The Power Of

A Grey's Anatomy fic by Gigi

Disclaimer: I still own nothing. I live in Gigiland, which has been a lot more forgiving than Shondaland.

Chapter 1: Never Underestimate

A/N: I'm literally watching Grey's right now, and I decided to have my own way of getting Alex to get that stupid bullet out. I'm changing the timeline a little bit – Amelia went up to Seattle earlier than whenever she's up there, and Addison went with her instead of into the bathtub with Sam. Enjoy!

"Derek, would you just hear her out?"

Alex's head whipped up from his chart when he heard that voice. He wasn't quite ready for that voice; he usually had a little warning before hearing that voice. Something like the Chief telling him that her brother was getting brain surgery because he had parasitic worms in the third ventricle, or something like the gossip that she was coming up to help an illegitimate daughter's unborn illegitimate child.

What the hell was that voice doing ringing through the halls of the hospital and his head again? Didn't that voice belong in LA now?

Alex ignored his own small little voice that whispered its vehement denial of his last question while he watched the owner of that voice chase after the head of neurosurgery, who just happened to be that owner's ex-husband.

"Why are you pushing this so much?" Derek demanded, finally turning around to face his ex-wife.

"Because she's your sister, Derek, and you got shot!" Addison insisted, gesturing back behind her. "I thin when you almost die, you have to just suck it up and make sure you don't die with an estranged sibling."

"Yeah, I got shot," the neurosurgeon interrupted. "Just like my dad. What the hell did she do when she saw that? She became an addict and almost died herself. How is that something I would want as a big brother for his kid sister?"

"Derek," Addison started in a much calmer voice. She reached forward and grabbed his hand in hers. "When she almost died, that should have been when you reached out to her. But she turned herself around. She's become an amazing neurosurgeon, just like her big brother."

Alex watched as Derek's eyes rose to Addison's in surprise. "You found it in your heart to forgive me and let me back in after what I did to you," Addison continued. "I was just your wife, related to you by eleven years of marriage, a couple of rings and a piece of paper. She is your sister. If you could do that for me, why can't you do that for her?" Alex could tell from the way she was stepping towards Derek that she was going in for the final blow. "Maybe if you talk to her, you'll find out how else she's become like her big brother. You would be so proud of her."

Alex could tell from his position at the nurses' station twenty feet away that the fire-haired woman won. Derek's back loosened, and after a few murmured words of concession, he went to go find his baby sister, leaving a smug Addison standing proudly in the hallway.

Unable to help himself, Alex snorted as he went back to filling out his chart, attracting the attention of one redhead. From the way a moment of silence preceded the sound of clicking heels approaching him, Alex knew she'd chosen to ignore the snort and act like she saw him on her own. "Hello, Dr. Karev," she greeted civilly.

"Nice speech," he complimented dryly.

Catching the skepticism in his voice, Addison flipped her hair over her shoulder and leaned an elbow on the counter. "Thank you," she replied, trying to keep the stiffness out of her own voice.

"It would have been more impressive if you hadn't rehearsed it beforehand," Alex commented. He finally looked up and gave her his full attention….which might not have been the best idea. "You're letting your hair grow out again," slipped out before he even realized he thought it.

Addison shot him a confused look as she fingered her crimson locks, which now fell a few inches past her shoulders. "And you're a cocky intern again," she observed with what seemed to be a tinge of regret in her voice. "What happened? You were making such great progress."

Alex's smirk slid off his face. "So you did rehearse that little speech," he deflected.

Waving it off, Addison excused, "It still worked. He's talking to Amelia for the first time in years." She fixed him with an ice blue stare that brooked no nonsense. "Now back to where we were before you changed the subject. Why are you a jackass again?"

"Geez, LA has made you a lot more free with your tongue," Alex commented, once again avoiding answering her. "You never called me a jackass when you still worked here."

"Doesn't change the fact that you were one," Addison retorted. "I just couldn't say it because I had to stay professional, you know, being your boss and all." She quirked an eyebrow and allowed a satisfied smile to sneak onto her face. They had petty arguments like this all the time when she was still his boss. "It's a pity, though. You really did seem to be growing a heart the last time I saw you."

"Well, it withered away when I got shot," he admitted flippantly, going back to his charting. He really didn't want to have this conversation with her. Or anyone, for that matter.

Addison did a double take. "Hold on. You were shot, too?" She tried to keep the tremor out of her voice. It was bad enough that Derek had almost died, but…he did, too?

Alex lifted his head partway at the question. "What does it matter to you?" he asked, not turning his head to look at her, meaning he didn't see the whack she planted on his shoulder. "Ow!"

"Don't be a jackass," Addison chided. "And don't be self-deprecating. I'd notice if you were dead, Karev."

"I'm not being anything, Dr. Montgomery," Alex stressed, mocking her for her use of his last name. "Sorry if that's a jackass, but it's a hell of a lot better than what I've been through in the last two years when I supposedly had a heart. I just got back to normal is all."

"Why the hell don't you seem to care that a maniac shot you?" she demanded, just as Miranda Bailey, Alex's former resident and current attending, stopped by the nurses' station to drop off a chart.

"Because he's stupid," Bailey cut in. "He likes the fact that he's carrying around a bullet inside his chest and won't let it get taken out." After seeing a sufficiently bewildered expression on both doctors' faces, Bailey left after actually greeting her friend.

