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 41

By the time evening fell, Meredith was eager to get out of the hospital and go home. She wanted to eat takeout, look at interior decorating magazines and cuddle with Addison on the couch while Milo chased dust bunnies in the corners.

It was all so disgustingly domestic that Meredith was delighted.

However, first she had to finish her shift and thanks to the laws of averages, or perhaps Murphy's Law, Meredith was stuck in the hospital with only Cristina as company and the woman in question was busily playing tetris on Meredith's phone at the moment and not being especially interactive.

They were sitting together in a corridor waiting for their respective Attending doctors to summon them to surgery and the clock on the wall seemed to mock Meredith as she watched the minute hand crawl at the enthusiastic speed of a salted slug.

"How are things with you and Owen?" Meredith asked by way of filling the air with sound.

Not that filling silences was needed with Cristina, but Meredith was bored and wanted something else to think about as she waited to leave work. This was a departure from who she had been just six months ago. Then she would have found reasons to stay at work and that made her wonder.

Could she be a surgeon and be into family at the same time?

Meredith was determined to not become her mother, or Richard, or even Cristina. There were aspects of all three people that were admirable and certainly she would and should emulate, but their lack of attention to their private lives was not one of them. Or well, apparent lack of attention.

In reality, Meredith could only speculate from her own point of view exactly what were the motivations and aspirations and complications that stopped those three doctors from being able to devote more time to non work things.

"Okay I guess." Cristina replied at last when she finally lost at tetris and activated the snake game in Meredith's phone.

"He's not being so Rambo-like anymore and he has gone back to therapy." Cristina elaborated as she chased dots on the screen of Meredith's phone.

It would never occur to Meredith to question her friend and her fascination with Meredith's iPhone. She was just happy to have Cristina sit next to her and hang out, and if simple games and a piece of technology facilitated that then that was just fine with Meredith.

Cristina was not much for small talk anyway.

"You and Addison, though. Geez. A cat, happy house and garden magazines?" Cristina teased as she finally gave up on the games in Meredith's phone and handed it back.

"Next you'll be telling me you're getting a U-Haul and taking a trip to California." Cristina sniffed and stretched out her legs.

"Um. Well." Meredith hedged.

"Seriously?" Cristina gave an impressive eye roll and Meredith gently nudged her friends ribs.

"Just for that, I am going to make you help us unpack, or feed the cat. Or something." Meredith teased and Cristina snorted, apparently content with the idea in her own unique way.

She and Addison had not talked about when they would go to California just yet, but Meredith assumed that it would be soon. Addison had responsibilities that she could not ignore for much longer and really, Meredith was also curious about getting a glimpse of her girlfriend's life as it had been for the past while.

Meredith also simply liked the idea of going on a trip with Addison, even if it was simply to get stuff and fulfil the U-Haul prophesy of lesbians living together. Meredith had been doing some research online about lesbians.

She was undecided if she was a lesbian or not, but she knew for certain that she was into Addison, as in her sexuality was solely focused on the redhead in question. If she was gay for Addison, then so be it. Meredith certainly was not going to complain.

She wondered what her mother would say.

So far her father did not really know, but them Meredith had never really had a whole lot to say to her father about much. Meredith did wish that Lexie's mother was still alive, she speculated that the woman would know how to listen and would know what to say. Sometimes Meredith craved a maternal figure in her life and the funny thing was that she had no idea what that really meant.

It was off to crave something that she had never really had.

"Well, here they come." Cristina said in a stage whisper and the two of them rose to their feet as Arizona Robbins and Miranda Bailey walked down the corridor in their direction.

"Back to the trenches." Meredith murmured and as the two doctors passed them, Meredith and Cristina fell in step behind them.

As they walked, Meredith pulled out her phone and fired off a quick message to Addison, who was undoubtedly back at home now and resting. Or she better be. Meredith had been aware of just how tired Addison was when they had lunch together.

Going to surgery. Keep the bed warm for me and give Milo a kiss for me. Love you. Mer

It really was too sweet for words and Meredith was delighted by it.

Will do. Love u 2. Addie

Came the quick reply and Meredith smiled as wide as her face would allow.

"You're disgusting. Stop being so happy." Cristina intoned from beside her and Meredith laughed as she slid her phone away.

"Don't ever change, Cristina." Meredith said as they rounded a final corner on their journey to scrub in.

"Of course not." Cristina said with false outrage and Meredith smiled again.

Today she was feeling exceptionally lucky. She had Addison, she had Cristina, and she had a bright looking future with exciting prospects. To say the least.

Cat, dog, kids, house, family, friends, career. Very nice.

Meredith pulled out her green scrub cap and ran her fingers over the tiny stars on it and felt her heart swell.

"Stop that." Cristina demanded and Meredith snapped back to the present.

It was time to scrub in, daydreams would have to wait until later.

By the time Meredith finally got home that night she was dead tired, but also totally wired up from the long surgery and from leftover sexual tension from earlier. The house felt welcoming as she walked into it and it made Meredith reflect on how much had changed in her life so recently.

How much things had changed in a good way, that is.

"Hi." Addison said as she walked up to Meredith, only the brace on her foot making her gait a little stiff.

Meredith smiled and enfolded Addison into a hug, very glad to be home and with Addison and when Milo, the cheeky little fellow ran up to wrap himself around Meredith's legs, it actually made Meredith laugh with pleasure.

"It's good to be home." Meredith murmured and released Addison and then bent down to greet the little cat who had joined them.

"I think he's beginning to like me." Meredith commented about the feline who was busily weaving a figure eight around Meredith's ankles.

"He has good taste in women." Addison remarked and urged Meredith deeper into the house.

"I got your favourite." Addison teased as she guided Meredith into the kitchen.

Meredith wondered what exactly that meant but a moment later she found out. On the countertop was arrayed a variety of Thai food, and now that Addison was allowed to drink in moderation, Thai beer as well.

"Hungry?" Addison queried, running a finger along Meredith's arm as she spoke.

The touch send a shiver down Meredith's spine. "Starving." She said huskily, causing Addison to look up into her eyes.

Heat arched between them and Meredith had to blink a little and take a deep breath after a moment. "This is killing me. I mean what a way do die, but it's killing me." Meredith whispered, leaning in to place a soft kiss on Addison's mouth.

"Join the club." Addison murmured and Meredith felt the coil of arousal that had taken up permanent residence in her lower abdomen shift at the words.

"Come on, darling. Food, shower, bed." Addison urged and Meredith had to agree with her.

She really was exhausted. She doubted Addison had done much resting since she had arrived home. The redhead had a constant stream of catching up to perform and Meredith knew that Addison sometimes spend too much time doing just that.

As the sat down, Meredith's stomach rumbled. "Thank you, this looks great." Meredith commented and Addison bestowed one of her rare, full smiles.

It was breathtaking to witness and Meredith forgot where she was for a moment.

Addison chuckled at her reaction, though Meredith could see the hint of a blush grace Addison's cheekbones. It was good to know that the statuesque redhead was not immune to the intensity that sparked and moved between them.

The informal nature of the kitchen made for easy conversation as they ate and the food, company and beer was good. Meredith was lagging through. She could feel her tiredness in her very bones, actually.

"I made some calls today." Addison said as she took a sip of her beer.

"Oh?" Meredith asked, curious despite herself.

"Yeah. I figure we should get an interior designer in to take a look, and a contractor as well, and a landscape designer." Addison elaborated.

"Sounds good. Let me know when, in plenty of time please, and I will do my best to be here for those appointments." Meredith yawned as she spoke.

Man, she was tired.

"You need to go to bed, Meredith." Addison coaxed as Meredith felt herself begin to fall asleep sitting up.

"I need to shower first. Hopefully I don't drown myself." Meredith murmured in response and rose to her feet.

"Come on darling." Addison said and grabbed her cane with one and Meredith's hand with the other.

"I'll help." Addison suggested.

"Okay." Meredith said sleepily and they went to the bathroom together.

Once there, Addison gently persuaded Meredith to remove her scrubs and as Meredith watched Addison slipped out of her sweats and a moment later was also standing naked. Meredith considered this and felt the pulse of arousal beat in her blood, despite her fatigue.

"Be good." Addison admonished gently.

"Not fair." Meredith whined tiredly.

A moment later they were both under the hot spray of the shower and Meredith was leaning against Addison contentedly. The contact with her lover's body felt divine, even if her brain was offline and her own body was mostly asleep right now.

It was intimate and close and Meredith relished the feel of Addison's skilled fingers carefully combing the water through Meredith's hair. A moment or two passed and Meredith became aware of Addison reaching for a bottle of shampoo and then before she could think any further, Addison was lathering the shampoo into Meredith's hair.

Meredith could not remember the last time someone had washed her hair and as she relaxed into the heavenly sensation of being caressed and taken care of, she clung to Addison gently, not wanting to put any of her weight onto Addison's injuries, but still wanting to be close.

It was obvious that Addison was enjoying this as well and when Meredith felt her hair being rinsed she was convinced she has gone to heaven.

Realising that Meredith was falling asleep, Addison hurried them through the rest of the shower and in a very short period of time Meredith found herself in bed, being tucked in. Half asleep she turned towards Addison and smiled.

"You take good care of me." Meredith slurred sleepily.

"Always." Addison replied, touching Meredith's face.

Meredith was asleep a moment later, feeling safe and protected and at peace.

"He what?" Meredith asked into her phone, sounding shocked.

It was Cristina. Owen Hunt had cheated on her with Teddy Altman. It was predictable, sad and it made Meredith want to go medieval on the damned trauma surgeon.

Damn him. Cristina did not deserve this.

And why did Cristina always have to go for the tall, dark and complicated types. Meredith heard Cristina hang up angrily and glanced around the kitchen. Addison was still asleep and she needed to talk to someone about what to do about this situation.

Addison would be sympathetic, Meredith was sure of it but she needed to talk to someone now. Too bad Izzy was gone and what a damn crying shame it was that George was dead. This left Alex, actually.

Hard to believe that they were down to so few now.

Hearing the shower go on in the bathroom, Meredith went to see if Alex was awake yet. He might be gruff, rude, and irritating, but his heart was in the right place and he was one of the ones from the original group. Meredith was quietly confident that he would go punch out Owen Hunt if he thought it would help Cristina and if he did not get fired for it.

