From day one Derek Shepherd had been the most attentive father known to man. He would do anything for his wife or child. If he could, he would have given birth himself to spare Addison of the pain. He would be the first to get up if their daughter was to cry in the middle of the night, he would never complain about being tired.
"Are you sure you don't want me to call in sick? We both know how fussy she is when she's not feeling well." he offered for the thousandth time.
"Derek, she's my daughter. She's had a fever before, it's not the first time that I take care of her myself. We will be fine." she insisted. "I'll give her another dose of Tylenol and she will be better by the time you get home from work."
"I'm not doubting you, I just don't wanna leave you alone." he continued but stopped when he saw her glare at him. "Fine..." he sighed. "I'm leaving."
Addison closed the door behind him, not bothering to lock it with the assumption that Derek would change his mind halfway to his car and come back. She went to check on her daughter who was curled up in her crib, coughing in her coma like sleep. She hated seeing her daughter in such pain, even though it was just a simple cold.
She went into her room and shut the door halfway, assuming that she would be able to hear if her daughter needed her. Addison crawled back into bed and shut her eyes. She figured there was no point in being awake so early if she didn't have to go to work.
Three hours later she awoke to see it was 9:30 in the morning and knew her daughter was probably on verge of waking up. She got out of bed, forced herself to change and went into Alexa's room just in time to see her open her eyes. Addison smiled down at the one year old as she watched her rub her eyes groggily.
"Hey, Sleeping Beauty." she whispered. "Feeling any better, princess?"
Alexa reached out her arms, wordlessly asking for her mother to take her out of the imprisonment of her crib. Addison complied. She took her daughter and changed her diaper while doing everything possible to make the baby giggle. "Mama..." she squealed happily. "No boo-boo."
"Yeah?" Addison responded with a smile. "I'm glad you feel better, baby. Your father was ready to take you to the ER in the middle of the night just because of your fever." she said, suddenly realizing that the 12 month old could barely understand half of what was said.
"Dada?" Alexa asked with a knock-out smile. "Wok?"
"Yes, sweetheart, your Daddy is at work." her mother replied, placing her on the plush carpet in her fresh diaper and a clean pair of footsie pajamas to keep her warm. She placed her favorite toys on the ground in front of her and sat down across from her with her legs chris-cross. "What are we playing with first today, Lex?"
Alexa sat there, carefully considering her options. She reached for a book when the phone began to ring. Then she looked up at her mother and grinned, "Dada!" she exclaimed.
Addison pushed herself up unwillingly, but she knew her daughter was right. It was Derek and if she didn't answer than he would keep calling or have a panic attack. "I'll be back in a minute, honey. Try not to do anything crazy while I'm gone, okay?"
Alexa had no idea what her mother said but she looked up at her with a smile. "Yup." she agreed innocently and focused on the pictures in her book until her mother would return to read it to her. The next thing she knew was a man grabbing her before she could scream. From then on everything became a haze for her. Alexa had no idea what was going on, she had no idea who's arms she was in and she couldn't recognize where she was going. Usually she was on top of all of that. She always knew where she was and who was there to take care of her.
Addison walked back into the room a matter of two minutes later with the who glued to her ear. "You were right, baby. It's Daddy and he wants to talk to you." she said as she walked into the room, all before realizing that she was talking to no body. Once she saw the broken closet door and took in the emptiness of the room she began to panic. "Alexa?" she called out loudly.
"She's not a dog, Addie. She's not gonna come running to you when you call her name, She can barely walk five feet without falling on her ass." she heard Derek say over the phone. "Where is she? How can she not be in her room?"
Addison ran to the front door to discover it wide open. She remembered leaving it unlocked thinking he would come back, she never went back to lock it after that. She saw the muddy footprint leading into the house and she unknowingly let out a sob. "Her closet door was broken down, the front door is open and there are muddy prints on the marble, Derek." she told him, her voice breaking as the tears began to flow openly. She ran out, hoping to catch whoever it was in time to stop it but there was nothing out of the ordinary in site.
Derek took a deep breath, realizing that he was about to live any parents' worst nightmare. "Ad, try to breathe. I'll be right there, I'm leaving here right now." he did his best to reassure her but he knew there was nothing he could do or say that would make her feel better. "I'll be there in 10 minutes, call 911."
"The hospital is 20 minutes away." Addison managed to get the words out through her tears.
"Addison, I will be there in 10 minutes." he repeated more insistently.
One Year Later
"So that's it?" Derek snapped at the detective. They were sitting in a conference room of the police station with a thin folder which contained the details in relevance to their daughter's case and two detectives who promised to do everything possible to bring her back home. "We're suppose to give up that easily?"
