredith did that drunken night at the bar when she’d said:


 “Jesus Addison if I had a name that was that long I swear I’d be jumping for joy if I were losing the one at the end of it” Meredith exclaims before she can think better of saying something as absurd as what she just did say.


And the reaction is so freaking’ similar that Addison lets a howl and she searches for a sign of recognition in Meredith’s eyes to see if that might bring up a memory but it doesn’t.


And so she tries to stop worrying about all that for now as they tear through the hospital playing a short game of hide and seek before finally realizing there are no more good places to hide.


So they stumble back into the same supply closet and someone makes a lame joke about how they’re going to be coming out of the closet a whole lot of times yet today.


This little closet they tiredly call their new ‘home’ as if they lived on some storage-closet deserted island with only themselves shut away for the world. And that they like it that way.


And they reach for the same blankets that they’d had before - before Addison pulls some more down from the shelf. 


And this ends up starting an impromptu mock pillow fight before eventually, Addison backs down because Meredith Grey is kicking her ass so hard at this task.






“How have you never gotten good at that at a sleepover?” Meredith grins to her.


And Addison just says that she and her best friend Naomi mostly took art classes to hang out for fun.


And it’s sweet of her when Meredith asks if she misses Naomi, and Addison says that she does.


And as Addison thinks about that, she realizes that this is the first time she’s thought about her best friend Naomi in a while.


She thinks she should call her, and she really really should.


But the thought is giving Addison pause because for the first time in forever Addison is not pining for her old life in New York back.


She’s not thinking she wished that she’d stayed or that she’d gone back there or that she was about to leave.


Thinking about all of the interns, and yes the attendings and Bailey and especially Meredith, Addison thinks that she’s settling now.


She’s settling a part of her life in Seattle. And she had never, not for one second ever expected she would be thinking that.


And Addison is thinking that what’s even wilder is that she’s thinking that maybe all of this was finally worth it.


She’d hated herself for a long time because of what happened with Mark Sloan.


She’d hated herself for not being enough for Derek Shepherd to care about her.


She’d hated herself for these feelings about women she’d been trying to repress for so long.

 

And now that a few of those things like the last two are generally seeming to resolve themselves, Addison wonders if it was all worth it in the end.


Worth it enough to be getting a divorce from her husband who she still secretly thought loved a man.


Worth it enough to be ending a relationship where neither of them had been happy for so long.


Worth it enough that she’s smiling in the company of an unlikely intern.






And eventually, they find themselves sitting again, sitting against the firm wall of the supply closet the same way they were tucked in today, and before that in the bathroom at Joe’s.


And that Meredith is smiling right back at her now. That ten-thousand-watt smile they each had been starting to have around each other.


And the one that Meredith is thinking about when she gets to hang out with Addison.


And Meredith thinks that maybe this is for the best and that she could be best friends with Addison.


Meredith thinks that she sure has a physical attraction to Addison but they seem to be controlling themselves fine about it even now.


And then Meredith laughs at the thought that they’re all hot and sweaty now in this supply closet and yet nothing past anything G-rated has happened at all here or otherwise.

 



And then Meredith thinks of the list of why she likes Addison better than Derek.

 

She’s so much kinder and smarter and so much nicer than Derek.


She always gives people a choice and she doesn’t think that she’s better than them. 


She always hangs out with interns and treats them as equals even when she has to tell them off.


She stood up for Meredith when she could have blamed her for all of it and never said a good thing.


She let Meredith start on her service and even made it bug Derek a little bit.


She thinks about how she hasn’t told many people about her kinda sick mother, but that she’d almost be willing to share that part of her life with Addison.


She thinks of how Marie-Cerone was her mother’s best friend and once lover.


And how those two still lit up for each other, every single time that they called.


And she thinks quietly to herself how she and Addison could light up for each other if she had her number to call...

 

 




 

Addison and Meredith then don’t say anything for a while just thinking alone happily, mutually in their happy thoughts.


And then out of the quiet and out of the dark, Meredith turns to Addison and says something nice to her suddenly:


Meredith says to her ‘this has been one of the best days I’ve had in so long.”


And Addison agrees that “it really, really has. And what a difference a day makes when the good days seem to be hard to come by but the bad ones can follow us around like the rain.”


And Meredith nods at her and tries to convey without speaking what she’s trying to say.


She’s trying to say without saying it “Addison you’re the reason my day’s so great”


She wants to say that to her, but at the same time, she doesn’t.


For the same reason, she’s promised herself all before; she’s not being a homewrecker, not anymore.


And Addison wants to say then that to Meredith too. She wants to tell Meredith “this day’s been all you.” 

 

But of course, she can’t say that, not with all the ‘mystery person secrets’ between them at least.


So she just looks into those blue eyes as Meredith looks into her green ones.


And they stare at the bright orbs like they’re looking at moonlight.


And it’s moonlight they’re talking about because sunlight is blinding.


No one can stare right into the sun. 


But the moonlight is special because it’s not alone it makes its light shine.


The moon glows off of a reflection. It glows off the support of another. And it still shines.


So they stare as if they were starting deeply in the moonlight.


And they hold their gaze longingly until finally, Meredith breaks it first, shiting her eyes down so she can fumble around to get them more covers.

 

 




 

And then Meredith tugs on the blankets and she’s placing them on top of hers and Addison’s lap now so she’s holding them close and she’s cuddling in closer.


And they don’t try to talk more now. They don’t try to say more. They’ve already said so, so much.


They just enjoy the silence, which seems like it’s saying even more than they know.


And it just all feels so warm and so welcoming and the weariness of the day…


The weariness of the day is finally washing all over both of the two surgeons now.


(If I lay here if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world…)


Addison thinks as she leans her head down onto Meredith’s shoulder.


And Meredith pulls her in tighter, resting her own head atop of Addison’s.


(And Addison says to herself she’ll just let herself sit there for a little bit longer.)


(And Meredith says to herself she’ll just rest her eyes only for a short moment.)



 




 

(And Addison thinks again about what John the patient had said to her about secrets.)


(She tries to think of a clever way to say all that she has to say someday but it’s so hard.)


(And then Meredith starts to hum something, and then she starts singing something softly.)


(And Addison thinks she’ll just listen for a while, and then bask in the music some more.)


(She hears the sweet, sweet caress of Meredith Grey’s beautiful voice as she sings….)

 

 






"Turn To Stone" by Ingrid Michaelson


Let's take a better look

beyond a story book

And learn our souls are all we own

before we turn to stone

 

Let's go to sleep with clearer heads

and hearts too big to fit our beds

And maybe we won't feel so alone

before we turn to stone

 

And if you wait for someone else's hand,

(If you wait for someone else's hand)

Then you will surely fall down

(If you wait for someone else's hand)

And if you wait for someone else's hand,

(If you wait for someone else)

You'll fall, you'll fall

 

I know that I am nothing new

There's so much more than me and you

But brother, how we must atone

before we turn to stone

 

And brother, how we must atone

before we turn to stone




 

(And as Addison’s eyes close as well and she soothes herself softly to sleep…)


(The last thing that Addison thinks she feels Meredith running her fingers through her hair…)


(Is that both Meredith Grey could be a really great singer… and that that song would be a wonderful one to have played at a wedding….)


(And in her so tired she’s practically a drunken stupor, Addison thinks of a wedding to Meredith… and that maybe she’d ask her to marry her someday...)


And as Meredith Grey sees that Addison Montgomery has finally fallen asleep,


She can see all the struggle, all the wariness, all the pent up frustration and hurt all just leave her body, leaving only the happiness, the joy, and the empathy left here on her face.


Meredith can see how peaceful and happy she is. And she wishes she could hold onto this moment, forever, with her. 


She wishes she could never forget the feeling she’s feeling right now, holding Addison Forbes Montgomery as she sleeps the day away, as she is here, safe, and in her arms.

 

 




 

And today was THAT day, but you didn’t know it was that day, then. Not at the time, or for a while later... It was beautiful. Perfect. You never know the biggest day of your life is the biggest day, not until it’s happening. You don’t recognize the biggest day of your life, not until you’re right in the middle of it. Or in Addison’s case as she’s falling asleep.


The day you commit to something or someone. The day you get your heart broken. The day you meet your soulmate. The day you realize there’s not enough time because you wanna live forever. Those are the biggest days. The perfect days. You know, it was a beautiful day.” ‘It’s a beautiful day today’ Meredith thinks. SHE’s so Beautiful now.


- Izzie Stevens, in her voiceover voice, excerpted from GA Season 5, Episode 22 AND Overall in GA from the beginning, Episode 100. “What a Difference a Day Makes”


(Mostly. Part of it’s changed. Because today wasn’t a wedding in this story “Falling Apart, Barely Breathing”. It wasn’t a wedding. But it was a beginning. It IS one… ;)

 

 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 23

 

 


 

 

Author’s Note: suggested reading, they are different from the last ones.

 

PLEASE RE-READ: CHAPTER 2 HAS BEEN UPDATED - TO INCLUDE MORE CONTENT.

Sometimes I back-edit Chapters to rule out consistencies, to fix out some typos, and to make it all flow better.

And usually ie doesn’t really matter to the story, but the ONE hint that I will give you (albeit a relatively CRYPTIC ONE) is that before reading the next chapter, I advise you to reread Chapter 2: Into You Like A Train, and to see if you can notice the changes that have been made.

Thanks for the reviews of the last few chapters, I am taking your feelings into account.

Shout out to “I'll Feel Better When the Headaches Go Away” by StephIsInsanity for the awesome transcripts of the morphine scene from season 3 of GA, a clear allusion here.

YES there are a LOT of gay parings. Will they ALL be gay pairings? Will they be endgame?

Those are questions I am considering back and forth but can not give you an answer to yet.. :D

Enjoy the next approximately 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!

And I know this chapter is really fluffy and seems like an ending….

But I promise you it’s a reward we’ve all earned together, but it’s NOT an ending.

It’s still a beginning, as I said. So stay tuned for some more plotlines as we continue the story!

And leave a note please, I LIVE FOR THE COMMENTS !!!!

@bobbiejelly

 


 

THANK YOU FOR READING !!!!! LEAVE A NOTE, IT WILL MAKE MY DAY <3 <3 <3

 


 

 

 

Chapter Text

Author's Note:

Hope you enjoyed the last fluffy chapter.

Here is a new one that REALLY broke the length record!

Have a good day, let me know what you think.

And if you have any requests for this story.

bobbiejelly

 


 

PREVIOUSLY ON "FALLING APART, BARELY BREATHING":

 


 

(And as Addison's eyes close as well and she soothes herself softly to sleep…)

(The last thing that Addison thinks she feels Meredith running her fingers through her hair…)

(Is that both Meredith Grey could be a really great singer… and that that song would be a wonderful one to have played at a wedding….)

(And in her so tired she's practically a drunken stupor, Addison thinks of a wedding to Meredith… and that maybe she'd ask her to marry her someday...)

And as Meredith Grey sees that Addison Montgomery has finally fallen asleep,

She can see all the struggle, all the wariness, all the pent up frustration and hurt all just leave her body, leaving only the happiness, the joy, and the empathy left here on her face.

Meredith can see how peaceful and happy she is. And she wishes she could hold onto this moment, forever, with her.

She wishes she could never forget the feeling she's feeling right now, holding Addison Forbes Montgomery as she sleeps the day away, as she is here, safe, and in her arms.

 


 

END OF FLASHBACK SEQUENCE.

 


 

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 24: Break On Through, Part Unlucky Thirteen

 


 

Lucky.

If there was one singular word that Meredith Grey would describe her life as at the moment,

That would be the one she would choose. Lucky. Yep, that was the one.

Why was she so damn lucky, you ask? Why was she so sure she was the epitome of luck?

So lucky she was the DEFINITION of lucky when she was woken up several hours later?

Well, that would be partially because she had been awoken from a particularly pleasant nap.

And that she had been awoken from a particularly comfortable position, which she was still in.

And despite the fact that she had been awoken at an inopportune time, in an inopportune position.

And in a - dare she say a rather incriminating positioncuddling with an inappropriate person.

And yet, all of this made Meredith Grey feel selfish and indulgent, and yet, extremely lucky.

Because as she was here in this unlikely supply closet, lying on the damn door.

But it was because of who she was with; she was with Addison Montgomery.

She was holding Addison Montgomery in her arms. Like she had loved doing and was still doing.

And she was just watching Addison breathe as she slept. In and out in and out.

As she traced shapeless patters on the pale of her skin, enjoying the platonic touches.

As she soothed her hands through Addison's gorgeous red hair. She LOVED Addie's hair.

And as she felt Addison's beautiful warm body pressed up into hers. She's SO pretty.

She just looked so peaceful. So sweet and bright and almost ten years younger-

(Though she would never DARE say a thought like that to Addison's face! She wasn't OLD!)

But it was the look that was devoid of the self-hatred and anguish that Meredith was relishing.

And she wanted to say something then, to say something she couldn't while Addie was awake.

So she mouthed the words without even speaking them into the darkness. Just her lips.

She mouthed out "Addison I want you to be one of my best friends forever. I want you…"

She mouthed out "Addison, I want to cherish you always, I want to take away your pain."

She mouthed out "Addison, I want to hold you and keep you and love you if you love me back-"

Meredith was relishing this, taking it all in as she mouthed all her bittersweet nothings into the darkness before them.

And she was losing herself, losing herself in this moment and losing herself to the void.

She was losing her sense of what's wrong and what's right, because Addison is still married she reminds herself. And you're still the dirty ex-mistress. And she still thinks of herself as a whore…

And you can't say and think all of these things about Addison if you're still tingling about that weird sort of 'mystery lover' that you're trying to get over but they keep nagging under your skin.

And you can't say that you love her before you know she could love you back, or like you. Or date you for starters. God, lesbian u-hauling was a stereotype but she never thought she would ever have it for someone like - THIS BAD, and THIS FAST, and THIS FURIOUSLY-

She was so furiously enamored by Addison and it took all of her energy not to plant sweet sweet kisses on the top of Addison's hairline as she slept in her arms.

But she didn't, not even as a friend because she knew they'd mean more to her.

And she worried if she didn't find out soon if Addison liked her, then she would be falling deep head-over-heels for this girl for real. And that there would be no damn thing either of them could ever do to stop it.

So Meredith just sits there contentedly, feeling selfishly and indulgently lucky as she could be.

Wishing she could someday say those wishing words aloud to Addison. She sits there. Happy.

Happy, that is...

Until her pager started to go off. Twice. And she tried to answer it without waking Addison but that proved to be quite a chore with no light and no moving too much… She tried. She really did.

 


 

Unlucky.

If there was one singular word that Meredith Grey would describe her life as at the moment,

That would be the one she would choose. Unlucky. Yep, that was the one.

Why was she so unlucky, you ask? Why was she so sure she was the epitome of Unlucky?

So Unlucky she was the DEFINITION of Unlucky when she was woken up several hours later?

Well, that would be partially because she had been awoken from a particularly pleasant nap.

And that she had been awoken from a particularly comfortable position, which she was still in.

And that she had been awoken at an inopportune time, in an inopportune position.

And in a - dare she say a rather incriminating positioncuddling with an inappropriate person.

Dare she say she had been woken up from her particularly pleasant nap in the most particularly comfortable position with the most possibly inappropriate person to be in an incriminating; cuddling, to be with, at least, if not really to HER, then, but to the person who'd woken her?

 


 

Namely, Meredith Grey had been woken up by none other than her ex-boyfriend,

And thus Addison's current husband and soon to be ex-husband- (hopefully really soon?!)

Who had walked in on them cuddling when she had slept through nearly ALL of her pages.

And the last two that she had finally been awake for she had only just started to respond to.

Started to respond to when HE, THE, HIM, Derek Cristopher Shepherd, walked in on them.

Walked in on his ex-girlfriend and his soon-to-be-ex-wife asleep in each other's arms.

He had walked in to see Meredith Grey snoring soundly, with her head resting on a blanket.

He had walked in to see Addison Montgomery snoring less loudly, her head on Meredith's chest.

He had walked in to see his current wife and current crush, cuddled up in each other, asleep.

And he frowned for a second when he saw them because he thought that his eyes were blurred.

He thought he had been imagining this whole scene; that it had been a wet dream of some sort.

Or some sort of trick of the eyes at the very least. Hey, he was tired from all of his surgeries.

But as he kept looking at them, he pinched on his wrist to feel that he was not dreaming.

He blinked his eyes over and over to make sure that he had not been daydreaming, either.

But Derek wasn't dreaming, or daydreaming, or hallucinating, or imagining or inventing.

Derek was seeing, he was hearing, he was smelling, he was sensing. He was believing.

And he was believing what his eyes could see. (What he THOUGHT he could see.)

He was believing that his wife-soon-to-be-ex-wife had been cheating on him,  again.

And that not only had she been cheating on him  again, like with  MARK.

But that she'd been cheating on him now, with a  woman, no less. And with HER-

With Meredith Grey - his ex-girlfriend or ex-mistress or ex-something to someone somehow.

That not only had his soon-to-be-ex-wife just come out to the world as a lesbian or bisexual-

Whatever. Not only had she just come out to him and to her and to others as not only straight.

She had also just come out to him and to them right before betraying HIM with HER.

And right out underneath his bare nose, right in plain sight of them all. In the hospital, no less.

And all this on SHIFT, while they were both still on-call. And not even in an on-call room, either.

Not even in a room with a locking door. Not even in a room with a damn BED for heck's sakes.

They had been sleeping together, tangled up in each other, in a christ-forsaken CLOSET.

As if the irony had not even escaped him then, it had not escaped him at all, not for a second.

No, the irony was not lost at all on him, Derek, as he walked INTO the closet now.

 


 

As he SLAMMED the door behind him, causing it to BANG and wake up Addison, now.

This caused her to jump out of her skin and startle Meredith, again, who was already awake.

She had already been awake for a few minutes trying to answer his pages when he arrived.

But she had been trying to answer his pages on her pager without moving too much-

And without stirring around and without leaving a light on so as not to wake Addison.

Because Meredith, SHE had been paged then, but Addison hadn't. Not yet at least.

And Meredith had woken up seeing how soundly Addison was still sleeping.

And she was so tired. And so sleepy. And so overworked. And so stressed out to the nines.

(Even if Meredith didn't know yet, then, why and how Addison had become so stressed out…)

And she was so comfortable lying there in her lap, that Meredith wanted to keep her there.

She wanted to keep Addison there still asleep in her arms. And when she couldn't do that-

When she couldn't keep Addison in her arms as she'd been paged, at the very least-

The least she could do for Addison after all that Addison had done for HER-

(And all of the things Addison had done for her that she didn't even remember she'd done-)

The very least she could do for this girl was to tuck her in under the covers,

To tuck her in, still wearing her yesterday's clothes. And to let her sleep soundly, again.

To sleep for just a little bit longer. Long enough that Meredith would be gone when she woke up.

Meredith wasn't sure where or why this instinct had somehow kicked into her then.

Why it had told her to tuck Addison in without waking her and to slip on out behind her then.

But it had, and she had tried. She had tried to extract herself and to tuck Addison in behind her.

She tried, but as she fumbled with her pager she didn't see him appear in the shadows.

She didn't see his scathing look of pain. Of loss. Of jealousy. Of anger. Or betrayal. Of hollow.

She didn't see his expression contort into all of these emotions as he stared at them, then.

She didn't see his emotions all tangled inside him. Instead, she only saw him afterThen. NOW.

Meredith could see through the darkness, Derek's figure appeared, as he walked in all slamming.

 


 

Addison could see through the darkness, Derek's figure appeared, as he walked in all slamming.

Addison could see through to HIS darkness, she'd known him longer than Meredith had.

Addison could see right through to his pain, loss, jealousy, anger, betrayal, and hollowness.

She wanted to say something then. She wanted to say what she thought she should say.

She wanted to say something like the truth that it was, that she wasn't cheating on him.

She wanted to say something like "it's not what it looks like" and "this is the first time."

But all those things would have sounded to him like a lie. Or three lies. Or MANY lies.

And Addison knew that if those kind and gentle words were to fall from her lips to him,

That he would never believe them from her at that moment than anyways,

Even if all of them had been and still were honestly true… even if she'd been tempted by more.

 


 

So then Meredith spoke to him, spoke to him softly. She roused from her pillow, their blanket.

She placed a single kiss onto Addison's forehead as she stroked her hair before she got up.

And she whispered back to Addison as she followed Derek out of the room then, she did.

She whispered to her "I'm sorry," as if she had anything at all to apologize for.

As if they had anything at all to be ashamed of, anything at all to be apologizing for, to him.

But Meredith whispered to her the "I'm sorry," in the way that she does and it kills Addison.

It positively kills Addison every time Meredith says "I'm sorry" for pain that is not even her fault.

But she's shushed silent by Meredith now, who's whispering something more back at her.

Meredith whispers "I'll handle this. I'll handle it with him. I'll take care of it so he knows the truth"

Meredith whispers to her then she's gone. And the weight of the world crashes down now again.

And the weight of the world weighs on Addison now as she lies back down again, on the floor.

Where there's nothing to rest her head on underneath her so she reaches for the blanket now.

She reaches for the blanket Meredith had been resting her head on when they'd been asleep.

And she lays her head down on it and turns onto her side. She turns into the 'pillow', now.

 


 

She turns her nose into it as she inhales. As she inhales the scent of lavender, of Meredith.

She inhales the sweet scent of Doctor Meredith Grey. As she thinks that she misses her.

And she thinks that's a stupid thing to think. Because Meredith wasn't even gone.

Meredith hadn't left her. She had left her alone, but because she was only doing her damn job.

Which, Addison realizes she should also probably be doing at the moment now, probably.

Rather than curling herself into the blanket now right here on the floor. Of a supply closet.

Which seemed like a terrible idea as a place to take a nap. But she was here now, I guess.

And Meredith had been here. So this space smelled like her. So Addison stayed there.

She tucked herself under the covers again, wishing stupidly that Meredith could have.

That Meredith had had the chance to tuck her in properly before she had left her. Well, left.

After she'd apologized to her for no reason and said that she'd 'handle it.' And she kissed her.

MEREDITH GREY HAD KISSED HER THERE ON HER FOREHEAD IN FRONT OF HIM!

She had kissed her right there on the forehead in front of him - in front of DEREK.

And she had stroked on her hair before pulling away. And she had held her then.

Meredith had held her in her arms as she slept. And she had held her and cuddled her.

Meredith had sung her to sleep. She had sung her to sleep as she held her and cuddled her.

As she stroked over her hair. As she thought of things that she wanted to say back to her.

But that had died on her lips as soon as Meredith had started singing to her, she stopped.

She stopped thinking of all of those things, of all of those truths or those lies she had to tell.

She stopped wondering what would happen when she finally told Meredith the WHOLE truth.

She stopped worrying herself into pieces and she just let herself go. She let herself then.

She had let herself go by then, enjoying Meredith's company, time, and her body's presence.

She stopped thinking about things like the consequences or the implications or anything.

She had just let herself fall and fell into Meredith's comforting arms, her embrace.

She stopped thinking about how she had to tell her, but how she had to divorce Derek first.

She had to tell Meredith. But she had to divorce Derek first. And she had to tell Derek the whole of the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth. Even about what had happened that night she had left him. She had to tell him too, about the note and the mystery and about THAT night.

She had to do the right thing. He was a McBastard but he was her husband, he deserved to know.

And she deserved to know, now, too.

Addison just had to muster out the courage to break all of that news.

And to suffer the consequences, be it good or bad or who knows where in between...

 


 

Meanwhile, in the O.R, Derek and Meredith were operating on their shared patient now.

The male patient had suffered some head trauma so Derek was slicing into his skull, and Meredith was being at his side as his assistant.

He was not speaking to her at all, not addressing her nor even looking at her for the longest while.

Until finally he asked her, his big McDreamy eyes all watery and blue "Why did you sleep with her?" is all that he asked her.

"She was so tired," Meredith said to him honestly. She wonders after all of this, that somehow she could still convey her thoughts to Derek Shepherd in a way he could understand.

As he nods for her to keep going on Meredith starts to explain again.

"She was exhausted after operating all day. We tried to find an on-call room to rest in but they were all kinda, full…" Meredith trails off because she does not want to dwell on that part.

"Go on" Derek motions her with his head and with a short grunt.

"And I was exhausted so we got something light to eat, and we checked on our patient, and then he wanted to nap, and then so did we…" Meredith specifically says "nap" to be clear.

"So the only place we could find that was private was in that supply closet. So we camped out there with the baby blankets and we were just chatting for a while. And then she rested her head down onto my shoulder" Meredith tries not to wince as she explains this to Derek.

She can imagine that Addison wouldn't really want everyone to know about her being so vulnerable and her needing things from people - from interns like her, especially.

"And then she curled up in my arms and I didn't want to wake her, so I laid her head down onto me and eventually I lay down and I must have fallen asleep then as well," Meredith says pleadingly.

"The next thing I remember is waking up to two pages from you, trying to answer them in the dark and then you walking in, slamming the door and following you and saying 'I'm sorry."

Derek takes in all of Meredith's supposed story and he hums to consider it as if he were mulling a taste over inside of his jaw.

"So you slept with her then. You slept with Addison! Really! While she's still MARRIED to me?" Derek says to her bitterly.

"No, Derek. I didn't sleep with her - not in that sense. We were both sleeping because we were both falling asleep, and we were together. But we never had sex if that's what you're trying to ask me when you accuse me of 'sleeping with her'" Meredith says even more pleadingly.

"But did she sleep with YOU?" Derek asks her and Meredith's not sure how to understand that because she thought she just answered that question.

"We never did anything, Derek, we never had sex! We were never naked not even half-naked I slept in these scrubs and she slept in hers too. We didn't even change into fresh ones, we were so tired!" Meredith is yelling now.

"We never kissed, we never touched, we only talked, and we didn't talk about sex, and we didn't talk about kissing or touching and we didn't talk about YOU" Meredith answers that question there right off the bat.

(She does omit to mention that they had not exactly been subtle about their flirtatious glances or innuendos or about sexily eating caramels and skittles. Wow. Ok that one sounds lame when you think about how it would sound like, out loud Meredith cringes a bit inwardly at herself.)

"Are you SURE about that?" Derek says accusingly.

"Yes, I'm sure about that!" Meredith almost yells now.

(I'd be pretty damn sure if I ever got to experience actually kissing or touching or having sex with Addison Montgomery. Fuck I'd remember that for the rest of my damn life if it happens…)

"What about YOU Derek? Why are you asking ME all about it? What about asking your SOON TO BE EX-WIFE!?" Meredith yells at him back.

"Well she isn't standing right here next to me now is she?" Derek comes back at her lamely.

"Well, that's because she's off doing her own damn job Derek and not stuck here with your questions" Meredith hisses at him right back.

"So you're sure you never did anything together like have sex in that supply closet? Because it would be ironic to have sex in a closet when gays are supposed to br coming out of them not inside of them…"

(MmKay, Derek went there… It was way more fun when she and Addison were joking about that then the way Derek is putting it to me now…)

"Derek, one thing I have to ask you is why do you keep asking me this when you know that I'm not lying to you?" Meredith finally says rather thoughtfully.

"Why would I know that for SURE?" Derek asks her.

"Well to be blunt Derek, I mean you've slept with both of us, so wouldn't you remember what we looked like after having just had sex?" Meredith questions.

"I guess I had not thought about that," Derek says thoughtfully.

"How did I look after just having had sex?" Meredith asks him.

"Well, when you looked all fucked out you had your hair all wild, you were moaning and sweating and glistening with come" he says lewdly.

And the thought of it somehow does not turn Meredith on the way it probably would have used to not so long ago.

"Well, did I look like THAT just then? Do I look like that to you now?" Meredith asks.

"Well, no not really. I mean your hair was down but you don't have any bite or scratch marks anywhere either or lipstick smears on your neck…" Derek says nonchalantly as he examines her up and down for such things and fails to find any.

And Meredith looks away from him now, because he had just accidentally confirmed some incriminating things about his soon to be ex-wife's habits in the bedroom.

(And THOSE thoughts were turning Meredith on now. Damn, apparently Addison DOES like to bite. And suck on the neck. And probably also she'd scratch all of my back up and down with those manicured nails of hers and -oh god- that all sounds so delicious and naught…)

"And what about HER?" Meredith tries to say casually.

(I mean, in the most casual way you can ask your ex-boyfriend what wife was after being with him in bed; because you, the ex-mistress now wants to in the future bed his soon to be ex-wife once she finally is his ex-wife…. Awkward… But Meredith has gotten quite used to the thought…)

"Well, she'd also have her hair all mussed out. It would radiate from her face and she'd look all calm and content. She'd have predatory glare in her eyes before sex, but the look sort of softened after she had become satisfied. Her body was less wound up and she was less likely to yell" Derek says with a bit of a wince. Plus of course she'd be sweaty and sticky… Of course…

(Of course.. Because you had to go there… Even if it does sound rather tantalizing… Wow, Addison must look spectacular during sex. She can imagine how put together she is normally all prissy and clean in perfect clothes and perfect hair and perfect poise.)

(Meredith just wanted to be the one to make all that fall away. To make her come completely undone, to strip her down to her essence to exactly who she really truly is… And to have that predatory glint to be aimed only at her… And to keep her satisfied so she would be sweaty and sticky in HER arms…)

(So she could hold her calm and content after. Just like their nap. But post-sex nap. Fun!)

"So did she look like THAT this morning?" Meredith says hoping for a similar response.

But Derek considers this one because the answer is slightly more nuanced.

"Well her hair was down because you were running your fingers through it. But it didn't necessarily look like post-sex hair. She looked content and softened, but she was also asleep and she looks like that anyhow when she's sleeping. It's nice actually…"

(Derek trails off for a second and Meredith has to bite back her tongue not to agree with Dererk about that last part…)

"And she seemed like she wasn't as angry or wound up, but she didn't seem sex sweaty and she didn't look… sticky…" Derek sort of seems a bit awkward about that last one then.

"So then what do you think?" Meredith asks Derek. He considers it a moment.

"I guess she didn't look like you'd slept with her sexually. But she looked like she was enjoying being curled up in your arms" Derek finally says honestly.

And for some odd reason, it doesn't come somewhere along in the bitterness that Meredith might have expected such a sentence to carry to her.

"You two looked different after sex and you were both different in the bedroom" Derek starts to continue on his train of thought and Meredith starts to redden at thr thought.

She'd never really had the experience of someone describing what having sex with her was like and she had to admit that she was kind of curious of what Derek had to say about her.

(You just wanna find out what Derek is going to say about sex with ADDISON! Meredith's brain tries to tell her as she tries to ignore it. And is failing at that miserably...)

"You were always so eager. You were a boost to my ego…" Derek begins.

"Well, at least you're admitting that," Meredith says sort of bitterly before she realizes she's said that aloud to him.

"Sorry." Derek does apologize for that part at least.

"Anyways, like I said you were eager. You gave me lots of attention. You were gentle and slow. You do good work with your mouth. You were a good kisser. You are a good kisser?..."

Derek starts to trail off wondering when the past tense had slipped into his speech and when he'd tried to change it to the present tense, Meredith kind of tensed up so he didn't do that more.

"You were a good kisser. Anyways. And you make cute little moans. It was sexy." Derek says.

And the way that he talks about sleeping with her is all about… HIM… Meredith thinks to herself.

It was all about the way she could make her feel. And while Meredith was quite proud of her skills in the bedroom, she found it a bit distracting that Derek never asked what SHE thought.

Not that she wanted to talk to Derek about McDreamy sex with him. Not now. Not anymore…

But she still felt weird that Derek never bothered to ask about it. At all. Ever.

And as much as he praised her, he didn't seem to gush about the intimacy in a way she'd expect someone would when they had claimed to be in love with someone.

 


 

(Meredith wonders absently if Addison would talk about her skills in bed in a more appreciative way that Derek just had… Except that she wouldn't talk about them to other people or other exes, Meredith thinks to herself. Addison would be more classy than that, she thinks…)

(But she thinks it would be super hot to hear how Addison might talk about her. If she did all those naughty things she once did for Derek but she did them all to HER. For HER. Addison…)

"Addison, by contrast-'' Derek began his trail of thought and Meredith's eyes leaped up to his in interest as she then tried to look away, not to seem too overly enthusiastic about that particular subject.

"Addison is a feisty one. She liked to be in control for the first while and I liked that I let her. Like I said before, she's a biter and she almost took my ear off a few times" Derek chuckles.

(God, I bet that feels AMAZING, Meredith thinks about Addison nibbling her earlobe…)

"And she liked to kiss me on the neck. And she would claw on my back to shreds sometimes"

Derek winces at that one again, but Meredith just stands there trying not to be so intrigued.

(That Addison was rough in the bedroom was a huge turn-on for Meredith and she ached to be the one who would be making her moan so much that she needed to scratch into her back…)

(And oh, she was right the last time she was thinking about how Addison was a neck kisser and that never failed to drive Meredith absolutely freaking wild…She wonders how Addison liked it on the neck as well, Did she like pecs? Or long kisses? With tongue? With TEETH…..)

"She was a good kisser too. She really liked to swallow my tongue. Sort of like you, I guess."

(And NOW Meredith was distracted by the thought of Addison's tongue down her throat… SHe couldn't operate in an O.R if all she was thinking about was things like tongues!)

