Disclaimer: If I owned Grey's, we'd get to see Alex' past, so noone would ever think he was a bad person. Sadly, I do in no way own Grey's. So all I can do is show you my take.

Pairing: Addex.

Rating: T

Summary: Alex and Addison grew up as neighbors. They developed a fragile friendship, secretly having the slightest crush on each other. Fate tore them apart. But it always gives you another chance... Helps you get your personal shard of glass...

Warning: Totally AU. Well, not totally. Just mostly.

A/N: Sigh... I've had this idea ages ago and written a huge part of it. Cannot promise frequent updates, though. But I so hope you are going to read and comment! This story means a lot to me, mostly because it's Alex' past we're dealing with and I've never read such a story (and Shonda won't give us anything other than small infos told by Alex himself). Naturally, I had to get Addie into it.

I'll write a McBlog entry about this soon. You might want to consider checking it out. There's also a trailer for this, but I posted that a long time ago, so you have to go looking for it. Other things that are important in my McBlog: Information about my other fics. I always ramble after I post a chapter. The comment for 'Karma X' is missing, because I had it all written and then the entry got deleted by my computer and I don't feel like doing it all again.

The chapter: Not the best one in the entire story. Should suffice. I'm not all that fond of it, though. Hope, you disagree. Even if you agree, please comment and tell me so! Well, that was that. Now all I can do is wish you a pleasant read. Enjoy!


Shards of glass - Prologue: A perfectly normal day in Iowa

Lifehouse - Blind

I was young but I wasn't naive
I watched helpless as he turned around to leave
and still I have the pain I have to carry
a past so deep that even you could not bury if you tried

It was a warm summer night. Starlit sky, full moon, a soft breeze... In any other situation Addison would have considered it romantic.

She was a total romantic, like most of the girls/women still were when they were 19, so it was kind of strange that she didn't have tons of cheesy thoughts about sitting there with her most perfect dreamy boyfriend, holding hands, kissing softly, maybe going a little further, but always very slow and romantic and wonderful. Those thoughts were very far from her mind right now.

She was sitting on the doorstep outside of her house, wishing she could just go inside, go to bed, pull a pillow over her head and shut out everything that was going on at the Karevs'. But naturally, she couldn't, couldn't let herself. He'd need her.

It'd been obvious. From the moment the car had pulled into the driveway, it'd been obvious what'd happen tonight. Again. There were hardly any Friday nights when it didn't happen. And Alex had made sure the kids weren't at home, so he couldn't be all that surprised either.

Addison's eyes were fixed at the yard. There were flowers, lilies, mostly, now lazily letting their heads hang down, asleep. A big oak tree with a swing and what she knew were deep green leaves, black in the night.

It'd been two minutes. He'd appear in about thirty to forty seconds, sneaking out of the back door.

She was biting her lip nervously, a habit that she had picked up at the tender age of ten, when she'd moved here. Every time she heard the noises, she felt like she had to do something, anything. But she never did, partly because she didn't knew what, partly because her parents were strictly against her interfering, but mostly out of fear. It was beyond frightening. There was a reason why he never let the little ones stick around on a Friday night. She didn't know how Alex did it.

Speaking of which, there he was. A lonely figure appearing in the garden of the house on the opposite side of the street. No 7. Addison slowly stood up, then walked over to meet him.

Alex Karev was the angriest man she knew. The most self-destructive. The most scared. His face betrayed him. Even in the dim light of moon and stars, she could see how much he had already locked up. Stone walls. Don't let anyone in...

Wordlessly, he sat down with his back leaning against the huge tree. Equally silent, she sat down on the swing. He'd start talking when he was ready to. A lot of their time together consisted of this. Comfortable silence. Simply being there. Never touching. As in never. She never had touched him. Not held his hand, not hugged him. Too intimate. The timidity of little children was long gone, but the barrier between them was still there. His stone walls.

"How was school?", he asked quietly.

"You had a fight with Neil, didn't you?", she responded.

Neil Scotnea, a guy in some of his classes. He tended to pick on Addison every time he had a chance to (she assumed Neil was madly in love with her). Then again, he tended to pick on everyone. Alex and him were sort of friends. Sort of. As in, Neil didn't really know much of anything about his 'friend'. And Alex would never tell him. He never told anyone about anything. The only reason Addison knew, was because they were neighbors and he couldn't hide it. It'd taken them long enough to develop this very fragile friendship.

"It wasn't a big deal.", he shrugged, "He's just jealous I'm older and wiser. Oh, did Newton give you hell for not having finished your essay?"

School talk. They did that. A lot.

"No. I think he secretly has a crush on me.", she laughed a little. It was no secret. Her English teacher loved every single thing she ever did. Actually, she had the feeling she could skip classes or destroy school furniture or sponges or something or never do homework and only give an empty sheet of paper to him when they wrote tests and she'd still be a straight 'A' student.

"Yeah, I got that feeling, too.", he chuckled. She adored it when he did that. It was a hot, light sound. Yeah, hot. She didn't even try to fool herself. Even though he was two years younger than she was, he was quite yummy. Especially when working on the field with his shirt off. What? A girl could look, couldn't she? He had an amazing smile and a hot chuckle. He didn't do it often enough, though. Not many reasons to be in a good mood.

"Can't say I blame him.", he went on. And there it was again. The little bolt of lightning that screamed both, 'DANGER!!!' and 'Sometimes it's so hard not to kiss him...'. Though it was obvious he had no interest whatsoever in being more than her friend. And the only reason why she wanted to kiss him was because he looked so good. No deeper feelings involved. Nope. Definitely none.

He seemed to have realized what he just said had sounded slightly suggestive and quickly added:

"That came out wrong. I'm simply saying that you're beautiful and clever and any guy would be lucky to have you. That reminds me: How are things going with Shepherd?"

Derek Shepherd, her boyfriend of a year. Going steady. He was older than her and had just started college. They'd met in New York, when she'd been visiting her aunt. He lived there, so they didn't see each other as often as they wanted to. They did love each other, after all. She missed him, sometimes, but when Alex was around, Derek didn't even matter. He simply faded into the background. Which was weird and unexplainable.

"Oh, me and Derek are fine. At least those times we do see each other."

And so it went on and on and on, until late after the noises had stopped. She found it comforting. Not always comfortable, but comforting. He needed this. He'd never admit it, but he did. A little distraction. Someone he could talk to about the most insignificant things in the history of the world, knowing there was no need for deeper talk, because she understood no matter what.

Eventually, he exclaimed he had to go to bed. That was a code for 'See, if I can do anything to ease my mother's pain'. Because that was what he did. He bore it for her.

A perfectly normal day in Iowa.