Perfume and Promises
A Private Practice fic by Gigi
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Except Season 1 on DVD.
Chapter 8: Penny
A/N: Okay, so I am thoroughly depressed with this fic now. Not because I haven't been getting enough reviews, and not because I think the story's anywhere near over. Quite the opposite, actually, because I actually have some idea of where I want this to go. But Addie and Pete broke up in the finale, and it made me really sad. I'd pick Paddie over Saddie any day. Just the couple names alone are enough to tell which one is clearly superior. Anyway, here's the next chapter, but I may be wrapping this up soon unless Shonda fixes this mess.
It had been two weeks since the false positive, two weeks since Addison's very likely last hope for a baby of her own were dashed. For the first week after it all happened, she walked around the office like a ghost, going through the motions and doing everything mechanically. She saw half as many patients and chose instead to catch up on charting and piled up paperwork. Naomi and Pete both worried about the redheaded surgeon, who would come in with bags under her eyes and her hair tied up in a very short little ponytail, with wisps of red escaping at the nape of her neck.
The second week appeared to go smoother for Addison, or at least she put on a more convincing front. Her makeup and hair returned to their previous state of impeccable precision, and she went back to her normal workload. But every now and then, a flash of sadness would flit across those clear blue eyes.
Any and all calls made to Mark went unanswered, and Addison hated that he had gone back to Seattle still thinking she was pregnant. But short of actually following him up to set him straight—and thus jumpstart the Seattle Grace Hospital gossip mill to talking about her again—Addison could think of no way to let him know if he wasn't going to talk to her.
Sitting at her desk, Addison twiddled her thumbs while she stared at her phone, willing it to ring. She'd paged Callie ten minutes earlier, and she needed to talk to her if she was going to have any chance of salvaging her friendship with Mark. At long last, the little screen next to the receiver lit up with a blue light and a ringing sound blared throughout the room for less than a second before Addison jerked it up to her ear.
"Addison, what's up?" Callie asked worriedly. "Mark has been one hell of a crabby plastic surgeon since he came back from LA. What happened?"
"Mark is really upset with me, Callie," Addison cried. "I've tried calling him, but he doesn't want to talk to me. I can't just up and follow him there; otherwise he and a few other people will get the wrong idea. I need your help."
"Alright, walk me through it," Callie complied. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of Mark walking away from the nurses' station without having hit on a single nurse.
"You know how I aborted Mark's baby four years ago?" she began. After hearing Callie's confirmation, she continued, "And you know how I have fertility issues now?" Once again, Callie affirmed the statement. "Well, Pete and I are together now, and—"
"Wait, wait. Is this Stairwell Guy?" Callie interrupted, remembering when Addison had taken her vacation to LA when she still lived in Seattle.
"Yeah, Pete's the Stairwell Guy. He and I got together about a month ago, and the first time we had sex, we didn't use protection. So two weeks later, Pete shows up at my doorstep with a pregnancy test, and I took it. And that was the day I got the call from Mark wanting to have lunch. Anyway, I was sort of freaked out and kind of blurted that I was pregnant. He got really angry with me because I was going to keep this baby when I didn't want to keep his and left," Addison relayed. She took a deep breath, and her voice took on a grave tone. "Callie, I need you to tell Mark that I'm not pregnant. The test was a false positive. I was going to keep the baby because I honestly thought all hope was lost of having kids. He needs to realize that I can't have babies now, and so I jumped at the possibility that I somehow got pregnant. I miss my best friend, Callie."
"Oh, Addie," Callie sighed in sympathy. "I'm so sorry."
"It's okay, Callie," Addison insisted halfheartedly. "I've resigned myself to that fact before. I can do it again, but only if Mark forgives me. I can't bear the thought of him hating me."
"Okay, I'll see what I can do," Callie offered.
"Thank you," came the relieved reply. Callie heard someone talking to Addison on the other side and waited patiently for her to return to the conversation. "Callie, I'm sorry but my patient just arrived. I've got to go."
"It's fine. I'll report back later," Callie said loyally before saying her goodbyes and hanging up. She turned around and scanned the hallway. Mark was going to forgive her best friend if it was the last thing she did.
Addison went through the rest of her day mechanically. Her heart skipped a beat every time she heard the phone ring, hoping it was either Mark or Callie calling. It never was, and it was driving her crazy. She was so wound up that, when her two o'clock patient was a no-show, she felt no desire to complain. She just walked right on over to Pete's office and stuck her head in.
"You busy?" she asked the man sitting at his desk.
A small smile came to Pete's face as he beckoned her in. "Not at all. Come on in."
Addison sighed with relief, making her way to the couch and staring at him with a look that said he had about five seconds to sit next to her. He accomplished it in three. "What's up?" he prompted.
Addison snaked her arms around his waist and buried her face in his chest, breathing deeply. "I just needed a hug," she said into his shirt. Puzzled, Pete wrapped his arms tightly around the small redhead.
"I called Callie today," Addison muttered. "She's going to try to talk Mark down enough to actually listen to me because he still thinks I'm pregnant."
Pete gave Addison an extra squeeze for comfort. "He's a plastic surgeon, Addie," he started, lacing the title with as much disdain as he could muster. To his great pleasure, a small chuckle escaped Addison's lips. "His own ego is what caused you guys to fight anyway. It'll take a while to deflate that thing, but, from what you've told me about Callie, he'll call."
Addison slid her head up his chest so that she could look him in the eye. "Although you definitely insulted one of my best friends,—" Pete grinned unabashedly—"you're good at the comforting thing," she complimented.
"I try," Pete responded modestly with a smirk that was anything but.
"Can we just sit here for a little bit longer?"
Pete rubbed her back soothingly. "We can sit here as long as you want. You know I'll always be here."
Closing her eyes, Addison burrowed her face in his chest once again. "Great, thanks."
A/N: Okay, so it still took me six months to get this out, but Addison and Pete broke up in the show. It made me sad, and it was kind of painful to write for them after that. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. You know what to do! (REVIEW!)