"And she was a good lover, for what it's worth. We had some good times. She knew what I liked and how to pleasure me. She'd get down on her knees and well, you know…)

(And Meredith kind of winces when Derek alludes to what he just said, but on the other hand she finds the idea of Addison on her knees in front of HER extremely sexy… And even more so than that she finds the idea of kneeling in front of a hot and wanting ADDISON, extremely sexy)

"All in all it got the job done I guess. She's hot, right." Derek didn't mean for that one to end up sounding like a question. And Meredith made absolutely no attempt to answer his non-question all the same.

(God, she is your WIFE and a freaking BOMBSHELL of a woman all at that, jeez you really just can't see it can you Derek? Or maybe just not like I CAN…. Meredith thinks to herself smugly.)

And as Derek concludes his not-as-informative-as-she-might-have-liked description of Addison's sex life (with him at least), Meredith notices again that Derek didn't mention at all what he'd done for HER.

He'd mentioned Addison doing him sexual acts but not what he'd reciprocated. And Meredith knew that in the past he had reciprocated to her to some extent with her at least.

But that he had not ever been as enthusiastic as when the situation gave HIM pleasure.

And that Meredith in sexual situations, purely objectively is much more of a giver than a taker.

And that Derek clearly was a taker and that's how all of this might have worked for them.

And that apparently Addison seemed like a giver as well in sex and somehow that didn't make Meredith think that the two of them might be at all sexually incompatible.

It made her think they'd be so eager to offer each other the pleasure they were getting.

And that the competition between them wouldn't be to gain more than the other, but to offer as much as they could to each other.

And Meredith SERIOUSLY wants to say to Derek that "he doesn't deserve her, and never deserved a girl like Addison near at all" right at that moment.

But she doesn't. She doesn't say that and she doesn't say anything more.

And for the longest time, they just stay silent, coexisting, and nothing more.

 


 

And eventually, Derek starts to consider everything and he has one more thing to say...

"You know, when I walked in on you two napping there in the storage closet, it was just weird to see it seem like you're getting along so well I guess," Derek mumbles at her.

"Yeah. I guess. Getting along. We're trying not to hate each other I guess." Meredith deadpans.

(Oh, you have NO idea about us two starting to get along so well, Meredith thinks to herself…)

(Oh, even Meredith YOU have no idea either about the lengths of it, Addison might have thought to herself had she been present for that snippet of conversation.)

 


 

But Addison wasn't at all present for that conversation. She'd been called to consult on her pyloric stenosis babies case. Those babies had been pushed back for surgery while their priorities had been all on the Teratoma Patient John and emergencies.

But now that John had recovered, she was asked to go back and schedule surgery for those two babies. Addison remembered she'd promised to give the case to Izzie and Cristina. So she puts them both on the consults in the coming few days, and wonders if their new relationship would be a problem in the O.R.

But the two boys had handled themselves fine yesterday and the girls seemed to be even more mature than they were. So Addison thinks to herself it should be fine. And then she thinks maybe Cristina might let it slip to Izzie about their shared secrets. Then she decides she really has to do something about those before anyone else can do it for her…

So she tries, again and again, to call Joe the Bartender and never gets an answer.

So she leaves a message for him and Walter on his answering machine.

Saying "Hello, this is Doctor Montgomery, and I would appreciate it if you wouldn't mention to Meredith or any of her friends or my husband or anyone else that I was speaking with her the other night and that I split a cab with her. Thank you and take care. From Addison."

She doesn't know if it will get through to him, but Addison can sure hope.

Somehow despite all the goings-on in her life she feels strangely peaceful, despite the sense of the incoming dread that sunk in when Derek walked in on their nap this morning.

Despite it only being a nap of an hour or two, Addison had slept more soundly curled up in Meredith Grey's arms than she had in what felt like eleven years…

And she stupidly thinks up every single stupid or stupider reason why she might have Meredith Grey cuddle and sing her to sleep for another night sometime.

And obviously she can't think of anything that sounds remotely logical nor ridiculous and far from 'just friendly'.

So she sighs at the thought and wonders how it all came to this.

And then idly, Addison thinks to herself then if Meredith Grey had slept as soundly as she did…

 


 

Meredith DID sleep that soundly, at least she was feeling very well-rested now.

She's very relieved at this prospect because otherwise being in this operating room with her ex-boyfriend would be even more excruciatingly painful.

Her thoughts are drifting to Addison, and how she looked well-rested also.

And she doesn't want to take credit for it, but if Addison ever did ask her she would have an instinct to tell her the truth about it.

And that was that having Addison safe and warm in her arms made all the dreams seem more vivid and the R.E.M came more quickly.

She felt like she had gotten a full night's sleep in a few hours.

And idly, Meredith wonders if there would ever be some logical reason for Meredith to crawl up next to Addison in bed ever again.

Even if just to sleep next to her and hold her again. Or to have Addison's arm wrapped around her waist and shoulders.

To feel her body so close to hers and how Addison seems to melt and mold into her under her touch…

It was such a good feeling Meredith found herself craving it. She understood Addison's thoughts about craving her Cheetos now, and how powerful cravings could be.

Meredith craved contact with Addison the way Addison said she craved Cheetos.

And she remembered when Addison had said to her "I've resigned myself to eating out all of the Cheetos because if I try to retrain myself I'll just end up craving them anyhow. And the withdrawal appears to be more of a hindrance than the indulgence"

And that's how Meredith was feeling now about wanting to be around Addison ALL of the TIME.

Wow, some crush she was starting to have here. A MAJOR crush.

One hell of a crush that was almost enough for her to forget about this 'mystery person' entirely.

Almost.

But not completely.

 


 

"So then you don't think that Doctor Montgomery and I just had sex then," Meredith asks Derek with the most 'normal' voice she can manage after just spending the past few minutes considering Addison's sex life as well as how Derek had noticed them being cuddled up so close...

"Well I think that the evidence overall suggests otherwise," Derek says to her as if he doesn't quite want to believe that himself.

"I guess I just felt betrayal on instinct because Addison has cheated on me before, with Mark" Derek finally admits.

And Meredith hears that little pang in Derek's voice now. The same one she heard the last time he talked about him. And she thinks that it's odd he would say this best friend's name with such reverence when clearly he had been a factor in ending his marriage.

But then again, Meredith thinks, Mark WAS his best friend, so she thinks she understands.

For example in her life, Cristina had kissed Addison and Meredith got mad at her for that. But she still considers Cristina Yang to be her very best friend and person.

(Meredith doesn't think to realize that in this parallel she had thought about being jealous over Addison despite Addison never having ever been hers to be jealous over to begin with…)

And so Meredith just empathizes with Derek now and tries to comfort him in a way.

Because as much as Meredith was angry at him, and how he treated her and how he had treated and talked about Addison, Meredith still cared for him in a way.

Not in a love-cared-for way. But she cared for him all the same.

As someone who had been important in her life, (and someone who had been important in Addison's life) and just as a fellow co-worker, she cared just enough for him.

"I'm sorry that she cheated on you. And I'm sorry if you felt betrayed by her - me - earlier" Meredith says softly.

"Thanks" Derek accepts her apology, despite him being also the one who needed to apologize.

But he doesn't yet. He doesn't apologize to Meredith for jumping to conclusions.

And Derek doesn't refute her apology either, to tell her it wasn't her fault at all, to begin with.

 


 

"You know, that's how I felt, Derek when I met her and I realized you were lying to me about being married. That's how I felt from you. Betrayal." Meredith says to him then, honestly.

"Oh. Derek says. And it's not even an apology.

"OH!?" Meredith exclaims at her.

"She's my WIFE," he says.

"She is. She's your leggy and fabulous McWife" she huffs in annoyance.

"You know I told her that you know" Derek admits to her, instead of an apology.

"That she's leggy and fabulous? Well, I sure hope you did" Meredith groans.

"No, I told her that YOU said that she's leggy and fabulous" Derek finally admits to her.

He's lied to her about so many things, And he still has so many lies in his head.

It's the least he can do to offer one less secret like this.

(And what Meredith didn't still know at the time, but what Addison knew is that she'd already shared HER side of this story with Meredith, and Meredith had been empathetic towards her from that day forth after that…)

"It was the night that Addison left me. It was the night you'd told me pick me, choose me, love me" Derek begins.

"And I didn't know what to think about that. I was so tangled up and confused. And all I wanted was a best friend to talk it through with. And I couldn't call Mark after what he'd done…"

And then I went back to the trailer and I put on some nice clothes. And I thought I'd go to find you but I just couldn't bring myself to leave her and I just couldn't bring myself to find you. So I just stayed there not moving in the kitchen drinking some scotch…"

(If Addison was here now she would have remembered how Meredith and she had first bonded at knowing that Derek liked drinking his scotch. And that this interaction of saying 'scotch' at the same time was the one that got Meredith to add a shot of tequila for Addison onto her tab...)

Meredith nods at him then to continue.

"And so then I asked my very best friend of eleven years what she thought. I thought I could ask her that, just as a friend" he winces, thinking again about the memory.

"And so I told her the entire damn thing. I told her how you had said that Addison had come here 'all leggy and fabulous and annoyingly kind and painfully smart and that she was currently saving your best friend's life at the time and she was 'really hard to hate, you know'".

(And Meredith reddens enormously at the compliments she now remembers having indirectly given to Addison, and how she hadn't known what to think about the woman back then, but that what she knew now is that all of those things are so true and even more, and she's happy and shy knowing now that Addison had heard from her then-husband Derek she'd said all of them…)

"And that's when you told me to- pick you, to choose you, to love you. And that you'd be waiting for me at Joe's bar that very evening…." Derek recounts and Meredith cringes now at that part.

"And then I asked Addison about it and what I should do because I really didn't know…"

(Meredith raises her eyebrows at this one because it sounds absurd for him to be picking between two wonderful women and to not even have an inkling of what he wanted either way.)

"And that's when she left me," Derek says as he spits that part out quietly before continuing.

"I'm sorry Derek," Meredith says in reaction because she always apologizes when other people are in pain. Even if the pain Derek had, then, had been entirely self-inflicted she thought…

"And she said she thought that I didn't deserve to pick you or choose her or love either of you," Derek says to her softly.

(If Meredith remembered that night at the bar she might have thought it was astounding she herself had had that exact same question then directed at Addison as to why she left Derek.)

"And then she said to me that she didn't deserve the love that I had then to offer her," Derek says.

"And I asked her if she meant her-Addie. If SHE didn't deserve the love that I had to offer her, as if I was the one to be saying that to her about her…" Derek says quietly.

"But then she said that she-YOU-MEREDITH GREY- didn't deserve the love that I had to offer - YOU-" Derek says all in pain.

"And she defended you then. And I had no idea why. You were the other woman in our marriage. You were my dirty mistress, my girlfriend, my intern and even HER intern…"

"But Addie defended you to me then. And then she took off her wedding ring. And then she took off her engagement ring. And then she took out divorce papers and pushed them in my face to read over so we could sign" Derek says, shivering a little.

"She said that if I couldn't make up my mind and decide, then she was going to decide. That she was going to decide to end it for the both of you - Addison and Meredith - you. And then she said she was leaving me then. For good." Derek says so, so quietly.

"And then she said that 'you can't ask your PARTNER that kind of question; for future reference, now, Derek" Derek quotes directly and realizes he hasn't changed the word to "wife" and hopes that Meredith thinks Addison had just been inclusive and that she hadn't noticed anything suspicious.

But Meredith didn't react to that part of the sentence. She only waited for Derek to finally keep going.

And then Derek finally apologizes for the night he never came to get her.

He finally says to her "I'm sorry. That I didn't even call you to tell you not to wait for me then." Derek says. "Sorry I never said a yes or no to you, then, either way" he says softly.

"And what did you do then, after that? And what did SHE do then, after that?" Meredith asks him.

And then he says that he cried a little. And then he drank a whole lot.

And then he said that "Addison had left him a glass of water and an aspirin out for him next to his bed in the morning. And then Addison had packed all of her possessions so she could leave the trailer, then, for the very last time…"

"And that she wrote a note by the water for him to take the aspirin and to drink the water in the morning. And she said 'thanks for the memories.' And she signed it with only A.M. In nice and curly neat cursive. And then she was gone into the night then, and I never saw her after that"

Derek concludes his monologue and Meredith looks at his defeated look.

"She left my key under the doormat. Her key to the trailer I gave her. I found it there, after"

(At the back of her consciousness the parts of the story having to do with the key under the doormat and note and the water and the aspirin and then 'Thanks for the Memories' and the note that's signed with a curly cursive "M" somewhere on it sounds so super familiar…)

(But she doesn't think too hard at that part, because Derek is asking if she knows about what happened to Addison that night. And Meredith says that she does. Because she had that talk with her.)

"Addison told me about that night. Because I had a hell of a night too" Meredith begins.

"See I went home with some mystery person. We didn't screw, I just slept" Meredith said.

"And when we were talking about this, Addison and I the next day when she told me you two were splitting…" Meredith says to her honestly.

"She said that her night, that it was quiet. Went home early. Nothing exciting," Meredith says to her.

"And then I wanted to tell her that that sounded at least sort of better than my total tequila blackout. But then she didn't wanna talk to me then anymore. She told me to stop sitting next to her on the O.R stool and to get to word. And that's what I did" Meredith says.

"And I never talked to her ever again about the night she left you. Because I knew it was so painful for her and that she wouldn't want to ever talk about it, not to me at least" she says.

"I don't know where she went, she took her stuff though. She probably went to a hotel. I know she really likes the Archfield here" Derek adds in that absently.

"I don't know if I should be relieved, relieved that she never went home with someone else," Derek says. "I know it's not supposed to be my business to care anymore…"

"But I guess I still kind of do," Derek admits to Meredith, surprising even himself.

"In both ways, good and bad." Derek continues.

"Part of me doesn't want her to have found someone else so soon and slept with them. Because it makes me jealous and angry and hurt and alone." Derek says.

"But another part of me doesn't want her to have found someone else so soon and slept with them because they would have been such a rebound for her. And that never ends well" he says with more compassion than he has ever said at all in their past conversations.

"And Addie deserved better than that. Rebound sex in a dirty bar bathroom, I mean" he says.

"I know that she's not at all in love with me anymore. And I'll admit that I'm not so sure I am now, either." Derek finally admits.

"But we were best friends for 11 years. I still care that she got home safely. Even if it's not my place even to care anymore." he says to Meredith softly. And it's probably the most McDreamy thing that Meredith can ever remember he's said to her.

Even though it's not even about her - Meredith Grey.

(Because it's about ADDISON… Her brain tells her, then…)

"I think we accept the love we think we deserve, Derek," Meredith says to him in a sigh.

"You're right that she deserved better than a drunken bar hook up at a hotel room that night," she says.

"And I'm glad that she got that. That she didn't go there with someone. Not that night at least." Meredith says to him softly.

Meredith wants to say more to him. She wants to say she deserved more than HIM and the love that HE had to offer, and that she did too.

And she wants to justify and explain why she cares Addison didn't hook up with anyone that night of her divorce.

And why she cares about her and cares about what happened to Addison back then, too.

But Derek looks so sad and vulnerable now. That Meredith knows now is not the time and the place for all that. To go there. To put him in his place.

That somewhere along in the bitterness that Meredith still wanted to tear Derek a new one over Addison.

But she tries to give Derek a break after he shared all that with her. To focus on the good then.

That just as it was good both she and Addison had not had any drunken sex and hookups that night. Each of them had been spared from a McRebound.

And that it was good that Derek had the time to reflect on his marriage on his own before Meredith tore into him a new one like she wanted to, and that he deserved to hear from her. And Addison too, maybe. If she wanted to do that, herself.

She thinks through all this that Addison has a similar story to tell. They're on the same side of this now after all. 'Join the freaking club' Meredith scoffs at herself inwardly.

And tries not to show Derek just how much she cares, how much she cares about Addison, already as she scrubs out from the surgery and goes to change into fresh scrubs.

 


 

Even though Meredith didn't know then that he knew something then, Derek already knew how much Meredith cared for Addison in the moment he'd seen them together in that supply closet.

And he reflects on all of their earlier conversations about the possibility of Meredith/Addison cheating on him with each other in that supply closet there that night.

He had been talked out of the possibility that they'd been having sex together.

He knew that even if his rage didn't want that to be true; part of him wanted it to be just sex.

But he knew better. He'd bedded both of them had he not, in the not-so-recent-past.

And even if sex was slightly different with a woman than a man, it wouldn't be THAT different.

It wouldn't be different than Derek knew if they HAD been having sex together, he wouldn't know.

If they had had sex together, Derek would have seen the telltale flush on Meredith's cheeks.

He would have seen the telltale flushing on Addison's chest. He would have seen lipstick stains.

But he had not seen any of that, he had not seen any of those signs or any others at that.

So he knew that Meredith had not been making anything up, not about that at least.

When he looks up at Meredith's scared expression again,

Somehow he knows that no matter what he has ever thought or used to think-

About Meredith Grey, that she isn't a liar.

Meredith isn't lying to him tonight, about this, at least.

And despite that, there's a broken part of Derek Shepherd there, that wishes that she was.

Because if it was only the sex that had happened, then maybe he could still have a chance with one or either of them.

But it wasn't even the sex; it was the Caring that was the kicker.

Because the caring gave Addison a reason she never had before to stay now in Seattle.

And the caring for Meredith Grey, his ex-girlfriend/ex-mistress, was even crueler still for him.

If he had thought that seeing Mark and Addison together in bed at the Brownstone was cruel,

Then this was a whole new level of cruelty.

 


 

But still, he can't help thinking back to Mark again.

And how he never admitted then and still did not want to admit today,

That he'd been even more jealous of Addison than Mark.

Because he still remembered that night when he'd been in bed with both of them.

Even though he swears to them both and everyone he was plastered out of his mind.

But he never had a blackout. Not about that night at least. And he felt both lucky and unlucky about that fact he thought since then.

About today, the part he tried to blackout from his history, is how the way that he saw Meredith and Addison in the closet cuddled up today-

That was how he had been tangled up with his best friend Mark Sloan after that 'threesome night.'

And that he hated himself for thinking about that. Because he shouldn't long for that more than he had ever longed for Addison his wife, or for Meredith his ex-whatever.

He had never longed for either of them the way they seemed to be, longing to hold each other.

The same way that he still longed each night to be held in the arms of his male best-friend Mark Sloan.

And that he had felt relieved and lucky when Addison left him, so he wouldn't have to walk away.

And that he had been relieved and lucky when Addison showed up to break up him and Meredith.

And that he would be relieved and lucky if Mark would talk to him if he had the courage to ever call him.

And that he had absolutely no idea what to say to any or either of the three of them.

About any or all of this to them. But the only one he misses, of those three of them, is Mark.

And if he ever got lucky from some twist of all this stupid unlucky bad luck,

Then maybe someone would call Mark for him. So he could talk with him.

Without having to be the one to decide first.

To admit first.

About how he felt.

About how he or Mark or them might be a little bit GAY.

How he didn't want to be the one to make the first move.

To be the one to risk it all.

To change things forever with his very best childhood friend in case he didn't feel the same.

Because Derek knew in his heart he was indecisive and a coward.

And that he had always most loved his childhood very best friend, Mark Sloan, for being brave.

 


 

As Meredith finally does go to the laundry chute to toss her old scrubs away,

She realizes, stupidly, that she doesn't want to take them off because they still smelled like Addison's skin.

She had been basking at the brown sugar and spices sent all day.

And when she went to put on a new set, they just smelled like laundry soap.

And so Meredith has the instinct to keep these old scrubs, as unsanitary as that would be.

And she's lost in thought about this dilemma when eventually Izzie Stevens comes around the corner to chat with her.

"Hey Izzie," Meredith says to her, still fumbling with all those clothes in her hand.

"Hey Meredith," Izzie says as she motions to throw her own scrubs out and gestures for Meredith to hold the set that is in her hand so Izzie can help her do the same.

So Meredith takes one last longing glance at those old scrubs before handing them over to Izzie.

And she tries to hold that sweet scent in her mind and hold onto it for all eternity.

And Izzie asks just how her day has been and she says "it's unlucky but still lucky."

And when Izzie asks if part of the bad day was that she'd lost her house key recently.

And Meredith spins around abruptly at the thought, wondering what Cristina might have told her.

And all she says is "yeah that happened once but I got it back and I didn't want to scare you."

And Izzie nods and accepts Meredith's answer at face value, not pressing her to share more.

But all Izzie Stevens can think about at that moment is how days earlier Addison Montgomery had had a spare house key that looked like theirs next to her car keys the day they had played all of those games with the Teratoma patient.

But then how she hadn't had it the next day when Addison had parked her car in the red zone and needed Izzie Stevens to go move it.

But somehow Izzie seems to read Meredith's expression and notice that it was not a topic that she wanted to talk about.

So instead she thinks she'll drop it and maybe talk with Cristina Yang about it later.

"Hey Mer do you know of any restaurants that Cristina might like to go to?" Izzie asks her friend for her advice.

"Anything but Vietnamese" Meredith laughs and wishes her friend well.

She's super glad that Izzie and Cristina have found each other, starting as friends leading to something much more.

And as Meredith is thinking if she'll ever have that ever with Addison and if this 'mystery person' could or would change that,

Izzie Stevens is thinking about Meredith's comment about "no Vietnamese food" for the dinner with Cristina-

And how not too long ago how Addison Montgomery had all but said to her the same.

Izzie thought that she sure was feeling lucky to have friends like Meredith and Addison.

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 24


 

Author's Note:

THANK-YOU folks all SO MUCH for the raving reviews of this piece.

And especially for the discussions in the comments. For the commenter who said that the last chapter will probably spell some trouble for Meddison - Yep, you sure called it. I didn't reply to you there not to give it away. But as you described the last chapter as the "calm before the storm" well, you were spot on there.

Well, this has been an interesting discussion between Meredith and Derk. What did you think of it all? What did you think about him assuming they were having sex when he walked in on them, and do you think he believes Meredith when she told him they had not been?

What do you think about their discussion about how Addison left Derek that night in Derek's words to Meredith. How do you think this will affect the reveal of the 'mystery person?' Let me know what you predict! I just love to hear the fanfiction of fanfiction lol. :D

Enjoy the next approximately 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 <3 <3 <3

 


 

Chapter Text


 

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

 


 

Chapter Text

Author's Note:

Thanks for your patience and love today.

I know it's the first day since April 1st that I did not upload (yesterday.)

I really wanted to but it just didn't happen at all,

But picking up the pace now.

Here's a new one just for you!

Let me know what you think in the comments,

And have a great day!

bobbiejelly

 


 

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 26: Meanwhile

 


 

Meanwhile,

"So what was the boy-man-Psychiatrist's name after all?" Addison asks Meredith if she remembers, as they idly pack up the snacks into boxes.

"Why, are you interested?" Meredith says with a bit of a menace and it makes Addison's lips curl up in a bit of a smile.

"Well, not for ME, no" Addison clarifies despite her enjoyment of Meredith's eyes flashing in jealousy at the concept.

(Interesting. Maybe I'm not the only one who's 'got it bad'...)

"I thought you told me to stay away from him because you 'used to know about him' and that you were 'a more experienced doctor than me' and you knew it?" Meredith calls Addison out on her bluff.

"So then you're not going to tell me?" Addison sighs at Meredith.

"Nope," Meredith smirks at her. The same way that Cristina always smirks at her and she wonders who taught the other that one.

"Darn, do you really have to look all so smug about it?" Addison says to Meredith frustratedly.

"Well, it's not every day that I get to know more than my boss so yeah" Meredith grins at her.

And it's just so damn cute that Addison can't resist grinning a little bit back at her.

"Why do you ask about him anyways?" Meredith questions her.

"Oh, just because we're discharging John today as you know and I need to ask him why he held him on a psych hold instead of admitting him to the surgical service right away" Addison says smoothly.

"Right," Meredith says, mostly convinced.

"Makes sense, right?" Addison asks her.

"Well, sure. Do you want me to talk to him for you then?" Meredith questions her.

"I might even be able to get us a favor" Meredith waggles her eyebrows suggestively.

"No, I can handle that part myself," Addison says a bit too forcefully.

"Right. You ARE the boss, Doctor Boss" Meredith doesn't think twice about Addison's motives.

"Ah, but never as much as Doctor Bailey" Addison quirks.

"I wonder why she's not organizing this party herself?" Meredith thinks to herself but has ended up asking aloud.

"No clue. Bailey tells, I go; Same as you all, but don't you dare ever say that to anyone, ever!" Addison says seriously but lightly as well.

"Your secret is safe with me, Doctor Montgomery" Meredith smiles at her.

(God if all these secrets weren't so hard to keep track of, Addison laughs to herself.)

"Thanks, Doctor Grey," Addison says with a quip.

"Say, do you mind texting the boys to see how they are doing with the decorations?

 


 

Meanwhile,

George O'Malley is doing an okay job of stealing all of his mother's mismatch of holiday decorations into his backpack.

He's trying to get away with it subtly without having to answer any of her questions, especially the ones about why his friend Alex was helping him all of the sudden.

Alex is doing a damn good job of not fussing too much or poking fun at all of it.

So they think they'll be able to sneak away without question, that is, until George's phone goes off loudly.

 


 

Meanwhile,

 

Text Message, 15:42, Location: Seattle

MEREDITH GREY TO GEORGE "007" O'MALLEY

 

MEREDITH

[George how are those decorations shaping up?]

[Addison wants to know.]

[Thanks for asking your mom. I bet she is sweet.]

GEORGE SETS HIS PHONE NOW TO SILENT FOR MEREDITH.

 

GEORGE

[Going good, Alex is helping.]

[Tell Doctor Montgomery the theme is going to be:]

[A week full of holidays. (I couldn't decide).]

[See you later.]

GEORGE SETS HIS PHONE NOW TO SILENT FOR ALL INCOMING CONTACTS.

 


 

Meanwhile,

"He's got them. George has the decorations! Apparently they are from everything. Like Christmas and Easter and Halloween and the others" Meredith says now to Addison.

"Thank you Doctor Grey" Addison is being all professional now, and Meredith wonders why the "Doctor Grey" all of the sudden, and then she spies Derek and Burke and Webber all coming their way, and that seems to answer that question for her.

"Doctors," Addison greets them professionally.

"Doctor," Derek says to her because he's not sure what to say to her now.

"Addison" Preston Burke tries before Addison gives him a big glare before he switches to "Doctor Montgomery."

Only Richard Webber gets away with calling Addison "Addie" and it makes Meredith pang a bit at how she can't call Addison that nickname (yet...).

"Looking Good," says Richard Webber first to their so far assemblage of snacks.

"Can I-" Preston Burke goes to steal away some samples before Addison slaps him right on the hand.

"Those are for the Party," Addison says to him sternly and frowns when he seems to enjoy how she's bossy. (UGH.)

"LEAVE HER ALONE!" Pipes in Meredith, and it startles Addison a little bit but doesn't surprise Richard Webber at all.

"Always did have her mother's temper, that one," Richard says to Meredith, endearingly. "I'd watch out for that one if I were you," Richard says then to no one in particular.

(And this Meredith's flash of temper thing is really working for Addison because she's now looking away from Meredith to give Bruke an indignant expression, hoping that her flush of red all over her chest will be confused as her anger and not at her delight at what Meredith's sudden red-hot temper just does for her body.)

"Ooh, I wouldn't want to go anywhere near Addison either. She bites when she's upset!" Derek says looking at her with an unreadable expression. He knows that the flush could be for a variety of reasons, but that none of them are good for him now so he stays quiet.

(Meredith wonders if Derek means that Addison 'bites' in the literal sense or in the metaphorical sense, and frankly, she's sort of turned on by either or both of those things...)

 


 

Meanwhile,

"ARE ANY OF YOU FOOLS GONNA TRY BEING DOCTORS THIS EVENING?" Miranda Bailey wails at them from the end of the hall.

"Right away, Doctor Bailey" even Richard Webber submits, and all of the other attendings scatter while Meredith and Addison keep packing up the snacks.

"You can have some if you want, now," Addison says to her in a whisper.

"Just for you though. Don't go telling anyone else!" Meredith says, trying to butter Bailey up a bit.

"Don't mind if I do" Bailey picks out a chocolate bar. "Good lord all these chocolate cravings are killing me these days. Well, you know what it's like…" She says 'matter of factly'. And both Addison and Meredith nod at this in a sort of solidarity of a moment.

And Bailey looks at the way Addison is beaming at the intern as if she were the sun for her. And Meredith is squishing a little closer to Addison now as if that girl could calm all the rain for her on any stormy day.

And Bailey just smiles for a moment, not wanting to give anything away. And she lets them continue the packing, only to tell them both that "If no one is in there, Addison you can have Grey help you put those cans of whipped cream in the Attendings lounge fridge."Before she walks away saying she'll see them at five.

As soon as Bailey is gone though, Derek Shepherd reappears in front of both of them looking rather rugged and… Even Addison doesn't know what. But he has a purpose in his stride and it is starting to scare her a bit.

Meredith notices the tension and really wants to rub Addison's shoulder in comfort, but she knows that won't help her now so instead she keeps unpacking the Cheetos without offering Derek any.

"Meet me tonight at Seven. Let me know if you still want to go for Thai, I will if you want to. I'll even buy" Derek offers to Addison.

And if looks could kill anyone, Addison would be dead in a second. Because Meredith is fuming at Addison under the assumption that Derek was going back to her to try to take her for dinner. But before Meredith could start punching him out in the hospital with her tiny, ineffectual fists, Addison speaks up and stands in between them so nothing violent hits.

"I don't want to go out for Dinner, Derek. We just need to do this. Order Thai if you want, you know what my order is. Thanks for that. And I'll ask Richard if we can reserve the conference room. Let me know when they get here." Addison says to him coldly. "And I can buy my own dinner, Derek. Though I will not be buying yours, either. You just save the receipt and I'll pay you right back" she says clearly.

"Pad Thai with shrimp, extra lime, green onions, peanuts, and less cilantro, side of tofu salad rolls with peanut sauce, diet Doctor Pepper and maybe a dessert I can buy you so you don't feel guilty about ordering one on your own?" Derek asks her, but hollow as well.

(Meredith feels a pang of jealousy and annoyance that Derek has memorized that something about Addison she didn't even know about, yet)

"Yeah. My tastes have changed for snack foods but I guess not about everything. Like I don't hate what I used to like I just like other things now that I didn't before" Addison just says to him, almost sadly. "I'll call them right away. If they can't do delivery though, would you be able to drive?" Derek asks her.

(He's trying hard not to say "we're getting a divorce Addison because you asked me for one. I won't be plastered like the night you left me your rings and the papers, but I'll probably sneak some scotch into my soda at the party. I've cleared my schedule for surgeries and consults tonight 'just for the party', but the truth is I'll probably be too drunk to drive by then.)

(And Addison starts thinking about this, then. And she's tempted to ask even right in front of Meredith if she can have a few shots of that scotch she knows he has stowed away in his desk drawer later for herself.)

And Addison reads through his expression like glass, and she says she'll pick it up no problem even if she has to slip out of the party. And he nods at her a hollow 'thanks' and he's gone.

 


 

Meanwhile,

A moment passes where Addison sighs and Meredith doesn't move a single muscle.

But once Derek is out of earshot of them, she leans closer and lays a hand onto Addison's arm like she'd wanted to earlier.

"You're not dating him, are you? This is something else, entirely, isn't it?" Meredith says to her softly.

"We're signing the papers this evening," Addison says to her softly. Hardly above even a whisper.

"Oh, Addie" Meredith can't help herself from calling Addison that right now. "I'm sorry, ya know," she says, even though she knows this is what Addison has wanted.

"Can I do anything?" she asks, not pressing further into touching Addison because she's already starting to pull away from her touch.

"Can you drive?" Addison asks her, her voice breaking a bit.

"I don't have my car here, George and Alex borrowed it for the decorations," Meredith says in a conundrum.

"It's okay, I trust you. I have insurance for it anyways" Addison pleads with her eyes, pulling her car keys out of her pocket and handing them over to Meredith.

Meredith takes them solemnly, not asking why off Addison's scared look why she's handing them over to her now rather than closer to seven. But then her eyes open a bit wide at the meaning of 'Addison not driving' and she keeps her thoughts to herself.

Meredith palms the keys in her fingers the same way Addison does, and that she used to with Meredith's keys. She attaches Addison's own keyring to hers and puts the whole set back into her pocket, enjoying the weight of both of them.

And as Meredith does this, Addison tries not to stare too longingly at Meredith's key set, and at that beautiful engraving of an "M" that she knows already is on the one to her home.

"You know I almost lost this one forever," Meredith says to Addison with a sigh.

"But you didn't?" Addison tries to ask as a question.

"No. I didn't." Meredith says, without offering more.

And Addison sighs out in relief as Meredith jumps up, changing moods abruptly as she exclaims:

"SO COME ON I WANNA GO SPY ON THE ATTENDINGS LOUNGE FRIDGE!" dragging Addison along with a tug of the elbow.

And Addison, with a chuckle, agrees easily.

 


 

Meanwhile,

"So can you do the thing with your tongue with the cherries?" Izzie challenges Cristina while they hang around Meredith's house after having finished preparing the cake.

"Oh, you are SO on!" Cristina doesn't back down at all.