Slipping into the bathroom, Meredith announced herself so as not to startle Alex too much. "I need some girl-talk." Meredith said as she sat down on the toilet.

The dark and tortured face of Alex peered out from behind the curtain. "What, again?" He asked, sounding frustrated but not upset per se.

"Yeah. Cristina just called. Owen Hunt has slept with Teddy Altman. She is really upset and I don't know what to do. Addison is asleep and she does not know Cristina like you do. So I need some girl-talk." Meredith extrapolated, handing Alex a bottle of shampoo when he extended his hand.

"I could go and kick Hunt's ass." Alex offered as he vanished behind the curtain again.

"I think we should leave that as an option to consider. Damn him for hurting her. She does not deserve it." Meredith sighed in frustration.

"No one does." Alex murmured.

"Nope, no one does." Meredith concurred.

"I'll make sure no one hassles her today if I can." Alex offered from behind the curtain. "You do your person thing." He added.

"Yeah, sounds good." Meredith sighed and just then the bathroom door opened.

"Lexie?" It was Addison.

"I think she's still asleep." Meredith offered as she smiled happily at her girlfriend.

"Geez, what is this, Grand Central Station? Get out." Alex grouched from behind the curtain and Meredith laughed.

"Bye Alex." She said and got up and walked towards Addison.

"What's wrong?" Meredith queried as she reached the door.

Her lover had a funny look on her face and Meredith was worried that perhaps she had some bad news for Lexie, or something had happened. Addison shook her head and blinked, following Meredith out of the bathroom.

"You were just in there, with Alex, while he showered?" Addison asked as Meredith closed the door.

"Yes." Meredith was confused and figured if she used short answers she would not confuse herself any further.

"He's naked." Addison said, holding a piece of paper in her hand and looking at it like she had never seen it before.

Meredith wondered what was on the paper.

"And that is okay with you?" Addison was starting to sound a little cross now.

Before Meredith could come up with an answer Addison continued. "And it's okay with him?" She said.

"Addison?" Meredith was beginning to realise that perhaps Addison had some boundaries that Meredith would be wise to learn about.

That said, these were her friends and this was now things were between Meredith and her friends. Or how things had been. Meredith was prepared to do a lot of things to ensure that this relationship was a success, but changing who she was on a fundamental level was not really one of them.

"Did it occur to you that I may have a problem with you just sitting in a bathroom while someone is showering?" Addison sounded crabby now as she walked to Lexie's room and knocked on the door before stepping in.

"I'm not your message service." Addison said to Meredith's startled half sister and thrust a piece of paper at her before she turned away and walked back into the hallway and crossed back to the master bedroom.

"These are my friends, Addison." Meredith said carefully.

Maybe they could come to some sort of compromise.

"And I am your girlfriend." Addison huffed, sitting down. "How would you feel about it if I was talking to Mark Sloan as he showered and you walked in?" Addison asked pointedly.

"I've never slept with Alex." Meredith said automatically.

"That's actually beside the point. Mark is my friend the same way George was yours and you did sleep with George." Addison batted away Meredith's counter argument easily and rolled her shoulders irritably.

"Addie." Meredith said, allowing her emotions to seep into her tone.

The redhead looked at her and Meredith could see the conflict in her eyes. "You think we can come to an understanding about this?" Meredith continued as she sat down next to Addison and took her hand.

"I was talking to Alex because he is one of my original friends from this part of my life and I just heard that Owen Hunt has cheated on Cristina. I was also going to talk to you, but you were still asleep and Alex is Cristina's friend too." Meredith offered as she entwined their hands.

"What a bastard." Addison said. "Cristina is too good for Owen." Addison murmured and Meredith had the sense that the other woman was allowing herself to see a compromise in the way Meredith interacted with her friends.

"Do you think you would be able to wait until he had his underwear on at least?" Addison sighed and closed her eyes. "I mean I am trying to understand and be supportive and I know you two are friends, but I am your girlfriend. Having you hang out with people not wearing pants is not exactly something I am going to be at ease with." Addison lay back in the bed and pulled Meredith along with her.

Arranging herself carefully so as not to stress Addison's still sore body, Meredith ran a finger along the fine, patrician features of her lover. She supposed there could be a compromise. Meredith could try to wait until people were wearing pants or at least were a little more decent than standing naked in a shower and Addison would try to be more flexible with her assumptions about how the boundaries of a relationship were arranged.

"Okay. I'll work on making sure people are wearing pants, or at least are not stark naked." Meredith said with a small smile. "But you know, Addison. I only have eyes for you. There is no contest or any other possible option. There is just you." Meredith rolled over on the bed and looked at the ceiling with Addison.

"Fine." Addison said softly, sounding much calmer than she had been a few moments ago.


Lifting up their joined hands she smiled at them. "Get well soon, will you?" She teased.

"God, I want you." Addison moaned softly from beside her. "I think I am grumpy right now because I can't have you and I want you. Now. I want you now." Addison draped her other arm across her face and sighed in a very frustrated way.

"I know what you mean." Meredith said in a low, hungry tone.

This was pure torture. The oasis that could quench her thirst was right within reach, but she could not drink. Not yet anyway.

Patience Meredith. Good things come to those who wait.

That refrain did nothing to ease the ball of tension in her lower abdomen. She was thirsty and what she wanted was laying in the bed beside her. Self restraint was a new thing that Meredith was learning as she and Addison eased into this relationship together. Self restraint, compromise and a dark of maturity as well.

Meredith barely recognised herself, actually, but she also realised that she was liking what she saw.

"I love you." Addison said as she rolled over and draped herself over Meredith's body.

"I love you too." Meredith murmured into the soft, sweet smelling hair on Addison's head.

With this issue taken care of, Meredith needed to think about Cristina. Damn Owen Hunt and damn Teddy Altman as well.


Chapter 42

Arriving at work, Meredith kissed Addison goodbye in the hospital lobby, happy to have anyone see her do it. Long gone were any thoughts of being discreet. If anyone had an issue with it to the point where Meredith actually got any grief about it, she's sue, and win, and find someplace else to work.

But, right now Meredith needed to find Cristina. Her person had received a shock and she needed to see that Cristina was okay. Meredith doubted that Cristina was especially shocked about what had happened, but it would have hurt the surprisingly sensitive woman deeply.

So, thinking like Cristina might, Meredith proceeded to check the most relevant places first. The morgue, some hideouts where Meredith knew that Cristina would go if she needed space, and lastly, surgery. Cristina, like all of them was a workaholic, and like all of them work was a sanctuary and an escape, as needed.

Turns out Cristina was in the morgue, though.

Meredith walked into the space which smelled of stale decay, embalming fluid, and disinfectant and saw her friend leaning over a cadaver with scalpel in hand. "I don't have a sparkly pager, Cristina." Meredith said as she came to a stop near her friend.

Cristina looked up at her and Meredith could see that her friend was wounded, but not like when Burke had won his Harper Avery award. This time Cristina just looked angry and hurt and resigned, versus shell shocked and borderline catatonic.

Maybe Meredith would not have to kill Owen Hunt after all. Though she may still kick him the balls, though.

"I'll help you hide the bodies." Meredith offered, reaching out to touch her friends arm.

"Did you bring me coffee?" Cristina inquired, sounding more like her usual imperious self than she had on the phone.

"It's outside, I did not want it to become Cafe du Corpse." Meredith explained shrugging with one shoulder.

"Okay. Let me just wash up." Cristina said and turned away to put away her instruments and remove her gloves.

Meredith for her part retreated to the adjacent room to wait for her friend.

Looking around Meredith tried to think of what she could do for her friend. She needed to ensure that Cristina was okay, no matter what.

"Give me coffee." Cristina said when she walked in wearing some fresh scrubs and smelling of antiseptic.

Meredith handed over the coffee to Cristina and the other woman sat down next to her in silence that was not uncomfortable. Things were rarely uncomfortable between them, only that one time when they had argued but Meredith had learned since then that in order to have a successful relationship one had to give, not only take.

"I broke up with him." Cristina said after a beat.

"Sorry." Meredith offered, handing her friend her iPhone.

Cristina took the phone from her and activated one of the games on it. "You were too good for him." Meredith said after a while.

"I am on Altman's service today." Cristina signed.

"Geez, awkward. You want to trade?" Meredith had Callie today.

"Carpentry versus cardiology, hmm, let me think." Cristina said facetiously. "Such a tough choice." She murmured and yawned a little.

"Yeah, I kind of wish I had something more exciting for you, sorry." Meredith conceded.

"I'll be okay. I mean it is apropos. The cardiologist who broke my heart." Cristina quipped and Meredith felt her own heart ache for her friend.

"Make sure you come to my place tonight. I have a king sized bed you know." Meredith made a mental note to mention this possibility to Addison.

Give and take. Cristina needed to be emotionally safe tonight so Meredith's bed was the only option Meredith could think of. She figured that Addison would understand, especially as Cristina was unlikely to be removing her pants at any point in the evening.

In any case, Cristina was Meredith's and she wanted her girlfriend and her best fried to get along well. Some impromptu bonding in bed may just be the start of that dream.

"I gotta go." Cristina remarked and handed Meredith back her phone.

Meredith did not even have the time to say bye to Cristina, but she knew that her person would show up tonight to sleep and be safe from harm.

Hopefully Milo would like Cristina. The idea of the cat and Cristina interacting put a smile on Meredith's face and without further ado she went off to look for Callie and to begin her day proper.

"Cristina is coming over tonight." Meredith said into the phone to Addison when they were finding a way to talk later in the day.

So far they had both been far too busy to actually connect in person, but telephones were just marvellous inventions for times of too busy otherwise. "You can have whoever you like over, Meredith. It's your house too." Addison said slightly distractedly and Meredith heard some shuffling of papers in the background.

"Yes, I know. But she will be staying the night and not on the sofa, either." Meredith just hoped that Addison would not have an issue with this as it needed to happen.

"I see." Addison breathed on the other end of the line.

"Cristina does not do emotions well." Meredith extrapolated as she walked towards the Resident's Lounge to find a change of scrubs.

The ones she wore were sweaty and she could not stand them.

