Chapter 26: You're a Masochist For Falling For Me

Addison felt physically sick to her stomach as she drove to the hospital the next morning. She hadn't been able to get much sleep the night before after her brief conversation with Alex. Though the conversation was short, it had played in her mind throughout most of the night. She couldn't believe just how much he truly meant to her. For some unknown reason she had never felt such clarity about her feelings towards him than she had in the face of losing him. She couldn't stand the thought of him completely giving up on her. She had to talk to him; she had to try to explain. Even if she had to explain to him a thousand times a hundred different ways, she knew that she wouldn't give up until he really heard her, until he believed the words that she said to him. She couldn't bear to lose him. She couldn't do it.

Once Addison entered the hospital she felt immediately aware of the faces around her. The one person she longed to see the most was nowhere in her immediate sight. She felt her nerves on edge as she made her way to the break room and poured herself a cup of coffee. She knew the caffeine wouldn't necessarily calm her nerves but with the amount of sleep she had received the past two days she needed something to run on besides her shattered faith and torn will. She leaned against the counter and sipped her coffee, reveling in the silence of the room, which was soon shattered as the door to the break room swung open. Derek walked through the door; Addison felt a resounding sense of spite rush within her as she saw his face. He was the reason she was going through this to begin with. He glanced at her momentarily but refrained from saying anything. The look on her face made him rethink what was on the tip of his tongue. Instead he reached past her to pour himself a cup of coffee. Addison felt herself biting on the side of her mouth to the point that it almost hurt when she finally stopped and opened it.

"You're ruining my life." Addison stated coolly as she eyed him through squinted eyes.

"Oh, that's dramatic, even for you." Derek replied unenthusiastically, with little emotion in his voice.

"It's not dramatic at all, actually. You're making my life a living hell at the moment. But I know that makes no difference to you. In fact, I'm sure that's just the objective you're shooting for."

"Addison, it's much too early in the morning for this." Derek sighed as he took a deep breath, her scent made its way into his nose because of her nearness. He missed that. The way she smelled. He missed a lot of things about her. It made him nostalgic just thinking about it. Even with her grating digs at him this early in the morning.

"Let's just stop all this Derek. I mean honestly, it's not worth it. I can't stand living like this. We could never get back what we once had. Never. It's dead."

"I don't believe that." Derek affirmed gently.

"I'm not asking you to believe it. I'm telling you how it is. And the strangest part about it all is that I know you know I'm right. I just can't figure out why you won't just admit it to yourself."

"I can't do this with you right now." Derek offered simply, taking a sip of his coffee. Its heat burnt his mouth a bit.

"When do you suggest we deal with it then? I've already wasted enough time with this ridiculousness. I swear to you, Derek. I've had it up to here." Addison stated emphatically as she used her hand to signify an imaginary level near her head.

"I can't talk to you when you're like this. You're so angry." Derek observed stupidly.

"You bet your sorry ass I'm angry. I'm angry at so many things. But most of all I'm angry at myself for letting you do this to me. I won't give you the authority to ruin my life anymore, Derek. I'm so sick of it."

"I have rounds." Derek muttered lightly as he looked away from her in that moment. Their conversation was escalating more and more with each passing second and he could no longer stay in that break room for fear that she would throw something at him. He made a move to turn around but what she said next stopped him in his tracks.

"It is possible to get a divorce without the other party's signature, you know?" Addison baited him confidently. "It is more difficult but it is an option. If you keep running around in circles than that is the route I will be forced to take."

"Is that a threat?" Derek asserted as he turned back around to face her.

"It's a promise." Addison assured him firmly.

"I think you're full of it. If you really want this divorce so damn bad, how come you haven't signed the papers already?"

Before Addison could even open her mouth to reply, he continued.

"Save it. I already know why. You think that once I sign them all bets are off. You'll have to finally take responsibility for not wanting the divorce in the first place, you'll have to admit that this was all for show. You'll have to admit you still love me. You'll have to admit that you can't live without me, just like I can't live without you."

"Derek, isn't it much too early in the morning for your asinine insinuations?" Came a voice from the door. Mark stood there, eyeing Derek aggressively with his arms crossed snuggly in front of him. Both Derek and Addison were surprised to see him for they hadn't heard anyone open the door, which they could only attribute to their highly volatile conversation. Addison could feel her hands shaking as she tried to wrap her brain around what Derek had just said to her, what he had just accused her of. She felt a lump form in her throat as Derek continued to throw imaginary daggers at Mark with his eyes.

"Oh look, it's my favorite person in the world, coming to you're rescue once again." Derek lamented sarcastically. "I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised. He's probably counting the seconds until you sign those papers. I wouldn't hold my breath." Derek finished defiantly. With a final look of distain thrown Mark's way, he brushed past him leaving Mark and Addison together in the break room. Addison felt her emotions rise to the surface as soon as he left. She took a deep breath to calm her raging feelings. Mark took a step towards her with a look of concern playing on his face. He had very few moments when he felt that he truly disliked his former best friend and seeing the look on Addison's face at that moment, was one of them.