So the two of them eat ten vanilla-flavored-cherries each as fast as they can before seeing if they can twist a knot with them with their tongue in the stems of them before the other one can.

"Done!" Izzie says a second faster than Cristina.

"But mine are double knotted!" Cristina exclaims to her in pride.

"Mm, double trouble," Izzie says to her suggestively.

"Indeed" Cristina quirks an eyebrow at Izzie until she cracks before she does.

"What do you say about letting the cake cool in the fridge for a while and you can teach me more about the skills you have like double-knotting with your tongue" Izzie propositions to Cristina.

"Done. But we are keeping our clothes on. I'm classy like that and I'm not letting you put out for me on the first date" says Cristina.

"Done. I'm asking you out to Italian food later today before Joe's then because I have a feeling that us fooling around here with nobody home is going to prove to be all of my willpower." Izzie says to her wisely.

"How did you know I liked Italian food?" Cristina asks her curiously.

"Um, most people do I guess and I seen you eat pizza?" she shrugs at Cristina.

"Fair enough. At least it's not Vietnamese food again!" Cristina smiles a bit.

"Nope, not my favorite either" Izzie says to her sweetly.

(She's wanting to take credit for that one rather than sharing that Addison sort of tipped her away for it for whatever reason. How she knew Cristina's restaurant preferences Izzie had no idea, but either way, she wanted to awaken her beast tonight. She didn't want anything to stop it.)

"Come ON" Cristina yelps at her, now the one who doesn't want to wait.

"Wait, just let me put the cake in!" Izzie giggles as Cristina already has her hands all up and down her waist.

"Mm, okay that feels nice, lead on Cristina!" Izzie runs after her until they both crash on her mattress.

"Mm, I'm going to set a timer so we don't make out past the whole party" Cristina sets one on her phone as Izzie starts to fondle her ass a bit and plant kisses all over her shoulders.

"No marks. Not yet. For either of us, everyone will give us hell!" Cristina says before Izzie nibbles into her.

"God, fine" Izzie huffs at Cristina, annoyed she can't feel what Cristina's teeth might feel like grazing over her skin.

"It's okay, I will give you all the hickeys you want after dinner, Doctor Barbie" she nods at the nickname she's reserved for Izzie.

"Mm, you too, my Cardio Princess," Izzie says to her in a teasing tone as well.

And this flirtation and fun continue for quite a while that afternoon.

 


 

Meanwhile,

George and Alex are inundated with George's brothers asking him about cars. And also his dad who is impressed at Alex's knowledge of cars. And also his mother, Louise asking if his friend Alex has been at all well-fed today.

"We have not had lunch yet I guess if you're asking?" George says to her simply, feeling awkward that his mother is meeting his… buddy this way.

"Oh, well come have some soup then. Growing boy you look like your muscles are underfed. Now have some rolls, too" Louise O'Malley fawns over him.

And Alex looks so moved at how nicely George's mom is treating him better than his own mom ever could and much better than any of his previous partners ever would.

George senses this rush of emotion in Alex, so he plays footsie with him under the table as the brothers and his father compete on who has the best hiking story.

 


 

Meanwhile,

As Addison and Meredith spy through the window of the Attendings lounge, Meredith can't see anyone but Addison can because she's taller.

She sees a figure so she says that she'll go in to look at who it is.

And it's Miranda Bailey who looks sad and preoccupied for some reason.

Addison pries open the door just so she can slide through and gives Meredith a signal to stay silent, and she walks over to Bailey to put an arm around her gently.

"You can come on in Grey, just this once now, just today. Just shut the door there behind you and click the lock. I know you're standing there" Bailey turns to the door where she can see Meredith's shadow.

Meredith sighs a bit, revealing herself and determines that between her and Cristina, that she would NOT be the one to become a secret agent at all, given that she couldn't even conceal her presence behind an almost-closed door.

"Can you keep a secret, Grey? And I mean even from Yang and your friends" Bailey asks Meredith now, not having to bother to ask Addison.

"I can, I promise you, Bailey," Meredith says with pleading eyes.

"I found out two things today. Two things I wish I didn't have to find out at the same time, today" Bailey says very sadly.

"I'm sorry," Meredith apologizes like she does before Addison can even get a word in edgewise.

"Thanks, Grey," Bailey accepts from her intern. "And thanks, Addison," Bailey says to her even though she has not actually formed the words to her yet, she just knows.

"So the first one is that I found a letter from my husband. And it's a beautiful love note, and I read it and I almost cry…" Bailey says to them softly.

"But?" Addison asks her gently, having an idea of what the devastating thing that Bailey is going to say might be.

"It was my husband's writing, and my husband's signed it. But it wasn't addressed TO me. And it was dated from yesterday" Bailey almost breaks down as she says these words like sharded glass.

"I'm so, sorry," Addison says to her, and Bailey knows that she's apologizing in her own way to the universe for all the pain she has caused by having had an affair.

"But the worst part is the second discovery. This one I made when I went to check my blood levels in case I get high cholesterol" Bailey says.

And Addison knows before Meredith, but she doesn't say it so Bailey can say it.

"What does it mean, Grey, when levels of beta-hCG are elevated, Grey? We learned that this week" she says cryptically to make it seem more like she's using this as a teachable moment.

 


 

Meanwhile,

"The patient is, OH MY GOD BAILEY ARE YOU PREGNANT!?" Meredith exclaims with a whisper-yell.

"HUSH!" Bailey says to her and Meredith's eyes fly open as she covers her mouth over with both of her hands.

"You're going to need a better poker face if you want a future in OB-GYN" Addison chuckles at Meredith to lighten the mood.

"I'm s-" Meredith goes to apologize but Bailey shakes her head "don't".

"I asked, Grey. You don't have to apologize, I'm proud of you for knowing that" Bailey hums.

"Thanks," Meredith says to her. "You know, you're going to be a really great mother. You know, both of you would be. I mean not like, together, unless you wanted to be and I get it that's cool I'm fine with that but that's not what I meant, what I meant is that you're both so great to us interns and teaching and raising us and treating us well that I just think that a kid would be really lucky to grow up around you even if they might be a little scared off sometimes because of your look when you're all disappointed when we didn't study hard enough but it's never in a bad like you don't care about us way and-"

Meredith rants for a bit and it reminds Addison of her drunken rambling right before she had fallen asleep.

"Thank you, Meredith," Bailey says to her using her first name to interrupt her train of thought. "You better not call me Miranda, though" she adds quickly and Meredith relaxes at the familiar tone.

Off Bailey's look, Addison mumbles a thank-you as well, while Bailey can tell that she's keeping hard from blushing.

"I still don't know what I'm going to name him. But I know that I will when the time comes" she says.

Meredith wraps a hug around Bailey and tucks her neck into her shoulder. "You really are going to be a great mother," Meredith says coherently now.

(And both Bailey and Addison can tell that Meredith is currently trying hard not to say that 'Bailey, you already are…Bailey, you're the mother figure I never really had from my own mother...')

"Thanks for taking over the party planning. I just couldn't today' Bailey says to break the silence a bit.

"Thanks for letting me see the attending lounge" Meredith smiles a bit cheekily.

"Ha- like you haven't played hide and seek in here before. I almost tripped on your shoulder when you were six years old" Bailey laughs as it's Meredith's turn now to blush hard.

"Sorry I made you almost lose a limb," Meredith says a bit sheepishly.

"It's alright, Grey" Bailey switches back to her last name. "I was an intern then running around as you hooligans do" she laughs.

"They are chasing after things at least, most of the time" Addison adds in Meredith's defense.

"Oh, I doubt that," Bailey says to her with a bit of a glint. "But it's not that I don't miss it all somedays, so I know what you mean" she softens.

"Can I get you anything?" Meredith says in an empathetic tone she remembers from hers and Meredith's first night at the bar together, so she tries not to flash recognition of it in front of her face.

"Well I can't have any alcohol" Bailey laughs with them all.

"I know just the thing," says Addison, who goes to the fridge and whips open a bottle of Diet Doctor Pepper and adds a lime wedge and ice in a glass for it.

"You can pretend it's a rum and coke, you know if hypothetically we would drink in a hospital," Addison says, realizing too late she might not have wanted to say that, that way in front of an intern.

"I know many people who have had drinks in this hospital. It's not like you're 'not telling me' something I don't already know" Meredith deadpans a little too harshly.

Addison gives Bailey a look to say "does she mean Richard or does she mean Ellis Grey?" all the while Meredith is pouring herself and Addison a soda as well.

"I splurged on the curly straws because nothing's fun if it's only straight," Meredith says to them all in mischief.

 


 

Meanwhile,

"Oh, lord, we're becoming a sitcom," says Bailey. "What do you like Better? The Gays of Our Lives? Will & Will? Single Lesbians of Seattle?" she offers.

"Well I think the last one is out because we can't discriminate against gay men," Meredith says all inclusively, paying no big deal either way to Bailey's indirect admission of her non-straightness, either.

And Addison winces thinking directly of Derek, but she recovers once Bailey interrupts and says "she already knows all about George and Alex and she's fine with it as long as they don't skip off being surgeons just like anyone else".

Neither of them wants to ask what Bailey is going to tell or not tell her current husband in this predicament, so instead, they just sit there until Meredith remembers she still has to pick up the cake.

"See you later," Bailey says, not wanting to over-exert herself.

"Can you watch George and Alex putting up the decorations when they get here?" Addison says to Bailey.

(She doesn't say because I'm not sure the patient will care if they end up getting them all...messed up if they lose concentration and ditch to start making out with each other instead.)

"Will do. Drive safe" she says to no one in particular as Addison closes the door behind Meredith and Addison both.

"Do you want me to drive to my house or…" Meredith asks because she'd all but assumed Addison wanted her to drive because she might be sneaking drinks in like they'd all 'not talked about earlier' but obviously she hadn't already.

"Well, why would I know the way to your house from here?" Addison quirks up an eyebrow at her.

(This can't be something that triggers a memory can it? She wonders.)

"Oh. Right. I forgot. I mean I guess I could GPS it but…" Meredith trails off, embarrassed.

"You're not like a terrible drivers are you or something?" Addison asks her.

"No, it's just because it's your car" Meredith shrugs noncommittally.

"I have the pass here, for the garage. Because I am NOT parked in a red zone this time" Addison says to her then.

"That's good because even though your hair is red you shouldn't be parked in a red zone," Meredith says to her then winces because that joke made no sense at all.

"Should YOU be driving" Addison pokes fun at her then.

"Oh do not get me started on terrible puns" Meredith laughs alongside her as they walk to the car.

 


 

Meanwhile,

Derek is calling in the order for a meal for the order when he wonders whether he should order some for Meredith also. Not as a 'get back together with me' thing. More of a 'sorry I led you on when I was secretly married and never went to get you that night at the bar and for thinking you cheated with Addison that night' kind of thing.

Idly, he wonders if Addison might know what kind of Thai food that Meredith likes, so he texts his not-wife before he calls in the restaurant. He's not sure why this instinct appears in his mind, but it does and Derek is thinking too of other things to care that much about this one.

Before he gets around to phoning in the takeaway, Derek pours himself a glass of single-malt scotch, sitting himself down in his office and thumbing over Mark Sloan's number in his contacts again, knowing that he'll never actually have the courage to ever press the button to call.

 


 

Meanwhile,

Izzie and Cristina are testing their willpower. Knowing they can't cross certain lines though they can test out the boundaries of others. Cristina is sucking on Izzie's breasts over her clothes. Izzie is rubbing her hands on the inside of Cristina's knees on the outside of her pants.

They are kissing each other vigorously when the alarm finally sounds and they shut it off with a huff. "Damn!" yells Cristina at nobody. "Damn!" yells Izzie at nobody as they pull each other in for one final searing kiss.

 


 

Meanwhile,

Alex has eaten three bowls of soup at the O'Malley household and turned down the beer with a sigh because he has to go back to the hospital with George for the party. They tell the brothers they can maybe hang out sometime before heading back on their way.

"Wanna have a quickie in the car?" Alex asks George.

"THIS IS MEREDITH GREY'S CAR!" George exclaims.

"So do you?" Alex asks.

"We are keeping our pants on, but taking our shirts off" George sets the limits.

"Ten minutes tops," says Alex with a smirk. "I promise you, ten minutes if that" George smiles back.

 


 

Meanwhile,

 

Text Message, 15:44, Location: Seattle

DEREK CHRISTOPHER SHEPHERD TO ADDISON FORBES MONTGOMERY

 

DEREK

[Hey I was thinking of picking up Thai for Meredith as well just because I feel like I owe her, for you Sorry. And also for accusing you/her of having an affair when you weren't and anyway let me know what she wants when I call. I'll pay for hers. Text me.]

DEREK CRISTOPHER SHEPHERD MARKED ALL OTHER MESSAGES AS 'READ'.

 

 


 

Meanwhile,

When Addison reads this text message from… Derek, she's surprised and a bit jealous that Derek is buying Meredith dinner. But also impressed at such a sweet gesture. Normally the divorcing wife might be mad and think he was trying to win her back. But somehow she knows the run-on sentences are a product of the alcohol he's already consumed and she knows in her heart she's not thinking about a woman - not her nor Meredith, at all while he's intoxicated.

She doesn't want to tell Meredith though, that Derek wants to buy her dinner. Nor that she wants to buy her dinner. But she wants to. So she hides the text while Meredith is driving and asks her "Meredith, what kind of Thai do you think is better? I'm settling a debate with Derek. He's just so into this whole rice bowl thing but I can't get into it" Addison shrugs and bites her lip.

"If you're offering, I'm not going to say no. I haven't had anything good to eat in a while and the pad thai thing you talked about sounded really tasty" Meredith says to her, seeking through Addison like glass when she's not trying that hard to get away with it.

"Oh. Umm." Addison hadn't really expected to be caught in a lie by Meredith Grey, even in an innocuous one so she's stunned now, staring at the blonde up and down as she focuses on the road.

(She is SO flawless, Addison thinks to herself. I mean I know people say that about MY body sometimes but her thin waist; not at all artificial. And her delicate bone structure. She looks like she would melt in my arms but somehow I don't think that's her style and I like that even more…)

Meredith can feel Addison staring at her, ogling up and down her whole figure. But Meredith secretly loves it so she focuses her eyes ahead on the road and only glances at Addison through the overhead mirror when she's sure that Addison is eyeing her breasts or her ass or her waist.

"Order me another of whatever you're having" Meredith tries to sound casual and not like "I want to know everything about you including what makes your taste buds feel alive."

"Oh." is all Addison says to that as she snaps her eyes back to Meredith's face.

 


 

Meanwhile,

"Aren't you going to tell him?" Meredith says in a concerned tone and it makes Addison's mind wander everywhere about what she could possibly be talking about.

(Tell him about your insane crush on his ex-mistress/girlfriend/student/protege/whatever?)

(Tell him about how she felt in your arms when she cuddled you to sleep that night?)

(Tell him about the whole party thing? Or about the 'mystery key' person thing?)

(About how Meredith is driving your car now with your keys because you want to- what? Stare at her some more and pretend you don't like that you know where she lives?)

(About how sexy Meredith looks confident at the wheel? About how you kind of want to feel her up on her thigh right now just to see what squeaks she could make and how far you could push before she pulled over and did naughty things to you on the side of the road here?)

(About how you also have other secrets to worry about, much less his secrets and you're freaking out?)

(About how you want to ask for your rings back to take Meredith Grey on a date and let her throw one of the wedding rings off of the ferry boat?)

(About all of the above and then many things more? About your super-secret gift plan that you really should be getting on with because it's getting later in the day?)

(There are just too many things so you're sweating so hard now…)

"Addie?" Meredith questions Addison, looking over while stopped at a stop sign.

"Addie?" She asks again as she tries to provoke an answer.

"ADDISON!" Meredith has to yell a bit louder.

But it doesn't work so instead, Meredith pulls over and puts her hand onto Addison's thigh.

 


 

Meanwhile,

"It's okay Addison, it's really okay. You're okay now. You're safe here, you're just having a panic attack I used to get those as well" she coos.

"Whoa!" Addison snaps back into focus. "I'm sorry what did you ask me?" Addison tries to remember.

"You're not like secretly drunk are you?" Meredith asks like she would ask a patient that.

"Oh, no just spaced out um, do you want me to tell ah. Yeah, I'll tell him to order you something for dinner" Addison finally remembers the exchange.

"Here" Meredith offers her credit card, pulling it out from her wallet.

"What?" Addison says in confusion. You just said you didn't mind?" she asks again.

"I didn't mind you ordering me something, I thought it was a good idea because we'll be eating cake and junk at the party which both of us had had all day," Meredith says to her knowingly.

(There she goes again, knowing all about my day. Wow, I kind of like that. Huh. Addison's mind says to her.)

(FOCUS BRAIN! YOU ARE NOT DRUNK REMEMBER!)

"I never said you had to pay for it" Meredith answers softly.

"It's really nice of you" she softens it so Addison doesn't feel rejected.

"You're driving, you're doing me a favor. Actually both of us; it would be rude not to offer when you're picking up OUR dinner" Addison answers.

"We're burning YOUR gas here you know that right?" Meredith says in rebuttal.

"But you're driving. Derek can't drive. And I can't, I mean I could now but. You know I really couldn't" Addison finally admits, surprising herself.

"Just for today, Meredith. Just for today" Addison begs her with her eyes. "We're getting a divorce let us do one thing our way for once. For me!" Addison asks.

 


 

Meanwhile,

"You realize you are the estranged wife getting a divorce from her husband after an affair ended your relationship, causing the husband to uproot and meet a mistress/girlfriend who subsequently found out he was married and begged him to take the mistress back and leave his wife despite the wife being… a lot of things…" (Meredith doesn't want to elaborate the 'leggy and fabulous part right now.)

"And then in some weird turn of events the wife people called Satan and the Wicked Beast of the East and the ex-dirty mistress became friends behind the husband's back while he couldn't choose between the two women, later finding them asleep together, accusing them of participating in a second affair which was nor true, and then he wants to make it up to I don't know which of us. So now both the divorcing husband and wife are fighting with the mistress about buying her some dinner?"

"That's your guilt-trip? That you're getting a divorce today partially because of my actions because let's face it - I've slept with him and made friends with you after (she doesn't say 'and I almost slept with you also!). And then now you both want to buy me dinner to make me/you/him/ feel better? Because you actually, really care about me… I mean, this is better than a telenovela I"ll give you that one" Meredith finally ends her rant but with a smile.

"You can buy me dinner if you want. But only if Derek doesn't" Meredith says simply, as if she's chosen who has just won the lottery.

And if there could have been a neon sign to say to Addison "pick me, choose me, love me, because I've clearly made up my mind about who's my prey after this divorce goes through", then that would have been it.

But Addison is so distracted by her win that she furiously texts Derek the order and says to pick pay upon arrival because she wants to get the air miles.

And he agrees because he's a bit tipsy to input a card number.

And Meredith and Addison are then heading to Meredith's place to pick up the cake before they go.

Meredith insists on showing Addison around the house, calling the girls before they go in because "they could be covered in...flower" she says carefully as Addison chuckles knowingly.

"WE'RE HOME!" Meredith announces loudly as she opens the door for Addison and walks into the house.

 


 

Meanwhile,

Addison stubs her toe on the doormat walking in as Meredith absently retells the story Addison already knows about her finding her key back that way and vows she should replace the damn doormat. Once she steadies Addison back to her feet again (and they hold a longing embrace...for about ten seconds as Meredith tries to get her heart rate down from holding Addison so close…) Meredith pulls out the two sets of keys and finds her house key easily, swiping the "M" with her thumb and index finger as she turns the tumbler to the door.

The house looks exactly as Addison remembers it, down to the coat rack that is currently unoccupied, the post-its lining the walls (for Meredith's mother, Meredith explains to her), to the potted plant that is STILL not straight at all that's on the counter where Addison remembers leaving it after replanting it that night. She swears she tried to straighten the roots but might have made them go all kinky on her instead, she sighs.

Addison is standing in the kitchen as Meredith is offering a glass of water. Addison says "sure" as she's remembering taking one of those glasses out and filling it with water next to the aspirin bottle that she still spies is in the same place it had been the other day. Addison shoots a quick, longing, look up the stairwell as she remembers carrying Meredith practically to her bedroom that night. And she inhales the intoxicating scent of Cherry and Vanilla from the cake that's been baked.

"Don't touch the cake" Meredith insists. "Izzie will kill us both, or Cristina will. I think Cristina would be more likely to stab another girl in the chest though. You know, not that she would but of all of us. She'd probably want to scrub in on the heart repair too and call it 'cool' she laughs.

"I won't touch the cake. Don't want to risk being at Cristina Yang's bedside, ever" Addison laughs at her own inner comment to herself. (Addison vividly remembers yelling at Cristina that she was 'not at her bedside and probably won't ever be.)

"Who's the WE?" Izzie yells from her room as she tries to throw the correct jacket on for Cristina to wear. They fulfilled their plan, they are not naked at all but they are down to thin tank tops and slightly wrinkled pants right now and they're trying to get it together, fast.

"We're going to be LATE!" Meredith calls to them in a singsong voice without bothering to answer.

"Do you have everything you need for going out tonight?" Cristina yells at Meredith from upstairs.

"SHOOT! I don't, can you pick out something for me to wear?" Meredith shouts at either of them.

"Ah, kinda busy with my own… clothing" Cristina yells down to Meredith as she tries to do up her shirt buttons. (The missing ones were definitely going to be later found in the vacuum later. Meredith is going to want to kill her! Cristina thinks to herself.)

"Alright fine," Meredith says in a huff.

"Addison can you?" Meredith asks her nonchalantly as she puts the cake into the cake-carrier and unpacks the rest of the toppings into a Tupperware.

"Huh?" Addison zones in again.

"Pick me out something to wear to Joe's tonight!" Meredith insists to Addison.

(Was she testing her to see if she already knew where her room was in her house? Addison was freaking out.)

"First door above the stairs. The others will probably have opened doors anyways. Don't look into Izzie's room. I don't know if Cristina and she have clothes on. And whatever set is fine as long as it's a dress" Meredith delivers specific instructions.

 


 

Meanwhile,

"COME ON ADDISON I DROVE FOR YOU!" Meredith finally exclaims to her in a huff.

"Oh, on it" Addison tries not to have her heart pound out of her chest as she walks up these stairs for the second time in her life.

She makes her way to Meredith's room, experiencing anxious waves of Deja Vu.

Cristina and Izzie appear at the doorway, closing their door behind them, trying to fix up their hair as they stare a bit open-mouthed at Addison even though from Meredith's yelling they know that she has been here.

"Hey, I'm Meredith asked me to pick her out, is this her room?" Addison purposely points to the wrong one.

"First door above the stairs" Izzie tries to be helpful and adds "thanks Doctor Montgomery" in a way she might, had Addison just handed her a work chart.

"She looks good in Red" Cristina smirks widely at her, winking as she looks at Addison pointing to George's room while actively eyeing Meredith's before Izzie actually 'confirmed it'.

Addison still hasn't lost the battle completely though, because she catches Cristina's collar before she goes to walk down the stairs before saying to Izzie "You both have the wrong white coats on" with a chuckle as the look down and blush simultaneously.

Cristina rolls her eyes at Addison with a glare as Izzie giggles, horrified at her bosses 'discovery' of their antics.

But as Addison whispers in to 'tell Cristina this as well', Cristina pulls Addison into a whisper to tell her that "the dresses are in the chest of drawers on the left. I know you didn't know that because she didn't get undressed that night" and then Cristina releases her again expressing another grateful look at Addison.

"Thank You" Addison mouths at Cristina as Cristina's mouths the same at Addison back.

"Let's GO, Cristina, you have our bag of clothes, right?" Izzie turns, luckily after Cristina is finished being so close to Addison for actual 'business' reasons.

"On the way" Cristina yells down at Izzie, not wanting to call her by a pet name even in front of Addison and Meredith.

Addison smiles as they run off to help Meredith pack up the bags with the cake and the card and the extra treats that Izzie baked.

 


 

Meanwhile,

(As Addison thinks to herself...)

(As if someone wouldn't want cherry and vanilla cream cake…)

(Addison's mouth is watering at the thought.)

(Actually Addison's mouth is watering at the thought of what cherry and vanilla stand for in that mind of hers… mmm…)

('Addison if you're going to moan about imaginary cake at least you're not in Meredith's room yet because that would just be all kinds of kinky and wrong' half of Addison's subconscious admonishes the other half.)

('What was I doing?' asks Addison.)

(Looking through Meredith's clothes preferably in a non-creepy way as you subtly try to picture Meredith undressing between each of the outfits and dressing up in another as you try to pick the sexiest one…)

('Right. You don't have all day for that so get it together, Montgomery' says her subconscious.)

('I'm GOING! Stop nagging!' Addison sighs at her own brain again.)

Finally, Addison opens Meredith's drawers one by one to examine all her clothing... Addison does have a thing for fashion!

 


 

Meanwhile,

Alex and George have no idea what time it is but they are enjoying making out in the backseat.

 


 

Meanwhile,

Cristina teases Meredith for having her platonic girlfriend around to pick out her evening wardrobe.

"I mean for what it's worth, Addison is stylish as heck!" Cristina says unabashedly as Izzie pokes her in the ribs in return.

"She really does dress the best of all the doctors. I mean she's the only woman Attending so I get THAT but still, the way all her clothes flatter her figure it's just such an aspiration" Izzie gushes as Cristina pokes her right back in return.

"Aren't YOU the model?" Cristina jokes at her and Izzie says "I am" to her a bit dreamily.

And Meredith is off in her own little world, imagining what Addison's dresser would look like with all her beautiful clothes and jewelry and makeup.

She imagines it's pristine and that she'd even be the type of person to always use coasters and coat racks and such things that Meredith always finds to be such a hassle.

Meredith is lost in thought so she doesn't even think to negate Cristina's comments while she's thinking about what Addison could be picking out for her. How would she choose? Would her clothes smell like Addison because her hands had been over them? Would her room smell like brown sugar tonight?

(Meredith really hoped it would…)

 


 

Meanwhile,

Preston Burke and Richard Webber hang out in Richard's office while the decide what to get John the patient and have absolutely no idea.

 


 

Meanwhile,

Bailey checks in on John the patient who offers her some sage advice about her marriage.

 


 

Meanwhile,

Derek Cristopher Shepherd unknowingly to himself, semi-drunk dials his childhood best friend, man-crush & confidant, Mark Sloan.

 


 

Meanwhile,

Addison finally selects a form-fitted blue dress for Meredith that she thinks will match her eyes. She matches it with a star-shaped necklace from Meredith's jewelry box and a pair of low kitten heels she finds one at a time on top of Meredith's floor.

She bites her lip as she opens the very last drawer and picks out socks for Meredith in case her feet get cold, pajamas and clothes for tomorrow in case they all get paged into work overnight (Addison knows from experience this has happened to her before as an intern, so she's offering this tinge of experience for Meredith to learn from if she hasn't already.)

And finally, she realizes she does have to pick out panties and a bra for Meredith. She stares at the selection as she tries to get her raging libido under control. This is not what she should be doing while planning a surprise party for a patient and while waiting on her impending divorce. Addison had been a cheater but she did not want to be a permanent adulterous whore.

And she didn't want Meredith a dirty mistress anymore. She wanted better than that for her, Addison truly did. And she wanted to tell her everything the moment those papers were mailed in, she swore to herself then that she would. And Addison's heart is beating right out of her chest now as she picks a nude bra with lace over it and a pair of black lace panties for her outfit for the night.

She throws in a few extra pairs just in case (for the hospital though, not for evening wear) and she packs it all in a backpack that she's found somewhere by Meredith's desk. She realizes she looks like she's planning to kidnap the intern as she packs her toothbrush and toothpaste just in case as well. And finally, Addison throws in a Dartmouth hoodie and a raincoat and tights should she get cold.

And when Addison is finally satisfied with her planning and she's finally certain she has all the pieces together, Addison can't help but smile at her careful and delicate work. All the clothes were perfectly folded and packed in an ergonomic way. And she takes three more longing looks before heading downstairs.

One to Meredith's mirror where she sees it matches the picture of Meredith that Cristina had once sent her. She imagines herself in that picture, holding Meredith over her shoulder. Two to Meredith's pictures up on the walls, especially the ones where she is happy. And despite herself at Meredith's bed. Where Addison can't contain her flashbacks of tucking Meredith under those same covers not so long ago.

 


 

Meanwhile,

One might think that Addison is currently thinking about Meredith's bed in a dirty way, but she truly isn't.

All she's thinking is that she'd like to tuck her in again at night and brush the wisp of hair off of her face.

Addison thinks then that she'd really like to be the last person to say 'goodnight' to Meredith.

And to be there when she's later awake in the morning.

Curled up against her arms just like that perfect day they once had shared together had been.

 


 

Meanwhile,

Addison Montgomery is happy. Because Meredith Grey is waiting for her just downstairs.

And because she thinks the blue dress will make Meredith's eyes sparkle perfectly like the Seattle rain.

The rain which Addison had once hated more than anything, but has since grown to love more than anything.

 


 

*

*

*

*

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***** END OF CHAPTER 26


 

Author's Notes, Part 2:

Thanks all, this chapter was supposed to be shorter but then became its own fluff-fest. Apologies for the delay but I thought you might prefer 8000 words today rather than wait for slightly more than that tomorrow.

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

 


 

Here are the 5 questions I have for you today (but feel free to think of your own for the comments!)

What are your favorite parts 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!)

** This contest is still without a winner from last time, I delayed the posting of the reveal of what the gift is so people would have a chance to vote. No penalty if you're wrong but a prize if you are right!***

How do you think the divorce will go, and how will it change Addison and Meredith's budding flirtation?

How do you think Meredith will eventually find out the truth about this 'mystery person'? (She will. I will tell you I will not END the story without her knowing. But I won't tell you WHEN it will happen. But she will.)

How do you think this will affect the chances for Mer/Add? How will it change them?

 


 

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!

PS: THANK-YOU folks all SO MUCH for the raving reviews of this piece. Every kudos/like/star. Every time this story is followed or favorit-ed or bookmark-ed or subscribed to this story. Every COMMENT - I live for your comments and waking up to them every day is my favorite. I'd LOVE some feedback on this work as we know it. It's not the end of the world though, even if you can't, I understand. :D

Love, bobbiejelly

 


 

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

 


 

Chapter Text


 

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 27: Break On Through, Part 14: Unfunny Valentine

 


 

"Thanks, Addison" Meredith doesn't even look up at the woman who has just come down the stairs again with Meredith's backpack over one of her shoulders.

"I can carry it, you know. So you won't have to look not-stylish or something" Meredith smirks at her.

"Hey, what if I like it?" Addison quirks at her.

"That bag is from high school. I'm no fashionista but even I know that green doesn't go well with red" Meredith laughs at her, offering her hand out for Addison to give her her bag.

"You're not going to ask what's inside of it?" Addison asks her in surprise.

"Nah, I trust you," Meredith says offhandedly. "You have better taste than I know" she shrugs and looks down now.

"Why thank-you, Grey. New York does teach one something" Addison quips at her back.

"I think YOU teach NEW YORK something, about fashion, for what it's worth" Meredith offers boldly, letting it sink in before sliding her backpack right off of Addison's shoulder.

As she does this, Meredith inevitably grazes Addison's arm and shoulders and Addison tries hard to contain a groan.

"Don't look at all, then" Addison whispers into Meredith's ear once she's standing so close.

"It'll be a surprise for us both" she offers seductively, forgetting herself at the moment.

"But don't you know what you packed anyhow?" Meredith turns, facing Addison in a second.

"But I haven't seen it on you" Addison clarifies.

And the realization hits Meredith like a tonne of bricks over her head.

"Oh" Meredith's mouth forms into a perfect "o" shape and Addison can't help but imagine making Meredith's face look that way for a whole other reason.

"And I can't wait to find out" Addison starts to lean in to bite Meredith's ear on the tip, before Cristina and Izzie burst into the kitchen, squealing "WE ALMOST FORGOT THE CHERRY VANILLA CAAAAAAAAKE"

And Addison jumps back instinctively, leaving Meredith with a rush of hot air on the side of her neck.

Meredith reaches up to soothe the sensitive spot with her hand. And she's flushing openly now and it's making Addison look hell of proud.

So far it has been Meredith doing all the flirting. But something stirred in Addison as she was in Meredith's room.

She knows it should feel wrong, to start hitting on Meredith now.

But she's just so damn CLOSE to her divorce now that she doesn't want to lose a second.

(God, she really IS destined to be a dirty and filthy whore.)

(She really needs to get a grip if she wants to stop being the go-to-for-adultery.)

(Careful, at that moment if Izzie and Meredith had not just walked in you might have let Grey just jump you on this very table.)

 


 

"Watch the plant!" Meredith gasps as Addison almost makes Meredith knock it over for the second time in its short life.

"That thing looks like it needs to be fed, poor thing" Addison tends to it a bit with her fingertips.

"Yeah, it's been all kinky and queer since the night I blacked out" Meredith shrugs at Addison without a hint of anything suspicious.

"I was going to feed it earlier," Meredith continues. "But the plant food I ended up buying was incompatible with this species so I'll have to feed it later" Meredith sighs to her.

(She doesn't say that I would have checked that in the store had I not been distracted by YOU, pretending to be my girlfriend and holding my hand and making me melt to the floor…)

"Mm, if we have time maybe we can pick up some plant food on the way to pick up Thai" Addison shrugs nonchalantly.

