Title: The Best Laid Plans...
Fandom: Grey's Anatomy
Spoilers: Possibly for 4x12 Where the Wild Things Are, and also for the promo for next week.
Summary: When Addison comes back to Seattle Grace things have changed.
Rating: PG-13 maybe? Yeah, probably not.
Disclaimer: Grey's Anatomy and all the characters associated with it belong to Shonda Rhimes and other folks who are not me. The same goes for Private Practice. Also? Not making any money off of this.
Notes: So apparently the promos for next week got my Meredith/Addison bunnies going again. Who knew?
"You know," she says in that dryly sarcastic voice that you kind of hate, but really can't resist because Addison's usually right, "I didn't leave Seattle for this."
She pins you with a sharp look that you can't quite meet.
"I left so that you could be with him. I left because you two seemed to have something special and I wanted to find something like that for myself. I didn't leave for her." She tips her head towards Rose who's leaning over the counter at the nurses' station and flirting with Derek.
Your gaze flick from Rose back to Addison, and you resist the urge to roll your eyes at her. "I didn't exactly plan that."
She shakes her head at you with a hint of disappointment and then slips past you. She goes up behind Derek and even from your angle you can see the momentary flicker of uncomfortableness in Rose's eyes. She looks thrown off balance and unsure of how to deal with this sudden intrusion. Addison turns up the charm and brings all of her presence to bear and you see fear flash through Rose's eyes.
You feel a second of pity for her, but only a second. You know what it's like to be on that side of Addison, but the two of you settled that a long time ago. Now you cross your arms and watch Addison take Rose a part with a few well placed words. It looks like Satan hasn't lost her touch. Addison glances your way and catches you smiling at her. For a second, a hint of a smile tugs at her own lips and then she's focusing her wrath back on Rose.
It's time for rounds.
Manicured fingers catch the elevator doors just before they're about to close.
You close your eyes and let your head lull back against the wall of the elevator. The shiny, sparkly beeper that all resident's covet weighs heavily at your side and you pray for it to go off. Anything to distract you or drag you out of this elevator. What was it with you getting trapped in elevators with the most inappropriate people?
"Are you just going to stand there and pretend you don't know I'm here, Grey?" She sounds far too amused. You open your eyes.
She's staring at you with an bemused grin.
"He's not in love with her, you know."
You manage a small hint of a smile, that really isn't a smile, but lets her know that you're not angry about this. "I know."
"So you're just going to sit back and watch this happen?" Her eyebrows shoot upwards in disbelief. "You used to be more proactive than this."
This time you really do smile. This is so dark and twisty - and yet not - the ex-wife and the dirty mistress having this conversation. "Rose just isn't you."
Addison lets out a surprised laugh. "I think I'll take that as a compliment, Grey."
"You should." The elevator dings, signaling that it's finally reached your floor. You favor her with one last enigmatic smile and then back out of the elevator, keeping your eyes locked on hers until the doors slide shut between you.
What in the hell are you doing?
You're curled up on the abandoned gurney in the deserted hallway that you, Alex, Cristina, Izzie and George had claimed over a year ago as your own spot.
There's a good chance that your beeper will go off any moment. It does that more now that you can choose any surgery you want, but for the moment you're not interested. You look as if you're trying to catch some much needed sleep as you lay on there with your eyes closed. In reality, your eyes flicker open every few moments of their own accord to look at the woman sitting across from you.
It might just be the most casual you've ever seen her look. LA seems to have been good to her. Addison's leaning back against the brick wall, her posture slightly slumped. With her legs crossed at the knee, she still manages to preserve her dignity in the tight, slitted skirt that she's wearing.
In truth, however, it's her eyes - hidden behind black rimmed glasses - and her face - creased with laugh lines and full of mobile expressions - that you're watching. You bite your lip as one of her eyebrows climb just a little, and then you force your eyes closed again, willing yourself to sleep and to not care.
It's not working. Your eyes pop back open against your will. Air catches in your lungs when you realize that she's staring back at you over the rim of her glasses. You are so busted. Still you rub at your eyes a little, miming sleep, and then roll your legs off of the gurney and sit up.
You're nervous; maybe more nervous than when you approached Derek about this. "What do you think?"
Addison looks down at the sheaf of papers in her hands and drops them to her lap. "I think this is really good, Grey. It's not my area of expertise, but your research seems to be very well thought out and the results are looking very promising." She smiles again. "It's great and it's going to look excellent on your resume in a few years."
You duck your head slightly at her praise and shift your weight to your hands, pushing lightly against the gurney where you sit. Looking back up at her, you can't seem to contain your smile. Somehow her approval means more than even Derek's. She's not biased; she doesn't pity you. Addison has always been honest with you and it's something that you value about her.
It's why you weigh your next words for a moment before you ask your question, because she will answer you honestly.
"Why are you spending all of this time with me? Shouldn't you be, I don't know, anywhere but here - with me?"