"Don't let him get to you." Mark offered gently as he searched her face.

"I hate him." Addison whispered as she fought back tears.

"Hate requires too many emotions. Maybe you should shoot for indifference?" Mark suggested gently.

Addison actually laughed at this, momentarily which made the tears in her eyes fall down her face. She quickly wiped them away.

"I'll keep that in mind." Addison replied as she took a deep breath. "I don't remember him ever being this much of a prick. It's quite disconcerting."

"Maybe he realizes what's at stake finally? After all this time?" Mark wondered softly.

"That makes absolutely no difference to me. I'm so over it, Mark. It makes me sick. A part of me will always care about him but I'm so far removed at this point. It's like he runs in circles purposely around me and the issue…just to get under my skin."

"That's the point, he knows how to get to you, what to say to push your buttons. You have to disengage him."

"I'm trying." Addison exclaimed pitifully. She could feel her emotions come to a head as her eyes welled up again. She lowered her head and took a deep clenching breath as she tried to get a hold on her emotions. Mark put a reassuring hand on her shoulder and lightly squeezed it.

"You're going to be fine, Addy. You are one of the strongest people I know."

"I doubt my strength with such severity right now." Addison said as she swallowed the developing lump in her throat.

"You will get through this." Mark assured her softly.

"I pray I do." Addison said in despair. "He's just so impossible to deal with, he walks around like he has it all figured out. I can't be with him anymore Mark. I just can't do it. I can barely stand the sight of him."

"You're going to be fine." Mark promised her sincerely as he closed the amount of space between them and tentatively put his arms around her. He wasn't entirely sure how she would react, given their unstable past. But much to his surprise and delight she leaned into him and let out a sigh of pent up frustration as she let a few more tears fall and unsteadily put a hand on his back. Mark held her tightly, stoking her back as he felt her cry against him. He had a strange bout of de ja vu as he held her and she let him do so. It reminded him when they had crossed the unmistakable line between being friends and lovers, as well as cheaters. He shook the thought from his head as she gently pulled away from him suddenly and began to wipe the tears from her face. She looked around the room quickly as if she didn't want anyone to see what had just taken place. Mark saw the concern evident on her face.

"Relax," Mark lulled gently. "We aren't doing anything wrong."

"Yeah, well it might not look like that to somebody else." Addison said wryly as she tried to compose her mess of emotions. Mark knew exactly who, in particular, she was referring to. He decided not to bring him up at that moment.

"I was trying to comfort a friend who was in need of a shoulder that's all." Mark said lightly.

"I know, I'm sorry. I just…" Addison trailed on as she ran her hands through her hair and looked away from him.

"It's okay, just if you want to talk or anything let me know. I'll always listen Addison." Mark assured her softly.

"Thank you. I'm fine though."

"Yeah, okay." Mark answered as he took one last look at her and walked out of the break room. Addison stood there silently taking a few deep breaths trying to calm her nerves. After a few moments, and once she felt like she could face the world on a somewhat normal level, she walked out of the break room and went in search of her intern.

Addison couldn't find Alex anywhere, she ran into Bailey in the corner of the 2nd floor by the nurses station after searching all the usual places she usually found Alex when she wasn't quite sure were he was.

"Miranda, do you happen to know where my intern is?" Addison asked, slightly concerned that he hadn't even shown up that day.

"OMalley's running a lab for me and then he should be on his way to find you." Bailey stated as she looked up briefly from the chart she was writing on.

"O'Malley?" Addison asked surprised.

"Yeah, I assigned him with you today, instead of Karev, he said something about wanting to be Dr. Burke's intern for today."

"He did?" Addison asked, the surprise not leaving her in the least bit. Bailey looked up at her curiously as she somehow had the feeling that this had more to do with Karev than who his replacement for the day would be.

"Yeah, he did." Bailey replied steadily. "Is that a problem?"

"No, no," Addison muttered. "Not at all, Im just used to him, I guess."

"Well, youve worked with O'Malley as well. I assure you, all interns are the same."

"Yeah, you're right." Addison said trying to mask her evident surprise.

Bailey took one last suspicious look at Addison before, brushing past her.

Addison felt completely defeated, Alex didn't even want to work with her, or around her for that matter. Things were going from bad to worse. After feeling sorry for herself momentarily she decided that having a defeatist attitude wouldn't help her situation. She had to find Alex, and she had to talk to him.

