Cristina sat quietly next to Burke, signing off orders from the previous night. Every few moments, her glance would slide to his and then back to the chart and she would clear her throat a little or sigh slightly.
She didn't get it.
Yes, she had told him not to push her or rush her but he was Burke- she had expected at least a little bit of pushing or rushing on his part. She didn't know how to do the forward motion thing right. It's not like she was going to take him out for some overpriced dinner or cook for him. The best she could do was wear some skimpy lingerie or nothing at all.
The rest was supposed to be up to him.
Just the slightest hint of amusement crossed her lips when she realized that maybe she just scared him that much and that's why he wasn't trying anything. However amusing it was, it remained a frustrating point.
He was supposed to be pushing a little.
Once again, Cristina looked up at him and this time she let her eyes linger there. "Fine. You can lead a little."
Burke stopped writing and looked at Cristina with an arched brow, "Excuse me?"
"You can lead. A little. When we jog. Just because I don't know where I'm going and you do. But you can't get too far ahead of me because I'll just stop," Cristina explained, visibly irritated that he didn't get what she was saying the first time around.
He was obviously out of practice.
"You want me to lead," he repeated slowly, "Okay. I can lead if that's what you want."
Cristina nodded slightly, hoping that he'd get it now. She glanced back down to her chart and sighed softly.
Withholding the slightest chuckle, Burke continued to watch her, "Let me cook dinner for you tonight," he finally said in a soft voice, thoroughly enjoying her frustration.
Nonchalantly, Cristina shrugged but she was perfectly fine with showing up at his place for dinner. She knew that it meant the only required form of clothing could barely be considered clothing at all. "Yeah, that's fine, I guess. I have to make sure I'm not busy."
When Burke laughed, she smiled widely.
As much as she hated herself for it, Cristina actually wanted the day to be over now.
Addison stood eagerly over Mark's shoulder as he placed fine stitches into the soft palate of the little girl she had fallen in love with over the past weeks. She shook her head in disbelief that such fine sutures would even begin to hold the flesh together separated so drastically at the roof of the baby's mouth.
"I'm amazing aren't I?" Mark asked with a grin, "Surgical skill of my caliber should be against the law."
"If you weren't fixing my patient, I'd smack you right now." Addison answered with the slightest of grins.
"No you wouldn't. You like me too much right now."
"Right now," Addison quipped, "Not later."
Mark paused for a moment, switching out instruments and continued to the hard palate, "Speaking of later, are you available?"
"Available?" She asked, sliding her glance his way. "Depends on why you want me to be available I suppose."
Inwardly she cursed herself for hoping for a trip to the on-call room. The third first time they had sex together shouldn't be cheap and dirty though- this time they were supposed to be together.
She was just tired of all the waiting.
"I'd like to take you out to dinner," Mark explained, his eyes focused on the patient partially out of concentration and partially because it felt strange actually dating her. He'd never actually had to entertain her before. It was always just sex and talking.
Now it would be flowers and chocolates and restaurants and all of the things that he wasn't reallyu sure how to handle save for the minute amount of experience that he had with Lexie.
Addison was eager to take him up on it though, "I'd love to."
Mark smiled beneath his mask, "I'll pick you up at seven?"
"Only if Samantha is doing well. If not, it will have to be another day," Addison corrected herself, "I want to make sure she's doing well."
"If she's not, but she will be, I will bring dinner to you."
"It's a win-win situation for me," Addison smirked, looking down at him.
Mark paused to look up at her and saw the happiness in her eyes but it did nothing to alleviate his nerves.
He hoped that after tonight she wouldn't change his mind about him.
It was late in the afternoon by the time that Burke was able to find Addison. He wasn't sure how she'd react to canceling their breakfast routine but he was nearly certain that he'd have more pressing matters tomorrow morning.
He was nearly counting on it.
"Addison," Burke smiled politely, putting his chart down. He hoped in vain that she had an early surgery or some form of distraction since Sloan seemed to be dragging his heels.
