DISCLAIMER: They are not mine, I'm just rubbing them together to see what happens. The story however, is mine. (as are any original characters or concepts in it)
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This fanfiction would not have been possible without pandora007, my person and my editor. Without her help, ideas, editorial skills, encouragement and support Domino Effect would be, Domino Dysfunctional. Even the original concept was hers, actually. She really is the best! :)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Yes (most seasons one way or another)

By The Raven


Chapter 21

Meredith did not know how much time had passed since she had fallen asleep resting against Addison's side, but she woke up feeling like she was being watched. Her body told her that it was still quite early though, perhaps an hour or more before she actually needed to be up.

Slowly, she opened her eyes and as she blinked them into focus she noted that Addison was resting on her side and looking at Meredith with a very intent, but soft expression on her face.

"Good morning." Addison whispered, running a finger along the top of Meredith's exposed hand.

"Hi." Meredith managed to say, feeling warm and distracted and like she needed a drink of water.

"You snore." Addison commented and Meredith could feel herself blush a deep shade of scarlet.

"Sorry." She mumbled, mortified.

"That's not what woke me, Meredith. I just wanted to see you before we have to go to work." Addison reassured her and leaned in to brush her lips against Meredith's forehead.

"You're adorable when you sleep." Addison continued before she rolled over in the bed and stood up in one smooth movement.

"Sit up." Addison said from someplace out of Meredith's line of sight.

Obediently, Meredith did just that and a moment later she felt Addison return to the bed and looked over at her, still feeling sleepy and blurry from having slept so deeply.

"Breakfast in bed?" Meredith cringed inwardly at how excited she sounded to her own ears.

Addison just smiled, her face radiant in the early morning light and Meredith fell in love again. This was what she wanted, there was no question about it. Now she would just need to make it happen. Enough dawdling. No more hesitation. This was what her future was made of: Addison.

Accepting the hot cup of coffee that Addison offered her, Meredith smiled and watched with fascination as a slight blush tinged the edges of the redhead's cheekbones. It was adorable.

"Thank you." Meredith said succinctly, knowing that the other woman would know that she meant for more than just this morning coffee.

A brilliant smile was her reward and Meredith felt warmed to the very core of her being.

This was what she wanted.


Meredith was just stepping out of the shower a little later when she heard Addison talking with someone in the adjoining suite. Curious, Meredith wrapped herself in a complimentary robe and peeked out.

"Jason!" Meredith exclaimed happily and stepped into the room, moving to give the handsome man a kiss on his cheek.

Jason smiled conspiratorially at her. "So, how'd it go?" He whispered into her ear, making Meredith giggle.

Stepping back Meredith just smiled brilliantly at him and then moved to stand closer to Addison who was looking back and forth between Meredith and Jason with a perplexed look on her face.

"Since when are you two bff's?" She asked, sounding amused but confused.

"Never you mind, Addison. We had some girl-talk the other day; the sort of stuff that serious surgeons like yourself need not know about." Jason teased and then he laughed outright at Addison's outraged expression.

"I've got to go, Red. See you back in LA." Jason finally managed to say and he enfolded Addison in a quick but tight hug and then did the same to Meredith.

"Bye Blondie." He teased and a few moments later he was gone with the echo of his laughter still making Meredith smile from ear to ear.

"Huh. Blondie." Addison turned to look at Meredith as she said the words and now it was Meredith's turn to laugh.

"Everyone needs a gay best friend, Addison. It seems that Jason has adopted me." Meredith leaned in and kissed Addison to punctuate her statement and with that simple act managed to distract them both to the point where they almost forgot what they were supposed to be doing.

"We have to go to work." Addison finally managed to say and as she stood holding Meredith, it became apparent that Meredith was wearing only a hotel bathrobe.

"Hm, you need to get dressed." Addison finally managed to say and something in her tone made Meredith's breath catch.

"Addison." Meredith moaned from low in her throat.

"I know." Addison replied and stepped back from Meredith, looking shaken.

"Uhm. I went to your car and got the bag you mentioned." Addison finally managed, handing Meredith a small overnight bag.

"Thank you. I packed that after the last sleep-over we had." Meredith offered with a shaky smile.

God, she wanted Addison.

Addison just nodded and headed for the bathroom while Meredith tried to gather her wits to get dressed. They only had about forty-five minutes to be at the hospital.

As it happened, they did manage to get to work in plenty of time with Addison driving in with Meredith. While Meredith drive she reaffirmed in her mind that she wanted to be with Addison and that she wanted Addison. There was no other choice. None. Now it was just a matter of figuring out how to instigate her choice.

She had to work with Derek and they had such a long history and so much baggage between them that it was going to be ugly. It would be worth it though.

Addison was worth anything; everything.

Meredith felt that if she hesitated or procrastinated for too much longer she risked losing Addison, or at least hurting the other woman and she did not want to risk either thing happening. She had hurt Addison enough already and the redhead had been more than patient. It was time for Meredith to get off her ass and do something.

She was no shrinking violet, after all.

Parking the car, Meredith looked over at Addison and smiled openly at her. "Ready?" She asked.

"Almost." Addison replied, leaning over and kissing Meredith briefly but thoroughly.

"Now I am ready." Addison said huskily, her eyes betraying her thoughts and Meredith swallowed.

"Okay." She managed and they got out of the car and made their way to the hospital entrance together.

Meredith felt a lightness in her steps as they walked and the feeling continued until they actually entered the hospital and she saw Derek. When she noticed him standing on the walkway looking down at Addison and her, Meredith felt her step falter ever so slightly, but she recovered almost at once.

His presence made Meredith nervous, though. Hopefully he would not instigate another confrontation in the hospital, or if he did, it would be with her and not Addison.

She really needed to get the situation with him resolved, and soon. It was starting to intrude and Meredith did not want that. She wanted a clean start with Addison; she wanted forever with Addison.

"Coming?" Addison queried when Meredith slowed down due to her thoughts.

"Yes." Meredith smiled and hurried to catch up with the woman that she loved.

It was not going to be so simple, though. Derek had made his way down from the walkway and was making his way towards them. There was no way that she was going to be able to avoid him, not this morning anyway.

He walked up to her and really without any instigation on her part, embraced her, pulling her almost forcefully against him and leaned in to kiss her on the mouth in an obvious gesture of possession. His face was angry and Meredith turned away so that his scratchy cheek scraped along her face while his kiss landed on her cheek.

Derek's sharp intake of breath told Meredith that he was furious and now he all but grabbed her by the arm.

"There is a pregnant woman who came in this morning I want you to take a look at, Addison." Derek casually told Addison as he started to try to walk Meredith away.

He smiled as he said this and Meredith felt the gesture grate on her nerves. How had she ever seen what she had seen in him?

"I'm not an ER doctor, Derek." Addison replied, sounding frustrated.

"I know, but you really need to take a look at her, please. I don't want one of my residents to break her." Derek added, sounding calm and measured, despite the almost painful grip he had on Meredith's arm.

"Fine." Addison replied and seemed to withdraw into herself a little.

Derek nodded and guided Meredith away, obviously wanting to further stake his claim on her. It made Meredith wish that Cristina would suddenly turn up out of thin air and say something like: Let her go, McMoron!

Meredith looked back at Addison at this thought, frantic to regain some of the peace and feeling that she had in the morning, but when she looked back, her heart lurched.

Addison looked hurt and bewildered. It was a visage that Meredith had never wanted to see on Addison's face again and it made her furious at Derek and at his antics for having caused it. He had never been a caveman before, but now he seemed to be getting in touch with his inner Cro-Magnon and Meredith was not amused.

Pulling her arm free from Derek's grip, Meredith turned and left him standing by the elevators as she sought to catch up with Addison and ignoring Derek's protest.

"We need to talk. I will be home tonight." Meredith called back to Derek just before turning the corner.

She knew what she wanted and who she wanted and had made her decision. Now only remained the chore of making sure Derek knew it as well. She did not think it would be easy and part of her sincerely wished that she had already gathered the nerve to do it weeks ago.

Still, better late than never, though.

By the time Meredith caught up with Addison, she was getting ready to enter the examination room and Meredith deciding that the only way she could be with Addison was to go with her into the room, she did. Uninvited though she was she was sure that she would not be unwelcome.

Meredith wanted Addison to know what she had made her choice and was willing to stand by it if needed. Right now it was needed.

"I'm Doctor Montgomery." Meredith watched as the redhead introduced herself and she wondered exactly what was going on with this patient to require Addison's specialist attentions.

"I felt fine until this morning." The patient started to say. "I slipped and fell in the shower two days ago. I can't feel the baby kick any more so I was worried." Meredith cringed at the words.

Addison glanced at the patient's file and it was only because Meredith had spent so much time with Addison recently that she was able to tell that whatever the chart said, it had upset Addison, deeply.

"Doctor Grey, please prepare the patient for an ultrasound. I will return shortly." Addison said, handing Meredith the chart and excusing herself.

Torn between going after Addison and doing what she was told, Meredith finally decided to look down at the chart. Blinking, she reread what it said. This was potentially an extremely tragic situation that was unfolding. The woman had received a heavy trauma to her abdomen and there were concerns for the baby.

"Okay Mrs. Falco, let's get you ready." Meredith said and in short order had the patient ready for her scan.

Where was Addison?

"I'll go tell Doctor Montgomery that you are ready." Meredith explained and quickly went in search of the errant redheaded doctor in question.

Meredith did not have to go far to find her, she was standing just outside the door. Meredith did not really know how Addison was feeling right now but it was obvious that this was affecting her deeply. She was barely holding it together, actually.

"Are you okay?" Such an inane question, but Meredith was not sure what else to ask.

"No." Addison replied succinctly.

With those words she walked back into the room with Meredith at her heels.

"Okay, are we ready to begin?" Addison asked her patient and the woman nodded.

There was anxiety in the woman's gaze and Addison's posture was tense. Meredith was standing slightly behind Addison and before she could think better of it she reached over and placed her hand on Addison's back. There was a tensing of muscles and then Addison's posture relaxed minutely. Good.

Meredith left her hand on Addison's back while the redhead performed the exam and when Meredith looked at the monitor even her own unspecialised eyes could see that the child was dead.

How unbelievably tragic.

"Mrs. Falco. I am so terribly sorry, but I can't find the foetal heartbeat." Addison said and when the patient paled, Addison continued. "There was nothing you could have done. Accidents like this happen."

"Are you sure?" The note of hope in the woman's voice tore at Meredith and she could see Addison flinch.

"Yes, I am sure." Addison said with a finality that broke Meredith's heart.

There was a long pause where no one said anything and it was perfectly still. It was more unnerving that hysterical wailing. Then Mrs. Falco began to cry, her whole body shaking as she vented her sorrow, disbelief and agony. The emotional overload was almost more than Meredith could take.

Where was the father of the child?

Meredith wondered abstractly as they waited for the woman to calm down a little so they could ask her some questions. They would need to induce labour, it was not going to be pleasant and Mrs. Falco should not go through it alone.

Walking around Addison and stopping near the bed, Meredith took Mrs. Falco's hand in her own. "Is there someone we can call?" Meredith asked softly, feeling her heart break a little when she spoke the words.

"There is no one to call." The broken woman on the examination table said and then, seeming to anticipate their next series of questions she added. "My husband was killed in Iraq. There months ago." Her voice the very epitome of sorrow.

Meredith swallowed hard and she could feel Addison tense up beside her again.

God, what a mess.

"Excuse me. I need to go schedule the surgery." Addison said and glanced at Meredith for a long moment and then was gone.

Meredith looked at the door and fought the urge to chase after Addison. She needed to stay here and explain things to the patient.

"It will be okay. Doctor Montgomery is the best doctor in this field." Meredith said gently to her sobbing patient. "We have to perform a caesarian section as soon as possible to protect your health." Meredith added softly.

It would not be okay though, not now and not ever. Meredith could not imagine being in Mrs. Falco's position.

"Doctor Grey!" Derek's voice rang out and Meredith skidded to a halt, feeling her ire rise up as she turned to the man she no longer loved.

"Where are you going?" Derek asked, his voice waspish and sharp.

"To scrub in for Doctor Montgomery's c-section." Meredith replied, wondering why he was asking.

"No, you're not. You were supposed to be on Doctor Altman's service today, you're scrubbing in with her, right now." Derek said pointedly and looked around.

"Doctor Yang." He called out, spying Cristina walking by.

Meredith would have laughed at the way Cristina did a double take before she walked over to where they were.

"Yes?" She asked when she arrived, her tone just a few shades on the right side of insolence.

"You will be scrubbing in on Doctor Montgomery's c-section. It's a stillbirth." Derek said to Cristina and out of the corner of her eye Meredith could see Cristina's expression waver from disinterest to disgust to disquiet.

"Just what I've always wanted to do." Cristina said pointedly, looking at Meredith expectantly.

"No swapping. If I find out that you two are not doing your expected surgeries there will be disciplinary action that will have made the swap so not worth it." Derek said, obviously catching onto the fact that they had been planning to do just that.

With a self satisfied looking expression on his face Derek left them standing there to contemplate their fate.

"Nice, Meredith. What did you do to piss McAss off and why did I have to become involved?" Cristina did not sound especially upset, she actually sounded more concerned.

Just wait until she found out where Meredith would be spending her time.

"He knows." Meredith said, waving her hand expressively.

Cristina's eyebrows rose in understanding. That was one of the many benefits of Cristina Yang. She was very quick on the uptake, to say the least. She may have lacked what one would call normal social graces, but she was not oblivious to the world. She just did not have the time to play nice with it.

"I'll find you later. If you can, tell Addison I tried to come to her and I will find her later. Keep an eye on her for me, okay?" Meredith knew her friend would do this anyway, but right now Meredith knew that Addison was in extreme distress and short of starting a mutiny which would have unforeseen consequences that Meredith did not want to risk right now, this was now it needed to be.

"Gotcha." Cristina said distractedly. "Where will you be?" She asked Meredith as an afterthought.

"Cardio." Meredith sighed and at the outraged expression on Cristina's face Meredith held up her hands. "I'd swap with you in a heartbeat. Tell you what, next surgery that I know you would love that comes my way is yours. Cross my heart." Meredith was quick to impress upon her friend.

At that Cristina seemed mollified and they parted ways, each in a hurry to reach their respective destinations and doctors.

If only they were going in opposite directions.

Meredith redoubled her resolve to find Addison after surgery just as soon as she could. The redhead needed someone who cared without conditions right now and while Cristina's heart was in the right place, it was Meredith's heart that Addison needed.

Shaking her head at the thought of using the heart metaphor right now as she was getting ready to assist Teddy Altman in what would probably be a seven or eight hour open heart surgery that she wanted no part of, Meredith quickly made her way to scrub in. Pissing Derek off any further at this point was just not a good idea.


Chapter 22

Meredith was exhausted. The surgery had lasted for seven hours and post-op procedures, debriefing and showering and changing her clothes had added another hour and a half to that tally.

She needed to talk with Cristina and see how Addison was and she needed to find Addison. It was highly unlikely that the later of the women was still in the hospital, but there was a good chance that Cristina was still here. Cristina would live in the hospital if given half a chance.

Deciding to give herself half an hour to find Cristina and talk with her before she went to look for Addison, Meredith grabbed her things and started to stalk the hospital corridors for her best friend, all the while aiming her movements to focus on the front door of the hospital. It would not do at this time to get sucked into something else in the hospital, or to stumble across Derek, for that matter. Meredith was unsure at this time if she could remain civil if she saw Derek at this time.

She was unspeakably mad with him for reasons that she felt were quite valid.

Paging Cristina she got a reply that her friend was in on of the labs. Quickly Meredith changed course and was almost running now in her haste to see Cristina and find out how things had gone.

"Cristina." Meredith gasped as she rushed into the lab.

Her friend looked up from whatever she was doing and almost rolled her eyes, but not quite. "Well if it isn't the right hand woman of Doctor Altman." Cristina intoned as Meredith came to a half in front of the bench that Cristina was working at.

"Hey, careful." Cristina added, admonishingly as she shielded whatever experiment she was working on. "This will be the finest rotgut a fully stocked medical lab has ever distilled." Cristina added, a smile clearly colouring her voice.

"You're making hooch?" Meredith asked, despite herself, feeling the irrational urge to laugh at the idea.

Derek was going to have an kitten if he ever found out.

"Yes. I've decided that whenever McAss does something to piss me off, I am going to further refine the process and my aim is full production." Cristina explained, sounding every bit the scientist.

At Meredith's snort of laughter Cristina looked up and smiled wickedly. "He's lucky I just say no to drugs. This place could so easily be a meth-lab." Cristina added and at that Meredith did burst out laughing, despite the fact that she was desperate to find Addison and be with Addison and her self allotted time of half an hour was coming to a close.

She was in a hurry.

"How did it go?" Meredith finally asked.

"She was quiet, serious. Did not say a word except ask for instruments. When we were scrubbing out she asked where you were and I told her that Shepherd had frog marched you to an all you can cut surgery that you could not get out of." Cristina said in a rush.

"She left the hospital as soon as the paperwork and post-op was done." Cristina added and while Meredith absorbed this information she watched her friend make some minute adjustment to the complex apparatus in front of her.

"Thank you." Meredith finally managed to say and Cristina looked up into her eyes.

Meredith nodded and smiled at her person before she turned and made a beeline for the door. She would bet serious money that Addison was locked in her hotel room and considering emptying the mini bar by herself and Meredith was determined to get to her as quickly as possible and she would do whatever it took to pull Addison back from the darkness that threatened to consume them all if given half a chance.

It's what you did for the people you loved.

Addison's phone was off and she was not answering her pages. Meredith made her way without hesitation to the hotel, though what she would do there remained to be seen. Pulling the car into what had become her parking spot it seemed, Meredith gazed out of the windscreen for a few long moments.

It was time to go to the woman she loved.

Exiting the car, Meredith made her way to the hotel and determinedly made her way to the bank of elevators. She still did not know what she was going to do once she got to Addison's room, but she assumed that she would decide once she got there. The elevator seemed to be taking forever and by the time Meredith actually got to Addison's floor some of her confidence had evaporated.

What if Addison did not want to see her? What would she do if Addison did want to see her? If only there was some easier way than trial and error to figure this stuff out.

Do Not Disturb

The sign on the doorknob blared at Meredith as she stood poised to knock on Addison's door. Hesitating, Meredith wondered if Addison truly wanted to not be disturbed. If she did, would Meredith be intruding? Should she leave?


Meredith leaned against the wall next to the door and studied the carpet as if she could find her answers there. She wished she knew Addison better, then maybe she would know what to do right now. She wished she had someone she could call and ask.

"Hi there." Meredith turned at the voice.

Immediately Meredith recognised the janitor from the last time she had been outside of Addison's door wondering what she should do next. "Hi." Meredith offered with a slight smile.

He really was a nice man.

"It seems we keep meeting this way." The man offered after a moment. "What's the matter?" He asked gently.

"She had a bad day. I don't know if she wants to be alone or not." Meredith blurted, pointing at the sign hanging off the door.

"Well, you're not going to find out by standing out here." The man replied, the corners of his eyes crinkling with wizened humour.

He did have a point.

Meredith turned to look at the door for a long moment before she turned back to man only to discover him walking away again. "Thank you." Meredith said just before he turned the corner.

She received an answering wave before turning back to the door and making her decision. She raised her hand and knocked firmly, but not loudly. "Addison, it's Meredith." She called through the door, knowing that the redhead would be able to hear her.

Hearing movement from within the hotel room, Meredith stepped back and waited. A moment later the door opened and a very haggard looking Addison stood before her. Meredith did not wait to be invited in and quietly stepped past the other woman into th room. Addison could always throw her out later if needed.

"What are you doing here?" Addison asked after she had pushed the door shut behind them.

It seemed that Meredith was not going to be thrown out at once.

"I wanted to see you." Meredith said simply.

"I am not exactly good company right now Meredith, you can read right?" Addison pointed at the doorknob, clearly indicating the Do Not Disturb sign hanging on the other side.

"I can read." Meredith said softly, taking a step towards Addison.

The redhead looked like she wanted to cry but had been unable to. There was a war going on inside of her and it was spilling out for all, or in this case, Meredith, to see.

"You don't want to know me right now." Addison said firmly, but she did not back away from Meredith's advance.

"I always want to know you." Meredith countered gently and took another step closer.

She did not want to spook Addison by assuming too much, but she would not leave until she knew that Addison truly did want to be alone. Sometimes it was hard to tell which situation was applicable. Leave me alone, please don't leave. Or, leave me alone, please leave.

Meredith would need to find out which was the case this time.

"You don't know me." Addison whispered, sounding broken.

"I want to." Meredith was now standing within touching distance of Addison.

"Please don't leave." Addison pleaded, a single tear escaping and spilling down her cheek as she spoke.

"Never." Meredith promised, taking the final step and embracing Addison, pulling on her gently.

It took a moment, but Addison finally gave in and wrapped her arms around Meredith and crushed their bodies together as she buried her face in the crook of Meredith's neck and sobbed from deep within her body.

Not bothering with platitudes, Meredith soothed her hands across Addison's back and pulled her in tighter. They were going to fall over soon, so Meredith located the bed and guided the now very pliant Addison to it, gently easing them down and collecting Addison against her side.

Addison for her part did not do anything or say anything, she just held on to Meredith and wept. For the loss of a baby, and for the baby's mother, and without a doubt, for herself as well. It was heartbreaking but Meredith could take it. If she had her way, and she fully intended to, she would never leave Addison's side again.

It took a while, but finally Addison stopped sobbing and calmed down enough that Meredith was able to think past the moment they were in. She had never really been privy to this sort of moment before with someone like Addison. It was new for her and as Addison shifted in her arms, Meredith felt privileged, almost.

As Addison relaxed, Meredith was able to pull her face up so that she could see Addison's eyes. "Hi." Meredith offered as she gently caressed the other woman's face.

Addison smiled a little, taking a big shaky breath as she seemed to begin to collect herself a little. Meredith taking a cue from no place, leaned in and brushed a kiss along Addison's jaw line and ran her fingers through the tousled red hair that she had grown to love so much.

Sensing no resistance, Meredith eased Addison onto her back and rearranged them so that they were more comfortable. "Want to talk about it?" Meredith asked lightly.

It was perfectly okay with her if Addison did not want to talk about it, but Meredith wanted to make sure that the redhead knew that she was open for the conversation if she needed it. Addison did not reply, she simply snuggled in tighter to Meredith and seemed to be imbued with a languor that Meredith was glad for.

Because Addison seemed to want to be quiet for the time being, Meredith contented herself with running her hands lightly along Addison's back and body. She wanted her touch to be soothing and relaxing. Today her intent was not to arouse, even though she was sure that in the end they would both end up quite aroused through sheer force of will. They were close to each other, therefore it was inevitable.

Meredith wanted to tell Addison that she loved her, but right now it seemed too much, too soon, even though Meredith did feel like everything would never be enough. Not when it came to Addison and her.

The vibration of Meredith's pager caught both of them by surprise, but Meredith simply snatched the device from her waist and put it on the end table by the bed. Whatever it was, whoever it was, it could wait.

"Do you need to go." Addison spoke in a low gravely voice that held the echo of tears in it.

"Nope. I am right where I want to be." Meredith replied softly, kissing the top of Addison's head.

It seemed to be the correct answer as it caused Addison to settle back down again in Meredith's arms. Hopefully her stomach would not growl too hard, though. Meredith realised that she was starving. It was an issue she would need to deal with later, though. Meredith had no doubt that room service was excellent in this hotel, but there were other options.

"That woman, she is all alone." Addison spoke suddenly, her voice muffled by Meredith's body.

"I don't want to be alone." Addison continued, sounding lost and sad.

"You're not." Meredith reassured Addison and renewed her promise to herself.

She needed to end things with Derek, as soon as possible.

Addison seemed to be mollified by Meredith's words, at least for the time being and she shifted to a more open position. "I need to shower. I did not in the hospital." Addison remarked as Meredith continued to brush her fingers through Addison's hair.

"Will you stay the night?" Addison asked in a small voice.

"Yes, I will stay" Meredith replied at once.

Of course she would stay if Addison wanted her to. "Do you want me to?" Meredith queried, wanting to hear the words herself.

"Yes." Addison answered and Meredith have her a brief squeeze. "Then I will stay." Meredith replied in a gentle tone.

It was an easy to choose.

Addison had gone to take a shower. Meredith had held her and comforted her and listened to her without interruption for the better part of an hour and finally the other woman had declared that she had to shower. Surgical chemicals, the hint of blood and the memory of death made her skin itch and she just wanted to wash it away.

Meredith could understand that.

Upon hearing her own stomach growl Meredith was sure that Addison must also be starving,so she started to think about what to obtain for dinner. Addison did not seem like she would be into room service unless she had to be, so after a brief internal inventory of other options Meredith decided that there was another option, close by.

She gathered up her things and quickly scribbled a note to Addison on some hotel stationary, not wanting the other woman to think she had left permanently. Then Meredith snagged Addison's room key from the countertop near the door and snuck out. She was in a hurry and belatedly realised she had left her cell phone and her pager in the hotel room. Too late now.

Rushing to the street, Meredith sprinted across the mostly calm divide and rushed down the block. It would take her less time to job the distance than it would to fetch her car and find parking and then reverse the procedure when she was done.

As she scurried down the road, she decided that she needed another shower herself. She had taken one after her open heart surgery stint, but since then she had been covered in tears, and now she was doing Olympic food sprinting. Yuck.

Coming to a skidding halt in front of a Thai food place that she had eaten at before, Meredith put on her charm and slipped in. They did not normally do take out, but she was convinced that she could persuade them. Hopefully she would be able to guess what Addison liked. Might as well get enough garden rolls for breakfast as well. It beat the continental nonsense that the hotel served, that was for certain.

Thankfully the ordering went without a hitch and in relatively short order Meredith found herself jogging back down the road towards the hotel, this time laden with bags of food. It felt really good, or it actually felt surprisingly good to be rushing madly about for the same of a person that she cared about. There was something compelling about the flutter in her chest and the almost teenage nervousness about wondering if Addison would like what she brought for dinner.

The elevator seemed to be taking an eternity and between her running, her desire to get back to Addison, and her growling stomach which was complaining about not having the delicious offerings that the bags contained, Meredith was feeling almost faint by the time she rushed up to the hotel room door and juggled her bags and wallet and the key in order to get back in.

Quickly stepping in and closing the door behind her, Meredith was too distracted by everything to immediately notice Addison, that is until she turned around and saw the redhead standing in the middle of the room in a bathrobe looking bewildered and lost.

"Hey." Meredith said, practically slamming down her handfuls of food and other madness.

"Addison, what's wrong?" Meredith moved towards Addison and gently touched her arm, turning the other woman towards her.

There was a sheen of unshed tears in Addison's eyes. "Hey." Meredith repeated, gently drawing the redhead in for a light kiss. "What is it?" Meredith asked again.

Addison seemed to come back to herself with a few blinks and her gaze came back into focus. "I thought you had left." She finally mumbled under her breath, her fists clenching at her sides.

"No, Addison. I will never leave you." Meredith reassured, taking one of those clenched hands and pulling Addison by it to the table where she had left the note. "I even left you a note." Meredith said, holding up the slip of paper and as she glanced at it, Meredith noted that she did indeed have a doctor's handwriting.

The thought made her smile a little.

"Sorry. I am not usually this clingy." Addison sighed and ran a hand through her dishevelled and damp hair. "Okay well, maybe about once a decade I get needy. Maybe." She added sheepishly.

"You're adorable." Meredith said softly and watched as Addison blushed the roots of her hair at the comment.

Meredith needed to derail Addison from her current train of thought and pulled her into a full embrace and leaned in to kiss her, this time making no bones about it. Addison responded beautifully, arching into Meredith and curling herself around Meredith's body.

Addison was only wearing a robe and Meredith felt the sudden eruption of sweat as she noted this. "I need to shower, will you serve the food? I will be back in five." Meredith whispered against Addison's lips.

She needed a cold shower and Meredith figured that Addison would appreciate the opportunity to collect herself and have some moments of privacy to perhaps put some more clothes on. Meredith hoped that Addison was going to put some clothes on, or Meredith speculated that it was going to be extremely hard to eat without poking herself in the eye or something.

Meredith spared a thought to Derek as she undressed. She really needed to get this talk with him over with and she needed to end things. She had plans that involved her, and Addison naked and she was going to go bonkers unless they came to fruition sooner rather than later.

Time for a cold shower!

Dinner had been a great success with each of them taking turns to sample the foods and then they set extra garden rolls being set aside for breakfast. Addison had relaxed and told Meredith funny anecdotes from her own Residency. Sometimes Meredith forgot that Addison had once been a bumbling student; though Meredith doubted that the other woman had ever been as bumbling as Meredith seemed to be capable of.

Now, with her teeth brushed with a new spare toothbrush which had taken up a space next to Addison's in the bathroom, Meredith found herself once more falling asleep in Addison's bed. The redhead had been exhausted and had dropped off to sleep almost at once when they finally decided that sleep was a needed thing if they were going to be human in the morning.

Meredith was not falling asleep though, her mind and body were playing tricks on her and she found herself counting the ticks of the alarm clock that resided next to the bed. It was maddening, really. She was as tired as Addison, and her legs and feet ached, but she was wide awake and restless.

Glancing at the ticking clock, she noted that it had been well over an hour since they had finally laid down and she also noted that her arm had fallen asleep under Addison's head. Meredith needed to find out a way of extracting her arm without waking Addison up, but she was loathe to try.

Addison was sleeping so peacefully. Meredith found herself studying the beloved face in the light that was creeping around the edges of the heavy curtains that shielded them from the cityscape outside. The almost patrician lines of Addison's face were relaxed with sleep and Meredith wondered what she dreamt of, if anything.

Addison was beautiful. Meredith loved her.

Tomorrow Meredith was going to have to deal with Derek, somehow.


Chapter 23

It was early. Way too early to be up but something had woken her. Meredith looked around trying to figure out what had disturbed her sleep.


Meredith rolled over hurriedly, concerned. Addison was moaning in her sleep and it was not a happy sound at all. She was having a nightmare and Meredith was loathe to let her continue her troubled sleep. Nightmares did not really do anyone any good at all. Often Meredith had wished that someone would wake her up, but just as often there had been no one to shake her free of her bad dreams.

Running her hand gently along Addison's face, Meredith leaned in and kissed the coveted cheek. "Addison, wake up." Meredith murmured, hoping that Addison was not such a deep sleeper that more strident measures would be needed to wake her up.

Addison's eyes flickered open and she looked at Meredith blearily, obviously still in the grip of whatever nasty dream she had been experiencing. "Meredith." Addison breathed, blinking against sleep.

"You're having a nightmare." Meredith elaborated, expecting Addison to inquire as to what was going on in her next statement.

"I was." Addison said, pulling Meredith closer to her.

Meredith was only too happy to be pulled closer and it was wonderful to feel Addison's body so entwined with her own. It was becoming hot under the blankets and again Meredith was reminded that she had to break things off once and for all with Derek. She wanted Addison, badly.

Taking a deep breath, Meredith tried to drag her thoughts out of the gutter. Addison had just woken up from a nightmare after having a day from hell the previous day. Now as not the time to be fanning the flames in her underwear.

Addison however, seemed to be having similar thoughts as Meredith suddenly found herself on her back with a very awake and alive Addison on top of her.

Oh. My.

It felt so good and every curve and slope of Addison's body seemed to fit Meredith's perfectly. This was heaven. Meredith moaned from deep within her chest and leaned up to capture Addison's mouth with a kiss. The redhead responded at once, pressing herself into Meredith's body and kissing Meredith with a fervour that was going to immolate them both in moments unless they managed to regain control somehow.

Addison slid her hand under Meredith's shirt and it was all Meredith could do to breathe and to remain focused on her goal of regaining control seemed to be distant.

"Addison." Meredith gasped when they came up for air.

The other woman seemed to be intent on her goal and leaned in to kiss Meredith again. Lifting her hand, Meredith laid her fingers on Addison's lips, feeling her own body flush with arousal and want. She wanted Addison, but the other woman had expressed the very specific wish to begin fresh and Meredith was intent on making sure that this is what happened. She would honour Addison's wishes, even if her whole body was screaming at her not to.

"I want you, Addison. I am a desert and you are rain. I want you to pour your passion into my soul and to make me flower after my long drought, but Addison. A clean start is also what I want with you. I want to do this right." Meredith did not pause to consider the rather lyrical way that she was speaking, the main thing was that Addison seemed to be listening.

"We should to sleep." Meredith whispered.

With a sigh, Addison relented, relinquishing her hold on Meredith and rolling off. "Okay." She said after a moment and then pulled Meredith close once more, seeming to give into the lassitude of night once more.

It did not take Meredith long to join her in sleep, despite the hormones that were raging in her body.