When Bailey left, Addison turned back to Karev. "Is Miranda right, Karev? Are you still carrying that bullet around in your chest?"

"Yeah, so what?" Once again, Alex found himself being subjected to a whack on the side of the head. "What the hell was that for?"

"Are you an idiot, Karev?"

"Are you seriously asking me that?"

"You need to get that thing removed!" Alex just rolled his eyes at the redhead and went back to his chart. The next thing he knew, he was being dragged by his elbow into the nearest on-call room.

"Hey, let go of me!" he protested to deaf ears. His plight didn't go unnoticed by the other hospital personnel, but no one lifted a finger to help him.

Once the door was closed and locked so he couldn't escape, Addison turned and planted him with a determined stare. "Am I really going to have to convince another infuriatingly stubborn surgeon to do what their own common sense should be making them do on their own?"

"I would rather you just passed on me," Alex provided.

"Nice try, but no way," Addison denied. "Why do you want to keep a piece of lead that almost killed you inside your chest?"

"I just do, okay?" he avoided.

"No, it's not okay! That's not good enough, damn it!" Addison raised her voice. "There has been way too much death and near death in my life for you to be using it as a way to get girls!"

Alex came up short at the realization that she'd immediately guessed his excuse for keeping the bullet. "How'd you know that's what I kept it for?"

"I know you, Alex, probably better than you'd care for me to," she answered honestly. "And FYI, girls don't find bullets sexy. They find them revolting, especially when they get infected."

"Plenty of girls find a bullet sexy."

"Not the kind of girl you'd want to keep around," Addison shot back.

"Well, maybe I don't want to keep anyone around right now!" Alex roared, effectively silencing the redhead. "Every girl I keep around goes crazy!" Addison's heavy-lidded eyes narrowed at that comment, and Alex realized his mistake. "You're not crazy," he assured her.

"Yeah, well, you didn't keep me around, now did you?" Addison posed calmly. "Now why are you repeating all your crap from a year ago?"

"Because it still applies," Alex maintained. "My mom, Rebecca, Izzie and now Lexie. I induce insanity in women who spend more than a couple nights with me."

"Then I guess I should be thanking you for allowing me my sanity," she deadpanned. "When were you with Lexie?"

"When you were with Sloan," he answered, catching the slightly horrified look on Addison's face. She hadn't thought he'd known. "Lexie told me you slept with him after she tried to make up with him. He got pissed that she slept with me and walked away."

"That doesn't seem exactly fair," Addison commented faintly. Leave it to Mark to broadcast his sex life all over the hospital the second he got back from LA.

"Well, I slept with you when he was still in love with you," Alex pointed out, wincing at how that sounded. He really was a jackass.

Addison couldn't concentrate. She didn't need those memories coming back up; they were two years gone. A lot had happened since then. "So how did Lexie go crazy?"

"She went off in the pit and tried to attack a patient," he supplied. "That's four women I've driven insane."

Silence filled the small room as the two individuals became caught up in their own thoughts. Alex was wondering why he'd opened up to her so quickly after seeing her again. He didn't feel anything for her—that he knew of, at least. He couldn't deny that he could still read her like a book when almost nobody else could, and he'd be lying to himself if he didn't admit he was proud of that.

Addison stood there analyzing the man standing in front of her. He really did seem to have reverted back to the cocky intern she assigned to her service. That wasn't a good thing for her; it might be too easy to regress to her own past self and get caught up again only to get hurt.

Alex was the one who broke the silence. "What did you mean you had enough of death?"

At first, Alex couldn't tell whether or not she was going to answer his question, but then Addison spoke up slowly. "My dear friend died thanks to a car crash just a while ago, and my goddaughter and her baby almost joined him."

"Him?" Alex could have smacked himself. That's not what you focus on when someone tells you something like that, you idiot!

Somewhere in the back of her mind, Addison was jumping for joy at the smallest amount of jealousy she could hear in his voice. But she squashed that thought before it could form completely. That was all in the past. All of it. "Dell Parker. He was a midwife, and he was sort of like my student when he was still the receptionist at the practice." Addison could see the question burning in Alex's chocolate brown eyes. "No, I didn't do anything with him!" she scoffed, whacking him on the arm.

"You really need to stop hitting me, and how the hell should I know? You did with me," Alex responded as he pretended to nurse his arm.

"God, I didn't even see him like that, you ass. Just because I did with you doesn't mean I just go around sleeping with my students!"

A roguish grin bloomed on Alex's face. "Too bad. I always liked the sexy teacher thing you had going."

Addison rolled her eyes. "I'm not even back for an hour, and you have already managed to hit on me. What happened to your circle of insanity?"

"You've already proven that you're immune," Alex indicated, stepping a little bit closer and allowing his grin to widen.

Whatever she may have been feeling inside, Addison didn't let any of it show. "I wasn't around long enough to confirm that, Karev." She poked him in the chest when he stepped too close to her body, managing to touch the small bump under his right pectoral muscle and eliciting a grunt of pain. "Get that bullet out, you idiot."

And with that, Addison turned around, opened the door and left the on-call room, her renewed long hair swaying behind her as she strutted away.

A/N: So what do you think? I always get in the best writing moods when I should be studying. But I still thought this would be an interesting angle to take, since I haven't written a story where they've kind of buried the hatchet between them. Anyway, please do me a favor and REVIEW!