The Best Man

A Private Practice fic by Gigi

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Chapter 1: The Announcement

A/N: Hello, again! I am on my way back from a vacation where I had NO internet access from my computer. Naturally, I was going insane not being able to get my Addie-fixes, so I read a shitload of Addie-centric fics. Now I'm chock full of ideas and I've had this scenario in my mind for ages. Enjoy!

A/N 2: By the way, none of that absolute crap with Pete, Violet and Sheldon ever happened. Pete and Violet are only friends, and that's all they EVER will be in Gigi-land. Got it?

A ring sparkled on Naomi Bennett's finger.

It was a familiar ring, tucked away in the bottom of her dresser drawer for almost a year and a half. But that's not what made it special. No, what made this ring special was the finger on which it was nestled. The fourth finger of the left hand, to be exact.

Addison stared at that ring for almost ten minutes before finally caving. "Naomi, are you ever going to talk about it or were you just going to keep waiting until one of us brought it up?"

"Oh, thank God," Violet breathed, closing her eyes in relief. "I couldn't stand not knowing."

Naomi smiled a secretive smile, toying with the idea of acting like she had no idea what they were talking about, before finally speaking. "Sam came over last night and had dinner with Maya and me," she began. "We had told Maya not to get her hopes up when Sam and I started seeing each other again, and so naturally, my hopes weren't up either. We were sitting in the living room playing Pictionary, and Sam started to draw a ring."

"Wait," Violet interrupted. "I play Pictionary more than any of you, and I know there is no ring card." It took a moment for the shrink to realize exactly what she had said. "Oh, my God, I really need a life."

"Yes, you do," Addison deadpanned. "Keep going, Naomi."

"Right. He started to draw a ring, and I started to notice it was very similar to the one he'd given me when he asked me to marry him. He even scribbled in the engraving, and when he was finished, he was on one knee and proposing with the picture in his hand." Naomi couldn't wipe the ridiculously happy grin off her face.

Addison and Violet leaned into each other, simultaneously going, "Aww!" The redhead got up and hugged the breath out of her best friend. "I'm so happy for you," she declared. Pulling back, she immediately got to the point. "So how far along are you on the wedding plans?"

"Not very," the newly engaged woman admitted. "We just know that we want Maya, Violet--" Violet clapped in excitement from her seat at the counter-- "and Charlotte as bridesmaids and you as Maid of Honor, if you will accept."

Addison's bright blue eyes lit up. "Of course!" she exclaimed, pulling her friend into another rib-crushing hug. "So, who will be the groomsmen?"

"So far, we have Pete, Cooper..." Naomi trailed off, looking apprehensive, hoping Addison wouldn't notice.

She did. "That's only two," she declared. "That won't work, unless you decide to get rid of one of the bridesmaids." Naomi flinced. "Naomi," Addison said slowly, "who is the third groomsman?"

"We were thinking of...Mark," she finally confessed. Naomi looked at her best friend, waiting for the explosion, but found instead a quiet simmer.

"Bye," Violet said, rushing out of the practice's kitchen.

"Mark," the OB/GYN repeated. "As in Mark Sloan?" Naomi nodded. "And I can only assume that Derek will be the Best Man?" Another nod. "So my ex-husband and ex-boyfriend will be at the wedding?" Yet another nod. "I have to walk down the aisle with my ex-husband?" At this point, Naomi was just perpetually nodding. "I have to dance with my ex-husband at the reception?" Naomi's neck was starting to hurt, but she continued to nod. "Is Richard invited?" She kept nodding. "Meaning half of Seattle will be sitting in the church?" A last nod, before Addison finally snapped. "Oh, will you just say something, already?"

"Don't be angry," Naomi pleaded.

Addison took a long look at the other woman's face, at last calming down. "I'm not mad," she sighed. "It's just that I haven't seen them since the whole thing with Archer, and that was almost a year ago. And it was always on my terms. I was always the one who came and went. None of them have seen my life here, and I don't know if I'm ready for them to see it yet."

"Well, the wedding isn't for three months, so you still have a little time to get yourself ready," Naomi comforted, but her efforts ended up backfiring.

"Three months?" came the strangled reply. Addison's eyes were wide and fearful. "They will be here in three months? That's so soon!"

"You'll be okay. You'll be ready."

Addison glared at the fertility specialist. "I better be, or you're going to have hell to pay," she promised.

XD

It was two weeks until the wedding, and there was still so much to do. Addison had her face buried in wedding plans while she walked in from a lunch that was spent tasting salads and various entrees for the reception. As a result, she went home and changed into her "fat work clothes," which consisted of a loose, halter top and wide-legged pants, before returning to Oceanside Wellness.

"Um, Addison?" Dell spoke up as she made her way across the lobby, pulling her out of the lists of wine.

"Yeah?" Addison answered, starting to fix her slightly windswept hair with her free hand.

"Were you expecting someone?"

Addison's hand stopped in her hair. "No," she said, puzzled. "Why?"

Dell didn't get the chance to answer, because Addison suddenly found a little boy hanging off her leg, yelling "Addie! Addie! Addie! Addie! Addie!"

Stumbling, Addison put her file and her purse on the front desk and bent down to pick up the little boy, peering into his chubby little face. Noticing the dark hair and the bright blue eyes, she laughed. "Benjamin? Is that you?" The boy nodded his head so much that Addison's arms actually started shaking. "Oh, you've grown so big! How old are you now, thirty?"

"I'm four!" he declared, holding up six tiny fingers straight in front of him.

Addison couldn't help but smile at the error. Grabbing two of his fingers and placing her forehead on his, she said, "You've gotten so old! Where's your mommy?" Benjamin pointed to a tall, thin woman with a dark brown bob.

"Addison Montgomery, as I live and breathe," the woman smiled.

"Nancy!" Addison rushed over to her former sister-in-law and wrapped the arm not holding Benjamin around her. "What are you doing here?"

"Little Benny here is going to be the ring bearer in Sam and Naomi's wedding," Nancy announced. "And, since I'm his mommy, I got to tag along. Kathleen will be here, too."

"Really?" Addison wasn't as excited about Kathleen as she was about Nancy. Sure, they got along, but Kathleen still held some resentment after Addison cheated on Derek. "Why?"

"Her Rosette is the flower girl," Nancy replied.

"Oh, well, that's fitting," Addison commented. She gestured to her office, "Come on back. We have so much to catch up on!"

"Well, can we wait for a second?" Nancy pleaded. "I'm meeting someone here, and I don't want them to think I stood them up."

"Oh, do I know them?"

At that moment, the elevator dinged and the doors opened to reveal none other than Derek Shepherd. Addison froze, holding Benjamin on one hip, as she watched her ex-husband's eyes widen upon seeing her.

Nancy finally answered Addison. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure you do."

A/N: So, love it? Hate it? This was a super long chapter so I decided to cut it in half. You MIGHT get the other half if you're nice to me and review!