"Oh, Preston. I was wondering if I'd be able to find you before I went into surgery. I can't make it to breakfast tomorrow morning. I have a thing tonight. It will...take a while. And that's so early," She rambled on. "I'm sorry. I hope that you don't-"
"No," He said, eyeing her suspiciously, "What kind of thing?"
"You know. Just a thing. A...dinner thing. A date, I suppose," Addison rambled once more. She was surprised at herself for actually being nervous but in the same instance decided she had earned that right since it had been so long since she'd been on a proper date.
"Seriously?" Burke asked in amusement, "A dinner thing. With Sloan?"
"No with Derek," Addison answered playfully, "Who else would I do dinner with. It seems like you're too occupied for me anyway."
"Oh? And why do you say that?"
"I overheard Cristina talking to Meredith at lunch time. Judging from her words, I'm fairly certain you'll be incapacitated at 5:30 tomorrow morning," she smirked.
Burke chose to ignore the piqued part of his curiosity that could only take the conversation to a very bad and very personal place, "I'm sure that you will be as well."
"If I have my way," Addison's answer came with a satisfied grin, "And if not I'll make sure to ruin your evening in one way or another."
"Do that and I'm not the one you'll have to answer to," Burke grin mirrored her own and he picked up another chart. "So I suppose that I'll see you tomorrow at some point."
"Yes," Addison smiled, "I suppose so."
Burke walked away then, anxious for the evening ahead. Somehow he doubted that dinner would last very long, especially if Cristina was actually discussing it with Meredith.
He was thankful for that.
Cristina sat on Burke's countertop, kicking her legs idly while watching him dice away at peppers. Every few moments her fingers would venture into unsafe territory and steal a slice of the newly chopped vegetable and earn the same thinly veiled smirk every time.
Anticipation hung in the air and the pair couldn't keep their eyes off of each other. Every once in a while, Cristina would let her fingertips brush the back of his hand as she reached for a pepper- accidentally, of course- and he would reciprocate by leaning in a little too close while reaching for spices.
It was a game neither one of them desired to end anytime soon.
"If you keep stealing those," Burke commented as he dropped the remnants into the pan, "We're not going to have anything to eat."
Cristina leaned back on her palms, casting her best come-hither look in his direction. "Oh, I'm sure you could find something to eat around here."
Casually he leaned over again and pulled some garlic from the spice rack, only to be halted in his movements by the palm of Cristina's hand cupping his cheek slightly.
His eyes searched hers for only the briefest of moments before he pressed his lips into hers and kissed her breathless. Fingers wove through raven curls and legs wrapped around his and the faint smell of burning chicken should have been enough to pull them apart but it wasn't.
They had years to make up for.
When their lips finally broke Cristina smiled lazily, her fingers tracing at the back of his neck, "It's about damn time."
Burke would have laughed at her quip but took the opportunity to kiss her once more.
One would never be enough.
Addison watched from afar as Samantha's parents cradled her gently in their arms, marveling over the exceptional work done by Mark. She smiled as they did, felt the same pride they did- just for a different reason.
She had always worked well with Mark.
Her eyes looked up to the numbers on the monitor and she knew that with strong vitals like that, Samantha would be feeding in no time, able to grow and go home to her family. Nothing was going to hold her back now.
Even if things were difficult at first, she had finally found her way.
A hand in the small of her back turned her attention from the happy family and upwards to Mark's face. The feel of his palm pressed firmly into his back caused her to shiver slightly and she took note of the extreme pleasure in Mark's face from the reaction. She tried to gather herself up and straighten her posture slightly, "It looks like Samantha is going to allow me an evening out."
"Good," Mark murmured with a devilish look in his eye, "That's good. I'm glad."
The look was not lost on Addison. "So...I suppose I should..go..get ready," she stammered, her mouth suddenly dry.
He shrugged, enjoying the display of nerves, "You can wear your scrubs if you want. It's fine with me."
"Shut up," She grinned, pushing him away slightly. She slid Samantha's chart back onto the rack and pulled away from him, "Don't be late!" She called over her shoulder.
