A/N: So this is the last part of this story. Just like part 6 this part may seem a bit hurried as well, but I'm going to China for six months tomorrow, and I didn't want to leave without publishing the last part. I want to say a big thank you to all of you who has read this story and sent me reviews. It's meant a lot to me and it's very inspiring. It's always nice to know that someone else enjoys reading what you're writing.
As she gets in the car, she wonders what exactly she is doing. But after leaving Richard's office she went over this in her head several times and finally she decided to go and see Derek. She still isn't sure of what she'll do or say when she faces him but she knows she has to see him one last time, to get some kind of closure and she wants them to end things on good terms.
When she stops the car at the space she used as her parking spot last year, she takes a deep breath. She leans her head against the steer wheel and wonders again if she did the right thing by coming here. But then she sits up straight and shrugs. She takes a deep breath again, realizing this will be much more difficult than she thought when she left the hotel. Before she can change her mind she gets out of the car and closes the door quietly.
When she reaches the small deck outside of the trailer, the door opens and Derek sticks his head out. Addison stops walking towards him for a brief moment.
Addison looks down, and then she walks up on the deck. "Hi, Derek."
Derek walks out on the deck as well and closes the door. "Hi…," he says slowly. "I thought I heard a car but I would have never guessed it was you."
Addison smiles slightly at him.
"What are you doing here?" Derek asks after a few seconds.
When she sees the small glimpse of hope in Derek's eyes, she mentally kicks herself. When she decided to go here to say goodbye to Derek face to face, she had never imagined that he might misjudge the situation.
"I wanted to say goodbye," Addison says as gentle as possible. When she sees the disappointed look in Derek's face, she reaches out her hand to him and puts it on her arm. "I'm sorry, Derek. Should I've not have come?"
"No, of course you should have. I'm glad you're here," Derek says quietly and looks away.
Addison still feels guilty though, when she notices that Derek can't fully manage to hide the disappointment and sadness in his eyes. "I just felt that we needed some kind of closure. I don't want to leave knowing that my ex-husband hates me."
Derek looks up and straight into her eyes. "I could never hate you. You have to know that."
Addison smiles softly and shrugs. "Well, with everything that has been happening lately…"
"Yeah, I'm sorry about that."
"Don't worry about it." Addison laughs a little. "Although knowing you I'm pretty sure you will anyway."
Derek smiles slightly. "Listen, are you in a hurry? I have beer."
Addison smiles and nods at him. "A beer would be nice."
Derek goes into the trailer to get the beer and Addison sits down in one of the chairs. As she looks out on the huge land in front of her, she can't help feeling a bit nostalgic. She remembers the good times she and Derek shared when they used to sit on this deck. At those times, Addison actually believed that their marriage would last.
"Here you are." Derek hands her a beer and sits down in the chair next to her.
Addison tries to discreetly wipe a way a tear that's rolling down her cheek but Derek notices it.
"Hey, what's wrong?" He asks softly.
Addison snorts but then smiles slightly at him. "It's just this," she says and looks at the big lawn in front of them and Derek immediately understands what she means.
"I do that too," he admits. "All the time."
"Have you decided what to do with the land yet?" Addison asks and tries to get rid of the sadness she feels when she thinks about what the two of them could have had here.
Derek shrugs. "Actually, I'll probably put it on the market at the end of the week."
"Sell it? Why? Are you crazy?"
Derek shrugs again and drinks up what is left in his beer bottle. "It's just too many memories that I don't want to deal with just yet."
Addison raises her eyebrows at him. "So you'll just run away from them? That's so like you," she can't help add a bit sarcastically.
"What's that supposed to mean?" he snaps angrily.
Addison rolls her eyes and looks at him as if he has to be kidding. "You really want to go there?" Derek doesn't say anything, just looks at her with challenging eyes. "Okay, fine, but don't hold it against me later. The most recent problems you've just ran away from has been me in New York after I slept with Mark. And then it was the time, only a few weeks ago, when I told you that Mark and I actually had a relationship. You just walked away at that time as well."
Addison stares at him so hard that Derek has to look away and Addison is afraid she crossed the line. This was supposed to be a peaceful goodbye and somehow it had turned out to an argument.
"Then look at it this way," Derek says, still without looking at her. "You haven't sold the Brownstone yet, have you?" Addison is quiet. "I'll take that as a no. So when you're moving back to New York, are you going to move back into our old home again? The home we shared for almost a decade?"
Addison sighs. "Okay, I get your point. I'm sorry for lashing out on you like that." Derek shrugs. "This must have convinced you that we don't belong together, though," Addison jokes. "We can't even say goodbye without arguing."
Derek smiles softly at her. "I'm still not convinced. I don't think I ever will be."
"Derek!" Addison looks at him in disbelief. "How could you not see what just happened here?"
"Maybe we think it'll be easier if we end this with a fight," he says simply.
His words hit her like a knife in the chest and she realizes that he's right. Even though, she had not intended to get into a fight with him when she came here, she knew it would be much harder to leave him if they had shared a tearful farewell. That's why she had taken his bait so easily just minutes ago.
"I should leave," she says quietly.
"Are you sure you want to do that?"