(As if Addison is not scheming more ways she can get Grey's attention only for herself…)

"That's a nice idea" Meredith agrees, both to spend more time with Addison but also because she knows Addison will need some comfort after her divorce.

"HEY, LOVEBIRDS WE STILL NEED TO GET GIFTS FOR THE PATIENT!" Cristina yells at them both, loudly, after picking up the cake carrier and handing Izzie the other sweets.

"You get the rest!" Cristina yells back at her, picking up her coat and Izzies from the back of a chair.

"MEREDITH WHERE IS YOUR CAR!" Izzie yells at her from the front entrance.

"Oh, right, we're taking Addison's," Meredith says a bit sheepishly.

Izzie and Cristina exchange what can only be defined as a "meaningful look" as Izzie suggests to Cristina that "they would be SO cute together" And Cristina nods and tries not to roll her eyes thinking "finally".

"I'm coming, I'm coming!" Meredith runs over with Addison's keys now, Addison laughing at her when she forgets to lock the front door behind her.

"Toss them to me, Grey" Addison offers as she's standing closer.

"Here" Meredith does.

And as Addison locks the door to this house for the second time with Meredith Grey's embossed key, this time as it is still on Meredith Grey's keychain but which, is intimately connected to hers, she can't help but feel a shiver of… something as she shakes off the memory of doing this in the dead of night on a rainy evening.

Only then, she was heading off to be alone.

And now, she's heading off with others, to be with them, together.

 


 

"Do you still want me to?" Meredith questions her as there's no reason Addison doesn't know how to get to the hospital.

"You're already in the driver's seat, Meredith, you can lead on the way" Addison climbs into the passenger's seat right beside her.

"Okay Addison," Meredith says as she keys in the ignition.

"Everybody buckled?" Meredith quirks before pulling out of the driveway as everyone nods in assent.

"WE'RE ON THE HIGHWAY TO HELLLLLLLL" everyone cheers along with the radio all the way there.

And all Meredith and Addison are both simultaneously thinking is that there is nothing that can better describe their little cat-and-the-mouse-game; that they've been chasing each other around with, all day.

As Cristina and Izzie start feeling each other up in the backseat, Meredith yells at them teasingly to "stop dry humping up against the seats already" and Addison laughs and she laughs which is hilarious, given that it's her car and that she's their boss.

But because Addison is the 'COOLEST', in the interns' eyes at the very least, Addison lets it go on a bit as the drive is so short. And some parts of Meredith and Addison are only jealous, in a way, wishing that they could be doing the same with each other, instead.

 


 

The first stop on their trip is at Best Buy because Addison wants to buy... Blank CD's?

She's staring a little confusedly at them and Addison feels old when she feels like she has to explain them.

"It's like an MP3 player but bigger and rounder and you have to change out the discs…" Addison trails off a bit as Meredith skims over her fingertips.

"Just kidding, Addison," Meredith says to her in a tease.

"I used to love to play CD's and DVD's growing up. We all get together and even watch VHS tapes of surgeries sometimes" she quips back.

Cristina and Izzie want to get him a vibrator, so they have to go to the sex shop next because as it turns out, they don't sell them in "electronics".

(But it was totally worth it to see the man's face when Izzie asked that at the counter!)

When in the sex store, Izzie and Cristina not-so-subtly pick out some fun things to use with each other as well.

All the while Addison and Meredith try not to stare too longingly at anything in particular.

 


 

Once they finally arrive at the hospital, Izzie and Cristina run off to find wrapping paper for their gift.

Meanwhile, Addison invites Meredith into her office so they can finish their present up for John.

"I'm going to draw a picture on the cover," Meredith says.

"Okay," Addison says until she sees Meredith's eyes looking at her expectantly.

"Art stuff is in the second drawer on the left," she says simply, surprising Meredith with some actual fine art pencils.

"Should YOU be drawing the Mona Lisa here?" Meredith asks her really seriously.

"I think you'll do a fine job" Addison promises Meredith to add to her confidence.

"Do you want me to burn the music onto it from my laptop?" Meredith asks her.

"Please, oh could you? Plus I need to go check on some labs. I'll be back to put the finishing touches on it" Addison says in a hurry.

"MKay" Meredith says in agreeance, as she starts to draw out a rainbow.

"See you soon," Addison says to her, not wanting to use Meredith's first name inside the hospital but not wanting NOT to use it, either.

(Had Meredith snooped in-depth at Addison's office, she might have noticed any clues that might have led her to a big reveal. But she doesn't snoop, as she trusted Addison not to snoop too much in her bedroom. And instead, she concentrates on spelling out John's names with bubble letters on the CD cover.)

 


 

"Does Santa's hat go HERE, you think?" Alex is dressing up a common room with George for their party with the decorations.

"Yeah and add in the Mardi Gras stuff, too" George smiles up at him.

Until this point, the two of them have mostly been in just a sexual relationship.

But something had shifted after George had brought Alex back home to his family.

Alex seemed like he was softening and George seems to really like that.

It's like he finally seemed like someone who might cook a barbecue or something.

 


 

Though Addison does check-in with the psychiatrist to ask him about John the patient's labs and about his admittance to the psych ward, Addison is really in search of both Bailey and Derek.

She wants to check in with them to see how they are doing. And she doesn't need Meredith there for those conversations.

She finds Derek first, sitting in his office, alone.

He's been sipping the same two glasses of scotch the whole day.

And Addison takes the bottle away from him, takes a swig for herself before capping it.

Then she asks him 'when can the lawyers get here? Because you were too plastered the first time and I'm not giving up this again.'

Addison isn't asking in a menacing way. It's like she's trying to put Derek right out of his misery.

She's being merciful, knowing that this is going to be painful, no matter what.

They had been friends for 11 years, and that hasn't changed just because they didn't work out as a couple.

Derek dials the number for the lawyers on his phone as Addison asks Richard for the conference room as fast as they can get it.

Then she takes Derek's scotch away from him as he sort of winces in protest.

But she says that it's for his own good, saying she doesn't want him to be an alcoholic after her.

That she knows that she's not even worth that to him, and she hasn't been in a very, very long time.

And Derek lets out a single tear at Addison's parting words.

But he doesn't deny them because he knows that it's true.

 


 

Derek and Addison are led into the conference by Richard Webber and Bailey.

Bailey promises that they can postpone the surprise party until a bit later.

She assures that would have happened anyhow 'at the rate that these interns try to decorate with their streamers and tape and glue' with a laugh.

And as Addison meets Bailey's eye they both nod to each other, acknowledging the mutual favors for each other today.

As Richard lets them have their privacy with the lawyers, he motions to Burke to come to join him for a moment.

And he says that he's glad he didn't have to see anything like that happen between Burke and Cristina. He says that if their relationship couldn't withstand what it did, that it was better for both of them that it ended before the divorce, or worse.

When Burke asks Richard what could have been worse than that even, he chuckles and says sarcastically 'one of you could have abandoned the other at the wedding day altar.' And they both laugh at the absurdity of the statement as they walk away from it all.

Meredith walks past all of them, vaguely looking for Addison to show her the CD cover she'd made.

Bailey points to the room now. She says to her "it's happening, Grey" softly. Bailey puts a hand on Meredith's shoulder in a comforting gesture.

Bailey has an idea after today especially that Meredith is more stoked up on "Ms. McDreamy" than her male counterpart. But she doesn't ask or say anything to Meredith.

She just stands there stroking Meredith's shoulder for a second before she tells Meredith to go help Izzie and Cristina to set up the snacks, and then to help George and Alex to set up the decorations.

Meredith nods at her, running off to find her friends.

As she does, Meredith smiles as she feels the extra weight of Addison's car keys jangling loud in her pocket, against her own set.

 


 

"Derek says that neither of you brought assets into the marriage," the lawyer said to them in the conference room.

"Well I have my trust fund, and my sparkling personality, and the futon couch," Addison says a bit cheekily.

"Yes, Addison had a very heavy, very ugly futon couch'" Derek speaks to the lawyer instead of directly to Addison.

"What, ever happened to that couch?" Addison questions Derek genuinely.

"We gave it to Mark. She can have him" Derek offers to her.

It's funny because usually after a few drinks Derek goes on and on about Mark.

But Addison realizes that this time, unlike the last times, that once this is over, that Mark can finally become a real option for Derek.

And that probably scares the living hell out of him.

"I don't want him," Addison says confidently despite the short cough.

And she says it in such a piercing and menacing tone then she forces Derek to accept in her deal.

"Okay, well that's settled. What else?" Derek says to her, and Addison tries not to 'gloat' about her personal and compassionate victory of handing 'custody of friendship' of Mark over from herself to Derek.

"So, aside from Addison's trust fund, which remains in her name, " the lawyer begins.

"We'll split everything; stocks, bonds, 401k's down the middle," the lawyer says as he hands out the drafts to them.

"The only thing that gets complicated is the real estate" the lawyer offers at them.

"Let me make this simple; I want to keep my trailer and my land in Seattle. Addison can have all the rest" Derek says as if he's far, far, away right now.

"Hold on-" Addison says, cutting Derek off a bit.

"That is the house in the Hamptons and the Brownstone overlooking Central Park" the lawyer explains to them as if they didn't know what they owned together.

"Hold on-" Addison insists to them.

"You're up to something. I came here to fight over CD's and books; go to war over a crystal vase. What are you up to, Derek?" Addison pleads with her eyes.

"The divorce is my fault. Let me take responsibility." Derek says in a hollow way.

The same hollow way he had looked when he'd walked in on Addison napping with Meredith.

The same hollow way he had looked when he'd walked in on Addison having sex with Mark.

The same hollow way he had looked when Mark Sloan had walked away from him, after they'd slept together, and Derek woke up digging his palms red with his fingernails.

"We both had affairs" Addison offers in total honesty.

"You had a one-night-stand with Mark" Derek doesn't meet her eyes when he says his name.

"Derek, actually, well, it was…" Addison had never elaborated on the fact that she and Mark had kept seeing each other for a while after he'd left for Seattle.

"Okay, it was two nights" Derek referred to the night of three of them, confusing that for the truth.

"You made a mistake. Meredith and I, we had a relationship" Derek says to her.

She knows in her heart he's more trying to assert his 'straightness' in front of the lawyer.

But Addison still flinches at the thought of her Derek defiling the beautiful intern.

"Make these changes and I'll sign them today" Derek hands back the papers to the lawyer who notes down the changes in black ink.

 


 

While waiting for the papers to come back to the room, Addison and Derek pace around each other nervously.

Addison eventually starts sharing with Derek because she wants to make him speak for himself.

"I do have some things to tell you, Derek. And I know they might hurt you but I still have to tell you" she says softly to him.

"Let me start then, so after you say your stuff we can go" he begs of her and she agrees.

"When I came here and saw her, Meredith Grey I mean though I didn't know her name until the morning... I thought she was the Anti-Addison." Derek begins.

"She was everything you weren't. She was naive, she was an intern, she would giggle at the easiest of things" Derek says.

"She didn't push back on me, she caught a really cool case on her first day as an intern, alongside Cristina" he adds to that.

"We had a few kisses here and there in the elevators. We didn't actually do it that much in the hospital. Not as much as I implied like before" he says up to her.

"Thanks." Addison says, not wanting to say to him "I needed to know that."

"We were married on the fourteenth of July. Not exactly a Valentine's day." Addison sighs to him.

"But still, it was an exact date of Valentine's day. So our wedding was OUR Valentine's day. And now this is the fourteenth of December. And it's now our ANTI-Valentine's day." Addison sighs to him.

"It's like that song, 'funny valentine' only the inverse. Like 'unfunny valentine' Derek says to her sadly.

"Our DIVORCE ANNIVERSARY. Now, how morbid is THAT, Derek" Addison sighs.

"Ok, so I'm just going to start telling you things and you can start telling me things when you want," Derek says to her, now impatient.

Derek reveals that he confessed to Meredith what both she and Addison were like in bed after they had had the exchange when he found them napping together.

 


 

"DEREK, YOU DIDN'T" Addison said with rage.

"She asks about it, Meredith asked as a way to get me to realize you two never slept together. I think she was trying to do you a solid" he says to her honestly.

"What did you say, even?" Addison quirks with an interest.

"Well, I guess I compared you a bit. I told her she didn't have your bite marks anywhere and that you didn't have your hair all messed up. So that's how I figured you didn't have sex then" he says a bit lamely.

"YOU TOLD MEREDITH GREY THAT I BITE, DEREK!?" Addison is yelling at him a bit now.

"Well to be fair, I don't think she thinks that that doesn't ever happen" Derek doesn't catch any deeper meaning for Addison to be all concerned.

"Did you say that I was good? That SHE was good. WAS SHE GOOD?" Addison eventually yells at him.

"Umm, she was." Derek answers without elaboration.

"That's IT. That's all that I get?" Addison wants to punch him out now.

"Usually the ex-wives don't want to the details about fucking the mistress," Derek says to her crassly.

"Look, you were still good at Sex, Addison. I'm not saying you were terrible in comparison" Derek misses her mark all over again.

(As Addison ALMOST wishes he'd said Grey was better than her so that she'd be able to imagine that all for herself…)

"Look I don't remember it all. If you want to know you can ask Meredith for yourself" he just says.

And Addison thinks to herself she really doesn't want to ask Meredith Grey what DEREK told her about Meredith's own skills in the bedroom.

That would be really not sexy.

(Wow, you really ARE going gay, aren't you Addie, her subconscious recounts to her.)

"Was I good?" Derek asks her in 3 words.

"Umm," Addison doesn't know how to answer him.

"Well, you and Mark were different" Addison answers that question for him because she knows he'll never answer.

"He was rougher around the edges. He went down on me once, but I never finished from that before he moved on for himself. He also fingered me once. But I never came from that either. You were more gentle I guess. And I guess, all in all, it felt mostly the same..." Addison says to him flatly.

(Before all this the mere thought of Mark naked was enough to send Addison into a tailspin. And before even that she would lust over Derek. But none of it compared to the sensations she was feeling when Meredith even lightly brushed her own shoulder…)

"Ok," Derek says to her, at a loss for words for her, finally, as well.

(Derek had also been thinking in a way that he wished Addie had said Mark was better because he actually agreed with her. But he didn't want to hurt her feelings with that. And he didn't want to admit to remembering just yet.)

 


 

"I also told Meredith how I told you, Addison after Grey's 'pick me, choose me, love me, speech' that night when you left me," Derek says hardly above even a whisper.

" YOU TOLD HER WHAT?" Addison panics now.

"You never told me where you went after that night?" Derek asks her.

"Meredith said that you'd had an early night. That it was quiet and nothing exciting happened. Did you go to a hotel or did you crash at the hospital?" Derek finally asked her.

It was asking in a way that Addison knew he knew nothing about all her secrets.

He just genuinely wanted to know she got home okay.

"I didn't sleep with anyone Derek. I haven't, with anyone, since New York" she explains.

"That must be hard for you," Derek says to her bluntly.

"Yeah," Addison finds herself confessing.

"Have you…?" Addison asks him softly.

"Not since Meredith," Derek says to her as Addison flinches again.

"Sorry," Derek says to her. And his apology is sincere and it hurts Addison that he's apologizing to her for all the wrong reasons.

"It's okay. I am sorry," Addison says to him. "I'm sorry for all of it" she finally says to him.

"Where did you go that night?" Derek asks her.

"I don't think that Meredith is lying," he says to her. "But I don't think she knows the whole truth," Derek says finally.

And the way that Derek is looking right into her eyes right now, Addison knows that maybe one day they could be just the best friends again.

 


 

"Derek, this is one of those things that once I tell you I can never take back," Addison offers.

"I can keep a secret you know," Derek says to Addison as she nods.

"I need something from you in return," Addison asks him.

"What would that even be?" Derek has no idea.

"Will you go down on me? Just this once, because you never, ever have. Even if I've gotten down on my knees for YOU and you never complained about it a little bit.

So I'm asking you for this, this time. Right here right now, I won't tell a soul. Just one for the road. Like breakup sex or some stupid thing they call it in movies," she explains to him.

"REALLY!?" Derek almost yelps at her.

"Do you want to know or not?" Addison asks him again.

"Ah, okay, I mean well, I think you're supposed to stand up, maybe,"

Derek says as if he's really not sure about that, himself.

Addison clicks the lock on the door and closes all of the windows.

She looks at Derek expectantly as she stands up against the wall.

She never closes her eyes for a second, even as Derek drops Addison's gaze.

And Derek gets on his knees right in front of her.

And fumbles as he tries to take her belt off her, now.

And he's shaking as he tries to work himself up to it.

And he gets to holding the waistband of her pants.

Before he lets go completely and collapses against her hip.

Like a child would do, and Derek starts to cry harder as he tells her he really just can't.

 


 

And all Addison says to him is "Derek, I know. It's okay, really it's okay. You're okay" she offers.

Addison does her pants up again and fits her belt right.

Then she slides down onto the floor next to him and leans her head on his shoulder.

"I wasn't going to make you," Addison promises to him softly. "I wasn't ever going to let you" she begs him to understand her.

"I would have stopped you, you know. I would have stopped you the moment you reached under my pants or started to take them off"

('Though Addison admits that for years, she has been more than slightly sexually unsatisfied…)

(Addison winces at her trail of thought. but doesn't say that part to Derek at all, out loud...)

"Then why ask? If you were just going to stop me before I ever did that to you anyhow?" Derek says to her with tears streaming all down his face.

Addison flinches but decides to ignore the fact that Derek just said "did that to you" rather than "did that FOR you..."

"I needed you to say it, Derek. I needed you to say you couldn't. I needed you to say it to me" Addison begs of him.

I needed you to admit that it's just not something you wanted to do. 

And I don't think that you did it or even wanted to ever do it for Meredith, either.

(Or anyone else with a vagina, ever for that matter" she DOESN'T to him, then though she thinks it.)

As Addison sighs in relief as Derek nods up at her, confirming her theory, finally, with a sob.

And then, Addison nods at him silently in thanks to that.

For years, Addison has let Derek avoid his own pain.

She's watched him fall in and out of love with his best friend a million times.

She's watched him never come home, to never want to sleep with her, to withdraw completely.

She's watched how Mark is around him, how he seemed like he looked like he'd dive in all the way.

"Derek, I know that it's hard. I went through the same thing you know. Not too long ago" Addison says to him.

And that's the closest she's ever come to approaching that subject with him in well over a year.

 


 

But this time, unlike the last times, Derek doesn't push Addison away.

Perhaps it's because they're about to be over.

Perhaps it's because Addison has a secret to tell.

Perhaps it's because Addison came out of the closet first.

But either way, Derek doesn't deny it this time.

This time, unlike the other times, Derek says one thing to her, and one thing to her only.

"The time we had a threesome with you me and Mark,

I remember every minute of it.

I never forgot.

And I wasn't very drunk.

And neither was he.

I made him swear not to tell anyone.

And I was jealous after that night.

I was jealous of you because you were with him.

And I'm sorry"

Derek's words hit her like soothing snowflakes on a snowy day.

They start to heal some of her pain, and they start to make her feel right again.

"You know, I always thought that you did," Addison says to him softly.

"I know," Derek says to her.

"Mark knew as well. That's why we didn't talk to you about it" Derek says to her sadly.

"It's different for girls," Derek says in reality.

"For you, you can be every girl AND guy's fantasy, practically" he asserts.

"People think that Lesbians are mythical and cool. I know Mark will be jealous" Derek says to her in a huff.

And Addison smiles now because this is the first time that Derek has talked about reconnecting with Mark in so long.

 


 

"But for boys, I mean me and Mark are real men you know. We get called things that are buff and good hair. And we like it that way" Derek says.

"And Mark is such a player. I don't know if he could ever really love me back, ever" Derek says to her softly.

And Addison holds him now. She wraps her arms all around him.

Because she realizes on a deep parallel that THIS is what Derek's been drinking about all these nights.

That it's not about her, or her being inadequate.

It's not even about Meredith, and the thought brings her comfort.

It's about Derek and his very best friend.

And how he's more than a friend to him but much less than anything else.

And Derek was planning to live that way, watching Mark screw other people as he stayed by his side.

And Addison feels for him now. She just wants to take some of his pain away.

So she pulls out her cell phone and dials Mark's number.

She leaves him a voicemail, saying that they're splitting up and that he can pick up his bike from her sometime.

And Addison says that he should call Derek now.

And she says that in the divorce 'custody' that they'd already decided that Derek was his and that Addison could have Naomi and Sam and the others.

"We accept the love we think we deserve, Derek," Addison says to him the same way she had said to everyone else.

"You deserve someone to love you the way you love them" she adds with a nod.

 


 

And Derek thanked her profusely. And he cried a little.

And then he drank a whole lot, of water which Addison fed all to him with an aspirin.

And Derek explains how he told Meredith about the night that she left him.

How he had said that Addison shoved those rings in her fingers.

How he had watched her pack up and look around for the last time.

How he had woken up with a note next to water and aspirin and "thanks for the memories".

And Addison's eyes go all wide when Derek says this, and when he says that she left her copy of the key under the doormat for him to find the next day.

And Addison asks what Meredith said to him after Derek had shared all of that.

And he just says that Meredith said "I'm sorry" as if she truly believed she had a big part in it.

And Addison is working up the courage to tell Derek the truth.

So she asks if they could each have one more shot of that single-malt-scotch.

And he nods and hands her his desk key, where Addison gets it out without having to ask where it was.

And she pours him a glass first and she saves a smaller one for herself.

She tells Derek that this is a secret, to Meredith and Mark especially, just like his secret still is and Derek nodded at her.

These secrets to each other, from each other, the truth after the lies.

These were their parting gifts, their very last to each other.

This was all that they could ever offer for now.

And with that, Addison finally begins.

 


 

Addison says to him he had a reason to wonder about what had happened that night.

She explains that she went to find Meredith at the bar.

Because she didn't want her to wonder where the hell Derek was.

She didn't want her to drink herself to death waiting for someone who was never coming.

She didn't want her to end up like who Addison had been; sitting alone in the dark, drunk and hurt off his scotch and wondering if he'd ever loved her.

She didn't want her to be left there with less than she deserved, from him.

So she headed to Joe's in a cab from her hotel room that night, dressed in her red and green scarf over her black dress and pearl necklace.

She went all the way there to tell her everything and the first thing that Meredith slurred to her was 'you are not Derek'.

She explains that they talked about him a bit, but then they talked about a lot of other things she doesn't elaborate on.

She explains that she helped her home and tucked her right into bed.

She explains she left a similar note, with the water and aspirin, 'thanks for the memories' the whole bit.

She explains that it had been sort of Joe's idea that she help her get home safe.

But that she wanted to anyhow, and so she took care of Meredith, and also her plant.

When Derek motions to ask about this Addison waves him away saying 'maybe another time.'

 


 

And Derek is relieved because of Addison saying that there might be an 'other time' for them to talk like this as friends.

And Addison says she never signed the note to Meredith, that it had been a mystery for her and she'd gone to great lengths to hide it.

And when Derek asks her why she never confessed to her, Addison says she has no idea.

And this time it's Derek to offer some wisdom.

"I think that it's the same for you and Meredith as you and Mark" he begins.

And Addison freezes, a panicked look in her eyes.

"I think you two are more than friends and you know it. But you're less than anything else because of me, here" Derek says to her wisely.

"And I think that now that's no longer going to be a problem for you, that you are keeping this secret because you're not sure if she could ever love you back after she knows you never told her the whole truth for so long," Derek says to her softly.

And this time Addison wants to cry but she doesn't. Instead, she just pulls Derek tightly and squeezes him for a second.

"You know, for what it's worth, you looked really cozy together," Derek says to her without malice this time.

"I remember when I and Mark woke up like that. And I just wanted him to hold me all night." Derek starts again.

"And I don't know if he ever will again, after the drama with you and if I ever come out of the closet," Derek says to her softly.

"I wish I could tell you, yes but I am not Mark," Addison says to him.

"I wish I could tell you, yes but I am not Meredith" Derek offers to her.

"You know, you can have her, I have Mark. You can have her in the divorce" Derek finally says to her.

And Addison is awestruck at this and she thanks him profusely.

And Derek says that hey, their marriage might not have worked out because they have too similar a taste in people which just doesn't happen to be in each other.

And Addison is on the floor laughing at the truth and absurdity that Derek has shed light on.

"You know, for what it's worth the dirty mistresses club might be winning some serious points soon" Addison jokes to him, instilling hope in him about Mark.

 


 

"I'm going to tell you this because I care about you both, and I loved you both once" Derek begins to Addison.

"Take your time, with Meredith, if you're ever destined to be more," Derek says.

"I know you probably just want to jump into bed with her. I wouldn't blame you for that" he says with a small chuckle.

"And you know, from the way she talks when she says your name, I think you might have a real shot with her" Derek says and it surprises the both of them that he's saying this.

"But I don't think you should be each other's McRebounds," Derek says to her wisely.

"You need time to heal, from me, partially, I know" Derek apologizes again.

"And it's like Bailey said to us, you're still her boss and she's an intern. And you're new to the girl's thing and you don't want to just fool around with her" Derek says to her genuinely.

"You know if all this had been different, in another life, in another way… I think I might have married that girl. We would have spent a lot of time together. I would have loved her enough, she would have loved me that much the same. We could have had children, maybe I would have built her a house. But I don't think that story ends well. I just don't think that it would" Derek says to her in a sigh. "And I think it would be my fault," Derek says to her softly.

"But you, you're something different for her. You make her light up in all-new ways. And I like to see the way she makes you smile more than you used to. I know that's the strangest thing to say. I'm still hurting a bit from it, but you had to watch me and Mark anyways…"

 


 

"You know I'm going to give you the exact opposite advice with Mark Sloan she says."

"If you want him, you better speak up, he won't wait. You want him to know that you're open to him. But also that you'll share him as your significant other, without being ashamed" she says.

"How is it possible that at least two intern couples are more stable than we all are," Addison says wistfully to the world.

"And they're all gay, too" Derek finally laughs.

"You need to tell Meredith. She doesn't trust people after I lied to her" Derek says to her.

"You know, someone else was telling me the exact same thing" Addison laughs.

"You need to tell Mark. He's probably close to being openly bisexual anyhow" Derek laughs at that.

"I think that Mark just likes the sex as it comes," Derek says to her.

"Yeah, I think that he does," Addison laughs with him now.

"You know, don't punch me out for saying this, but I'm just going to say it" Derek stumbles a bit.

"I've well, anyways you know. With Meredith and Yourself. And I guess from that I think I can tell you, you'd. You'd enjoy each other, umm, that's all," Derek fails to say eloquently.

But Addison catches and clings on to all of those words Derek just said to her.

 


 

And after all of the tears shed from this drunken conversation, the divorce lawyers finally come back for them.

They hand them the documents in silence as they write their names and switch over the papers.

And with that, the lawyers photocopy them and hand them each an original.

"You need to mail them in soon," the lawyers said solemnly.

"We will" they both say to them.

And with that, they were both free.

 


 

Before Derek goes to call Mark impulsively, Addison says to think a moment.

She advises him to go to talk to John the patient for advice.

And Derek says that he will, probably instead of going to Joe's tonight.

And Addison says ok then, and tells him that she and Meredith are still going to pick up the Thai tonight.

And Derek laughed and said he'd almost forgotten.

And then he tells her "you know, YOU should probably buy Meredith's" with a smirking sort of grin.

And she says she would have anyhow, but that she's glad for his blessing about it.

And as they walk out the door together, parting ways for the very last time as being "husband and wife" and "Doctors Shepherd's, plural" and being "Doctor and Doctor McDreamy's",

Addison squeezes Derek's hand in her palm, and she kisses his hand, saying goodbye to him like that for the very last time.

And he told her finally "thank-you" for all that I learned from you then.

And Addison smiles as she finally thanks Derek as well.

And with that, they knew that their lives as they knew it, would no longer be the same.

But that they were changed for good, then. For the better.

 


 

As Addison walks into her office, setting the blue folder of divorce paper copies onto her desk drawer, this time it's her turn to receive a mystery note.

Though it's not much of a mystery because she can tell when she opens it, who it is from and also why.

She unseals the envelope addressed to the name "Skippy Gold", and pops out a crumpled page from an old and used blue notebook pad.

It was a letter to her, then. Dating it from today. And Addison read it, as follows:

 


 

Dear Skippy Gold,

Whatever happens today, or tomorrow, or whenever you tell her the truth; she's going to lose a piece of herself to you. And you can never give her those pieces of herself back to her. You can heal all her wounds, but it won't be the same. You're going to take a piece of your relationship away from her now, and all that you can do for her. The best thing you can do for her. The thing you might want to do for her; is to make sure she gets to keep as much of the everyone else that she possibly can.

You know that's why YOU deserve her. For all that it's worth. Like I said before that I trust you with her. That you'll do right by her. For me. And for you. But mostly for her. You'll be there for her always. No matter what. Even if she doesn't ever love you in any way back.

I'll miss the Mystery, also. I'll miss the chase and the surgeries. And I'll miss knowing more than anyone, also. But I won't miss the lying or the balancing act. And I won't miss the fear that I see in your eyes. Every time you think someone is close to figuring it out you go as pale as a ghost.

And I really do care about you, Skippy. I care about you for all that you're worth. I think we'll be friends one day, once I'm older and hopefully wiser. You're still a great teacher in my mind. And I think of all you have done for the interns, for Bailey and Webber and Burke and even for Derek.

I don't know if you'll keep this letter, the way I'm still holding yours. But if you do, then know that someday that this note and the one I have are someday for Meredith. For her to keep as her own. I know you'll never want to hurt her on purpose. But just let me tell you if she hurts you even by accident, then tries to make her feel less guilty for it because it will hurt her if you're ever falling apart.

From your first lesbian kiss, but hopefully not your best or your last one.

 


 

And Addison wants to cry when she sees Cristina's note.

But she doesn't, instead, she pulls a pen out and writes her one back in return.

She slips it into her locker, in a plain envelope in case anyone sees. It reads as follows:

 


 

Dear Writer,

Thank you so much for your heartfelt, kind message.

Even if she never forgives me, I want her to have you. I don't want her to leave me for eighty percent and to take twenty percent of her relationship with you. I'd rather lose her a hundred so that she can have you as her person and friendship for all of the way. She's needed you so far. And you need her back. And if the only thing I can ever do for her now is to give you to her while I lose both of you completely, then that's what I'm choosing to do. To let her love you. Her twisted sister. To love her as the very best friend that you are to her. You're her person Cristina. And I never want that to change that. I would never want her to leave you for me. I'd leave her first if she ever felt that she had to decide. I can't decide who she loves or I love.

But I think that. Well. You can think of the blanks in yourself. About me, I guess, from here, now.

I'm glad you are happy with who you are with right now as are your friends.

Thank-You for the Memories, dear 'mystery writer person'

And bizarrely thank you for kissing me on that day.

You'll be a Cardio Goddess someday.

Much love and take care,

Skippy Gold.

 


 

And as Addison checks her phone for calls and checks her pager for pages,

Addison wanders past Meredith's locker and runs a hand over it gently.

And finally, Addison wanders into John's room.

And barks at everyone yelling at her "DOCTOR BOSS IS HERE!"

And she thinks now she's legally divorced and she's happy.

She's going to have a great party, a great night and a great life.

And Addison thinks that she's just getting started.

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 27

 


 

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

 


 

Chapter Text

PREVIOUSLY ON "FALLING APART, BARELY BREATHING":

 


 

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

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

 


 

END OF FLASHBACK SEQUENCE.

 


 

Falling Apart, Barely Breathing

 


 

I n 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 28: Secret Admirer

 


 

"DOCTOR BOSS IS HERE!" John the patient exclaims alongside everyone else.

"Here I am" Addison smiles into the affection, and apologizes for barking at them, slightly after being surprised by the yelling.

"It's okay, not everyone likes surprises" Meredith smirks at her, and Addison has no idea why "But some people really like surprises" she smirks again.

And Addison furrows and unfurrows her brow a bit at that one and sits down in the last remaining empty chair in the room.

(The chair, which Meredith has tried to be as subtle as possible while saving that one for Addison, by her purse on it until Addison has walked in.)

"So now the real party begins!" Bailey says to them all.

"You can thank the interns and Addison for all the hard work in the party planning," Bailey says to them all very generously. (As well as NOT calling Addison "Doctor Boss" because she was just too proud to ever say that about someone who was not HER.)

"When do we get CAKE!" Cristina insists. "I'm HUNGRY," she says in a whine, but her slight smirk sideways to Addison tells another story entirely.

"Yes, let's eat it now before the whip cream topping falls apart" Izzie exclaims.

Izzie leaves to go get the cake and the plates as the patient express how happy he is that he can finally have sweets again.

"You wouldn't believe the cravings for sweets," John says innocently. But he is also smirking a little at Addison and also Meredith and it's starting to make Addison feel overheated.

"Umm, I have to - water" Addison excuses herself abruptly, despite having just arrived at the party.

Addison makes it to the nearest scrub room, where she runs her hands under the coldest possible water.

"FUCK-" Addison actually says out loud.

She's turned on beyond reason at the mere mention of cherry and vanilla cake and it's really starting to get out of hand.

"FUCK!" Addison yells again into the darkness.