"Not in a million years," he assured her, watching as she walked away.
Mark wasn't going to screw up this time.
The heavy smell of burnt chicken and peppers lingered around them, the thick smoke finally starting to dissipate. Clothes were tossed haphazardly around the kitchen and the lay on the floor of the kitchen and trailing into the living room.
Soft laughter floated on the heavy smoke as they touched and teased each other, each reacquainting themselves with the other's body.
With lips trailing across her shoulder, Cristina's back arched softly her body pressing into his. Her eyes drifted closed and she let a contended sigh escape her lips. "This may be runner up for the best date ever," she uttered softly, fingers tracing his shoulder.
"Really?" He asked, hand sliding down her side and to her thigh to grip it tightly, "Only runner up?"
Cristina wrapped her other leg around his, looking up at him. "So far. Then again, the night isn't-" her words were blurred into a moan when he finally filled her, painstakingly slow but firm at the same time. Her skin was alight and her body delighting in the divine feeling that everything was right again, even if it had a long way to go.
Nothing would ever feel as good as he did.
Burke kissed her tenderly, let go of reality and held onto her as they moved together. Cristina would be the only thing that he ever truly needed or wanted. He murmured softly into her ear that he missed her, that he loved her and that he had never stopped.
While Cristina didn't reciprocate, she knew that she didn't need to. He would wait for her as long as she needed him to.
What she didn't tell him is that she didn't think it would take her too long.
As the world spun around her, Addison laughed softly. Her dress bunched slightly at her lower back as Mark twirled her to the quiet jazz music wafting through the air. Dancing wasn't exactly encouraged in the middle of the restaurant he'd chosen to bring her to but they were anyway.
Everybody was watching them and neither one of them cared enough to stop.
Addison rested her chin atop Mark's shoulder, her arms wrapped around him and she closed her eyes. "You know, I'm pretty sure that you never took me on a real date," She murmured into the crisp material of his suit, "Before. A girl could get used to this. You should be careful."
"I fully intend on you getting used to it," He assured her in a low voice, "This and so much more. I've learned a few new tricks."
"Oh, have you?" Addison asked in curiosity, pulling back to look at him.
"Absolutely," Mark grinned, his index finger tracing a soft pattern at the small of her back drawing the very breath from her lungs.
"And when do I get to see these tricks?" She asked, her eyes half lidded and her voice suggestive.
"Keep talking like that and we'll end up skipping dinner so I can show them to you now."
Slowly and very reluctantly, Addison pulled away from him. "Dancing in the restaurant is one thing. The things I want to do to you right now in the middle of the restaurant would get us banned for life."
Mark grasped her hand and pulled her back to him to kiss her softly, his fingers curling through her fiery locks. "There are other restaurants."
Again, Addison laughed and her arms wrapped around him tightly once more.
The restaurant wasn't really all that it was cracked up to be anyway.
Porcelain fingertips traced against chocolate colored skin idly and pink lips curled up into contented and fulfilled smiles. Those same lips brushed gently, over and over again and limbs intertwined- not that they had really ever separated.
"We should get up."
Cristina smiled devilishly against his lips when she could feel the deep rumble of his voice in her fingertips against his chest, "You already are."
A small chuckle tickled her lips and his arms tightened around her. Before this very moment, Burke would swear that he'd never really known happiness until now.
She didn't say it out loud but Cristina was thinking the same.
Addison's body shuddered once more against his and she wondered how it was possible that he could do the things to her body that he could. Nobody else was capable of it and it only made her momentarily loathe herself for pushing him away for so long.
Mark quickly took her mind off of that with a creative flick of his tongue against her skin.
Her arms wrapped around his neck and she moved with him, breathlessly chanting his name against his shoulder. She said all the things she knew would drive him mad and a few things that would make him realize exactly how much it was that she cared about him.
She'd never really said it to him before and now she would make sure to say it all the time.