"I'm not saying that you should give up, Mr. Shepherd. I'm sure it's not so easy it give up hope. You're her parents, you'll always have hope to find her. But realistically we are at a dead end." one of the detectives explained. "There isn't any evidence for us to work off of, we don't have any information..."
"You've spent a lot of money trying to publicize this story. Everyone in America knows what your daughter looks like and they know she's missing. This has been one of the most highly publicized kidnap cases since Adam Walsh. And no one has seen her, no one has seen anyone that looks anything like her." the other detective continued. "If we had calls coming in, if the kidnapper was to be trying to contact you for ransom we'd have something to work off of. We've got nothing."
"Well find something!" Addison screamed. "You don't have anything because you never tried to find something! There was always some murder or robbery that was more important. You kept putting her on the backtrack and now you want to give up because you missed your window of opportunity? What the fuck is that about?"
"I understand you're upset, Mrs. Shepherd, but this isn't our fault..."
"You can not possibly understand how I feel. Do you even have children? Either of you." She fumed and when she got no response she knew the answer. "Exactly. So how the fuck would you know what it's like to lose a child if you don't have one to begin with?"
"I wish there was something more we could do for the two of you, I'm sure your daughter meant the world to you." one of the men said solemnly as they both got up to leave the room. "We'll leave you alone..."
Once alone, Derek glanced over at his wife who was sitting there with her head in her hands, doing her best to not break down into tears in the middle of the police station. "Are you okay?" he asked her softly as he pulled his chair closer to her and rested a supportive hand on her shoulder.
Addison nodded and wiped away the one tear she wasn't able to hold back. "I'll be fine." she whispered as she got up. "Can we get out of here and go home? Please? I can't stand to look at this place anymore."
Derek nodded understanding and escorted her to the car. During the entire ride home they sat in silence. Addison stared out the window as he drove. His attention was split between her and he road ahead of him. Once they got home, Derek's sole concern became Addison. He did everything he could for her but knew it wasn't helping. Over the course of days he saw her falling into a downward spiral. He realized she wasn't eating, she wasn't sleeping. She barely ever got off her couch. She wasn't concerned about herself or her job anymore.
"Do you wanna talk about it, Addison?" he asked one night, knowing that he was taking a risk. She could start screaming at him or worse, she could break down and isolate herself again. "I miss being able to hold you while you sleep. Do you think you could at least come to bed tonight? You need to try to get some sleep."
Addison diverted her eyes from the TV. "What's the point?" she whispered hoarsely.
"You have to move on with your life, babe. I'm not telling you to give up on her, but I don't want you to give up on your life just because she's not with us." he replied. "I miss her too. I love her too. This is hard for me too. But I've been talking about it with Mark and Weiss and Sam.. and trust me.. it helps. If you don't want to talk to Nai or Savvy, you could talk to me."
"What do you want me to say?" Addison asked him. She exhaled a breath and sat up. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to snap at you for no reason but I don't know how to deal with this. I've been trying, I have, I just... I don't know how to do it."
"You don't have to try to deal with it alone. You've got me, we've got a whole posse of people who are there for us." he reminded her and took a seat on the couch close beside her. "Just tell me how you feel, what you've been thinking for the past two weeks. I promise it'll make you feel better, you might even be able to get some sleep tonight."
"I feel lost. I never thought this would end like this. I really believed that the police would find her, I thought she'd be back in my arms before her second birthday...But that's two days away and we're sitting here without her and I feel... I don't even know how I feel."
Derek slipped an arm around her waist and pulled her closer to himself. He felt her head drop onto his should and heard her sigh. "Trust me, it's not over. One day, when we least expect it she's gonna be back in our lives and we're gonna be a family again."
"You don't know that." She pointed out pessimistically. "You're just saying it because you know it will make us feel better. In reality we both know that that may never happen."
"Addison, I do know that." Derek insisted. "I didn't just say it because it's the only thing that comforts me. I honestly believe that she is still out there and we will find her. With our luck, the timing of it will suck, we'll have a hard time balancing everything to include her but the important thing is that I just know she'll be back."
He felt Addison sniffle and nodded against his shoulder. "You think we're gonna be okay?"
"I know it." he promised.
Back with another chapter story :D I've been working on this one for a while, I wanted to make it perfect before posting. If I missed any typos, let me know. Those drive me insane. Anyway, I have the first half of this story all written out and the second half is very well planned. I don't know how long it's going to be but I doubt it'll be as long as the last one. I'm aiming for 10 chapters, 12 max but we'll see. This is the prologue, I wanted to introduce the plot instead of diving right in like I usually do.
Let me know what you think of the storyline so far. I wanted to do something that hadn't been done too many times but I'm not sure how much people will like the subject. I would love to hear suggestions if you guys have any.