Are You Happy Now?
A Grey's Anatomy fic by Gigi
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Chapter 2: Just Want You to Know
A/N: I really should be studying. Seriously.
A/N 2: Except not anymore, because I'm on my way home for six weeks!
Addison fiddled with the straps of her Coach leather purse as she stood among countless people awaiting loved ones to come into the arrivals gallery. She couldn't help but feel out of place whenever a person standing near her eagerly rushed forward to greet a friend, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a spouse, a child—no matter who they greeted, it always began with a tight hug, maybe even a kiss. Addison knew her retrieval of Alex Karev would be an awkward nod and a hello from a few feet away—at best.
What else was there to do? Ever since whatever they had crashed and burned shortly before her decision to move to LA, they kept things professional, even if he did still open up to her on occasion. At that moment in time, then more than ever, Addison cursed the woman she'd been three years ago. If she had been able to keep her knees shut for once, things would be so much less complicated. She wouldn't be feeling incredibly awkward standing in an airport lobby, and she wouldn't be jumping at every word Izzie said, thinking she was somehow implying that she knew about Addison's fling with her soon-to-be ex-husband.
Unfortunately, her musings were cut short when a familiar military jacket and buzz haircut caught her eye. It occurred to her that she had no idea how to get his attention. Calling him Karev would seem too gruff and impersonal, but Alex was far too cozy and intimate than their current relationship would suggest. Alex was still turning his head this way and that, searching the crowd for her. Sighing, she settled for pushing her way to the very front of the crowd and flipping her hair, making the red locks catch the light.
It worked like a charm. Alex's eyes immediately found hers, and she found herself walking up to meet him. Stopping a few steps from the man, she dissipated the inevitable awkward silence. "Thanks for coming, Karev."
Alex winced inwardly at the formality in the redhead's voice. "Well, you were right. I shouldn't give up on my marriage so easily," he answered smoothly.
A small, sad smile formed on Addison's lips. "I'm glad you see it that way," she responded, honesty ringing through loud and clear. "Let's get going, shall we?"
Twenty minutes later, the uncomfortable silence that had been forestalled in the airport descended with a vengeance as Addison pulled out of the hourly parking lot. Every now and then, Addison would glance out of the corner of her eye to the man staring intently out the window. "So…" she began, trailing off when she realized she had no idea what to say. She'd just wanted it to stop being so quiet. Coughing, she continued, "Um, how was your flight?"
Alex shrugged stiffly. "It was alright, I guess. I kind of passed out the second the plane was off the ground." His eyes never moved from the window.
Biting her lip in frustration, Addison wracked her brain for another—safe—topic of discussion. "How's everything at the hospital? Have you chosen a specialty yet?"
This time she received a snort. "I haven't really had all that much time to figure it all out, Dr. Montgomery," he replied wryly, "what with Izzie getting cancer, O'Malley dying and getting left by my wife."
Resisting the urge to roll her eyes, Addison's grip on the steering wheel tightened ever so slightly. "I'm not asking you to have the rest of your life planned out, just a general direction," she pressed. "As an intern, you were pretty much set on plastics."
"And I stopped being set on plastics way before my intern year ended," he reminded her.
Now it was her turn to shrug. "You haven't found that same interest or affinity for anything else?"
"Bailey thinks I'd do well in peds, but I can't really see that happening," he finally admitted.
"Why not?" Now they were getting somewhere. Addison smirked inwardly. That uncomfortable silence was nowhere to be seen.
"I don't see myself being a peds surgeon," Alex shrugged, unable to explain any further. "I always figured that, if I got involved in anything concerning children, that I would do neonatal surgery."
Addison was thankful that she had just stopped at a red light, for she snapped her head around to stare at the man sitting in the passenger seat. "Really?"
Now that he held her complete attention, the slight tensing of his shoulders didn't go unnoticed. Addison quirked an eyebrow in response. Had he just forgotten whom he was talking to?