They found their highs together, their skin slick and fingers still relearning familiar territory. Addison lips parted against his, inviting his tongue into her mouth and then intertwined. If anything, they always shared an amazing passion for each other that had never faded- one that declared itself the first time they had made love.
"You're amazing," Mark murmured against her mouth, letting her swallow the compliment as his fingers tugged gently at ruby red hair.
"You're not so bad yourself," Addison smiled in agreement, pulling back to look at him.
"I'm better than not-so-bad," He grinned, his eyes fixed on hers, "If I were just not-so-bad, you would have never come back here. Not for me. Not for this. You know it's good."
"At least I know I don't need to stroke your ego," She laughed softly, "You do it on your own."
Mark kissed her then, pulling her body tighter against his, "Oh no. I have much better things for you to stroke then my ego."
Addison kissed him harder, lying back until he was on top of her and then whispered breathlessly, "Show me."
"With pleasure," He grinned, tasting the salty flesh of her neck before continuing downward.
She'd never even tease about how good it was by the time he was done with her.
a few months later
Addison smiled over her coffee at her dear friend, watching him agonize over a real estate magazine, "I'm telling you, Preston. You could take my apartment since I'm always downstairs anyway. It would be convenient."
Burke laughed softly, "I'm afraid while you think that's convenient that Cristina would never agree to that and neither would Sloan. I'm afraid that one of these days that they're going to plot how to separate us."
"You think?" She grinned, lifting her coffee to her lips. "I never pictured Cristina to be the jealous type. I have to admit that I'm a little surprised."
"She isn't," Burke answered with a shake of his head, "She's passionate."
Addison's eyes sparkled and she smiled widely. A blind man could see how in love he was with Cristina, "Is that what they're calling it these days?"
"And what of Sloan?"
"Oh, he's jealous." She smirked, pulling the real estate guide from his hands and flipping through it herself. "I still think that your best bet is this one."
"I prefer it myself but Cristina actually wants to look."
Addison couldn't control the surprise in her tone, "You're kidding."
With only the slightest hint of pride in his affirmation, Burke responded. "Not at all. We're both off this weekend and she agreed to look at places." He left out the part about how she quickly masked the suggestion with some muttering about living with Callie and Arizona and them driving her crazy.
Details weren't that important.
"I'm impressed," Addison smiled, pushing the guide back to him. "Do you have any idea how lucky we are?"
"I'm certainly not taking it for granted."
"Neither am I. I refuse to. We have this chance again and things are…things are great and I'm not going to let it get away again." Her voice was somewhat wistful but hopeful at the same time.
Burke gingerly sipped his hot coffee before responding, "I never really thanked you."
With her eyebrow arched high on her forehead Addison looked at him in question, "What on earth are you thanking me for?"
"If I recall correctly, and I am always right, it was your ridiculous idea to come here in the first place," he grinned.
"Me?" Addison scoffed, "No, this was certainly not my idea."
"It was. You were the one buying real estate without seeing it and calling Richard to redeem our old positions. I was merely a victim in your insane takeover of Seattle," Burke teased gently, "However, the results are better than desirable for both of us, I believe. If you hadn't come up with the aforementioned plotting I'm fairly certain that my life would leave little to be desired."
Addison smiled softly, "Does she know how happy she makes you?"
"I tell her when she'll let me. And when she doesn't, I show her instead."
"Don't ever stop doing that," She murmured to her dear friend, "Even in eleven years. We want to hear it. Even if we pretend that we don't."
Recognizing that Addison was ignoring his gratitude, Burke let it slip by.
Even if it there wasn't a truly physical way to repay her for everything that she had done, all of the things she had convinced him to do, he would always be her friend. It would have to be enough.
Steam rose in small billows over their coffee, swirling into the air and dissipating amongst the echoes of laughter and reminiscence as they continued their idle conversation, no plotting or planning left to be had.
Life was good again and they were enjoying it to its fullest.
And these memories lose their meaning when I think of love as something new. And I know I'll never lose affection for people and things that went before. I know I'll often stop and think about them.
In my life I loved you more.