"And sleeping in your bed somehow, makes up for this?" Addison sounded remarkably understanding about this, but it remained to be seen how she would react when face with the physical reality of Cristina in her bed.

"Yeah." Meredith said simply as she rounded the corner and then stepped into the Lounge.

"Well, just so long as she does not steal the covers." Addison said breezily on the other end of the line.

"Sorry to say, but she does." Meredith laughed.

"Great. Well, I will have to hold on tight then." Addison murmured and Meredith could hear her stand up.

"I have to go. See you later." Addison said into the phone. "I love you." She added as Meredith heard someone enter her office.

"I love you too." Meredith said into the phone.

It felt so good to say. "Thank you." Addison said quietly before she disconnected the phone.

Thank you? Meredith closed her phone and considered the motivations behind Addison's parting words.

Maybe one of these weeks or months they would discuss their respective romantic histories a little and Meredith would find out a little more as to what Addison's insecurities were, or what pushed her buttons. Of course this would mean that Meredith would also need to divulge her own sordid history to some degree, but that was a worry for then.

Right now Meredith needed to get back to work. The day was not done yet.

A quick change of clothes and Meredith was walking back towards the board to see what was happening next on the schedule. As she approached she saw Addison standing next to Mark Sloan by the board and had a flashback to not so long ago when she had over reacted to the point of madness to the same thing.

Not this time, though.

Meredith walked up to Addison and stood in her personal space and leaned in to kiss her cheek briefly by way of greeting.

Mark opened his mouth to say something but Meredith cut him off. "No, you can't watch." She said sternly.

"But..." Mark almost pouted. "No." This was Addison who chipped in now.

"What if I am really quiet?" He pleaded, good humour and a tinge of hope sparking in his eyes.

"No!" Addison and Meredith said in unison.

"Geez. You can't blame a guy for trying." Mark said after looking at them for a moment.

"You sure?" He just would not give up.

Meredith bit back laughter as Addison raised her cane and made as if to hit him with it. "Shoo." Addison said in mock horror.

"Fine. Abuse me then" Mark said laughing before he walked away shaking his head, no doubt intent on trying his luck somewhere else.

"He's not going to give up." Addison said after a moment. "He still can't watch though." Meredith said firmly. "Absolutely not." Addison agreed.

"See you tonight." Meredith said to Addison.

The redhead had a later shift than Meredith.

"Okay." Addison said with a smile.

By the time Addison came home, Meredith and Cristina were in fact mostly, if not wholly asleep. Meredith was briefly aware of the bed moving as Addison climbed in and then she felt the redhead snuggle against her side. It was a most surreal thing. Meredith's semi-conscious state was aware that she had two of the most important people in her life sleeping with her, or actually to each side of her.

After that, Meredith knew nothing at all until morning.

"Your girlfriend is cool." Cristina announced sleepily from the bed beside her.

Meredith blinked sleep from her eyes and looked over at Cristina. "Yeah, she is." Meredith agreed.

Where was Addison?

The bed was still slightly warm beside her so that indicated that Addison had left within the past half hour or so. But she had not come back.

"I smell bacon." Cristina announced as she rolled to her feet and stood up.

"So do I." Meredith agreed and watched Cristina pull on her shoes.

"I gotta go. See you at the hospital." Meredith did not even have the time to reply before Cristina was gone.

At least she seemed to be getting back to normal. Hopefully she would rebound from Owen without too many repercussions. Hearing some talk from the kitchen and then the front door opening and closing, Meredith determined that Addison must be in the kitchen making bacon for breakfast.


Walking to the kitchen, Meredith was surprised when she entered to discover that Addison was indeed cooking breakfast, but not only for herself, but also for Lexie, who was sitting chatting amiably with Addison while she waited.

"Meredith." Addison exclaimed when Meredith entered the kitchen. "Sit, food is done soon." It seemed that Addison could also cook breakfast as well.

"Thank you." Meredith said and yawned.

"Good morning." She added to both her sister and her lover as she sat down.

"Morning." Lexie said, sounding happy. "Addison was just telling me some story about California." The younger woman enthused and Meredith smiled.

It was great that Addison and Lexie were starting to get along and get to know each other more. "Was she?" Meredith asked as she watched Addison move about the kitchen. The redhead was not limping anymore and her cane was resting against the countertop.

"Yes, I was." Addison offered and smiled as she set food in front of the two sisters before she turned back to the stove.

"And I am finally cleared for some elective surgeries as well." Addison continued. "Just the little stuff." She added when Meredith raised an eyebrow.

"Well, I can't stay out of the OR forever, I am a surgeon." Addison countered Meredith's other eyebrow as she sat down with her own breakfast.

"You want to scrub in with me today?" Addison asked and Meredith took a moment to realise that she was asking Lexie.

"Sure, absolutely." Lexie replied happily and the three of them tucked into their breakfast.

"Milo." Lexie exclaimed as the feline in question entered the room, obviously intent on receiving his share of bacon.

Meredith watched her sister scoop up the cat and hold it close and it made her smile. It was a curious thing that she finally seemed to have a family and that she even had a cat to complement the whole concept.

"He slept on my bed last night." Lexie commented as she settled the affectionate creature in her lap and offered him a piece of bacon.

"He's a charmer. Now that you have given him bacon he'll be yours forever." Addison commented as she turned back to her own meal.

"Just my kind of man then." Lexie commented running her hands along the lithe form of the ecstatic cat.

Meredith just smiled at the scene before her. Addison seemed to be very happy that her cat was becoming the house cat. Meredith had even seen Alex interacting with the little ball of fur. Animal were uncomplicated in that way, kind of like music. People may not have a lot in common, but they could be drawn together by animals, children, music, love.

To mention a few things.

"You're giving him all your bacon?" Addison laughed as Milo commandeered Lexie and charmed her out of the rest of her breakfast just about.

"Are you saying you could resist this face?" Lexie smiled at Addison and took a bite of her eggs which the cat seemed to be disinterested in.

"Of course not." Addison demurred and Lexie laughed before she gently put the cat down on the floor where it sat and meticulously licked its paw and then proceeded to clean its face.

"You see, he's even a perfect gentleman." Lexie said as she finished off her food.

Meredith chuckled and watched with pleasure as Addison smiled behind her coffee cup.

"Got to get going." Lexie said as she rose and quickly moved to deposit her dishes into the dishwasher.

"See you at the hospital." Meredith waved at her sister and Addison called out her goodbyes as well.

"She's nice." Addison commented as she moved to clear away their dishes.

"Yeah. She needs to grow up though." Meredith commented, moving to help Addison.

"Don't we all." Addison murmured, enfolding a very willing Meredith into a hug.

It was true.

"I'd like to drive." Addison said as Meredith opened the car doors.

"Okay." Meredith said at once. It had been three weeks or so since the accident and for all intents and purposes Addison was fit to drive.

Her foot only had a compression bandage on it, her knee was technically healed and the latest film of her chest showed no more fractures. What remained was the aches and pains of the type of injuries that Addison had received and the stiffness caused by lack of use, both of which were being addressed by time and massage and physical therapy.

Her concussion had also resolved itself and she was otherwise in good health.

The real question was if Addison was mentally prepared to drive. Meredith knew that her girlfriend was mentally tough, so if she felt ready to drive, then Meredith was not going to say no.

Addison came around the side of the car and slipped into the drivers seat. "Help me adjust it." She requested softly.

Meredith leaned down and carefully did just that, making sure the seat and the steering wheel were in the most optimal position possible for Addison and then when Meredith came around the passenger side, they spent some time fussing over mirrors before buckling up and getting ready to go.

"We have time if you would like to take the scenic route." Meredith suggested.

She was talking about smaller back streets that would lead to the hospital with much less traffic and no large intersections.

It was also somewhat scenic, of course.

"Sure. Lead on." Addison said as she started the car and gripped the wheel tightly.

The scenic route also had lots of places where someone could stop if they so desired. Meredith hoped that Addison would not need to stop, but it was a consideration that Meredith wanted to be prepared for.

Carefully Addison eased the car into the street and they drove off at a casual pace. Addison was gripping the wheel too hard, but that was a minor consideration right now. Meredith was not concerned if she tore the steering wheel off, just so long as Addison herself would be okay.

"I have had nightmares about driving." Addison confessed as she turned a corner at Meredith's direction.

"I keep seeing the moment before the crash and the thing is I don't actually remember it." Addison said another moment.

Meredith turned to face her lover. "It would be surprising if you did not have nightmares and flashbacks and stuff." Meredith said sympathetically.

She had experienced her share of waking dreams and nightmares for a long time after she had drowned. In fact she still had problems with those things at times.

"I know, I just feel like I should be stronger." Addison said, finally relaxing her grip on the steering wheel a little.

"You're not superhuman." Meredith countered, brushing her hand lightly over one of the hands that were clenched around the steering wheel.

"You sure about that?" Addison said as she came to a stop at a corner and looked around.

"I've seen you naked. No superman costume under those clothes." Meredith said as she looked around.

Whatever Addison was going to say next was drowned out by the loud honk of a horn behind them that made both Addison and Meredith jump.

"Jerk." Meredith said as Addison recovered her equilibrium and drove onwards.

It was clear that Addison was shaken though and Meredith did not want her to feel bad about stopping. "Hey, look. More coffee. Bet you it's better than the stuff at the hospital." Meredith said pointing at a small corner cafe.

"Pull over, I'll run in." Meredith suggested, digging out her wallet.

"Alright." Addison said, her voice a little tight.

Leaning over to kiss Addison before she got out of the car, Meredith quickly exited the car in order to give her lover some privacy and time to centre herself again. Addison was a proud woman, she would want to face the brunt of her demons without appearing weak. It was also important that they made it to the hospital in good time and without any issues, as Addison really did need to get back into the saddle, as it were.

Especially now that she was ready.

Quickly, Meredith paid for the coffee and sprinted back to the car and slipped back in again. "The owner says this is the best coffee in Seattle." Meredith said as she buckled herself in again and waited while Addison pulled back into traffic.

The redhead had better colouring now and seemed to be fine.


"Is that so?" Addison replied as she sped off down the street, her driving gaining confidence with every yard they travelled.