By morning Meredith was in a hurry. She needed a change of clothes, a shower and to be at work as quickly as possible. What she wanted though was to stay in the warm, safe bed with Addison and sleep the day and her cares away. There was no more denying it though and she really did need to get up and get going.

Addison did not have the same schedule as Meredith did, so she was still mostly asleep when Meredith crept out of the hotel room. No doubt Addison was exhausted from the day before. This time Meredith had made sure to stick her note in an incredibly obvious location so that the other woman would not miss it. Had Meredith not been running so late she might have had coffee or something delivered to the hotel room, just some sort of reminder of care and attention for Addison.

As it was Meredith was running almost full tilt on her way to the hospital entranceway. She wondered what Derek would be like today; Meredith had not been home the night before and Derek may have hung around for a while waiting to talk with her. Hopefully she would be able to find some time during the day to corner him and actually get what she had to say out. She needed to end things and she needed to do this post haste.

It turned out that she did not have long to wait in order to see Derek. She found him standing by the board and decided that it would be a good thing to at least try to say she was sorry for not showing up the night before to talk.

"I'm sorry, Derek. I was with Addison. She was really upset about the woman with the dead baby and before I knew it, well the time was late and I ended up sleeping in the hotel room." Meredith offered by way of olive branch.

"I'm not really in the mood to talk about this today, Meredith. And don't wait up for me tonight, either." Derek said briefly, without even looking at Meredith.

Great. Games. Her favourite.

Meredith did not really have time to consider the games though. Her schedule was full, Bailey was at full steam and Meredith wanted to find the time today to see how Addison was doing. Not just a quick page or something, but to actually talk with her. Right now however, she was being pulled in several different directions and there was simply no time to do anything but work. For now at least.

It would be several hours before Meredith was able to locate Addison. The redhead had come in to do a follow up on yesterday's patient and anticipating that Meredith managed to find her in the general vicinity of the area. Addison looked her usual radiant and beautiful self and despite the reminder of yesterday, she seemed to be fine. Meredith was still going to ask though as Addison was a master at concealing her emotions if she wanted to be. This was something that Meredith had noticed even before this, more in depth entanglement with the other woman.

"How are you doing?" Meredith asked when there was a private moment to do so.

"Better." Addison had replied and had bestowed Meredith with a smile that took her breath away.

Well, that had removed one problem from Meredith's plate. She was infinitely happy that Addison seemed to be recovered from the ordeal she had undergone. Now what remained was to talk with Derek, but he was clearly avoiding her and even by the time Meredith left the hospital in the evening, he had not made himself in any way available. Faced with the unavoidable facts, Meredith left Addison voicemail and wished her goodnight. The redhead was in a meeting and therefore not answering her phone. If time permitted, Meredith would try to call her later.

Right now however, she needed to go home. Life was certainly not all about what we wanted to do, it was very much a matter of what we had to do as well.

Right now, Meredith had to go home as she needed to talk with Derek. It was imperative, even though she wanted to go to Addison, wanted to be with Addison and wanted to sleep with her tonight, and tomorrow, and next year and beyond.

Meredith was making herself coffee the next morning when her phone rang. Snatching the device off the table she was thrilled to see Addison's number flash on the display. They had not managed to talk at all yesterday. Addison had been immersed in administrative things and with conference calls with her colleagues from LA all evening and when that was done, Derek had finally come home for just long enough to pack some stuff up to take to his trailer.

There had been no talking done between them.

But, now it was morning and Addison was calling. "Hi." Meredith said happily into the phone.

"Thank you for the flowers." Addison said without preamble and even thought there was no one to see Meredith, she blushed to the roots of her hair.

"You're welcome." Meredith said breathlessly.

Yesterday she had ordered a delivery of flowers to arrive at a precise time this morning and they obviously just had. Meredith had never gotten flowers for anyone before so that had been a whole new experience for her; one that she had enjoyed.

"They are beautiful." Addison commented and Meredith wondered if she was near the flowers.

"The poem was lovely as well." Addison commented, obviously content to continue this somewhat one sided conversation.

Meredith had found a short verse by a favourite poet to add to the bouquet. She was glad that Addison had approved and that she had enjoyed both the flowers and the poem itself.

"Will you be at the hospital today?" Meredith asked, hoping that Addison would be so that there would be a chance that they cross paths during the day.

"I will be in the afternoon. I'll page you." Addison replied, her voice sounding so very good to Meredith's ear.

"I'll do that." Meredith replied, feeling happiness swell in her chest along with a smile on her face.

"Until then." Addison said softly into the phone.

"Yes. Bye for now." Meredith replied and smiled again as the connection was closed.

Addison had liked the flowers. Yay!

By midmorning there was still no sign of Derek, and while Meredith had plenty to occupy her time, what she really wanted was to talk with Derek and be with Addison. Both of these options were not looking like they were going to happen anytime soon. Meredith had just leaned that she was scheduled for a double shift and would not be leaving the hospital anytime soon, or at least not until the early morning anyway.

On an up note, she had tomorrow off, so maybe she could catch up with things then. She did however want to find Derek and she was beginning to think that he was avoiding her. How else could one explain the fact that she had only seen him like two times for two minutes total in the past day or so.

Meredith did not have time for this sort of game.

"What are you daydreaming about?" Bailey asked sharply, making Meredith jump.

"You're on my service today, and I haven't got all day, Grey." Bailey added and Meredith shook herself free from her musings and quickly followed Bailey, knowing that while Bailey was fair, she did not suffer fools gladly.

Meredith also admired Miranda Bailey a great deal. She would be a doctor to emulate. Meredith hoped that when she finally finished being a Resident, she would be half the doctor that Bailey was. That would make an excellent start, though Meredith was sure her own mother might disagree.

Always with the mommy issues, Meredith.

As she rounded a corner with Bailey, Meredith wondered at Addison's mommy issues. The redhead had mentioned a few things but it was not a conversation they had gone in depth with yet. Maybe soon. Meredith found that she was genuinely curious and wanted to know Addison fully, inside and out.

Don't go there.

Meredith's mind seemed to be intent on conducting its own conversation today and Meredith, despite her best efforts found herself constantly and repeatedly flashing back to the previous night, with Addison on top of her. It made her blood feel hot and heavy in her body, to think of Addison like that and to remember how it felt.

Oh, how she wanted Addison and it was clear that the feeling was mutual. Meredith just needed to put an end to the Derek and Meredith saga, once and for all. She should have done this a while ago, even before Addison arrived on the scene in this new way. Derek has never been good for her, his presence had always been confusing, stifling and overly demanding and Meredith could not help but wonder what the past few years would have been like without him.

One could argue that there would have been no one to rescue her when she had drowned, but would she have drowned in the first place?

The what ifs were endless and Meredith resolved to not think about it too much. Right now her priorities were to end things with Derek and to get naked with Addison, in that order.

Bailey looked at Meredith sharply, forcing Meredith to come back into focus. If she wanted to emulate the venerable Miranda Bailey, Meredith would need to pay attention, right now. Bailey did not suffer fools gladly, especially not love sick fools.

Where was Cristina?

Three hours later, Meredith had not progressed in her quest to achieve any of her short term goals. A near miss with Derek in the cafeteria had almost ended in disaster, he had practically power walked away from her and Meredith had decided that she would need to confront him outside of the hospital, or it was simply not going to happen. He might simply be completely unwilling to deal with her in a professional setting.


As for Addison, well the other woman had left a message that she was in the hospital, but would be stuck with human resources until late. Someone had misplaced her paperwork while she was in LA and she was having to redo it all. Meredith imagined that for a doctor of Addison's calibre that human resources were scrambling to make the procedure as painless and quick as possible. Addison could work anyplace she wanted, so it would be best to keep her as un-bothered by the mundane as possible.

Still, there were legal requirements to working in this hospital and even Addison was not immune to them.

Maybe Meredith could find a way to have a late lunch or early dinner in the cafeteria or something with Addison. No doubt the other woman would be leaving long before Meredith would be free to leave, but it would be good to see her, even briefly over Sloppy Joe's and salad someplace in the hospital itself.

Right now however, Meredith was in search of coffee and Cristina, though not necessarily in that order.

Before Meredith could even really begin to find her friend though, her pager went off and she was now on her way back to Bailey. Maybe the Attending would like some coffee instead?

What did Bailey want?

Meredith found out in short order when she was handed a stack of charts. "Time to practise your penmanship, Grey." Bailey had said and then accepted the offered cup of coffee with a slight smile.

Deciding to bring Bailey coffee more often, but not too often or the other woman would think that she wanted something, Meredith settled down into one of the small offices nearby and buckled down to do paperwork. With some luck she would be finished before Addison left, or at least finished enough that she could sneak away for a little bit without Bailey minding too much.

Hopefully the unintentional bribe of coffee would also help if needed.

As it turned out, dinner with Addison at the hospital did happen. Meredith had managed to wheedle some time from Bailey and was not waiting anxiously and hopefully for Addison to arrive at the cafeteria. She had about half an hour before she had to head back to surgery.

Thankfully Addison seemed to realise that Meredith was on a tight schedule and showed up in a few minutes. Seeing her for the first time since the morning made Meredith breathless and she rose from her seat to greet Addison with a huge smile on her face.

"It's so good to see you." Meredith said, wanting to embrace Addison and needing to kiss her.

When they were an established couple in the hospital she'd indulge that desire, but for now she settled for smiling at the redhead and hoping that half an hour would go slowly.

"You're stuck here for the night?" Addison asked, smiling at Meredith in return.

"Yeah." Meredith replied, adjusting the tray of food that she had before her.

"Too bad. I guess I will have to go back to the hotel and sulk then." Addison joked gently.

"You don't have to eat this, I just wanted your company." Meredith said, indicating the food on the tray.

The hospital cafeteria was one of the better ones when it came to the quality of the food it had, but it was still exactly that. Cafeteria food.

"I'll enjoy it vicariously, in that case." Addison said with a smile and Meredith laughed.

She herself was not having a heavy meal as even though she had long ago ceased to be disgusted by what she came upon in surgery or by what happened in the hospital, the fact remained that it could get harrowing at times, and blood had a very strong smell indeed, even to a nose that was accustomed to it.

"How was your day with human resources?" Meredith asked by way of conversational gambit.

"I swear, the idiots there could not find the bottom of a lake if they were standing on it. It's hardly my fault that they misplaced my paperwork." Addison replied in an exasperated tone of voice.

Meredith wisely refrained from giggling as she bit into her sandwich and watched Addison as she spoke with her hands as well as her voice. Meredith wanted those hands on her body. It had become a preoccupation since they had shared that first kiss what seemed like a lifetime ago now, and lately her preoccupation had intensified.

Just as Meredith was going to ask another question, her pager went off. Damn it. Grabbing the device from her pocket Meredith looked at it and frowned. It would seem that she was not being allocated the half hour she had hoped for to eat and to see Addison.

"I have to go." Meredith said with a sad sigh and stood up, snagging her apple from her tray and slipping it into her pocket.

It was going to be a long night.

"I'll try to call you later." Addison offered which brought another huge smile to Meredith's face.

"I'd like that." Meredith said, hoping that Addison would get something else instead of voicemail.

Addison walked out of the cafeteria with Meredith and they parted ways quickly, with Meredith going to find Bailey and Addison no doubt going to find some dinner before she went back to her hotel.

The night was going to seem long without Addison.


Chapter 24

It was six in the morning and Meredith was just getting home. Surgery had dragged on and she had been unable to do anything about it. Now Meredith just wanted to crawl into bed and sleep, but she wanted to crawl into bed with Addison, that was the problem.

Closing the front door, Meredith sensed that Derek was not in the house. No doubt he was out at his trailer licking his wounds after successfully managing to avoid her all day. She'd have to deal with him later. She wanted to move to the next level with Addison and in order to do that she had to be done with Derek.

Pulling out her phone as she worked her way to the bathroom, Meredith checked her messages. There was one voice mail. Was it from Addison?

Excitedly Meredith punched in the relevant code and waited with baited breath as the automated system took a microsecond to retrieve her message.

Hi Meredith. I checked, your surgery dragged on. So, now that you have listened to this, go to bed. We'll talk tomorrow. Sleep well.

Meredith replayed the message happily as she brushed her teeth and then made her way to the bedroom to hopefully sleep. She had the day off and she had no idea how she was going to spend it, but it did mean that she needed to sleep so as not to be the living dead once she had decided what to do with her day.

Listening to the voicemail from Addison one more time, Meredith finally decided that she needed to get some sleep. Rolling over in bed she closed her eyes and tried to relax. The day had been rather high strung so it was not going to be as simple as that to fall asleep.

As she lay there, Meredith wondered what Addison was doing. Was she asleep? What had she had for dinner? Endless questions, some so simple and other infinitely more complex. Meredith speculated that she had never been so interested in the minutiae of another person before. There did not seem to be an end to what she wanted to know about Addison.

Meredith wondered if Addison found her interesting?

They were very different. Addison was elegant, sophisticated. She wore heels, and silk and skirts and spoke with the cultured tones of an expensive private education. Meredith was not especially elegant, nor was she very sophisticated. She wore blue sneakers, was comfortable in sweats and scrubs and spoke like a woman who had been brought up by an impatient doctor, otherwise known as her mother.

Yet, despite these differences and the huge variance in their personal backgrounds, something seemed to draw them together. They had an intensity, and a darkness in common. Meredith also suspected that Addison was a woman who like Meredith, lived in a world that was in shades of grey, and rarely, if ever was in simple black and white.

This seemed to be part of their compatibility, never mind that they had chemistry as well. Oh boy did they have chemistry.

Meredith fell asleep without realising it.

Meredith finally woke up hours, or maybe a lifetime later. Glancing at the clock she realised that a scant six hours had passed since she had laid down, but despite that fact she felt awake. She felt alive and refreshed and ready to face the day.

The only problem was she did not know what to do with her day. Laying on her bed staring at the ceiling she realised she could count on one hand the number of day's off she had experienced in the last few years. Maybe she was turning into her mother; a certified workaholic. Or maybe not. Maybe she just liked her work, enjoyed her place in the world and was rewarded by both?

It was a nice thought.

However, she now had something and someone completely different in her life to live for, to look forward to and to be around. Things were looking up.

Just as soon as she had dealt with Derek that was.

Today would be the day. Whether he liked it or not they were going to talk today and that was all there was to it.

Rolling out of bed onto her feet, Meredith stretched out her body and then headed to the bathroom. Shower, clothes, coffee. Those were the priorities right now.

Half an hour later Meredith had no more idea what to do with her day than she had when she woke up. Breakfast at home seemed like a tedious proposition at best, so she gathered up her things and secured the house before moving to the car; she would go someplace and have breakfast and coffee and maybe she would be able to organise her thoughts a little more once she was away from the oppressive reminders of her house.

She really did need to get an extreme makeover done on the place. The ghost of her mother, the memories of her childhood, and now the shadows of her relationship with Derek haunted the place. She wanted a fresh start and Meredith decided that part of that fresh start would be instigated on the very basic level of how she lived.

But those were considerations for another time. Right now she needed food, caffeine and a plan to both catch up with Derek, and to hopefully run into Addison. Not necessarily in that order either.

A breakfast burrito and a multi-shot latte in hand, Meredith retreated to her car and drove to the waterfront, wanting to enjoy her morning repast with a peaceful view. Would Addison enjoy something like this? Probably. For all her sophistication the redhead was also a woman of simple pleasures. Meredith decided that she liked this about the other woman. It fit well with her own world view.

Parking the car, Meredith got out and moved to sit up on the hood of the vehicle as she looked out over the small park that she had found. There were a few families with small children playing in the green area and behind them the peaceful waves of Puget Sound glistened in the light of the day. So far Seattle seemed to be putting on one of its fine, rain free days. Hopefully it would last.

Watching the children play as she munched on her burrito, Meredith felt a sense of wistfulness overcome her. She wondered if she would ever have the sort of simple pleasures that the oblivious families seemed to be having as they ran after balls and dogs and butterflies in the grass.

She was a workaholic.

Meredith decided this about herself as she pulled into the hospital parking lot. She was not on duty today and was not even on call, but here she was, at the hospital and about to go in. Meredith told herself that she was doing this because she wanted to see Addison and that was certainly part of it. She then convinced herself that this was where she could find Derek as well.

In the end though, the real reason she was here was mainly because she did not know what else to do with her day off. Her life, her friends and what interested her was here and unless or until she got a hobby, or a life that brought something else to the table, she would undoubtedly be spending more free days here in the future.

Maybe that was not such a bad thing.

Rolling her eyes at herself, Meredith walked up to the board and glanced at it, trying to determine where the people of interest were today. Addison was on her way surgery, if Meredith hurried she might be able to catch her. Derek was not on the board and Cristina seemed to be working with Mark Sloan today. Interesting.

Rushing now, Meredith scrambled through the hospital corridors in the hopes of seeing Addison if only for a few moments before the redhead needed to go into surgery. No one paid her any attention even though she was in jeans and not scrubs. Meredith Grey belonged in this hospital and she sometimes though that they would be surprised to find her absent, not the other way around.

Meredith caught sight of Addison and sped up. The redhead was about to enter the scrub room and Meredith wanted to catch her before then. "Whoa, Meredith. What's the rush?" Addison asked with a laugh when Meredith came to a skidding halt in front of her.

"Just wanted to catch you before you went to scrub up." Meredith explained breathlessly and smiled at Addison, unable to contain her happiness at seeing the other woman.

"Well, here I am." Addison replied with a smile and Meredith could see that Addison was just as happy to see her.

"Can we do something later? I have the day off." Meredith asked, feeling hopeful.

"You're here on your day off?" Addison asked, her smile crinkling the corners of her eyes now.

"Yeah." Meredith replied sheepishly, feeling a little heat in her face.

"I missed you last night." Meredith added.

Addison looked at her with a knowing look before she relented. "I'll call you when I am done here, alright?" Addison suggested and Meredith beamed with happiness.

"Sure." Meredith agreed and then stepped back to allow Addison space to get scrubbed up.

"I missed you too, and I missed you in my bed as well." Addison murmured and the words made Meredith feel warm and happy.

The redhead leaned in and kissed Meredith with a rather simple, chaste kiss, but it made Meredith's toes curl in her blue sneakers and it made her heart pound in her chest. Not a lot of hugging or touching could occur right now however, no matter how much Meredith may have wanted to. Addison was going into surgery after all. Meredith debated whether she would go and observe the other woman work from the gallery as the door closed. It would be a way to pass the time.

Meredith eventually decided that she wanted to talk with Cristina and thus instead of sitting in the gallery, she had sought out her person in the hospital and eventually bribed her with a salad and coffee to tear herself away from work for a few minutes to give Meredith some Cristina Time.

"Another date with Addison. I know it's coming soon. I want it to, I can't wait actually. I am just trying to think what to do with her." Meredith said to Cristina as she settled down in a seat. "I am not very good at dating." Meredith added knowing that it was the truth.

"Wow, this is getting serious." Cristina intoned, somehow making it all sound irreverent at the same time.

It was just what Meredith needed, someone to bring her back down to earth. She also noted that Cristina did not disagree about Meredith not being any good at dating. Trust Cristina to always be honest. It was indeed just what Meredith needed to say the least.

"It is getting serious." Meredith agreed finally and internally debated that it had been serious for her since that first hasty kiss that had started all of this.

Or had it started earlier even? Impossible to tell right now. Maybe when she had more distance she would have a better idea of things. Maybe.

"So, will Addison and you finally get to know each other in the biblical sense?" Cristina asked though a mouthful of food as Meredith stared off into space distracted by her own thoughts.

Meredith blushed scarlet and cleared her throat to cover her embarrassment. "I don't know. Oh God, I don't know how to have sex with a woman." Meredith almost whined.

"Well, good thing for you I am a doctor." Cristina intoned and quickly finished her bite of food before standing up and grabbing Meredith by the jacket. "Come along."

Bewildered and not a little horrified that perhaps Cristina was going to give her a practical demonstration, Meredith reluctantly followed along after her friend as it seemed that Cristina was going to insist if Meredith said no.

A few minutes later Cristina had them in the Resident's Lounge and was rummaging around in her cubicle. "You know, I love you and everything, but I am so not going to be a live model for this." Cristina said as she began to flip through the book.

"Ah, here we go." She said and pushed Meredith down to sit before sitting down next to her. "You mean to tell me that McAss never showed you the joys of cunnilingus?" Cristina asked with enough gravity to make Meredith giggle.

"Uhm." Meredith cringed at how inarticulate she sounded.

"Hm. I guess he's a McPenis." Cristina said in a deadpan way that made Meredith begin to guffaw.

"Okay, time for serious time. Here. Take a look a this." Cristina pointed at the lurid, vivid colour picture in the book in the book she was holding.

"Cristina." Meredith moaned.

"Oh come on, this is important. You want Satan to come hard enough to find God, don't you?" Cristina said practically.

Now Meredith did laugh and in a few seconds she was laughing hard enough that tears were streaming down her face and Cristina was laughing along with her, the book forgotten at their feet as they howled.

"You're the best, Cristina." Meredith gasped out through wheezes.

"Just don't tell me the details, okay?" Cristina managed to cough out as they started to collect themselves and Meredith picked up the book once more.

"How am I going to do this?" She queried, mostly in a rhetorical way.

"With your tongue." Cristina said and grabbed the book from Meredith and peered at it intently as if it held the answers to the meaning of life.

"Just remember not to think like McQuick, and remember the objective: Satan needs to find religion." Meredith giggled at her friend's words and started to feel much more relaxed about the whole situation.

It was good to have a person like Cristina in her life. Very good. Perhaps she would survive this after all.

"I will be there in an hour or so, Meredith. I have to deal with this patient first." Addison said over the phone as Meredith made her way to the labs.

"Alright. If we miss each other, maybe we can get together later?" Meredith hoped that she did not sound too clingy or hopeful.

"I'll call you if we don't connect at the hospital. I have to deal with Derek first. I swear, you think that man could just let me go and get on with his life." Addison sounded almost like she was talking to herself.

"What do you mean?" Meredith asked, despite herself.

"Well, there is always some paperwork I have yet to do at the hospital, always. And since he became Chief it has become worse." Addison extrapolated and Meredith could hear the distraction in her voice. Addison was obviously busy.

"I am so done with him, that if I were steak I would be a little lump of charcoal on the grill." Addison added, sounding peeved now.

"I know." Meredith murmured discreetly as a group of Interns walked past her.

"I know, I know. I am very dark and twisted." Addison commented after a beat or two.

"I like my people to have less sugar and spice and all things nice, Addison." Meredith said by way of reply.

"And I am your person?" Addison sounded almost hopeful now.

"I hope so, Addison. I want you to be one of my people. I would love that." Meredith barely held back the urge to tell Addison that she loved her.

It was too soon, or it seemed somehow wrong to do it over the phone.

"Me too, Meredith." Addison whispered and then hung up the phone.

"Ditto." Meredith whispered into the silent phone before she closed it and slid it back into her pocket.

Now the search for Callie Torres resumed. Meredith had some questions and she figured that perhaps the hospitals resident lesbian, or well, one of them anyway, would be able to give her some answers.

Without knocking, Meredith pushed open a lab door and found Torres and Bailey engaged in a heated conversation.

"The surgical area needs to be prepped." Callie was saying and Bailey looked like her head was about to explode.

"Hey guys, what's up?" Meredith asked, wondering what sort of surgery they were talking about.

"Don't ask!" Bailey said.

"Surgical field?" Meredith queried from the tall brunette.

Callie giggled slightly before she rolled her eyes. "She has a case of Bailey Nerves. You know the kind." Callie elaborated.

"Torres!" Bailey looked like she wanted to melt into the floor.

"Uhm we were just talking about how to get ready for a date." Callie said with a smile in her voice.

It was obvious that she was enjoying herself tremendously at Bailey's expense, but it was also clear that she was happy for Meredith as well.

"What can I do for you, Meredith?" Callie asked after another moment passed.

"I need some advice about, hm, Addison and me." Meredith said in a rush.

"I see, and you want me to what, give you tips on how to woo her?" Callie asked with a sarcastic tone.

She looked up at Meredith when she said this and then paused mid action. "You do, don't you?" She said in a much more serious tone.

"Yeah." Meredith said and sat down on the stool across the counter from Callie.

"Dear God, when did I become the go-to gal for dating tips?" Callie looked towards the heavens when she said this but Meredith could tell she was very pleased to be asked, regardless.

"It's the third date soon; the sex date." Meredith explained and at that Callie turned to Bailey and smiled triumphantly.

Meredith wondered what that was all about, but thought better than to ask.

It helped that Callie was a very good friend of Addison's. Maybe this would not be so awkward.

"You know, she called me earlier and asked me for advice on this very subject." Callie said after she had settled down and rested her chin in her hand.

"She did. You have to promise me something, Grey. Don't hurt her." Callie sounded so earnest, and so serious that Meredith could only nod and something in her expression seemed to satisfy the other woman.

"So, what can I do for you?" Callie asked pleasantly, but Meredith could see a wicked twinkle in her eyes as she did.

Deciding to go right for the jugular, Meredith blushed and then blurted out her question. "I have never made love with a woman before." For a split second it was so quiet that Meredith could hear the hospital's air conditioning system in the far away background.

"Well, neither had I until the first time." Callie offered and it became clear that she was holding back some serious laughter.

Glancing at Bailey, Meredith suddenly gleaned a reason for Callie's mirth. Bailey looked distinctly uncomfortable and it was hilarious.

"You want technique tips or something?" Callie asked after a beat.

Bailey blinked once and Meredith started to fight her own urge to laugh out loud. "Is it hard? I am nervous and I don't want to mess this up." Meredith said, feeling as intimidated as she sounded.

"Not to worry. Callie is here to help." The brunette doctor said reassuringly and cracked her knuckles.

The incongruity of the act made Meredith giggle and beside her she swore she could hear Bailey snort back some laughter as well. Oh boy.

"Hm, well you know women don't have penises, though you could buy a toy." Callie began, sounding every bit as serious a lecturer rather than a woman advising another woman on how to satisfy a third woman.

"I don't want to use a toy." Meredith coughed. "Hands and mouth." She managed to croak out looking between Callie and Miranda as she blushed to the roots of her hair.

"Do I look like a lesbian or something?" Bailey demanded apropos of nothing.

"Sorry, Bailey." Meredith said and it was clear from her tone that she was not sorry at all.

She also noted that Bailey made no move to leave. Maybe she was looking for tips on how to enhance her own sex life?

"Well hands is easy, just touch her like you would touch herself and listen to her body. But mouths? Well, you're going to get a cramp in your jaw and your tongue will get tired. We need to start a training regimen!" Callie said looking very pleased with herself.

"What?" Bailey demanded and threw up her hands and rolled her eyes.

Callie was not able to hold back her laughter at this. "Fine. You two have at it then! Jesus, a training regimen? Lord have mercy!" Bailey said in a huff and swept out of the room.

"A training regimen?" Meredith asked, almost afraid of whatever Callie was going to say next.

"You like ice cream, right? Just buy it in a cone, and when you can eat all the ice cream out of the cone without actually eating the cone, you're ready, soldier!" Callie laughed and as soon as Meredith had processed what the other woman had said, she found herself laughing as well

It felt good.

She may not have had any clue as to how to make love to Addison, but she at least felt better about the fact that she was going to have to use trial and error to figure it out. With Callie on her side, and Cristina with her anatomy books, how could she go wrong?


Chapter 25

Some time later found Meredith looking for Derek, but he did not seem to be at the hospital. He had cleared his schedule and left early and as Meredith stood near the Nurses Station trying to act casual she started to overhear things that she was shocked about. She figured that in civilian clothing and turned away she did not look like Meredith Grey at a quick glance, at least not to the nurses.

Oh my God.

Not really believing what she had heard, Meredith made her way to her car and determined that she needed to see Derek, now. He was at his trailer, Meredith was sure of it and with a determined grinding of gears, Meredith made her way out there. It was not going to be pretty. Especially not after what she had just heard. If that was true Meredith was not certain exactly how she was going to react.

Traffic was light so she made good time and as she drove she tried to imagine what she might say to Derek. Not that rehearsing her words would do any good.

Stopping the car far enough away from the trailer that her approach was going to be somewhat stealthy, Meredith made her way to the trailer with her heart in her throat. What was she going to find? What was going to happen?

Derek was there, at least that much was clear.

Opening the door without knocking as Meredith was in fact Derek's wife of sorts, Meredith stepped up into the cabin and looked around. There was an opened bottle of wine, evidence of takeout and two glasses.

Meredith turned and walked towards the bedroom area of the trailer, not pausing or hesitating even though in her mind she knew that she was going to find something that would end things between her and Derek no matter what, regardless of the fact that Meredith had already decided to end things between them once and for all.

The occupants in the bed were occupied so they did not notice Meredith's approach, but when Meredith caught a glimpse of the woman who was with Derek, she could no longer keep silent.

"Syph Nurse?" Meredith said in a loud tone.

"You're in bed with Syph Nurse?" Meredith would have laughed at the reaction her words had on Derek and Nurse Olivia, AKA Syph Nurse, but she was too busy being horrified and preoccupied by the impending doom of the defining relationship of her adult life.

"Shit!" Meredith heard a feminine voice say and then there was the satisfying clunk of someone hitting their head.

"Meredith!" Derek exclaimed as he practically pushed Syph Nurse from the bed and scrambled up to look for clothes.

"You know, Chief Shepherd, the Nurses Station at the hospital is just buzzing about this relationship. They are drawing straws as to who is going to proposition you next." Meredith said and glared at Olivia who was now mostly dressed.

"Get out, Typhoid Mary." Meredith said coldly at the woman, not giving a shit where she went or how she did it; Meredith only wanted her gone.

"Did you at least use a condom?" Meredith exclaimed, resisting the irrational urge to wipe her hands on her pants.

"Yes!" Derek said, not sounding at all convincing.

"Great, Derek. Just great. You're such a prince you know that?" Meredith heard the front door of the trailer close as she walked back into the living area of the abode.

"Hey, I am a man and I have needs. You were not filling them." He spluttered as he followed her.

"That is so cliche, Derek. I can't believe you've stooped to using it. Or wait, I can, actually, especially after just seeing Syph Nurse all over you.

He stank of cheap wine, cheap perfume, cheap sex, and old sweat. Fantastic. What the hell had she ever seen in him...

Was it the hair?

Wait until Cristina got a load of this.

"You can hardly take the high road, Meredith!" Derek exclaimed as he hastily buttoned up his rumpled shirt.

"You've been awfully chummy Addison lately, don't think I don't know that something is going on." Derek sneered, making Meredith want to throw something at him.

"You don't know anything about it!" Meredith hissed in reaction, stepping away from Derek angrily.

"Oh but I do, Meredith. You think I'm blind?" Derek fumed.

"She did it to me once already, except this time she is taking you away from me, instead of herself." He added, running a frustrated hand through his hair.

Meredith stared at Derek in disbelief, was this what he really believed?

"You think what you have with her, this lesbo thing whatever, is real?" Derek continued, advancing on her as he spoke.

"You're pathetic." He hissed as he got right into her face.

Feeling her resolve to remain strong start to crumble, Meredith attempted to rally her defences and pushed Derek away from herself forcefully.

"At least her ego does not kill people." She countered angrily, immediately regretting her decision to lower herself to trading insults with him.

Derek looked furious and he brushed off her attempts to push him away.

"She'll do it to you. Fuck around. You think she'll stop for you? You're ordinary. Addison requires something extraordinary and you are not it." Derek replied angrily, cutting Meredith deeply by using her mother's words.

"She's playing with you. You're just a new shiny toy to her." The words cut even deeper and Meredith felt flat footed and unable to reply as he took another verbal swing at her and scored an uppercut to her solar plexsus. "What could you possibly offer someone like Addison?"

Meredith fought not to react at the words but she could not help herself. His every phrase was blinding her with emotion, pain, and hurt.

"You'll grow old alone, angry and unloved like your mother. If you're lucky you'll lose your memory too and that way you might not know how miserable you really are." Derek was relentless in his attacks and Meredith found herself on the back foot.

Taking a deep breath Meredith stood straighter and looked him right in the eye. "I don't love you anymore." She enunciated clearly. "It's over." She added.

Derek's eyes got huge and his face purpled with rage at her statement. Meredith refused to flinch and then jumped as he turned abruptly and went to dig around in a bag by the door.

Moments later he returned holding a frame in his hands. "You know what this is?" He asked, holding out the frame for her to see.

"This is you not being able to make a commitment to anything." Derek said angrily and then he broke the frame over the corner of the table that occupied the space. "God forbid you ever have children, you won't able to commit to them either." He added nastily almost to himself.

"I brought this here because I wanted to have a reminded of what you and I used to be." Derek explained, sounding perfectly reasonable for a moment or two.

Then as Meredith watched as he pulled the post-it notes from the frame and tore them up before throwing the into her face.

"There, you see, easy. I should have done that a long time ago." He snipped at her bitterly.

