Mark/Addison, Mark/Amelia, Derek - R

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Burden of Hope
- Grails
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"I did not come here for this," Addison pants as Mark presses his lips against the bare flesh he's found under the top button of her blouse. She never comes here for this, doesn't mean she doesn't (willingly) fall into the trap every time, however.

Mark pulls back, seriously, honesty coating his hungry features. She hates this face. "Thank you for saving Callie, for-" he stops before he says it- saving my baby. Because she didn't, but she did. He knows which one he wanted more.

She undoes the rest of her shirt for him before the conversation can get any more damn depressing. If he says anything about Sam or about Bizzy or really life in general, she's liable to have a meltdown. And while she didn't come here for sex, she definitely didn't stalk him back to his apartment under the guise of making sure he was okay only to end up in his arms, a mess of tears. Again.

It appears to gain his attention, judging by the way she gets shoved through the apartment. "Wait," Addison demands, skirt half down her legs. "Amelia-"

Mark sighs. Of course she blabbed. "I have a cleaning lady."

"Ew," Addison breathes, whacking his shoulder, stopping just short of reaching for her clothes before thinking fuck it, fuck her. It really doesn't matter anymore.

Nothing matters. Grief does that.

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"You're well on your way to drunk," Mark observes, balancing the pitcher of margaritas in his hand before dropping it onto the table. A little slips over the edge, garnishing the sticky table.

She has no idea where she is, what restaurant he has taken her to for a celebratory dinner, or why Derek is tagging along, but the cold alcohol sliding down her throat tastes delicious. And that's kind of where she's at these days. "Maybe," she admits, cheeks rosy with the knowledge of what they've just done in his shower, on his sheets.

Derek rolls his eyes, checking his watch. Designated driver was never his strong suit. "Forty more minutes, then I'm done."

"You know you miss it Shep, the three of us," Mark teases, watching his friend's eyes cloud over. He liked it until his wife cheated, until his friend wasn't his friend anymore. They all know the story.

She wears it like a skin. Derek's is a coat, removable when he so chooses. Mark's a blanket, only wrapped around him in the silence of night.

"Mark slept with Amelia," Addison offers, slurping more of her drink inelegantly.

"Addison-"

"Why am I not surprised," Derek mumbles to himself, flipping though his emails.

"Derek and Meredith are trying to have a baby," Mark counters, taking a small bit of satisfaction in the hurt that crosses over her face.

"Bizzy's dead," Addison says. They all know. Everyone has a fat mouth, but she hasn't said it aloud, to either of them.

The silence that engulfs them is priceless. She uses it for more drinking.

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"Seattle's always had a thing for you. Your evil," Mark mentions as he drives toward SeaTac.

"You're all better off without me," Addison says softly, earnestly. The city has finally healed. There's babies, and adults, and untwisted, uncomplicated relationships. Couples that have straight lines instead of triangles and hexagons.

"But who will point out all the horrible and damaging things I'm doing to my child?" Mark teases with a gentle smile. He hasn't seen her laugh the entire time she's been here. She's always staring into the distance when she's not trying too hard to appear normal. She looks lost, broken, and he's always felt a little bad when it's someone else's responsibility to step up.

She'd argue that he's managing, that he'd manage, that Arizona will kill him if he so much as breathes wrong, but it's futile. Everyone is getting a child, but her. Everyone is moving on while she's stuck in neutral.

Life is always a cruel tease.

He parks, chooses to tug her luggage across the lot for her, makes sure she at least makes it to the ticket counter before crumbling under her stoic statue. Boarding pass in hand, he stops her, looks her carefully in the eye, and asks the one question he's been begging to since New York, since that night. "Are you going to be okay?"

"Does it matter?" Addison counters, lip crushed by her teeth, painfully cutting into the flesh.

He kisses her before she can tear away, pretends not to notice how eagerly she reciprocates.

He meant to say Sorry, it always did come out differently with them.

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She's choking back tears at 28,000 feet. Her throat is battling with her mind, jaw clenched in anticipation of being completely embarrassed. She always slips backwards, falls headfirst. And every single time she slides out of his grasp, she's left wondering how she can always evade the one person she secretly fears she's meant for.

She always thought there'd be more time to say it- I love you.

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