"Well, I suppose we can come back and let him know otherwise some other day. Or we can come back and get more of Seattle's best. Either way." Meredith murmured as Addison chose to enter the larger streets that led to the hospital.

Obviously she had decided that the scenic route was no longer an option anymore.

"Thank you." Addison said after a few moments of driving in silence.

Meredith knew that the redhead was not talking about coffee, either.

"You're welcome." Meredith said softly.

"We need to get your car from California." Meredith said after a sip of coffee.

"Yeah, though I have to admit, I look good driving this one." Addison replied, handing Meredith the cup she had been sipping from.

Meredith decided that Addison would look good driving a tractor. This was Addison after all. She's look good in anything. It was a happy thought that followed Meredith as Addison pulled into the hospital parking lot and quickly found a space to park the car.

"I'd say that worked." Addison concluded as she switched the ignition off and looked over at Meredith.

"Yep." Meredith said with a smile and handed over Addison's coffee.

They had the time to enjoy it before they needed to be at work and Meredith was not going to pass up the opportunity to spend a few more minutes with Addison.

No way.

The coffee in the cups could have been Seattle's worst, and she would still be drinking it with relish because of the company.


Chapter 43

"How is it going?" This was Richard who asked at about midday.

Meredith realised that he was not talking about work, but was asking about home life. Meredith had spoken to him a few times in the past couple of weeks, but their schedules were not matching up at all and overall time had been scarce.

"Fine." Meredith said happily.

"I did not know I was a cat person." She added.

It was true. Milo was a little charmer and Meredith was in agreement with Lexie about the cat. As far as males went, he was pretty much perfect. "Addison has settled in and we are planning an extreme makeover." Meredith said as she walked with Richard towards the cafeteria.

"Lexie and Alex have also warmed up to her." Meredith continued. "You should come to dinner one day, though none of us cook so it's not going to be anything fancy." Meredith offered.

Richard was close to Addison after all and Meredith had decided that she wanted Richard more involved in her life. "Does your father know?" Richard asked as he waved her ahead of him in line at the lunch counter.

"Not really. I have not really seen him." Meredith hedged.

She did not get along with her father and Lexie tended to go visit him, not the other way around. Meredith figured she had done her daughterly duty by saving her father's life. It wad certainly more than the man had ever really done for her.

"Don't think about it too much." Richard offered. "Either he'll be cool with it, or he won't. It's not like you owe him anything, Meredith." Richard said protectively.

"Yeah, I know. But for Lexie's sake I want to try. Also, I can't keep having mommy and daddy issues. Addison has those as well and if we're not careful there will be more people living in our house in the metaphorical sense, than is practical to have around." Meredith wondered where she had gotten this new sense of maturity from.

Perhaps nearly losing someone you love, and having to be a big sister, and well, simply growing up a little certainly helped.

Never mind simply being in love.

"Remember I am here. Any time, any day, for any reason." Richard offered as he collected his lunch.

"Thanks." Meredith said and watched the venerable man quietly start to leave the cafeteria.

It was amazing, even though he was no longer Chief, he was still isolated and separate to the rest of them. It can't have been easy.

"Doctor Webber." Meredith called out and Richard turned around, raising an eyebrow.

"Same goes for you." Meredith said, indicating the man's statement about being available for Meredith if she needed something.

He nodded and gave Meredith a slight smile before he continued his departure.

Meredith sighed and looked around the cafeteria, spotting Lexie and moving towards her. Might as well have some lunch company she actually liked, after all.

Sitting down, Meredith nodded her greetings to the others at the table, a collection of Interns and Residents that Meredith was not so familiar with. "How's it going? " Meredith asked her sister, curious about how Lexie had enjoyed being on Addison's service.

"Doctor Montgomery is amazing." Lexie said happily and Meredith leaned in to listen, wanting to hear not only about the surgery, but about how Addison was doing.

"I swear, what they say about gynaecologists being able to paint a room through the keyhole of a door is totally true." Lexie continued and the table erupted in a chuckle that Meredith was happy to join in on.

"How is Doctor Montgomery?" Meredith asked directly, since Lexie seemed to not take a hint and simply tell her.

"Oh." Lexie said, comprehension dawning in her eyes. "She seemed fine, the procedure was done seated and went smoothly." Lexie extrapolated and Meredith felt an irrational sense of relief wash over her.

Addison was fine. She would be fine and she was getting back into the swing of things here at the hospital. Now only remained tying off the redhead's life in California and getting the house remodelled. Then of course, there was the rest of their lives to lead and Meredith felt a flutter of excitement in her chest at the thought of that.

She really needed to take Addison out on another date. Her lover's accident had sort of turned them into homebodies and now that Addison was feeling stronger and better, Meredith really wanted to explore the world with Addison some more.

She also wanted to break in their new bed with Addison. Her heart thumped wildly at the thought of that. It had been a long time, or so it seemed and Meredith knew that Addison was also feeling it. They woke up almost every morning now tangled in each other and kissing had become an act of making love in of itself.

Meredith had decided a while ago that kissing Addison was one of the most erotic things that she had ever experienced in her life. By God, but the woman could kiss.

Shaking her head slightly, Meredith returned her focus to the idle chit-chat at the table and to her food. Lexie was still excitedly talking about her morning with Addison and Meredith basked in the warm glow of knowing that her sister and her lover seemed to be getting along well and were becoming friends.

However, now she was in a hurry, so she quickly finished off her salad and excused herself before getting rid of her tray and making her way out of the cafeteria. She was scheduled to scrub in with Mark Sloan this afternoon and she found herself looking forward to it. She had learned over the past while that on the surface Plastics may have seemed trivial, but there was a lot more to it than facelifts and boob jobs.

Today they were going to reconstruct the nose and lip of a child who had been badly mauled by a dog, Mark had shown Meredith his extrapolation of what the child would have afterwards and that had reminded Meredith about the origins of Plastic Surgery. Horrific injuries suffered on the battlefields of the world had inspired and driven doctors to figure out ways to help give people their lives back to live, once other doctors had actually saved them.

With that in mind, Meredith hurried to scrub in. The surgery would be starting soon and Mark Sloan may be many things and seem laid back, but he did not tolerate nonsense or tardiness in his OR.

Two weeks later Meredith was standing outside of the house watching the contractors do some of the last finishing touches to the exterior of the building. It had taken some procrastination, but finally they had come up with a plan as to how to tackle the task of redoing the house in a sane fashion.

While they were home, the exterior would be done. Painting, trim, landscaping and a new roof. Replacing things where needed, refurbishing where possible. The two of them had decided that the original soul of the yard and exterior should be maintained to a degree, so they were simply fixing it up and making it new.

Right now, there was a team of men standing on the roof hammering down the last of the roofing. After this, it would simply be a matter of cleaning up and adding personal touches. That would need to wait though as both Addison and Meredith were simply too busy to spend much time outside supervising what was going on and now they were getting ready to go to California in less than thirty six hours, actually.

The inside of the house had been prepared. Milo was staying with Callie and Arizona, who had promised to look after him in true lesbian style and Cristina had actually warmed up to the small feline as well. Rumour had it that the little charmer was sleeping on Cristina's bed every night, actually.

Lexie had categorically stated that she would live through the interior remodelling somehow, but Alex had decided to sleep at the hospital instead of braving painters and carpenters and interior designers. When Meredith considered the respective temperaments of the individuals involved, it had made sense.

Personal items had been stowed away for safekeeping and there had been a mad rush of last minutes perpetration as well. Meredith and Addison had packed up and moved to a hotel for their last in Seattle and overall the process of redoing the house was going to begin, one way or another.

Just as soon as the roof was finished.

Dipping into her savings and the inheritance that her mother had left her had been a liberating experience for Meredith. She was making her own home at last and was getting ready to shed the weight of the past that had been sitting on her chest suffocating her for most of her life.

To Meredith's surprise, her father had not been critical of this progress and while the man did not really know exactly who or what Addison represented in her life just yet, Meredith had decided that the man knew that Addison was more than simply a roommate at least.

Alex and Lexie, for their parts, had been given the option of deciding the colour schemes of their respective rooms, which had seemed to please both of them to no end. Maybe eventually Alex would relax and calm down and realise that not everyone was going to betray him, leave him, or let him down.

Meredith did not know if either of them planned to stay for years, or months still in the house, but a custom coat of paint was more than worth it to make them happier roommates or guests or de-facto family members.

The Jacuzzi was not installed yet, either, but Meredith had been given assurances that all would be done by the time she and Addison came back from California.

It better be so, as she and Addison were paying for the job to be done quickly and with minimal disruption to their every day lives. Addison had insisted on investing in the extra thousands that would ensure this. She had emphatically stated that living amongst construction was an experience that was best to avoid and then had detailed a time in her life when her parents had decided to experiment with DIY and the subsequent mess, fuss and disasters that had ensued.

Meredith had summarily written out a check in response to that and then had left it to Addison to handle the details.

By now, Addison had recovered fully from her injuries and was walking, and driving and performing surgery like her old self. The bed had also finally be christened and Meredith had praised the wisdom of obtaining a king sized mattress and had belatedly realised that the reason Addison had insisted on no footboard was patently obvious. Meredith's shins were eternally grateful for the foresight.

She had also subsequently given a very tortured Cristina a situation report the day after she had finally tested the bed. It was sometimes too easy to tease Cristina and Meredith secretly thought that Cristina actually enjoyed it. Why would she stick around and put up with Meredith's ribbing otherwise?

It was a charmed life right now and Meredith realised that she had better hurry. She needed to get to work to ensure that every possible thing was taken care of before she and Addison took off. The plane was leaving tomorrow afternoon and there was still a list as long as her arm to look after. Also she wanted to give Richard a key to the house as the man had offered to check on things a few times during the week to ensure that things were running smoothly and on schedule.

It was a fatherly thing to do and all things considered, Richard was very much a father figure especially for Addison, for which Meredith was grateful. Both her own father and Addison's father had left some serious marks on their respective daughters, so having a third option was comforting, to say the least.

It was time to go, though so Meredith took one last look at the roofers and then hurried to her car, wanting to make good time. Addison was stuck in meetings all day so chances were Meredith would not see the redhead before they convened at the hotel tonight, but that was okay.