Before Meredith knew what was going on she felt her arm swing out at him and when the force of her palm impacting on his cheek traveled up her arm registered the sound of the slap reached her ears only a fraction of a moment later.

Derek recoiled from her, touching his cheek and his eyes blazed with fury. Meredith was stunned at what she had just done. It seemed unbelievable.

"You want it rough, huh?" He asked, advancing on her menacingly.

Meredith did not have time to process what was going on before Derek had seized her in a painful grip and was pushing himself against her. "I can give you rough, you whore." He said into her ear, licking it and making Meredith shudder in disgust.

"You just need some male attention and I have been neglecting that for the past little while." Derek rubbed himself harder against Meredith and moved in to kiss her.

Horrified, Meredith tried to squirm away and to her dismay, he seemed to be thrilled by her struggle. Shit!

"No dick for you, huh?" Derek ground out as he pressed himself against her hard enough for it to hurt. "I can do fingers. You want fingers now?" He began to tear at the button of her jeans as Meredith fought to gain space, breathing room; her freedom.

"You better get ready, baby, or this will hurt." Derek snarled as he managed to get one of the buttons undone despite Meredith's resistance.

Oh fuck, he was really going to do this. Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Fuck. Meredith's mind screamed as she struggled even harder but to no avail.

In desperation Meredith turned her face away from him and prepared to kick him in the crotch as he sought to kiss or touch her again. "I love her, Derek! I love Addison." Meredith sobbed as his kiss landed on her cheek just a fraction of an inch short of her mouth.

Derek let go of her as if he had been burned and took several steps away from her the wildness in his eyes switching to horror in moments.

"I'm sorry." He gasped, waving his hand between them. "This is not me." He added, seeming to come to his senses.

"It seemed to be." Meredith said pointedly as she sidestepped the broken glass on the floor and moved towards the door, eager to escape this madness and barely containing herself as she sought to get away.

She would not break down in front of Derek. She'd die first.

"Get out." Derek said when Meredith hesitated briefly at the door, wanting to add something.

"Just get out." Derek repeated as Meredith opened her mouth to speak.

Just before she let go of the door, she turned back to him and sighed. "I never meant to hurt you, Derek." She said softly but he did not acknowledge her.

It was over.

She had no idea where she was going, but the car seemed to be mostly driving itself as heavy drops of rain began to fall from the sky and as Meredith drove through the twilight she found that she could not make her brain engage.

Her cell phone buzzed and Meredith snatched it up, switching it off and throwing it into the backseat of her car. The last thing she needed right now was more people telling her what else was wrong with her and how much of a failure she was. As an afterthought Meredith snatched her pager from her waist and slammed it against the dashboard of the car, breaking open its battery compartment and scattering pieces and batteries everywhere.

Dimly she was aware that her hand hurt, but it would take a great deal more than just some vague pain to make her care. She needed to think and the rain was in the way, the loud drops scattering and splashing as her wiper blades sought to push them aside were like intrusive fingers poking at her. She needed to stop the car.

It was not safe for her to be driving.

It was not safe.

Would she ever be safe again?

Derek's words echoes in her mind as she pulled off the road near Elliot Bay and turned off the ignition. Without the motor running the rain was louder, angrier, more maddening. Meredith pushed open the door and stepped out of the car into the rain, feeling its icy fingers soak through her clothes at once. At least it was not so loud anymore, maybe she would be able to think.

Walking to the water, oblivious to the fact that she was instantly soaked to the skin Meredith looked out over the black expanse of angry water. It matched her mood. She was angry, hurt, confused. She was alone.

Why didn't she have someone who could explain this shit to her anyway?

Meredith sat down blindly, oblivious to anything except how she was feeling and as the rain poured down she buried her head in her hands and wept. She wept for the little girl who had not been able to rely on a mother's love and the subsequent woman who did not think that she could be loved.

If her own mother placed conditions on love, how could anyone truly love her?

Even Derek, with whom she had at one point been sure she would build a future with and with whom she had made promises, had turned on her in the end.

Maybe she was just ordinary, boring, stupid Meredith who would never be able to escape the chains of her childhood baggage. Maybe she needed to bury her brain in a bottle of tequila and then go for another swim, this time in the rain.

There would be no Derek to rescue her this time.

And Addison, what did the redhead want from her?

Was Meredith just a fling, a slight of fancy and a toy?

Meredith did not want to be anyone's toy, never again.

The thought dragged Meredith to her feet and she stumbled back to the car, blinded by rain and by tears and by the raging blackness of her own emotions.

If Addison was going to play games with her, Meredith was going to show Addison that she was no pawn in some fucked up chessboard of life.


Chapter 26

Meredith had no idea how she eventually got to the hotel parking that had become so familiar to her over the past while, but she found herself there now. The interior of the car was soaked and the windows were steamy and Meredith was dimly aware of being freezing cold as she stared out of the car and pondered her next move.

There was an unopened bottle of tequila on the car seat beside her. The choice was between that bottle and sitting in the car until she passed out and possibly became hypothermic, or suffered alcohol poisoning, or Addison.

Angrily Meredith pounded on her steering wheel, not knowing what to do next. Part of her wanted to bury herself into the oblivion of booze, but she also wanted to be sober when she confronted Addison. Meredith was no good at playing games when she was drunk. She was just good at fucking things up.

Well, she was good at fucking things up anyway.

Might as well fuck this up too and get it over with.

With that thought Meredith grabbed the tequila and stepped out of the car making her way to the hotel lobby.

Maybe she could combine her fuck ups tonight?

No one challenged her as she walked to the bank of elevators for which Meredith was infinitely glad, she was not in the mood to be arrested tonight. She wanted to talk with Addison as soon as possible and did not want to do it via a phone call, compliments of the Seattle PD.

Meredith was shaking with cold now and as she stumbled out of the elevator on Addison's floor, she found herself in a set of arms that seemed familiar, even in her befuddled state of awareness.

"Easy." A warm, concerned filled voice said.

Looking up into the friendly, concerned face of the janitor who had become her friend over the past few weeks, Meredith almost gave in and let him hold her. She needed to be strong though. This was not the time to stop fighting, maybe in a few minutes, but not now.

"It's okay." The man said and gently pried the bottle of tequila from Meredith's grip before he turned in one smooth movement and deposited it into the trash can behind him.

"You don't need that." He whispered and then before Meredith could protest walked her to Addison's door which he knocked on without hesitation.

Meanwhile Meredith found herself trying to collect her wits, her ire and her game plan as the door latches moved and then Addison was standing there. Meredith barely had time to register the shocked expression on the redhead's face before the janitor spoke to Addison.

"I found her by the elevator with an unopened bottle of tequila in her hand." He said, concern filling his voice as he handed her off to Addison.

"Thank you." Meredith heard Addison murmur and then the door closed and she was in the dim, familiar space of Addison's hotel room.

She wanted to give in. She wanted to bury herself in Addison's arms and let go, but she did now know how. She had no idea how to let her guard down and simply let go. Her fucked up childhood and screwed up adulthood had ensured that she was emotionally fucked up the point of not being able to identify her own feelings.

Maybe this was how Owen Hunt felt?

He was emotionally damaged to the point of being completely out of touch with who he was. Maybe Meredith could try to talk to him?

"Meredith." Addison's voice was so full of concern that Meredith could barely stand it.

She did not want compassion, she needed anger, hurt, pain. She needed things that built her walls up and made her safe.

Addison's warmth and love were breaking through decades worth of defences in just a few words.

"I'm no good for you." Meredith finally managed to say past her chattering teeth.

"No?" Addison asked and Meredith was dimly aware of the fact that her soaking wet clothes were being stripped from her body and she was being guided towards the bed.

"No. I am ordinary. I am never good enough for anyone. I am fucked up and even my own mother was unable to love me." Meredith slurred, feeling her emotions and the cold bite deep into her ability to articulate clearly.

"I'm not your mother." Addison said easily as she sat Meredith down and it was then that Meredith became aware that she was naked.

Somehow Addison had managed to remove Meredith's clothing without her really being aware of it.

"What is this?" This time Addison's voice was deadly serious.

Blinking, Meredith looked at Addison with a question in her eyes.

The redhead held up Meredith's wrist which had livid bruises on it from where Derek had grabbed her. Meredith felt like laughing when she saw them; so it had been real.

"Derek said I have commitment issues." Meredith slurred as Addison pulled a robe around Meredith's shivering form.

"Derek did this?" There was something deadly in Addison's voice that snapped Meredith to almost full awareness.

"I'll kill him." Addison said furiously, her voice laced with hot anger.

Meredith decided that Addison was not kidding. "He's not worth it." Meredith managed, pulling her hand free from Addison's and running her fingers along the coveted cheek of the other woman.

"I need to run a bath for you, stay here." Addison finally said and with the words she vanished into the bathroom leaving Meredith alone on the bed feeling bewildered and bedraggled.

Was she really here, in Addison's room?

She was so cold it hurt and now that she was no longer in the daze of rain and tears she realised that her hand ached. Meredith looked at her right palm, seeing blood on it. How had that happened? It had jagged cuts on it that were caked with dirt and blood. Meredith could nor remember doing that.

In fact Meredith could barely remember anything for the last few hours, only the bruises on her wrists, her shivering body and her sore hand seemed to be evidence of events that had occurred to her.

Meredith felt, rather than heard Addison return and then gentle arms lifted her and guided her to the bathroom where the lights were dimmed and a few candles were lit. It was peaceful and Meredith was surprised to see that the bathtub was almost full.

The miracles of state of the art plumbing in an expensive hotel room.

"Come on." Addison said gently and a moment later Meredith stepped into the hot water.

It burned, but it felt good, as did Addison's soft hands on her body, holding her, protecting her. Somehow making it safe for Meredith.

A few seconds passed and Meredith was safely ensconced by hot bubbly water that smelled of lavender and then Addison sat down on the toilet seat and ran her hand through Meredith's tangled hair.

"It will be okay, Meredith." Addison murmured gently.

"Will it?" Meredith asked, feeling the renewed threat of tears.

"It will." Addison assured her, moving now to examine Meredith's cut hand.

"Just as soon as I take a look at this." Addison added.

"You should see the other guy." Meredith attempted to joke a little.

"Oh?" Came the noncommittal question. "Yeah, who knew a pager could be such a vicious thing." Meredith whispered.

Meredith barely registered Addison cleaning the wound carefully, what she did notice was how gentle the redhead was.

It was too late for Meredith to back out of this. She was in love with Addison. The words were on the tip of her tongue right now, but still she hesitated.

Why couldn't she say them?

What the hell was the matter with her that she could not manage three simple words?

"I only fall apart once a decade or so." Meredith said, feeling tired.

Addison smiled, looking at her and Meredith felt a surge of hope and of warmth as the redhead returned her focus to Meredith's hand.

Maybe this would be okay after all.

An indeterminate amount of time later Meredith found herself in Addison's bed, wrapped in a robe under the blankets. Addison, like all good doctors of her calibre, carried a medical kit with her at all times. Meredith's palm now boasted a very tidy bandage over the small cut she had gotten earlier when she had smashed her unfortunate and innocent pager.

It seemed almost surreal, if Meredith was honest with herself. She did not remember Addison working on her hand, nor did she remember the room service that included hot tea and a simple repast that Addison had all but coerced Meredith to eat. Now Addison was putting the tray outside the door and locking up for the night.

Did the other woman want to talk, or what?

Addison slipped into the bed next to Meredith and gathered her up so that Meredith was resting with her head on Addison's chest. Meredith sighed deeply; it felt so good.

"You want to talk about it?" Addison queried after they had been quiet for some moments.

"I don't know." Meredith said honestly, feeling the threat of tears lurking in the background once more.

"I am no good for you, Addison." Meredith finally said, pulling herself reluctantly away from Addison. "I am dark and difficult and complicated." Meredith added, scrubbing at her eyes with her hand roughly.

"I decide what is good or bad for me, Meredith. Not you." Addison said simply, snatching Meredith's hand away from abusing her eye.

"Stop that or you will give Mark Sloan your business long before you even need to think about it." Addison admonished gently.

Meredith wanted to smile at the statement but her face would not cooperate.

"What did Derek do?" Addison queried gently, pulling on Meredith's arm and easing Meredith back to rest against her side.

"He got mad. Said some stuff, and then, well he propositioned me and not very gently either." Meredith summarised, unconsciously rubbing her wrists as she spoke.

Addison gripped her more tightly and Meredith could hear the furious exhalation of breath as the redhead fumed. "It's okay, Addison. He is not worth it. Stay with me here." Meredith implored, pleasing herself with how reasonable and adult she sounded.

"Fine." Addison whispered, kissing Meredith's temple and holding her tighter.

"You're an extraordinary woman, Meredith. Whatever he said to you is not true." Addison murmured.

"He knows about us. I caught him in bed with Syph Nurse and that is when this all came to ahead. He knows. We are over. I am free." Meredith said in a rush, burying her head against Addison's side as she spoke.

"You are free." Addison repeated gently. "Are you sorry?" The vulnerability in Addison's voice made Meredith's breath catch.

"No. I a not sorry." Meredith said at once, rising up to sit on her knees and taking Addison's face in her hands and leaned in to kiss her gently.

Addison blinked at her and rewarded Meredith with a brilliant smile. It made Meredith's heart seize in her chest. "I'm not just an experiment am I?" Meredith asked suddenly, remembering what Derek had said.

"What?" Addison spluttered. "Is that what he told you?" Addison added, sounding outraged.

Meredith blushed and turned away. "Yes." She whispered, determined to be honest with this woman.

"You're no an experiment, Meredith. What was between Derek and me and what went wrong there, has no bearing on you and me. It's like comparing apples to alligators." Addison said, exasperation colouring her tone.

Meredith laughed at the comparison. "Yeah, I know." She finally said.

She had known even as Derek had said the cruel words to her, and before she asked Addison right now. But once a decade Meredith was entitled to be needy, and clingy so she had asked anyway.

"We need to try to get some sleep, you're exhausted." Addison finally said, easing away from Meredith and standing up.

"Come on lazybones. Teeth brushing time. I will find you something to wear." Addison prompted and Meredith groaned before reluctantly agreeing to get out of the bed and comply with Addison's wishes.

They did make sense, after all.


Chapter 27

Ten minutes later and Meredith was back in bed, wearing a borrowed tee shirt and borrowed panties. Addison had insisted and Meredith was touched at the trust and intimacy in the gesture. Addison for her part had slipped into something silky and was now slipping into the bed beside Meredith.

For her own part, Meredith was feeling invigorated and warm and cared for. Addison had been perfect since the moment Meredith had arrived. It felt so good to be cared for and Addison seemed to be happy to do just that.

It was a new sensation for Meredith, the lack of conditions to receiving attention.

Addison rolled over in the bed and looked at Meredith for a long moment. "You okay now?" She asked, running a delicate finger down Meredith's side.

Something began to burn inside of Meredith at the simple touch.

"Yes. Thank you." Meredith replied, bringing her own hand up to touch the side of Addison's face before she curled her fingers behind Addison's head and pulled her closer.

"Kiss me." Meredith demanded softly.

Addison's eyes sparkled as she smiled at Meredith's request. "Well, since you asked so nicely." She whispered before leaning in and kissing Meredith.

It was a hungry kiss, but it was also incredibly gentle and Meredith felt herself pulled into an embrace that felt safe and right and she lost herself in the moment. When Addison moaned into the kiss, Meredith felt something break free inside of herself. She wanted Addison, more than she had ever wanted anything or anyone before in her life.

And now she had her. Meredith was finally free to do as she wanted and this was what she wanted.

When they parted, both of them were panting for breath and Meredith closed her eyes, running her hands along the silky material of the nightgown that Addison had on and tried to regain a semblance of control. "Is this our third date?" She finally asked.

"Third date?" Addison replied, kissing along Meredith's jaw line.

It was becoming hard to think.

"Yes." Meredith managed as she slid her hands under a silky strap and considered her next move.

It all depended on Addison.

"I'd say this qualifies as a date." Addison murmured and kissed lower still, reaching Meredith's neck.

All bets were off now. Meredith slid a strap off Addison's shoulder and moved her hand along the perfect skin that her fingers encountered. Addison was so soft, so warm, so very beautiful.

It made Meredith's heart soar to be able to touch her and with that in mind, Meredith rolled them over so that she was laying on top of Addison, looking down at her in the oblique lighting of the room. It was breathtaking.

Addison was not content to simply be looked at though and Meredith felt an impatient pull on the edge of the shirt that she was wearing. Taking the hint, Meredith slipped it over her head and then leaned down to kiss Addison again, this time the kiss was not so gentle.

Meredith could feel herself soak her borrowed panties as they kissed. Lips, teeth, tongue; heat and desire. All infused in the kiss. It was fantastic.

Heat burned in Meredith's body as Addison ran her hands along the bare skin of Meredith's back and sides. It was suddenly very hot and Addison was very much too dressed. One of those things Meredith could do something about.

Gasping as they pulled apart, Meredith snuck her hands under the edge of the silky shift and urged Addison upwards, easily pulling the garment off before lowering them both to the bed again.

"Oh my God." Meredith said shakily, forgetting how to breathe for a moment.

The sensation of naked skin on naked skin. Meredith was certain she was going to faint. She had never felt such softness before, it was like she could feel everything all at once and it was good. Leaning down she kissed Addison's face, before moving to her neck and discovering her new favourite thing.

Kissing anywhere on Addison.

Strong hands gripped her hair as Meredith moved lower, lavishing the pale skin on Addison's chest with her mouth and moving her hands to touch perfect, pert breasts that seemed to be begging for her attention. Addison arched under her, undulating as Meredith feasted.

Already she knew that she would never get enough of this.

Just one sip, one touch, and she was addicted.

"Beautiful." Meredith murmured as her mouth travelled lower and the desire to taste what her hands had just been feeling became overwhelming.

Addison moaned from somewhere above her and Meredith felt absurdly pleased that she had reduced the other woman to incoherence already.

Never mind that now, though. Meredith wanted to taste and to touch. Thinking and talking could occur another time. It was time to put Callie's advice and Cristina's anatomy lessons to use.

"Jesus!" Addison gasped loudly.

Meredith mentally stuttered as her mouth snagged one of the proud nipples that capped Addison's breasts. She almost lost a chunk of hair as Addison reacted, sitting up in the bed and gasping.

It seemed that Satan had found religion.

Delicious did not even begin to describe how it felt to be giving Addison this pleasure though, or how the other woman's nipples and breasts felt under her mouth and hands.

Nothing in Meredith's past experience could even begin to prepare her for this.

"Come here." Addison whispered, tugging on Meredith and Meredith complied, moving her way up the luxurious body she had been exploring with delight.

Addison pulled on her and brought their mouths together for a kiss and Meredith could feel the fire in the redhead as she dig her fingers into Meredith's back. "I want you." Addison said this into Meredith's mouth and it was akin to throwing oil onto an open flame.

Meredith reared up and brought herself up to straddle Addison's waist, grabbing the other woman's hands and dragging them up her body. "Then have me." Meredith barely recognised her own voice as she spoke.

"Have me." Meredith almost sobbed with passion and let her head droop forward as those hands began to explore, touch, caress.

They moved down, pausing at the waistband of the panties that Meredith still wore before a nimble finger slid under the edge. "Take these off." Addison ordered gently and Meredith hastened to comply.

As she wiggled out of the silky cloth, she could feel that her inner thighs were wet, had she ever been this aroused before in her life?

Addison pulled her back down and kissed her again, running her hands down Meredith's sides to cup her ass. Right now Meredith was speculating that perhaps she could have an orgasm without any further stimulation even.

Feeling Addison surge under her, Meredith felt the world tilt and then she was laying under Addison. Just like that. The redhead looked at her wildly and Meredith swallowed hard. Addison looked like she wanted to eat Meredith alive and Meredith realised that she would happily be eaten alive if that was the case.

Thought ceased though, when Meredith felt a hand trail along her leg and then dip between her legs. Addison moaned openly at the discovery of how wet Meredith was and Meredith heard herself make a sound that she did not know she was even capable of making.

"May I?" Addison asked, her voice a mere husk of its previous self.

"Yes." Meredith moaned, pulling Addison down for a kiss as she felt first one and then a second finger slide into her.

"Oh." Meredith managed to articulate, overwhelmed completely by the moment and by Addison.

Addison sagged against her and Meredith could feel her own body coil and move in anticipation of pleasure she was sure was going to blow her mind. There was no fumbling and Addison seemed to know exactly what she was doing. She was driven, intense and completely focused on Meredith. It was intoxicating and Meredith was lost in a sea of sensation. She could not tell where she ended and Addison began and then suddenly she was coming. Oh my, her orgasm had snuck up on her and it seemed that Addison was also surprised by it.

Time held still for long moments as Meredith had her world tilted on its axis and pleasure so intense it almost hurt thundered over her skin, bones and nerves. Addison was moaning directly into Meredith's ear and the audible proof that Addison was enjoying this as well just made Meredith feel like she was going to lose her mind.

Finally, time started moving again and Meredith lay gasping under Addison, completely wiped out, shocked and elated at the same time.

"You have very good hands, Doctor Montgomery." Meredith managed to wheeze out after some time had passed.

That was a possible benefit of dating a surgeon that Meredith had not considered before, good hands. "Just wait until you see what my mouth can do." Addison said breathlessly into Meredith's ear.

The words reminded Meredith that Addison was probably half mad with pent up sexual need by now and Meredith was suddenly desperate to fulfil that need. She had to know, had to. She needed to know what it was to give Addison pleasure and she would know this, just as soon as she had caught her breath for another minute or so.

Addison for her part seemed to be restlessly content to wrap herself around Meredith and experience the moment. She had yet to remove her hand and Meredith could still feel those fingers deep inside her own body. The thought stirred something in Meredith and she had a sudden insight that there was no recovery period with a woman. They could go all night, if they so desired.

The idea made Meredith burn even hotter, but right now she had another fire to put out and that fire was burning inside the woman who was wrapped up in Meredith's arms and body right now.

Meredith peeled Addison away from her shoulder and looked into the beloved face that was so close to her own. Addison looked wild and untamed and Meredith suddenly wanted to ravage her. The thought brought renewed energy to her muscles and with that Meredith adjusted her position minutely before she slid one of her hands down along her own body in seek of Addison's.

The redhead seemed to come alive when she felt Meredith's questing hand moving and then she gently, so gently removed her fingers from Meredith. The action caused all the nerves in Meredith's body to jump in pleasant symphony. Yes indeed, this would take a while.

Presently though, Addison had risen to a seated position, straddling Meredith and looked down through hooded eyes. Meredith ran her hands up Addison's sides and then down Addison's front. Meredith could feel how wet Addison was and she was desperate to touch the other woman. Addison seemed to sense her intent and lifted her hips slightly, allowing Meredith access and in another moment Meredith felt her fingers engulfed by heat and by Addison.

It was indescribable and it took Meredith a long moment to realise that she was laying still and slack jawed in reaction. However, time waited for no one and Meredith was on a mission. Satan would find God tonight, several times, if Meredith had anything to say about it.

Rising to a seated position so that Addison was straddling her lap, Meredith moved her hand experimentally. Her reward was Addison arching in her arms and throwing her head back in a wanton, shameless display of pleasure.


Moving her hand again, Meredith felt Addison adjust and answer the movement with a thrust of her hips and in another moment they were moving in synchronicity. Meredith, having overcome her temporary paralysis, used her free arm to support Addison's back as she leaned in to kiss the long column of Addison's smooth, alabaster neck. One of Addison's hands dug into Meredith's back as the redhead moved.

"Don't stop." Addison hissed, the very picture of hedonism and Meredith resolved then and there that she would never stop.

She had been born for just this moment, watching Addison's body and soul join together at the end of Meredith's fingertips. This was better than any surgery and with that thought, Meredith intensified her movements slightly, curving her fingers deep inside of Addison. She was instantly rewarded when Addison's head snapped up and she looked directly into Meredith's eyes.

"I'm going to come." Addison whispered, her eyes blazing with heat and Meredith shivered at the look.

"Come for me, Addison." Meredith murmured, feeling her hand slip in the sweat that graced Addison's back.

She did. As Meredith watched, Addison's body was transformed into what looked like pure pleasure and Meredith could feel, see, smell and hear, and even taste the orgasm as it washed over Addison. Wetness soaked her hand and dripped down into her legs and then Addison was still, though gasping for air as she clung to Meredith and attempted to regain her equilibrium.

Minutes, or moments, or lifetimes later, Meredith gently eased Addison back to a supine position and pulled the blankets over them. "Oh my God, Meredith." Addison managed to say as she cuddled into Meredith.

Wrapping herself around the redhead, Meredith smiled and ran her finger along the aristocratic nose that graced Addison's face. "You're beautiful." Meredith whispered, wanting to tell Addison that she loved her but finding that she was still unable to for some reason.

Addison blushed prettily before she leaned in and kissed Meredith gently, reminding her that she could easily go again, and again, and again if she wanted to. "You're fantastic." Addison whispered and Meredith felt warm and cared for, and she also felt safe.

"What?" Meredith asked, sensing that Addison had something else to say.

The other woman sighed and then smiled and pulled Meredith close. "Tell you later." She murmured into Meredith's hair and Meredith felt a deep joy in her heart at the words.

This was what she bad been born to do. This, right here, right now.

Meredith reflected that this sex, the first she had experienced with a woman, easily surpassed any other sex that she had experienced before and then Meredith almost swooned when she realised that this was just the beginning.

Oh my.

There was so much that Meredith wanted to try and to do with Addison. She wanted it all with Addison.

She wanted it all.


Chapter 28

Sometime later Meredith woke up tangled up in Addison and sheets. They had succumbed to post-coital bliss and dozed off sometime after everything had settled down and now Meredith was wide awake again.

She felt warm, sated, and she could feel the echo in her body of what had happened scant hours ago. Despite her own relative inexperience and the unknown factor of what Addison's sexual background may contain, Meredith determined that this first time between them had been a resounding success.

Meredith also speculated that in her entire sexual history, she had never waited so long, or had been wooed so long before any relationship, be it a one night stand type of thing, or a more long standing thing, had been consummated. She wondered if that had enhanced this experience; Addison and her getting to know each other and taking their time before falling in bed.


Moving slightly, Meredith became aware of her aching right hand and glanced at her palm. The tidy bandage that Addison had but over her cut was still there and Meredith speculated that it was just the delicate structures of the hand that were protesting the abuse she had put them through.

She would need to get another pager from Bailey and come up with some suitable reason as to why exactly her old one was broken. Thankfully Bailey was not an uptight tightwad about stuff like that. Provided you did not come to her every week or every month needing a new pager or some other hospital provided thing, and you had not damaged the old one by drunkenly dropping the old one in the toilet, she was very cool about issuing new stuff.

Addison was beginning to stir and the movement of sheets and skin against Meredith's body caused a flare-up of Meredith's libido that was quite shockingly strong. Unused to the sensation of having all of her nerves stand at attention at the same time, Meredith rolled over and looked at Addison who was now awake and looking at Meredith with bright, alert eyes.

"Hi." Addison said simply, a sweet smile gracing her face and Meredith felt the coil of arousal stir in her lower abdomen at the sight of those kiss-bruised lips.

"Hi." Meredith offered and bright up a hand to touch Addison's face.

She wanted Addison and she wanted her badly, the night before had not even begun to satisfy her desire. If nothing else it had fed a whole host of new fires within her and now that Meredith knew what she could have, she wanted more, and more, and then some.

"What are you thinking about?" Addison asked, pulling Meredith closer to herself.

"You." Meredith replied, feeling her skin ignite from the increased contact with Addison's body.

"Me what?" Addison queried, brushing her lips against Meredith's throat.

"I want you." Meredith breathed, arching into Addison's body and giving herself over to sensation.

"You have me." Addison growled, rolling them over so that Meredith was on the bottom of their naked pile.

"Do I?" Meredith teased, pulling Addison close to herself and revelling in the sensation of skin on skin as her own body became a molten pool of desire that Meredith was fast losing track of how to control.

"Yes, you do." Addison intoned, delicately touching Meredith's lips with her fingers.

Meredith pulled Addison down into a kiss, revelling in the taste of her mouth and in the weight of her body as Addison's arms gave out and they were crushed together by gravity. It was heaven and Meredith could feel her entire body keen in anticipation of pleasure and of intimacy she knew could be, and would be hers in just the blink of an eye.

Addison seemed to have designs of a similar nature and as Meredith became increasingly paralysed by pleasure, Addison began a trek down Meredith's body. That hot, cool mouth kissed and licked and those wicked, wonderful hands touched and Meredith was lost; she was out of her mind, actually.

How has she missed this for her whole life? Maybe she had been waiting for just this moment, unaware until it occurred that it could happen at all.

Curling her fingers in luscious red hair, Meredith arched into Addison's mouth as it arrived at her navel and teased the sensitive skin there. Addison ran her tongue along the feint scar that graced Meredith's abdomen where her earlier liver surgery had left it's mark. The hypersensitive tissue started a riot of reaction in Meredith's body and Addison hissed in sympathetic response.

That was another thing that was so unique and extraordinary about this...

The feedback loop of pleasure and sensation that seemed to form between them. Meredith was divided as to if her own orgasm before, or if Addison's orgasm, had actually felt better. After some thought she decided it did not matter; what mattered was the right now and right now Addison was kissing past her hipbones and going south of the border as it was.

"Are you okay with this?" Addison asked softly, looking up at Meredith with soulful eyes.

Meredith rose up on her elbows and looked down at Addison. Her breathing was heavy as she saw the beautiful vista laid out before her in the early morning light. Addison was naked, splayed across Meredith's legs and it was glorious. Her hair was in a well-fucked mess and she looked hungry. She actually looked like she would suffer malnutrition in a few moments if Meredith did not provide her with the feast that she seemed to crave.

"Yes." Meredith managed, allowing her head to loll back in anticipation of something she only had limited experience with.

The kiss bruised mouth that she had been admiring only moments before moved lower, and then lower still before it hesitated along the neatly trimmed hairs at Meredith's panty line. It made Meredith consider that this was new for Addison as well, not that it really mattered.

They would learn together, regardless.

At the first hesitant touch of Addison's mouth against Meredith's hypersensitive flesh was electric. Meredith twitched away, digging her heels into the bed and gasping.

"Okay?" Addison asked, her voice rough.

"Yes." Meredith managed to gasp breathlessly, bracing herself as Addison moved to touch her again, this time with much less hesitation.

Meredith suddenly had images of ice cream enter her head and had to stop herself from laughing out loud at the image. Then laughter became the furthest thing from her mind as Addison's mouth slid lower to cover Meredith more fully.

"Oh, fuck!" Meredith exclaimed in ecstatic surprise and Addison moaned against her in harmonic reaction.

"Jesus." Meredith continued her obscene and religious tirade, feeling herself move to get closer to Addison.

The redhead's hesitant, light touch became more confident as Meredith reacted so fully to her and after another handful of heartbeats had passed, Meredith felt that coveted mouth press into her fully.

Addison curled her arms around Meredith's thighs, obviously intent on holding her still enough to actually not lose her place as Meredith jumped and twitched in reaction.

Was it possible for something to feel this good?

Apparently it was.

The precipice of pleasure rushed up to meet Meredith and in just seconds she was coming, her orgasm washing over her in a delightful shock that shook her to her core.

Oh wow.

It was such a complete surprise and Meredith could only gasp as she lay on the bed and felt her blood sing in her veins. Addison for her part was crawling up Meredith's body and whispering something that Meredith could not hear, or simply could not process.

It was only when Addison came closer that Meredith heard what she said. "Oh my God, Meredith. Oh my God." The hot, delighted refrain burned itself into Meredith's hyper-stimulated id.

She had to have Addison. Now.

She had to know exactly how it felt to do this same thing to Addison and she had to know now. Right now. Now. Now. Now.

Kissing Addison without reserve and tasting herself on the redhead's lips, Meredith could feel her own skin seem to catch flam with anticipation and excitement. She had managed to practise on one ice cream cone and she was a damn fine surgeon. She could figure out how to do this and even if she fumbled, she'd be fine.

She had to know, though. She had to know what it felt like, tasted like, was like, to do this to Addison, and she had to know now. Right away. Now!

Without further preamble, Meredith flipped Addison over so that she was laying on her back once more and Meredith dragged her mouth down Addison's flushed, slightly sweat damp skin. So delicious. Meredith speculated that she could spend all day, all week, in fact she knew that she could the rest of her life doing just this.

Now was not the time to spend too much time philosophising though, she had something she wanted to do and by the looks of it, Addison was just as desperate for Meredith to do this as well.

It was time.

Addison was gorgeous, perfect, sexy and Meredith only hoped that she could do justice to what she was about to attempt. Failure was not an option. Meredith did hope that some fumbling was allowed though. Addison arched under Meredith as Meredith kissed her neck, sucking on the pulse that was hammering frantically as it broadcast Addison's over excited state.