"Are you alright?" a familiar voice pops out from the doorframe to ask her.

 


 

NO FREAKING WAY!

(How can she be everywhere and anywhere at once…)

Meredith Grey appears out of the darkness, as she'd run out of the room after Addison to check on her.

It wasn't a terrible instinct, considering what the day has been for her.

But still, this instinct brought the blonde intern into close physical proximity of the redhead, which was the original cause of all this angst in the first place.

(How the hell am I going to explain THIS one, Addison freaks out for a moment before collecting herself.)

"Are you alright?" Meredith says to her tenderly.

(God, her voice sounds so soothing, Addison thinks to herself.)

"Ah, hot flashes," Addison explains dumbly.

"Oh, no, you're not having the-" Meredith cuts herself off before she says something she knows she'll regret.

"No, it's just hot flashes. Period related hot-flashes, Grey" Addison answers both of Meredith's implicit questions with that one response.

At least they are both Doctors so it's not like Meredith is going to want to faint at the mention of blood.

"Oh. Sorry…" Meredith just says to her awkwardly.

"Do you want some cake? The sugar might make you feel better. That's what I usually need" Meredith says to her honestly.

(As Addison stores this fact under 'things that might come in handy to know about Meredith Grey' in her brain.)

"Ah, maybe a bit later I'm cramping," Addison says something half-logical to Meredith.

"Do you want me to give you a backrub? Here, sit," Meredith instructs her before she has a chance to back off from the obvious 'potential complications should such a procedure take an unexpected turn.'

"Ah-" Addison finds herself obeying Meredith's suggestion as she sits down on an O.R stool and allows Meredith to lay her hands on her back.

Her touch is so warm and welcome. Addison melts instantly under Meredith's fingers.

(It's no wonder she became a surgeon, Addison thinks to herself. It's not because of her birthright, it's because of her talent because does this not feel absolutely extrasensory right now…)

Meredith starts in broad circles as she soothes Addison's sore muscles and then applies both hands to massage the tight muscles of her neck.

"Where did you even learn this?" Addison says in more of a breathy tone than she'd planned originally.

"My mother, actually. She asked for this after her long nights. I just figured you've been operating all day, and you're not feeling well, so…" Meredith doesn't also say to her-

(And all I've wanted to do since I saw you with my McEx in the conference room earlier today was to lay my hands on your body and to have you let me have my way with you…)

Addison is fighting her damndest to contain any inappropriate noises she might involuntarily let out if she stops biting the inner skin of her cheek till it bleeds.

But the pain inside of her cheek right now alongside the sweet, sweet relief of all of her upper body muscles is only serving to turn Addison on even more.

 


 

(This is kind of bad Addison. You promised Derek, you promised yourself you wouldn't let anything happen between you before Meredith knew the truth. You promised that you would go slow if anything is to happen with her, at all. You know it's the right thing to do…)

('But I thought we were over our self-denial phase with the whole being gay is an okay thing?' Half of Addison's brain asks the other.)

('Well, this is more self-restraint', if you're asking. It's like when you try not to jump someone's bones so you don't hurt them or let you hurt you back at your most vulnerable. You know. THAT-)

('But you should probably admit to yourself that this is the most wonderful and soothing thing you've ever felt, matched only by waking up in Meredith's arms that one time…')

('FINE I REALLY REALLY REALLY LIKE IT, OKAY?! HAPPY NOW?!)

('Just checking we're all on the same page here…)

Meredith is now digging in with her thumbs to the sore muscles in her back and it's heavenly.

Addison allows her eyes to slip shut so she can enjoy just the feeling.

Meredith switches to rubbing her fingertips in circles around her tight lats, and Addison thinks she should really invest in a professional sometime because how had she never thought of spending her insurance on this in her free time?

(But you probably won't even do that, because Meredith Grey isn't a registered massage therapist, and if you saw one of those you'd just be imagining it was her instead and that wouldn't be helpful…)

Meredith is vaguely humming a tune that Addison does not recognize (not the sweet song from the other night that Addison can't get out of her head, despite not knowing at all what it IS-)

And Addison is purring like a kitten as Meredith is running her hands up and down Addison's tight neck.

Just the palms of Meredith's hands is enough to loosen Addison's tension.

And also Addison adores having her neck touched.

It's her kryptonite, and she knows it. All her past lovers have known it, or figured it out somehow.

Addison's neck is so sensitive that any desired contact with the area has her heat up in flames.

This being now included, meaning that as Addison feels Meredith massage the neck muscles right by the spine between her index fingers and thumbs, that Addison is realizing she's blushing.

And flushing. Even more than before. (Thank goodness you told Meredith you had hot flashes because that seems to be ACTUALLY the case, now…)

And as Meredith runs her fingers around so, so tenderly to rub the sides of her neck, Addison can feel herself getting aroused. Quickly. Very quickly.

And as Meredith allows her whole hands to spread out over Addison's neck, having her fingers even brush the tips of Addison's earlobes, Addison can feel herself getting sexually wet.

She can feel her pants tightening around her thighs. She can feel her panties are sticking more, She can feel her core clenching, and her pulse point racing and racing and racing.

"You do feel like you're getting hot" Meredith remarks offhandedly, in a concerned sort of way.

"Yeah," Addison says because she's not sure what else she could even say at this point.

 


 

"Are you starting to feel better?" she asks, invading Addison's personal space bubble almost completely.

Meredith is whispering into Addison's ear, hot breath on her neck the same way that Addison's fell onto Meredith's earlier in her kitchen.

"Ah, I am…," Addison says in a hush as Meredith smirks.

Addison can feel Meredith smirking, despite her not having turned around at all, not having looked her in the face or the eye since she'd entered the scrub room.

It was the same way in which Meredith had recognized instinctively that Addison was not Derek on the first night that they'd met up in Joe's bar…

(Not that Meredith knew that, of course. But Addison is making that absent comparison now…)

And Addison is suddenly distracted by the fact that Meredith Grey is massaging her earlobes between her thumbs and her fingers.

And it feels so damn good-

('Admit it, Addison. It feels downright EROTIC. You have a thing for your earlobes being handled and nibbled to the point where you tried the same thing on Derek one time, but he just ended up falling over in pain. Something about a woman's pain tolerance maybe…')

Meredith is caressing her earlobes as well as the whole of her ears.

And if Addison was turned on before, then it's nothing compared to what is happening to her now.

 


 

Her panties are soaked through with her thick arousal, she thinks she should probably change to another pair of pants after this. Her tits are swollen two extra sizes and her nibbles are hard as a rock.

If she were to be fucked starting right here and now, there would be no resistance from her warmed-up and ready body at all.

Forget foreplay, apparently, all Addison needs is some 'friendly and platonic touches on the backs of her earlobes' for her to be all hot and wanting.

(God she needs to get laid, Addison thinks to herself idly.)

(Yeah, well, are you going to come clean to her about all your dirty little secrets while her hands are literally on your shoulders rubbing the knots out of your upper arms or are you going to sit there like a happy kitten until she eventually decides she's or you've had enough of it all?)

(You're never going to get enough of this, are you?)

(Right. Of course. Because she's your new addiction. Those damn Cheetos were apparently just a 'gateway drug'. Because CLEARLY there's no recovering from this wild ride.)

(Drug addictions are a serious problem and they should not be used lightly in these types of metaphors.)

(Right. It was just an expression. Sorry.)

(So are you just going to come clean to her about everything you've done, right here, right now, while you're supposed to be at like, a party YOU organized. You know, for your PATIENT.)

(Mm, just five-ten- fifteen more minutes of heaven can we settle on that…?)

(Fine. You watch the clock, though.)

('FINE.' Addison's mind now concedes to herself. Just a few more sweet minutes...)

Meredith has released Addison's earlobes now as she cups Addison's face from behind.

She rubs out Addison's temples with her thumbs still tickling the tips of Addison's ears.

She's rubbing the frown lines out of her forehead, and she's massaging Addison's scalp.

She moves back to Addison's neck now again, pinching the back of it between her whole hands, letting the knots and the trouble spots wash all away…

And Addison sits there in silence, loving every single second of Meredith's gentle touches.

She allows Meredith to massage under her hairline, where she finds a soft spot she likes a lot and gives it extra attention…

 


 

(This time it's MEREDITH's turn to file that information into her thoughts of 'where she would be most likely to want to keep kissing Addison over and over and over if Addison would ever let her do that for her…)

(And Meredith is loving all of this, just as much, or even more so than Addison.)

(Meredith is much more a giver of touches. She likes to please others, even in a platonic way and that's what makes her, in turn, feel good. She doesn't think of herself as a hero for this. Or the receivers of her affections to be necessary 'takers'.)

(Meredith recognizes that she needs someone to receive her massages to be able to extend her own pleasure in giving them. So she has the opposite of malice towards any willing participant.)

(And she is especially pleased to be able to handle Addison's beautiful body in this way.)

(Meredith has held Addison in her arms all night long before. But she's never had this still technically platonic, albeit intimate moment of touch with Addison being awake for it, for so long, before…)

(The only other times she's held Addison were when Addison was literally falling, and Meredith had steadied her. Or when Addison had held her hand at the convenience store…)

 


 

Meredith maps all of these accidental and/or purposeful touches in her mind as she continues to massage on Addison's scalp. She has another trick up her sleeve she's debating about using.

So she decides that she'll work up to it. First, Meredith plays with Addison's hair. She loves Addison's hair. She could run through it for hours and just watch it glow. Heck, she almost DID do that the other night in that storage closet.

She had fallen asleep fawning over Addison's luscious curls. And the effet her fingers had had then, were just about the same as now. Addison was finally relaxing, her pulse was soothing.

Meredith could feel Addison's pulse point in the back of her neck, and see that her heart rate was no longer speeding up. Addison was still flushed, yes. And full of adrenaline and need. But her heart was no longer beating out of her chest, rather her heartbeats were rising and falling quite peacefully, now.

And that's when Meredith decided to try, lightly, what she had a hunch she thinks Addison will enjoy. Meredith circles her palm with a wide hand around the back of Addison's head. She then very gently and slowly closes her first a bit - not all the way - but just enough to cause pressure to pressure points on Addison's skull.

The moan out was audible. She could tell Addison had been trying to hide it, but it was there, no matter how quietly. Meredith takes this as a signal that she will go on. So she continues around Addison's head with both hands, spreading her fingers wide and gently tightening her fingers so slightly, so that the loose pull on Addison's hair will cause a massage in itself.

And Addison adores this so much. Meredith can tell she likes it because Addison's moans are coming out of her now, less muffled now than before. Before she started with this, she could feel Addison's moans through her fingers through the vibrations in her body, but she could not actually hear them aloud.

But now, Meredith could hear every feeling she was giving to Addison now. She could feel her moans vibrate through to her bones. Meredith was being careful, so careful not to leave any marks on Addison's body. The last thing either of them needed was someone thinking they were giving each other hickeys when they weren't.

 


 

(Because then people would be rude to Addison and they STILL wouldn't have actually had the pleasure of giving each other the hickeys…)

(Ooh, EASY TIGER. I KNOW that Addison's neck is RIGHT THERE, but that doesn't mean you can just lean in and kiss the hell out of it right here and now. She's been divorced for less than an HOUR and already you're thinking of actually pressing your lips right there…)

(But she's SINGLE and you are SINGLE and those reasons are no longer reasons and you bet you could make her near orgasm in pleasure without even taking her clothes off the way Addison is all worked up here right now…)

(That doesn't mean you should do it though, she's still your boss. You're her student. She likes you as a friend at least now. You've come this far as just friends and you don't want to lose her.)

(Plus if you start that you know that you won't want to stop. You will if she asks you too, you know about consent. And you are NOT a whore in THAT way. But if she keeps begging you to keep going, you know you won't stop.)

(You know even if you hypothetically do make her come with her clothes on that you'll still end up ripping those clothes off and making sweet, sweet, love to her all day and night…)

(God, the things you could do to her beautiful body. You would just like to trace every millimeter and file it under 'things that are magnificent'. You just want to soak in her skin and allow yourself to wander to the deepest depths of desire. You desire her…)

 


 

(But Meredith, you love her, you know. You do too. You do. You love her.)

(And perhaps it's not necessarily the 'in love, in love' kind of love yet, you note.)

(It's love, and for her, but you know you still have a ways to go you could fall for her deeper…)

(And you know that part of you wants to. Part of you desperately wants to fall stupidly in love with her.)

(But there's another part that is terrified. Terrified that now that she's single, that you/her are now a possibility to each other… What if she doesn't want you?)

(What if she doesn't want someone younger. What if she wants a 'real grown-up?')

(What if she wants someone who isn't a student. What if she wants someone smarter?)

(What if she wants someone with fewer mommy issues and daddy issues and 'mystery freaking people uprooting her life half the time...')

(What if she wants someone stylish, who uses coat racks and coasters!)

(What if she wants someone, MORE than you. Someone better. Someone more whole…)

(What if she wants someone else…)

 


 

And with that thought, Meredith lets out a sigh.

And she keeps running her hands up and down Addison's back.

And she keeps running her fingers over every inch and every muscle.

And she keeps gently grazing all the pressure points of Addison.

(As she's trying to memorize every moment, every second, every part of this experience. In case it's the only one she will ever have. In case Addison never lets her handle her body again...)

And she continues even as the minutes' drag onwards…

And she would continue until the end of all time.

She really would have. But the moment eventually comes to an end.

Not an abrupt end, not a sad end. Not a bad end.

Just a natural end.

Like waking up from a really nice dream...

 


 

Addison hears Meredith sigh right into her shoulders and the sound brings her back to reality.

Addison glances up at the clock as she realizes she should be going, and that so should Grey.

Addison reluctantly lets out one sigh of her own, before she reaches her own right hand up to her shoulders.

She turns to Meredith now, facing her for the first time in this scrub room today.

She places her hand on Meredith's hands now, stopping their motion as she looks up again.

She meets Meredith in the eye and her eyes convey a very, very grateful smile.

She turns to her and says 'thank you,' because she knows that her voice will break into pieces if she tries to say anything more than that.

And Meredith understands. She understands Addison doesn't want to keep talking.

And even without any more talking, Meredith knows exactly what Addison is feeling, what she is needing, and what she is thinking.

(It's a moment of connection that Meredith first had when she knew Addison's breath was going to catch at the bar that night. Right before she moved over her purse and she wordlessly offered for Addison to sit next to her. And Addison did. Not that Meredith really knows that now…)

But Addison is sitting right next to Meredith now. And she's smiling. And Meredith is smiling back.

 


 

And so Meredith speaks because she knows that Addison's breath will catch if she tries.

And she says something unexpected. Unexpected to Addison, at least.

She tells her "I'm proud of you." And that's it. End of sentence. Just those three words.

And they are the exact perfect thing that Addison needed to hear today.

Even more than 'we accept the love we think we deserve' which she knows Derek didn't say back to her, even after she had said them to him herself.

Addison had needed the validation that what she did today; divorcing Derek; was something she could look back on with pride…

"Why?" Addison asks her though, as she wants to know what Meredith Grey could be thinking.

A terrified part of Addison wonders if Meredith will turn one-eighty and say that she wants to screw her ex-husband again.

But she doesn't. Of course. Meredith says to her 'you didn't go back to him. Good girl Addison…'

And Addison doesn't place it herself until she sees Meredith smirking at her.

"Oh." Is all Addison says before laughing, remembering saying those same words to Meredith her first day of working here at Seattle Grace Hospital?

At the time Addison had just been worried for Meredith.

She had no idea why at the time.

 


 

She knows those words could have come off as 'stay away from him you dirty McMistress'

But even at the time, Addison hadn't meant them that way.

Addison had genuinely wanted more for Meredith than someone who could never love her back in the way she deserved…

"Look at us, being friends. And you even seemed friendly with him later, too" Meredith says rather observantly.

"We were friends for years, married for over a decade but we were all friends once. And he was my best friend. And I think we want to get back to that someday. I want to try, at least…"

Addison is sharing that with her intern in a way she never would have imagined six months ago.

Six months ago, Addison was having an off-again-on-again affair/relationship with Mark and a breakup with Derek and a who-knows-what with her tailspin of bad choices.

But here she is now, developing healthy (friendship) relationships left and right, fulfilling her need for human connection. Starting over. For real. For the better…

Addison is making her way, and that means being more open and honest.

Even with interns, because if Addison is anything, Addison is always a hand-up for those who have less than she does.

One might think that might come from an element of pride, given her family fortunes.

But it isn't; it's more than that. Addison just is compassionate.

And she's starting to discover for herself it's played if she isn't that, to everyone, all the time, to no end, to her expense; so she still has enough to offer to those she truly wants in her life.

And Addison does want to keep Meredith Grey in her life, in any way that she can that will work.

And as Addison is staring into Meredith's eyes right now, she sees her bright baby blues and she wants- for her to read into her soul and know everything.

She wants to confess her sins and wash them away with warm water.

She wants to cleanse herself, purge herself from all her pain.

And as Addison is just about to start speaking, Meredith reaches out and lays a hand on her shoulder.

She says to her 'it's okay.

We don't have to talk all serious about the divorce today.

Let's just be us for a while.

Without Derek, without our exes, without the heartbreak. Let's just be us. And we can go back in a minute.

Back into the party, I mean. We can go when you are ready - only when you are ready.

When you are ready, I will be here for you" Meredith says to her breathlessly.

(And as Meredith says those words, then, to Addison she's thinking a whole other level of meaning...)

 


 

And Addison swoons in her heart to be accepting this care, now, from Meredith Grey now.

And she tries, she really tries, to let herself be cared for in the way that she needed.

(In the way she deserves… and that Addison always has deserved all those years…)

"We accept the love we think we deserve, Addison," Meredith says to her.

And that's all she says then, she doesn't say anything more.

 


 

(Meredith almost says to her, then 'you deserve better than him. But she and Derek are trying to be friends now. And she doesn't want to bad-mouth Addison's friend.)

(Meredith wants to say 'you deserve someone who will kiss you and love you and touch you and make you feel like you're worth a hell of a lot… And I could be that person you know… if you want…)

(Meredith wants to say 'pick me, choose me, love me, Addison. Be a better person than your stupid-ex-something Derek was and give me an answer. Give me the yes because god if I want you right now more than I ever did him…And we're even in the same damn scrub room as when I said that to Derek which feels like a million years ago, now...)

 


 

But Meredith doesn't say any of those things.

Meredith doesn't say anything more, at all.

No matter how much Meredith wants to-

To break open the silence with words...

Meredith waits for Addison to say something...

 


 

 

And Addison almost cries from the compassion that Meredith is offering her.

She has the impulse to cry but she controls it.

She's had the training from her mother, Bizzy Forbes, not to cry in front of others, ever.

Addison is a big girl, she can handle herself.

She can hold back her tears and not let them show...

 


 

Meredith looks at Addison and she looks like she's going to cry now.

And Meredith wants to hold her. She wants to cradle her in her arms.

Meredith wants to carry her home and to tuck her in at night.

Meredith wants to be her 'knight in shining whatever'

Meredith wants to take care of her… (always…)

 


 

But before Meredith can squeeze Addison's hand harder inside her own,

Before Meredith can move to hug Addison tight to her body,

Before Meredith can show Addison she cares for her,

Addison starts to say something, so Meredith listens.

"I'm ready to go back," Addison says with a deep breath.

 


 

And Meredith says "well, alright then" with a big bright baby blue smile.

And she offers Addison one last pat on the back before she helps her get up again.

And she waits until Addison walks out the door first, so she can follow her close right behind.

 


 

"Can we play another GAME!" one of the other interns is cheering.

"YAAAAAAAAS!" so many other people cheer.

As Addison and Meredith take their seats again, everyone looks at them a bit curiously;

Before Meredith says to them "Addison had a medical thing, she just needed help that's all."

And they were in a hospital so they chose not to ask more questions.

And Derek was smirking at them and squinting to see if he could see any lipstick or teeth marks on either of them. But he doesn't so he just smiles at them sweetly.

And Cristina smirks at them of course, she does as Izzie sort of does as well.

But all of the smug expressions are interrupted by John, who suggests they play 'hot seat.'

When someone asks "WHAT'S THAT?" Everyone gasps when it's Bailey and Webber who know all the rules.

"Everyone has a 3 question turn, during which the questioner, which I assume will be John, gets to ask them whatever he wants. You have to answer truthfully unless you say pass. And you have a limited number of those. Usually, at a bar, you'd have bailout shots but I guess these dixie cups of ginger ale will have to do" Richard says, pouring one out for each of them.

"And also, like any of these other games you always seem to play in this room, whatever happens, stays here and here only. You're not to talk about it with anyone else, are we clear?" Bailey has an insistent tone as everyone is just surprised that she's playing the game with them.

 


 

Preston Burke is the first to be put in the 'hot seat,' as John asks him first:

"Would you ever have made Cristina Yang lie for you if you were still dating?"

And all Burke says to everyone is "I have no idea."

Then he asks him "Would you want to ever be with a man?"

To which he answers "I don't know yet"

And then he asks him "did you want Cristina's child if she had not lost it?"

And he thinks for a moment, before saying he might have.

It wasn't a very defined set of answers, but it was interesting, still, all the same.

 


 

Izzie is up next, and her first question is "if you didn't need the money, would you have wanted to be a model?"

And she thinks for a moment before saying she's proud of the work she did.

Then he asks her "what would you do for your mother if you could give her anything?"

And she laughs and she says to everyone "probably a stable boyfriend"

And he asks her if she wishes she'd grown up differently,

And she squeezes Cristina Yang's hand when she says that she doesn't, at all.

 


 

Derek is next in the hot seat.

John goes easier on him, knowing he's had a hard day.

He asks him "do you have any family we don't all know about yet?"

And Addison laughs as Derek starts to describe his mother Carolyn Shepherd and his sisters Nancy, Liz, Kathleen, and Amelia.

"They're really nice, especially Amelia," Addison smiles at the memory.

She hopes she doesn't lose touch with them after this divorce she's had with Derek.

"You can still call them, you know," Derek says to her then. And it makes Addison smile.

"Did you ever do drugs?" John finally asks him.

He says he's done weed one time (he doesn't say that Addison had also had done, said weed, that time and she'd been so paranoid she'd locked herself in a closet for hours.)

(Derek thinks about the whole closet metaphor again and then tries to stop thinking about it.)

"Do you think you could be happy being not a brain surgeon?" he asks.

"Probably not," Derek says. "Unless I like, worked for the president or cured Alzheimer's or something," Derek laughs as Meredith tries not to flinch at the word Alzheimer's.

 


 

"Cristina, what do you think you would do if you couldn't operate?" he asks a similar question to the one he asked Derek.

"I have no idea. Maybe I'd become a bartender. Or a spy. Or an assassin…?" Cristina shrugs.

"BUT YOU WOULDN'T ACTUALLY STAB PEOPLE, RIGHT?" Izzie exclaims at her.

"Probably not," Cristina answers cryptically before bursting out laughing.

"Would you like to have your own hospital one day?" John asks her.

"ABSOLUTELY!" Cristina exclaims.

"What medical miracle would you perform if you could?" John asks her.

"I want to make human hearts out of thin air," Cristina says to him dreamily.

 


 

To George, he asks him "What is your favorite car?" and he surprises everyone by taking a hot to get out of THAT one.

"That's literally all my brothers ask is pick a car. It makes me want to run away" George laughs.

"Ok, who is your movie or TV crush?" he asks.

"Jennifer Anniston… Or maybe David Beckum" he laughs.

"Would you rather win a free season pass to music concerts or sports games?"

"Probably music" George answers as Alex says "dude" because he would have said "sports."

"What's the bravest thing you've ever done?" he asks to boost George's confidence.

"Probably having sex with Alex" he answers bluntly as everyone laughs.

 


 

Alex is, in fact, next up for his game time. So John asks him:

"If you could change one thing in your past…"

Alex says he would have been nicer to his little brother.

"What kind of surgery do you want to do?" John asks.

"Probably plastics," he smirks.

And Addison bites her tongue not to say "you should meet Mark Sloan…"

"Do you want kids, Alex?" He asks seriously.

Ane Alex says that he does, someday.

 


 

"Miranda Bailey" John begins.

"What is your worst nightmare?"

"Probably catching on fire" she laughs.

"Would you rather not ever be the boss of anyone or become a firefighter?" he asks.

"No idea," Bailey says.

"Do you have any weird food cravings?"

"All the damn time. Mostly for strawberry milkshakes" she laughs.

 


 

"Richard Webber, have you had the love of your life yet?"

And Richard has to think for a second, about Ellis Grey and Adele. And he realizes he doesn't have to decide he just has to answer.

All he says is "I think so," and that's enough for John.

"Do you want to die in this hospital?" John asks rather morbidly.

"Yes, I think that I would," Richard says to everyone.

"Do you consider yourself to be a father figure to Meredith?" he asks seriously.

And Meredith smiles as he nods and says "yes."

 


 

And it's down to just Meredith and Addison now. And John looks between each of them before deciding to ask Meredith first.

"Are you glad you're a surgeon?" he asks simply.

"I think I am, mostly. Sometimes I hate that people just want me to be like my mother. But mostly," Meredith answers.

"Do you like it here in Seattle?" he asks her.

"Yeah, I never thought I would like anywhere like here but I do," she says.

"Are you falling in love, do you think," John finally asks her tenderly.

"I really think that I am," Meredith says to him softly.

And her big baby blues smile a shy smile as she looks to the ground now.

And she's not thinking much of anything else, but of Addison.

 


 

And Addison tries to read the look on Meredith's face. But Meredith doesn't meet anyone's gaze now.

And now everyone is staring at Addison because it's her turn to answer.

And John the patient snaps her out of the trance to ask her:

"Which of your houses in New York is your favorite?"

And Addison is horrified as she shoots a look to Derek who only chuckles, a bit annoyingly.

"Probably not the Brownstone, anymore" she answers finally and Derek tries not to choke in laughter.

"Do you think you could ever become a shopaholic?" he asks her.

"Hopefully not, but maybe" she gasps.

And then she stops laughing entirely.

Because she's worried about what is coming next.

Addison panics and looks at John, who only winks at her and shakes his head imperceptibly;

Signaling to her he won't out Addison's 'mystery man' secret because she should do that herself.

John still knows a lot of other secrets about her still, so she isn't calmed down yet...

So instead he asks her the same simple question he asked earlier to Meredith.

If she's thinking she's falling in love.

And when Addison answers yes, she looks John right in the eye.

And John delivers a kind-eyed look.

And he says best of luck, then to all of them.

 


 

And when George says "wait do we get to ask YOU questions?"

John only laughs and says "that's all you've all been doing to me for a month!"

And they all simply agree.

When Meredith asks about the cake, Cristina just informs her they already ate it.

They ate that cake like an hour ago, and they let Meredith sulk before revealing they saved a piece for her and Addison, each in the Attendings lounge fridge.

 


 

They end the evening with the 'Secret Santa' giving him parting gifts they all schemed to buy.

Richard gives him a wine glass because he says he's an alcoholic anyhow.

Burke gives him books because he really likes books.

Bailey gets him a coffee cart gift card because she wants to chat with him around sometime.

Derek gets him a mug that he had from New York.

And when Addison laughs at him, knowing where it was from; he just says "it's vintage" and she rolls her eyes at him, teasingly.

Cristina and Izzie get him a vibrator. And he unwraps it only enough to see the label and he is delighted.

Alex and George get a Costco-sized-pack of glow-in-the-dark condoms.

And that makes both Meredith and Addison SIMULTANEOUSLY shoot a smirk at Derek, who blushes profusely before looking at the ground.

And then Addison and Meredith look at EACH OTHER and collapse in a fit of giggles as Addison says to her "well I guess some tastes never changed after arriving in Seattle…"


 

And then Meredith pulls out hers and Addison's gift.

She puts it in the mixtape CD to a CD player she's borrowed from Addison's office.

And they listen to the mixtape, with songs like

"The Quest" by Bryn Christopher, and

"Atlas Hands" by Benjamin Francis Leftwich, and

"The Same" by Mackintosh Brown, and

"Gold" by Wake Owl, and

"Cold World" by Jon E.K.

"Such Great Heights" by The Postal Service, and

"Portions for Foxes" by Rilo Kiley, and

"What Can I Say" by Brandi Carlile, and

"You and Me" by Lifehouse, and

"Sky" by Joshua Radin and Ingrid Michaelson, and

"Hometown Glory" by Adele, and finally,

"End of All Time" by Stars of Track and Field.

 


 

And they listen to the tape all the way.

And at each change of song Addison is hoping to hear the song that Meredith had been singing her the other night.

But it never plays, and she's sure that she'd recognize it.

And she tries not to look so dejected when the mixtape finally comes to an end.

John examines the cover, where Addison had drawn a picture instead of signing her name and Meredith signs for both of them.

"From A and M."

As well as "Thanks For The Memories" in Meredith's curvy cursive.

And John says he is so touched, and he says to them all "thanks for giving me the best not-dying-days of my life"

 


 

Addison says she has to have one last post-divorce dinner with McDreamy before she breaks his heart and says she'll still meet them for drinks at Joe's maybe after.

And then Addison motions for Meredith to drive her to pick up the takeout.

And Derek starts to follow along before Addison says they'll just bring it back and eat it here anyhow he doesn't need to ride along.

And then she glares at whoever made the comment 'guess they're not all into threesomes…'

 


 

As the interns and attendings except for Derek all file out to get dinner from the Cafeteria.

Derek stays behind and hangs out with John the patient a little more, off Addison's suggestion.

Derek finally confesses his love-pain to John, who offers him lots and lots of stories of how he faced coming out and homophobia growing up.

Derek talks to John for a long time, before and John finally says "your ex-wife certainly is a romantic" and she's "very supportive of gay men."

And when Derek asks what he means about that, John says he has a secret to share only with him.

So when he nods and he makes his promises, John slides out another part of the CD packaging he'd noticed had fallen out into his hand earlier when he opened it.

He unfolded it and read it himself and smiled before he showed what it is to Derek.

John shows Derek, first, an encouraging thank-you message from Addison, and how the last line of it, which says please see an attached note which looks like a medical chart.

He then shows Derek the secret love note with the letter from Raj.

It said to him "from your secret admirer" and Derek gushes at how sweet it is.

It's actually from the male psychiatrist, the same one that the interns had stolen his chart from when he was first admitted here.

He says that his middle name is 'Arthur' but he can call him Raj.

It says that Raj had held him on Psych hold because he had had a crush on him and wanted to be there when he woke up.

So he 5150'd him so he'd get to talk to him once again, but he had never had the chance before all the drama inevitably happened.

But he still thought of him, so after Addison talked to Raj about his discharge paperwork, Addison said he's a really good person, and she said she'd pass on his number to John.

As long as Raj promised to be good to John and not hit on Meredith Grey again, even for pretend.

And John said he was going to call Raj once he's better.

And John says Derek should call his best friend and take his chances one he is ready.

He asks what Derek would need for him and Mark to work out.

He says he'd have to move to Seattle but he didn't want to force him to.

And not to talk to other girls in the meantime, and Derek finally feels he has someone who has reassured him that he REALLY belongs.

 


 

Meredith and Addison enjoy their car ride going to get the Thai food.

And the plant food.

Despite what she said earlier, Addison pays for all of the orders, including herse, Meredith's, and even Derek's, just as a friend might do, and Meredith thinks that it's nice.

They have just mindless and funny banter the whole way there and back.

And neither of them try to feel each other up in the car.

And neither of them wants to break open the moment by asking anything too serious.

(Addison thinks now that maybe she should confess to Grey.)

(But she doesn't want to get them all in a car crash so she decided to wait just a little bit longer…)

(And Meredith just looks so, so, happily singing along to the radio to all the popular tunes…)

 


 

Addison walks by and smiles at John and Derek as she walks by their room.

She drops off Thai food for Derek, then decides that John can have her share and that she'll just share Meredith's with her 'because it's the same order anyway.'

And John smiles and winks at Addison, and he also winks at Derek, to signal to him that they had 'their little secret' too.

And John allows Meredith to settle down cross-legged on the floor and eat her pad thai with Addison as they each dive in with their chopsticks.

And Derek even offers to bring the girls their cake, to which Meredith says "YES PLEASE!" And Addison says she's too full now to eat it.

Eventually, Meredith runs off to see her friends for a bit because she hasn't really seen them all day. So she runs off to hang out with Izzie and Cristina and Alex and George in a common room as they finish off the rest of the party snacks and pack up the extra decorations.

And John congratulates Addison and Derek on such an amicable divorce.

"People must hate you both for it" John only laughs.

"You have no idea…" Addison and Derek say to him, at once.

(But perhaps John really does know all about their interconnected lives…)

John begs "Doctor Boss" now, to stay one final day in the hospital as he arranges for his ex-lover's mother to pick him up from the hospital.

Addison understands his situation as his parents had passed away so she signs off on that, saying up she'll make up another psych evaluation if she has to.

 


 

Addison doesn't see Meredith or any traces of her after she finally leaves John's room and leaves Derek to talk to him. This is later in the evening, after dinner, when she goes to her office to change, pick up her clothes for the evening, including her favorite 'red and green' scarf. She hopes that Meredith will not dislike it, after having said to her that "red and green' was not a super-fashionable combination.