They were about to begin a vacation of sorts and Meredith was really looking forward to seeing Addison's life how it had been in California for the past while and Meredith surprised herself by looking forward to meeting Addison's friends as well.

It was going to be an adventure, to say the least.

Addison was asleep when Meredith finally arrived to the hotel room that night. Despite having healed well, it was clear that the redhead still had residual fatigue leftover from being so injured and Meredith was glad whenever Addison seemed to find time to sleep, and to sleep deeply at that.

Carefully and quietly, Meredith went to take a shower and then quickly she crawled into the bed beside Addison. It had occurred to her when they had arrived, that this was the same hotel room from before and Addison had told her simply that it was the room that she always reserved when she was in town.

It was an interesting anecdote to Addison's personality and now as Meredith lay in bed, she could not help but smile. In her sleep, Addison curled against Meredith and soon the peaceful slumber of her lover lulled Meredith into dreamland as well.

By the next morning however, things were not so peaceful at all. It was time to finish packing, eat breakfast and get their asses to the airport. Meredith had the task making sure everything at home was ready and Addison was on her way to the hospital and they would meet up at the airport when it came time to leave.

It was the best division of labour in order for them to get the things done that they needed to do and right now there seemed to be so much to do that Meredith's head was spinning.

Addison seemed remarkably calm though, something that Meredith aspired to emulate, but wondered if she would ever be successful at. Time would tell.

"See you later." Addison said as they parted ways in the hotel lobby. "You'll take care of check-in?" Meredith queried.

"Yes, just make sure you arrive on time so we don't miss our flight." Addison reassured Meredith.

Meredith had never heard it phrased quite like that before, but she figured Addison knew what she was talking about and right now she was just too busy to ask.

"See you then." Meredith said and leaned in to kiss Addison on her cheek. "I love you." She whispered into the perfect shell of Addison's ear.

A smile was her reward and Addison caressed Meredith's face. "I love you too." She replied and then Meredith forced herself to get going, or they would never be ready on time.

It took Meredith only about half an hour to get home but in that time it felt like she thought of half a million things that she needed to get done. She only had about four hours to get to the airport so she had better get a move on if she hoped to be there on time.

The nightmare of airport security was not something that she was looking forward to either, though. She had flown recently enough to know what a misery it could be even domestically and just hoped that luck would smile on her today and it would not be so bad after all.

Meredith was just opening the door when her phone rang. "Hello." She said breathlessly into the device, hoping it was not some unfathomable emergency that she would have to attend to.

"Just checking." It was Addison on the phone. "Just checking what?" Meredith asked as she walked through the house and made sure all was well.

"I dunno. I just wanted to call you. I want to be on the plane and gone already." Addison extrapolated and Meredith could sympathise with that.

"You want to skip being good, responsible adults and meet for an early lunch before we go?" It was surprisingly easy to volunteer to be delinquent with Addison.

"I'd love to, but I think someone here would tar and feather me if I did that." Addison sighed into the phone.

Meredith frowned as she sat down on the carefully wrapped bed in the bedroom. A wicked thought entered her mind as she looked around and tried to care about what she had been so busy about only an hour before.

"What are you wearing?" Meredith asked in a singsong voice, wondering if Addison would be up to playing at least some game.

"A hot pink leotard, tiger print lab coat, and knee high vinyl boots." Addison quipped from the other end of the line.

Meredith laughed despite herself. "Why do you want to know?" Addison queried and the slight squeak of her chair told Meredith that Addison was in her office.

"Wait, is this going to be an obscene phone call?" Addison suddenly said and Meredith could hear her shift in her chair. "Because if it is, I have to go lock the door. Hold on." Addison continued and there were more sounds as she did just that.

When the redhead returned she sounded slightly breathless. "Well?" Addison breathed into the phone.

"So what are you wearing?" The question caught Meredith off guard.

It seemed that Addison was indeed in the mood to play.

"This is not fair." Meredith moaned into the phone.

"I never said I was a nice person, Meredith." Addison laughed and even through the tiny speakers of the phone Meredith could feel the warmth of her voice.

"I like you as you are." Meredith said, distracted by the open door to the bedroom.

The contractors were due any minute and where was Lexie anyway?

Getting up Meredith went to close the door and then glanced around wondering what was on Addison's mind. "What are you thinking?" She asked in response to her thought.

"About you." Addison said in a low tone.

Meredith shivered in anticipation and from nerves. Was she ready to have phone sex? After a moment's thought she determined that she was pretty much ready to have any kind of sex with Addison with only a few caveats involving furry animals, body functions and a third person of either gender in bed with them.

Snorting with laugher, Meredith said down again and lay back against the construction plastic that encased their bed. "What are you laughing at?" Addison queried.

"Just having some wholly inappropriate thoughts all things considered." Meredith replied, easing her hand past the waistband of her jeans.

"Have you got your hand inside of your jeans?" Addison asked and Meredith heard something primal in the low tone her lover was using.

"Yes." Meredith conceded.

"I love those jeans on you. They sit on your ass so well that I just want to drop everything on the floor so you will bend over in front of me all the time." Addison explained seriously and Meredith was torn between laughter and arousal as her fingers toyed with the edge of her panties.

"This should be your hand." Meredith breathed into the phone.

"It is my hand." Addison replied at once. "Just because you are attached to it, does not mean it's not me doing this to you." Addison continued.

What a novel concept but as soon as Meredith thought about it for a moment she decided that Addison did have a point. A very good point.

Arousal flared in her body at the thought of Addison touching her and Meredith closed her eyes. The plastic covering the bed disappeared and the phone in her hand became Addison's lips whispering directly into her ear. The eroticism of the moment overwhelmed Meredith's senses and when she touched herself she moaned openly into the phone.

"Jesus Christ!" Addison exclaimed, her voice sounding breathless and hungry.

Meredith opened her eyes and chuckled low in her throat. "You like that?" She queried, enjoying the prospect of teasing Addison while the other woman was at work.

"You know I do." Addison said waspishly, sounding pinched and almost cross.

"Good." Meredith soothed gently. "Fuck!" Addison said suddenly and then there ws a flurry of sounds and Addison spoke again. "Hold on." Meredith frowned at the phone.

She could hear Addison talking to someone and then there was more sounds of movement and Addison was back. "I have to go. This is so unfair." She whined into the phone and Meredith swore she heard the delicate stomp of an elegant foot.

"Don't you dare finish without me." Addison hissed into the phone sounding flustered.

"Don't you dare be late for the plane." Meredith countered and the silence on the other end of the line told her all that she needed to know about what Addison thought of that statement.

"I won't." She finally said and then continued. "I have to go. See you later. I love you." Addison was walking down a corridor now and Meredith realised that phone sex would have to wait until another time.

"Bye darling. I love you too." Meredith whispered and with that the phone call was over.

Looking around the room, Meredith decided that she really did need to get her ass into gear if she was to have any hope of getting to the plane on time and regardless of whatever else this day may bring, this was a flight she did not want to miss for any reason whatsoever.


Chapter 44

Arriving by taxi to the airport, Meredith felt the flutter of nerves in her stomach as she paid here fare and grabbed her luggage. This was it. Baring some unforeseen delay, she was on her way to California with Addison with the objective of tying up the redhead's life there so that she could move back to Seattle permanently.

It was an exciting, but slightly intimidating prospect. Meredith just hoped that Addison's friends would like her. In any case, too late now and it was time to fly, hopefully Addison was at the airport already and they could connect without too much delay.

"Doctor Grey?" A polite voice queried from beside her.

Looking over, Meredith saw a young man dressed in what seemed to be a very fancy flight attendants uniform. "Yes." Meredith answered.

She still really liked being called Doctor Grey. She figured it would never get old.

"Doctor Montgomery send me to ensure you get to your flight without any delay or complication." The man said as he waved to a porter who rushed over to take Meredith's bags.

"Did she now?" Meredith murmured, feeling pampered already and she had yet to even step into the airport.

"This way please." The man indicated and a moment later they were walking into the airport.

The man stopped to give directions to the porter and then walked Meredith over to the first class lounge. "The porter will ensure your bags are properly checked in." The young man reassured Meredith who was feeling a little like a fish out of water at the moment.

Stepping into the lounge, Meredith was immediately greeted by Addison. "Hi darling." Her lover said and embraced her, kissing her on her cheek.

Despite the surrounds, Meredith felt a rush of awareness at Addison's proximity. God, but the woman was sexy and the echo of their jaunt with the telephone made Meredith feel breathless.

"Hi." Meredith finally managed to say as Addison walked her to the bar.

"Would you like something?" Addison inquired, glancing at the man behind the counter.

"Food, actually." Meredith said, realising that she was hungry and that she better not drink on an empty stomach.

"The flight is leaving in half an hour, what would you like?" Addison inquired and Meredith was charmed.

"I want you." Meredith said after a moment and was rewarded with the dilation of Addison's irises as by the creep of a red blush up her girlfriend's neck.

"Later." Addison promised, something in her voice curling around Meredith's libido and making it clamour for attention.

"Bring her a house special." Addison said to the bartender and smiled at Meredith. "Make it two, and also latte, please." Addison added and then guided Meredith to sit on one of the opulent chairs near a table that overlooked the runway.

"Do you always travel first class?" Meredith inquired.

This was no means the first time for Meredith herself, but she was in the end, a blue tennis shoe wearing, all American girl who tended to travel by more regular methods.

"Hmm, yes, or business class." Addison waved her hand as she said it.

"What's a house special?" Meredith inquired as she looked at the runway, fascinated by the bustle of people and machinery and planes.

"It's a very good sandwich, actually." Addison explained and stretched out her long legs just as a waiter arrived carrying said sandwiches and balancing two steaming cups of latte.

"Thank you." Addison murmured as the items were set down and Meredith chorused the sentiment as she glanced down at the food.

Boy, this was some sandwich. "This looks fantastic." Meredith said as she picked up her sandwich and examined it. "It's quite good. Would not want to live on it, but it makes a good lunch on a day like this." Addison conceded and followed Meredith's example, picking up her food.

"We have time to eat, right?" Meredith asked as she took a bit of her food.

The combination of tastes and textures was lovely and Meredith was very glad that Addison had known just what to order. "Yes, plenty of time." Addison reassured Meredith and they continued to eat in comfortable silence.