Strong hands gripped Meredith's head and held her in place and as Meredith adjusted her position, her knee slipped between Addison's legs. Oh my, Addison was wet and the feel of it erased Meredith's mind in an instant. All thought stopped, now there was only the intent to give pleasure. Nothing else.

By now, Addison was writhing under Meredith, pulling and pushing at the same time and Meredith could feel the burning hot skin under her fingers.

She did not want to wait anymore. Moving down, Meredith did not pause to do more than kiss Addison's breasts briefly before she went lower, and lower still. The fine peak of a hipbone tempted her and Meredith ran the edge of her teeth along the hard bone as it rested under Addison's velvet soft skin.

When Addison jumped in reaction, Meredith took time to soothe the skin with her mouth, sucking on the sensitive area just in front of the hipbone and making Addison squirm in reaction.

"Meredith." Addison managed to say in a voice that was barely more than a low whisper.

It was obvious that Addison was far gone and Meredith could not wait to see the redhead lose her mind. Hopefully Meredith would be up to the task. She was a surgeon, doing new things came with the territory. Addison had finely trimmed hair at the apex of her legs and Meredith found herself fascinated as she made her approach.

Brushing her fingers through territory that her hands were getting to know, Meredith marvelled at the texture. Addison reacted beautifully to Meredith, pushing her pubic mound up against Meredith's palm and gasping for breath as the pressure of pleasure made its presence known in the most delicious way.

Leaning down, Meredith kissed the area just above her eventual destination, inhaling the heady aroma of Addison's intense arousal. The complex scent burned itself into Meredith's brain and without thought, Meredith slid her fingers through the slick folds of Addison's molten centre. The now familiar sensation of heat and arousal on her fingers made Meredith lick her lips.

She wanted this.

Moving lower, Meredith situated herself between Addison's legs and looked up at her lover. Addison was splayed out and breathing deeply and evenly, her hands grabbing at the sheets and it was beautiful. Meredith could feel her own wetness soak the sheet under her body as she looked back at the task at hand.

The organic origami in front of her glistened with moisture and Meredith could see the swollen flesh was more than ready for her. Was Meredith ready for it, though? There was only one way to find out. Leaning forward, Meredith kissed the delicate lips gently and Addison surged upwards, moaning in earnest now.

The flavour that infused itself onto Meredith's palate was instantly intoxicating, Meredith had to have more and realising that Addison was almost out of her mind with arousal, Meredith leaned in more fully, gently covering the whole area with her mouth, moving her lips and tongue with a confidence she did not feel, but wanted to possess.

Addison arched off the bed and grabbed at Meredith's shoulders, pulling on her, pulling her in closer. Whatever doubts about her performance that Meredith may have had vanished in the blink of an eye. Addison wanted her, Addison was turned on by her and Addison's pleasure was all that mattered to Meredith right now.

Moving her mouth lower, Meredith experimentally slid her tongue into Addison. "Oh, fuck!" Addison exclaimed, her voice a wail of pleasure.

Oh fuck indeed.

Meredith pushed her mouth and tongue closer and deeper and felt strong thighs tighten around her head.

It occurred to Meredith that she needed to breathe, but she did not want to stop. Callie had not mentioned anything about needing a snorkel, so there had to be a technique to this, unless lesbians breathed through the tops of their heads like dolphins or something.

Maybe Meredith would evolve this ability?

Adjusting in an attempt to break the hermetic seal around her face and mouth, Meredith could feel Addison begin to shake. Not wanting to die before she witnessed and experienced Addison's orgasm, not to mention tasted it, Meredith finally managed to draw in a huge breath of air from the side of her mouth and then plunged back into her delicious task in earnest.

Addison grabbed Meredith's head and held her still, undulating under Meredith's mouth and even through her thigh-shaped earmuffs, Meredith could hear her lover sob with pleasure as the flood of wetness that signalled Addison's pleasure washed over Meredith's tongue and chin and into the mattress bellow her.

Oh, wow.

Meredith was stunned. This was beyond words.

Jesus Christ!

Feeling Addison pull her away, Meredith rested her head on a smooth thigh and tried to catch her breath, oblivious to anything else except this moment right now. Meredith's whole body throbbed in sympathetic pleasure and she felt like she would come with just a touch now.

She felt like leaning down and making love to Addison with her mouth again.

She would never get enough of this. Never.

Oh, wow.

Eventually Meredith gathered her wits and her strength and crawled up Addison's body, with her goal being hold Addison and never let go. When Meredith arrived at her goal she grabbed a blankets and sheets and made a fair job of covering the both of them somewhat haphazardly.

Addison was being awfully quiet.

Concerned, Meredith rolled Addison over and felt her heart plummet. Addison was crying.

"Hey." Meredith whispered, wiping at the tears that were glistening on the other woman's face.

"Addison." Meredith tried again, pulling her lover into an embrace.

Why was the other woman crying?

"It's okay." Meredith whispered, kissing Addison's hairline and feeling Addison's hot tears on her own skin.

"Why are you crying?" Meredith asked the space above Addison's head, hoping for an answer.

"You make me happy." Addison mumbled against Meredith's breasts.

Normally Meredith would have twitched with laughter, as it ticked, or she would have felt aroused, as it felt good, but right now she just felt bewildered. "Oh." She managed to say and organised the blankets a little better.

"Oh?" Addison queried, her voice laced with laughter.

"Well, you are crying." Meredith offered.

"Good tears, Meredith. This is not a bad thing and I am pretty sure I have never done it before." Addison eventually said, running one of her hands down Meredith's side.

Whatever Meredith was going to say disappeared with the return of the memory that she was completely aroused from having made love to Addison. Shifting, Meredith tried to calm down. Now was not the time.

"Meredith." Addison whispered into one of Meredith's ears and her hot breath against the sensitive shell of it, made Meredith squirm.

Trying to calm down was proving to be impossible.

Addison moved to kiss the space below Meredith's ear and Meredith lost it completely. "Oh God." She moaned, feeling her blood come alive once more.

Moaning in response, Addison continued her ministrations as she pulled up Meredith's left leg and draped it over her own hip. Meredith was beyond turned one now and when Addison reached between their bodies and slid a pair of her fingers into Meredith it felt so good it caused Meredith to bite down on the freckled shoulder that her head was resting on.

Her lover hissed in reaction and thrust deeper, harder, driving Meredith to the brink of insanity. Meredith huffed with each thrust and felt the orgasm building inside of her build as her body was suffused with pleasure. "Don't stop." Meredith ground out, moving her hips to meet Addison's hand and feeling the last vestiges of control disappear as orgasm overwhelmed her.

"So beautiful." Addison moaned into Meredith's ear as Meredith moved through her own exquisite pleasure.

Eventually they stilled and lay unmoving, breathing hard.

This was unbelievable.

Meredith groaned and then laughed as she sagged into Addison. "We're never going to be able to get out of this bed you know." She murmured and she could feel Addison chuckle in reaction to her words.

"Suits me." Addison replied and Meredith jumped as Addison gently pulled her fingers out of Meredith.

"Me too." Meredith said after a beat.

It suited her very well indeed.


Chapter 29

Eventually Meredith needing to get to work meant that they had to get out of bed. The rest of the morning had been spent in gentle repose, touching, laughing, and generally being so relaxed and content that Meredith could scarcely remember ever before being so at ease during a first morning after.

"Meredith, if you get into the shower with me, you're going to be very late for work." Addison said primly with a wicked gleam in her eye.

Laughing, Meredith decided that her lover was probably correct and with a quick kiss to Addison's flawless cheek, Meredith retreated from the bathroom and started to think about coffee and breakfast. Addison had told her to make herself at home and to order something so they would not have to leave the safety of the hotel room until the last moment. It was clear that Addison wanted to extend the magic of this first time as much as Meredith did.

There would be other times, many of them, but there would only ever be one first time.

Meredith pulled a robe around her and as the air moved around her body she decided that she really had to get a shower before room service showed up; she smelled of sex and she was confidently certain that her hair had the just fucked look to the point of it qualifying as a picture in the dictionary next to the term itself.

"You better get into the shower, I don't want us to have to rush through breakfast." Addison said as she stepped out of the bathroom, her body barely concealed by the robe that she wore untied around her waist.

Heat flooded Meredith at the sight of those pale, long legs and at the hints of shadows and curves that the robe displayed and concealed at the same time. Meredith felt the pair of pants she had been holding fall from her slack fingers as her body was suffused by hunger she barely knew what to do with and that was completely new.

"Meredith." Addison said, a dangerous lilt to her tone.

It was seductive and Meredith swallowed hard.

"If you keep looking at me like that, we are not getting out of this room today." Addison growled and as Meredith watched, the redhead scrubbed her hands through damp hair and messed up her somewhat coiffed look.

It was intoxicating and Meredith was having a hard time breathing.

Maybe she could have just one touch, just one more?

Moving towards Addison she watched as her lover tried to think of a way to evade her and then watched as Addison surrendered her self control to the moment. Stopping in front of the redhead, Meredith slipped a hand into the robe that was barely concealing Addison's body.

"I want you." Meredith said clearly, feeling her body sing with sensation.

Addison's eyes closed at the words and Meredith watched with fascination as Addison's head fell forward and at the sight, Meredith slid her other hand into the robe and pulling the other woman forward.

"Let me have you." Meredith whispered into the perfect shell of Addison's ear.

"Let me." Meredith whispered again, and eased Addison back until the other woman was abutting the small table that stood by the window.

When Addison opened her eyes and looked directly at Meredith there was a fire in them that burned Meredith.

"I've never felt this way about anyone before." Addison managed to say, her voice a bare shadow of its normal self.

"Tell me." Meredith coaxed as she ran one of her hands along the perfect slope of Addison's side.

"I don't feel like I have any control over my reactions to you." Addison explained while Meredith moved the robe that her lover was wearing out of the way.

"Oh?" Meredith inquired, hoping that Addison would continue.

"I am scared by it." Addison said, her voice breathless while Meredith kissed down her front.

"You are safe with me, Addison. I am not going to break your heart." Meredith murmured as she knelt onto the soft carpet that graced the floor of the hotel room and eased Addison's legs apart.

"You can't promise that, Meredith." Addison moaned as Meredith brought her mouth to kiss a soft inner thigh.

"I can't promise you anything, but I do know when I am being sincere." Meredith extrapolated before she moved her mouth to kiss Addison gently.

A muted oh was her reward and a moment later long fingers curled themselves into Meredith's hair and Addison pushed herself up so increase the contact with Meredith's mouth. "I know." Addison offered from above.

Meredith for her part put the lessons learned from before to good use, remembering what Addison had reacted and what had made the redhead squirm. Adjusting her balance, Meredith ran one of her hands through the fine hairs just above her questing mouth before sliding it down further and a moment later, Meredith slid a finger and then two into Addison, who by now was panting from somewhere higher up.

"Oh my God, Meredith." The husky edge to Addison's voice drove Meredith wild.

Moving her hand with purpose and attempting to synchronise it with her tongue, it was only moments before Addison was coming, splayed out on the table as the morning sunlight glinted through unopened curtains and for long moments Meredith soared on the knowledge that she, and she alone had instigated this feeling and this pleasure in Addison.

Eventually Addison calmed down and Meredith sat back on her heels, laying her head on Addison's abdomen. "You're safe with me, Addison." Meredith said softly, feeling a lazy hand pet her face and hair.

"I feel safe." Addison eventually hedged as she sat up. "I also feel like I am going to walk funny today." The redhead added with a laugh.

A knock on the door interrupted whatever Meredith was going to say in reply.

"You, shower, now." Addison directed as she stood up and pulled Meredith to her feet.

It was probably a good idea.

Quickly Meredith made her way to the bathroom and a moment later she was standing under the hot spray of the fancy shower cubicle that graced the space. The air around her smelled like water, and sex and Addison's shampoo. It was good, so very good and Meredith leaned against the wall for a long moment just to savour the perfect sensation that this morning had brought with it.

Forty-five minutes later, Meredith pulled into the hospital parking lot with Addison in tow, and her broken pager in her bag. She was walking funny and had a silly smile on her face. Addison for her part had leaned against Meredith's shoulder for the whole drive into work and now as they sat for a long moment in the car before they needed to get out and get going, Addison leaned in and kissed Meredith on the mouth.

"Be good." Addison murmured and Meredith smiled.

"You too." She whispered and then hefted her things and got ready to face the day.

Walking into the hospital with Addison on this first day that they were truly lovers was something that Meredith was sure she would not forget anytime soon. Somehow it just felt different, new, unique.

All around her the people were familiar and everything was the same, but Meredith herself was different. She was different like she had never been before.

"Derek." Meredith said just loudly enough for Addison to hear.

Her lover immediately tensed beside her and Meredith fought the urge to turn on a time and go in the opposite direction.

"You've got some nerve coming in here today like this." Derek said without preamble.

"Why? It's the way into the hospital." Addison replied smoothly, putting herself half in front of Meredith in a protective gesture that almost made Meredith feel like she should swoon.

"Very noble, Addison. Did she come running to you last night after I had finished with her?" Derek asked, fury colouring his voice.

"You mean after you assaulted her, right?" Addison said in a low, dangerous voice.

"Is that what she told you?" Derek asked, looking at Meredith who was watching the exchange with fascination.

"No, you pathetic idiot, this is what told me." Addison replied, gently taking one of Meredith's hands in her own and exposing the bruised wrist that the sleeve of Meredith's coat hid.

Derek's face took on an ugly look before he sneered at both of them.

"She likes it rough." He offered, seeming awfully pleased with himself at the words.

"Actually, Derek, I know what Meredith likes, and it's not you, and it's not rough." Addison said with a note of triumph in her tone as she spoke.

Oh my, low blow. Meredith thought and she seriously wanted to laugh out loud, but it would not do to interrupt Addison's coup d'état.

"Bitch." Derek growled, obviously instantly understanding what Addison meant.

"Well, Derek, I am the bitch in this hospital now, so you're just going to have to deal with it, aren't you?" Addison said sweetly.

"You think I'll let you work here after this?" Derek spluttered.

"Don't be a megalomaniac, Derek darling. It's just not becoming. I have a contract and there is nothing you can do about it. My supposed indiscretions are trivial by comparison to yours, so don't even start." Addison brushed him off easily.

He scowled and clenched his fists. "Don't think this is over with." He hissed, obviously intent on pursuing this further.

"Oh, but it is. If you touch her, do anything to her. If you make her cry, or upset her, ever again, Derek, you will regret it." Addison got right into Derek's face as she said this. "You know that I can make you pay, Derek. Don't try me." Addison finished off before she stepped back and guided Meredith away.

"Have a sparkling morning." Addison said cheerily and neatly sidestepped Derek and walked them into the hospital.

Wow. Meredith had never seen such a display before and all for her own benefit. Addison had acted like Meredith's very own knight in shining navy blue scrubs. Wow.

"He's not going to let it go." Addison said as they stood waiting for the elevator.

"I'll be ready. I'll also page you so you can come and kick his ass for me." Meredith said happily.

"Done." Addison said and breezed into the elevator which was empty when the doors closed.

Meredith felt herself being grabbed and pressed against the elevator wall and before she could react, Addison was kissing her with one of those wanton, hot, fuck me with your mouth, kisses that made Meredith see stars and turned her knees to water.

Oh holy shit.

Meredith tried to fumble for the emergency stop button but missed it as Addison ravished her. The elevator dinged, announcing its arrival at a floor and Meredith and Addison separated, somewhat dishevelled to say the least.

When a group of nurses entered the elevator, Meredith was thankful that they were mostly being ignored. She was uncertain as to just how open or out she wanted to be right now in the hospital. After all, she and Derek had only broken up finally mere hours ago.

How would this look?

Meredith did not have time to think about it though as now they needed to get to work. A final long glance at Addison and Meredith had the sudden urge to grab the redhead and drag her off to the nearest On Call room. Maybe later. Addison smiled and Meredith could tell that the feeling was more than mutual.


As Meredith made her way to the Resident's Lounge she decided that the first order of business for the day would be to find Cristina. ASAP.

"Well?" Cristina asked as Meredith bribed her to be still for a little while with some coffee.

"Oh my God. You should try a more Sapphic menu." Meredith blurted, her body still burning from the memory of the previous night and of this morning.

"Are you going to give me details, because I might want to eat later." Cristina said, a look of mock horror on her face.

Meredith nudged her friend, knowing she was mostly joking and it felt good. "You couldn't handle the details." Meredith teased knowing that it would needle Cristina and eventually her friend might actually ask for details.

"I should have taken you with me to see Derek." Meredith murmured as she sipped her coffee.

"That bad?" Cristina's voice was void of all joking now.

"Worse." Meredith extrapolated vaguely.

"I'll see about arranging an unfortunate accident for him later." Cristina was kidding of course, but it still felt good that she had someone in her corner who would not defect to the other side.

Meredith needed someone in her corner, and now she had Addison, and Callie, and it seemed she had Bailey, and of course, she had Cristina as well.

"I gotta go, if I am going to put strychnine in McAss' Kool-Aid I have got to get busy." Cristina murmured, rising to her feet and imperiously handing Meredith her empty cup.

Meredith laughed as she watched her friend wander down the hallway.

Hopefully the rest of her encounters during the day would be just as pleasant. She and Addison had not discussed yet how open they wanted to be, or planned to be in the hospital but for now Meredith wanted to keep this to herself. She did not know how to come out, or if she needed to come out, or if she was now considered a lesbian, or what?

Surely there was some manual someplace she could consult on the matter?

Maybe Callie would have some insight, though as Meredith understood it, the brunette Orthopedist had come to accept her newfound sexuality by having Mark Sloan be her litmus test. Meredith had no such plans with the Plastic Surgeon, or anyone else for that matter.

But this did solve the matter of it being simply a question of time before the whole hospital knew.

What could she do?

She needed to talk with Addison about it.

Meredith shook her head and marched off to find her Attending for the day. Doctor Jim Nelson, aka Shadow Shepherd.

She was looking forward to working with the man, she liked him and he was very peaceful to be around and an excellent teacher, but it meant that there was a greatly increased possibility of her having another confrontation with Derek sooner rather than later.

Well, Meredith Grey was not a quitter, so she would deal with this along with anything else that came her way today.

Hopefully Addison Montgomery near an On Call room came her way today. Meredith could already feel the coiled heat in her lower abdomen move and expand as she thought about her lover.

Her lover.

It sounded good.

Was Addison also her girlfriend? The nomenclature of this relationship was still somewhat vague to Meredith. She really needed access to the lesbian manual if such a thing existed.

Maybe google could help?

Laughing to herself Meredith found Jim Nelson waiting for her with a small smile on his nondescript, bespectacled face and she hurriedly thrust aside her thoughts to focus on work, at least for the next little while.

Addison and the scientific process of naming a relationship could wait until lunch.

Unless Meredith came upon the redhead before lunch, that is. The anticipation of that possibility and a potential sojourn in an On Call room was a titillating thought to say the least.

"Did you really think you could avoid me all day?" Derek said from behind her as Meredith stood with Jim Nelson in front of some scans of a patient's brain perhaps half an hour later.

They were doing the pre-op for a patient who needed a drain for excess spinal fluid to run off and Meredith was really looking forward to working with the no-nonsense, non- superstar neurosurgeon in the afternoon.

Turning to meet Derek's eyes, Meredith felt Shadow Shepherd tense up beside her. Maybe the other doctor thought Derek was here to steal yet another of his surgeries. Derek did have a pattern of doing that, much to Meredith's annoyance and she was just a Resident.

"Actually, Chief Shepherd, I am trying to do my job. What can I help you with?" Meredith said with ice lacing her tone.

She was not going to forgive Derek anytime soon for the transgressions of the previous day nor was she going to be giving him the benefit of the doubt for a while still.

"Doctor Nelson, do you mind?" Derek said to the man standing next to Meredith.

"He can stay. We are working." Meredith said pointedly.

Jim Nelson was not a gossip and while Meredith would rather it was Callie or Addison or Cristina standing with her right now, she was more than prepared to accept this particular colleague as her backup if need be.

"Fine." Derek said, obviously not pleased with this development.

Doctor Nelson for his part seemed to have a mixed reaction to this new development. Meredith might have been amused at his double-take except this whole situation was quite serious and not so funny at all.

"Are you seriously telling me that you are willing to throw us away for Addison?" Derek asked without preamble.

Meredith rolled her eyes at him before she slid another scan up on the board and looked it intently. She was supposed to be doing her job, after all.

"And you're telling me, Derek Shepherd, that the ruin of our relationship is all my fault? I did not sleep with Syph Nurse, you know. In fact, until we were over, I did not sleep with Addison either. So don't you go taking any moral high ground with me." Meredith replied pointedly.

Derek had the grace to look ashamed. Well that was something at least.

"So, we are over?" Derek looked uncomfortable, contrite, and confused.

Doctor Nelson was studying the scans as if the meaning of life was to be found in them and Meredith noted that Callie Torres was walking up behind them and she had a concerned look on her face.

"We are. It's up to you to accept this gracefully, Derek. It can be easy, or it can be hard. The fact is I am in love with Addison Montgomery and that is how it is." Meredith said simply.

Derek's shoulders sagged in a resigned fashion, before he glanced at both Meredith and Doctor Nelson and accurately accessed that this was an argument he not only would not, but that he could not win.

Meredith felt a stab of sympathy for him as he turned to walk away, but only a small stab. She was certain that before this day was done the rumour mill would be chewing her up and spitting her out, so Derek would still have a long way to go to get back into her good graces.

As for when he got back into Addison's good graces, well it would be a long while. Meredith could still clearly remember the expression on Addison's face the night before when the redhead had spied the bruises on Meredith's wrists.

Turning back to the task at hand, Meredith smiled at her Attending doctor. "Thanks for not leaving." She said simply.

The man nodded and then Meredith turned her attention back to work. Whatever else happened it would have to wait until later.


Chapter 30

It was after the surgery that Meredith caught up with Addison again. The redhead caught up with Meredith as she getting ready to go to lunch.

"You okay?" Addison asked as they moved down to the cafeteria together.

"Yes, why?" Meredith asked, confused.

She wanted to grab Addison and kiss her, but right now she was not so comfortable with broadcasting their relationship through the hospital.

"I was talking to Callie earlier, and she said Derek was on your case again." Addison sounded concerned and Meredith was touched deeply.

"I'm fine. I think it is starting to sink in with him, though." Meredith said airily.

"Good." Addison leaned in to give Meredith a kiss on her cheek and Meredith balked slightly.

"I think I want to give him some time to have things sink in before the whole hospital knows about us." Meredith hastily explained at Addison's confused expression.

"Are you having regrets?" Addison sounded so forlorn that Meredith instantly regretted her hesitation.

Spying an On Call room, Meredith hoped it was empty and dragged Addison into it, slamming the door behind them and leaning against it.

"No, I am not having any regrets or second thoughts, Addison. I want you and only you and I am not ashamed of that." Meredith said, pulling Addison towards her and kissing her deeply.

The redhead responded at once, which was making it hard for Meredith to continue her train of thought. When they separated, Meredith gasped for breath and sagged into Addison. "God, I want you." Meredith could feel her body come alive with the proximity of Addison and the kiss they had just shared.

Addison looked at her, all the insecurity gone from her face. The look in her lover's eyes was dark, hungry and wild.

Oh boy.

Meredith did not have time to think before Addison had pinned her against the door and was roughly puling on the waistband of her scrubs and sliding an elegant hand down and past her panties and then into Meredith.


Rising to her toes, Meredith pushed down on those questing fingers and felt herself soak Addison's hand as she lost her mind to pleasure. Moaning into Addison's ear, Meredith grabbed at the white coat her lover wore in an effort to stay upright.

"Fuck me." Meredith hissed into Addison's ear, wanting to feel the other woman go wild.

It worked, Addison pushed her against the door and thrust her fingers almost painfully into Meredith. It was an exquisite agony and Meredith could feel her self control slip an falter as her climax washed over her with crazy intensity.

"Oh, Jesus. Addison." Meredith bit her lip hard as she strove not to broadcast to the whole hallway beyond the door what was going on inside the room.

Addison was gasping in Meredith's ear as they stood frozen and fused together against the door with Meredith's legs pretty much straddling Addison's hand and the aftershocks of Meredith's orgasm tapered off.

Opening her eyes, Meredith looked at Addison. The redhead looked like she was about to explode.

Ah, well. There were ways to fix that.

Deftly Meredith pulled Addison's hand out of her scrubs and then switched their positions, so that Addison was pinned against the door. "Your turn." She whispered and slid down Addison's body to the floor.

Addison wore skirts. What luck. A few moments of careful fumbling and Meredith leaned in and kissed Addison where she was desperate for a kiss. A breathless groan above her made Meredith smile. It was intoxicating to have this power over Addison.

It was better than surgery, hands down.

This was a quickie, though. Meredith pushed her tongue against Addison and then snuck a hand past the knee high stockings that Addison had on and used it to spread Addison open wider. The reaction was instant and Meredith could feel Addison begin to come against her tongue.

The frantic movement of hips against Meredith was mind blowing in its intensity and for long moments Meredith was enraptured by it.

Nothing was better than this.

"Oops!" Arizona Robbins said as she stepped into the On Call room and found Addison and Meredith washing up and kissing each other, though not necessarily in that order.

"Um." Meredith offered.

Addison just started to giggle.

"So, would you two like to do lunch?" The blonde paediatric surgeon finally managed to say after some more vaguely uncomfortable moments.

"Sure." Addison managed to say and waved Arizona off. "We'll meet you there." She added and thankfully Arizona took the hint and left.

Meredith did not miss the fact that Arizona was about to crack up at their predicament. She'd have her revenge though, someday.

"You know, I was talking to Callie and she says that Addison does not want to have kids." Addison said as they made themselves more presentable.

"Oh? I can't imagine Callie without kids. What will they do?" Meredith answered, deciding that there was no way she was going to get rid of her just fucked look with a small sink and in a short period of time.

"I guess they will work it out, or Callie will find someone who does want kids. I hope they work it out, they make a cute couple." Addison said and then moved towards the door.

"Do you want kids?" Addison asked Meredith rather abruptly.

Blinking slightly at the suddenness of the question Meredith remembered that Addison was not able to have children of her own. "Yes, Addison. I want kids." Meredith said softly.

"I'm glad." Addison replied and stepped towards Meredith and enfolded her in a hug. "I'm very glad." The tall redhead added.

Meredith speculated that Callie and Arizona were probably starting to wonder where they were by now, Meredith gently pulled Addison towards the door and a few moments later they were once more walking towards the cafeteria.

It was easy to spot Callie and Arizona when they arrived. The pair made a distinctive couple and in a few minutes Meredith and Addison managed to join them. From the look on Callie's face she knew exactly what they had been doing just minutes before and she really did look like the cant that swallowed the canary.

"So, I guess eating some ice cream helped?" Callie said to Meredith and Meredith snorted with laughter.

Addison looked at her and raise an eyebrow. Hmm. Maybe Meredith would tell her later what that was about, or maybe not.

"Just look at them." This was Addison's voice and Meredith looked over to where her lover was pointing.

It was a gaggle of nurses which included Syph Nurse, all of whom were looking in her direction. Looking around, Meredith saw universally disapproving looks on the faces of the three doctors she was seated with.

"The one in the middle is who I caught Derek with." Meredith murmured, taking a bite of her sandwich.

"You caught him cheating?" This was Callie's voice and it was laced with ice.

"Yep. Yesterday in fact." Meredith elaborated.

She wanted to make friends with Callie and Arizona. She and Addison would need allies, regardless of how well this went and Meredith also genuinely liked the twosome. Privately she could not imagine why Arizona did not want kids, but it was really none of her business. She did hope, like Addison did, that they would work it out however.

"If only they knew this was the tuna-melt table." Arizona said and both Callie and Addison burst out laughing immediately.

Meredith took a moment longer and then she too was laughing too hard to eat. Ah, the tuna-melt club. How off colour, stereotypical and perfect. Maybe they should make tee shirts? Meredith knew that Cristina would approve, though she would probably not be wearing said tee shirt even if she were to be made an honorary member of the club.

The rest of lunch proceeded smoothly and with the three women looking out for her, Meredith was able to enjoy her overpriced sandwich and get back to work with a spring in her step. It was good to have friends, both old and new.

Best of all it was good to have Addison.

It was the best, actually.

By evening Meredith was feverish to spend some time alone with Addison, in fact the whole night would be even better actually.

The other woman had declared though that room service could not be eaten by the sane two nights in a row so by the time Meredith got off work, Addison had found a nice little restaurant not far from the hotel for them to have dinner and talk.

"We won't be doing much talking if we go to the hotel room, Meredith." Addison had explained with a smile when Meredith had inquired why they needed a restaurant to talk.

Addison did have a point.

"Do you want me to move to Seattle?" Addison asked as they sat down in a booth in the little Italian restaurant that Addison had taken them to.

"Yes, of course." Meredith said at once before she could even think twice about it.

"You need a place to stay?" She added immediately after almost shocking herself, actually.

"Three dates and we're moving in together?" Addison asked, not sounding displeased by the notion.

"How U-Haul of us." Addison murmured and Meredith laughed.

Google has proven very useful, actually. Meredith actually understood that little quip.

"Well, if we don't move in together, one or the other of our places will be sorely neglected." Meredith mused as she speared a meatball with her fork.

"A valid point." Addison replied.

"We need to redecorate though." The redhead added after a beat.

"Yeah, we do." Meredith felt a bit dumbfounded as to the ease at which this conversation was being conducted.

The same conversation with Derek had been fraught and awkward. Meredith felt none of these things with Addison. "When would you move?" Meredith asked, hoping she did not sound too eager or needy.

"I need to tie off some loose ends in California and pack, and there is someone there you are going to have to accept into your life. I think you'll like him." Addison hedged as she took a sip of her wine and made Meredith jealous of the wineglass.

"Someone?" Meredith asked, wondering what sort of skeleton in the closet Addison was going to bring up.

"What, you're hiding a boyfriend in LA or something?" Meredith tried not to splutter as she spoke.

Meredith resolved to deal with whatever it was like an adult. Somehow.

"Yep. He's very important to me." Addison sounded wistful as she spoke and Meredith felt her guts seize.

"Meredith, calm down. It's my cat, Milo." Addison deadpanned and the giggled like a schoolgirl.

Meredith felt the rubber band of tension in her viscera relax all at once and she glared at Addison. "Sorry, I just had to." Addison snickered and Meredith decided to forgive her, but she also decided that she would get back at Addison at some suitable opportunity.

"You're so bad." Meredith wanted to throw her napkin at Addison.

"Fine, you can bring your pussy with you. I am sure it will love my house." Meredith said primly. "Our house." She amended after a moment.

Addison smiled warmly at her. "I'd also like to show you where I have been living and working and I'd love you to meet my friends as well." Addison sounded almost shy as she said it and Meredith reached over the table to grab her lover's hand.

"It's a date. When do we go on this trip?" Meredith said, eager now to find out more and wanting to do whatever it took to make Addison feel wanted.

She also simply loved the idea of learning more about Addison and well, California was a nice place to visit. It had been a while for Meredith.

"Soon. I need to make some phone calls before I know any sort of doable timeframe." Addison explained with an expressive wave of her hand.

"Okay. Let me know when you know and I will beg, borrow and steal the days off." Meredith assured Addison.

The redhead smiled brilliantly at Meredith and Meredith felt suffused with warmth and happiness.

Derek's words from the day before seemed like a lifetime away now and truth be told, they were a lifetime away.

It was about three am when Meredith stirred and opened her eyes. She was sleeping in a tangle of Addison and sheets and her body had the lassitude and pleasant ache of someone who had been having lots of very good sex recently.

They had discovered upon arriving back at the hotel the previous night that making love to a woman was something one had an exponential leaning curve about. Meredith already felt much more confident in her abilities and that confidence was enhanced by the fact that Addison responded so readily to her and did not hesitate to show Meredith just how good things felt or just what she wanted.

Meredith had raided her locker for spare toiletries and clothes before she had left work, but she was beginning to speculate that she should back a whole suitcase and leave it in the car. She knew that Addison would come back to Meredith's house, but Meredith also understood that it was a grey area.

Mainly, Meredith needed to change locks, clean out extra junk, banish Derek and her mother from the space, and have an extreme makeover done to the interior and exterior. No structural or plumbing issues were in need of addressing, basically just a fresh coat of paint and modernising the overall nature of the house.

She wanted to do that, and she wanted to do it soon. The hotel was comfortable, but it felt transient and if Addison was going to be moving up to Seattle again, Meredith wanted to be able to provide her with the space she had promised.

Addison would need a study and she would also need a room to call her own, perhaps the two could be combined somehow? She'd need to make some discreet inquiries and maybe when they went to LA she could have some expensive, competent builders and interior designers tear through the house over a long weekend.

