The Loudest Scream
How Addison might react to learning that Derek is dead.
Sam and Naomi came by the beach house that morning with the news. Naomi had their son Damien on her hip and immediately set him down beside Henry so they could pull Addison into the living room and tell her what had happened.
"Derek – Derek's dead?" Addison said. Her mind felt fuzzy, like it was wrapped in layers of thick gauze and she couldn't comprehend anything, couldn't feel anything . Her eyes found Naomi's first and then Sam's, locking onto his for a long moment. She wanted him to say that this was a late April Fool's Day joke. An ill-conceived trick. She wanted him to make this go away.
"Yes. He's gone," Sam said quietly. "Amelia called us this morning with the news. She asked us to tell you what happened because she knows Jake's in Boston for the month and she didn't want you to be alone when you found out."
So Amelia, Derek's own sister, had confirmed it. This wasn't some pathetic joke. It was all too real. Derek really was gone forever.
The reams of thick gauze in her head had begun to rapidly unravel. A feeling of utter horror clawed its way into her consciousness. "How?"
She didn't want to know; she had to know.
Naomi looks at Sam before turning back to Addison. "He was hit by a truck."
"He was brain dead, Addison. Meredith had to make the decision to take him off life-support," Naomi explained.
Addison immediately darted to her feet and walked briskly down the hall. She heard Sam and Naomi calling after her as she sequestered herself in the bathroom, leaning heavily against the door, sliding down to the floor. No tears fell but her eyes burned.
Her hand came up to cover her mouth and it was the only thing she could do to muffle a scream. She didn't want to scare the kids; she didn't want Sam and Naomi to decide that she was certifiable but… This was Derek. Derek Shepherd. The man she had loved for years, the man she had made so many plans with, had built so many dreams with; just to see them all crumble around them. She wasn't in love with him, not anymore, but … But it still cut.
Like a bitch.
She heard Naomi pounding on the door behind her. "Addie, Addison! Open the door. Come on, let me in."
"Nae, I just need a moment here okay?"
"Okay I can give you a moment," Naomi allowed, "but then I'm coming in there, like it or not."
Quiet consumed all, allowing Addison to suddenly realize the truth: silence really was the loudest scream. She very well could be losing it here.
She quickly pulled herself to her feet and clawed at the door knob. She ripped open the door in the next moment and yanked Naomi inside, right into a crushing hug.
Naomi's fingers found the ends of Addison's hair and she smoothed the silky locks. She then cupped Addison's face in her hands. "Talk to me here. Even if it's ugly, I want to hear it."
Addison felt tears finally give way. She couldn't remember the last time she had been this upset. Okay, at least, not since Archer. Not since her brother. Not since they had all thought for sure that he was a goner and Derek had been the one to save him… Could Addison really make peace with Derek being gone, even when he hadn't been hers for so many years now?
She simply could not imagine living in a world that Derek wasn't a part of. Even if they didn't talk anymore, it just felt wrong. Everything felt hollow, fragile… insane.
"You're shaking, Addison," Naomi said. "Sit down before you fall." Naomi forcefully pushed Addison down onto the closed toilet seat.
"Why am I this upset? Derek and I haven't even spoken in ages; it's been such a long time since we were married."
"He was your first love, Addison. First loves… You never quite let them go. He once meant everything to you."
"I hated him at times," Addison said. "Sometimes I honestly just hated the fucking sight of him but … But I loved him anyway. I wish I could go back and take back all the hurt that I ever caused him."
"I know. Of course I know that but-"
"But you and Derek made peace, remember? He didn't die hating you, Addison."
"He did die loving Meredith," Addison said. She rested her elbows on her knees. "I wonder how she's taking this. Naomi, there's been other men for me but she's only ever loved him; he was the only one from the moment they met. I think I always knew that and that's why I resented her for so long… How is she going to get over this? For the first time, I finally, truly, empathize with Meredith."
"Maybe you should call her," Naomi suggested.
"What? No! She has enough to deal with without having an unpleasant reminder from her past sticking their nose in her business. I would be no help; just a major thorn in her ass."
Naomi shook her head. "You don't know that for sure."
"Yes I do."
"Well maybe, just maybe, she would appreciate knowing that she's not alone here. Because if anyone understands her pain, it's you, Addison."
"I don't know."
"Heming and hawing, Addison? No, that's not you. I won't let you start second-guessing everything."
"To be fair, this is something I am not exactly used to, Naomi. As a doctor I have seen death way too often but this… This is different. I don't have a real frame of reference to go on here."
"I understand. I do. I mean, if it were Sam… Even during the years we were divorced…" Naomi shook her head and squeezed Addison's shoulders. "I can't imagine what you're going through right now."
"I never expected this. Some part of me … Damn. I actually really did think Derek might live forever. I just can't see him going down like this. I mean a piece of shit truck hits him and he's just gone. Not Derek. No, not Derek Shepherd."
"Call Meredith," Naomi urged again. "Believe it or not, I think she needs to hear from you as much as you need to hear from her. I'm serious."
"Sadly, I know you are," Addison said. "I just don't know what to say. Anything I say might make things a whole helluva lot worse."
"The worst already happened, Addison. Now the healing begins somehow. It will take a while to get to a place where you will feel even slightly okay about this, but it doesn't have to feel like hell forever."
"Meredith and Derek have children," Addison said. "Children that went from having a loving daddy one day to not having one the next. They won't understand why he's not coming home. They are honestly losing out on growing up under the guiding hand of one of the best men I've ever known."
"That's the hardest part, thinking about those sweet babies."
"The world feels like it crashed to hell or something, Nae. What if things are never the same again?"
Naomi and Sam stayed at the beach house until they finally managed to coax Addison into calling Jake with the news. He immediately said that he wanted to come home from his business trip but Addison wouldn't hear of it. She had cried enough; she didn't need anyone to hold her hand either. She was fine; after all, she wasn't the one grieving for a husband.
Deep down though, Addison knew that a part of her was irrevocably changed. Some part of her had broken forever, hearing that Derek was gone. While she didn't understand this, she told herself that she couldn't allow herself to dwell on it either.
At eight p.m. though, she tucked Henry in for the night and then found herself pacing the length of the beach house. By the time she had looped around the kitchen and living room at least fifteen times, she knew what she had to do. Like it or not, she had to call Meredith.
A/N: I hope this turned out semi-okay. I don't think I'll continue it to be honest but I love love love Addison and I loved her relationship with Derek! I really tried to figure out how she would feel if she got the news about his death. I am not sure I captured her voice here but I really did try!