And Addison decides happily that she doesn't need any more pre-drinks before heading to the bar after all. She's had enough of Derek's single-malt-scotch to last her. And she doesn't think that getting drunk around Meredith right after she's newly single is a very good idea. And she thinks that it's good that she doesn't because Meredith has the keys to her secret drawer in her office, and she really doesn't want to ask Meredith for her key to her secret office 'liquor cabinet' back right now.

So instead of indulging herself in alcohol, she eats another piece of Izzie's cherry and vanilla cake. She had one put aside for her earlier and she'd wanted to eat it in private. She didn't want to eat a big piece of it in front of the interns. She couldn't, she already knew, stand to eat a cherry-and-vanilla-whip-cream-cake-baked-by-Cristina-and-Izzie without thinking about Meredith licking a lollipop while practically eye-fucking her twice. Not without audibly moaning at least…

So Addison has had her cake taste earlier, of just the vanilla and not even the cherry.

When Meredith had offered her a taste off of her fork and she couldn't resist.

But this time Addison got to 'have her cake first and then to eat it too', later.

And as Addison sinks her teeth into the exploding cherries, all she can dream of how Meredith's lips could taste fastened to hers...

 


 

Addison didn't even have a drink with her cake because she didn't want to wear down the flavors of cherry and whipped cream and vanilla and happiness with another taste entirely.

But if Addison HAD needed a drink and opened her drawer she would have realized that her bottle of Blue Sapphire Gin would not have been so secret to the intern after all.

One of these days, rather far into the future from now, when Addison will finally have an occasion to feel the need to take a drink from this secret stash once again. Or to offer a taste of it to someone else who really, really needs it. But that person won't be in her office WITH her when she opens that drawer again. Because it is still her secret stash.

So she thinks it is, anyways. But then again, one of these days when Addison is feeling like someone, herself or otherwise, needs a comforting Gin and Tonic at work, she will discover the drawer had been opened that day when Meredith had been in her office.

And that there were only eighteen of the twenty blank CD's left in the package, which was also in the same drawer where she stashed her secret gin with the keys that Meredith still had on her keyring. And she will discover inside of it some new content. She will discover a surprise.

It's a homemade CD mixtape, for HER. The gift is addressed with the same date of her divorce with a hand-drawn design on the cover. The sketch looks uncannily like the non-straight-looking potted plant she'd held in Meredith's house.

And next to the drawing are the words: 'Thank you for not letting it go. Thank you for not just letting it be. Thank you for being the person who nurses knocked over queer potted plants back to health, even if that means going out of your way to buy plant food on the way from picking up Thai food with me, instead, of thinking that plants that refuse to be straight again are not even worth it. Because you never thought the plant was worthless. You thought it deserved a chance today'

(Addison will wonder when she opens the gift if Meredith had known about Addison's identity as the 'mystery person' at the moment she'd made the card about the potted plant.)

(But Meredith will reassure Addison after she asks, that she hadn't; she was only thinking of how Addison had wanted to buy plant food when she'd made that mixtape for Addison...)

When Addison opens up the cheap plastic CD case to pop the tape into her old boombox player she still kept in her office, something else will fall out of it. And that there was another mystery note, addressed to Doctor McHotBoss, from her 'secret admirer'.

She will discover in that way, then her secret admirer had been pining for her all along. She will realize then that THIS was the surprise that Meredith was referring to 'someone liking a whole lot' all the way back at John the patient's surprise party. She will chuckle at this memory. She'll think 'god, Grey really is clever, isn't she…

And she will sit back in her desk chair, listening to the tape on her. And she will close her eyes and imagine when she hears the opening lines to the first of the songs.

"We'll take a better look, beyond a storybook…"

She'll remember the song from the night Meredith sang her to sleep.

And she will dream of a happily ever after with her 'not-so-secret-admirer', for whom she had been pining for as well, for longer than even Addison could remember…

Probably as long as the night they'd first met…

And that that beautiful song that surrounded her office will always remind her of that perfect day she and Meredith had shared. It will remind her of the feeling of Meredith Grey's tender arms around her, her nimble fingers running through her loose hair.

And Addison thinks for the second time in her life that this would be the perfect song to have at a wedding. And she wonders if the thought ever occurs to her a third time if that secret wish would ever be one to come true...

 


 

But Addison in the present day is not daydreaming of weddings.

Addison in the present day is not drinking her gin.

Addison in the present day is not dreamily listening to the Ingrid Michaelson song "Turn to Stone."

Addison in the present day still has no idea what that song is even called or who sings it.

If anyone had asked her she would have blurted out that the singer is "Meredith'.

Addison in the present is fantasizing about Meredith's lips on hers.

She's fantasizing about Meredith's lips on her chin and her cheek and on her temple.

Addison is imagining Meredith kissing her neck and worshiping her tender hairline.

She's imagining Meredith sucking on the spot behind her ear before nibbling her earlobe.

She's imagining Meredith doing all the things she'd been doing to her body in the scrub room, but with her tongue and her teeth alongside her magical fingers...

Addison decides she really has to do something about this and sets off to tell Meredith grey the whole truth.

 


 

Meanwhile,

Meredith loves hanging out with her friends, but they all seem to want to go off and, well, spend time in their pairings.

And Meredith is exhausted after this endless day of driving and surgeries and parties.

(And extreme McCrushes on the newly McDivorced and amazing McAddison…)

So Meredith finally finds an empty on-call room to crash in for a short little nap.

She thinks of showering, but decides to do that in a little while…

She wishes she had Addison to cuddle with in her sleep.

But she's so tired she drifts into happy dreams until she's woken up a bit later.

 


 

And Addison is feeling all heated up all over again.

And she's nervous about the prospect of telling Meredith Grey.

And she's covered in grime from all the surgeries anyhow.

So Addison goes off in search of a shower and also the Intern.

She eventually realizes that the only on-call room with a shower that does not have a couple in it is the one she finally ends up opening quietly because the lights are off.

Addison eventually sees that it's Meredith who is in the bunk bed, so she tosses an extra blanket on her, and waits till she stops stirring completely.

She wishes she could tell Meredith the truth now, to get it over with, rip the bandage off.

But she would never want to wake her, so Addison only sits next to her for a second and smiles.

Addison watches her sleep for a minute, wondering if she had looked this peaceful in Meredith's arms.

Addison tucks a hair behind Meredith's ear and says "thank-you, sweet dream, Meredith" before heading off for her shower.

She'll be grateful, very soon, that she hadn't said anything more in-depth than that, like confessed or professed a crush or something more to Meredith Grey like, just now.

She'll be pretty damn relieved once she finds out later that Meredith Grey had actually been awake and just not moving, for that entire exchange, just so she could remember the feeling of Addison Montgomery tucking her into bed for a moment.

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 28


 

Author's Note:

Hello friends!

I hope you enjoyed 15 pages of Meredith's hands on top of Addison's shoulders. Like actually that is exactly what that was. LOL sexual tension fluff. I really like that. A lot.

(In Addition to some 'secret admirer' antics, a party, a dinner, and some other stuff.)

Seriously though, I do have a question: Do you prefer longer or shorter chapters? Would you like it if I posted half the chapters (say at 4000 words each) and then posted the rest later? Or do you like it the way it is as one daily/every two-day update thing?

Looking at the stats for this work, most clicks are obviously for the beginning and less for newer chapters. But I don't know if that's just because committing to a long fic is HARD (I know.. It's okay!) or if that's because the earlier chapters were shorter and people don't like reading a long ass thing. Or maybe you want to read every damn word and like that the length of the chapters on average is increasing.

Let me know! Also, to the people who said they might be inspired to write - YOU ARE MY HERO. Yes, YOU. If I get to read more MerAdd fanfiction in my day I will be so happy! So to those other authors out there, thanks so, so much!

SO all in all: No one has entered, nor won the 'what was the mystery gift for John' game. Sad. I would have written you a one-shot. But alas, feel free to play the guessing game of 'what will happen next?' because I like to hear predictions.

Also, for those of you who were wondering, yes I do watch Killing Eve and I'm probably not very subtle about it...

Enjoy the next approximately 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!

Author's Note 3:

This is actually all songs taken from the show, at some point, that I happen to enjoy as a playlist :D

 


 

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

 


 

Seriously, you reviewers are totally the best :D

bobbiejelly

Chapter Text

Author's Note:

THE RATING HAS CHANGED TO "E" or "M" or whichever For EXPLICIT. You are WARNED.

Side note: About why the character's thoughts might be in the third person,

This is an interesting question that I had not thought of, actually.

Partially it is written so the audience won't misplace whose internal thoughts they are.

Partially it is because I find it entertaining when the character's inner thoughts are in conflict with each other.

And partially because the story is told in a third person sort of omniscient perspective, with each character having their 'time' where the story is in 'their third person limited…'

Which is also occasionally interrupted by narrations.. Really unsure myself, actually.

Answer to a reader question: Do I ever talk with myself in the third person?

(Yes, bobbiejelly does, at times. Actually...)

(Hush, bobbiejelly, that's rather weird to be telling people you know…)

(Well, they ASKED…!)

(Anyways, despite this, bobbiejelly will consider adding more inner thoughts in the first person…)

Thanks for your thoughtful reviews!

Take care and enjoy this chapter.

bobbiejelly

 


 

PREVIOUSLY ON "FALLING APART, BARELY BREATHING":

 


 

Addison tucks a hair behind Meredith's ear and says "thank-you, sweet dreams, Meredith" before heading off for her shower.

She'll be grateful, very soon, that she hadn't said anything more in-depth than that, like confessed or professed a crush or something more to Meredith Grey like, just now.

She'll be pretty damn relieved once she finds out later that Meredith Grey had actually been awake and just not moving, for that entire exchange, just so she could remember the feeling of Addison Montgomery tucking her into bed for a moment.

 


 

END OF FLASHBACK SEQUENCE.

 


 

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 29: Sees, Looks, Imagines...

 


 

Addison Montgomery sighs as she decides to herself that Meredith Grey has finally fallen asleep, as her breathing is even and her eyes are pressed sleepily shut.

So Addison stands up from the bed, and she tiptoes across the floor to the shower room. Addison begins to undress herself, removing her jewelry, first. Then she removes her shirt, lifting her arms over her head.

She takes off her pants and her bra, relieved that she's finally washing this tired afternoon off of all of her skin. When Addison takes off her panties, she gasps when she realizes they're soaked to the skin, and she smiles privately to herself, remembering Meredith's massage.

Addison turns on the water, waiting for it to reach the ideal temperature as she hangs up her clothes and lays a towel on the bathroom rack beside her. Addison steps in the shower, feeling the spray with her fingers, first.

The water is warm, and it soothes her sore muscles further. Addison sighs contentedly as the spray washes over her face and her neck and her chest. She hums along to a tune she doesn't really know as she washes herself, applying soap and shampoo everywhere.

She cleans herself up, shaving her legs and taking her time washing her hair. She stands in the shower for a while, enjoying the cascade of softness that the warm water envelops her with. Addison feels this is a metaphorical sort of 'baptism' or rebirth from her sins...

 


 

But as Addison thinks to herself she has purged all her pain… She realizes she's been watched this whole time. A shadow of a female figure appears at the door. And a familiar voice is calling out to her. "Addison…". It's the soothing tone of the 'lusty intern' that made even Addison's ex-husband who is probably 'gay or something', swoon.

And the figure approaches her with a predatory glance as she steps into the room. Addison glances at the door lock and she realizes she'd forgotten it earlier. But she couldn't care less about that, now, because Meredith Grey is taking all of HER clothes off in front of her.

Meredith is stripping her shirt. She's making a show of unclipping her bra and watching Addison salivate as she lets her luscious breasts spring free from their confines. Addison has never seen the intern without any clothes on before. And now she can see them bouncing…

"I thought you were asleep?" Addison asks her. "Oh, I was. But I woke up when you stroked my hair, tenderly. And I stayed there without moving a muscle so I could feel the weight of your hands over my body even though all the blankets…" Meredith says to her lustfully.

 


 

Meredith examines the sight set before her. Addison Forbes Montgomery is naked, really, really naked, and wet. And she's standing in the shower now, facing her, all hot and naked. And she hasn't screamed yet. She hasn't told her at all to get out. She hasn't done any of that.

She won't do any of that, because Addison is tired of denying herself. She's tired of pretending to be straight when she's not. Addison is exhausted from trying not to have sex with Meredith Grey. And she's finally single and Meredith is also single and she's standing there, offering.

"Am I 'in' or 'out'?" Meredith still gives her the option. And it takes less than two seconds for Addison to say 'in'. "Definitely, in," Addison says to her. "I want to see you naked, too." And Meredith complies with her easily, pulling the ribbon tie of her scrub pants and letting them fall to the floor.

She makes a show of taking off her panties and tossing them to the side. And then she walks into the shower with Addison, and she stands there next to her for a moment, taking in the luscious sight to behold.

"You are perfect," Meredith says to Addison without hesitation.

Meredith sees, looks, imagines the possibilities of how she could bring Addison screaming her name to high heavens now that she's all hot and wanting in front of her...

"Thank-you" Addison says to Meredith breathlessly.

She's thanking her in advance for the unspeakable things Meredith will soon do to her...

"Thank goodness you divorced Derek, he's such an idiot for letting you go. But at least leaving him means you've gotten to meet ME. And at least I finally get to have you like this now…"

"What do you have in mind, Meredith?" Addison says to her using her first name, as an equal.

"I have many, many, things in my mind," Meredith says to her lustfully. It's the truth, too.

 


 

"And I promise you I can touch you even better than anyone ever has, ever before…"

Meredith whispers these bittersweet nothings into Addison's ear before she dives right on in.

"Addison" Meredith says to her breathlessly as she kisses her earlobe.

"Addison" Meredith says to her as she sucks on her earlobe.

"Addison" Meredith says to her as she allows her teeth to graze the soft flesh of her ears…

Addison starts to moan and to whimper under Meredith's soothing touches.

She brings her hands onto Meredith's waist as she holds on for dear life.

She kisses onto Addison's neck now, latching on with her lips as she sucks the pale skin.

She runs her hands up and down Addison's beautiful body as she soaks it all in.

Meredith takes in Addison's moans as she lunges forward to back Addison into the wall of the shower with a 'THUD"...

 


 

***** THUD *****

 


 

Meredith hits the floor with a "THUD" as she lunges forward off of the bed and flattens herself all in a heap.

"FUCK!" Meredith exclaims out to no-one now, as she realizes this whole damn thing had just been a dream.

"Fuck" Meredith exclaims, as she looks up to see that the shower door is actually closed and that the last thing she remembers is Addison tucking her in before she closed her eyes…

('And I never even got to feel in my dreams just what Addison's lips would taste like…' Meredith sighs…)

Meredith can hear the water shutting off now, and she thinks that maybe she's going to hell for all of this. But she can't keep herself from staring as the shower door opens.

And she keeps her eyes open just a crack so she can see Addison walk out in a towel, covering all of her private parts and exposing only the tops of her shoulders and her ankles of skin.

And Addison still thinks that Meredith is sleeping, so she makes as little noise as possible before walking out of the room, and shutting the door closed tight behind her.

Meredith releases a breath she didn't realize she'd been holding.

She sighs again, realizing she didn't even think of saying anything to Addison, then.

She's just been so dazed after her dream she didn't even think to say something platonic like "thank you for tucking me in".

(Well, actually, that sounds really hecking gay, now that she thinks about it…)

Either way, though, if Meredith was tired before she's wide awake now.

Meredith can feel the throbbing need between her thighs, and she really needs to release some of the pressure.

Or for sure she's going to jump Addison next time she sees her. For sure, as in, definitely, will actually press her lips to her neck this time and kiss the hell out of her.

That's how desperately horny Meredith Grey is right now. This is definitely a hazard, so Meredith sighs, and decides that she needs to take a shower, anyway so it might as well be now.

 


 

Meredith undresses and steps into the shower. The water warms up pretty quickly since Addison had already had it on just a minute ago. Meredith sighs as she washes her hair and her body and shaves her legs and all that.

She runs her hands through her own hair, imagining it was Addison who was doing the same. Meredith closes her eyes now, leaning back against the shower and starts to run her own hands all over her body.

She wonders, idly, if Addison was doing this. Was Addison touching herself…?

The thought of it really turns Meredith on, as she tries to imagine what Addison would look like, like this. Her hands running up over her breasts, pinching her nipples as Meredith is doing now.

She likes to imagine Addison was thinking of her. Thinking of Meredith. Thinking of what Meredith could do if she had actually walked her into the wall of the shower with a bit of a 'thud.'

Meredith imagines she's kissing Addison now, as she runs the tip of her tongue over the pale of her own lips. Meredith imagines it's Addison's hands that are squeezing her breasts. She imagines that Addison will adore them because Addison has never been with a woman before…

Meredith imagines Addison letting her take control. She imagines Addison asking her to touch her all over. As Meredith runs her hands down her waist she imagines Addison doing the same.

Meredith imagines rubbing her hands all over Addison's back, maybe scratching a little. She imagines holding on to her, looking up into her eyes. Asking her if she wants sex…

Meredith imagines Addison saying "yes" as Meredith moves to slide her fingers over her own now wet center, but only for a few seconds so she could take in how wet she already is for her…

Meredith imagines licking the taste off of Addison from her fingers for the first time and she imagines it would be absolutely delicious. As she licks her own fingers, she imagines offering them also to Addison and then kissing her so they could share it between them...

Meredith imagines doing this to Addison and making her close her eyes and grip onto her. Meredith imagines Addison enjoying her touches so much that she's reaching for Meredith to kiss down Meredith's neck and her chest and her breasts.

As Meredith rolls her own nipples under her thumbs she imagines latching her lips onto Addison's breasts. She imagines suckling them for the first time. How those perfect, luscious breasts would feel in her mouth.

Meredith imagines making Addison squirm with her tongue as she trails it down Addison's stomach. Meredith has her hands on her own stomach as she imagines Addison pressing into her touches as she felt abdominal muscles roll under her touch.

Meredith feels the outer, then inner parts of her thighs as she imagines how strong and toned Addison's legs would feel like under her hands. The first thought she ever had was that Addison is all 'leggy and fabulous.'

And now Meredith can't help thinking that running her palms over Addison's thighs and her knees and her calves would be wonderful.

Meredith allows herself to imagine grabbing onto Addison's fine ass. God, her ass was so shaped and toned. Meredith wonders if Addison is a runner, if she likes to run, for sport. She imagines that Addison does, as she runs her own hands down her own ass, thinking Addison's would be so incredible.

Finally, Meredith imagines herself getting to the heat of it all. She imagines asking Addison one last time if she wants to go all the way. She imagines Addison begging her with a breathy 'please' before Meredith would slide a finger, slowly, all the way into Addison's entrance.

She would lock eyes with Addison, ensuring they never lost eye contact as she started to move her hand, in and out, of Addison, slowly. And then, slowly and surely, Meredith would add a second finger inside of her…

Meredith is feeling her own fingers inside of herself, as she picks up the pace, bracing herself against the back wall of the shower. But she imagines that Addison would be bracing herself between the wall as well as Meredith.

She imagines increasing her motions, before applying her thumb over Addison's clit, as Meredith does the same with herself. Meredith imagines hitting Addison's g-spot for the very first time as she curls her fingers inside of her to find her very own.

 


 

Meredith imagines edging Addison close, so close to her finish before backing away for a second. And then she would drop down to her knees and reposition herself so she was holding onto Addison's fine, fine ass with two hands.

Meredith imagines how Addison's dark, lustful eyes would look. She imagines giving Addison a smirk, like a little 'watch this' as Meredith spreads Addison's legs apart a little further and Meredith moves forward to go down on her…

Meredith knows objectively that this would, hypothetically, be the first time that Addison had ever been with a woman. But what she didn't know, at that moment, is that Addison had never actually totally received oral sex, or even digital sex, from even any of her previous, male partners.

Sure, Addison had had Mark's tongue on her for a few minutes, and his fingers as well, again, for a few minutes. Not to satisfaction and not to her own climax, at all, as she had told Derek just a few days ago but had not ever told that to anyone else, even Mark.

So Meredith didn't even know to dream that this would have been (if she had in some alternate dream never actually followed Addison into the shower and had sex with her, then…)

She didn't know to dream that it would be the very first time that Addison had someone get down on their knees to give HER oral sex. Which she had done many times for others, but had always felt too self-conscious to ever ask for in return.

Addison didn't want to be greedy, but Meredith wouldn't take it as greed. Meredith wouldn't need Addison to ask for it, to beg for it to actually happen. Meredith would be down on her knees offering herself to Addison in that way before Addison even had to open her mouth to speak.

 


 

"Shall I continue?" Meredith would ask Addison in a low tone. And Meredith feels herself adoring this fantasy of hers as she continues to fuck herself with her fingers, in the shower, alone. And she uses her other hand to touch her breasts now as she continues to imagine…

Meredith imagines Addison asking if she really wanted to. And Meredith would say that it's what she's always wanted most when she's lusted after Addison. That what she wants more than anything is to make Addison putty to mold under her hands.

What she's wanted the most is to see Addison react to the pleasure that Meredith can only begin to offer her. What Meredith wants is to make Addison feel sinfully good, to make her moan out like a whore, and to make her come completely undone.

And Meredith would continue these bittersweet nothings, as they seduced Addison further into Meredith's hands. Addison would say to her "if you're sure, Meredith, if YOU want this, then I do. I just don't want to be selfish…" and Addison would be all cute and shy and vulnerable.

And Meredith would ease all her concerns and tell Addison she could bring Meredith pleasure, herself, in this experience if she held onto her shoulders, and pulled on her hair, and kissed her on the head and on the neck and on the shoulders as she worked.

And Addison would say 'okay'. And then Meredith would dive in. Meredith would dive in as she's diving in on herself now, adding in a third finger to herself as she imagines tasting Addison experimentally with her tongue.

If she were to do this to Addison, Meredith knows she would be gentle, as it would be Addison's very first time doing this. She would swirl her tongue over all of Addison's vagina. She's hear Addison's whimpers as she worked her up more.

She'd probably tease her a bit about how good it tastes. She would lick in broad strokes before testing her tongue at Addison's entrance.

And Meredith swirled her fingers around her own entrance in the shower as she imagined doing the same, now, to Addison, only with her tongue all around it, before finally inserting it in.

She imagines what Addison would look like, hair all wild and billowing in the shower. She imagines what Addison would sound like, moaning out Meredith's name as she gave her really good head against the wall of the shower.

She imagines what Addison would feel like, as Meredith would remove her tongue to insert her fingers into Addison's entrance as she fastened her lips to Addison's clit and suck and suck and suck on it.

She imagines what Addison would be like, totally in awe of Meredith's skills in the 'bedroom'. As she felt all the things Meredith could do with her tongue, would she forgive her husband for having ever lusted over this blonde intern, because she, herself, could not help but do that?

Meredith brings herself right to the edge as she imagines doing the same with Addison now, having Addison arch her back up and fuck herself back onto Meredith's fingers as Meredith swirled her tongue right onto the sweet spot of Addison's clit as she thrust perfectly into her g-spot.

And the strokes she imagines on Addison, she does to herself now, And Meredith makes herself come now, all over her hand. And as she does, she imagines Addison coming, watching Addison come for the first time.

How it would make her love her, love her even more than she already did until then…

Meredith imagines how Addison would shudder beautifully from her ministrations. She imagines rocking Addison down from the aftershocks. She imagines milking every single last drop that Addison has to offer.

Meredith imagines herself holding Addison, after. Holding her in her arms as Addison collapsed into them, satisfied and exhausted at all the exertion. Meredith imagines how she would feel if, in her wildest dreams, Addison would say to her 'you're already the best sex I've ever had…'

And Meredith would smile to her then, and say to her 'and we're just getting started…

And she would help wash Addison off, and help her dry off, and help her dress all again.

As Meredith washed herself off after she had come, and dried off, and got dressed again…

Meredith yawned as she crawled into bed again, contentedly.

She didn't even care that her hair was still wet, she just allowed herself to daydream for a few sweet, sweet moments before she drifted off into a deep, deep sleep this time...

 


 

Meredith liked to imagine that Addison had touched herself in the shower, earlier, and maybe even while thinking of HER…

What she didn't know then, though, is that Addison had actually not done the masturbation thing, in the shower, or otherwise.

Not out of shame, or of not wanting to think about Meredith in a sexual way.

But in all actuality of total ignorance how to actually 'touch herself'.

Addison, after Mark and after Derek and after all the boys and the bars had never learned this.

She had never had that conversation with her friends yet to date.

So despite Addison's own intense sexual frustrations, she never released them, just showered.

Addison HAD been thinking endlessly of Meredith in a very sexual way… She just had not known about this simple way to act on them without actually 'acting on them' with another person, ergo, with Meredith.

So after Addison had headed on out from the room, she had no way of knowing as she sat in her office that Meredith had been awake at all for any of the time she had been in that on-call room with her.

Much less knowing that Meredith had not only been awake and alert and had been thinking of her showering to the point she jumped in the shower right afterwards to touch herself...

That Meredith had had one of the best orgasms of recent times, picturing herself screwing Addison Montgomery in the shower that evening.

 


 

Addison had no idea that, as she got dressed in her office to head soon to the bar

That Meredith had had one of the most peaceful naps ever after having come so hard like she needed to.

And that Meredith would be awake, alert and enthusiastic then-

About whatever life had to throw at her later that night at the bar.

Even 'mystery-person-shaped-things' and 'Addison Montgomery-shaped-things'...

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 28


 

Author's Note:

Sorry the sex scene only happened inside of a dream sequence…and then a masturbation fantasy sequence thing that I really hope made some sense to someone.

Kudos to you if you caught on to that pretty damn quick the first part was all imaginary. LOL. I like a slow burn and we've all been more than patient.

But yeah they're not in a place to actually hook up yet, but I thought the audience deserved a bit of fun. This is part of a sequence I've wanted to write for this series for a while.

Yes, this was a callback to Private Practice "In Which Addison Finds a Showerhead."

Anyways, hope you enjoyed, feedback requested on the 'sex scene'. Yay or nay? Do you want more of that or less? Anything in particular?

(I promise I won't judge, I just posted a new chapter of "Red is the new Black." which is all about kinky sex, go check that out after this if you want - but what I'm saying is I really won't judge. )

There are things I will not write, however, (that are typical things) like:

Anything illegal, Rape, dubious consent, or drunken/drugged sex that is not clearly established for consent.

-Admittedly, I'm not big on M/F sex or M/M descriptive sex and I don't really want those to be a key feature for this F/F story. Apologies. But I feel like the fans are rooting for the gays anyhow...

(That's why it's only the F/F MerAdd scenes that are graphic.)

(So anything between the two of them - Addison and Meredith - I could be open to!)

Let me know!

Enjoy the next approximately 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!

Yes I know that this chapter is much shorter than recent ones, but It's late and I thought you might want a chapter like this, rather than nothing at all.

So, thank you in advance for the comments, from bobbiejelly.

 


 

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

 


 

Chapter Text

 

Author's Note:

 

This one is short because I'm going to do my damndest to publish two chapters as soon as I can write them, and I thought I'd release this part earlier than usual as a  teaser.

I hope you enjoy, please leave a comment at the end :D

Thanks for the wonderful praise of yesterday's nonexistent sex.

Who would have known that 'hypothetical love is not dead?'

(If you comment and understand that reference, I will love it.)

bobbiejelly

 


 

PREVIOUSLY ON "FALLING APART, BARELY BREATHING":

 


 

Addison had no idea that, as she got dressed in her office to head soon to the bar;

That Meredith had had one of the most peaceful naps ever after having come so hard like she needed to.

And that Meredith would be awake, alert and enthusiastic then-

About whatever life had to throw at her later that night at the bar.

Even 'mystery-person-shaped-things' and 'Addison Montgomery-shaped-things'...

 


 

END OF FLASHBACK SEQUENCE.

 


 

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 . NOW RATED E FOR EXPLICIT. You're welcome :)

 


 

Chapter 30: It's The End Of The World, Part One

 


 

When Meredith wakes up from a most wonderful nap, she's feeling ecstatic.

She feels like she's rested a million years.

The last time she felt that well-rested was when she had been napping with Addison.

This time she's waking up alone, though, in an on-call room in the hospital.

Meredith checks her watch as she smiles. It was almost time to head to Joe's!

She couldn't wait to drink the day away with her friends.

And she couldn't wait to see the clothes that Addison had packed for her.

She almost wants to peek at them, but she realizes that Addison still had her backpack in her car.

So instead, Meredith wanders the halls in search of new scrubs, which she changes herself into.

Meredith decides that she can get out her evening clothes anytime, anyhow, when she heads to the bar because she still has Addison's keys attached to her own keychain.

Meredith enjoys the weight of the two of the keychains, and she runs her fingers over Addison's car keys.

She's feeling how the heavy weight to her boss's Mercedes' keys feels inside of her hands.

She decides that she likes it.

(She REALLY, likes it...)

 


 

As Meredith does this, she's filled with a sense of self-purpose and determination.

Somehow she feels something different is in the air tonight. Even different, only for HER.

Out of all of the recent trials and tribulations with Derek and with Addison and with Divorces (Addison's and Derek's…) and the Mystery Lover(s) and the Drunken Night(s)? And the Blackout(s)? and the Bar(s)?…

Meredith knows, somehow, someway that she'll get some clarity on all of that, soon.

She knows she can always ask Joe, the bartender, or his partner Walter, anyhow.

She can ask them who she was with that night.

She can ask them who is her goddamned 'mystery lover' and end this for once and for all.

She just wants to know, now, even if she's 97% sure that she's made her choice.

She wants to know who it is; who she could be missing out on…

Meredith wants to know who this person is, in case they're still secretly pining for her…

Somehow, Meredith knows that today will be 'the end of the world', for someone, somehow, at least it would be 'the end of the world as they know it,' to be, now.

Meredith knows that no matter who this mystery lover ends up being - and, whichever answer Addison eventually gives her if she ever gathers up the courage to ask her out at all…

Meredith knows, somehow, that today will be the end of the world for someone, somewhere. And apparently, this time, unlike the last time, the power would be all in her hands.

 


 

(Wow, maybe I really am an arrogant whore, thinking everyone is pining for me and still loving it… Meredith thinks...)

(Maybe this is why I sort of liked having both Mrs. AND Mr. McDreamy having the hots for me at the same time when they did…)

(Maybe I shouldn't be so happy that people are falling at my feet to be jealous over me…)

(Yeah, well you're jealous that all of these hypothetical boys and girls are going to be ALL OVER ADDISON tonight because she's going to the bar for the first time since her official divorce papers are through and people are going to be swarming her like vultures…)

(Yeah, you might want to think about getting in there before she ends up falling into bed with someone else who isn't you…)

(Yeah, you might want to think about coming clean to her about your stupid 3% crush on your 'mystery lover' person, too, because it's not fair to her if she doesn't know you're still thinking about that person still a little bit, albeit less and less and less every day…)

As Meredith processes all of these thoughts, she can't wait to escape it all.

She can't wait to get out of this McHospital.

She can't wait to take a goddamned break from this 'game' or this godforsaken 'arena'.

Meredith knows that as soon as she does, that she knows she'll escape it today.

Somehow she knows she won't be spending another night in this arena, not like this, at least, not without all the questions without any answers…

 


 

"GREY!" Meredith hears a familiar voice calling her.

She wishes it was Addison's voice, but it isn't.

It's Miranda Bailey's voice; her 'I am your resident, not your friend like earlier today in the attendings' lounge', voice.

"Grey, I have a favor to ask of you" she begins in a way that she's implying she knows the answer will be 'yes' because of the things she's said to Meredith as a secret, today.

"Yes?" Meredith answers, willingly.

"It's for me, but it actually isn't…" Bailey begins to tell her.

"And it isn't for Derek, not really, anyways…" Bailey continues and all of this is making Meredith even more and more confused.

"Derek booked his time off from the hospital already, so he's not on-call. Plus there's still Dr. Nelson who can cover any emergencies in neuro... " Doctor Bailey begins.

"But as for Neonatal/Fetal, OB-GYN & Genetics... " Bailey trails off momentarily as Meredith's eyes shoot up in surprise once she realizes it's Addison that Bailey is talking about.

"Doctor Montgomery was booked off as well, but there's no 'shadow Addie' to cover for her like 'shadow Shepherd' is around to cover for Derek" Bailey explains.

"She deserves the night off. She insisted she didn't need to drink and that she can work through it, but I am her friend, too, just like you are…" Bailey continues, acknowledging Meredith's friendship with Addison without making a big deal about it.

"She asked me to drive for her, just in case," Meredith holds up Addison's keys in understanding for Bailey.

"Addison's a smart girl. She's a grownup, thank goodness. She won't put anybody's life on the line…" Meredith smiles at Bailey's compliments towards Addison.

"She could do it, you know. I know, you know, I know, she could do it if she had to. She wasn't lying to me when she said she never had a drink so far and she wouldn't if she was still working…" Bailey continues in a way that confirms to Meredith what she already knew about Doctors drinking Alcohol occasionally in the hospital when they were not working.

"She shouldn't have to!" Meredith exclaims in understanding and also in passion.

"She just got a divorce. She should be allowed to drink herself under the table for two weeks if she wanted, without anyone judging her," Meredith exclaims, unknowingly, in the exact same words she had said once, directly to Addison, on the night Addison had first met her at the bar, which she could no longer remember...