It was an exciting thought and Meredith resolved to make some inquiries as soon as it wad practical to do so. She was looking forward to it actually, not only for Addison's sake, but to simply begin La Vita Nuova.

In that book which is my memory,

On the first page of the chapter that is the day when I first met you,

Appear the words, 'Here begins a new life'

Quoting Dante to herself at the Witching Hour? Meredith decided that she was going a little insane, but only in the best way possible.

Addison was awake.

Meredith was uncertain just when the other woman had woken up but she suddenly became aware that her lover was awake.


Is that what they were?

"Are we girlfriends?" Meredith asked the woman laying in bed with her who had taken up running her hand lightly along Meredith's side.

It felt so good.

"I don't mind that term." Addison said in a low voice.

"Me either." Meredith replied, gathering Addison close to herself.

"I want to do an extreme makeover of my house. I want it to be our house." Meredith said suddenly.

She had not been planning to broach this subject with Addison just now, but it needed to be discussed and Meredith could not imagine her life without Addison in it so it needed to be discussed now.

"Let me help." Addison was clearly talking about not only ideas, but money as well.

Meredith supposed that if it was going to be Addison's house as well that it was only fair.

"I want a Jacuzzi in the bathroom and a new bed. King sized." Addison continued after a beat.

"Alright." Meredith acquiesced easily.

It was important. And she wanted a new bed as well, since they were going to be banishing ghosts after all.

"With strong springs. We might wear the mattress out otherwise." Addison's voice was coloured with laugher and Meredith found herself giggling in the dimness of the room. "Better make sure it has a strong frame too."

At the words Meredith burst out laughing and gently poked Addison in the ribs. She heard a squawk of protest. "I surrender." Addison gasped and Meredith relented with a smile.

It was a comfortable conversation and Meredith felt very peaceful as they lay together in the night.

Again Meredith wanted to tell Addison, I love you.

Again Meredith hesitated, felt chocked by the words.

She really needed to grow up a bit, and soon.

"You okay?" Addison asked, seeming to sense the conflict within Meredith.

"Yes. As long as you are with me, I am okay." Meredith answered and rolled over to embrace Addison fully, relishing the feel of their naked bodies so close together.

A frisson of arousal made it's presence known in Meredith's nerves, but right now she just wanted to feel Addison, hold her and maybe sleep once more.

They could make love later.

Addison sighed and Meredith could hear deep contentment in the sound. Again she was overwhelmed by the desire to tell Addison about her feelings, but Meredith instead closed her eyes and let the somnolence of the night and the peace of the moment was over her.

It was just minutes before they were both sleeping once more.


Chapter 31

Meredith had a later shift than in the morning so when she arrived at the hospital she arrived alone. Well almost alone. Cristina was waiting for her by the entrance of the hospital with a cup of coffee in her hand.

"You okay?" Meredith asked her friend.

It looked as if Cristina had not gotten any real sleep the night before and unlike the interruptions to Meredith's rest, it looked like whatever had disrupted Cristina's sleep was not good.

"Owen." Cristina mumbled.

Ah yes, the traumatised trauma surgeon. Meredith had a feeling that Cristina was going to have her heart broken by the man, despite everything. It was clear that Owen Hunt and Teddy Altman still carried something for each other, be it a soldier's bond, or some other thing, but it did not bode well for Cristina.

"Come on, you can bitch at me while I get changed." Meredith said, linking her arm with her Cristina's and walking them to the Resident's Lounge.

"He was up all night, doing pushups, and dusting, and staring at himself in the mirror. I don't know what to do." Cristina said as she sat on a bench in the Lounge and sipped at her own coffee.

"He's broken, Cristina. It's not up to you to fix him, but you do need to decide if you can handle him broken." Meredith offered as she sat down next to her friend.

She could still visualise Cristina's face when Callie had called Meredith in the middle of the night a while ago. Owen, in the throes of a bad dream had attempted to strangle Cristina and it had shocked them all. It had horrified Owen.

Meredith did not think that the Trauma Attending was a bad man, or anything, but he had issues that he needed to deal with instead of inflicting them on Cristina so voraciously. Cristina could love Owen, but she could not carry him. Not all of him anyway.

"You need help to hide the bodies?" Meredith asked her friend, bumping shoulders with Cristina.

"You'll be the first to know." Cristina said, sounding a little more like her usual self.

Meredith was glad that she had been able to affect some change for Cristina's mood. They really needed to do some hanging out soon. Meredith had been so busy discovering the joys of lesbianism that it really did feel like forever since they had last just, had a girls night to themselves.

It was time to get to work.

Meredith said bye to Cristina and walked out of the Lounge, making her way to the board. Her own personal gaggle of Interns were waiting for her and Meredith decided that perhaps today they would be doing something like lab work. The kids needed to know the less glamorous side of being a doctor, after all.

As she arrived she saw Addison standing quite close to Mark Sloan and he was leaning in to speak to her with his hand on her hip and the smile on his face clearly broadcasting his intent. He was far too close to Addison.

Meredith felt an ugly feeling slither in her stomach as the sight. Addison seemed to laugh at what he said and then she nudged him out of the way and swished away with an extra spring in her step.

What was that about?

Meredith wanted to go and kick Mark in the shin or something.

Meredith would have to wait to find out though. It's not like she could run after Addison and ask just now.

Damn it.

It would be three hours before Meredith was free to go look for Addison. That said, finding the other woman was proving to be a challenge. Finally Meredith resorted to sending the redhead a message, hoping to be able to expedite the process.

"In a meeting." Came the reply.

What did that mean? A meeting for what? Addison had not mentioned any meeting this morning or yesterday for that matter.

Maybe it had been scheduled at short notice.

Stop being paranoid. Meredith admonished herself. She would not resort to suspicion, or accusation again. Addison had forgiven Meredith once for overly jealous behaviour, so Meredith was determined not to have a repeat performance.

Mark and Addison were friends, even if they had a history and he was a Manwhore. Even though Derek had said that Addison would not be able to commit fully to Meredith. Even though Meredith felt the pit of her stomach being eaten by uncertainty.

Meredith would not assume anything.


Spotting Mark Sloan walking down the hall, Meredith could not help but look at him suspiciously. He was looking way too pleased with himself for some reason.


"I'm sorry, Meredith. I have to stay at the hospital tonight." Addison said into the phone and Meredith felt her heart plunge.

No Addison tonight?

"I hate sleeping in On Call rooms." Addison whined and Meredith, despite still feeling peeved about what she had seen earlier with Mark Sloan felt a pang of sympathy for Addison.

"You want me to bring you anything?" Meredith figured that she had nothing better to do, she could always stop back at the hospital with a care package or something.

"Nah. I'll just order in a pizza or something. God this sucks. Sorry." Meredith could hear Addison shift on the other end of the line and there was a murmur of a male voice somewhere in the background


"Okay. Well, call me if you need anything." Meredith eventually replied and tried not to sound too clingy.

"Goodnight, Meredith." Addison said distractedly as the male voice in the background got louder.

"Goodnight." Meredith said and closed the phone.

Suddenly this morning felt very far away. They had managed to make love before Addison left and Meredith fancied that she could still taste Addison on her tongue over twelve hours later.

And now Addison was spending the night in the hospital after being all chummy with Mark Sloan this morning and Meredith was pissed.

Meredith walked to Joe's and decided that she would manage to avoid the tequila tonight, but she would permit herself a few beers before she went home. This was not going to be easy.

It would be an entirely different thing except that Mark and Addison had a significant and extensive history together. Addison had cheated on Derek with Mark and while technically Mark and Lexie had not been together when Mark had slept with Addison in LA, it still had seemed that Mark had easily given himself over to Addison when his heart was supposed to be with Lexie still.

Deciding that she might actually get a headache if she thought about this too much, Meredith went to sit down at the bar and ordered a beer. Thankfully the place was quiet and she would not have to contend with too many jerks trying to pick her up tonight. Meredith feared that tonight she might be too tempted to much less than polite and that could cause problems.

She had never been a shrinking violet, after all.

"You okay?" Joe asked her after she downed a large swallow of beer.

"I will be. Girl trouble." Meredith offered.

Joe was good at keeping things to himself and he was a good listener. He was also gay. Did this mean that Meredith now somehow belonged to the Gay Club? Was there some sort of secret handshake?

Maybe she would go home after another beer and do some more research on google. She really had no clue at all. It was quite something to be mostly self assured about one's sexuality for a lifetime and then suddenly wake up gay. Or at least gay for Addison Montgomery.

Snatching up her phone, Meredith peered at the display. There was a text message. When had that arrived? Hastily Meredith activated the phone and went to read the message and in her haste managed to delete it before she could even see who it was from. Damn it!

Had it been from Addison?

Meredith wanted to talk with Addison. She had not even begun to scrape the surface of what she wanted to know and learn about the other woman.

Throwing caution to the wind, Meredith typed out a quick message and sent it to the woman in question; her girlfriend. Lover. And right now the one person on this planet who seemed to have the power to drive Meredith crazy. They really needed to talk about Mark Sloan and about boundaries with exes and others.

Meredith paid for her beer and made her way out of the bar.

No reply from Addison. Just fucking great.

"Yeah, I need to get back to the hospital." Meredith did not catch the rest of what was being said, but she did catch on to the fact that the speaker was none other than Mark Sloan.

Glancing over, Meredith saw that the man was sitting with a very pretty woman who appeared to be enraptured with Mark. McSteamy, or well, McSleazy was hard at work as usual. But what was he going to do back at the hospital? He was a plastic surgeon, not exactly called upon to do open heart surgery or monitor pregnant women in distress at all hours of the day or night.

Meredith glanced at her phone.

Still no message from Addison.

Damn it.

Meredith left the bad and started her trek back to her car. One and a half beers would not impede her driving ability and the reality of the matter was that she simply wanted to get home. No doubt the fridge was crawling away on its own by now and she had not seen the space since Derek and her had broken up.

Despite his flaws, Derek was not the type of man to leave a mess or take what was not his, so Meredith was not expecting a disaster. That was some relief at least. The last thing that Meredith needed was something else to worry about on top of everything else.

When morning eventually came, Meredith woke up in a terrible mood, with her period, an imprint of her phone on her face, cramps from hell and half a migraine. All the hallmarks of a fantastic day.

And still no call or contact from Addison. Just the knowledge that Mark had possibly spent the night in the hospital and there had been pizza and an On Call room and Addison there as well.

Was it normal to feel this jealous?

Meredith could not remember feeling this way about Derek, ever.

As she spend to the hospital with a too strong latte that was going to give her a stomach ache in hand, Meredith gritted her teeth and tried to rationalise her feelings.

She was in love with Addison. She could not bear the thought that anyone else so much as breathed in her direction in an even obliquely sexual or romantic way. The problem was she had no concrete idea about how exactly Addison felt. They had not had a discussion about feelings and Meredith was starting to realise that this as a serious omission on both their parts.

Without the definitive knowledge about who they were together and what they meant to each other, there were too many gaps in the story and those gaps were easy to fill with assumption and hyperbole.

Meredith resisted the urge to pound her sensitive surgeon hands on the steering wheel of the car. Why had Addison been so solicitous towards Mark? It was clear that the Plastic Surgeon had propositioned Meredith's girlfriend, so why had her girlfriend not rebuffed him in a fashion that left no doubt that she had said no?


Taking a sip of her angry-stomach coffee, Meredith pulled into the parking lot of the hospital and turned off the ignition. Glaring out of the window Meredith considered the emotion of hope. She had finally found someone she wanted to spend her life with and none of it was uncomfortable, but she had no frame of reference as to how to proceed from here.

They had a hotel room, an On Call room, a handful of outings, and a small suitcase thrown in the backseat of Meredith's car. What else did they have?

Meredith sighed and got out of the car, grabbing her things and tossing the remnants of her coffee into a nearby trash. It was time to face the day.

Her phone beeped a message and Meredith snatched it up, this time taking great care not to delete the damn thing in her haste to read it.

Going back to the hotel. See you later, okay?

Addison was still at the hospital?

Gathering her pace, Meredith hurried as she wanted to speak with her errant girlfriend before anything further happened. She had to know what was going on and she wanted to see with her own eyes the state that Addison was in.

On a more realistic front Meredith knew that she would not be able to tell if Addison had been fucked by Mark Sloan all night, but that did not calm or stop Meredith's lizard brain at all. The primitive side of her nature had to know, regardless of the possible answer.

As it was, Meredith caught Addison as the other woman was heading towards her rented car that was parked in the same parking lot that Meredith was in, albeit in the Attending Doctor area, which was closer, better, nicer.

"Addison!" Meredith called out and Addison spanned her head up and looked around.

"Meredith!" Addison seemed happy to see her, Meredith supposed.

"This is all I deserve?" Meredith said, holding up her phone.

Addison looked perplexed and shocked at the statement.

"You disappear into the bowels of the hospital all night and I get no word from you except a see you later in the morning?" Meredith continued.

"And this after I saw Mark Sloan all over you yesterday morning?" Meredith added, feeling her anger mount.

"You what? Meredith what the hell are you talking about?" Addison put her bag down on the car that she had been about to get into.

"I saw that Manwhore, Mark Sloan all over you yesterday morning. Everyone saw it. What the hell am I supposed to assume, Addison?" Meredith hissed, feeling distressed.

It did not help that the headache that she had been nursing all morning was beginning to feel like the labour pains that would herald the birth of Athena, who would no doubt burst fully formed from Meredith's forehead at any second now.

Zeus, what a mess!

Addison seemed to have gotten over her shock now and Meredith could see a shift as the redhead prepared to go on the offensive.

Fantastic. A huge argument on top of everything else. What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day this was becoming and at a full gallop too.

"Have you been stewing all night?" Addison asked, bewilderment lacing her voice.

"You could have sent me a text, or something!" Meredith half yelled.

"I did." Addison cut Meredith off. "And if you had bothered to read it you would know I had a GSW, a pregnant woman was shot. I managed to save both mother and child and I have not had any sleep at all yet, Meredith." Addison exclaimed sounding frustrated.

"And as for Mark Sloan, if you had bothered to come closer, or had tried to ask me, instead of assuming some shit, you would know that I told him I was with someone I really and to go away." Addison continued, fatigue colouring her voice.

"That's not what it looked like." Meredith hissed. "You let him touch you and you and Mark have history. What the hell am I supposed to think?" Meredith queried, feeling fed up and tearful.

"Meredith, what you should have done is not assume anything. You should have asked me. Mark and I are in the past, the only present I want is with you and the only future I have been considering for a long time now, is with you. Right now though I can't imagine why the hell I am, though." Addison picked up her bag and rolled her shoulders.

"Yes, I cheated on Derek with Mark, but it was not that simple, Meredith. There are three sides to the story and you have only heard one of them." Addison continued. "This is not working. I can't be with someone who questions my every move and motive and who can't trust me." Meredith realised that Addison was almost in tears now.

"If you honestly think that my relationship with Mark in any way impacts our relationship and you won't let that thought go, then maybe we are not good for each other. Maybe I am not good enough for you." Addison shook her head and seemed to blink as she spoke and Meredith began to realise just how hurt Addison was.

And she, Meredith had hurt her.

"You should have asked me." Addison said sadly before she pulled up her shoulders and grabbed her things.

"If you can hold a civil conversation, we'll talk later, Meredith. I have to get some sleep. And for your information, Mark left the hospital as soon as he had reassured one of his panicking facelift patients that she would not look like The Bride of Frankenstein once her bandages were removed. Or that's the gossip I heard this morning anyway." Addison said quietly.

"You should have asked, Meredith." Addison said in a deeply hurt tone after a pause and then got into the car, started it up and without a backwards glance drove away.

Meredith would have given anything to take the whole sordid mess back. She wanted to call Addison back and say that she was sorry. That she loved her.

So why didn't she?



Chapter 32

Well, the day had gone from worse, to terrible. Meredith discovered that she was on Derek's service almost as soon as she had entered the hospital and after half an hour of trying, she realised that she was not going to be able to swap with anyone. Apparently everyone had been told not to swap with her.


A day stuck with Derek and Addison was not reacting to phone calls or pages. Meredith had left one halting voicemail, but it had not even come close to saying what she really wanted to say to the other woman so she would have to hope that either eventually Addison would take her call, or that she would call Meredith.

The other woman was right. Meredith was going to have to get over her trust issues in order for this to work and it was going to have to happen with relative swiftness. She could not keep assuming the worst.

"Is this how it's going to be?" Derek asked her out of the blue as they examined scans.

"What?" Meredith asked him, surprised.

"The silent treatment? You know, we do have to work together." Derek said in reply.

"I suppose that is why you forbade anyone to swap with me?" Meredith asked.

She had actually forgotten that she was standing next to Derek, her mind was so focused on the problem with Addison.

"What's it going to take to get you to behave more professionally?" Derek inquired.

"An apology for forcing yourself on me the other day would be a start, Doctor Shepherd." Meredith said icily.

To his credit, Derek flinched at her tone and at the reminder.

"You're right. I'm sorry. That was not me, you know that Meredith." Derek implored and he sounded sincere.

"It better never be you again around me, Derek. I do not love you and I do not want you. You have to accept this or we will not be able to work together." Meredith said to him and looked directly into his eyes as she said it.

"Can you give me some time to get used to the idea, though? A grace period where I can be an ass and make some mistakes?" He asked after a pause.

It was not an unreasonable request.

"Fine." Meredith said. "I don't want to talk about this anymore right now, I have other things on my mind you know. The world does not in fact revolve around you." Meredith tried to gentle her words, but the truth was that Derek was going to have to prove his sincerity before Meredith warmed up to him at all.

History or no, he had said some unforgivable things to her.

Right now it was time to focus on work though. Meredith could not afford to screw anything up right now, this included things with Addison. There was little she could do about Addison right now short of skipping out on work and going to go look for the other woman.

Maybe later she'd try that.

By lunchtime things were even worse. There was no Addison to be found or seen, and Meredith had been unable to pin down even Cristina to commiserate with. Mark had looked at her in a perplexed fashion when Meredith had scowled at him in passing and working with Derek was proving to be challenging.

The cafeteria messed up her order, the coffee was old and stale. Meredith decided that the universe hated her and that she wanted to leave and find Addison. Problem was that she might end up suspended if she did this. Derek did run a tight ship for the most part and while he had the leeway to be generous with the personal problems of his Interns, Attending's and Residents, he might not be able to justify this further up the ladder.

Meredith thought that it would be worth being suspended to find Addison. She did not want to lose the other woman and right now it felt like she was trying to hold onto a handful of dry sand on a windy day.

Now her phone was out of charge. Damn it.

It was time to scrub in for surgery and Meredith had no other choice but to put the useless chunk of technology to charge and do her job. At least her pager would still be working, for whatever that was worth.

She had to make this right, somehow. Failure was not an option. Addison was worth the fight and somehow she was going to win.

She had to.

The surgery had been long and hard. The patient had coded once and the high stress of the operating room had taken it's toll on everyone present. The only upsides of the whole thing were that for a few hours Meredith had been too busy to think too much about the mess with Addison and she and Derek had been able to work together well for a change.

The patient would also be fine for which Meredith was grateful as well of course.

Now as Meredith stood scrubbing out however, she was beginning to fall apart in earnest. When she had removed her scrub cap she had realised that it was the same one that Addison had given her. The green one with the little stars on it.

Would this and her memories be all that Meredith had left of Addison when all was said and done?

It was an unbearable thought that Meredith did not even want to think about but she had to. Unless she learned to trust Addison and especially unless Addison gave Meredith another chance, then this might indeed be the extent of it.

Derek walked in and caught Meredith lost in space, crying.

"Hey, are you okay?" Derek asked and he did sound so sincere.

"I argued with Addison this morning and now she is not taking my calls. It was stupid, the reason. Jealousy and trust issues." Meredith offered as she stuffed the scrub cap into her pocket and sighed.

"Come." Derek said and pulled Meredith gently.

Deciding that she had nothing better to do, Meredith went along with him and balked only a little bit when he opened the door of an On Call room. "Come on." Derek said when Meredith hesitated.

Once inside Derek took a deep breath and scratched at his stubble.

Meredith did nothing, said nothing. She held the scrub cap in her hands and snuffed pitifully. God, had another decade passed? Why was she being needy again?

"You love her?" He asked.

Meredith nodded.

"Does she know?" He asked.

Meredith shook her head, looking up at him in confusion. Why was he being so calm and reasonable and understanding?

When she looked at his face he looked almost compassionate. Why had he not been this way the other day? Well, there had been the shock of finding out somewhat out of the blue about Addison and the undeniable embarrassment of being caught in bed with another woman which had put him on the extreme defensive.

Seeming to sense her unspoken question, Derek shrugged and waved his hands around expressively as if to try to say something that he did not seem to have the words for.

"Stop over thinking this." He said before grabbing her by the shoulders and looking her in the eye.

"Meredith, you need to get changed and go find her. You need to find her, tell her you love her and clear the air and you need to trust her. She is a good woman. She has honour. The longer you leave this and the more time she has to think, the worse it will be. Go, go now." Derek said and took her hands with his own.

Meredith nodded at him and let him pull her into a bear hug. It felt good, even though she was still a little skittish about him. She even let him kiss her cheek and just as it managed to land on the corner of Meredith's mouth she heard the door open.

"What?" The voice of the newcomer said.


The look on the redhead's face was a riot of emotions ranging from hurt, to rage, to resignation. Addison did not stop to ask what was going on before she simply turned on her heel and walked away, leaving the door ajar.

"Go." Derek said, pushing Meredith towards the door. "Quickly, before she manages to escape." Derek added when Meredith stumbled.

Meredith hurried out the door and past the knowing, snide looks of the nurses at the nurses station and as she began to run, Meredith tried to extrapolate a shortcut to the parking lot. She had to intercept Addison.

It was now or never and never was just not an option anymore. Meredith cursed herself for not telling Addison that she loved her days ago, weeks ago. All this lost time and now these misunderstandings wasting more time.

Meredith knew how the embrace with Derek must have looked and she did not blame Addison for her reaction, but there would be no running away from this.

As Meredith charged outside she almost fell over. It was pouring rain outside and not just cats and dogs, but cows and horses, actually. Rushing out more carefully into the parking lot, Meredith frantically looked around for Addison's rented car or for Addison.


Goddamn it! Nothing!

Meredith stood in the dark night feeling utterly powerless and lost as hot tears trickled down her face while the rain soaked her to her skin.

Now what?


Chapter 33

Eventually Meredith pried herself loose from the parking lot and made her way indoors. She needed to change and she needed to talk with Derek, and Mark, and Callie and try to find out where Addison might go.

Meredith wished that she had a friend who was a cop so that she could put out an all points bulletin or something. Maybe she should actively pursue the idea of making some cop friends, one never knew when one would come in handy after all.

Back in the hospital Meredith made her way to the Resident's Lounge and pulled off her soaking clothes, drying herself off with a spare tee shirt before she pulled on a fresh set of scrubs and grabbed her id, pager and phone and went stalking through the hospital corridors in search of answers.

She had to find Addison.

Where would the redhead go when she was truly upset? Would she simply drive around aimlessly for a while? What could Meredith do to make this right?

Deciding to start with Callie, she headed for the elevators and was just about to hit the call button when her pager went off four times in succession, almost without pause between the pages.

Glancing down at the device, Meredith felt all her blood rush to her feet as she read the display.

911 Addison, Addie 911, 911 Montgomery, 911 ER

Oh shit.

Did mean what she thought it meant?

Oh no.

Please not Addison.

Oh God, please no.

This could not be happening.

Meredith lunge for the stairs and practically broke a land speed record leaping down them and actually falling at one point as she ran full tilt towards the ER.

Oh no.

Meredith's brain was alternating between shutting down from impending panic and going too fast from fear.

No, no, no.

Not this.

Time felt like it ws moving in slow motion as Meredith struggled to get it to speed up. Why wasn't she there yet? Why had Addison driven away so angrily? Oh God. The last time this sort of call had come into pagers around the hospital it had been because Meredith had drowned in Elliot Bay.


She could not think of anything else right now, or of anyone else for that matter. Only Addison...

Meredith's mind screamed as she rounded the final corner to the ER and felt strong arms capture her around the waist.

Lashing out, Meredith slapped at the person grabbing her only to have her hands caught in a gentle, yet strong grip. She had to get to Addison.

"Meredith." It was the voice of Owen Hunt.

Hysterical now, Meredith struggled to free herself, kicking viciously with her feet and heaving a satisfying grunt of pain from her captor, but not having the tight hold loosen at all.

"Let me go. I have to go to her." Meredith wailed and renewed her efforts.

A second pair of hands joined Owen's.

"Meredith!" This was Callie's voice which held a whip of command that broke through Meredith's state of mind enough to register.

Finally Meredith stopped struggling.

"You can't go in there." Callie said sadly, her face a mask of compassion.

Owen loosened his grip fractionally. His normally hard face was much softer than she had seen it before. Perhaps he knew more than he let on. He had been to war after all, it would stand to reason that he would see more and say less. Meredith still did not like him, though.

"She was in a car accident. Looks like a drunk driver hit her." Callie extrapolated when Meredith seemed unable to ask what was going on.

Oh no.


"What..?" Meredith found her voice.

"They don't know yet. Stay here. I will find out." Callie murmured, grabbing Meredith's hands as she spoke. "I'll find out and you will know. I promise." Meredith believed her.

Just then Cristina rounded the corner at a full run and at the arrival of her person, Owen let Meredith go. Cristina rushed up to Meredith and grabbed her by the shoulders. "I'm here." Her person said softly. "It's gonna be okay." Cristina added.

Meredith wanted to believe her. She needed to believe what Cristina was saying.

And now Callie had gone and Owen was standing by looking careworn.


Meredith slid down the wall as anguish, uncertainty and horror overwhelmed her.

In her mind she replayed the last words that she and Addison had spoken to each other and each word stabbed at Meredith with regret and pain.

Why couldn't she just grow up already? Meredith berated herself at her own stupid insecurities and stupidity.

If Addison had not driven off angrily this would not have happened. If Meredith had not driven her off then this would not have been like this. Addison would be safe in her arms and all would be well.

If only Meredith had not jumped to a conclusion about Mark Sloan and had not let her issues cloud the issue at hand so badly.

Someone walked up to where Meredith was sitting.

"She has suspected broken rubs with cardiac bruising and a concussion. They are still evaluating the situation. Lacerations and major bruising as well as whiplash injury." This was Bailey who spoke. "Callie is in there working on her." The surgeon extrapolated at Meredith's questioning gaze.

Cardiac bruising? Concussion?



Meredith buried her face in her hands and felt despair and denial wash over her.

This could not be happening. Not now. Not ever.


There were no answers forthcoming from Meredith's scattered thoughts as she felt the horror of the situation wash over her.

Then alarms began to blare from inside the room that they were working on Addison in. Addison was coding. Oh fuck, no!

Owen reacted to the alarm as if he had been burned and in the bat of an eye he had vanished into the room to help.

Meredith scrambled to her feet and tried to push her way towards Addison only to be captured by many arms.

"Someone go find out what is going on before Meredith has a stroke." A sharp order cracked out, this time from Bailey.

There was a scramble of feet as someone else obeyed. Undoubtedly one of the Interns who had been gathering. Meredith wanted them to be gone, but she also barely cared that they were there at all.

How could this be happening?

Not Addison.

Meredith held her hands against her chest, hoping to stop her heart from bleeding out inside of herself. Surely she was the one who needed some medical attention? It certainly felt like she was going to die any moment and Meredith thought that she ought to know, she had died before after all.

I never told her that I love her. That thought was repeating itself over and over in Meredith's mind as she let strong arms hold her up while she could not hold herself up anymore. Opening her eyes, Meredith looked into the soulful eyes of Doctor Jackson Avery, who had lowered himself to the floor to hold her steady. His eyes seemed older and wiser than he was and for a moment, Meredith felt a great kinship with the man.

Please don't die, Addison. It was a prayer, a request, a demand, and a supplication.

Meredith just hoped that someone was listening.

When the alarms had quieted down once more Meredith felt like she could breathe again. By now, extra Interns had been sent on their ways and only a core of people involved in Addison's care, or who were her friend, or who were there for Meredith remained.

The door adjacent to the waiting are opened and Derek came barging in. It looked like he had just come out of surgery, no doubt his page had come when he was occupied with something that he could not leave suddenly.

"Meredith." Derek said softly, looking at her.

Looking up at him Meredith could see the distress in his eyes and his posture and gained some insight into how he must have felt when Meredith had been in trauma and he had been out here waiting for her. It truly had been love between them, just not the forever after kind.

Kneeling down, Derek took Meredith's hands in his own. "I'll go see what is going on." He promised before he rose and attempted to get into the trauma room that contained Addison.

When he opened the door someone in the room immediately stepped out and pressured Derek to do the same. "You can't be in here, you know that." It was the voice of Richard Webber.

"I'm ordering you to let me in." Derek said angrily and glared at the man.

"Go be with Meredith, you know she needs someone who knows what she is going through. You know what it is, Derek. Go to her. Show her that the love she invested in you for all that time was worth it." Richard advised and not unkindly patted Derek on the shoulder.

They had been good friends once, Meredith could see that even now in their interactions.

Derek seemed to accept, at least for now, that he was not going to be allowed in to see Addison. Derek turned back to Meredith and moved to sit next to her. Jackson Avery immediately gave them space, but neither he or Cristina moved very far away for which Meredith was glad.

Bailey had gone back to work on Addison and Callie and Owen were working with her as well, so that left only a few stragglers and Alex, who was staring a hole in the wall but who had said nothing. Meredith knew that Alex and Addison had some sort of history together but she also knew that Alex, in his own emotionally stunted way, was trying to be there for her.

She appreciated the gesture.

Derek did bother to ask Meredith how she was doing. He simply put his arm around her and pulled her closer. "She'll be okay." He murmured.

"You can't know that." Meredith replied feeling like she was talking underwater.

"I have to believe it." Derek replied.

"You can't stand in the way anymore, Derek. Not even by accident." Meredith wanted everything to be clear and out in the open now.

If Addison survived this, Meredith would go and announce this and them from the hospital PA system if needed, or wanted. No more hiding, or stewing. No more stupid misunderstandings.

Tears started to escape Meredith's eyes again as she thought about the possibility of never seeing Addison smile, or laugh, or breathe again. The thought of never touching the other woman, or making love to her again was an impossible thing to even consider. All of this was impossible.

"I know I can't, Meredith." Derek finally replied. "And I won't, you have my word." He added, squeezing her a little tighter.

"When she wakes up, I will tell her exactly what was going on in the On Call room, and remind her not to be a fool. And the same goes for you, Meredith. Don't be a fool." Derek said softly as they huddled together on the floor waiting for some news and Meredith cried openly, not caring what anyone thought about her.

"I wanted something to happen to Addison. I wanted you back." Derek sounded broken as he said the words. "I only really realised today that I had lost you long before Addison came along and she was just incidental to the whole thing." Derek added.

"Forgive me?" He asked and this time he sounded sincere.

Meredith took a deep breath and considered his words. She did want to start from a clean slate. "I forgive you." She whispered, wiping her eyes with the sleeve of her shirt.

"You deserve to be happy, Meredith. So does Addison." Derek murmured and pulled her close again.

Cristina leaned in and nudged Meredith, who looked at her. Her best friend smiled for her, one of the rare Cristina smiles that Meredith wondered if the woman shared with anyone else. Meredith wanted to think they were special, just for her. In any case, it was good to have these people around her as they waited.

"I can see you love her." Derek said after a while.

Meredith just nodded, willing time to go faster and wanting anyone to come out of the room and tell her that everything was going to be okay.

Alarms began to blare again and this time Meredith leapt to her feet and barged through everyone in order to look into the room that they were working on Addison in. Owen Hunt and Teddy Altman were working on the redhead's heart and Bailey and Richard were working in seamless tandem with nurses standing by.

Addison was coding again. Meredith felt her blood run cold as the machines that surrounded Meredith went insane and then the redhead flatlined.

On God! Meredith pounded on the door and window and saw that the efforts to revive Addison intensified exponentially. Medically Meredith knew that the injury Addison suffered was mainly an impact to her heart and that it was technically not as severe as it could be.

It only mattered that Bailey had a serious look on her face and that Owen was looking at his watch and at the clock on the wall of the room.

Addison could not die. It was impossible for that to happen.

Meredith continued to pound on the window, throwing herself against it and now she was shouting through the glass, frantic. Someone grabbed at her but this time Meredith brushed the attempt off. They would have to knock her unconscious to get her to give up on Addison.

Reaching for the door and viciously twisting the handle, Meredith howled in frustration as she found her way blocked. Kicking the door with her blue sneakers, Meredith rushed back to the window and looked in.

Slapping the glass, Meredith felt a rage engulf her. Addison would not die because they gave up. Owen was talking. He looked cool and detached as he spoke and Bailey looked like she was getting ready to hit him.

He was saying words that Meredith was not going to let him say.

There would be no time of death for Addison Montgomery.