"Wait, I have not checked in or anything." Meredith said after she had a few sips of latte a little while later. "Oh, don't worry, we're checked in." Addison reassured Meredith. "But security?" Meredith knew that even first class passengers had to be screened, no exceptions.

"We have time for that." Addison assured Meredith as she finished her own coffee, reminding Meredith that her lover enjoyed coffee scalding hot.

"Doctor Montgomery." A voice said at Addison's elbow.

"Yes?" The redhead inquired with a raised eyebrow.

"There is a Doctor Lexie Grey here to see you." The same young man who had helped Meredith into the airport said.

"Show her in." Addison said imperiously, though Meredith could tell that the woman was surprised.

"What's Lexie doing here?" Meredith inquired as her sister walked up to them.

"Hi." Lexie said.

"What are you doing here, Little Grey?" Addison teased lightly and embraced Lexie.

"I wanted to wish you two bon voyage and I also brought you this." Lexie handed Addison something and smiled.

"What is it?" Addison said, holding up the object in question.

"Well, I know you don't like flying." Lexie said and shrugged.

Meredith looked at Addison. "You don't like flying?" She asked. "And my sister knows this before I do, because?" Meredith added.

Addison smiled at Meredith. "You'll have to give me a good tongue lashing about that later, okay?" The overt nature of the come on made Meredith giggle.

"A rubber brick?" Addison held up the object in question.

"Well, hm. I am sure you'll put it to good use." Lexie said, Addison promptly threw the object at Lexie.

"I see what you mean." She said delightedly as Lexie picked it up and handed it back.

"You can also squeeze it or bite or something." Lexie added.

"Well, thank you, Little Grey." Addison murmured and embraced Lexie again.

Meredith in turn gave her sister a quick hug as well. "Don't forget to order a coffee to go before you leave." Addison pointed towards the bar. "We have to get to the flight now." Addison explained as she picked up her purse and turned to Lexie.

"Bye then." Lexie said softly.

"See you when we get back. You know how, why, and when to tall." Addison said and then smiled brilliantly. "Bye Little Grey." She walked off a ways after that to let Meredith say goodbye to Lexie in private.

"You take care of yourself." Meredith murmured and gave Lexie a hug. "And don't forget to visit Milo." Meredith added.

The little cat and her sister had really bonded.

"Okay. Be safe. Bye." Lexie said and Meredith smiled. "Bye." And with that the impromptu moment in the first class lounge was over.

It was time to get to the plane and then it was California or bust.

"Shall we?" Addison asked Meredith as they prepared to leave the first class lounge.

"Absolutely." Meredith replied, charmed when Addison opened the door for her and then guided her down a short corridor and opened a door.

"Your chariot awaits." Addison said grandly, pointing to a Learjet taxied to about fifty feet from the doorway.

"We're flying in that?" Meredith asked, shocked.

"Yep." Addison said gleefully. "Bizzy said I could have it for this trip. I think she is overcompensating but I am not going to complain." Addison said as they walked up to the plane.

"This is your Bizzy's plane?" Meredith was a little astounded at the concept.

"It is." Addison replied, and shooed Meredith up the stairs. "We have got to get going or we might miss our runway slot." Addison said apologetically. "You can have a longer look at it after we land if you like. The pilot is always looking for someone play show and tell with." Addison said as she followed Meredith up the stairs.

"Your mom owns this." Meredith murmured, repeating herself.

It felt like she was in a James Bond Movie and at any moment a Bond Girl with a name like Kissy Suzuki, would show up bearing a brassiere, a beretta and a bad-ass attitude. Addison would make a great James Bond, or well, the feminine version of him in any case. She certainly had the charm to pull it off.

"Take off will be in ten minutes." The woman who appeared to be the copilot stated as they glanced around and Addison nodded her thanks to the woman.

"This is very wow." Meredith said, looking around at the leather festooned, carpeted interior.

It was opulent. Decadent. Lovely.

Addison seemed to be completely at ease in the plane and that made Meredith really wonder for the first time about the wealth that the redhead had been born into, possessed, and well, earned as well. Meredith was firmly middle-class even though her mother had been famous and well paid, there had never been wealth that could be measured in the millions.

There certainly were no private planes, either.

"We should sit, unless you need to use the bathroom or something first." Addison said. "Once we have reached altitude you can look around some more." She continued and Meredith nodded absently.

She was in a private plane, essentially one that might as well have belonged to Addison and they were on their way to California, just the two of them in this plane. It seemed surreal, actually.

"Do you fly in this often?" Meredith asked as they sat down close together and belted themselves in.

The copilot came out of the cockpit and proceeded to give them a brief, but thorough safety lecture and then they were left alone once more. "I guess that is universal, the put your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye, lecture?" Meredith said after a moment.

"Yeah. Regulations." Addison replied. "And no, I don't fly with this so often. Mostly my parents use it, but when my mother heard that I have a girlfriend that I was taking to California, she pretty much insisted." Addison waved her hand as she spoke and Meredith got the sense that the mommy issues that Addison had in many ways rivaled hr own.

"You also don't like to fly." Meredith said with a smile. "Nope, not really." Addison said and Meredith could sense the redhead's tension mount as the plane started to move towards the runway.

"The worst ride I have had was in a Cessna." Addison said as the jet moved into position.

"It was over some mountains, unexpectedly. I could get no regular flights and it was the only option to get where I need to be." Addison continued and Meredith focused her attention on her lover.

"This jet, has thrust and weight. It's a very smooth ride. But a Cessna over mountains. It was like being a stone rattling around in a tin can." Addison gripped the hand rests of her seat as she spoke.

Meredith took one of those white knuckled hands into her own as Addison relived her experience. The plane had come to a stop at the head of the runway and Meredith felt her heart pound in anticipation. She loved flying, particularly the moment of takeoff. Just as the wheels left the ground the feeling of exhilaration of the moment.

"Go on." Meredith urged as she noticed that Addison had become focused on the fact that they were about to take off.

"Oh yeah. Well it was just me, this crazy pilot and my mother in the plane." Addison said after a moment. "The landing was crazy. Like being God's football that was kicked out of the sky." Addison concluded as the jet started to move.

They were ready to go and Meredith looked out the window, feeling the familiar yet always new seeming sensation of excitement that she always had at this moment. It had been the same ever since she was a child.

"I hate this part." Addison whimpered pitifully.

Turning to Addison, Meredith smiled slightly. "Kiss me." She demanded in a low tone. "What?" Addison asked, looking confused.

"You heard me." Meredith said, feeling heat rise along her neck and face as she said the words.

Addison leaned over and brushed her lips against Meredith's as the plane started to move. "That's not a kiss." Meredith murmured, pulling Addison closer and bringing their mouths together firmly.

"Kiss me." Meredith demanded again as the slow crawl of the jet started to pick up to a walk and then became a run.

The redhead responded and kissed Meredith with hunger, the kiss quickly becoming a clash of mouths and breathing and desire as the pressure of acceleration pressed on both Meredith and Addison, combining with the sensation of the kiss. Meredith pushed her tongue against Addison's teeth, wanting access.

Demanding it.

When Addison opened her mouth and the kiss became an act of making love in of itself, Meredith could feel the earth start to peel away under the wheels of the plane and then combination of her stomach dropping away as the jet soared into the sky and Addison's mouth and hands was enough that Meredith felt out of control, actually.

Addison seemed to feel it as well and for long moments they clung to each other, panting as the plane rose higher, and higher still.

"I think I will take you flying with me more often. I barely noticed takeoff." Addison commented as she kissed Meredith more gently this time.

"My God, your eyes." Addison continued as she pulled away.

"What?" Meredith asked, suddenly wondering what on earth Addison was talking about.

"They are sparkling. Beautiful." Addison explained. "I want you." She added in a tone that Meredith had only ever heard Addison use in moments like this and only with her.

"Well. I think I will go flying with you more often if this is how it effects you." Meredith murmured, running her fingers along Addison's face.

"You have me, by the way. I am yours." Meredith added, kissing the tip of Addison's nose as she said the words.

Addison really did have a cute nose.

"I want you too." Meredith continued. "I think my seat cushion has become a personal flotation device, actually." Meredith joked to break some of the sexual tension.

Addison gave a bark of laugher as she relaxed against her seat once more. "You're so bad." She murmured as she fiddled with her seatbelt buckle.

"You like me that way." Meredith said with a smile, glancing out the window.

They would be at cruising altitude soon.

"I love you that way." Addison replied in a soft tone of voice.

Meredith smiled and leaned her head against Addison's shoulder, feeling blissfully content, and incredibly turned on, all a the same time.


They had reached cruising altitude and the pilot had informed them that the estimated time of arrival was about two and a half to three hours and that all systems were go.

"So there is just the two of them and just the two of us here?" Meredith asked as she wandered around the cabin.

"Yeah. Technically we could have someone taking care of serving drinks or something, but I opted for privacy. It's not a long flight and the galley is not complicated or anything." Addison said as she came up behind Meredith who was looking out one of the windows.

"Privacy, huh?" Meredith stated, leaning back into Addison. "How much privacy?" She asked.

"They have been asked to stay in the cockpit for anything short of us needing to bail out of the plane." Addison answered.

"I see." Meredith answered, turning in the circle of Addison's arms. "What shall we do with about two and a half, to three hours of time on our hands?" Meredith asked. "We could see what the in-flight movie is like." Addison said as she leaned in to kiss the side of Meredith's neck.

"Hmm, your ideas intrigue me." Meredith murmured distractedly, feeling the unmistakable thrill of Addison's kiss coursing through her body.

They had both been stewing for the entire day and the near miss of phone-fun earlier, coupled with the kiss at takeoff had left Meredith a heated mess. Never mind the fact that Addison just made Meredith's socks twirl on her feet. Sexy did not even begin to describe the redhead.

She was devastatingly hot, and possibly illegally so in several jurisdictions and countries.

Meredith arched to facilitate access for Addison, bracing herself against the seat she was standing next to. She was not part of the mile-high club yet, but joining this club in the cabin of a luxury jet that was privately owned jet did not seem like a bad proposition at all.

