My Funny Valentine
… Eighth in the Love Game series
A Grey's Anatomy fic by Gigi
Disclaimer: I only own the computer on which this story, whose characters and basis I do not own, was typed.
A/N: It was Valentine's Day when I wrote this, and I haven't updated a fic since Feb. 6, so I decided to do this one in honor of this completely Hallmark-based holiday (I don't care what they say about the story of a martyred saint—Hallmark made it up). Enjoy!
A/N 2: Keep in mind that parts of Six Days didn't happen, i.e. the NICU. The coffee did, but the NICU didn't. 'Kay, thanks.
Seattle Grace Hospital had transformed into a nauseating Hallmark card. Addison struggled to hide the grimace from her face as she walked through the doors to be greeted by hundreds of pink and red balloons scattered around the lobby. It was horrible, absolutely horrendous. Even the rails along the staircases were decorated with pink, white and red streamers.
"Just because Richard got his marriage back together doesn't mean we all did," she mumbled to herself as she ducked her head and started for the attendings' locker room.
When she'd dropped off her belongings, she made her way to the scowling intern waiting for her at the nurses' station. For once, Addison was glad to have Alex Karev as her intern, because she knew that he would find this holiday just as ridiculous as she herself did. He wasn't going to try to shove his love life down her throat. Not that there was much in that area for either of them at the moment.
"Good morning, Dr. Karev," she greeted grumpily as she approached him.
Alex lifted his head from the chart he was reading long enough to grunt out the obligatory, "Morning."
"You're peppy," she observed sarcastically, reaching over the counter to retrieve a few of her other charts to flip through and see if any were ready to be discharged.
"I could say the same for you," he shot back immediately. Alex looked to the side, expecting to see the sardonic blue-eyed stare from his boss, but he was pleasantly surprised to simply see her bent over. He smiled appreciatively to himself. As much as he hated her sometimes, she did have a hell of an ass.
Addison straightened and caught the smile from the corner of her eye. "What?" she asked.
"Nothing," Alex replied, still grinning. He handed her the chart he was holding. "Happy Valentine's Day."
Those three words made the redhead glower, and she all but snatched the chart out of Alex's hands. "Would you rather do coffee runs for Dr. Sloan, today, Karev?" When that infuriating smirk melted off his face, hers gained one. He'd just been kicked off Plastics for messing up Mark Sloan's coffee order. "I thought so." She selected three files out of the small pile in front of her and pushed them onto Karev. "Discharge these three before you go up to the NICU for rounds." She walked away to get her morning coffee, leaving Alex Karev to glare at her backside from the nurses' station. Rounds were in twenty minutes.
"Who's presenting?" Addison prompted as soon as she walked into the NICU to a room full of five interns and one impatient resident. The resident nodded to none other than Alex Karev, knowing he was going to end up on her service no matter who presented.
"Laura Grey-Thompson, born three days ago at 28 weeks, had trouble breathing yesterday with jejunal artresia, had surgery last night to correct the problem," he recited. The mousy blonde intern standing next to him, Meredith Grey, shifted on her feet. "She's being kept for another week for observation or until her lungs are fully developed."
"Good," Addison nodded. She looked to the resident. "Dr. Bailey, Karev will be assisting me today if you don't mind."
"Do I ever?" the short, black woman answered. She caught the disgruntled looks on the other four interns' faces and sent them a look of her own. "Do I look like we're finished with rounds?" That sent them scrambling to leave the NICU as quickly as possible. Bailey did enjoy being the Nazi.
Addison watched the suck-ups rush out of the room with amusement until another flash of a pink balloon came into view, at which point she sighed and promptly turned her back on the door. "I hate this day."
"Valentine's Day?" Alex clarified. Addison nodded and started checking Laura's surgical dressing. "Really?"
Addison raised her eyes at the disbelief in his voice. "Are you telling me you enjoy this holiday?" she inquired suspiciously. I thought that, of all people, Karev would be immune, she commented internally.
Alex snorted. "Not by a long shot, but you always struck me as the woman who would love it," he answered.
Extracting her hands from the isolate, Addison placed them on top of the Plexiglas and absentmindedly felt for the two rings that used to rest on the fourth finger of her left hand. "I haven't loved it in a very long time," she confessed. "Not since my ninth wedding anniversary with Derek."
"What happened on your ninth anniversary?" Alex replaced the chart on its hook and stepped so that he was facing the redhead from the other side of the isolate. He placed his own forearms on the Plexiglas, and now they were in mirror stances of one another.
"Derek proposed to me on Valentine's Day, and every year on that day, he would take me to that same restaurant he took me to on the night he proposed, and then we'd have dessert on top of the Empire State Building," Addison explained, gazing longingly down at the small baby in front of her. "For our ninth anniversary, Derek chose surgery over the party our friends decided to throw us, and when Valentine's Day rolled around after that, he chose surgery again." Alex grunted, a sound that made Addison look up from Laura Grey's small body. "What?"
"Shepherd's cheesier than I thought," Alex commented. Addison shot him a look that screamed, "So not the point, Karev." She had gotten quite accomplished at that look. "That sucks, though." The look slowly faded away as Addison cocked her head to the side with unasked questions. "He shouldn't have done that to you. He should have been man enough to talk to you. Maybe if he had, you wouldn't have been desperate enough to sleep with Sloan a year later."
Addison dropped her eyes to the baby once again. "Maybe," she sighed. "No use in speculating what would or would not have happened if we'd talked more towards the end. It's done." Her voice carried such a note of finality that Alex wondered how her face hadn't crumpled yet. It sounded completely and utterly defeated, and her voice wavered in the end, as if she wanted to cry.
"You're talking to me," he marveled in a whisper.
