Better to Have Loved
A Grey's Anatomy fic by Gigi
Disclaimer: I own Gigi-land, but sadly, I do not own Shonda-land.
Chapter 5: Soft-Spoken Apologies
A/N: Okay, so I know it was really mean of me to give you such a short update and then leave you hanging for seven months, and I'm sorry. Hopefully, this will make you feel better!
Addison stood staring at Derek with one foot still out the door for what seemed to be eternity. Derek fared no better; he was well aware he was just short of gaping at his ex-wife.
Derek found his voice first. "What are you doing here?"
Addison jumped a little bit at the question, and her grip tightened on her key, which remained nestled in the lock. "I-I'm sorry," she stammered. "I just needed to get away from the hotel. Naomi, Mark and Sam kept wanting to talk about the incident in the OR, and I just needed to think about anything else." Derek simply sat up and nodded along thoughtfully. "I'm sorry, I'll just go—"
The word rang through the small trailer, stopping Addison in her attempt to escape the increasingly awkward encounter. Derek found his arm was extended, almost as if he'd intended to give chase if she did decide to flee. "I mean," he coughed, retracting his arm, "you don't have to leave."
"Really?" Addison asked tentatively, still wavering in the doorframe.
"Yes, really," Derek confirmed. "You should stay." He shifted to one side of the bed, leaving her ample space to sit next to him. He could still see the hesitation in her pale blue eyes as she slowly stepped fully inside the trailer. A small welcoming smile formed on his lips in an attempt to put her at ease. It didn't exactly work, but nonetheless she closed the trailer door behind her and crept her way to the bed, dropping off her purse and keys on the table in the process.
When she finally sat down on the edge of the bed, she turned herself so she could look at him. "I think we should talk," she declared into the quiet.
Nodding, Derek began, "Before we do, I need to apologize to you about what happened in the OR today."
Addison sighed. She seemed so worn out to her ex-husband, who, after eleven and a half years of marriage, could read her like a book. "Derek, you really don't have to—"
"Yes, I do," he cut in vehemently. "I blew up at you for no other reason than I let myself get attached to the case. I was crossing a line, and you were trying to stop me. I had no right to yell at you, and I shouldn't have."
Silence once again reigned in the enclosed space. Derek looked up after a few seconds to see Addison studying him and chewing her bottom lip. Her eyes sparkled with unshed tears, and dark circles hung right below them. "Thank you," she whispered. "I was going to tell you I'm sorry, too. I saw that you were doing what I used to do, and I didn't do anything to stop it. I could have confronted you about it, and I didn't."
For some reason, words refused to form on Derek's tongue. Settling for a simple shake of his head, he dropped his eyes Addison's hand, which was fiddling with the crimson bedspread. On impulse, he reached over and enclosed her hand in his, his thumb rubbing gentle circles on the side. Her hand stilled, just as he heard her breath hitch.
Looking up, Derek's piercing blue gaze met Addison's unsure one. "I've missed you, Addie," he murmured.
Addison felt her heart constrict at those four softly spoken words. She spent a few seconds just focusing on breathing in and out slowly. The effects of everything that had taken place in the last few days were catching up to her now that she had a chance to just sit and breathe. Before she knew it, tears were once again flowing freely down her cheeks, and she was squeezing her ex-husband's hand as if her life depended on it.
As soon as the first tear rolled down her cheek, Derek tugged on the hand he held and gathered Addison into a warm, comforting hug while he rubbed her back soothingly. "Shh…" he hummed. "It's okay, I'm right here. Just let it all out. I'm right here…"
An hour later found the pair laying on the bed, Derek's head resting on a pillow and Addison's head on his chest, which rose and fell rhythmically. The sound of his heartbeat lulled the exhausted redhead into a deep, peaceful slumber.
A/N: Yet another shortie, but I couldn't bring myself to make the chapter longer. It just seemed an appropriate stopping place. I'm really sorry for having such short chapters, but I hope you'll keep reading and reviewing! So please, REVIEW!