Add to that the thrill of knowing that there was absolutely nothing aside from a request from Addison that the pilots stay in the cockpit, made Meredith shiver in anticipation. She was not an exhibitionist by any means, but the mild threat of discovery certainly added a sharp edge of excitement to the proceedings.

"Come." Addison requested, pulling Meredith towards the back of the plane and then pushing her into the seat that was farthest from the cockpit and facing away from it.

Before Meredith could react to this new development, Addison slid herself into Meredith's lap, her knees finding ample room on the spacious seat beside Meredith's hips. Meredith reacted instantly, running her hands up Addison's back and pulling her closer until they were almost fused together on the seat.

Addison opened her eyes, looking Meredith directly in the eye as she did so. "Don't make me wait, Meredith." Addison said in a low voice that travelled down Meredith's body from her ears to her clitoris in an instant of heat and hunger.

Meredith reacted at once, bringing her hands to the front of Addison's slacks and opening the belt and then the waistband that held them together as Addison pressed herself hotly into Meredith. It was incredibly, beautifully distracting and Meredith was beginning to feel like she may swallow her tongue at any moment if she was not careful.

"My God, I want you." Meredith moaned directly into Addison's ear, feeling rather than hearing the intensity of the redhead's reaction to the words.

"Take me, then." Addison breathed as Meredith passed the final barrier of Addison's clothes and slid a nimble hand in and around Addison's panties, not hesitating as her fingers combed through damp hairs and not stopping until those fingers had slid into Addison, who tensed and then relaxed into the contact.

"Fuck." Addison hissed and Meredith reminded herself not to swallow her own tongue as she moved her hand.

The view was incredible. Addison arching and moving above her as the sky, clouds and world rushed past the windows and the low vibrating rumble of the powerful engines of the jet reverberated through her feet.

Moving her hand with skill and intent, Meredith pushed another finger into Addison and leaned in to kiss her in tandem with the movements of her fingers. Addison moaned breathlessly and pushed herself onto Meredith's hand. "More." She said after a moment and Meredith adjusted slightly before she slid a third finger into her lover and pushed up harder.

Addison's reaction sibilant, gasping and her head fell forward as Meredith moved her hand. "Fuck me." Addison moaned into the kiss.

Sanity fled.

Rising up, Meredith increase the tempo of her hand and with her free hand crushed Addison against herself, pushing harder and spreading her fingers out slightly, wanting to increase the sensation and the contact between herself and Addison. The reaction was instantaneous and in a few moments Addison was coming, hard. Meredith flinched when she felt her tongue being captured by sharp teeth and bitten but the pain quickly suffused to pleasure as Addison's orgasm washed over Meredith.

Oh. My. God.

Gasping for breath, Meredith held her lover as Addison rode out her orgasm and Meredith decided that at this point she did not care if both pilot and copilot came out and asked them to fly the plane. Meredith did not care about anything except this moment right now and Addison.


Addison opened her eyes and looked at Meredith. "Hi." She murmured, smiling a lopsided smiled and looking well fucked.

"Hi." Meredith said, gently beginning to extract her hand from Addison, not wanting to cause her lover any discomfort.

Addison winced slightly, but did not complain, she simply leaned into Meredith and rested, catching her breath as they calmed down. Or well, Addison calmed down. Meredith could feel the tight pressure of her own arousal and the seam of her own pants was starting to feel mighty good at this moment.

Seeming to sense Meredith's quandary, Addison lifted herself gently from Meredith's lap and them knelt on the carpeted floor. "Your knee." Meredith could not help but saying. "My knee is fine." Addison said, pulling Meredith to the edge of the seat. "Now you just sit there and enjoy your flight as I show you just how high you can go with Addison Montgomery airlines and just what a pleasurable experience your trip will be."

Meredith would have laughed at the corniness of the line, except she was too distracted by the fact that Addison had already managed gain access to Meredith's pants and was busily pulling them down to the floor without pause.

It seemed that Addison was going to put her mouth to use and make good of her promise to give Meredith the trip of a lifetime. It was going to be a pleasure to become a fully fledged member of the mile-high club, Meredith could tell this already and her application was only half done so far.

She did not have a long time to think about membership rewards before Addison began to demonstrate them in earnest. Meredith pressed her feet into the floor of the cabin and wrapped her hands in Addison's hair as the unbearable pleasure of her lover's mouth drove her to madness.

"Don't stop." Meredith gasped as she felt Addison's tongue slide into her body and when Addison hummed in pleasure, Meredith almost came.

Seeming to sense that Meredith was on the edge, Addison intensified her movements, fusing her mouth to Meredith's body and it seemed to only take some seconds before Meredith was coming. Orgasm washed over her body and her nerves in a tingling wave of ecstasy that almost caused Meredith to black out.

Moments or lifetimes passed before Meredith's awareness returned and she was able to collect herself enough to actually open her eyes.

Managing to focus on Addison, she noted that the redhead looked wild and unbelievably sexy and very satisfied with herself. "You keep on looking at me like that and we are going to be performing our very own in-flight entertainment for the rest of the trip." Meredith breathed, reaching down to help Addison to her feet while she tried to organise herself enough to actually pull her own pants back up.

"I'd be hard pressed to come up with something I would rather be doing, actually." Addison said, her voice rumbling low in her chest as she wiped her mouth with the back of a hand and glanced around.

"Come on." Addison said, offering Meredith a hand up after Meredith had finally managed to secure her pants once more.

Following Addison, she soon found herself standing in front of what was obviously the plane's bathroom. "You first." Meredith said gallantly.

Addison smiled, raising an eyebrow at Meredith. "Are you saying that I should go wash my face?" She joked as she opened the door. "Not on my account, but if one of the pilots gets it into their head that they have to come out of the cockpit, it might be an idea." Meredith replied, leaning in to give Addison a quick but thorough kiss.

It had taken a little while for Meredith to get used to her own taste on Addison's lips, but now she found that not only did she like it, she loved it and what it represented.

The redhead vanished into the bathroom and Meredith was left to try to organise her clothes a little as she waited.

So this was the mile-high club.



Chapter 45

Landing in a private jet was as smooth as takeoff and without too much fuss, Meredith and Addison found themselves on the ground in LA with luggage in hand. Now it was simply a matter of getting to Malibu and to Addison's LA residence. "Our house." Addison had insisted as they make their way to the private car that Addison had hired in advance.

Meredith appreciated the statement. In Seattle they had actually completed some legal formalities to make Meredith's childhood home, their home. It only made sense and it would also ensure that Addison was protected in case something happened to Meredith. It was a morbid thought perhaps, but not something that either of them was prepared to neglect as they had both escaped the clutches of death quite recently, all things considered.

But, back to the matter at hand. Palm trees, bright, hot skies and traffic like Meredith had not seen in years were their company at the moment as they made their way through traffic, freeways and stop signs.

"Won't be long. We'll go out later and I will show you some things, but it's still too hot and too early." Addison had said as they made their way through the city.

Or well, the sprawling madness of it all.

Los Angeles was truly something to behold, Meredith decided as she looked out the windows of the car and tried to compare the vista to other places she had lived and been. This was not the first time that she had been to LA, but it had been a while and it truly was so unusual looking that she could not help but gawk a little.

"I live next door to a friend of mine, Sam." Addison said at a stoplight.

"I don't think he'll be home right now, but my friends can turn up at weird hours and unannounced." Addison continued, taking Meredith's hand in her own.

Meredith felt a frisson of nerves at the idea of dealing with and meeting Addison's friends. Hopefully they would like her, but Addison had made it clear that whatever her friends thought was of no concern in the end, what really mattered was what Addison thought of her and everyone else could either adjust, or get lost.

The protectiveness in the way that Addison phrased herself when she said this had warmed Meredith's heart, but she still hoped that Addison's friends liked her. It would certainly help, that much was clear.

Meredith dozed off as they sped down a freeway, the ride was going to take a little while longer and the tinted windows and fine shocks of the car made for a smooth ride. Addison seemed to be content to wrap her arms around Meredith as they drove and for along while Meredith felt the warmth and safety of being loved as her somnolence overcame her and allowed time to go unnoticed.

The car stopping woke Meredith up and she sat up to look around. "Whose car is that?" Addison wondered out loud and Meredith followed her gaze.

"Friend of yours?" Meredith asked.

"Does not seem familiar." Addison mused as they got out of the car and the driver unloaded their luggage and carried it to the front doorstep.

Addison handed the man a tip and sent him on his way before she turned to look back at her home. "Well, we are about to find out." Addison murmured and they walked together to the door.

No sooner had they arrived when the door opened and a woman stepped out who looked vaguely familiar to Meredith for a reason that she could not pinpoint.

"Amelia?" Addison said, quite surprised. "What are you doing here?" She added, walking up to the woman.

"Well, I was in the area for a case and Sam let me in and told me to come and wait for you" The woman said enthusiastically and then she and Addison embraced warmly. "I'm leaving in the morning." The woman added.

Obviously they were good friends. Maybe this was the first of Addison's California friends that Meredith was about to meet. And who was Sam?

"That's too bad." Addison said and did not hurry to release her friend from the embrace.

"How have you been?" Amelia asked Addison.

"Wait, there is someone I want you to meet." Addison said and pulled Meredith forward.

"This is Doctor Meredith Grey." Addison said and Meredith could hear the slightly wary tone in her voice. "Meredith, this is Doctor Amelia Shepherd, Baby Shepherd, Derek's sister." Meredith automatically took the hand that she was being offered and looked at the other woman.

"Pleased to meet you." She said, wondering why on earth Derek's sister was visiting Addison.

"Wait, are you the Meredith Grey that broke up Addison's and Derek's marriage? The Slutty Intern?" The woman said with sudden realisation.

Meredith resisted the urge to laugh at the choice of phrase.

"Slutty Resident, now." Meredith said with forced humour.

This was going well.

"And not slutty, either." Addison was quick and firm to defend Meredith and there was a definite note of warning in her tone.

Meredith idly wondered when she had started to memorise Addison's intonations so precisely. Had she started when they had first met all that time ago, or was it more recent.

Focus, Meredith.

"Fine." Amelia said, waving her hands expressively but not pausing in her interrogation.

"What, are you two BFF's now or something, Addie?" Amelia pressed for answers, sounding incredulous.