Addison finally did catch sight of Alex as he waited for an elevator on the west end of the 2nd floor. She watched him stand there, chart in hand looking up at the numbers above the elevator. She proceeded cautiously towards him, keeping a good amount of distance between them so that he wouldn't be tipped off that she was behind him. Once the elevator opened and she saw that no one was occupying it, she quickened her pace to enter it quietly behind him before he even turned around to see who had come into the elevator. Once he saw her blazing red hair and white coat he felt his heart drop. Addison hit the button to stall the elevator in between floors before looking him squarely in the eyes.

"What are you doing?" Alex asked slightly confused. He could feel his anxiety rise as he took in her presence. She hadn't been in front of him for more than 30 seconds and he felt like he was already loosing much needed ground.

"Unfortunately, pushing you into a corner, since it seems that's the only way I can get you to listen to me."

"I can't do this with you right now." Alex replied as he reached around her for the elevator panel, she anticipated his movement and caught his hand with her own. Her soft fingers intertwining with his on contact. Alex hadn't expected such a deliberate move and it stunned him. He looked at her hand in his and then up at her, he felt his heart beating in his ears. He had no outright initial refusal or reaction, he just held onto her hand and got lost in her eyes. Addison broke their intense silence.

"So now you can't even work with me?" Addison asked softly.

"I just couldn't do it today." Alex answered honestly.

"What happened to, 'I'll see you tomorrow'?" Addison questioned, the hurt in her voice was more than apparent. "You had no intension of that. You were just going to avoid me all day and hope that we didn't run into each other."

"I need time to think, I need time to clear my head and I just can't do that when I'm around you." Alex admitted sadly as he reveled in the intoxication of her closeness. He suddenly became upset with the obvious and emotionally teetering effect she was having on him. "I can't do this with you anymore. We can't see each other anymore."

"You don't mean that." Addison replied evenly.

"Yes, I do." Alex stated almost automatically.

"Then why are you still holding my hand?" Addison asked seriously. Almost like clockwork he pulled his hand away from hers. Not even being cognizant of the fact that he had been holding her hand for that entire span of time. His head and his heart weren't on the same page and it was literally driving him insane. He took a step back from her, putting some distance in between them and leaned against the railing, lining the elevator as he took a deep breath.

"I'm furious with you." Alex said honestly, his fingers gripping the railing as his built up tension cursed through his tired and overwhelmed body.

"You are completely justified in feeling that way." Addison replied.

"Don't tell me what I should be feeling. I'm not looking for allowances on how to react to the woman I'm sleeping with still being in love with her husband."

"I'm not in love with him."

"Sure, whatever." Alex bit back harshly. "Yet, he's still your husband. You're still his wife. So what does that make me, Addison? Huh? The sad piece a shit that everyone points and laughs at?"

His words cut her, deeper than she had already been cut within the last 48 hours. She knew, however that this was a defense mechanism for him, being so outright rude and presumptuous.

"I never wanted this to happen." Addison urged lightly.

"Of course not, you didn't want me to find out at all."

"The end result was going to be the same, it still is going to be the same. So what was the point in telling you something that didn't matter at the time, that still doesn't? It doesn't change anything. I'm still getting a divorce." Addison stated.

"You lied to me." Alex said plainly.

"I know and I'm sorry." Addison said lightly, her voice broke as she said it. Alex's jaw fixed tightly as he clenched it. Addison took a deep breath to try and compose herself before she became an embarrassing, blubbering mess. "I shouldn't have lied to you. I should have told you that the divorce isn't final, that neither one of us had signed yet. I should have been honest. But I didn't want to hurt you, I didn't want you to pull away from me, the way your doing now."

"Didn't you think it would hurt me more being lied to?" Alex asked sternly. "Being kept completely in the dark? I still wouldn't know if Izzie hadn't told me."

"Which she did out of complete malice, obviously." Addison spat bitterly.

"Don't do that." Alex warned calmly. "Don't make this about her. This is about me not being able to trust you. When I used to completely."

"But you can trust me," Addison implored as she took a step closer to him and gently placed her hand on his arm. This time, his reaction was immediate as he pulled his arm away from her.

"Don't touch me." Alex exclaimed firmly catching Addison off guard. She studied the serious, confusion on his face and decided that maybe they shouldn't be having that particular conversation in an elevator.

"I'm sorry." Addison muttered lightly. The actual intension behind that apology spanned further than he realized at that moment.

"Yeah, I am too. The last time we were in an elevator together things were a lot different." Alex said. "I guess it's true what they say about ignorance." He took one final look at Addison and could tell that she couldn't fathom what to say in response to that. He stood up straight, walked the couple steps toward the panel and hit the button to start up the elevator again. Addison turned around to face the elevator doors because she couldn't continue to look at him at that moment, for fear of completely breaking down in hysterics. They rode the rest of the elevator ride in silence and as soon as the doors opened, they both walked out and went two separate ways.