The Shot Heard 'Round the World
Ninth in the Love Game series
A Grey's Anatomy fic by Gigi
Disclaimer: I didn't own anything yesterday, so why would that have changed in twenty-four hours?
A/N: So I'm just trying to figure this out. One, thank you for all the kind reviews! Two, is it just the promise of another chapter that draws people to review more? I got twice as many reviews for this chapter than I have for most of my other Love Game fics. I'm just curious, but I'm not soliciting reviews anymore than normal. Don't worry, no pressure here! Enjoy this second half!
A/N 2: So I just realized there is a bit of a time discrepancy, in that SGH was in the day and the car crash was at night, so I'm just going to take some common sense deductions to clarify that the car crash stuff went through the night and into the next day, which is why Addison was crying in the afternoon and not at night. Okay, now enjoy!
By the time Addison came rushing up to the doors of Seattle Grace Hospital—she never called it by its new merged name with Mercy West—the crisis had been resolved, but there were plenty of people bustling around trying to clean up the mess, both literally and physically—the bullet wound messes.
There was still a lot of blood all over, on the floors, the walls and the countertops. She cringed inwardly at the very likely possibility that some of that blood could be Derek's… or Alex's, she added after a second.
Addison couldn't keep standing there in the lobby like a statue. If she did, she'd go crazy. She stopped the first nurse she could find and asked where Derek was, and she was halfway down the hall before the nurse even finished her sentence.
As she power-walked her way through the halls of the hospital, Addison tried to mentally brace herself for what she might see when she finally reached her ex-husband's room. The fact that he still had a room was a good sign. He was still alive, at least. But as to what state he would be in, Addison couldn't even make herself finish that train of thought.
At long last, she approached the room. The blinds were closed, so she really had no idea what she would walk in on. With one last deep breath, Addison steeled herself to knock on the door, but she couldn't make her fist move anymore past holding it up to the wood. The magnitude of the day's events came crashing down on her, from the car crash in LA to the phone call from Richard and the sights she had already seen of the aftermath of the shooting. She squeezed her eyes shut as tightly as they would go and leaned her forehead on the door in front of her, soft sobs racking her body.
She stood there like that for a few minutes, crying for the fifth time that day, before she straightened herself and tried her best to compose her features and wipe her cheeks. Drawing a deep, shuddering breath, this time she succeeded in knocking quietly on the door. She pushed it open and poked her head into the room, finding it empty save for Derek, who lay still on the bed, staring at the ceiling. Her eyes traveled down to the enormous bandages covering his chest, and she quickly checked his stats on the monitors before actually entering the hospital room.
"Hi," she greeted shakily.
Slowly, Derek turned his head so that he could confirm the voice he heard. Addison knew that, if it hadn't taken him so much effort to turn his head just the once, he would have done a double take at seeing his redheaded ex-wife, who lived in LA, standing there. "I'm not hallucinating, am I?" he croaked. "If I am, I'm a whole lot worse than I thought I was."
A small smile quirked Addison's lips upward. "I can't believe you, of all people, are still able to make a joke after all of this," she mused. Taking a tentative step forward, she answered his question, "No, you're not hallucinating."
"It's really good to see you, Addie," Derek declared fondly. "I guess all this reminds you of med school?"
"Derek, I know you honored and loved your father, but did you really have to be exactly like him in everything?" Addison demanded, only half-joking. A hint of distress entered her voice. "Why'd you have to go and get yourself shot?"
An odd noise escaped his throat that Addison suspected was a chuckle. "I didn't exactly choose this to happen to me, Addie," he soothed. "Sit down." Addison was still standing only a step inside the room, but at his request, she pulled up a rolling stool to his bedside and grasped his hand as tightly as she could.
"I know you didn't choose this, but too much has happened today for me not to get a little hysterical," she confessed. At a questioning look from her bedridden companion, she expanded, "As if this shooting wasn't enough, Maya went into labor and got into a car crash on her way to the hospital."
"What?" Derek whipped his head up so quickly he had to squeeze his eyes closed as a dizziness spell overcame him.
"Watch it!" Addison commanded, reaching to softly guide his head back onto the pillow. "Don't do that again." As if to make sure that it didn't, she kept her hand on his hair, half-stroking and half-holding it down.
"Is she okay?"