Meredith hit the unbreakable window with all of her might, drawing the gaze of all the doctors present in the room. Meredith locked eyes with Bailey, seeing the despair in the intense face of the woman.

No, don't give up. Meredith pleased with her eyes, not caring what anyone thought, or saw and not caring if she had to keep pounding on the window with the chair until security hauled her away. She was not giving up.

Bailey nodded at her slowly before she diverted her attention to Owen and said something sharply, taking the paddles from him.

"She's dead!" Meredith heard Owen yell.

Bailey gave the man a death glare that would have frightened the paint of a wall, but Meredith was too scared to do anything but breathe. Addison could not die. She forbade it, and so did Bailey apparently.

Meredith watched, horrified and fascinated and frightened. She prayed and she prepared to hit the window again with a chair this time, if needed.

It was clear that Bailey had not let him finish his pronouncing of Addison's death, be he a soldier or not, Meredith knew that he would not try to stop her. No one would dare stop Doctor Miranda Bailey if they valued their continuing good health.

"I have not given her permission to die, and if you are going to give up then get out." Meredith heard that clearly and Callie was then at Bailey's side helping.

Owen did not react until Richard shouldered him aside and took his place. The trauma surgeon looked defeated and he certainly was out numbered too.


Meredith cursed herself bitterly as she waited, poised on eggshells that were as sharp as jagged pieces of broken glass.

Why had she been so stupid?

I love you was not so hard to say. Was it?

Meredith prayed some more and hoped that someone was listening.

Behind the glass Owen was arguing with Bailey and Bailey was ignoring him.

Meredith felt a wave anxiety wash over her as she took a deep breath and tried not to throw up. Come on Addison. Don't die. You can't. I am not done loving you yet!

Was anyone listening?

In horrified rapture Meredith watched as they worked, unaware that her hands hurt or that she was crying and shaking. Unaware of everything else, not aware of anything else. Just Addison.

Live! Live, damn it. Live! Meredith whispered to herself over and over again.


Chapter 34

So intently focused as she was, Meredith almost missed it when the commotion finally stopped and an eerie calm and silence fell over the trauma area. Meredith felt her blood run cold. Had Addison died? Why was everything quiet?

Looking into the trauma room Meredith could see that Bailey looked calm enough and the machines seemed to be working again, but what did it mean? Bailey was out of sight and Owen was turned away.

What the hell was going on? The frantic thought raced through Meredith's head as she waited, wondered, and worried.

Finally the door opened and Richard stepped out. His face was impossible to read. Was this the end? Was Addison dead? They had barely begun.

Please, no.

Meredith wanted to throw up, maybe she would. Strong hands pulled her to her feet and supported her as Richard came closer.

"She is stable." He said quickly as everyone else pressed around him to get an update.

At the words Meredith felt her knees give way. Thank goodness Derek and Jackson were there to hold her up.

She dimly perceived cell phones being whipped out around as the hospital grapevine was informed of the new developments. It would take five minutes for everyone to know the good news. It was better than broadband.

"She will get a full set of films and will need to stay in the hospital for a few days for observation due to the cardiac bruising." Richard continued.

It sounded too good to be true.

She had to see for herself that Addison was okay.

"She'll be awake soon. For now we are keeping her down here but she'll be transferred before nightfall." The stately surgeon added before he held out his hand to Meredith.

"You coming?" He asked. "She'll need a friendly face when she wakes up." Meredith took his hand and after glancing gratefully at Jackson, Derek and Cristina she followed Richard into the trauma room.

Meredith immediately looked at her girlfriend and chocked back a sob.

Oh, Addison.

Meredith walked up to the bed and looked questioningly at Mark, Bailey and Callie who were attending the fallen doctor.

"Tell me how bad it is." Meredith implored.

She had to know.

"She has broken ribs and concussion and a sprained wrist. Her heart is bruised." Bailey began and as Meredith watched, Mark Sloan began to stitch up cuts on the redhead's body.

Technically a plastic surgeon was not needed for lacerations to the body, but Mark would have to be dragged away kicking and screaming if anyone tried to stop him from stitching up Addison's face.

He was Addison's friend after all.

There would be no scar.

"She will need her left ACL repaired in a few days and she has a hairline fractures in her left foot." This was Callie who spoke.

Meredith could hear the professionalism and the fear in Callie's voice as she spoke. Walking over to Callie, Meredith enfolded the brunette in a brief hug. Callie had been in here when Addison had coded and they were friends. Good friends.

"The surgery will happen tomorrow if Teddy okay's it and then she can go home the day after." Bailey explained and Meredith watched as Miranda petted Addison's hair back from her forehead.

How hard this had to have been for these good people. Meredith resolved to remember just how good her friends and colleagues were, no matter what.

Even Mark Sloan.

As Meredith stood by Addison, holding her hand, she heard a soft moan before Addison's eyes fluttered open.

Oh my God.

Meredith felt tears spring forth from her eyes as she saw the woman she loved come alive again.

"Now you see that, Doctor Hunt? I don't give up on my friends. These people are my family, my children. I don't give up until my arms don't work, and then I will damn well use my legs if I have to, and if that fails, well I will get another family member to step in." Meredith absently heard Bailey lecturing Owen Hunt in the background as she carefully moved as close as possible to Addison.

Without hesitation, Meredith caressed Addison's face and crouched down so that her lover would not have to focus on anything too far away.

"Hi." Meredith whispered gently.

Bleary eyes turned to look at her and Addison's face pulled itself into a half smile at seeing Meredith. It broke and repaired Meredith's heart in one swift moment.

Leaning in, Meredith gently kissed Addison on the lips, being so gentle that it felt like the brush of a butterfly against her lips.

"I love you." Meredith said softly but clearly.

Addison's eyes got big and Meredith could feel the pressure on her hand increase as the redhead reacted. She could also hear Mark react as he worked on Addison's opposite shoulder. "Damn, two hot women just kissed and I don't think I am dreaming either." He murmured, totally inappropriately and Meredith could have almost kissed him for the statement as it was so normal and so Mark which meant that all was well.

Looking up, Meredith also saw that most of the people who had been in the anteroom with her were looking into the trauma room and had witnessed this. In five minutes the whole hospital would know and that was just fine with Meredith.

This was not something that she was going to joke about or hesitate about every again, not if she could help it.

"I love you too." Addison whispered hoarsely. The words were music to Meredith's ears and she felt a huge weight lift off her chest when she heard them.

She had not even been aware that the weight was there in the first place, so the sudden absence made tears of delight and surprise erupt from Meredith's eyes.

Addison did not let go of her hand when Derek came into the room to check on her. His demeanour was respectful and careful and Meredith suddenly realised that it would be okay. Everything was going to be okay.

"Ouch." Meredith said involuntarily as Addison squeezed her hand.

"What?" Addison's voice was still rough and she sounded bleary.

"Um." Meredith offered but she could not help rubbing her hands and wincing.

By now Callie had noticed her action and was standing there right next to her, gently examining her hands. "We'll need pictures of these." She said, examining the bones carefully.

"Why?" Addison queried, sounding exhausted.

"Tell you later, okay?" Meredith offered, not wanting to burden Addison any further.

"Tell me now." Addison said more firmly.

"You flatlined. You were dead. I was trying to get in, through the window." Meredith said in a rush.

"I had to get in here, to tell you I was sorry. To tell you I love you. I had to." Meredith felt hot tears fall down her face.

"This is my fault." She mumbled.

"Meredith. I'm alive." Addison murmured, lifting a hand to wipe her tears.

"It's my fault for not wearing a seatbelt, but it is the drunk asshole who hit me who did this. Not you. I was not speeding or running red lights or anything. He did this to me, not you." Addison said firmly and then fell into an exhausted silence.

They would have to talk more about this later.

"Only if you replace the bed before I get there." Addison insisted as Meredith was talking her into coming to stay at Meredith's home while she convalesced.

The surgery to repair her knee had been successful and Addison was now bandaged, stitched, in braces, had orders of physical therapy, prescriptions, a neck brace to use if needed and had been given time off. The whirlwind of activity that had surrounded her treatment had calmed down and now Addison was desperate to get out of the hospital.

"Is that all, your highness?" Meredith joked as she made plans to go to a bed store as soon as she left today.

"No." Addison murmured.

"What is it?" Meredith leaned in close, suddenly worried.

"I love you." Addison whispered, pulling Meredith as close as she could.

Meredith for her own part had been ordered to take a week off any sort of fine motor control movements due to strained hands. She had thankfully not broken anything two days before when she had taken on the window of the trauma room with her bare hands. Callie had emphatically told her to take it easy and had prescribed ibuprofen, rest and a hand exerciser to be used daily.

She and Addison had still not talked about what had happened the other day, not in detail anyway. Yesterday had been filled with the knee surgery that Addison had undergone, which had thankfully been without complications and now Addison was ready to leave.

The redhead had a gamut of follow up appointments and crutches and the hospital had even lent her one of its lightest, most compact wheelchairs. So that was at least handled. Meredith knew that Addison would not want to be wheeled around, but with a leg knee and foot injury and broken ribs, it may prove to be necessary.

Now Meredith just needed to get a new bed. She wondered if Cristina would be up for some shopping. Meredith would need to test that the bed was good when two people were in it and she needed to get it tonight, and have it delivered tomorrow, if not sooner.

Addison was coming home tomorrow.

Huh. Home. Meredith hoped that Addison would feel the same way about it quickly. She wanted to make a home with the redhead. She wanted it all with Addison, to be honest.

"I'll get your stuff from the hotel and check you out." Meredith said softly as she arranged the pillows behind Addison's head.

"I dunno, can I trust you with my underwear?" Addison joked earning a smile from Meredith.

"Let me do this, Addison. I almost lost you. I never want to leave anything undone again if I can help it." Meredith fidgeted with the blankets that covered Addison and did not know where to look.

"This is not your fault, Meredith." Addison reassured Meredith and gently grabbed her hands and held them in her own.

"I don't want us to ever have this sort of jealous misunderstanding again. Derek came here this morning and told me what went on in the On Call room. He told me I was stupid to jump to conclusions and that I should grow up." Addison went on to say.

"He was right." She added thoughtfully. "We can grow up together, you and I." Addison concluded quietly.

Reluctantly Meredith nodded her head, agreeing at least temporarily with Addison's assessment of the situation. She was not about to let her guard down though. It was too easy to slip back into old patterns and she really did not want to take the chance, not now and not for a while at least.

This thing between her and Addison, it had barely begun and it had almost been taken away from her permanently in a way that she would never have been able to do anything about. No saying, I'm sorry, or please forgive me, or give me another chance.

In the blink of an eye all of this could have been taken from her and Meredith resolved never to take this for granted again.

"Some heavy thoughts going on in there." Addison commented, looking at Meredith carefully.

Thankfully her concussion had not been serious. Despite the lack of seatbelt, the car had been equipped with airbags and they had undoubtedly saved Addison from devastating and probably mortal damage.

Meredith felt hot tears gather behind her eyelids and she laid her head on the bed next to Addison. A strong hand wove its way through her hair and for long moments Meredith felt at peace.

"You promised me a new bed, Meredith." Addison eventually teased when Meredith was about to fall into a light doze.

"Yeah." Meredith mumbled and decided that she would ask Cristina and Jackson to go with her and together they could make a real scene at the mattress store.

"Bailey will be here soon to check on me and Callie was hovering earlier. I will be okay." Addison reassured Meredith, though neither of them made any moves to disrupt their comfortable and comforting position.

"Don't hurt your hands. I have plans for them later and they need to get well." Addison said as she stroked along Meredith's face.

The suggestion of just what those plans may be sent a shiver of awareness through Meredith. Hopefully neither of them would be taking too much time to get better, though it was going to be some days at least before they could consider anything more athletic than cuddling.

"Bed shopping?" Cristina's eyebrows climbed up her face in a fashion that was most definitely comical. "And you want me and Pretty Boy to come along?" She added for effect.

Meredith had found the pair of Residents shortly after leaving Addison to sleep.

"Yes." Meredith said simply as she stood expectantly in front of Jackson and Cristina.

The two of them looked at each other before they glanced at Meredith in what seemed to be an uncanny display of synchronicity.

"Fine." Cristina said and Jackson nodded his head, as if Cristina was the boss of him, interesting.

Not expecting it to be this easy, Meredith resisted the urge to clap her hands together with excitement, not only because that would hurt, but because Cristina might sprain her eyeballs from rolling them at that point.

"We gotta go now." Meredith said, grabbing her two friends and pulling them down the corridor with every intent of getting them to her car as soon as possible.

"Wait, right now?" Cristina said as she vainly tried to resist Meredith's pull. "Yep." Meredith replied gleefully and after a brief detour to the Resident's Lounge, Meredith had the pair of doctors in her car.

"I'll buy you dinner." She intoned as she pulled out of the parking lot. "After we have the mattress." She added, making a beeline through the city to the largest bed store that she had been able to find in the yellow pages.

"Why do you need both of us?" Jackson asked as Meredith muscled her car through the city.

"She wants to test the shocks of the bed." Cristina said in a tone that made it clear that she thought that Jackson was a moron for even asking.

"Oh." Came the reply from Jackson.

"She wants to make sure it won't break." Cristina added when she seemed to sense that Jackson's next question was going to be why they needed three people to test that.

"Look at it this way, Pretty Boy. When do you think in your life you are going to have the chance to get into bed with two women again? I mean without duct tape and chloroform being involved?" Meredith bit the inside if her cheek to keep herself from laughing as Cristina patiently lectured Jackson.

"I dunno, you seem to be the expert on these things, you tell me." Jackson countered smoothly.

Good for him, Meredith giggled inside of her mind as she heard Jackson's quick reply to Cristina's sarcasm.

Maybe today would be the start of a beautiful friendship between them. One never knew, sometimes antagonism was a cover for something else and Meredith speculated that Cristina could do worse than Pretty Boy. He was certainly better than Burke, or Hunt, or that sleazy surgeon who had been at the hospital some time ago that Meredith had wanted to head butt on sight.

As her two friends continued to bicker happily, Meredith slowed down and looked around. This was where the mattress store was. Now to find parking. Spying a Vietnamese Restaurant nearby, Meredith resolved to get her two assistants some takeout from there when they were done.

She has said she would buy them dinner, not that she would eat it with them. She wanted to get back to Addison as soon as possible.

Checking her phone, Meredith made sure that there were no messages before she switched off the car and looked at her friends. "Are you ready?" She asked and two sets of eyes looked in her direction. "Let's try not to get arrested okay?" Meredith implored.

Cristina rolled her eyes again and Jackson just smirked. It was clear that the both of them were looking forward to this. Meredith realised that she was as well. Good memories were needed to fill the spaced of her mind and a new bed was a new beginning for Addison and her.

"Let's go kids." Meredith said and opened the car door.

Moments later the three of them stood poised at the entranceway to the store. "All we need is the Mission Impossible theme to play now." Cristina commented as they stepped in.

Jackson began to hum the tune in question and this time Meredith laughed outright as a rather wary looking salesperson approached.

"May I help you?" The man asked.

Meredith smiled brilliantly. "Show me your King Sized line." She said in an imperious tone and a moment later they were following the man into the store.

The man was going to be earning his salary and his commission this evening.


Chapter 35

"This is riveting." Cristina pronounced as the three of them stood before a sea of beds.

"What are you looking for by way of beds?" The helpful salesman asked them.

Now that was a question. Meredith did not know what sort of future decor her home, or well their home, would have, but the bed needed to suit it.

"Is it possible to get a bed without a frame for now and then get a frame later when I know what sort of remodelling will take place?" Meredith asked and then fought back laughter as Jackson and Cristina climbed onto one of the beds and started to crawl around it.

"Yes, that can be done." The man said helpfully.

Now for the million dollar question. "Can the bed be delivered tomorrow morning?" Meredith hoped he would say yes.

She really did not have time to shop around for another location to get a bed from. "Uh, yes, for a rush fee." The man extrapolated.

"Great." Meredith said and smiled brightly at the man.

Jackson and Cristina had by now settled onto their backs and were staring at the ceiling. Meredith excused herself and went to join her friends.

"Now you see, I don't see the relevance of a side of the bed." Cristina was saying seriously as Jackson tried to not look too uncomfortable.

He had been a good choice to take along.

"May I join in?" Meredith asked.

"Sure, we could fit a whole football team onto the bed and not be crowded." Jackson said succinctly as Meredith crawled onto the bed and laid herself between her friends.

"So Addison is moving in with you?" This was Jackson who asked.

Cristina already knew all the sordid details.

"At least while she convalesces. I am hoping permanently soon, though." Meredith replied and rolled over in the bed.

Addison had requested a firm mattress, but not hard.

Even with three people on it, this bed seemed go be holding up well.

"Uh, so who is this bed for?" The salesman said as he loomed over them.

"Her." Both Jackson and Cristina said. "Well, her and her girlfriend." Cristina amended and Jackson nodded.

Meredith giggled.

"We're here to test the, hm, durability of the bed." Jackson helpfully added and Meredith snorted as the salesman looked like his head was going to explode at the information.

"Okay kids, let's try some more before we decide." Meredith intoned and they scrambled over each other to get out of the bed.

"Don't worry, we're doctors." Cristina said to the salesman as she adjusted her clothing and rolled her eyes at the poor man's expression.

"Doctors of love." Jackson snickered in the background and Meredith decided that she was going to suffer from a hernia from before the night was through.

Suppressing this amount of laughter could not be good for a person.

Meredith's telephone chirped and instantly both Jackson and Cristina were peering over her shoulder looking at the screen with her. "Come on, we're helping you buy a bed for her so you two can boink like bunnies." Cristina pointed out when Meredith gave an exasperated sigh at their antics.

"Fine." Meredith murmured in resignation and activated the screen and checked her message.

I miss you. Addie

They needed to hurry.

"Aw, she misses you. It must be love." Cristina said and nudged Jackson who actually rolled his eyes at Cristina but looked pleased to be included in one of her jokes that was not quite so biting.

Meredith quickly typed out a reply to Addison: I miss you too, see you soon. Mer

"Okay, you two test some more beds, I'll talk to the guy about delivery options." Meredith pushed her friends towards the beds and turned to the salesman.

"I need this delivered before noon and I need my old bed removed." Meredith explained as she watched her friends jump onto another bed and lie down.

"Okay. No problem." The man said and began to take down Meredith's details.

"Guys?" Meredith called out as her pair of friends hopped from bed to bed and made her smile.

"First one!" Jackson said firmly and Cristina nodded. "Yep." Came her confirmation.

"Okay, that one." Meredith said, pointing at the bed and in a few more minutes the deal was sealed and her credit card was screaming with pain.

It was time to buy Cristina and Jackson dinner. They would need to get takeout. Addison missed her and Meredith wanted to hurry back as quickly as possible. This has been a successful trip, short though. Meredith just hoped that Addison would also like the bed. Well they would have to try something else if not.

It was time to go.

By the time Meredith had her two friends situated with a substantial amount of Vietnamese takeout and she had gotten them all back to the hospital it was quite late and way past visiting hours, but Meredith worked in the hospital and so did Addison, so there would be nothing stopping Meredith from going up to Addison's room

After sending Jackson and Cristina off into their evenings, Meredith took her own takeout bag and made her way to Addison's room.

She was unchallenged as she walked to the doorway and softly opened the door, not wishing to startle the redhead in any way. Addison seemed to be resting, but Meredith doubted that she was asleep and her suspicions were confirmed when Addison opened her eyes and looked directly at Meredith.

"I have dinner." Meredith said, holding up the bag of food. "And a new bed." She added, smiling brilliantly at Addison.

Addison smiled slightly and sighed. She looked sad. "Hey, are you okay?" Meredith asked, food and new bed instantly forgotten.

"I missed you." Addison said, sounding a little forlorn and somewhat tired.

She probably felt like hell, even with her fine doses of pain medication. "I missed you too." Meredith whispered as she every so gently climbed into Addison's bed.

Carefully, she arranged herself so that she would not fall out or hurt Addison and then she gathered the other woman into her arms and held her close. Addison seemed to relax into her arms and Meredith could feel the tension leave her lover's body. Meredith wondered if Addison had gotten any real sleep today and when the redhead fell asleep almost at once, she guessed probably not.

Meredith resolved to hold her all night if needed. She would protect Addison from bad dreams and pain and loneliness. Relaxing into the embrace, Meredith felt her mind drift away as she listened to Addison sleep. Meredith did not know who to thank for the fact that Addison was still alive and still with Meredith.

She supposed God would be a place to start. And then Bailey, who was equivalent to God in more ways than one.

That would make a good start.

A slight noise at the doorway caught Meredith's attention and as she looked up she spied Derek looking in at them with a soft look on his face. He seemed to be unaware of her scrutiny for some moments and Meredith wondered what he might be thinking as he looked at them. A moment later he seemed to focus once more and then smiled at Meredith. It was a genuine, warm smile and it gave Meredith hope.

Things were going to be okay. There was simply no other option.

Another moment passed and Derek left as quietly as he had arrived.

Meredith closed her eyes and felt herself slip into a dreamless sleep.

The next morning came far too quickly and as Addison was due for a round of tests and Meredith was summarily chased out of the hospital room, she decided to go home and make sure that the delivery of the bed would go as smoothly as possible.

"Grey, you need to get yourself organised. Addison will be discharged today and she will need to go straight to bed." Bailey had told Meredith in no uncertain terms when she had shown up in Addison's room in the morning on her rounds.

Meredith had reluctantly agreed that Bailey did have a point. Addison had however overruled Bailey on a few counts. "Can she stay while I shower? No offence, Miranda, but the sponge baths from the nurses are not exactly adequate." Meredith had laughed privately at this assessment and had helped Addison with her shower.

Mainly it was a matter of keeping stitches as dry as possible and making sure her braces did not get wet and she did not fall over. Meredith made a mental note to get a plastic chair for her own shower at home. There was no way that Addison could take a bath just yet and well, getting her to stand in the shower, was a sure way of having some accident happen.

In fact, by the time Meredith left the hospital she had a shopping list as long as her arm to attend do. She would need to get help with groceries, though. There was no way she would be able to carry heavy bags into the house. Callie would kill her if she hurt herself any further and so would Addison.

It was good to be loved.

With that in mind, Meredith went to search for some help with her morning chores and errands. Who would be someone to help her?

This was when Meredith wished she could call upon a father figure or at least a big brother figure.

Hm. Maybe she could.

"Doctor Webber." Meredith said as she rounded a corner and came upon the venerable surgeon.

"Meredith. How are you feeling?" The man asked, immediately interrupting what he was doing in order to focus on her.

He had been to see Addison on several occasions, but each time Meredith had been otherwise occupied.

"I am doing well." Meredith assured him and smiled. "I was wondering if you had any spare time this morning?" She hedged.

"I am not scheduled for surgery until noon." The man replied, looking interested in whatever Meredith was going to say next.

"I need some advice and some help. I need to get my house ready for Addison and I need to get groceries." Meredith wondered if this was a good idea.

In many ways he was as close to a father figure as Meredith had, but he was also a primary reason why her own father had given up on Meredith when she was a child.

"Have no fear. Richard Webber is here to help." Was the instant reply from the doctor and Meredith smiled.

Maybe it was a good idea.

"I can meet you by your car in fifteen minutes, alright?" He said as he began to hand of tasks to residents and interns who were crowded around him.

"Perfect." Meredith said with a smile and then headed towards the Resident's Lounge to pack up her things and get ready to leave.

It was going to be an adventure and she was actually looking forward to it, as unusual as it promised to be.

She had sworn to herself to begun a new leaf. No more hiding behind her issues and no more hiding away from issues. Also, she did need a parental figure right now. In essence, her girlfriend was moving in. It was not a daily occurrence and she had messed up Derek's moving in some time ago. She did not want to repeat the mistakes she had made then this time.

Time to get busy though, she only had a few minutes before Richard would be ready and Meredith did not want to keep him waiting.

When she arrived at her car, Richard was just walking up to her. Meredith smiled openly at him. Whatever conflicting feelings that he may evoke in her, the fact remained that he was on her side, even when it was frustrating and in a way he was the only link she still had to her mother.

He actually knew her mother better than Meredith did.

"Thank you for doing this." Meredith offered, feeling irrationally shy for some reason.

"My pleasure." The man said with a smile and a moment later they had piled into her car and were on the road.

"I don't know what to do." Meredith said after a few minutes.

"Addison loves you, Meredith. That is a precious thing." Richard soothed her gently.

"I need groceries, and the new bed is coming and the house needs cleaning and I still have not gotten rid of so much extra stuff nor have I organised things I said I would a year or more ago." Meredith extrapolated.

"I'll tell you what. You bring me to your house and I will oversee the bed arriving and see about arranging for someone to come and give it a good cleaning. My wife knows some people who are very reliable." Richard said confidently and Meredith felt some of her tension start to ease.

"I won't do any snooping, I promise. I know how much trust means to you, Meredith." He added as an afterthought, obviously wanting to reassure her.

"You go grocery shopping and get someone to help you with the bags, alright?" He continued and then smiles winningly at her.

"Why are you doing this?" Meredith suddenly asked, realising that perhaps it was not the best of questions but she was curious and did not have a tendency to shy away from difficult questions.

"And don't say anything about my mother. I would like you think that you and I have a relationship that does not hinge on her." Meredith added as an afterthought.

Her phone beeped a text message as she pulled up to her house and quickly Meredith snatched it up and called up the message.

If one more person shines a penlight into my eyes I am going to stab them with it. Addie

Meredith giggled at the message and then at Richard's curious glance she shrugged a little. "Addison is eager to get out of the hospital." She elaborated and they both got out of the car.

"Don't blame her. Doctors make terrible patients and Surgeons, well, they take the cake." Richard said while he waited for Meredith to unlock her front door.

Walking into the space, Meredith saw Richard pause at the entranceway and she suddenly wondered if he had ever visited when she was a child. She could not remember clearly if he had or had not.

"Let me take you to the bedroom" Meredith said after a few moments, feeling suddenly shy.

Why had she chosen Richard to help her with this?

Probably because she knew she would be able to rely on him and it was not so weird to have him in her home to do this intimate thing for her.

Or who knows.

"I'm doing this for you." Richard said as they came to a stop outside of her bedroom door.

"Pardon?" Meredith asked, her hand poised on the door handle.

"I am helping you with this today, for you." Richard repeated himself.

"For me?" Meredith asked, feeling confused and hoping that he would explain himself.

"Yes. You need someone who you can trust to do this, and someone who knows how to do it, to do this. Ordinarily you might be able to call upon a brother or a parent, but there is not much about you that is ordinary, Meredith." Richard extrapolated as he looked around the room.

"I'm going to have the house redecorated." Meredith explained self consciously.

The decor had not received an update in as long as Meredith had been alive after all. "I want you to be happy." Richard said after a long pause.

"If this helps you achieve that goal, then I am happy to help." Richard seemed to be done talking.

The doorbell rang. "That would be the mattress." Meredith said, feeling suddenly overwhelmed.

Had she ever bought a mattress before? No.

Damn, and she called herself a grownup?

"I'll take care of it, Meredith. You just go and make a shopping list and get yourself to the grocery store. Addison is going to walk out of the hospital under her own power if we don't get a move on." Richard reminded Meredith and that lit a fire under her.

"Okay." She said and watched as the man left and went to answer her door.

It was a huge relief actually to have someone here to help her with the logistics. Maybe she would be able to get this day done without having a nervous breakdown after all and suddenly Meredith could not wait to have Addison arrive.

Time to get a move on! Meredith hurried towards her kitchen. It needed to be stocked from cupboards, to pantry to fridge. That was going to be a chore and a half but it was indeed time to be a grown up about this sort of thing.

When Meredith arrived in the kitchen she pulled out her phone and send Addison a quick text back.

I'm going grocery shopping, is there anything you would like to eat in particular? Mer

No sooner had she sent the message when Meredith got a reply.


Meredith swallowed hard.

It seemed that Addison was feeling better.


Chapter 36

Shopping had been a madhouse and because Meredith was in a hurry, she had not lingered. She could always go back another time. The key was to get her kitchen stocked so it would not be an embarrassment to her. A very helpful young man had helped her load her shopping into her car and now she was on her way back to see how Richard was getting on.

Pulling up to her driveway she saw that the mattress people had left. Meredith was sure that they had taken the old bed with them. There was no way Richard was going to let them leave it behind.

A moment after she stopped the car, the man in question popped out of her front door and cheerfully walked up to her. "Hi there. That was quick." He commented and opened the door for her reminding her that he was of a generation that was much more gentlemanly than the current one.

Shooing Meredith away, he grabbed some of the bags and they walked together to the house. "The mattress is in place and all went well." He explained and as they walked into the house Meredith became aware of noises.

"Cleaners. Adele sent them here personally. They say they will be done in another half hour." Richard answered her unspoken question and when Meredith walked into her kitchen she could practically see it sparkle.

"Wow." She exclaimed.

"Thank you." She added.

"Nice huh?" Richard commented as he walked out to get more bags.

Meredith figured that she would be able to put away most of the groceries without irritating her hands. She only had another hour before she had to have Richard back at the hospital.

What could she do for him to express her gratitude for his kind gesture today?

An idea came to her and she thought that he would like it. Quickly she caught up with the groceries and then hurried to her mother's old study to fetch something, thankful that she had recently handled it so that she knew where to look for it.

Hearing Richard open the door again, Meredith rushed back to the kitchen. "Hey, would you like some coffee or something?" She asked as she reached for more food and other stuff to put away.

"I don't think I have had that coffee maker sparkle quite like that in years." Meredith pointed at the contraption and smiled winningly at Richard.

"I'd love some." He said and started to help her put things away.

As Meredith worked to make coffee, she marvelled at the ease the former Chief had in the kitchen. It was nice to have someone around who simply did things without making a production of it. Deciding that now was the time, Meredith reached into her pocket and pulled out a notebook.

"I want you to have this." She said softly when the man looked down at her offering.

"It's one of my mother's journals. This one contains the notes about the GRID case you spoke about." Meredith explained, pressing the book into his hands.

Richard looked as if he was going to object. "Please, just take it." Meredith whispered softly. "Our coffee will get cold if you argue." She added and then saw him relent before he reverently slipped the book into his jacket pocket.

"Thank you." He said simply and Meredith nodded.

Meredith went to pour coffee and as they sipped the hot beverage, the rest of the groceries vanished into their respective locations.

Just as they were finishing and clearing up, one of the cleaning crew came and announced that they were done. Meredith looked at the young man and decided that Adele had chosen well. The man was decked out in a bright green shirt and jeans and he looked like he knew what he was doing.

"Thank you." Meredith said to him and then considered another thing. "Will you send me the bill?" She asked, wondering how this sort of thing was conducted. "Or do I pay now?" Meredith wondered if she had the needed cash on hand or would they take a check.

"Actually, this has been paid for by insurance, Meredith." Richard said and pulled out a roll of bills before he turned and gave the young man a tip.

"My wife sends her regards." Richard told the man and Meredith saw a flash of white teeth as he smiled.

"Thank you, Doctor Webber." The man said and in a few more moments they were gone.

"Insurance?" Meredith asked, perplexed.

"Oh you better believe it. Give me the receipt for the groceries and the bed. Addison's drunk driver is paying for all of this and for her rehabilitation as well." Richard's voice was laced with fury as he spoke. "We'll write this up as special care requirements or something." The gleeful malice in his voice made Meredith snort with laughter despite herself.

Served the wretched bastard right.

Meredith had already entertained thoughts about doing wicked things to the man.

"Well, I better get you back to the hospital and I need to get Addison back here." Meredith said as she put their cups into the dishwasher.

"Thank you. You made this so much easier." Meredith commented as they started to walk out of the house.

"I will try to make it so that you can rely on me if you need to, Meredith." Richard said in a serious tone.

"I'd like that." Meredith answered softly.

Back at the hospital Meredith said goodbye to Richard before she made her way to Addison's room. Without a doubt the redhead was ready to be discharged and Meredith wanted to make sure that there would be no delay in the proceedings. Addison would be impatient and eager and Meredith could not blame her at all.

She had been a patient in this hospital more than once. As nice as it could be, it was never nice to be a patient anywhere.

Arriving at Addison's room she saw that her girlfriend was actually dressed and ready to go, she was simply arguing with Bailey about the wheelchair.

"I can walk." Addison insisted, sounding petulant.

"Addison, you have a brace on your foot, and your knee has been operated on and you can barely use the crutches because of your ribs." Bailey sounded exasperated and it was actually kind of funny to see the battle of wills between the two women unfolding.

"I am not using the wheelchair." Addison crossed her arms and looked like she would stamp her feet if she could do so without hurting herself.

"Then you are staying here." Bailey said with a finality that Meredith knew that no one, not even the venerable, formidable Addison Montgomery could overcome.

"Fine." Addison said with a huge sigh and Meredith stepped into the room, ready to her love get into the wheelchair if needed.