"Yeah, what of it?" she asked, looking into Alex's warm, chocolate eyes with her watery, blue ones.
"You're confiding in me," he continued. She nodded slowly, wondering where he was going with this. "I didn't realize you considered us to be…friends." Pain and embarrassment shot through those ice-blue pools, and Alex scrambled to correct himself. "I meant that in a good way. I'm glad you think we're friends."
"Why did you phrase it like that?"
"Like you've thought we were friends for a while," she concluded. "I thought you hated me."
Alex shrugged. "I haven't hated you for a while," he stated simply.
"Then why didn't you say anything?"
He shrugged again. "I liked fighting with you. It was just fun, and I didn't want that to change," he explained. After a few seconds, however, he added one more thing. "I did stuff, though."
"Like what? When?" Addison pressed. Had she really just been the bitch who hadn't noticed when someone was being nice to her?
"Like when I got Sloan the wrong coffee," he answered. Addison didn't say anything, merely waited for him to continue. He gazed down at the baby in the isolate and went on. "The vanilla latte? I did that on purpose." A hint of a smirk snuck onto his face.
"Why?" Addison laughed thinking about the intentional sabotage of Mark's morning coffee.
Alex caught her eye and held her gaze as he whispered out six soft words: "Because he was rude to you."
Addison's eyes never left his, but her expression changed from seeming curious and self-deprecating to seeming profoundly touched. "That was, um, that was nice of you," she stammered uncertainly, unaware of how exactly to move on without completely destroying the poignancy of the moment. She couldn't stand it for long, however, and she semi-jerked back from the isolate and broke their eye contact. She started scuttling around the NICU, checking monitors and surgical dressings, and apologizing, "I'm sorry you had to listen to me mope about Derek." She stopped moving for a second and turned back to face him, a baby's chart in her hand and a slight smile on her lips. "Thank you, though, for listening. I really appreciate it. It's just that today's pretty much become Singles Awareness Day for me, and I needed to wallow a little bit."
Alex nodded in acceptance, unable to tear his eyes away from the bustling redhead. He let her keep herself busy for another few minutes while he tried to sort himself out in his mind. They'd just had a conversation where they didn't bite each other's head off for the first time in…for the first time. And he'd enjoyed the fact that she'd opened up to him, and he found himself wanting to punch Shepherd so badly after that Valentine's casualty story.
"It sucks that you hate Valentine's Day now," he commented. Addison stopped moving once again and looked at him. She'd just picked up a small stuffed bear from the floor.
"Again, are you telling me you enjoy this holiday?" she demanded skeptically.
Alex shook his head vehemently. "Again, not by a long shot," he stressed. "But you used to."
Addison bit her lip and looked to the side in consideration. "Yeah, I did," she trailed off. "But I guess there's no going back, right?" Heaving a great sigh, she replaced the bear on the rocking chair in the corner before making to walk past her intern to the door. "We have a pretty light day, Karev, so if you—what are you doing?" She never made it past her intern. Instead, he grabbed her by the elbow and brought her closer to him. She tried to ignore the way that her heartbeat steadily sped up, but when he held her eyes with such intensity, such pent up emotion, it was hard to focus on anything but him. "Karev," she began again slowly. "What are you doing?"
"I don't know," he admitted sheepishly. Suddenly, his fingers seemed immensely clumsy, and the only way to steady them was to keep them clamped around her arm. He didn't notice her breathing quicken, partly because his was doing the same, and he didn't notice the small flush that came to her cheeks. "I just know that you shouldn't have to hate a holiday because a guy was too self-involved to notice you."
Those blue eyes widened in surprise, and Addison's mouth dropped open slightly. "Oh…" escaped her lips, for lack of anything of substance to say. His stare continued to fluster her, and she couldn't break free of it. She wasn't even sure if she wanted to.
"I think this day is a piece of crap and has no actual merit to it, but you shouldn't think like that now if you didn't use to," Alex persisted. His voice dropped lower in volume with every passing word, and he was subconsciously pulling her closer to him until their noses almost touched.
It was as if neither of them had any control over what they did or said anymore, like they were both watching the scene play out from somewhere else, because Addison became unexpectedly bold when she practically dared, "So what are you going to do about it?"
He did something about it, all right. With one last breath, he pulled her the last inch to his face and crashed his lips on hers. Both pairs of eyes, both chocolate and icy blue, slid shut as Alex slid his hands up her arms and neck to hold her face—and maybe on some level keep her from moving away, because this was possibly one of the best kisses he'd ever experienced.
At first, Addison had no idea what to make of her intern laying one on her in the midst of about fifteen newborn preemies. For some reason, the last coherent thought that ran through her mind was the hope that the babies weren't aware of what was happening mere feet away from their small beds.
But after that last thought, Addison tilted her head to the side and allowed Alex to deepen the kiss by slipping his tongue in her mouth. Her arms were bunched up between them, but within a few seconds her hands went from scrunching up in a ball to clutching his scrubs as if her life depended on it.
When the two finally separated due to sheer lack of oxygen, Addison kept her eyes closed for a little bit longer, until she heard his low murmur.
"I don't know about you, but that didn't feel much like something that would happen on Singles Awareness Day," he joked, still panting.
A small chuckle escaped from Addison's throat, and she finally opened her eyes to see a smiling Alex Karev. "Keep it up and I just might get back to calling it the You-Know-What Day," she challenged.
He kept it up. Right there in front of the newborns.
(Don't worry. They just kissed some more. Get your mind out of the gutter.)
A/N: So what did you think? Yes, I know it's ridiculously cheesy. But it was Valentine's Day – that in itself is like the cheese section in any grocery store. Anyway, you know you wanted the cheese, and now you have some homework. REVIEW!