"Eventually, yes, but she almost lost the baby and the ability to walk. The fact that she can still walk is all thanks to your sister, by the way," Addison credited. Another look of surprise flashed across Derek's face. "Oh, you didn't know Amelia Shepherd is down in LA, now?" She couldn't help the slightly dry frustration from entering her voice.
"No, I didn't," he denied grumpily. "Is the baby okay?"
Addison nodded. "Yeah, I delivered her once Amelia finished getting all the glass shards out of her spinal cord and reinforcing her damaged vertebrae." Her face became much more sober. "But Dell was sort of like my apprentice. He was a midwife, and Maya was his patient. He was driving her to the hospital when some guy drove into them. And he…" She had to stop and draw in another shuddering breath. "He didn't make it."
"Aw, Addie, I'm so sorry," Derek offered. "One of your former apprentices isn't doing too hot, either. Karev was one of the first to be shot."
Addison was about to nod and say she had heard about him when one word caught her ear. "Was?" she choked. "He's not… is he?"
"I honestly don't know," Derek answered. "He was taken to Seattle Presbyterian before the hospital had been cleared."
"Oh." Addison leaned back and tried to relax her muscles. She focused on the curly brown locks she was fiddling with, every now and then running her fingers through them. "Derek?"
"Yes, Addie?" Derek's voice was much softer now than it had been when he first saw her. He was running out of energy.
"Thank you for not dying," she whispered sincerely, a solitary tear escaping her eye and dropping onto the hand she grasped.
An hour after her arrival at Seattle Grace found Addison leaving the hospital with as much haste as three-inch heels would allow her without making her look like a complete idiot. Ducking into her rented car, she quickly fastened her seatbelt and backed out of her parking spot—carefully, after what she dealt with back home—before starting toward Seattle Presbyterian Hospital to see a certain former intern. She would see him. She would.
Lexie sat beside Alex's bed, fidgeting in her chair until his eyes finally fluttered open. He knew where he was now, and he was as lucid as he could be with a very large needle in his arm that was continually restoring his platelet count. Lucid enough that Lexie finally spoke. "I understand why you'd think of Izzie," she announced, getting his attention.
"What?" Alex had no idea about the things he'd said during his hallucinations, which he didn't remember having.
Lexie just kept going, but that was Lexie's way. She babbled. A lot. She was very much like her sister that way. "I get Izzie. She was your wife and all, but I tell you I love you and you go on and on about your old boss?"
"I—what did I do?" Alex asked in confusion, trying to keep up.
"You said Addison's name," Lexie responded.
"What? When?" Everything was like a fog after he had gotten on the elevator.
"When Mark and I were trying to save you in the conference room," Lexie explained, riling herself up more and more. "You thought I was Izzie, which is understandable, but then you started apologizing and professing your love for Addison? How the hell do you think that made me feel? Me, your current girlfriend who just told you she loved you?"
Alex didn't answer. He just stared past Lexie's shoulder as if seeing a ghost. "Am I hallucinating again?"
"What?" Lexie turned around in her seat to see a tall redhead standing in the doorway, shock and worry battling each other on her face. Addison.
For some reason, a gush of air escaped Addison's throat as she commented softly, "That's the second time I've gotten that today. Is seeing me here so bizarre that everybody thinks their brain isn't functioning correctly?"
"Um, hi, Dr. Montgomery," Lexie greeted belatedly, blushing bright red as she stood. No doubt, she had overheard her tirade to Alex. It almost felt as if she had been caught trash-talking her by calling her Addison.
"Little Grey," she responded. She diverted her attention to Karev, who was still staring at her as if he didn't really believe she was there. "Is that true, Karev? Did she tell you she loved you and then you prattled on about other women?"
Alex's mouth snapped shut in surprise. "How the hell would I know? I don't remember any of it!" he exclaimed defensively.
Addison smiled slightly. For a second there, she'd forgotten he was shot or that any time had passed by. For a second there, he was her intern again. She cocked her head and lost herself in his chocolate—albeit surprised—eyes for a few moments. "Dr. Grey, Mark is pacing back and forth outside waiting to talk to you, and the only other time he did that was for me."
"What does that mean?" Lexie asked tentatively.
Addison heaved a sympathetic sigh and fingered the resident's newly blonde hair. "It means he's still in love with you," she smiled. "And if your hair is anything to go by, you still have feelings for him, too."
