Title: Invincible (1/1)
Author: youngerdrgrey
Pairing: Addison/Derek friendship; talks of Meredith/Derek, Derek/Addison, Sam/Addison
Summary: Addison and Derek used to be invincible, but times have changed and so have they. Happens during "Song Beneath the Song"
Rating: T
Warnings/Spoilers: 7x18
Disclaimer: I own nothing. All rights for the characters and the world go to their owners (like Shonda Rhimes and ABC). I, in no way, believe – or would lead others to believe – that I own Grey's Anatomy. I am merely a fan of the television show who has ideas for things that Shonda could do/could've done.

Author's Note: Please review if you read.


We were once invincible. What are we now? Two worn down people who have changed their hair, moved around, found and lost love, and somehow constantly wind up thrust back into each other's lives for shared moments of misery and animosity. That sounds about right.

I watch him from the corner of my eye, but nothing about him is different. How has he remained the same physically for years? Aren't guys supposed to have some sort of reaction to a divorce? A new tattoo? A piercing? A permanent glower that is only erased by seeing my face? Ha, wishful thinking. Derek has more of a reaction to reading a chart than seeing me. We're surgeons, so it's not really that much of a surprise.

As always, I break the ice.

"How are things?" I ask.

The look he gives holds all of that disbelief I expected back when I first slept with Mark. He chuckles in that condescending way that he does so often.

"Things are just fine, Addison," he responds, "Torres is lying on a hospital bed and might not wake up. Mark is beating himself up and making Robbins feel like crap. Meredith is breaking down in elevators and I've got Alzheimer's patients falling out of my ears and costing me the sound judgment I've spent the last two years trying to build back up. Yeah, things are fine."

I roll my eyes. Everything must be so hard when you're Derek Shepherd. To be the best stinking neurosurgeon around, have a loving - albeit twisted and not outwardly affectionate - wife, be working on a second groundbreaking clinical trial, and still working at the hospital with all of the friends we both made in Seattle must be pure torture. Oh boo hoo. How does he not cry himself to sleep every night?

"You chose to be a doctor, Derek," I tell him.

"I didn't choose this," he says.

"We never do."

He nods along with my statement. We signed up for saving lives and cutting open people, not for the soul-draining experiences that come along with it. We get what we get. I got the urge to sleep with my husband's best friend, got pregnant, got an abortion, and then got Sam who doesn't want the baby I can't even produce anymore. I skipped a few steps in the retelling, but the fact is still the same. Strange things happen. Horrible things happen. We fix it. As surgeons, we deal with it. I turn to him to tell him just that, but he's back to looking into space.

Below me, inside of the tiny incubator, Sofia squirms. It's crazy to look at her and think about how she got here. She's Mark's kid and Callie's and that Arizona chick's too I guess. Anyone who looks at this little baby wonders if she will even survive to be the strong, beautiful girl she no doubt has the potential to be.

"I hate this part," Derek says. I take a second to fully recognize he's speaking and that I'm not just projecting my thoughts onto him. We always did think alike.

"Which part? The talking to your ex idly part, or the standing by while your patient fights an internal struggle part?"

"The last one," he says. He peeks up at me with the smallest of grins and whispers conspiratorially, "The first one's not bad at all."

I chuckle. It really isn't.

"Your patient's not in here, Derek," I say.

"We need this baby. Callie, Meredith - I need this baby. I need proof that Seattle Grace surgeons can produce a child and keep it alive and healthy and not have it turn into Meredith. I love her, but she's-" he pauses to search for the word to describe her.

"Meredith," I fill in.

He agrees. Then, as if realizing how awkward this conversation should be, he asks me, "How's the practice?"

How's the practice? Fine. Afloat. The doctors aren't really. Violet and Pete are wrapped in book land. Sheldon is getting it on with the book critic. Amelia is forever adrift. Charlotte and Cooper are, well, they're better than they have been in a while. And Sam-

"Sam doesn't want kids," I blurt. I glance to Derek, then back to Sofia. "You'll do fine. Even if the kid's messed up and a Grey, at least it's a kid."

He doesn't know what to say to that. It shows in the way he furrows his brow and turns to look at Sofia as well. We watch her for a while, not doing anything. What is there to say from that point? Is he supposed to offer me advice on how to convince a cardiac surgeon to change his mind? Am I supposed to comfort him on how great his kid - that should be mine - will turn out in this dysfunctional hospital? Yeah, that'll happen.

At the first squeak of a sound, I whirl towards the doors. Some hurried intern pushes through the double panel and bellows, "Torres is awake!"

Awkward silence currently ignored, Derek straightens up and glances at me.

"I should go check on my patient," he says. I nod, not even bothering to add anything to the dead conversation. He flounders for a moment before heading to the doors. I watch him go, wishing, pleading that Callie is okay. This baby needs her. And, once she's up to par, I need her. It'd be nice to have someone who isn't so heavily invested in the practice to talk to again.

"Oh, Addison-" Derek stands in the doorway again, typical McDreamy smirk in place, "the animosity is negotiable."

Keep in mind, we were also once friends.