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It hits her about ten seconds after she sits down at the table: This is it. She will never leave this man, and she will never do anything to jeopardize this relationship because she just told him her darkest, most shameful secret—and he didn't bat an eye. He loves her purely and unconditionally, unlike anyone else ever has, and it's just so overwhelming that she can't help but start to cry again.
"Hey," he says gently. She sniffles and avoids his eyes until he squeezes her hands and she looks up to see his face, his expression showing no sign of anger or bitterness—just love. It's clear that it pains him to see her like this. "Come here."
By the time he pulls her into his lap, she is all-out sobbing because she just can't believe that he stayed and that this kind, wonderful man wants to be with her. He rubs her back as she cries into his shoulder, and she just feels so safe.
"I can't believe you're still here," she manages to squeak out. "I-I can't believe you still want me after I told you all of that."
"Of course I still want you," he reassures her with a kiss against her temple. "You are more than just your past, Addie, and when I say that I love you, I mean it. I'm in this."
She is in it, too, and with the way he talks about her past indiscretion, she begins to think that she might finally be able to forgive herself once and for all. She is falling more in love with him by the second as he holds her. It's more intense of a feeling than anything she has ever felt for any man, and it almost scares her.
But this is it.
And she knows it.
She is absolutely certain that she wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life with him if he'll let her.
She dreams of Mark that night. They are in New York again, and it's like the last seven years never happened. His bare chest is warm and solid beneath her as they lay kissing heatedly in an on-call room, and it just feel so good. She isn't thinking of anything as she sucks on his lower lip and grinds her hips into his—until she notices that he has stopped moving. He has stopped kissing her, and his eyes are fixed. His face is pale, and his lips are blue. He isn't breathing. She panics and scrambles off him, searches for a pulse and finds nothing. He's cold now, and when she tries to scream, all that comes out is a raspy, "No. No, wake up. No."
And then the next thing she knows, she is being lightly shaken awake.
Her eyes fly open, and she bolts upright.
She can see Jake's concerned face in the moonlight as she tries to catch her breath.
"I think you were having a nightmare."
She nods tearfully and allows him to gather her to him when he sits up.
"It's okay," he murmurs, stroking her hair. "You're okay."
"He's dead, Jake. I-I tried to wake him up, but he wasn't breathing."
She cries harder out of guilt once she remembers what else happened in the dream, what occurred before she discovered Mark dead, but before Jake can say anything to comfort her, Henry starts crying over the baby monitor.
She quickly wipes the tears from her eyes and then pulls away to go tend to the baby when he stops her.
"Stay," he tells her with a kiss on her forehead. "I'll go get him and bring him back here."
She agrees and sinks back into the pillows, watching as he pulls on a t-shirt before going to get her little one.
It's just after five in the morning, so Henry may or fall back to sleep. Considering she's only been asleep for a restless four hours, though, she is really hoping that her son will be satisfied by some cuddling and an extra hour (or three) of sleep.
She doesn't feel like as much of a completely sad and ashamed mess if she just thinks of Henry, her beautiful little boy with the chubby cheeks, adorable smile, and easy-going demeanor. When he looks at her, she sees nothing but love and trust in his eyes, and just thinking about it makes her melt.
As does the conversation she is suddenly privy to as it comes in over the baby monitor:
"Hi, little guy. What's the matter, huh? Did you have a bad dream like your Mama?" Jake coos to the baby who stops crying almost immediately. He makes some light shushing noises before quickly figuring out what all the fuss is about. "Oh. No, you just need a new diaper, don't you, buddy?"
She laughs quietly because the tone he used to say that was the same as the one he would use if Henry was just one of the guys instead of an eight-month-old. She continues to listen as he whispers to the baby, unable to make out most of what he is saying but loving the soft voice he uses with her son. It's sweet, and she loves that about him. He treats Henry as if he were his own. The fact that she is a mother was never an issue to him; Henry was part of the package, and he accepted that from day one. She is lucky—so lucky—to have this man in her and her son's life.
"He just needed a fresh diaper," Jake explains as he returns to bed with Henry in his arms. "I also think he's still tired enough that he'll go back to sleep."
She smiles gratefully and kisses him with a quick "thank you" before accepting Henry.
"Hi, baby," she greets him. "You wanna come sleep by Mama? Yeah? How about that?"
This is one of her absolute favorite things about being a mother. Her parents never would have allowed her to sleep in their bed regardless of whether she was an infant or a child, but snuggling with her sleepy baby in bed on weekend mornings is something that she wouldn't give up for the world. There is something so wonderfully fulfilling about being face to face with her little boy as he falls asleep next to her with his little fist wrapped around one of her fingers, and when she falls asleep shortly after, she feels so content, so at peace knowing that she finally has this incredible little person in her life.
Henry sighs as she lays him down on his stomach with his head in the middle of her chest, his sleepy little eyes staring up at her. Jake settles in next to her, and she suddenly feels like she could just burst with how complete she feels with her two favorite boys right there with her.
"His eyes are already closing," Jake laughs through a whisper, reaching out to lovingly run his index finger over Henry's shoulder. "Why don't you lay him between us so we can all get some more sleep?"
With that suggestion, she falls in love with him just a little more, and as she gently places Henry on the mattress, she thinks of how perfect the scene is: mother, baby, and the man she hopes might one day be Henry's father. A family.
She and Jake both watch as Henry drifts off, and for a few minutes after, they simply watch him as he sleeps, each stealing quick glances at the other until their eyes meet.
"Are you feeling better?" He asks almost inaudibly.
It takes her a second to remember what he is talking about; she almost forgot why she woke up in the first place.
"Actually, yeah," she replies with a smile, this time tearing up for a different reason. "Jake?"
She reaches out and puts her hand on his cheek.
"I love you."
She wants so many more mornings like this—even if they start with a cranky baby.
A/N: It's been two years since I wrote a fic for Private Practice/Grey's, and I never thought I would write one again, but here I am. Shonda finally gives Addie a good guy, and suddenly, I care again. haha Thanks for reading :) I may continue this if I can think of something to add.