"You needed a change after you broke up with him," Addison said knowingly. "But if you were really over him, you'd have let your hair go back to normal." Lexie hesitated, obviously realizing the truth behind the older woman's words. "You still love him, don't you?" After a moment, she nodded slowly, completely forgetting Alex was in the room and was watching all of this. "Then go talk to him."
Addison waited for a little while after Lexie had left the room before she turned and fully took in the state Alex was in. He looked very much like Derek did, only he was more heavily bandaged on the left side of his chest. "Sorry about that," she apologized, gesturing towards outside the room.
"I don't actually remember her telling me she loved me, so…" Alex trailed off. He felt the need to explain himself to his former boss, who was still standing uncertainly in the middle of the room. "I was being a duck."
"Excuse me?" Addison turned her head to the side and tilted it a tad almost as if she was trying to hear him better, with her lips pursed and her eyebrows slightly furrowed in confusion. Alex remembered that expression all too well. In that instant, it was three years ago again.
"I was trying to move on from my train wreck of a marriage, and I figured if I walked like a duck and talked like a duck, that I would eventually become a duck." It had made more sense before. Now it just sounded ridiculous, even to himself.
To his surprise, Addison nodded thoughtfully. "You were being a duck." Her head was cocked to the side again, considering. Then she seemed to realize their situation once more. "How are you feeling?" she inquires carefully. She walked forward and took the recently vacated seat beside his bed and leaned back on the chair with a self-deprecating laugh. "That sounds so stupid, to ask someone who was just shot how they're feeling. But 'Are you okay?' just sounded imbecilic. Obviously, you're not okay, but I don't know exactly how you're feeling, and suddenly, knowing how you're feeling is pretty much all I can think of, so how are you feeling?"
"Well, it kind of hurts when I breathe, but right now, I'm strangely okay," Alex answered honestly, looking up into the worried pale blue eyes of the woman sitting next to him.
Addison bit her lip. When she'd walked in, she heard Lexie demanding to know why he was hallucinating about her, and how he had said he loved her. Addison wanted nothing more than to ask him about that, but he didn't seem to remember anything about that. So she settled for, "Good."
They sat there in silence for a long time, until finally Alex couldn't take it anymore. "I missed you," he admitted.
Addison's head whipped up at those three words. "What?"
"After you left," he expanded. "I really missed you." He laughed to himself. "I actually made the Chief put me on your case when you came up for that surgery two years ago."
"That's, um," Addison choked. "That's nice to hear, given how we left things. I've missed you, too."
"I'm really sorry about that, Addison," Alex professed. He didn't know it, but he was reenacting his hallucination with Addison sitting in front of him. "I'm sorry I treated you like that. You didn't deserve it." Addison stayed silent. Her mind was drawing a blank. She had no idea what to say, so he just kept going. "I didn't mean those things I said. I didn't mean to drive you away. You're way out of my league, and I know it's no excuse, but I was scared that I was even thinking of you like that."
Her breath had caught in her throat. There it was. There was that apology she had wanted for three years so she could finally get some closure from the man. But she realized the last thing she wanted was closure. Slowly, she leaned forward and intertwined her fingers with his on the bed. "Thank you, Alex," she whispered. She wasn't sure her voice would stay steady if she spoke at a higher volume. They fell quiet once again, but this time Addison was the one to break the silence. "Are you still scared?"
Alex's eyes suddenly became much more aware. Was she…? "Terrified," he said truthfully, "but I don't want to run away again."
"Well, technically I was the one who did the running," Addison corrected.
"I thought you walked," Alex shot back with a smirk.
"Well, it turns out, they aren't too different," she concluded, sharing his amusement. This time the silence wasn't strained. It was comfortable, amicable, even fond. "You know, I had this boyfriend who was a SWAT," she started.
Alex had no idea where she was going. "And?" he prodded.
"And he got shot on duty while we were dating," Addison continued. "I know how to take care of a recovering GSW victim. I had a lot of practice with Kevin." A bright, beautiful smile bloomed on her face as she leaned in.
"Good to know." Alex smiled back, and his smile grew bigger and bigger the closer Addison's face came to his, so big that when their lips finally touched, it was more the meeting of two delighted grins, which was enough for now. He was still recovering, after all. Gentleness was key.
Not so gentle would come later.
A/N: So what do you think? This was 2, 572 words, so I hope you appreciated this unique Love Game series installment. I have no idea if you appreciated it, however, unless you REVIEW!