"She shouldn't have to," Bailey confirms Meredith's sentiment softly.

 


 

"So, where do I come into this?" Meredith asks now, not quite catching Bailey's original question.

"She needs someone to be on call for those Pyloric Stenosis babies, for the night" Bailey explains to her.

"They asked me just then if I could keep someone on call, and I thought I'd ask you before bugging Addison, in case," Bailey begins.

"You wouldn't be operating, they're stable enough. The surgery is in the coming days, once they are ready. But the parents have requested a doctor be on-call, even an intern, in case they have any questions or need to take a break and go home for a few hours," Bailey explains to her.

"And you want me? Izzie and Cristina are assigned to that case..." Meredith asks her, surprised.

"Well, you see, Yang's already exceeded her hours for the week. Izzie's also very good with the babies, but she was on-call last night, as was Alex so it can't be either of them. George is on-call tomorrow so he's not a good choice… It just has to be you," Bailey says to her now.

And even though it was a completely professional matter, Meredith had a swelling sense of pride that she is the only one who can 'save' Addison Montgomery, in a way, and to give her a nice night of peace after her brutal divorce paper signing with Derek.

And the super magic smile spreading across Meredith's face involuntarily - causes Bailey to chuckle-

Slightly knowingly, at the Grey girl- Before asking her, finally, "So is that a yes, Grey?"

"You can count on me, Bailey! Addison can SO count on me!" Meredith exclaims to her.

"I'll let her know, then," Bailey says to her sweetly.

"You should check on those pyloric stenosis patients before you go, Grey," Bailey says to her.

"Go?" Meredith asks her.

"You can still go out with your friends, if you want, as long as you all go to the Emerald City Bar down the street and you take the car so you can get over, quickly, if you're called in for a consult," Bailey explains to her.

"I never said this before because I needed to know you were fully committed to the favor. But the thing is, there will be other doctors and nurses around if anything medical happens that's beyond your knowledge…" Bailey begins.

"As I said, you're there for the parents to answer surgical questions and to be there for them if they want to leave for a bit. So keep your pager on LOUD and answer it at a run, but know that you can still have a good time so long as you stay COMPLETELY SOBER and you don't do anything stupid like DRUGS," Bailey laughs.

"You'll have to stay overnight at the hospital, but you might have done that anyhow if you stay up late at the bar..." Bailey says to her.

"Okay, I guess I won't do all that weed I had saved up," Meredith smirks up at Bailey.

"Don't you start to get smart with me or I'll make George do it instead and put you on call tomorrow night and kick you off of Addison's surgical rotation, entirely," Bailey reasserts her position.

"I promise, I got this! I want to make Addison proud!" Meredith says to her excitedly.

"You better be thinking of making ME proud of you, too," Bailey says to her with a chuckle.

"I'm gonna be so Zen I'll be like GANDHI!" Meredith says to her.

 


 

"That's got to be an LA thing because I have no idea what you're talking about" Bailey laughs.

"Yeah, I think Addison said something about her friends in LA talking about it, probably chatting while we were going to get plant food earlier," Meredith tries to explain.

"You own a plant, together?" Bailey asks her, surprised. She knew they were close but she didn't know they were already THAT close. (Lesbian U-Hauling? Bailey wonders...)

"Well, no, it's my potted plant, in my kitchen, it's just been really not straight, and queer, and pretty, and flowery, and extending in different directions since the roots got all kinky when it got knocked over by someone or me when I was drunk, and Addison was over to my house when we picked up the cake…"

"And Addison noticed the plant looked hungry and thirsty so we drove to get plant food because she just couldn't let it be or let it go, or leave it to be all hurt and lonely and neglected…" Meredith tries to explain this to her even though Bailey still looked super skeptical.

"Look, Addison saw the plant for what it was worth and cared for it, and watered it, and talked with it and rubbed it soothingly with her fingers the other day while I was boxing up the cake, and she was just so loving and tender towards it… She has a thing for the plant, I guess," Meredith says to her, finally.

"Well, wow, I never knew Addison even had a green thumb. Must be this 'new leaf' she's been turning over these days. Seems her tastes have really changed. Now she likes Seattle, and Skittles, and Cheetos, and well, women, too," Bailey says all observantly.

"Maybe she just likes my potted plant in particular…" Meredith says a bit sheepishly.

"Well, whatever it is, I'm glad that Addison is taking care of you- I mean- your potted plant- for you, or with you... Or whatever."

"Addison, she's a really good person, that's all. And so are you, too, Grey." Bailey finally says to her.

And this is the closest thing Bailey would ever come to acknowledge to Meredith or to Addison about what she had already started to figure out about these two women's budding relationship.

"Thanks, she really is." Meredith takes the compliment FOR Addison and it makes Bailey smile at how even Meredith didn't realize she was doing this, even after.

"Well, you finish getting changed when you're ready, and keep your scrubs and white coat at the ready" Bailey says to her, finally.

"I will, I won't let Addison - Doctor Montgomery I mean - or You - or the Parents - Down!" Meredith finally exclaims to her.

"Have a good evening, and send best wishes to Addison, for me, let her know that I'm thinking of her," Bailey says.

"I will, if I see her," Meredith says then to Bailey. (God, I sure hope I see her! Meredith thinks.)

"You don't have to tell her you're doing this for HER if you don't want to, or at least not right away," Bailey offers to Meredith.

"You can keep it a secret and say to her that I made you," Bailey offers in case Meredith wants this.

"That would be great, Bailey," Meredith says with a smile.

 


 

"Oh, and Bailey, I'm doing this for Addison, but I'm doing this for you, too. I know you had a hard day today," Meredith says quite compassionately.

"Thanks, Grey," Bailey says to her.

"You know, I knew your mother and she was an exceptional surgeon. And I think you'll be just as good as her one day if you work hard. But you can be all that and still, this, too," Bailey says to her.

"This?" Meredith asks her.

"Compassionate. You really care for people. You're empathetic in that you feel other people's pain. It's a beautiful thing…" Bailey says to her.

"You know, you're always tough on us, but you're compassionate and empathetic too. You've always been there for me and I'm just-" Meredith starts to apologize before Bailey cuts her off again.

"We accept the love we think we deserve, Bailey," Meredith says to her with big blue eyes.

"I could say the same for you, too, Grey. We accept the love we think we deserve…"

"Thank-You," says Meredith, breathlessly as Meredith looks down now.

"You really are," Bailey says to her, as Meredith's eyes snap back up to her.

"Really am?" Meredith asks about her incomplete sentence.

"You are extraordinary, Grey. And don't you forget it, no matter what anyone else says," She offers as Meredith is touched by this.

"Well I better get going,' says Bailey. "I have patients to check on. I'll see you for rounds tomorrow morning at the latest," Bailey smiles.

And as she walks away, Bailey smiles at Meredith, holding two sets of keys in her hands, one of them her own, (and one of them, apparently, 'the keys to her heart…')

(Even if Meredith didn't even have the awareness to know that, quite yet, for herself…)

 


 

Meanwhile,

The boys are actually having shower sex in the next room, which Meredith must have been hearing in her dreams.

She almost walks in on them when she goes in to put on her white coat again, but she doesn't, gratefully.

She's jealous that SOMEONE is having ACTUAL, SHOWER SEX when she hadn't been.

But Meredith gets it together to go out to check on her new patients and their parents.

 


 

Meanwhile,

Miranda Bailey finds Addison still eating cake in her office when she explains to her that she's off duty.

"Go out or go home, Addison, but you ain't stayin' here right now," Bailey explains to her.

"But the pyloric stenosis babies…?" Addison says to her.

"Already covered. I have my ways. Someone owed a favor to someone, that's all." Bailey begins.

"And they were more than happy to do it. So get on something nicer than that and give yourself a night out. Hell knows you deserve it, now," Bailey says to her knowingly.

"Thanks," Addison says to her.

"I'd offer you a drink of my secret Gin, Bailey, but you're…" Addison regrets bringing this up but Bailey says that it's fine.

"I'm alright, Addison," Bailey says to her then.

"You should wait until the bar to get plastered, though, don't drink your stash by yourself in your office, not tonight. Not tonight..." Bailey warns her, then continues.

"Somehow I know you might want to have a few gin and tonics, and at least if you're at Joe's tonight I know he'll keep an eye out for you," Bailey says with a smile.

"Joe seems to be very good at making sure people get home safe…" Addison says to her idly, as Bailey leaves her alone.

Addison puts on an outfit she has on her coat rack as she hangs up her white coat and her hospital clothes.

As Addison sits down in her office, pondering for a moment before she heads out...

 


 

As Addison does this, she's filled with a sense of self-purpose and determination.

Somehow she feels something different is in the air tonight. Even different, only for HER.

Out of all of the recent trials and tribulations with Derek and with Meredith and with Divorces (Hers and Derek's…) and the Mystery Lover(s) and the Drunken Night(s)? And the friend's Blackout(s)? and the Bar(s)?…

Addison knows, somehow, someway that she'll get some clarity on all of that, soon.

Addison knows she can always ask Joe, the bartender, or his partner Walter, anyhow.

Addison can ask them why they sent her home with her that night.

She can ask them to help her reveal to Meredith just who is her goddamned 'mystery lover' and end this for once and for all.

She just wants her to know, now, even if she's 97% sure that she's made her choice.

She wants her to know who it is; who she could be missing out on…

Addison wants her to know who this person is, in case she's still secretly pining for the 'mystery person' who just happens to be her…

Somehow, Addison knows that today will be 'the end of the world', for someone, somehow, at least it would be 'the end of the world as they know it,' to be, now.

Addison knows that no matter how this mystery lover confession ends up being - and, whichever answer Meredith eventually gives her if she ever gathers up the courage to ask her out at all…

Addison knows, somehow, that today will be the end of the world for someone, somewhere. And apparently, this time, unlike the last time, the power would be all in her hands.

 


 

Meanwhile,

Meredith meets with the Pyloric Stenosis Babies' Parents.

They have a LOT of questions for her and she answers them all enthusiastically.

She's there for a long while before they say they'll just page her if there's something they need from her.

Meredith decides she really likes these parents, and the cute (though GROSS, babies...) and that they really deserve some happiness.

 


 

Meanwhile,

Addison reaches for her keys, now, readying herself to head out, but she can't find them, and she remembers Meredith has them.

Addison realizes she can't drive home anyhow, and she has the key to her hotel room in her pocket and her hospital pass anyhow, so she simply smiles.

She imagines in her head at how this time it's Meredith who can have the experience of having another person's keys on their set, and wonders if Meredith would run her thumb and her fingers over her keys to her car the same way she did with the one to Meredith's house.

That black Mercedes was the closest thing she had to a home in Seattle…

Addison thinks she really should find an apartment, maybe soon, but decides not to worry about this as she puts on her heels to walk out of her office.

As Addison processes all of these thoughts, she can't wait to escape it all.

She can't wait to get out of this McHospital.

She can't wait to take a goddamned break from this 'game' or this godforsaken 'arena'.

Addison knows that as soon as she does, that she knows she'll escape it today.

Somehow she knows she won't be spending another night in this arena, not like this, at least, not without all the questions without any answers…

 

 


 

Meanwhile,

Meredith heads to the car park and opens up Addison's Mercedes and gets her backpack from the trunk.

Meredith wants to open the bag up, right then and there, but she doesn't.

Instead, she gets into Addison's car first and closes all the blinds on the windows so she can take out the evening clothes and change into them privately.

Meredith takes a deep breath before opening the zipper.

She wants to savor this moment; the moment before and after she knows what Addison has packed her.

Meredith can't stand the anticipation of knowing that Addison had had her nimble fingers on her outfit.

That she'd picked it out just for her

That she'd picked it out just so she could see Meredith wear it…

("I haven't seen it on YOU…" Addison had whispered in her ear and Meredith swears she thinks that Addison had been about to nibble on her earlobe, had they not been interrupted by Cristina and Izzie bursting into the kitchen…)

As Meredith unwraps the package as if it were a gift, she smiles at the first part which is her 'Dartmouth' hoodie, a raincoat, tights and socks.

('In case I get cold…' Meredith thinks to herself… Addison sure is so thoughtful…)

She pulls out the pajamas and extra hospital clothes and even her toothbrush and toothpaste…

('Wow, Addison really has done this all before. And she wanted me to be prepared as if she knew I could get paged to stay at the hospital…' Meredith tries to imagine.)

She pulls out a random assortment of extra undergarments that are laid in there.

('Best to be prepared I guess. I wonder if Addison was ever a girl scout or a girl guide or a cadet…')

And finally, at the very bottom of this meticulously packed backpack, Meredith finds what she is looking for.

All of the clothes were folded expertly neatly. But this bundle is special, Meredith can just tell.

First, she feels the weight of her low kitten heels that she'd had on her floor.

('Wow, I can't believe she even found both of them…' Meredith thinks to herself, sheepishly.)

 


 

And then Meredith gasps when she pulls out the rest. It's her blue form-fitted dress, wrapped around a star-shaped necklace from her jewelry box. A beautiful outfit, so simple, yet sweet.

Meredith had never thought about wearing those three things together, but now she sees them all together in a bundle...Meredith thinks of them all like puzzle pieces, snapping right into place.

('A puzzle that only Addison could ever assemble…')

As Meredith unfolds the set completely, thee more pieces fall out of it. The first is her nude lace bra, which Meredith has always thought of as her very favorite.

The second is her black lace pair of panties, that she saves for special occasions because they make her feel sexy.

And the thought of Addison having had her hands on all of her underwear, and then finally picking out her sexiest pair is really driving Meredith wild right now.

('Had ADDISON been turned on at the thought of me in my black sexy underwear?' Meredith dared hope to imagine…)

And then she finally examines the final item that had fallen out of the package.

This one is the most curious to Meredith because it is not an item of her own.

It's a tube of red lipstick, the same tone of the one that she thought Addison must wear.

She opens it up and it's almost completely new, it had only been used once before.

She wonders if this was an accidental inclusion if it had fallen out of Addison's pocket while she was packing the bag.

But then she thinks again at that because if it had fallen it would have been unlikely to fall exactly inside of the panties and bra, further inside of her dress.

('Addison just gave me a lipstick!' Meredith thinks to herself. 'Maybe THIS is what Addison meant as a surprise...' Meredith thinks to herself. And she runs her fingers over it all again.)

Meredith turns the lipstick over into her hands as she finds some words written on the bottom of it. The brand name is way too fancy for Meredith to even recognize.

But there's an inscription for what the shade is supposed to be called: "Elevator Love Letter," it reads.

 


 

('How ROMANTIC' Meredith thinks to herself. 'It sounds like, I don't know, it should be the title of a poem about a proposal or something…' Meredith thinks to herself… 'It's REALLY beautiful…" Meredith thinks all again…)

She knows that it was Addison's, once because it has a decal label with "A.M." printed on it in black Arial font.

She wonders if this means that Addison would one day want it back, even temporarily, to see again. And then she thinks if this means that Addison wanted her to know it was hers and that she wanted her just to KEEP IT, or if this means that Addison just had these sticky labels on all of her makeup because it was all so bourgeois she didn't want to have someone mix it up…

(Meredith didn't know then, but would eventually find out, that all three of her theories had been true simultaneously…)

So Meredith repacks the bag as well as she could. She doesn't have the laser precision in folding clothing that Addison does. She packs the sweater, raincoat, toothbrush, toothpaste, extra panties, pajamas, extra clothes, extra undergarments, everything, really other than the evening wear.

And Meredith brings the dress to her face and inhales the sweet scent of Addison's perfume or natural scent or all of the above that has latched onto it. And Meredith takes all her clothes off and slips into these fresh ones.

She enjoys every second of putting the lace bra and panties on, imagining it was Addison who had just helped to undress her and then helped her to get dressed again. She imagines what it would be like if Addison was snapping on her bra and slipping the blue dress over her head.

Meredith imagines Addison settling the form-fitting dress over her head and lacing the necklace onto the back of her neck. If Addison was here right now, Meredith would have asked her to put on the necklace, with big blue eyes; as if she couldn't manage it herself.

She would ask for help from Addison just to feel her cool fingertips on her skin. Since she's given Addison that massage the other day, Meredith has been wondering what Addison's hands would feel like untangling the muscles of her neck and shoulders…

 


 

And once Meredith is finally satisfied with the dress and the kitten-heel shoes and the necklace, Meredith finally looks in the mirror of the driver's seat of the car. She takes out the lipstick, her tube of 'Elevator Love Letter' that Addison had miraculously provided for her.

She inhales the scent before she ran her finger over it and tasted her finger onto her tongue. The tart sweetness and complexity is more and more what Meredith imagines Addison's lips would taste like on hers.

She knows that Addison has used this lipstick already; just like their shared sodas; just like their shared Pad Thai; this was an indirect kiss. And it is making Meredith go completely insane.

Meredith applies the lipstick, slowly and surely into the mirror. She rubs her lips all over each other to rub in the makeup and smiles widely when she observes the result.

The color suits her, she wouldn't have guessed that it would. Sure, Addison and Meredith both have pale skin, but the resemblances mostly stop there, Meredith thinks to herself.

"Wow," Meredith says even aloud. The lipstick shade really puts the outfit together, Meredith thinks as she looks at her reflection from a fuller profile in the passenger seat window.

Meredith can't wait to show Addison 'her outfit' - well, 'Addison's outfit' - well, 'Addison's outfit FOR Meredith' - Meredith finally settles on.

Meredith can't wait for Addison to be surprised, as she said she would be, in seeing her in her dress and her necklace and her heels and Addison's lipstick... (And her sexy underwear, but she hadn't figured out quite yet if Addison was going to see THOSE, that night, yet…)

As Meredith finally closes her backpack and pulls out of the parking lot, Meredith puts on some music to cut through the silence of Addison's car right now. And idly, Meredith hums along to the song 'Broken' by Lifehouse (Apparently, that's what's on Addison's CD player first, anyhow.).

And as she listens to the words, and eventually learns the tune enough to sing along to it, Meredith leads herself out of the dark of the parking garage, into the night, and into the parking lot of Emerald City bar, where she was looking forward to talking to both Joe and Addison.

And she hopes the exchange will eventually fill the void that Meredith feels right now, as she drives inside Addison's car alone while wishing she was accompanying her in the seat next to her.

Meredith wishes she could call Addison, but she doesn't have her number.

Well, of course, she doesn't. Most people don't have their boss's number.

But she wishes she could call Addison. So she calls the next-best-person, to her, instead...

 


 

Meanwhile,

Izzie and Cristina went to the cafeteria, earlier, and had something light. They then helped Meredith and George and Alex and the others, etc. with disassembling the decorations. But when the slipped off together at around the same time as the boys, they hadn't gone off to an on-call room to have sex;

They went out together to the Italian restaurant on Bank street that Addison had one time suggested to were still thinking about sex, of course. About having sex for the first time with each other. But they were enjoying the banter and enjoying the waiting. The flirting, the making out, and the kissing.

The waiting was almost over for them, but they liked that they had had a long time to bond and to be friends before jumping into bed with each other. And they liked that they were going the - perhaps traditional route - of going for dinner, this being at least their third date - before finally consummating their relationship with each other.

Over dinner though, Izzie doesn't want to wait for about one other thing with Cristina. She brings up the subject of Addison's extra key again, as well as Meredith's lost one. "Are those things interconnected, Cristina?" Izzie finally asks her. "Because I think they are, and I don't know WHY I think that, or how. I just think that they are, and I'm really asking, now."

Izzie insists on Cristina because she really does want to know. She says that yes, Meredith is Cristina's person, and she should keep her secrets for her. But Izzie is becoming Cristina's girlfriend, and if Izzie is going to trust her with her body, she wants her to trust her with this.

Cristina considers Izzie's arguments, and she finds them compelling. She thinks of a way she can please everyone, and stay true to the promises she's made. Cristina eventually says to Izzie, that she's been sworn to some secrets, and that she doesn't want to confirm or deny anything. But she says that Izzie has an excellent eye for detail and that that is that.

And then Izzie continues on again to say (in what SHE believes, is a total change of subject but Cristina knows that it really is not at all): "you know, after seeing them driving together in Addison's car the other day, I think Meredith and Addison could be really cute together!"

And Cristina asks Izzie why she might think this, and Izzie says that they seem to really trust each other. They light up for each other. They take care of each other; I mean Addison is picking Meredith's clothes out and Meredith ran off after her when Addison seemed to be feeling ill the other day during their game.

"They just seem to have some bond. I don't know if it has something to do with the fact that they both once dated Doctor Shepherd?" Izzie thinks about it a little. "Or that they both are just really empathetic, compassionate, and naturally giving, people?" Izzie thinks about it more.

"Mmm," Cristina answers noncommittally. "You know, you really are sweet you know" Cristina sighs as she wishes she could tell Izzie everything on her mind. "Thanks, Cristina," says Izzie.

 


 

Meanwhile,

By this time, George and Alex are still not at Joe's bar, because they are still screwing in the shower as they finally check the time out.

As they talk between rounds, catching their breath and just kissing, they discuss the 'mystery scarf girl' saying if they ever see the girl in the red and green scarf lady again, and that it wasn't ACTUALLY Addison the way they thought it was:

Then they should totally both ask her out and proposition her for a threesome with them.

Sure, they'd been turned down by Doctor Montgomery, before, for a threesome. But maybe the 'mystery scarf redhead' wasn't her and maybe it wasn't even the same scarf that Addison was talking about. Maybe this person, if it wasn't Addison, would be down for some boy-boy-girl-action.

Because they would be interested in trying that, and Izzie and Cristina already said no, and Meredith was probably caught up in some McDreamy drama (little did they know about the Ms. McDreamy drama that was about to start unfolding…) so she probably wouldn't, either.

She was smokin' HOT for a woman, in their memories, they thought (not like, actually smoking something, it was an adjective...). The person sneaking around their house that day. Seriously, totally was HOT. And though Addison did say she'd had a scarf that matched their description, having a scarf that was 'red and green' isn't exclusive to one woman in Seattle.

And plus, even if this 'mystery scarf person WAS their Doctor Addison Forbes Montgomery, why the hell would Addison be sneaking around their house that short while ago and examining their doormat?

Did Addison have a secret thing for doormats? Or for sneaking around strangers/colleagues' houses while hiding behind red and green scarves over her face? Or for looking really freaked out during daylight then running AWAY from their house in a panic?

See, it just didn't make any sense at all to them. They had no idea about Meredith's conundrum, or of Cristina's knowledge, or about Izzie's intuition. They only had their discussions with each other and the one talk with Addison while they were operating on John.

And in that, Addison seemed totally normal... Normal, I mean, for a newly out lesbian who just got a divorce with McDreamy, anyhow. But she didn't seem like she would be the type to have a secret doormat obsession. But who knows, people are obsessed with all sorts of things, these days…

(And then they think maybe it was the Lesbian thing, why Addison had not had a threesome with them. Or maybe the fact that she hadn't been divorced at the time.. Maybe they could ask her again for some sex now that she is newly single… They think they might…)

They decide to table this discussion about Addison and 'mystery scarf chick' and threesomes and sneaking around and obsessions. And they go for one more round with each other before they get dressed and finally end up walking themselves there to the Emerald City Bar.

 


 

Meanwhile,

A female figure walks into the Emerald City bar now; Joe's Bar.

She's ready and wanting to ask some tough questions about what went on here the other night.

She's willing to find out some truths, and sort out her feelings.

She's finally starting to admit to herself who she is, who she was, and who she really wants to be in the future.

She's staring Joe right in the face as she walks in the door…

Determined to win or to lose it all tonight, to finally learn what Joe and Walter had been thinking.

The woman knew that he knew everything and everything to know.

And everything and anything she could possibly ask them would help her.

And that at the end of tonight, it would be the 'end of the world' for someone, somewhere, somehow.

That, someone, was about to be heartbroken, and someone was about to be saved.

And that she had no clue on earth, yet, which one she would be, and who would be the other.

 


 

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***** END OF CHAPTER 30


 

Author's Note 2:

Whew! Glad that this is FINALLY published! Thanks for your reviews on the last 'sexy' chapter!

As an insight into an author's mind; This chapter was actually one of the very first ones to be storyboarded. It was designed as early as after having written Chapter 5 or 6. Just there was so much that I felt had to have happened before 'tonight' that I didn't want to rush it.

I know this is a tough cliffhanger… But we're getting there, we're getting there.

This IS the crux of the story, and it's a delicate web to weave.

There were a lot of last-minute additions, extras, to add.

Let me know what you think of this one, as always.

Lots of moving parts here, a lot of plot.

And a whole lot of maybe…

And also hope…

Thank-

You

Yours, truly, bobbiejelly

 


 

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

 


 

Is it the end of the world as we know it? For Addison and Meredith?

Read along to the next chapter (coming hopefully really soon!)

To find out….

Thanks!

bobbiejelly

Chapter Text

Author's Note 1:

Question for you readers: Have you ever heard of the term "leaning on the fourth wall?"

Because I'm a bit weary from all this writing and I think I need something to lean on…

Here's a new chapter for you all, thanks for the feedback on yesterday's short one.

As well as some appreciation for some past chapters as well :)

LOVING the comments, the PM's and the dedications :D

Let me know if you like it!

Hope you do,

bobbiejelly

 


 

PREVIOUSLY ON "FALLING APART, BARELY BREATHING":

 


 

A female figure walks into Emerald City bar now.

She's ready and wanting to ask some tough questions about what went on here the other night.

She's willing to find out some truths, and sort out her feelings.

She's finally starting to admit to herself who she is, who she was and who she really wants to be in the future.

She's staring Joe right in the face as she walks in the door…

Determined to win or to lose it all tonight, to finally learn what Joe and Walter had been thinking.

The woman knew that he knew everything and everything to know.

And everything and anything she could possibly ask them would help her.

And that at the end of tonight, it would be the 'end of the world' for someone, somewhere, somehow.

That, someone, was about to be heartbroken, and someone was about to be saved.

And that she had no clue on earth, yet, which one she would be, and who would be the other.

 


 

END OF FLASHBACK SEQUENCE.

 


 

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 . NOW RATED E FOR EXPLICIT. You're welcome :)

 


 

Chapter 31: It's The End Of The World, Part Two.

 


 

The female figure who walks into the bar right now to ask Joe and Walter all sorts of questions is not wearing a blue form-fitting dress, a star-shaped necklace, kitten heels along with Addison's lipstick.

Instead, the female figure who walks into the bar right now to ask Joe and Walter all sorts of questions is wearing a mostly red but also green scarf.

The very same one that Alex and George might remember from Addison having worn it when she had been sneaking around the neighborhood and returned Meredith's key, then, to under her doormat.

"Well if it isn't Addison," Joe and Walter welcome Addison into the bar in a pleasant surprise.

"Did you get my messages?" Addison panics and asks them immediately, still panting a bit from walking as fast as she could in her heels from the hospital.

"We did," They say to her then.

"And?" Addison asks her.

"She hasn't been here since that night anyhow, Meredith isn't here tonight. Not yet, at least," Joe and Walter both offer to her.

And Addison looks around in surprise as she realizes they're right.

(At this time, Meredith is far from finished being stopped by Bailey, being asked for a favor, packing her things, almost walking in on the boys, checking on the patients and their parents, getting her backpack and painstakingly slowly dressing in all her clothes and applying her lipstick… Meredith is still in the car-park by the time Addison has first arrived at Joe's bar…)

What's your first drink going to be? Joe asks her now, and motions for her to sit down.

"Gin and Tonic," she says confidently; Addison doesn't drink scotch without Derek.

"Coming right up," Joe says, motioning for Walter to pass him a can of tonic.

Addison reaches to pull out her credit card, but Joe waves Addison's hand away from his.

"This one's already been paid for," Joe explains in a deadpan.

"Huh?" Addison says in confusion.

"It's from 'your secret admirer' whoever that happens to be" Joe just shrugs at her.

"What?!" Addison exclaims to him, incredulously and in surprise.

Already SHE WAS a secret admirer and Meredith thought of her as her mystery person.

And now SHE HAD a 'secret admirer' of her own, buying her secret drinks at Joe's bar…

(Addison's head is starting to spin with the drama and she's staring blankly on into nowhere.)

"Can't give you any more than that, someone swore us to secrecy" Joe only shrugs.

('Dear lord, someone ELSE wanting to get into my pants… As if I don't have enough drama with divorcing Derek and lusting after his ex-girlfriend/mistress, Meredith Grey…')

('Normally it could be a compliment but this is starting to be a sort of a hindrance…I have my reasons…')

('Wow, you really are hung up on some Meredith-shaped reasons if you can't even handle the thought of someone else buying you free booze…')

"Umm, thanks, I guess…" Addison doesn't even try to feign interest in her 'secret admirer'.

(Probably some desperate man or something, family member or staff of the hospital...Addison thinks to herself.)

(Okay now there is SOME like 3% curiosity...Addison thinks to herself.)

(But surely they couldn't be a better choice than Meredith? Or maybe they could be someone like really magical????)

(Get it together, Addison, you are here to ask a question about Joe's loyalties, right? Not to just bask in the attention you're getting as a newly single woman who is now more than straight!)

 


 

"So about ME, swearing YOU BOTH to secrecy! Addison waves her hands in a panic.

"Is that STILL a THING?" Addison freaks out at them, then.

"Yes, it is; relax, Montgomery," Walter says to her soothingly.

"How is she?" Joe asks Addison, then.

"Meredith Grey?" Addison clarifies to him.

"Yeah, that's the blonde intern who was here with you the other night, right?" Joe asks her.

"Yeah, but that's a secret," Addison says sharply to them.

"Of course, but no one here now, not that you know anyhow. We just want to make sure she got home okay," Joe says to her, softly.

"Oh." Addison says to them first.

"She did," Addison says, before looking down at the floor.

"Thanks for doing that I know you didn't have to - given who you are to each other…" Joe says to Addison, now.

"What?" Addison says in confusion. She's wondering whether or not he's talking about the whole 'mystery person ordeal' even though there was no way he should be able to know about that.

"Well, she WAS your ex-husband's girlfriend/mistress, at the time, anyways, and she was waiting for him to show up for him when you arrived, that night…" Joe explains to Addison as if she's forgotten.

And truthfully, Addison almost had forgotten, by this point, that Meredith had at one point been, at least a caricature of her then-husband's "dirty mistress" or "lusty intern" or whatever.

But even that night, based on what Derek did to her - did to them both - by not making a decision and what he did to her even before that - when he lied to Meredith by omission by not saying he was married… Addison had never hated her at all.

Maybe she had hated the idea of her, but as much as she tried, Meredith was just so

('Sweet and lovely. She was extremely bright and empathetic and compassionate. She saved patients every day and she saved Addison and her friends on multiple occasions from extreme embarassment. She was just REALLY HARD TO HATE YOU KNOW…and beautiful too…')

"She is, you know. Empathetic and compassionate, at least. I don't know her that well so you'd know more about the rest of those things…" Walter says to Addison, sweetly.

"What?" Addison furrowed her brow.

"OHMYGOD!" Addison exclaims in a panic. "DID I JUST SAY ALL OF THAT OUT LOUD?"

"You did, sorry, Addison…" Joe says to Addison sheepishly.

"You know, it wasn't a problem, really it wasn't any trouble, she wasn't any trouble, she was easy to take care of…" Addison trails off a bit in the memory.

"But I've been keeping that night a secret from the interns, especially her...But one already knows and the rest might find out soon enough if I don't figure all of this out.." Addison sighs.

 


 

"Is it really the end of the world if they do find out about it? If SHE does?" Joe asks her.

"Well, I have to tell her myself eventually before- Well I just do. She'll be mad I've been lying but I just didn't want her to like me out of obligation or become a hero or object of worship or something untouchable, you know? I didn't need the credit and it was all so complicated and there was never a good time, and I just..." Addison trails off, then as Joe begins to formulate his thoughts.

"See, over the course of the evening, way back then, I think you might actually have enjoyed her company. Even I could see that," Joe says to her.

And it's fascinating to Addison because she's played and replayed every inch of that night over and over in her memory, but she's never had another person's perspective to compare it to.

"That night, when she laughed, you smiled like it was the funniest thing in the world," Joe says to her.

"You let her buy you drinks. You never let anyone else do that for you," Joe says.

"I didn't know you'd remember that," Addison says.

He's referring to the few times prior that Addison had found herself alone at the Emerald City bar. Both women and men had offered her drinks, then, but she had just flashed her wedding ring in their faces and declined.

"You always said no. To everyone," Joe explains.

"I guess maybe I felt lonely because I wasn't wearing the ring anymore," Addison says, unsure herself.

"I have no idea. But you felt something for her then. Compassion. Empathy. Shared experience maybe?" Joe tries to understand it all but he's outside of it all.

"I guess, I came to the bar that night because I felt like I should tell her my ass of an ex-husband wasn't going to be her McDreamy," Addison shrugs as if it wasn't a big deal.

"Mc?" Joe raises an eyebrow.

"It's just a thing we do at the hospital here, McNaming. It's sort of like my ex-husband Derek was McDreamy, and sometimes people called him a McBastard… And things spiraled from there." Addison shrugs again.

"I think I remember this now. Meredith threw in a few 'McNames' into your conversation but she was so drunk I wasn't sure if she was making sense to anyone," Joe says.

"I understood her," Addison says, in a way that made it sound like a much more profound statement than she had originally intended.