"It's not like I'm planning on it," Alex scrambled, finally turning his head to face her. "I'm leaning more towards ortho. Callie's a good teacher."
A flicker of…something…flashed across his face, and as Addison turned her attention back to the road at the light turning green, a bitter taste lingered in her mouth. "You slept with her." Silence reigned once again.
It wasn't a question. They both knew it.
"Years ago," he muttered into the air.
"How long ago?" For some reason, Addison couldn't stop the tension she was feeling from leaking into her words.
"Before she even knew who O'Malley was," Alex assured her. "She thought I was the heart in the elevator guy."
Addison didn't know what to make of that. The heart surgery in a broken down elevator had taken place before she had even officially joined Seattle Grace. She remembered chasing Richard around, trying to get him to calm down. Back when she'd still been the She-Shepherd to Alex Karev.
"Did you ever tell her the truth?" she asked quietly. Why was the knowledge that her best friend had slept with him before she herself had spoken more than a handful of words to either one of them bothering her so much?
Alex nodded, oblivious to the questions brewing in his companion's mind. "At the worst possible time in the middle of surgery," he confessed. "Strangely enough, I told her before I slept with her."
"Well, at least there's that," came the dry response, puzzling them both.
"Never mind," she recovered, putting the car in park in the driveway of her beach house. "Well, here we are."
Alex glanced out the window, took one look at the modern luxury home and said, "I never pictured you living in a house by the beach."
Addison bristled at the statement but chose to remain silent. Instead, she occupied herself with getting out of the car. "Well, you can ponder the ways my life here is different from how you imagined it after you've talked to your wife."
"Where is she, anyway?" he asked after he joined her at the trunk of her car.
"Out getting a pedicure," Addison answered, closing the trunk hatch as soon as he'd removed his luggage. "I set up an appointment so that she'd be out when we got here."
The pair walked up the path leading to her front door. Before she could open the door, however, Alex's hand lightly gripped her wrist. "What do I say to her, Dr. Montgomery?" His voice matched his eyes, which were swimming with a mixture of hurt and regret. "Last time I saw her, I literally told her I was too good for her."
Addison's clear blue gaze softened, and she placed her free hand on his, which still rested on her wrist. "I think you can call me Addison while you're here, Karev," she suggested with a comforting smile. "Don't take back what you said, because you obviously meant it. Just…let her know you feel badly for not giving you both the chance to talk through your problems together."
Some of the tension left Alex's eyes at her words. "Thank you, Addison," he expressed, squeezing her wrist softly in gratitude. She sent him another smile and resumed opening the door. Once they were both standing in the foyer with the door closed behind them, he spoke again. "But you have to call me Alex."
Addison hesitated. "Are you sure that's wise? Izzie might wonder when we came to be on such familiar terms."
"You calling me Alex is no more suspicious than me calling you Addison," he countered smoothly.
Uncertainty still colored her eyes, but she nodded slowly. "Okay," she acquiesced. "If you insist."
"I do," he declared. A beat of silence rang between the two, until Alex decided another apology was needed—and not for his wife. "As for when we…first become so familiar with one another," he started, noticing the way she stiffened at the memories that flooded back with his words, "I really owe you an apology."
"You don't have to," Addison's voice had grown uncharacteristically soft, but Alex would have none of it.
"Yes, I do," he argued. "I was an ass, and I used you as the shovel I used to bury any and all feelings I had for you. You didn't deserve that."
The two stood in the foyer, staring at each other for a few minutes. Finally, Addison seemed to gather herself enough to speak again. "I got over it all a long time ago, but thank you for that, Alex."
Alex couldn't help the small smile that tugged at his lips at the sound of his name slipping past her lips. "You're welcome, Addison."
A/N: I hope you enjoyed it, because I definitely can't wait for the juicy stuff. I now have a twitter account, LGCoffeeAddict, so follow me for updates, randomness, and shout-outs! But first, you must pass a test. It's quite easy, actually. You pass as long as you REVIEW!