"Ah, my knight in sensible shoes has arrived." Addison commented upon noticing Meredith and a smile coloured her voice.

"Yep, and your chariot awaits you, m'lady." Meredith played along and in a few moments Addison was situated in the wheelchair and they were rolling towards the hospital entrance amid well wishes of nurses, interns and other hospital workers.

"I sent one of my interns to fetch your stuff." Meredith teased as she pushed Addison into an elevator.

At the look of horror that Addison gave her Meredith laughed.

"You brat!" Addison exclaimed. "Wait until I get my hands on you." She added, huffing in her chair.

"Can't wait." Meredith murmured and looked around as the elevator descended.

"This is the elevator where all this started." Meredith said after a moment, realising that they were in the same elevator that they had been stuck in all those weeks ago.

"Huh. You think it started here?" Addison asked as she looked around curiously.

"Maybe it just came to a head in here?" Meredith offered as the elevator doors opened and heir journey resumed.

It only took a few moments to arrive at Meredith's car and as Meredith approached she saw that they were not alone. Derek was waiting. "What does he want?" Meredith murmured mostly to herself.

"Dunno. Let's find out." Addison suggested and then they came to a stop.

"Hi." Derek offered, sounding slightly uncomfortable.

"Hi." Addison and Meredith said in unison.

"I came to help with the chair and to see you two were okay." He said waving his hand at the car and at them.

"Okay." Meredith said, not entirely displeased at the matter.

It took a few minutes but soon Addison was carefully arranged in Meredith's car and the chair was in the back and then Meredith slid into the drivers seat, ready to go. Derek had been attentive and quiet, seeming happy that he could do some little thing for them and it also seemed that he was satisfied that they were okay.

"Does she know that your sister and Karev live with you?" Derek said when he leaned down to look into the window at them.

"She does now." Meredith said brightly.

She was actually unsure if Addison knew or not. They had never really discussed the matter at any length. Hopefully the redhead would not mind Meredith's roommates, they were mainly hardly ever underfoot and Cristina was far more likely to barge in unannounced than they were, and she did not even live there.

"Drive safely and call me if you need anything." Derek said softly to the both of them and Meredith nodded.

Addison gave him a little wave and then they pulled out of the parking lot and started to make their way to Meredith's house.

"Lexie can be nosey, but she has good intentions. And well, you know Alex." Meredith offered as she drove carefully, not wishing to jar Addison or make her feel nervous so close to having had a bad experience in a car.

"Does it bother you?" Addison asked.

"No, they don't bother me. My sister needs her own life and despite how people might perceive him, Alex is my friend." Meredith said as she glanced at Addison, making sure she was okay.

"No, I mean, about me and Alex?" Addison extrapolated.

"No." Meredith said honestly.

A few days ago it might have, but in retrospect, Meredith herself had a long past and a history with people that Addison was going to interact with and meet and this was now and that was then.

Being uptight and jealous about exes, no matter how insignificant or significant they may be was just not kosher anymore.

"Alex won't bother you." Meredith hastened to answer.

"I know." Addison answered and Meredith noted that she sounded tired.

She needed to get into bed and it was then that Meredith realised that she had not even checked the bedroom since the new bed had been installed. Hopefully the bed was made. Hopefully everything was fine...

Oh no.

As Meredith pulled to a stop in front of her house a wave of nerves washed over her and she gripped the steering wheel of her car tightly, until it hurt her hands and she let go quickly, switching off the ignition.

"Nervous?" Addison queried.

"A little." Meredith offered by way of reply.

"Me too." Addison said.

"I'll walk." She added.

Meredith nodded and alighted from the car, quickly moving around to open the door for Addison and then helping her out, wishing that she had Derek or someone on this end as well, but they would manage.

They would have to manage, it would be some days before Addison gained more mobility after all, but Meredith made a mental note to add Jackson to her speed dial in case she needed more help than her roommates, Cristina, or Richard could offer.

"Let's go." Meredith suggested and they made their way carefully to the house, Addison favouring her food leg and leaning heavily into Meredith. "I have a nice couch you can catch your breath on." Meredith encouraged and after some further fumbling they were finally indoors.

"Smells freshly cleaned." Addison commented as she gathered her strength for the next stretch of the journey.

"Well, let's put it this way, in the morning it was like a college dorm in here." Meredith said with a laugh. "And we won't discuss the state of the kitchen." Meredith continued and gently guided Addison to the sofa.

"Wait here, I will get the chair and your stuff." Meredith said, leaning in to place a soft kiss on Addison's temple.

The redhead nodded and closed her eyes, leaning back and looking tired.

She needed to eat, take her medicines and then get into bed. ASAP.

Hurrying out to the car, Meredith quickly gathered up their things and locked it up. Addison only had a few bare essentials from the hospital. Spare scrubs, her purse and whatever had been salvaged from the wreck of her car and a toiletry kit someone had given her while she was there so she had not needed to use the generic stuff at the hospital.

The chair was light and even with her sore hands, Meredith was able to get everything into the house with relative ease and a few moments later she was back in her living room and with Addison.

Her girlfriend was looking around with tired interest. "We need to redecorate." She murmured and Meredith laughed.

Addison was feeling better.

Another weight lifted off Meredith's chest at the thought and she put down Addison's things and went to sit next to her, carefully easing her wait near the redhead so as not to jar her at all.

"Welcome home." Meredith whispered and carefully gathered Addison close.

A peaceful sigh was her reward and when Addison relaxed against her side, Meredith finally felt like she could relax a little more as well.

They were home. At last.

Eventually Meredith decided that Addison had to be gotten ready for bed. Her body had experienced a severe trauma just a few days ago and it needed rest. First medicine though, and that required food in Addison's stomach so that the pills would not burn a hole all the way down to China. Or at least her duodenum.

"I need to get some food into you so you can take your medicine before you go to bed." Meredith explained as she gently extracted herself from Addison.

Still sore from her defibrillator shocks and the accident itself, not to mention her injuries, Meredith wanted to make sure that she did not jar Addison at all.

"Hmm, okay." Addison mumbled, clearly at the edges of sleep.

Meredith wandered into the kitchen and considered what to feed Addison. Something light. Meredith did not know how to cook, but she could make a sandwich, or heat something up. The groceries so recently purchased were specifically sought for that purpose after all.

Quickly, Meredith put together a nice sandwich and a cup of hot cocoa and brought it along with Addison's medications back out to the woman who was still reclining on her sofa.

"Come on, darling. You need to eat something before you sleep." Meredith coaxed the exhausted woman.

The sooner they got this over with the sooner Addison would be in bed.

With a sigh, Addison consented to opening her eyes and reached for the food sullenly. Meredith suppressed a smirk; surgeons did indeed make bad patients. Meredith herself was a terrible patient really. It did not matter though, even if Addison was prone to have tantrums, Meredith did not care. All she cared about was that Addison was alive and well and that she was home.

The redhead must have been somewhat hungry, as she finished her light repast quickly and then took her pills without complaint. "Okay, Addison. I'll be right back and then we'll get you up to bed." Meredith soothed her lover.

Addison was now so tired that she just nodded blearily.

Hopefully she would perk up enough to help Meredith get her to bed, otherwise Addison may end up sleeping on the couch. Hurrying back to the woman in question, Meredith gently coaxed her to stand and together they made their way through the house. Addison leaned heavily on Meredith but seemed to be making good progress on her own, as well.

It took what felt like a long time for them to arrive at the master bedroom, but when they did Meredith could not conceal her surprise. The bed was made, ready and it was gorgeous, even without any frame around it and only resting on its box-spring.

Looking over at Addison it became apparent that not all was okay though. "Hey, what's wrong?" Meredith tried to sound calm, but Addison was crying softly and she looked ashen.

"I am so tired and I have to use the bathroom and I am just so tired." Addison mumbled, swaying on her feet.

Meredith realised at once that the other woman was overwhelmed by everything and perhaps it had been premature to come home, but at least they were here now and Addison could rest in a comfortable bed and Meredith could look after her during the most critical period of her recovery.

"Come on, I'll help." Meredith soothed, gently guiding the other woman towards the master bathroom.

Addison made as if to resist but Meredith was having none of it. "It's okay you know, I'm a doctor." She joked gently and her reward was a feint smile from the redhead.

Ten minutes and facilities used and teeth having been brushed later, Addison was sitting on the edge of the bed while Meredith removed her clothes carefully, leaving her in her panties and slipping on an oversized nightshirt that Meredith had pulled from one of her drawers.

She could find Addison's nightclothes later, right now it was imperative that the redhead sleep, for hours preferably and she needed to do this now.

"Time to sleep." Meredith said gently and eased Addison down into the soft, sweet smelling sheets.

"Nice bed." Addison managed to say as she shifted to a better position.

"Thanks." Meredith whispered, kissing Addison's cheek.

There was no reply, Addison was asleep at once and thank God for that. Between the pills, the pain (which Addison had not complained about once) and her predicament, she was out like a light.

Meredith softly extracted herself from Addison and crept out of the room. She needed to bring Addison's things into the master bedroom and make sure that neither Alex or Lexie woke Addison when they came home. The exhausted and injured woman had to sleep or she would fail to heal properly and her concussion would not right itself quickly enough.

Neither of those options was something that Meredith would allow, so for the next few days, there would be iron rule in the house. She liked her roommate and her sister, but for the next 72 hours, there had to be peace in the house. Hopefully. So much unexpected stuff could happen that Meredith just did not want to think about it too much right now.

She also needed to find time to work on her hands. Callie had explained that she'd be fine, but the exercises would help make sure she was really fine and without lasting effects or lingering problems further down the line. As Meredith intended to become a surgeon she was motivated to heal herself as well.

With that thought in mind, Meredith resolved to do her prescribed exercises before she did anything else. One needed to have some order to chaos, after all.

Later Meredith was busy making space in her master bathroom for Addison's things when she heard a noise. It had been about two hours since Addison had gone to bed and she would sleep for hours still. Also, Alex and Lexie were due only later. It was still too early for either of them to be home.

The noise repeated itself and this time Meredith became concerned.

Moving out into the bedroom, Meredith immediately saw the reason for the unknown noise. Addison was moaning as she lay trapped a dream that she obviously did want to be in.

Moving towards the distressed woman, Meredith gently eased herself into the bed. Addison needed rescuing, but not waking up unless it was truly needed. Carefully, Meredith gathered Addison against herself and soothed her softly, running a hand through the red hair that she had grown to love so dearly. It was soft and lush under her fingers and Meredith became absorbed in what she ws doing.

Addison stilled from her unpleasant dreams and in a short while, Meredith closed her eyes and sleep overcame her as she lay with Addison in her arms.


Chapter 37

The sun had set by the time Lexie came home and it was her that woke Meredith up. She had knocked gently on the door to Meredith's bedroom and peeked her head in when Meredith had grunted permission to enter. Blearily, Meredith looked at her half sister and tried to gather her thoughts.

Addison showed signs of waking up and she would be hungry, want a shower and need to exercise and walk around a little; be upright for a while.

"You two okay?" Lexie asked, tiptoeing into the room.

"Yeah." Meredith managed to say, congratulating herself on being able to formulate a coherent seeming word.

"Addison needs a very calm environment right now, so please do what you can to help." Meredith whispered as she rolled over and flexed her stiff hands painfully.

"Of course." Lexie replied and actually helped Meredith to sit up.

"I need to get her out of bed. Too much laying down is as bad as too little." Meredith sighed, reluctant to get her sleeping beauty up.

"You need help?" Lexie asked.

"Maybe. We'll see what she has to say about it." Meredith answered.

At this beginning stages of her healing, it would be up to Addison as to who or what exactly touched her. Meredith knew that when things were more painful and awkward, it could be important to be happy with who was handling you and touching you.

Maybe this was also important to Addison.

"Addie." Meredith said gently, touching the slightly puffy face of her girlfriend.

The puffiness was evidence that Addison needed to move around to get her blood and lymphatic system going. The last thing they needed was oedema or blood clots at this stage.

Brilliant eyes opened and looked at Meredith sleepily. "Hi." Addison rumbled, sounding dry and dehydrated.

"You need to get up darling." Meredith said, leaning in and kissing Addison's cheek gently.

"I know." Addison sounded cross but oh so cute.

"Hi Doctor Montgomery." Lexie offered from behind Meredith's shoulder.

Addison squinted at Meredith's younger sister. "If I am going to be living here, you are going to have to learn how to call me Addison, here that is." Addison said not unkindly.

It was clear though that she was uncomfortable and needed to get up.

"Come on Lexie." Meredith said and between the two of them they got Addison seated and then slowly onto her feet.

"Can you go make tea and order something in? We need dinner." Meredith asked, hoping that Lexie would not mind.

"Sure." Her sister said easily and disappeared a moment later.

"Come on sweetheart. Let's get you showered and changed, you'll feel better." Meredith whispered to Addison.

For a moment Addison looked as if she would object, but then she just sighed in a resigned fashion. "Fine." She said petulantly, though she brightened up when Meredith offered her a glass of water.

"You make a cute patient." Meredith said as she carefully walked Addison to the bathroom.

Addison snorted her amusement and disbelief.

Wanting to give Addison some privacy while she used the facilities, Meredith went back to the bedroom and located some clothes and fresh panties for Addison to put on after her shower before she hurried back to the bathroom.

"Ready?" Meredith queried and received an incoherent grunt in acknowledgement.

Back in the bathroom she found Addison struggling to remove her shirt. "You also make a difficult patient." Meredith scolded and quickly moved to help the redhead with the shirt.

"Do not." Addison pouted.

"Do too." Meredith said softly, doing her best to mute her reaction to the sight of the livid, angry bruising on Addison's torso.

"Oh darling." Meredith could not help but say as she touched one of the bruises with exquisite care.

"It will heal, Meredith." Addison said, waving her hand at her body.

"I know." Meredith said softly.

"You can still try to kiss it better though, if you want." Addison suggested, a trace of her usual tone lacing her voice.

Now there was a challenge Meredith could get into.

Moving Addison to the plastic chair in the shower, Meredith sat her down and then proceeded to remove the brace that encased her foot. Callie had given her explicit instructions on how to put it back and it was customised to Addison's foot so removing it for a few minutes was possible.

Addison would no doubt be tremendously relieved to have her whole body washed.

Kneeling before Addison like this brought to mind more than just kissing Addison's bruises, in fact the thoughts that rushed through Meredith's brain made her face hot with desire and erotic memory. Taking an initiative, Meredith leaned in and kissed a large bruise that graced Addison's knee where it had hit a portion of the car.

"I love you." Meredith murmured, kissing up Addison's thigh, possessed by a power that she could not control.

A strong fingered hand wound itself into Meredith's hair. "I love you too." Addison whispered in reply, moaning slightly as Meredith kissed higher along Addison's thigh.

Exquisitely formed legs opened slightly and Meredith was emboldened, gently moving her lips along Addison's hip and taking great care not to jar Addison's broken foot or freshly operated on knee.

Tight, red curls invited Meredith to move closer and be bolder and as she kissed along their border, Addison moaned openly above her, pouring gasoline on the barely banked fires of Meredith's desire.

That is until Meredith forgot about her own injuries and braced her hand against the shower. "Ouch." She said involuntarily and snatched her hand back to cradle it.

"Damn it." She winced, feeling the threat of frustrated tears erupt.

"Meredith." Addison murmured, her voice sounding rich and delicious.

Looking up, Meredith saw that Addison was looking at her with a look of pure love. "It's okay Meredith, we have the rest of our lives." She said softly.

"I don't want you to hurt yourself and my ribs hurt anyway. You're very hard to resist, impossible to resist actually, so I actually don't care. But I know that if we do something silly now, then later we'll pay a price that was not really worth it." Addison stroked her hands soothingly through Meredith's hair as she spoke.

"Let's shower and then go see what Lexie ordered for dinner. Come on, you too." Addison said, raising an eyebrow at Meredith's still clothed form.

"Okay." Meredith finally relented and the threat of tears disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.

They did have the rest of their lives. Addison was right.

Eventually they finished their shower, which mainly involved Meredith showering the both of them and then eventually with the reapplication of the foot brace, a check of stitches, applications of topical ointments and then dressing. It was a while before Addison was due to have her next round of medication and until then Meredith hoped to keep her somewhat active and to get some proper food into her as well.

Hopefully by tomorrow Addison would feel well and rested enough to actually feel bored, that might inspire her to do more which would be good. Too much bed rest was simply no good, especially with broken ribs. The threat of a lung infection was already elevated as it was.

Once they were dressed Addison was looking a lot better than she did when she woke up. "Ready to eat?" Meredith asked. "Lexie is really good at dialling for takeout." Meredith added with a smile.

"No one cooks?" Addison inquired, sounding amused.

"Not really. I mean I can do bacon and eggs and toast, but that is about it." Meredith offered as she helped Addison from the room.

"I don't really remember arriving. I behaved I hope." Addison said as she looked around with interest, though while still moving her head with great care.

Concussion was a bitch.

"Yes, you were the perfect lady." Meredith joked and soon they were making their way to the table where Lexie had outdone herself and actually had plates to serve the Chinese that she had obtained on.

"I think I need a pillow to sit on." Addison said mildly, pointing at the hard wood of the chairs. "I think we also need new chairs." Meredith commented as she whipped a cushion off the sofa and a moment later helped Addison sit.

The redhead breathed in deeply. "Feels good to be doing something other than nothing." She said and Meredith wondered what she was thinking.

They really needed to talk more.

Lexie chose that moment to come back to the dining area. "Hi. You're here." She said brightly and Meredith resisted the urge to smile.

Her half sister was certainly very different to Meredith herself. Hard to imagine that they had the same father, but then Lexie's mother had been incredibly different to Meredith's mother, so anything was possible.

"Looks great, Lexie." Addison said, displaying her fine manners. "I'm starving actually, feels like I have not eaten in a week." Addison continued and Meredith smiled at the words.

Addison was definitely feeling better.

"How are you feeling otherwise?" Lexie was braver than Meredith about asking questions.

Maybe Meredith could take note and learn.

"Fine unless I try to walk, move my head or take a deep breath. The pills they gave me are great, but I can't wait to be off them. The heavy sleep of the drugged is really not for me." Addison said and nodded her thanks when Meredith placed a plate full of food in front of her.

Lexie seemed to want to ask something else and Meredith guessed that she was calculating the possible risk of saying the wrong thing. "How are you emotionally?" Lexie finally asked, sounding almost embarrassed actually.

"Sorry, I mean we hardly know each other." Lexie said in a rush and suddenly found her plate of sundry foodstuffs to be fascinating it seemed.

"It's okay." Addison assured her curious sister.

"I have the mandatory scheduled therapy and will make sure I see my therapist in California a couple of times before I move back here." Addison extrapolated between bites of food and Meredith found herself very interested all of a sudden.

"I don't remember much of the crash. I should have been wearing a seatbelt, I may not have broken ribs and a bruised heart if I had. Thank God for airbags." Addison chewed thoughtfully as she spoke and Meredith took the opportunity to eat a little as well, it would help her digest her anti-inflammatory medications later.

"Let's eat." Addison said after a moment and it was a clear signal that she was done talking about things for a while.

"When do you go back to work?" Addison asked Meredith after a few moments.

"Next week, though I do have to go in pretty much every day to tell my interns what to do and to see if I should be doing something specific." Meredith waved her fork around as she spoke.

She did know how to use chopsticks but right now her hands were just too sore.

"Just an hour a day." Meredith added for Addison's benefit.

The rest of the meal was conducted with easy going conversation and some laughter as Addison patiently listened to Meredith's too talkative sister, well, talk. When they were done, Meredith walked Addison to the sofa and then went to help Lexie clear up a little before they would have some tea.

It was all so domestic and calm that it felt almost surreal.

"Where's Alex?" Meredith asked Lexie as they walked back towards where Addison was sitting.

"He's got a double shift." Lexie said and Meredith made a sympathetic noise.

Her roommate would be back in the morning, if then even. He may well sleep at the hospital, Meredith would be tempted to, but that was before she had someone to come home to. It felt good to have a life.

Back at the sofa, Addison was leafing through a magazine and squinting a little. "Does anyone know where my glasses are?" She inquired when Meredith and Lexie returned.

"Um. The crash ate them, along with your phone. I put your SIM card into one of my spare's." Meredith said as she sat down with some tea for her and Addison.

"I've got to go do some reading. I am glad you're feeling better Addison." Lexie said after a few moments and with that she vanished up to her room with tea in hand.

"Your sister is okay." Addison commented as she leaned against Meredith very gently.

"She can take a while, but she grows on you." Meredith conceded and then fell silent as she simply absorbed the feeling of being close to Addison.

This was one of those perfect moments again. Meredith resolved to treasure them from now on and also catalogue them for future reference when she needed a lift.

"You need to get some magazines when you are out tomorrow." Addison said after a while of silent contemplation.

"I do?" Meredith asked. "You want some medical journals or something?" Meredith asked, curious.

"No, decorating magazines." Addison replied emphatically. "This place needs to be redone." She added with a definitive sniff.

"I see." Meredith said. "Yes, dear." She added for good measure and received a gentle nudge to her ribs as her reward.

"I want to help the costs, Meredith." Addison yawned out the words. "If this is going to be our house, then it is our bills, and our stuff that it contains. And our roommates too." Addison continued.

"I don't have issues with your sister here or even Alex, just so you know for sure." Addison shifted her legs restlessly. "Do you think you can show me around a little?" The redhead asked.

"Absolutely." Meredith agreed at once and a few minutes later she was pushing Addison in her very slim-line wheelchair.

The other woman would not be able to use her crutches much until her ribs had settled down. The main thing was to keep her awake, upright and get her to take some steps.

"Kitchen." Meredith said with an expansive wave of her hand.

"Nice. It will be even nicer though." Addison responded, nodding.

Meredith could practically hear the gears in her head turn as she planned out the extreme makeover. It was fun to watch. "Let's go see the laundry room." Meredith said and pushed her lover towards the space.

"You'll have to stand up to get into it." Meredith said apologetically.

Addison merely huffed gently and rose stiffly to her feet with Meredith's help and along with her crutches, she managed to hobble into the laundry room a few moments later. "This is big enough at least." Addison commented and looked around.

Meredith had been distracted by something in the room so she had failed to notice when Addison had stopped moving and was staring at a corner of the room. "What's that? " Addison asked, her voice sounding funny.

Looking over, Meredith spied what Addison had seen. "It's for Milo." Meredith answered, feeling shy suddenly.

"A covered, filtered box, a bag of toys, scratching posts, and food dishes and a leash too." Meredith elaborated, hoping that Addison did not think that she was too weird.

"You got my cat this?" Addison said softly.

"Our cat." Meredith pointed out and Addison smiled at that.

"And yeah, I mean I assume he will be coming here soon. He'll need stuff and I did not know what he might have so I got everything I could think of, even the number to the nearest vet." Meredith explained as she helped Addison walk back to the kitchen to sit down.

"You're pretty incredible, you know that?" Addison said with a happy sigh.

"I know." Meredith teased back.

Looking out over the backyard, Addison frowned slightly. "We need a Jacuzzi." She stated. "I'll buy it." She added "We also need to redo the yard." Addison continued and relaxed a little into her chair.

"Sounds good to me." Meredith said and wheeled Addison back towards the main living area.

"Just think of all the new and fresh places we'll need to baptise once I am up to par again." Addison said contentedly. "We'll christen some of these old things too, not to worry." Addison reassured Meredith which made Meredith wonder what her face looked like.

Before she could ask the doorbell rang. "What on earth?" Meredith said the words aloud as she moved to answer the door.

Who would be calling at this hour?

Opening the door, Meredith saw Mark Sloan standing there and a man who she did not recognise but who looked somehow familiar. "Mark. What are you doing here?" Meredith asked, quite surprised despite knowing that he was a friend of Addison's.

"Well, I was in the neighbourhood." He said vaguely and looked a little uncomfortable. "Who is this?" Meredith asked, not pleased with Mark's answer.

"That is my father, the Captain." Addison's voice said from behind them.

"Your father?" Meredith asked, quite surprised.

She also wondered if this was a good idea or not. She'd kill mark with her bare hands if Addison was made too upset by this visit.

"Can we talk?" Addison's father asked, sounding almost pleading.

"Sure." Addison replied, moving to the living room without any preamble.

Meredith noted that the relationship between father and daughter was quite chilly and suspected that there was a long story behind it. Maybe she would hear it one day.

"How did you find out?" Addison asked as she stopped in front of the sofa and glanced at Meredith.

Clearly she did not want her father's help.

Meredith moved forward to help Addison and could feel that she was nervous and shaky. Leaning down, Meredith placed a gentle kiss on her cheek and stood protectively next to her. She would not leave until Addison was ready for her to leave.

"This is Doctor Meredith Grey. I will be living with her when I move back to Seattle." Addison said by way of introduction.

A brief handshake followed and there was something hard in Addison's eyes that made Meredith wonder what was going on exactly between them.

"A pleasure." The man said.

"Are you related to Ellis Grey?" He seemed to become aware of who she might be and it made her wonder just exactly how he might know her mother.

"I am her daughter." Meredith replied with a tight smile.

"You favour her." He said softly with another smile on his face.

Meredith could see where Addison got some of her considerable charm from.

"Everyone calls me the Captain." The man continued.

Deciding that she would either call him Mr. Montgomery, or nothing, Meredith nodded and looked at Addison. "You okay?" She asked.

Addison sighed. "I guess so."

"Would you like some tea?" Meredith asked Addison's father and received a pleased smile in response.

"And you?" Meredith asked, touching Addison gently on the arm. "Yes, please." Addison answered in a tone solely for Meredith.

Tea it was then.

With the words, Meredith walked towards the kitchen and snagged Mark's arm along the way.

"Time to let them have some quality time, don't you think?" Meredith suggested not to subtly.

"Fine." Mark said and followed Meredith.

"You know, you have a lot of nerve bringing him here without asking her first." Meredith said as she set about making some tea.

"And you have a lot of nerve thinking that you know what's best for her. I'm her friend. I have known her for ten years." Mark countered as he sat down at the kitchen counter.

"Fine." Meredith said sharply.

"Fine." Mark mimicked and sounded like an annoying older brother much to Meredith's chagrin.

"So, if you two ever want to have a threesome, you know you can call me, right?" Mark said after a beat and Meredith snorted, throwing a tea bag at him.

"You couldn't handle it, pretty boy." Meredith said sweetly.

Mark simply laughed.

"Little Grey broke your penis, Mark. Imagine what Big Grey could do to you." Meredith said in a sotto whisper and at that Mark blushed scarlet.

Score one for Meredith, zero for Mark. Hah!

Once the tea was done the two of them carried it back to the living room where Addison and her father seemed to be winding up their talk.

"Bizzy says she will visit as soon as possible." Meredith heard the Captain say.

Who was Bizzy? Meredith made a mental note to ask Addison about it later.

"Why are you living here anyway? You can afford a much bigger, more splendid place you know." He continued and Meredith bristled at the suggestion that her home was a dump to him.

"Because I want to live with Meredith, dad." Addison said softly and looked thoroughly fed up with the whole visit. "And there is nothing wrong with this house. I love it." Addison concluded in a firm tone and Meredith wanted to kiss her for it and for the words she had just said to her father.

That can't have been easy.

"Oh." He replied. "Ooh. I see." He added after a moment.

"Yes, you do see. I want to live with her because we are together." Addison extrapolated and Meredith saw a widening of the Captain's eyes at that information being confirmed.

"Don't start. I swear if you do, this will be the last time we see each other." Addison said firmly. "We're going to have tea and be civil and then you're going to leave and I will remind Sam to not be so loose lipped about things." Addison continued and bade Meredith to sit down next to her.

And so it went. They had tea, chatted amiably and then it came time for Mark and the Captain to leave. Meredith noted that while Addison showed Mark a degree of open affection, though it was clear that she was pissed at him still, she was chilly towards her father.

There was obviously a complicated story there. Were they ever simple though?

Probably not.

Finally, Meredith was able to shut the front door on her somewhat unwelcome guests and went to find Addison. She fond her lover huddled on the sofa breathing shallowly and looking pale. "Hey, Addison. Easy, darling. Easy." Meredith gathered the redhead up and arranged her in a better position so that her ribs were not so pinched.

Snatching up her phone from the table, she called Lexie. "Meredith?" Came a confused voice on the other end of the line.

"I need your help to get Addison to bed. I would not ask normally, but my hands won't let me do this alone." Meredith said into the phone.

Lexie did not answer, but Meredith could hear the rush of feet as her sister raced to help Meredith. It was somehow unbelievably good to have someone to be able to rely on. Now if only Lexie would grow up a little emotionally, things could become great.

Meredith's musings were interrupted by Lexie rounding the corner at full speed. "Thank you. Just help me support her and watch her vitals. She just had her dad visit and the stress has not been good for her." Meredith said and together, the Grey sisters ferried Addison to bed.

Laying Addison down, Meredith reached for the water and for the painkillers, muscle relaxants and prophylactic antibiotics and dosed them out. "Darling, I know you're upset, but you need to take these and drink some water." Meredith said gently and Addison looked at her with sad eyes before looking down at the pills.

A few moments later, Addison swallowed down her medicines and then scooted lower in the bed. "You want to talk about it?" Meredith asked softly.

"No, I want to be alone right now." Addison mumbled tonelessly in reply.

"Okay." Meredith said and shooed Lexie away before planting a kiss on Addison's temple.

Outside the door, the two women waited. "She'll fall asleep in a few minutes. I'll go back to her then. Thanks for your help, I will call you if I need more." Meredith touched her sister's hand briefly and then turned her attention back to the bedroom.

Lexie murmured something that sounded like goodnight and then made her way back to her own room.

Damn Sloan. He should have called first, at least Addison would have been more prepared. Still, he did have a point, perhaps Meredith did not always know what was best for Addison. That did not mean that Mark knew either though.

Not with Addison so badly injured and not when a simple phone call would have answered the question of if Addison wanted to see her father.

Shaking her head, Meredith cracked the door and could see that Addison was asleep. Creeping in, Meredith quietly prepared for bed and decided that it would not be a bad thing to catch cup on some rest as well, and if nothing else she could read and watch Addison sleep. The main thing was that the redhead could not be alone right now, no matter what she wanted.

It was simply too dangerous as something could happen after all.


Chapter 38

It was sometime early in the morning when Meredith was woken from a light doze by the feel of the bed shifting around her. Opening her eyes, she saw that Addison was slowly sitting up and eventually made it to her feet before she hobbled off to the bathroom under the power of her crutches and her personal grit.

Meredith knew that the redhead's broken ribs had to hurt like hell.

When Addison returned from the bathroom, Meredith was aware of her standing over the bed looking down in the dimness. "I know you're awake, Meredith." Came the whispered words after a moment.

"Yeah." Meredith conceded and waited to see what Addison would do or say next.

"I am tired of being in bed. Can we go out?" Addison asked and Meredith brightened at the thought. "You want to go for a drive, or just sit in the yard, or something?" Meredith asked as she sat up and rose to her feet.

"Maybe we can go to the yard." Addison said and hobbled around to the dresser where Meredith had put her clothes.

"I want to see how much I can do for myself." Addison said simply when Meredith moved to help her.

It made sense, Addison was an independent, adult woman. Meredith would feel the same in her position.

In ten minutes they had helped each other get dressed in sweats and Meredith had gathered up a couple of cuddly fleece blankets and they were making their way downstairs. Addison did not concede to sit in her chair, so they eventually went outside and settled into the swing that graced Meredith's porch.

A cushion for Addison and blankets for both and they were settled. Meredith had taken the precaution of tucking the wheelchair close by, albeit folded out of the way. Addison was simply going to have to tolerate some hovering, her injuries were no casual matter at all, and Meredith could not afford to be at all sanguine about them at this stage, or any stage really.

"I don't want to talk about my father right now." Addison said after a few minutes of comfortable silence had passed. "It's kind of like with your mother. You will talk about it, but it has to the right time." Addison continued and Meredith was happy with that answer.

She'd wait forever if needed. If there was something she did understand it was just how fucked up and conflicted things could be when it came to family.

"I am afraid to drive." Addison murmured after a while. "I know it's silly, but it is how I feel right now." Addison kept speaking and Meredith gave her lover her full attention, listening and simply holding her hand without moving.

"We need to go to California and get the cat, and my stuff, and my car." Addison said after a moment. "And I need to tie off some loose ends and quit my job." She continued.

"And we have to get the house redone. Seriously, Meredith. No disrespect intended towards your late mother, but it just won't do." Addison's voice sounded much happier at this last bit.

"We'll hire people to do the heavy stuff." Meredith reassured Addison and ran her fingers along the back of her hand in a random pattern.

"Get those magazines tomorrow." Addison reminded Meredith before she gingerly leaned back into the swing.

"Are you in a lot of pain?" Meredith asked, observing Addison's movements.

"Rehabilitation is going to be a bitch." Addison remarked in reply to Meredith's question.

