A/N: Just a short little one-shot about what I would like to see happen on Private Practice. I know it's wishful thinking, though, because my favorite couples (with the exception of Charlotte and Cooper) never seem to get a fair chance. This story was inspired by the last scene of the finale, where Jake is driving to Addison's house with Chinese takeout. I hope you like this story. Thanks so much for reading!
Addison Montgomery wasn't a stranger to Chinese food. Back in med school, she and Derek spent their Thanksgivings studying for exams, eating really bad Chinese food, instead of turkey – a memory which, to this day, still makes her smile.
Over the years, the really bad Chinese food got upgraded to really good Chinese food. She and Derek settled down and started a life together in New York, and inevitably became regulars at a Chinese takeout place a few blocks over from their brownstone.
Addison took fortune cookies seriously. It wasn't that she actually believed the fortune inside the cookie but, still, the prospect of the unknown was intriguing, worrisome even. She had always been the type to read the last page of a book first, and she liked to think that she was always two steps ahead of her partner in her relationships (which, in truth, was crap – she had been blindsided by the men in her life too many times to count). Still, she hated the unknown, and she hated things that were out of her control, so she wasn't the type who could save her fortune cookie until the end of the meal.
Derek used to tease her about this – he'd liken her to a child, who insisted on eating her dessert before dinner. But it was never about that. Truth be told, she didn't really like the cookie part. It was always about reading her fortune, and reading it immediately.
She didn't put much stock in what the fortunes actually said. That would be silly. Sure, she hung onto a couple of her favorites. She had even quoted one to Izzie Stevens when she returned to Seattle to perform a surgery – "Be the change you want to see in the world." Izzie thought she was quoting Gandhi; little did Izzie know Addison was just quoting her fortune from the night before.
Addison would always associate the night that Sam proposed to her with Chinese food. The proposal had caught her completely off guard, rendered her speechless. Luckily for her, the doorbell rang, and this gave her a minute to stop and think about everything that was happening.
She opened the door to find Jake Reilly standing in the doorway with flowers, wine, and Chinese food. But she didn't even notice the flowers or the wine. Her eyes immediately went to the Chinese takeout carton and, more specifically, to the writing on the takeout carton: Thank you.
Thank you. Did Chinese takeout cartons always say that? She didn't know. She couldn't remember. But it seemed important now. That takeout carton, those words – Thank you – said everything.
Thank you for coming over and stopping Sam's proposal.
Thank you for being there for Amelia when she wouldn't let me or anyone else help her.
Thank you for being supportive when I did IVF. Thank you for looking at surrogates with me. And thank you for being there for me when my first attempt at adoption fell through.
Thank you for making me feel comfortable enough to say things to you that I couldn't say to anyone else.
Thank you for listening to me – for really listening to me.
Thank you for being my doctor. And thank you for being my friend.
Thank you for seeing more with me and for wanting more with me. And thank you for giving me the time to see and want more with you.
Because for the first time, in a long time, she was seeing clearly. The difference between Sam and Jake was obvious. Sam said he wanted Henry…he said he wanted to raise a child that was not biologically his. Jake had done this. Sam had told her that he loved her, but his actions betrayed his words time and time again. Jake hadn't told her that he loved her, but his actions, this past year, seemed more genuine than any empty profession of love that Sam could make.
Addison knew that talk was cheap. Talking was all she did in therapy. And all that talking in therapy never led her to the realization that she had when she saw those two words – Thank you – on the Chinese takeout carton.
In the weeks and months that followed, Addison tried to thank Jake – for being more than just talk. But he dismissed her thanks and told her that, if anything, he should be the one thanking her. She liked to think that she would have said no to Sam, even if Jake hadn't shown up with the flowers and the wine and the Chinese takeout that said Thank you on the carton, but it's hard to ever know for certain. It's not every day a woman gets proposed to, so it wouldn't have been completely unreasonable for her judgment to be a bit cloudy. But thankfully this wasn't the case.
She and Jake still haven't said "I love you" to each other. There have been plenty of "Thank yous," but no "I love yous" just yet – although their actions suggest that things are headed in that direction.
But Addison can wait. Right now, she's just happy to be at her kitchen table, with Henry on her lap, eating Chinese food with Jake. And she can't help but notice that even though they're halfway through the meal, the fortune cookies are still untouched. And she's okay with that. She's okay with not knowing what the future holds. Because, right now, she's happy…she has everything she's ever wanted. And, for that, she's thankful.