"You know, I think you really did, you were exactly the person she needed there for her at that moment. I don't think anyone else would have the same shraed experience to be able to know what she was feeling at that moment and to be able to comofort her." Joe says softly.

"The thing is, though, she was trying to comfort me the whole time. That's what kills me. She apologizes in a way that she takes on other people's burdens. She offered me a seat at the bar next to her as if she knew that my voice would break if I had to keep talking…" Addison says.

Then she takes a long sip of her Gin and Tonic now as she tries to reign herself in.

"So, aren't you at least a little bit curious about who your 'secret admirer' could be?" Joe asks her, cautiously.

"Not really. I'm like 97% sure I don't care." Addison says.

"I'm sort of hung up on someone else…" Addison admits, finally.

"I'm going to take a wild guess and say that this person is NOT your ex-husband?" Joe asks her, seriously.

"NO! NOT DEREK! NOT AGAIN!" Addison exclaims waving her arms around.

"He's a good guy, just not for me, that's all…" Addison says a little more calmly.

"Well, that's more interesting. Someone else catching your eye, I see," Joe plays along, even though he has an idea just who she is talking about.

"Are you going to give me any names?" Joe asks teasingly.

"No." Says Addison flatly.

 


 

"Ok. So do you want to talk, then?" Joe asks her.

"Why did you only call us one cab, me and Meredith, that night?" Addison asks him.

(It should have sounded like a change of topic, even if it actually isn't… Addison thinks to herself…)

(About how she's sort of only half telling the truth to Walter and Joe now.)

"They were backed up," Joe says the same thing to her, then.

"Bullshit!" Addison swears at him.

"Right. Well, I had a feeling she might have blacked out. She had a certain glazed over quiality to her eyes. You wouldn't have known that since you hadn't seen her druken before. But I had. And I didn't want to take any chances with her going home with someone who was going to take advantage of her in that state, or her not getting home safetly at all," Joe says to her simply.

"And how did you know I wasn't going to take advantage of her?" Addison asks him.

(Not because she would have. At that point, liking women was the farthest thing from her mind. And even if she had subconsciously known something about her attraction to girls, she would have NEVER slept with someone new while they were drunk. EVER. Not in a million years...)

(But she wanted to hear what Joe was going to say to her… So she listened.)

"Well, I know this might be kind of a strange answer, but you helped her when she had gotten sick. And that's not something people usually do for one-night hookups they hadn't even propositioned, yet" Joe tries to explain.

"I'm a DOCTOR. I deal with it all the time. Tomorrow, even I have these pyloric stenosis babies who- Well, anyways I'm a doctor. Instinct, that's all-" Addison tries to downplay the heroicism of her past actions.

"You helped her walk out of there. You had your arms around her but not in a creepy or suggestive way. Plus I mean you weren't divorced officially yet, and she had JUST been left behind by your ex-husband who she was dating or not dating right until that evening, so I didn't think much would happen between you two at that point. Plus you'd basically just met her…" Joe explains rather uncannily.

(Wow, has it really been that long since I've been to Joe's, last? Addison wonders. I guess it has because I havn't been here since that night with Meredith. And it's true, so much has happened and NOT HAPPENED between us since then; it's hard to remember that at that point our only conection was that Derek had been someoneto both of us or something, somehow… Back then…)

"Look, here's the thing. I'm a bartender. I've always been a bartender and a bar owner. And Walter has been by my side for a long time. We've seen things before. We have a lot of regrets from times when we'd wished we'd done a lot of things. But since then, we learned when we SHOULD do a lot of things…" Joe tries to explain to her.

"We know when someone is long past the gone…" Joe explains with a pang of sadness.

 


 

"Meredith was 'long past the gone' that night and you never SAID!?" Addison wants to shriek at him, now.

"We didn't know at the beginning, just after the last call when you cared for her. We're boys if you havn't noticed so we didn't want to go into the women's washroom to find you. And we weren't going to put her in a cab home by herself when she could hadly stand up" Joe keeps saying.

"But we weren't going to outright ask you, not because we were afraid you'd say no, but because we wanted to spare Meredith's dignity and her feelings at the time. That's why I nodded at you over her shoulder," Joe finally says.

"So it WAS on purpose!" Addison exclaims to her.

"There's a lot more to bartending than meets the eye, Addison," Joe says to her.

Walter pipes in then, to give the analogy of how surgeons check to make sure a patient has someone to pick them up after surgery before they begin.

"It's just the way it is, part of doing a good job. I'm proud of him, for stuff like this," Walter says, smiling up at Joe, now.

"You are good at your job…" Addison says to him idly.

"Look, I know alcohol and it affects people. Alcohol doesn't change people's instincts; it just increases them and lowers inhibitions. For you, we could already see there was a part of you that wanted to nurture her. You cared for her, plain and simple. So we figured you were someone she could grow into trusting… Even if, at that moment, the only person she needed to count on is you," Joe finally says to her.

"But what if I'm not actually someone she SHOULD grow into trusting?" Addison says all uncertainly to Joe.

"Why? Are you lying to her?" Joe asks her flat out.

"Well, I stil haven't told her the truth about what happened that night. She has no idea. I left her a note saying 'thanks for the memories' and a glass of water and aspirin. And she's basically her and her friend had this 'criminal minds' or 'csi' investigation about who the hell it could be. And Meredith still doesn't know…" Addison says.

"And do you want her to know? I mean you wanted to take her home to put her to bed. You're a strong, independant, and smart woman, Addison. If you didn't want to do it you would have said so," Joe says to her, and Addison knows he is right.

"Well, what if all that, it was the alcohol talking?" Addison resorts to.

"Alcohol usually makes people want to screw people too fast, not to carry them home to sleep." Joe says bluntly.

"Plus you didn't even know you were gay back then. So I don't think you were thinking about screwing her at the time..." Joe chuckles as he says this to her all a sudden.

 


 

"HOW DID YOU KNOW I AM GAY NOW?" Addison exclaims. Sure, she's come out to some people but not the entire city of Seattle…

"Gay news travels fast, welcome to the club…" Joe says simply to her.

"Did you always know I was gay? Or kinda gay? Or Bisexual? Or…."

(Addison trails off before she can say something stupid like 'did you always know I was GREY-SEXUAL…)

"97% sure. Upon first meeting you. And after only made us more and more sure." Joe deadpans.

"MORE SURE? HOW?" Addison is flailing again, which makes Joe take her drink away from her until she calms down and pouts until he gives it back to her.

"Well, even before that night, you were always friendly with women at the bar. And sometimes they would flirt with you. And I guess subconsciously sometimes you'd flirt back with them or at least respond to their flirting. Plus if women had their hands on you, even platonically, you kind of let them mold you under their touch, in a good way..." Joe delivers an assessment that is terrifyingly similar to Derek's.

Similar enough that Addison asks him that, flat out.

"No, Derek never talked to me about you," Joe says with a sigh, and then an apology.

(The 'never talked to me about you, EVER…' was implied. It should hurt, Addison thinks. It really should hurt that the ex-husband has never talked about the ex-wife at all. But it doesn't.)

"Look, as I was saying earlier, sure, the alcohol got you two talking, initially, maybe…" Joe trails off as if he's not sure of that answer, himself.

"But trust me, we would have called them two cabs if we thought you would try to sleep with Meredith Grey, or even kiss her that night, that night…" Joe finally sighs.

"Is Meredith…" Addison doesn't know the correct term to add to that question so she leaves it ambiguous.

"I don't talk about other people's sexual orientations with other people, except their own and mine… And also Walter's, but I'm allowed that one…" Joe says to her seriously.

"But I thought you said gay news travels fast?" Addison says.

"It does," Joe says. "But that doesn't mean that I spread that kind of gossip," Joe says to her kindly.

"Thanks," Addison says. "That's actually nice. But back to my question how did you know to trust me with Meredith if you had a hunch I could - would - was ? Into women or would be?"

"Look, even if we thought you might be kinda gay at that point, we knew that a bigger part of you would want to be her 'knight in shining...whatever'...much more than her drunken tequila lay." Joe explains with a smile to Addison.

 


 

"Knight in shining…?" Addison tries to finish the expression but she can't seem to find a better word than 'whatever', anyhow.

(Secretly, Addison really, REALLY liked the idea of being Meredith's 'knight in shining whatever'...)

(Well it's good to know you're a gentleman.)

(GENTLEWOMAN. BUT WHY DO WE HAVE TO BE GENDER CONFORMING OF STEREOTYPES? I THOUGHT THAT WAS THE FUN PART OF BEING QUEER.)

(You've been openly 'GREY-Sexual' - AHEM! - I mean 'bisexual' - for two seconds - maybe you're not such an expert for already…)

(BUT YOU LIKE THE SOUND OF IT! KNIGHT IN SHINING WHATEVER! LIKE A HERO! BUT SECRET! AND NOT HAVING TO WEAR AN UGLY KNIGHT'S ARMOR SET THAT'S TOO HEAVY TO MOVE IN ANYHOW…)

(You might be taking that expression a bit far out of proportion!)

(I wonder if Meredith is still coming to the bar tonight. She said she would be but where IS she?)

"Where IS she?" Addison doesn't realize she's said that out loud until Joe says he has no idea, either.

"You could call her if you're that concerned." Joe says.

"I don't have her number," Addison says, a bit dissapointed.

"Well, then I guess you're out of luck, then," Joe laughs.

But then Addison thinks about texting Cristina, so she gets out her phone and does just that.

 


 

Text Message, 20:30, Location: Seattle,

Skippy Gold to Cardio Goddess

SKIPPY

[Yo, Cardiogoddess, do you know where Grey is?]

[Is she coming to Joe's tonight?]

[When is she coming to Joe's?]

[IS IT SOON!?]

Skippy Gold sets her notifications for 'Cardio Goddess' to a different text tone.

 


 

Getting no response from Cristina, immediately, Addison goes back to drinking back another Gin and Tonic as she continues to look around longingly and asking Joe more questions.

"You know, of all the things you said, that he was pretty wise and thanks that's a high compliment, the trust thing. Yang said it too…"

Addison is clearly a bit tipsy now because she's bringing up Cristina Yang's name into the conversation.

He looks at her, then, and he finally says to her, before it's too late and she's too drunk to clearly remember him saying this to her:

"Look, no matter who she is to you, and what kind of relationship that is, either way, you treated Meredith that day, at least, much better than Derek ever did the whole time he was seeing her. You weren't around for that, then. But we were. And we were a bit worried when they went home together that first time, and even more afterward. But with you, we've never had those sorts of doubts…" Joe says as Walter nods along with him.

"You know, if I was like a God and I had to pick someone for Meredith to fall madly in love with, it would be you, you know," Walter says softly.

Walter hasn't spoken that much to Addison, ever. But the words he is saying to her now are the most magical and meaningful words he could ever say.

"If you were the one loving Meredith, you'd love her in a way that respected her more. She deserved more love than Derek or any boy she had been with had to offer her," he says.

And Addison somehow thinks that this phrase sounds vaguely familiar. Maybe HER memory of that night with Meredith wasn't as clear-cut as she thought.

When he says to HER 'we accept the love we think we deserve', "But we know YOU know that. We know that you think that for Meredith…"

That's the moment Addison remembers completely, and that she knows he remembers everything as well.

 


 

"For a while, I would deny myself these gay feelings. I never let myself feel them forever" Addison says.

"And it never seemed to matter… Until Meredith-"

Addison cuts herself off once she's realized she's actually confessed her feelings to someone who is conscious and not her ex-husband.

"FUCK!" Addison swears at herself.

"We won't tell. Swear to God!" Walter and Joe console her.

"Hey, we're basically you're Gay therapists who give you unsolicited advice and also alcohol. You look like you feel better once you start talking so if you want to keep talking, you can…" Walter says with a kind expression.

"Why don't I share a bit?" says Joe.

"I wasn't as out until I met Walter. And now we are happily married and might even want a kid someday. He says he gets it, I get it. Just take your time figuring out the Gay thing and the crush thing. And just try not to screw around in the process." Joe says.

"I've had a few struggles as an openly gay man, but that it's actually not been too bad at all and it's always getting better. It gets better, I promise" Walter says.

She asks him not to say anything. To let it all play out. So she can tell Mer herself Joe agrees wholeheartedly.

"We would never want to take this away from you. First love… It's exhilarating!"

"You know I've been MARRIED, right?" Addison deadpans.

"FIRST GAY LOVE THEN!" The cheers and Addison hushes them and tells them to stop yelling even though there's no one else in the bar.

"I'll have to work fast because Cristina already found out and now she's dating Izzie and so I don't want this to all blow up in my face. I should tell her today. Or at least approach the subject," Addison says to herself in a determined tone.

"Being open and in a relationship is also worth it and they had to come out and fight for their rights. Like marriage. Gay marriage." Walter smiles;

"Tell me you're not picturing marrying her already!" Joe says to her knowingly.

"SHIT!" Addison says in response to that...

"Not like, seriously considering! I swear! Just...daydreams... I must have zoned out again" Addison says with a bit of a slur, so Walter hands her a glass of water and makes sure that she drinks the whole thing before slowing down the rate at which he's giving her drinks again.

"Look, we're glad you seem to be having a breakthrough moment. Just take it on in pieces. Take small steps and you'll get there. And if you don't, you'll be okay. You have people who care about you, Addison. Don't ever think you don't. And if you really find yourself alone you can always come to talk to us and cry on the bar," Joe offers to her.

And it's just the perfect thing that Addison needed to hear today.

 


 

Addison has some deep thoughts in the middle of Joe's bar that evening.

In fact, she's so lost in thought she can hardly think of anything else, other than about asking Meredith Grey out and confessing her feelings to her.

Confessing everything to her...

('I have to tell her! I have to ask her out and say I'll tell her everything, or tell her everything and then ask her out, or I don't know. But in my drunken state now, I couldn't care less who this 'secret admirer' person or who anyone else is. At least 97% of my entire being wants Meredith Grey. And those are some pretty good odds…' Addison thinks to herself…)

(Addison does not pause to think for a second, that perhaps, the odds just might not be in her favor, tonight…  Or would they be? )

 


 

Addison snaps her head around to see who has just walked into the bar.

Addison hopes with everything that she has that it's Meredith, but it isn't.

Instead, it's George O'Malley and Alex Karev.

So Addison just turns her back from them and focuses right back on her drink again as Joe and Walter go to serve other customers again.

Now that there're plenty more people in the bar, their 'true confessions' time was all over.

Addison was on her own...

The boys are laughing about something, all loud and boisterous. And Addison can't help but feel a little jealous at their carefree sexual arrangement.

('Because you'd love to be giving Meredith Grey that post-sex-haze look, right Addie?' says her brain.)

('Yeah but you'd also just like the easy companionship and togetherness too.' says the other half.)

('But you basically have that NOW, you get along great with Grey, it's just the whole more-than-friends part that's all really complicated' part of her brain argues.)

('Right. Because being a 'mystery person' and having a newfound 'secret admirer' isn't complicated on top of the whole Derek-Mark-Addison-Meredith love square or parallelogram or trapezoid or…')

('Addison you were never any good at geometry…')

As the boys arrive at Joe's after having many, many rounds of sex, they spy a woman wearing the very same scarf that they recognize.

"It's HER," Addison can hear someone say in a muffled voice but she can't discern who.

"Should we ask her out?" George and Alex whisper quietly to each other.

Each of them dares the other to go first, but eventually, it is Alex who steps up to the plate.

"Hello, there," he says in a loud voice.

"O'Malley?" Addison snaps her head around, recognizing her intern.

"Doctor Mongtomery-" George stammers a second.

"We were just admiring your red and green scarf," George blurts out truthfully.

"Oh, thanks," Addison smiles at him.

Addison is fond of O'Malley.

He seems like the type of person one might want around in a major life-changing life-threatening crisis.

"Can we see it?" George asks boldly.

If it had been Alex who had asked, she might have said no. But Addison says 'sure' to George, and soon enough he and Alex are examining it in a particular amount of interest.

"Are you interested in fabrics?" Addison asks them curiously.

"No, I just have a thing for women with red and green scarves" Alex smirks at her.

"NOT GONNA HAPPEN, KAREV!" Addison says to him sharply.

They're not at the hospital so Addison has no need to be subtle.

"Oh, don't say you don't wanna piece of this," Alex flirts with her overtly, causing George to bump into him on purpose.

"Look, on the other side of this life, maybe you might have said some line about not having a good dad and maybe I would have felt sorry for you and maybe I would have kissed you and even done other things like one time. But in THIS universe, I'm not gonna go there. I'm not going there with George, and I'm not going there with you. So you can stop all this Threesome bullshit or get the hell out of my sight!" Addison says to them bitterly.

"I have a question for you that's not about sex can I ask you?" George says to her sweetly.

"Sure?" Addison says hesitantly.

"Do you like welcome mats? Or doormats? A lot? Or a little? I'm just asking because my mom doesn't know shopping and…" George tries to think of a good way to put this to her.

"Not particularly, I almost tripped on Meredith's," Addison says bitterly.

"WHEN?" George exclaims at her hopefully.

"This afternoon, when we were picking up the cake, Grey lent you guys her car right so we drove mine to her house to get the cake that Izzie baked," Addison says to them with a shrug.

"Oh." Is all George O'Malley says?

"Would you say she has a nice doormat?" George asks again.

"Umm. I don't know I've never owned one," Addison says to him honestly.

"Really?" George asks.

"Well I live in - well I'm not telling you that but I don't have a doormat. And before that, I lived in a TRAILER with Derek when I first moved here. And that was like hell. And before that, there was the Brownstone and the Hampton's, and I didn't notice if they had doormats because Derek was the one who did the house decorations and I picked out all the clothes. So I hope that answers that question for you, O'Malley,' Addison says in a rant.

(If Meredith had been there to see this, she probably would have found it adorable that Addison was just rambling, and kinda sexy how bossy she gets when she's getting to the point…)

"Well, that's all we needed to know, um, have a good-, bye…" George trails off while Alex says to him "dude…" as he walks with him away.

So now Addison is ONCE AGAIN sitting at the bar by herself and watching the door like a hawk.

(God, this is what Meredith must have been feeling that day we had at the bar. I am more glad than ever I came to tell her Derek wasn't coming for her. I almost want to drown ten tequila's myself waiting for Meredith Grey to come. And we aren't even a thing yet!)

('YET'? Presumptuous, much, Addison?)

('SHUT UP YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE ON MY SIDE')

('Just saying…')

Addison sits there and waits and waits and waits…

She starts to worry about Meredith.

But she also starts to worry about Derek.

Just as his new 'just friend…'

Addison was starting to get a bit worried he might do something stupid, so she texts him a few times, and when she doesn't get an answer, she tries to call him a few times, also.

 


 

Meanwhile,

"FUCK THIS PIECE OF CRAP NOKIA!" Cristina is yelling at her phone.

"Totally dead?" Izzie asks her.

"100% not happening!" Cristina yells at it some more.

"Hey, can we consider this a GOOD THING?" Izzie says to her.

"What do you mean?" Cristina asks her.

"Like tonight, it can just be us. No texting. No phone calls. Just US" Izzie begs her.

"I understand what you mean, does that mean you're shutting off your phone too for the night?"

"Yeah, I think that it does," Izzie smiles up at Cristina.

(And Cristina is sort of relieved that she gets a real break from being some unhelpfulyoda matchmaker/counselor for her best friend and...Addison.)

(She finally gets her night to be with her new… Girlfriend? Who knows - MAYBE SOON!)

"How did you know to come to this Italian place on Bank Street? It's AMAZING!" Cristina says enthusiastically.

"A friend suggested it, that's all" Izzie says to her cryptically.

(Not wanting to say 'Addison Forbes Montgomery' actually… The moment she knew I liked you…)

"Oh, sweet. Well, I'm getting the spaghetti, want to share a garlic bread?" Cristina asks her.

"Yeah!" Izzie says.

And they do the cute thing where they suck spaghetti noodles at the same time and kiss in the middle.

They actually pull it off… twice during the entire dinner after lots and lots of practice.

"Good thing you packed extra clothes," says Cristina.

"Well, it wasn't like you were going to be the organized one, HAVE YOU SEEN YOUR ROOM!" Izzie teases.

"Well, I know where my picture of YOU is," Cristina smiles at her.

"Ah, ok, you got me there," Izzie finally says.

"Am I your girlfriend?" Cristina asks her seriously.

"Do you want to be MY girlfriend?" Izzie asks her seriously as well.

"Well, I do, but I know we haven't had sex yet, but we do seem to have chemistry and I really do like you…" Cristina says wide and vulnerable.

"I really like you too, you're so smart and wild," Izzie says.

"I think we should talk about it, like what do you need from me, to be your girlfriend?" Izzie asks in a very mature way.

"From you, I think I need you to not only wear underwear around your shared house because it makes me get jealous and not in a good way,' Cristina says to her.

"And of course, to know that I'm never going to date Mer but I'm always going to be her person,
Cristina says.

"That can definitely be arranged," says Izzie.

"What do you need from me, to be your girlfriend?" Cristina asks in a very mature way as well.

"Well, the same thing about me being George's person, and also at times, Alex's," Izzie says as Cristina nods.

"But I also want to know what you're thinking when I talk about Meredith and Addison's keys. I know you're keeping secrets from me for good reason. But if we're going to be in a relationship, I don't want to feel like I'm on the outside of things," Izzie says.

"Izzie…" Cristina sighs a bit.

"I told you everything I know about it. And I know you're holding back. I'm not going to tell Meredith or Addison anything. Or anyone else. But right here, it's just us. And I need that, otherwise, I don't know if I can trust you," Izzie says.

"You're right that you've always been truthful to me," Cristina says.

"I can keep a secret, Cristina. I was a secret MODEL until Alex pasted underwear pictures of me all over the walls," Izzie laughs to lighten the mood.

"I kept one, you know. It got me thinking of you," Cristina finally admits to her.

"I knew it!" Izzie says as if in a revelation. "But keep talking about this Addison and Meredith thing… Because I really want to know!" Izzie says.

And Cristina finally decides that seeing as Izzie knows practically the whole story already, and that Cristina has held out on her for ages, and that she's exhausted, and that she shouldn't have to choose to give up her own happiness for her friends' "hypothetical love is not dead" theatrics…

Cristina finally decides to come clean to her.

With more of it.

Most of it.

Anyways…

 


 

"Wow, so Addison did all that for Meredith, and Meredith thinks it's a whole other person?" Izzie finally says to her.

"Plus they sort of seem to be falling for each other anyway, and this whole mystery is just getting in a goddamned way. Ironic, isn't it? Cristina sighs.

"And Meredith doesn't know what happened that night?" Izzie says as Cristina nods.

Cristina decides not to tell Izzie the details of the evening, because she decides that part is only for Meredith and for Addison.

She just says that she knows, and when the time is right they'll tell each other.

And whatever the fallout, they'll be there for their friends.

"So I was right about the key thing, then?" Izzie says.

"You were right about it. I didn't even notice those things that you noticed. You're a pretty good detective, yourself," Cristina says to Izzie.

"Hey, learned from the best," says Izzie to Cristina.

"I have a plan, to help them hopefully speed things along and make the right choice for the right reasons. Are you maybe in? Cristina says to Izzie.

"Oh, I am so, so, in!" Izzie says.

And they begin their conversation which would last for another while into the evening.

"You know, you're like my 'knight in shining whatever," Cristina finally says to Izzie.

"Why is that?" Izzie asks her. "You've always been the strong one!"

"I never would have let myself in if it wasn't someone with such empathy as you. You're my opposite. I'm a robot but you care like crazy. And I really like that," says Cristina.

"You're like the smartest person ever I want to be like you, too," says Izzie.

Which would be followed by Cheesecake, which they would share with one fork, before kissing, walking and talking, hand in hand, all the way to Joe's Bar, later that evening...

 


 

Meanwhile,

George and Alex go out for fries.

Mostly because they want to eat fries, but also because they want to talk about things they can't talk about in the middle of Emerald City Bar.

"So, now we know that Addison has the exact same scarf that person snooping around our house did," George begins.

"Who knows?" says Alex. "Do you think she's having an affair with Cristina or Izzie?" he asks.

"No, those two are so close and Addison is their friend. I don't think she would do that to either of them," George says.

"Even if Montgomery kissed Yang?" Alex adds.

"That was only one time for truth or dare. Plus it was more Cristina kissing Addison," says George.

"Do you think she's banging Mer?" Alex asks George in all seriousness.

"Are you asking me if I think Addison who used to be Shepherd, is having an affair with her ex-husband's ex-girlfriend/mistress… in OUR HOUSE… Sneaking around in broad daylight under the scarf she told us all about?" George says to him skeptically.

"Yeah, that's probably stupid," says Alex. "Even if she did have an affair before…" he adds.

"People can change you know," says George (Hopefully… about Alex's past as a player…).

"Yeah, once a cheater always one isn't fair," says Alex. "I wonder who the boy she banged is though, and if he's hot or a doctor or if I could learn from him…" says Alex.

"We're off topic now, let's focus on the fact that scarf person and Addison both have red, red, hair," says George before he gets jealous of the thought of his… Alex wanting to have some sort of thing with Addison Montgomery's nonexisting to them (yet?) former dirty mistress boy, Mark Sloan.

"And that she sort of looks like her, too, scarf girl and Addison are the same height" Alex adds. "AND CAN YOU BELIEVE ADDISON DOESN'T WANT SEX WITH US!" He says with a deadpan.

"Well, it's her loss. Besides I'd worry she'd enjoy you too much, Alex," George says to him.

And that's the closest George has come, thus far, to acknowledging any deeper feelings for Alex.

"You know, when your mom gave me three bowls of soup, I've never been treated that good by any mom ever, in my life, not even my own mom," Alex says to him.

And that's the closest Alex has come, thus far, to acknowledging any deeper feelings for George.

"Fries will be 30 minutes, only one of you has to wait though," the cook says to them an apology.

"I'll stay," George says to Alex.

(George wants to say more, or articulate that it's nice that he's being the gentleman in the relationship, now.)

(Usually, Alex was the one doing that, but today he just felt like he wanted to be more…)

(Is it called chivalry? Or cavalry? The one about being someone's 'knight in shining whatever…' George can't remember… But by the time he tries he hasn't said anything at all)

"Thanks, dude," Alex says to him in a grin.

(Alex wants to say something like, 'do you wanna go steady or some shit?')

(But he can't seem to figure out a smooth enough way to say it…)

(So he doesn't… this time. At least.)

 


 

Meanwhile,

Addison had thought to herself that tonight was the night;

That, someone, was about to be heartbroken, and someone was about to be saved.

And so far, this evening, she seemed like she was the one who could be saved…

IF ONLY MEREDITH GREY WOULD SHOW UP!

So they could finally talk it all through with each other…

But each time Addison looked up, it was someone who was not Meredith.

PRESTON BURKE AND RICHARD WEBBER STOP BY THE BAR AND ALL TRY TO TALK WITH HER.

(Ugh, if she wasn't so annoyed with her fellow Attending colleagues at this moment…)

Addison puts in a good word for Cristina to Burke professionally at the bar when Burke shows up there. He only nods.

Richard Webber just says he's proud of Addison for the party.

Addison wants to stop talking with them now entirely, so she decides to say goodnight.

She makes something up about checking up on Derek and John the patient and they believe her.

So she says bye to the attendings and Joe and Walter as if she isn't coming back, just so that they don't follow her out and ask her more annoying questions.

Addison has to go for a long walk alone to process her chat with Joe before she could stand waiting for Meredith alone at the bar again...

 


 

Addison eventually does walk back to the hospital to check on Derek because he isn't answering any of her calls and she's worried he's passed out in his office on scotch.

As Derek never shows to Joe's so she wants to make sure he's ok.

And he is when Addison gets there.

He's still talking with John, who says that he's staying another while just until he can get his ex-boyfriend's family in. There was some sort of delay, so Addison says good luck and they will chat more another time.

Addison stays with Derek and John for a little while to make sure Derek is okay, before saying she has to go back to the bar.

"Are you going to talk to Meredith?" Derek asks her.

"Yeah, I'm going to talk to Meredith," Addison says with confidence to him, and a wink to John at the same time so he knows she means she's going to REALLY talk to her, or at least try to.

"Good luck with that," Derek says to her. And he seems to really, really mean it.

Addison asks Derek if he has Meredith's number, but Derek says he doesn't he deleted it out of spite and doesn't remember.

Addison sighs at this and smiles at him.

And Derek says "thanks for coming to check up on me," to Addison.

She mutters he wouldn't pick up his phone and she has the habit of worrying over him. And he just shrugs unapologetically as Addison mumbles about actually checking in on John as well.

Addison considers calling Joe to tell him to buy a drink for Meredith on her while she waits, as she walks out of the hospital.

But then Addison figures it'll only be a ten-minute walk, anyhow.

And this way Addison could surprise Meredith in person.

Would the odds be in her favor, tonight, that Meredith would still be waiting for her by the time she had gotten back? Or would she already be gone again…?

 


 

Meanwhile,

Sometime AFTER Addison has left the bar for the FIRST TIME that evening,

But BEFORE Addison ever arrives at the bar for a SECOND TIME, that evening…

 


 

Meredith has some deep thoughts on the way into Joe's bar in Addison's car that evening.

In fact, she's so lost in thought she can hardly think of anything else, other than about asking Addison Montgomery out and confessing her feelings to her.

Confessing everything to her...

('I have to tell her! I have to ask her out and say I'll tell her everything, or tell her everything and then ask her out, or I don't know. But in my excited state now, I couldn't care less who this goddamn 'mystery person' or who anyone else is. At least 97% of my entire being wants Addison Montgomery. And those are some pretty good odds…' Meredith thinks to herself…)

(Meredith does not pause to think for a second, that perhaps, the odds just might not be in her favor, tonight…  Or would they be? )

 


 

By the time that Meredith enters Joe's bar, later on in the evening, she thought her friends George and Alex would be already having the times of their lives playing darts with each other and trying to beat their high score, but she can't seem to see George, anywhere.

By the time that Meredith enters Joe's bar, later on in the evening, Joe and Walter are having a rather intimate conversation with each other, and even some of the Attendings were having a drink there and mingling.

By the time that Meredith enters Joe's bar, later on in the evening, Meredith looks around left and right, up and down to find Addison. She thinks maybe she should look for her friends, Cristina and Izzie because she doesn't see them either.

So she shoots them a text to ask how they are doing before she wanders around the bar sort of aimlessly, receiving no text back from either of the girls in response. She's trying to be subtle, but Meredith is really only looking for Addison. She's wondering why she isn't here because she said she would be, and eventually, she sits at the bar in a huff, feeling completely dejected.

Meredith doesn't remember feeling this dejected, waiting for someone that night at the bar who promised that they'd be coming since she'd asked DEREK to wait for her at Joe's that one time. And somehow, this doesn't feel any different, it feels even worse to be truthful.

Because that time she'd said 'pick me, choose me, love me,' to Derek and he hadn't said a word to her after and had not really promised he'd come. But this time she was wearing Addison's lipstick and her beautiful outfit Addison had picked out for her.

And Addison wasn't even HERE for her. How could she do this to Meredith? How could she do this to her! How could she not show up? Was this some stupid joke between her and her husband? That they would both stand her up.

Meredith doesn't remember much of what happened that night after her first couple shots made her blackout completely. That blackout was a solace that at least she didn't have to deal with the humiliation of Derek standing her up.

But Meredith can't drink herself under the table, this time. She can't drink away her pain with lime and salt and WAY too much tequila. She can't drown herself in the alcohol and hope to a God she doesn't know if she believes in that some 'mystery person' will carry her home again.

Meredith can't do any of those things because she's on call for Bailey. FOR ADDISON, actually, and she thinks that it's ridiculous she's doing Addison a favor and she isn't even showing up here on her night where she doesn't even have to work so she can't be at the hospital.

Meredith calls Walter over to Walter, eventually, because Joe is caught up in a conversation somewhere and she asks him for a vanilla soda with extra ice and extra cherries because it's the fanciest thing she's even allowed to have on this evening.

Plus it makes Meredith think of Izzie's cake and more importantly about the cherry and vanilla lollipops that she and Addison had had...

Meredith thinks back to what she thought only that morning, that today was going to be like 'the end of the world' for someone, somehow.

And she had thought at that moment that it would be one of HER 'lovers'; either her 'mystery lover' or Addison who would be walking away from her, out in the rain, alone and without any more answers.

She had not thought that it would be HER, hurt and angry and abandoned, for the SECOND TIME since meeting Mr. and Mrs. McDreamy and meeting than not remembering 'McMystery' and everything else that had happened to her and her friends in this godforsaken Seattle...

 


 

"Meredith" A figure approaches the intern from behind as she's sitting there drinking her vanilla soda with cherries for the evening.

"You're not Addison,"

Meredith says annoyedly before she even looks up to see that the person behind her, not only is it certainly not Addison but it is one of the other four people might have expected to greet her with her own name that night at the bar.

"I'm not Addison," says Alex Karev with a smirk.

He's standing there, hovering, dressed in his 'party clothes' or whatever and all this seems to just annoy Meredith more.

"Where IS Addison?" Meredith insists.

And she's sure she's about lost it now because if Addison didn't come to meet her at the bar then surely she shouldn't be at 'home' with her ex-husband - WOULD SHE? because that's the whole point of her divorce so that she didn't have to be at home with him being h