It told her enough. Addison was in pain, but not so much that she was going to let it stop her or even slow her down much. Good.

"How about your hands?" Addison queried from Meredith.

"They ache, but Callie assures me that if I am good, I will be good as new in no more than two weeks." Meredith answered, flexing her sore fingers and examining them carefully.

"Bailey tells me you created quite a scene. Richard also came to visit and warned me not to hurt you." Addison remarked, concern and amusement warring together in her tone.

"Did he?" Meredith did not know what to make of that. "As for me creating a scene, well Hunt was ready to give up on you. I would not allow it and neither would Bailey." Meredith did not really want to revisit the emotions and memories from a few nights ago when this insanity had occurred.

"I'd never give up on you." Meredith mumbled, feeling vulnerable all of a sudden.

"Come here." Addison whispered and ever so gently pulled on Meredith.

Adjusting her position with great care, Meredith laid her head on Addison as softly as she could and closed her eyes with contentment, sighing. "You feel good, even all broken and stuff." Meredith commented as long fingered hands entwined themselves into her hair.

"So do you." Addison replied, placing a gentle kiss into Meredith's hair.

It felt so good simply to sit and be quiet and loved and alive.

"Come on. I'll make your breakfast." Meredith said after they had sat outside long enough to see the predawn arrive.

"Okay." Addison said easily and with Meredith's help they made their way indoors.

"You have wireless?" Addison queried as she settled herself in the kitchen.

"Yeah." Meredith said as she dug out eggs and bacon and bread and coffee and orange juice.

"You need to go online?" Meredith asked.

"People are probably going crazy with not really being able to get hold of me." Addison murmured. "I have had my phone screen all my calls." She added. "Or well your phone. I need to go shopping." Addison murmured and yawned.

"You watch the coffee, I'll get your laptop. Do you have spare glasses someplace?" Meredith asked as she set the coffee to percolate, pausing to kiss Addison on the cheek as she passed by her.

"Not really. I'll get Sam to send me some spares from LA." Addison answered as she shifted in her seat.

"Maybe in a few days we can go out and get you a phone. There have to be places nearby that have something you could use until you feel well enough to get what you really need." Meredith offered as she headed towards the bedroom to fetch Addison's laptop bag.

"Okay." Addison called after her and Meredith smiled.

This felt very domestic and nice and as an afterthought Meredith also grabbed her own laptop bag and headed back to the kitchen with both bags in tow. "I'll set it up for you, it's too heavy for you to lift right now." Meredith said firmly and went to work at setting out the computer an putting its peripherals within easy reach as she plugged it into a nearby outlet.

"You'll need the wireless password." Meredith said unnecessarily, quickly writing it down on a piece of notepaper for Addison to keep and memorise.

"Thanks." Addison commented and turned her computer on.

Meredith for her part set about making breakfast. She was starving and without a doubt Addison would also be hungry and she needed the energy to heal after all.

"You know, for someone who does not cook you look pretty good at making bacon and eggs." Addison commented as Meredith tamed her frying pan next to the stove.

"This is hardly a five star dish." Meredith said and neatly put the eggs and bacon onto a plate and buttered some toast to go with it.

"Here, eat." Meredith said setting the plate near Addison and adding a glass of orange juice and coffee next to it.

"Thank you." Addison murmured and glanced at Meredith with a smile.

"Hmm." Addison said after a few more minutes had passed and Meredith was sitting down to eat her own breakfast.

"What?" Meredith asked, before she took a healthy bite of food.

Delicious. There was a reason she had learned to cook breakfast. It was worth it and comparatively simple as well.

"Well, I have about one hundred emails, most of them are asking me if I am okay, I just did a mass reply. I really don't have the energy or inclination to be more attentive." Addison said before she in turn took a bite of food.

"This is great, Meredith. I don't think I have had bacon this good since the last time." Addison said with a smile and glanced up at Meredith, who blushed a little.

"I just sent an email informing my colleagues of my intention to return to Seattle." Addison continued.

She had made short work of the food and was now energetically sipping her orange juice and looking better than she had in days. Meredith was infinitely pleased to see this. She had been so worried for Addison last night when the redhead had been upset by her father.

Stupid Mark Sloan.

"I've been offered a job in London." Addison said after a moment and Meredith felt her stomach plunge to the floor.

"You have?" Meredith hoped that her voice sounded somewhat normal even if she felt like she was going to pass out.

She had just found Addison and had already almost lost her already.

"Don't sound so surprised. I am famous you know." Addison said and winked at Meredith. "And brilliant, and most important at all, I am modest too." Addison continued and sighed minutely at her own joke.

Meredith mechanically chewed her food and wondered what she should say. On the one hand, she wanted Addison to live her life and fulfil her potential. It was true, Addison was brilliant and renowned. Hospitals, institutions and clinics everywhere would be glad to give her the salary she wanted and whatever other benefits she saw fit to ask for, just so they could have her working for them.

Did Addison get a lot of email from other countries asking her to work overseas?

However, on the other hand, Meredith had only just found Addison and the thought of losing her was unbearable and Meredith was all confused inside as a consequence. What should she say? What did one say to communicate both desires?

"Hey, you okay?" Addison seemed to realise that Meredith had not spoken in a while.

"How are you feeling?" Meredith asked, not only because she was curious, but to stall the conversation a little while she tried to work out what she wanted to say.

"I need glasses and have to take my medication. I'm okay though." Addison replied automatically. "What's wrong?" She asked reaching for Meredith hand as she pressed for an answer to her previous question.

"Hey. Look at me." Addison implored and Meredith raised her eyes to look at Addison.

It was almost too much, to have this much, but to know that she could lose it so easily.

"Will you take the job in London?" Meredith blurted out.

"What? What makes you ask that?" Addison asked, turning her full focus on Meredith.

"Your brilliant, sought after; you could have anything you wanted." Meredith said finally. "I am simply a Resident and I am just Meredith Grey, doctor of who knows what, eventually." She added, shrugging.

"I don't want you to not live your life or something because of me." She finished off and wondered if she had said the wrong thing or fucked something up.

"Meredith." Addison said softly and attempted to get up to move closer to Meredith. "Damn it." She exclaimed and then tried again, gaining her feet and shuffling over to Meredith with the aid of a crutch and the edge of the counter.

"Meredith." She repeated when she stopped in front of Meredith. "I have what I want in life. I have you. My life starts here." Addison leaned in as she said this and kissed Meredith gently, fully, with all of herself.

"I can't wait to see what the future holds with you at my side." Addison whispered after they parted. "You're hardly simple, you know." She added and Meredith smiled.

Whatever insecurities that Meredith was having flew out of the window with that kiss and with those words. "I love you." Addison whispered into Meredith's ear as she leaned in gently and Meredith closed her eyes and let the words wash over her.

"I love you too." Meredith murmured and smiled against Addison's hair.

"I really do." She added and ran her hands gently along her lover's form, as if to reassure herself that Addison was really alive and there with her.

"Always ask me, Meredith, if you have a question like this. Silence about the important things can quickly become a problem that is hard to fix." Addison said as she pulled away. "You don't ever need to guess, just ask me, okay?" She added.

Meredith nodded her understanding. "You too." She said, wanting to make sure that Addison knew that she was on the same page as her about things.

Both in the give and take aspects of it.

"Come on, let's get you your medicine and make the sofa comfortable for you. I bet you're fed up with the bed for now, hmm?" Meredith said. "I'll bring your computer over to you when I have you settled, we can work in there." Meredith continued.

"Sounds good." Addison agreed and soon they were making their way to the sofa and Meredith fussed a little with pillows and blankets before returning to the kitchen to clear up and bring Addison her pills and computer.

Arriving back in the living room she situated the computer and handed Addison her pills. "Sorry, I know you hate how they make you feel, but they will help you heal. The last thing we need is cramps or muscle tears right now." Meredith said when Addison made a face at her.

"Yeah, I know." Addison conceded and Meredith could not help but smile as the redhead took her pills.

Meredith would lay serious money on Addison having been an utterly adorable child, but then thoughts of Addison being a child vanished when Meredith watched that elegant throat swallow. Addison did have an exquisite neck and Meredith could feel her own temperature rise as she thought about it.

Blinking, Meredith looked at Addison's face again and the knowing smile on those moistened lips made Meredith shiver. Hopefully they would heal quickly, Meredith was beginning to feel like a horny teenager.

Oh who was she kidding, she had been feeling this way since the moment she had kissed Addison in the Residents Lounge a whole lifetime ago it seemed.

"You're not computing?" Addison asked, breaking the sexual tension a little.

"My hands hurt when I type or click the mouse." Meredith explained, holding up her hands and wiggling her fingers slightly.

"I'll keep you company, though." She offered and sat down next to Addison.

Addison snatched up one of her hands and examined it intently. "Callie says you'll be ok?" Addison queried as she gently massaged Meredith's aching hand.

It felt heavenly.

"Uh, yeah." Meredith was reduced to mush as Addison eased the cramps in her hands with her obviously very multitalented fingers.

"Good." Addison said succinctly. "I have a vested interest in your hands and just as soon as I feel like I can take a deep breath without screaming, I intend to put that interest into play." She continued and Meredith laughed out loud at that.

"You're so bad." Meredith said with delight.

"You like me that way." Addison's riposte was good natured and Meredith had to concede that the redhead was right.

"Love you that way, actually." Meredith amended Addison's statement.

Addison smiled brilliantly for Meredith and reached for her other hand to massage.


Chapter 39

It was getting to the time when Meredith had to go report to the hospital. Even on sick leave she really have things she had to do, not least of which was get some interior decorating magazines and while she was at it get some house and garden one as well.

Meredith was very reluctant to leave Addison alone though and this was proving to be a dilemma that she was considering when the doorbell rang.

This had better not be Addison's father again.

Moving to answer the door, Meredith opened it to discover Derek standing on her doorstep.

"Derek?" Meredith was more surprised than anything else.

"Hi." He said brightly, seeming to be just as surprised as she was about being there.

"I brought some food, and your mail, and some paperwork for Addison." He extrapolated, smiling hopefully.

"Oh, I see. Come in." Meredith said and stepped aside.

"What's that?" Meredith asked, pointing at the bag in his hand.

"Clam chowder. She likes it." Derek said simply, handing her the bag.

"Does she?" Meredith filed this information away for further use.

She hoped that she would be able to say things like this about Addison as time went by. "Can you do me a favour?" Meredith asked as they walked into the house. "If Addison is okay with it, I mean." Meredith was quick to amend.

It was entirely possible that Addison would beat Derek with her crutches when they saw each other, in which case Meredith was going to have to resort to some other solution. "I need to go out for about two hours, how long can you be here?" Meredith asked as they arrived in the kitchen.

"I can do that." Derek said, not even hesitating.

"You'll behave?" Meredith asked pointedly.

She would eviscerate him if he upset Addison or caused any problems at this stage. "Mark Idiot Sloan brought her father to visit yesterday. That is more than enough upset for a week considering her condition." Meredith said as she put out some bowls to serve the chowder and reached for the bag.

"He did that?" Derek sounded shocked and appalled.


"Yep. I thought she was going to have a stroke right in the hallway." Meredith said, feeling the irritation she had felt at the audacity of Addison's father and the stupidity of Mark rise as she remembered the event.

"Mark can be really stupid sometimes." Derek said, sounding thoughtful.

"Well, I believe they call that the human condition." Meredith said as she dished out the chowder and wondered if she should serve bread with it.

"Where's Addison?" Derek asked, looking around.

"She is asleep on the sofa." Meredith said, waving a spoon in the direction of the living area.

"No, she's not." Came a voice and a moment later, Addison hobbled into view, looking van.

"Sweetheart. I don't think you should be standing right now." Meredith dropped her spoon as she said that and moved to help Addison to sit in the wheelchair which occupied the kitchen at this time.

"I hate this." Addison hissed angrily as she rubbed her sore arms.

Crutches were a bitch.

"What are you doing here?" Addison queried as Meredith ran her hands over Addison's arms and analysed the vitals she could detect at the same time.

"I brought chowder." Derek said, pointing to the kitchen counter. "Meredith let me in." He was quick to add.

It seemed that he was afraid of Addison, something which Meredith found amusing.

"I was going to ask him to stay while I have to go out, but only if it is okay with you." Meredith said to her lover and then she kneeled down to be at eye level with Addison so she would not miss any part of what she might have to say.

"Fine." Addison said tiredly. "But he had better behave." She added and closed her eyes, looking sick, tired and exhausted.

"Listen, let me call someone and you can stay as well, Meredith." Derek offered, looking concerned.

Meredith did not have to think twice. "Okay." She said gratefully, she really did not want to leave Addison and it had nothing to do with Derek; it had everything to do with Addison.

"Make a list of what you need to do, or get." Derek said and Meredith proceeded to rummage around a drawer for pen and paper.

Maybe she could at least get to a news stand if Addison was feeling better, but she would be more than happy to let Derek handle whatever she needed to do at the hospital today. Addison did not look well and while Meredith knew it was not to be unexpected, she was still not consciously willing to leave the other woman's side.

"Here." Meredith handed Derek a list of things she needed to do at the hospital and he took it before going to the living room to make some calls.

"I guess it helps to have the Chief of Surgery on your side." Addison commented as she leaned back wearily.

"I only need you by my side." Meredith answered and gathered Addison into her arms gently, wanting to do anything to make her feel better.

"At least I won't steal your ideas for a clinical study and claim they are my own." Addison said with no little bite in her voice.

Meredith blinked at the words, feeling a blush crawl up her neck. "Don't be modest, Meredith. It was your idea. Don't let anyone tell you that you are merely a Resident. There is no such thing. Life is what you make of it and with you, life could be anything. Don't ever think otherwise, ever." Addison said with great clarity.

"Also, next time you have a brilliant idea, don't let someone steal it from you." She added and ran her hand along Meredith's face with a touch that was soft and light.

"I won't." Meredith leaned into the touch slightly, feeling it soothe the many wounds that she carried inside of herself.

Maybe it would not fix anything, but it certainly helped things hurt less.

"I need more pain pills and a shower. I suppose I should also eat. Then I have to rest some more. Sorry for being such great company." Addison sounded cross with herself as she spoke.

"I don't need you to be great company, Addison. I only need you to be you and I need you to be alive of course and I need you in my life." Meredith replied, grabbing the hand that was exploring her face and bringing it to her mouth to kiss the coveted fingertips gently.

"All set." Derek said as he walked back into the room.

Meredith looked over at him and saw that he did not know where to look due to having caught them in such an intimate position. Too bad for him, there was no way that Meredith was going to pull away from Addison again for any reason. Everyone was just going to have to deal with it.

"Let's eat." Meredith suggested and Addison seemed to brighten at the prospect.

Maybe she would sleep soon and Meredith could make a dash to the corner store a couple of blocks away and get the requested and required magazines. Derek would be able to watch over the sleeping Addison for a few minutes.

Despite whatever flaws he had, he had a good heart and no harm would come to Addison while she was under his care.

This was something that Meredith knew in her heart of hearts.

Meredith was in a hurry. She wanted to get back to Addison as soon as possible as no matter what Mark Sloan had to say about it, Meredith did have Addison's best interests at heart.

So, with an armful of magazines and two pizza boxes in hand, she made her way back to her house as fast as she could. By her estimate, she had been gone about forty five minutes by the time she entered her front door again. Walking into the kitchen to deposit her load, she stopped in her tracks.

"Alex!" Meredith said, happy to see her friend despite the possible conflict of interests that he may represent.

"Here, you can bring this up to Lexie and share it with her if you like." Meredith said and handed him one of the pizzas.

"So Addison is living here now?" Alex said in his usual brusque style.

"Yep. You cool with that?" Meredith asked, hoping that he would be.

"I guess I have to be." He said as she examined the contents of the pizza box.

"I will leave you two to have this argument. I need to go pick something up before I come and say goodbye to Addison." Derek said pleasantly and smiled at Meredith before he left the room.

A moment later Meredith heard the front door open and shut and he was gone.

"Alex?" Meredith pressed her friend. "Technically this is my house and I will do as I please, but you do live here and I don't want us to have issues if we can avoid them." Meredith was starting to feel tired about being a mediator between everyone.

At least Lexie seemed to be totally cool with everything thus far.

"Just give me some time to get used to the idea, okay?" Alex allowed before he too disappeared from the room, pizza in hand.

"Well, that certainly went well." Meredith said to herself as she sat down and lowered her head to the table.

She was feeling tired. Maybe she would join Addison and take a nap. They could always enjoy cold pizza later.

And where had Derek gone?

Rising tiredly to her feet, Meredith opened the pizza box and suddenly felt very hungry. She wondered if Addison was awake yet. Well, there was one way to find out and with that thought, Meredith headed towards the bedroom with pizza in one hand and a roll of paper towels in the other.

Quietly she opened the door to discover Addison sitting up in the bed and looking around. "I have pizza." Meredith announced as she entered the room.

Addison smiled at her. "Great, I am starving." She said and patted the bed beside her. "I'd rather eat you though, but I am afraid if I try I will end up with one of my ribs sticking out of my belly button." Addison said as Meredith sat down.

"Well, I can at least kiss you." Meredith replied and leaned in to do just that.

The kiss was steamy and warmed Meredith up to her core. "I can't wait to feel better." Addison murmured against Meredith's lips.

"Me either." Meredith concurred.

The doorbell rang and there was a rush of footsteps to go answer it. Meredith was no really paying much attention though. Addison was running one of her long fingers along Meredith's arm making it hard for her to focus. It seemed like forever since they had made love, an entire lifetime, actually.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door and Lexie leaning into the room. "That was Derek. He brought this and said to feel better and call him if you needed anything." Lexie put a plastic bag on the floor next to the door and then she closed the door once more.

"We have to teach her to wait until one of us says come in." Addison said as Meredith got up to fetch the bag.

"Yes, you do that." Meredith said distractedly, poking around in the bag.

"Addison?" She said, holding up what looked like a box to an iPhone and walking towards the bed.

"You sent Derek shopping?" She asked, almost wanting to laugh.

It seemed that Addison Montgomery had powers that Meredith had only just begun to explore. "Yep." Addison said, reaching for the bag and the box.

"This is for you." Addison said in a sing-song way as she handed Meredith the iPhone.

"And this is for me!" Addison said holding up the box that said Blackberry 9700 on it.

"You got me an iPhone?" Meredith asked.

"Yep!" Addison said happily as she dug into her own box.

"Thank you." Meredith said, realising that this was important to Addison.

An iPhone. Wow.

"I wanted one of these." Addison said holding up her own new gizmo. "Just wish a car crash had not been the reason for me to have to get one.

Meredith said down next to Addison and the pizza and looked at the box in her hands. It felt like a birthday party that she had never really had as a child and with a sudden feeling of glee, Meredith dug into her own box, wanting to see her new toy.

As packing pieces and boxes got strewn all over, Meredith realised that it did not matter that she had never had a birthday party really. What mattered was right now and that she was sharing this moment with Addison.


Chapter 40

Two weeks had passed since Addison had been hit by the drunk driver and they had gone relatively smoothly. Meredith's hands had healed to the point where she was back at work full time and Addison had healed to the point where she only required a cane most of the time and wheelchair had been sent back to the hospital.

Addison herself had not returned to full duty by any means, but she was to be seen in the corridors of the hospital once more as she moved between consultation, the skills lab, an office where she was catching up with her paperwork, and rehabilitation and physical therapy. At various times she had a trail of Residents or Interns following behind her, but mainly they were acting as gophers, albeit happy ones.

Meredith expected that it would be another week before Addison was ready to stand in an OR once more for a protracted amount of time, but she had been tending to patients and doing simpler procedures in examination rooms and overall, everyone seemed happy with how things were going.

The drunk driver who had hit Addison had landed with a bill that had pretty much wiped him clean. Addison's lawyers were also in the process of filing a civil suit in addition to the criminal one that the city was making against him and gradually Meredith's desire to find the man and stomp on him like the bug that he was, had shifted to the background of her mind.

He would receive jail time, his reputation was ruined and he was financially devastated. Meredith's less forgiving side was pleased with this, though she made no promised should she ever cross paths with the man in her life and know who she was.

It had also been two weeks or more since Meredith had made love with Addison and the strain was starting to show on both of them. Not wanting to do anything that would impede especially Addison's healing, their physical interactions had been limited to several make-out sessions that had made the wallpaper blush and some instances of extreme intensity in showers, while getting dressed, and while sitting around the house doing mundane but delightful things.

Walking through the hospital in search of the woman who was occupying her thoughts, Meredith cast her mind back to one of the more recent ones that had burned itself into Meredith's memory for more reasons than one:

"I don't want white walls. Can't we have some other colour in the bedroom?" Meredith asked as they sat together at the kitchen counter clipping through magazines that were now dog-eared and well thumbed.

"I suppose so. Just not some shade of beige. I don't like beige as a wall colour." Addison had conceded as the legal pad they were sketching in and writing notes in was doodled in some more.

The drawing that Derek had made in the bedroom so long ago did need to be covered by a paint that would cover it, and that was just a start.

So far their plans for the house were progressing nicely. They sat most nights talking about what should be done where and laying out designs and ideas. Addison had said that when it came to execution, they would hire a designer to ensure that the whole would become the magnificence that it's parts allowed.

As they scribbled and scrabbled over notepads and design ideas and coffee, Meredith considered that it was somehow remarkable how quickly their relationship had progressed over a remarkably short period of time.

"No footboard on the bed." Addison had put her foot down about this.

"Why not?" Meredith had inquired that day while they sat in the kitchen.

"Think about it." Addison had teased and Meredith had done her best to do just that but had come up with a blank.

"You're so cute." Addison had teased her and thrown a wadded up piece of paper at her as she had smiled brilliantly and then taken Meredith's hand.

"Am not." Meredith had mumbled. "You are." Addison had countered.

"We sound like an old married couple." Addison had then joked and Meredith had frozen in her tracks at that statement.

Was Addison joking? Surely not.

"Hey." Addison had risen to her feet and shuffled over to Meredith and even in her frozen state of being Meredith had noted that there no longer was any stiffness in Addison's movements and she seemed to be relatively pain free.

"Hey, you okay?" Addison had repeated and Meredith had leaned into her and her touch when she had felt whose coveted arms wrap around her and comfort her.

"Yes, I'm fine." Meredith had answered.

"I was joking." Addison said softly. "Were you?" Meredith had countered.

"No, not really." Addison had replied. "Good." Meredith had answered.

A gentle kiss had followed, one of those kisses that promised Meredith the world, and the moon and the stars as well. All she had to do was reach out and take them and lately Meredith had decided that she had the courage to do just that.

"I love you." Addison had said as she kissed along the side of Meredith's neck towards the collar of her shirt.

Suffused with hot desire and a riot of emotions, Meredith had felt dizzy already, but the declaration of love on top of it had sent her head spinning.

"I love you too." She had whispered before bringing Addison's head up for another kiss that had shattered them both with its intensity and heat.

Only the possibility of hurting Addison had stopped Meredith from bending her over the kitchen counter and fucking her right there until she screamed. From the look that Addison had given her when they eventually parted, there was only the barest thread of self control holding Addison back as well.

It was an excellent memory and now Meredith was marching through the hospital in search of the woman who filled it and who filled her heart. She wanted a kiss and to invite her to lunch. Hopefully she would be able to achieve both goals before too long and hopefully the cafeteria would be serving something edible as well.

Meredith pulled out her phone and smiled. The iPhone that Addison had given her had instantly become a hit, not only with her, but with Cristina as well, who would periodically pickpocket it from Meredith and play one of the games that she had installed on it specifically so that Cristina would have a distraction.

Really, it was just too cute to see her brilliant friend so enraptured by simple games like pong and snake and tetris.

In any case, Meredith had migrated over to her new phone at once and now kept her old phone purely as a backup should one ever be needed. How had she lived before this iPhone?

Meredith had no idea but right now she was on a mission so she quickly sent a text message to Addison. It would save them both time if Meredith stopped wandering aimlessly and actually knew where the redhead was.

Hopefully she was in her office, then Meredith could fetch lunch and bring it to her and hopefully have some private moments with her girlfriend before they had to proceed with their daily duties.

One could always hope and with that thought in mind, Meredith hit send. Now it was just a matter of waiting and seeing what might happen next.

She could hardly wait to find out.

In my office. Addie

This had been the reply from Addison to the text that had been sent and now Meredith was making her way there at full steam with two quite tasty looking salads with condiments in tow.

She had a longer lunch today as her Attending was busy and her interns were studying, so hopefully she would be able to spend some time with Addison in peace and quiet. The redhead's office was tucked out of the way in the Vagina Wing, as Alex liked to call it. That still sort of cracked Meredith up.

Thankfully Alex himself had settled down after some days of awkwardness and was now his usual, oblivious and grumpy self towards Meredith, Addison and everyone else. So on that front all was normal. The only less than normal thing was the distinct knot of sexual tension that seemed to have taken up permanent residence in Meredith's lower abdomen.

The effect that Addison had on her was profound. She could not remember ever really having experienced such hunger for someone before. It seemed as if every nerve ending in her body was just begging to be touched and caressed and kissed by Addison and each moment, each heartbeat just seemed to intensify that desire.

Now however, it was time for lunch and time to spend some time with the object of her obsessions.

It helped that Meredith simply liked Addison as well. Love alone would not have explained her fascination with the redhead's every aspect. Addison was funny, moody, flawed, and perfect. Meredith was fairly certain that she had never been so interested in anyone in her life, perhaps even her own mother included.

Addison was a mystery that Meredith stood a good chance of solving, or at least she could get to know the other woman over a lifetime. The chance to know her mother was long past. Now she only had old diaries, memories that were biased and vague at best, and the every present knowledge that for the time being at least she was in her mother's considerable shadow, at least in the eyes of some.

Richard had really begun to see Meredith as her own, independent, grown up and individual person and of course Addison was not at all in awe of Meredith's mother. They had only briefly touched upon their mutual mommy-issues, but Meredith expected that in time Addison would begin to tell more.

Meredith had heard or read a quote someplace once which went something like, it's good to wash the past. The meaning of this quote had taken her time to discern, but eventually it had clicked in her mind. So maybe soon enough she and Addison could begin to was their pasts and thus try to ensure that their present and especially their future remained mostly unsullied by it.

Bringing her focus back to the present, Meredith paused only to knock briefly on Addison's door before she turned the handle and stepped into the tiny space that the redhead used as her office. A doctor of Addison's prestige and renown could have commanded a much larger space, but Addison had said that she did not want too much space around her as it tended to get filled with clutter and people and made it hard to work.

Meredith could understand that.

"Hi." Meredith said with a smile, noting that Addison was resting on the small sofa that her office contained.

No doubt her knee, ribs, everything began to ache after a long day of even mostly sitting. Meredith quashed the urge to make a big deal of it, though. Addison was quite tired of being babied, even though she was still at greatly reduced capacity.

"Hi." Addison replied happily and patted the sofa next to her.

"I have lunch." Meredith announced and held up the items in question.

"Fantastic. I am starving but was thinking of skipping lunch. The trek down to the cafeteria was really going to be too much for today." Addison extrapolated as she shifted aside and grabbed the boxes of food from Meredith.

"You okay?" Meredith could not resist asking.

It was not babying, it was asking someone she loved if she was okay.

"Yeah, just achy and tired. It's rough to sit all day." Addison said with a good natured wave of her hand.

Meredith smiled at that.

She loved Addison's sense of humour.

"Next time, if I am not here bringing you my sparkling personality and lunch, send one of your minions to get you lunch, or order in." Meredith admonished gently as they opened their salads and prepared to eat.

"Good idea." Addison said and happily took a bite of her salad.

Smiling, Meredith followed her example and hope that her lunch period would go slowly. She missed Addison even though they spent most of their free time together.

Love was a curious condition, as was planning a life together. It was a curiously wonderful condition, actually.

With salad eaten, the two of them were now resting quietly on the sofa, simply enjoying each other's company. Meredith speculated that Addison was actually much more tired than she made herself out to be and was glad that the weekend was coming up. Unlike Meredith, the good Doctor Montgomery would not have to work at all on the weekend and so would hopefully end up getting some much needed rest.

Two weeks was not a long time when compared to the severity of her injuries and Meredith was determined to ensure that the redhead did not strain herself, no matter how invincible she felt that she was. A setback at this stage would not bode well for anyone, but most especially not Addison.

"What are you thinking about?" Addison asked after some comfortable minutes had passed in salad digestion.

"About you." Meredith answered, looking over at Addison and smiling.

"Oh?" Addison remarked, raising an eyebrow. "Good thoughts I hope." She added.

"Of course." Meredith said, amusement colouring her tone. "Very good ones." Meredith added, suddenly acutely aware of the proximity of Addison and of the not very thick fabric of the scrubs that they were wearing.

It suddenly felt very hot in Addison's office.

"Tell me the thought that is making you have that expression." Addison demanded softly, trailing her fingers down Meredith's face and along her neck.

"I could show you." Meredith offered, her voice low and hungry.

"Please do." Addison replied, looking interested and ravishing at the same time.

Meredith swallowed, every so carefully leaning in to kiss Addison. The kiss was gentle, soft. Tender. It was also filled with heat, lust and want and in mere moments ignited to something that showed them both just how desperate they were for the further consummation of their relationship.

A strong hand wove its way into Meredith's hair and pulled her closer, tighter in and Addison then demanded entrance to Meredith's mouth with her tongue. Meredith willingly gave it and when she did, the fire of arousal that had been burning in her blood for weeks flared into an inferno.

The way Addison tasted, her scene, how she felt. All of these things fed the flames and Meredith wanted more. Had to have more. Needed more. Now.

A muffled sound of pain reached her ears and in the blink of an eye, the flames in Meredith were extinguished. "Addie?" Meredith asked, concerned.

Addison was holding her side and gasping for breath. "Damn my ribs." She moaned angrily, her face flushed with arousal and her breathing heavy still.

"Ah." Meredith said with concern, gently rising to her feet and helping Addison adjust her position to take the strain off the bones in question.

Addison looked pissed, and in pain, and terribly frustrated. Meredith could not blame her. Still, there was no way that they were going to risk hurting Addison at this time, not when full recovery was in sight and she was doing so well.

However, there were other options as to what they could do with the rest of their lunch period. "Scoot over a little." Meredith asked and then carefully climbed onto the sofa and positioned herself gently behind Addison.

Wrapping an arm around the other woman's hip, Meredith buried her nose in soft, sweet smelling hair and hummed her satisfaction. "There." She murmured. "We'll be okay, darling. We just need to be patient for a little while longer." Meredith murmured.

"Hmm." Addison seemed to murmur her assent and Meredith closed her eyes at that and gave herself over to holding Addison.

It felt good.

Very good.

Long minutes past and Meredith realised that they were both going to fall asleep if they were not careful. Time for conversation or something to keep them awake.

"Penny for your thoughts?" Meredith asked softly, kissing the back of Addison's hair.

"Just wondering about life." Addison said vaguely, sounding sleepy.

"Such as?" Meredith probed gently.

"Do we get a dog someday to go with the cat?" Addison asked.

Milo the cat had taken up residence in the house a week after Addison had arrived, having been flown up first class as soon as it had been practical to do so.

"A dog?" Meredith did not have any objections, but she was curious about where Addison's mind was going.

"Yeah." Addison commented.

"Sure I guess." Meredith said easily.

"Hmm." Addison said contentedly.

Why was Addison asking about dogs? Meredith wondered as she lay peacefully on the sofa.

"Would the dog go with say, kids?" Meredith hoped she was on the right track here.

"Yeah." Addison said after a moment.

"I like that idea." Meredith said and surprised herself by actually meaning it.

"You do?" Addison seemed tentative as she asked that question.

It made Meredith wonder why Addison was so tentative, exactly. Aside from the obvious reasons that she herself was unable to have children of her own, biologically anyway.

"Yeah, I do." Meredith was happy to reassure the redhead. "Someday." Meredith added.

"Yeah, someday for sure." Addison concurred, seeming to agree with the sentiment that they would not be having kids tomorrow or next year or anything like that.

"How many?" Addison asked after a few more moments had passed.

"Um. I dunno. At least two? I always wanted someone to play with as a kid. A brother or something." Meredith replied in all seriousness. "Three would also work." Meredith continued.

Addison squeezed her hand where it rested on her hip and sighed a happy sound.

"You'll make a wonderful mother someday." Addison said after a beat.

Meredith hoped that would be the case. She really did.

"Well, as long as I have you by my side, I won't be too worried about messing it up." Meredith eventually said.

"Ditto." Addison murmured.

Snuggling into Addison a little tighter, Meredith closed her eyes and considered that this was one of the better lunches she had experienced in a long time.

"I love you." Meredith whispered.

"Love you too." Addison mumbled, sounding half asleep already.

Meredith did not know how she was going to get up and leave once her own lunch was over. She supposed she would figure it out when the time came.

Part 41

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