Addison slips her glasses off, and folds them away carefully. She takes a deep breath and then looks up at you from beneath pale eyelashes.
"Despite whatever differences we may have had in the past, I've always respected you. You're an interesting person, Meredith. Someday you're going to be a leading and very well respected neurosurgeon. You're doing some very interesting work here. Why shouldn't I be spending time with you?"
You're not quite sure what to say to that.
It's been a while since you've been in Joe's. It's all part of the new you. The you that's less dark and twisty - the one who's going to therapy instead of sleeping with inappropriate men.
Tonight you're making an exception. It's not regressing. You're still growing and evolving. This is just another stop along the way. In fact, you think that this might be growing and evolving too. Besides if she isn't here, you'll just leave.
All doubts vanish from your mind as you walk down the steps and glance casually around. You spot her darker, but still reddish hair immediately. Your smile grows as you thread your way through the crowded room towards the bar.
Joe flashes you a grin. He's happy to see you after your long absence. You're happy to see him too. But tonight you're not willing to be distracted and for a change, you don't need to pour your heart out or get stinking drunk. You're here for something different tonight. Evolution again.
"What can I get for you?"
"Two of whatever she's drinking," you say, casually tipping your head towards Addison, perched on a stool at the opposite end of the bar.
Joe just gives you a knowing smile and hands you the drink. Idly you wonder what he's thinking as you pay him and then take the drinks, winding your way through the crowd of people again.
"Need another," you ask lightly, as you slip the drink in front of Addison.
She tips her head over to look at you. Her eyes light up when she realizes that it's you and not just some stranger hitting on her.
"Thanks," Addison says, as she accepts the drink.
You slide onto the seat beside her. When you look back up, she's watching you again.
"I thought I might find you here," Addison confesses.
"I don't spend as much time here as I used to," you admit with slight defensiveness. You know your interactions with alcohol haven't always been the healthiest. More evolution.
"Well I'm glad I caught you here tonight." She favors you with a genuine smile before taking another sip of her drink.
You smile back, feeling a flush of warmth spreading through you that has nothing to do with what you've been drinking.
"I'm glad too."
She looks past you and from the slight grimace on her face, you know without having to turn around, who's come in.
"You're a bigger person than I am, Meredith." Addison sounds tired, you think. Maybe LA hasn't been all sunshine and golden sandy days at the beach.
"I don't know about that. You could have made my life hell."
She laughs and gives you another look. You concede the point.
"You could have made it a lot worse."
"Thank you." She shakes her head. "I still don't understand though. Derek's a good man. I know he loves you and you love him."
It's your turn to take another sip of your drink, buying a few moments of time. For a fleeting moment you wish for tequila, but that ferry has already long chugged away from the dock.
"He does love me." There's wonder in your voice, as you glance across the room. As fate would have it, your glance is just in time to catch Derek's eyes. He stares back at you with a look that could melt your soul. You blink, and look away. "I love him." You force the words out, as you think that she's probably the only person that you could admit this to, because she understands.
"But he wants something from me that I can't give him. He's ready for the big dream house with the white picket fence and the two point five kids. I'm not ready for Derek."
Addison is silent for a moment. You wonder what's going through her mind. You've never been able to tell with her.
"You don't have to be," she says softly, and you let out the breath you hadn't realized you were holding. "Derek's a good man, but that doesn't mean that he's the right person for you."
"I'm growing," you blurt out, suddenly feeling like a nervous tongue-tied intern again.
The confused look on her face makes you realize she has no idea what you're talking about.
"I mean, I'm dealing with my issues. I'm not just running away because I'm scared."
Addison nods sympathetically. The two of you sit in comfortable silence for a long moment. Then she looks over at you with a glint in her eye that makes you sit up straighter. This is the look you first saw in her eyes. The powerful, strong women that could be a bitch in heels. Satan.
"So does this mean you're celibate these days, Meredith?"
You've been propositioned enough times to know what this is. The look in her eyes only confirms it. It doesn't shock you. This moment has been building between you since she got here, maybe since she first came to Seattle. You have no intention of stopping it.
You have to admit that you're just as interested as she seems to be. Smiling recklessly, you stand. When you do, it brings you into her personal space. You can feel the warmth radiating from her body. Your hands clench and unclench at your side. You're fidgeting and suddenly insecure.
She leans back on her stool and watches you with those eyes from a certain distance, challenging you as she always has. You've never been one to back down from a challenge. You lean down and claim her lips in a searing kiss. Your hands find their way into her hair, holding her to you.
Addison is just as possessive. Her hands drop to your hips and pull you close. One wanders up your back, burning a path across your skin.
Both of you are breathless when you separate a moment later. She flashes you a smile that jolts you to the pit of your stomach.
"I'm glad I came back for this," she murmurs huskily into your ear as she takes your hand. Together you walk out of Joe's.