Addison nods and gets up. Derek does the same and takes a small step closer to her. It's only an inch between their bodies and Addison can feel Derek's warm breath on her face. She tells herself to take a step back but right now, moving seems impossible. Derek just looks at her and his eyes are young and soft again, reminding her of when they first started dating. Then Derek leans forward and gently brushes his lips against her neck before making a trail of light kisses towards her mouth. Then he stops and looks into her eyes for a second before lightly brushing his lips against hers.
Addison feels numb for a brief moment but then answers the light kiss. She expects to feel the tip of Derek's tongue on her lips soon but when he just softly keeps brushing his lips against hers, she realizes that Derek is letting her make the decision.
Then all of the sudden she snaps out of it and she forces herself to take a step back. She puts the tip of her fingers against her lips. "You shouldn't have done that," she says quietly.
She starts backing away from him as if she doesn't trust herself to be to close to him. He takes a few tentative steps after her.
"No, I just need some… Can you just give me some space?" She looks at him with tears welling up in her eyes. "Why do you keep doing this to me?" She cries openly now. "Why do you make me fall in love with you over and over again?"
"Addie, I love you," he says sincerely.
"You don't! You just think you do because I'm leaving."
"I've already told you that isn't true."
Addison crosses her arms over her chest and shakes her head. "I'm leaving now."
As she runs to her car she can hear Derek yelling her name.
- - -
Derek hasn't been able to sleep all night. He's been tossing and turning over how things developed last night. He should have just let her go. If he had, maybe he had gotten his chance later, sometime in the future. He shouldn't have kissed her either. But on the other hand how could he not when she stood there in front of him, looking more beautiful than ever?
He looks at the time and realizes that if he wants to, he'll make it to the airport before Addison's flight leaves so he can apologize. On the other hand, maybe it's just time to let her go. He's already put her through enough trouble. Sitting up in bed, he decides not to go. When Addison's ready, she'll call him. He sighs and covers his face with her hands. He can't believe she's actually leaving. In a few hours she'll be a continent away. He looks over his shoulder and at the side of the bed that used to be hers. Then he pulls out the drawer in the nightstand. It's still there. Just like Addison, he couldn't bring himself to get rid of his wedding ring. With shaky hands, he picks it up and then slowly puts it on his left ring finger, where it belongs. Suddenly he feels more complete than he has in a long time.
He looks at the time again. He can still make it to the airport in time. She had told him yesterday that she didn't want to leave wondering if he hated her. Now he feels the same. He runs around in the trailer to find his car keys and wallet at the same time as he's brushing his teeth and is putting on his clothes. He takes one quick look of himself in the mirror before opening the door to the trailer. But as he's about to run towards his car he stops in his tracks when he sees that someone is sitting in one of the chairs.
Addison turns her head over her shoulder and smiles teasingly at him. "Took you long enough."
"But… What are you doing here? Isn't your flight supposed to leave in an hour?"
Addison laughs a little and raises and walks towards him. "You know, for a brain surgeon you can be so clueless sometimes." When he doesn't say anything, Addison laughs again. "I'm not leaving Seattle, silly." Derek still doesn't say anything, just looks at her with confusing eyes and Addison's starting to feel a bit insecure. "That is, if you still want me too."
Derek's face slowly starts to light up and it only takes a few seconds for him to grin from ear to ear. "You're serious? You're not just kidding with me?"
Addison shakes her head. "When I got in the car this morning I had every intention of going to the airport. I don't know how but twenty minutes later I'm here instead." She smiles softly. "You know, Richard told me yesterday that I was cheating on life if I didn't take the chance with you again."
Derek smirks at her. "And you don't want to cheat on life, do you?"
Addison grins. "Nope." Then she turns serious. "I'm taking a chance here, Derek, and so are you. We've already been through this more times than is normal. But I think this relationship is worth fighting for and when we face obstacles, which I know we will," she rolls her eyes and smiles slightly, "I'm not going to walk away. I'm done with walking away."
Derek nods. "So am I." He bites his bottom lip and looks as if he's trying to find the right words. "From this day I'll always remember how empty and lonely I feel without knowing that you are by my side. I give you that promise, Addison."
She takes his hands in hers and leans forward to kiss him but then she pulls away.
"Not again…!" Derek says with a small laugh but Addison isn't listening to him.
Instead she holds up his left hand and sees the wedding ring on his finger. Derek looks a bit embarrassed.
"I just put it on…"
He stops talking when Addison takes out the necklace with her wedding rings that's been hiding under her shirt. Derek smiles at her and puts his hands around her neck to unclasp the necklace. Then he gives it to Addison and she lets the rings slide off the chain. She holds out her open palm to Derek with the rings.
"Put them on," she whispers and smiles.
Derek takes her left hand in his and gently puts on the rings on her finger. Addison sighs contently at him, holds up her left hand, and looks at it.
Then she looks at Derek with a happy smile. "I love you."
"I love you too, Addie." Derek nearly chokes on his voice and his eyes are starting to get damp.
Addison can't help laughing, feeling her own eyes getting damp as well. "Aww, come here you big baby." She puts her arms around her neck and kisses him.
- The End -