Now Meredith did laugh out loud. She thought she could like this Amelia Shepherd if given half a chance. Hopefully she would get that opportunity.

"Better than that." Addison said, taking Meredith's hand. "We are together." Addison said firmly, a note of pride in her voice.

"What?" Amelia asked. "But you're with Derek." Amelia pointed to Meredith.

"Aren't you?" Amelia continued, sounding confused.

"Not anymore, not for a while actually." Meredith said, shrugging. "I guess he failed to mention that." Meredith added as an afterthought.

"Oh." Amelia said, looking between Meredith and Addison.

"but he gave you my mother's ring!" Amelia said as Addison pushed past her and pulled Meredith along with her.

"We are so not doing whatever this is on the front porch." Addison said as she arranged Meredith slightly behind her in a very protective fashion.

"I gave the ring back." Meredith interjected, feeling Addison grab hold of her hand in silent support.

This was proving to be an interesting start to her California vacation. Meredith would much rather have been doing almost anything else, though.

"Do you want me to go to a hotel or something?" Meredith asked, feeling very uncomfortable suddenly, it was clear that Addison and Amelia were very good friends and Meredith did not want to get in the middle.

"No." Addison said at once. "This is your home as well, just like the house in Seattle is my home." Addison tightened her grip on Meredith as she said the words and looked directly at Amelia.

Amelia looked surprised and opened her mouth to say something before closing it again and crossing her arms defensively. Meredith just wished she was someplace else, but Addison wanted her here and had just emphatically stated that this was her home as well.

And now this.

"Please don't make me choose, Ami." Addison said quietly, sounding like she was not happy at all.

"When the hell did this happen anyway?" She asked, sounding less ominous now and more curious.

Addison for her part relaxed slightly and the death grip that she had on Meredith's hand eased up. "A while ago." Addison breathed. "You want to sit down and hear the whole story, or are you going to walk out on me?" Addison asked.

"It would kill me if you did, but I am with her now and this is how it is." Addison continued.

"I've never walked away from you Addison and I never will, you know that. But, you've got to give me some time to be shocked and surprised, you know." Amelia replied, taking a deep breath.

"So, let's sit and you tell me what is going on, okay?" The woman said. "No one tells me anything about anything. You'd think Derek would have said something." Amelia murmured as they moved to the living room.

Meredith did not really have time to look around just yet but maybe in a short while the guided tour could commence.

After they had sojourned into the house the three women sat down and Addison seemed to relax as she reclined near Meredith, but not too far away from her friend either. "So what exactly have you two been up to and since when?" Amelia asked succinctly.

"It's been a while now." Addison said, obviously trying to remember exactly since when this had been going on but failing.

"Sorry, I was involved in a car accident and lost consciousness and had concussion, so I am a little fuzzy on the details." Addison sighed, sounding tired.

"You what?" Amelia exclaimed. "Okay, one of you start from the beginning and don't leave anything out." The woman insisted, making herself comfortable. "Well, come on, I haven't got all day you know." She added, waving her hands at them in a hurry up motion.

Meredith laughed. She liked this Amelia. Hopefully the rest of Addison's friends would be equally receptive to her. "Well it started with a kiss." Addison said and Meredith could not help but wonder if it has started in an Elevator, or even before that and if this had simply taken a good deal of time to manifest in the end.

"Actually, I think the Elevator is a starting point." Meredith suggested mildly.

Addison looked at her intently. "Hm, I do believe you're right." She said and then they settled in to tell Amelia the story so far.

For her part, Addison just seemed to be very happy to be talking to one of her friends in more detail about the whole situation and in a way, Amelia reminded Meredith of Cristina. Maybe this was Addison's person?

The story telling eventually moved to the kitchen where coffee was made and laughter ensued as some of the funnier anecdotes were shared and Amelia seemed genuinely charmed at the whole process. Meredith hesitated to elaborate on what had occurred in the trailer on the night that she and Derek had broken up, but Addison did not mince words.

She bluntly told Amelia that her brother had been a real asshole and that he had some ways to go still to make amends for it. It took two to tango, after all.

"He what?" Amelia asked, outraged as she sipped her coffee.

Meredith already felt as if she had known the woman for much longer than she already had and Meredith was also enjoying the retelling of the story of the events of the last few months. It seemed to give them life as Meredith and Addison talked about them and also, someone else who was not so closely involved with the situation was hearing about it and laughing and seemed to be on their side.

All of this was good in Meredith's opinion. Very good.

"Well, I have go to go. Places to go, people to see." Amelia said at last and rose to her feet. "I will come by tomorrow before I leave and now that I am officially in the know, no keeping me in the dark anymore." Amelia continued and embrace Meredith warmly before she turned to Addison.

"You can stay, you know. I have plenty of room." Addison insisted and it was obvious that she wanted Amelia to stay.

"Nah. I'll drop by tomorrow, though. Just make sure you're decent, I am young and innocent you know." Amelia laughed and gave Addison another squeeze for good measure.

"You better invite me to the wedding." She murmured at the rather flummoxed looking redhead.

"Just for that I am going to make sure that the bride's maids dresses are really suitable, I'd hate for you to miss out on that experience." Addison responded with a laugh, embracing her friend warmly.

"Don't worry, I'll make sure everyone is in scrubs." Meredith said at the look of mock horror on Amelia's face.

It felt good to joke and laugh and Meredith felt a weight she had not even been aware of lift off her chest.

This would work out and it was going to be good.

Addison walked her friend to the door and after a few minutes and some conversation snippets, she returned to where Meredith was still sitting. "So, that went well." Addison commented as she sat down next to Meredith and reached for her coffee.

"Yes. Hard to imagine her as Derek's sister." Meredith commented, pulling Addison closer to herself.

"He's got four of them, would you believe." Addison murmured as they cuddled on the couch.

Somehow the guided tour of the house felt like it could wait.

"What will your family think of you?" Meredith asked after a beat.

Aside from her father, whom she barely knew, and Lexie, who in a way was a complete stranger to her, the only family Meredith had was Addison and the people at te hospital. But Addison had a mother and a father and a brother.

What would they think of her?

"My mother will probably be charmed by you. My dad has some issues, mainly because of mom, but you've met him and could see what he was like. My brother, I am not sure. In any case we shall see and what matters to me, is what I think of you." Addison replied after a while.

"I love you." Addison whispered into Meredith's hair.

"I love you too." Meredith said in answer, turning to kiss Addison lightly on the lips.

Hopefully the rest of their California sojourn would go this well.

"Do you think they will like me?" Meredith asked as Addison pulled out of her driveway.

They were going to go to Addison's practise to see some of her coworkers before they would retire to the beach house for the evening. Addison wanted to get some business out of the way to allow them to enjoy some leisure time uninterrupted.

"Yes, I think they will." Addison said as she drove. "They can be a bit, eclectic though here in California, so just remember that when you interact with them. They are a bit, fruity." Addison laughed at her own description and Meredith was left to wonder just what exactly her lover was talking about.

Meredith leaned back as Addison accelerated her powerful car down the street that led away from her house. The small Audi TT rumbled under Meredith's feet and through the seat that she was sitting in and somehow infused Meredith with a feeling of thrill and anticipation.

"You like the car?" Addison asked, glancing over at Meredith with a inscrutable look on her face.

"Very nice." Meredith breathed. "Really?" Addison queried. "Well then, I think we need to do some test driving before we head into the practise." Addison murmured and started to drive with purpose.

Observing the flex of Addison's exposed legs made Meredith feel breathless. They had changed into clothes that were more suited for Malibu after Amelia had left and that were more synonymous with a vacation as well. Addison was wearing an airy dress and Meredith was in shorts.

"Ready?" Addison asked, a flash of white teeth broadcasting something that Meredith could not identify.

"For what?" Meredith queried as acceleration forces pressed her back into the seat and Addison shifted the car into a higher gear. "This." Addison said over the roar of the engines, and with the words they hopped onto a two lane road that seemed to stretch on forever but that was void of traffic.

Meredith did not have much time to think about what this all meant when Addison pressed down on the gas and the powerful car leapt forward, feeling like a barely restrained racehorse as it surged down the stretch of black asphalt. Addison laughed as she drove and the there was a freedom and exhilaration in the sound that captured Meredith's attention and coiled its way around her lower abdomen.

Looking away from the rushing scenery at Addison, it was plan to see that the redhead was enjoying herself immensely. Her eyes were sparking and her hands were sure as they gripped the wheel and it was hot. Plain and simple. It was hot.

"If you keep driving like this, I am going to be a very bad girl." Meredith murmured as she leaned over to talk directly into Addison's ear.

Resting her hand on Addison's strong thigh and feeling the flex of muscle and sinew under the soft skin, Meredith wrestled with her self control. She wanted to move her hand higher, she wanted to feel Addison as she drove this pretty, hot car. Addison for her part gasped for breath a little at Meredith's words and the car slowed down perceivably. "Be good." Addison said under her breath, just loud enough for Meredith to hear.

"Not if you keep driving like this." Meredith said simply in reaction.

Addison glanced at her and apparently saw something in her face because she slowed down and quickly did a bootleg turn at a speed that pressed Meredith further into Addison but which also showcased the redhead's driving ability. Meredith was impressed and turned on even more and if there was going to be any hope of them actually getting to Addison's practise before the hour became too much later, Meredith was going to have to regain some control over herself.


Pulling off onto the shoulder of the road, Addison put the car into neutral and pulled on the handbrake. A moment later she grabbed Meredith and kissed her without any preamble. It was a hot, hungry, wild kiss that made Meredith forget to breathe and in a moment she found herself climbing over the seat to straddle Addison's lap as the reverberations of the engine coursed through Addison's body into Meredith's own.

By now, Addison was fucking Meredith with her mouth and had slid her hands up the back of the button down blouse that Meredith as wearing and the contact of those coveted hands against her skin and Addison's mouth on her's, made Meredith's head spin. Arousal flared in fifty foot high flames in her body as she crushed herself into Addison and fought for dominance in the kiss.

A sharp nip to her lip and the sharp coppery tang of blood joined the kiss and Meredith hissed in a reaction that was pain and pleasure and exquisite. Addison finally pulled away a little and leaned back, her hands idly caressing Meredith's back as they both gasped. "You bit me." Meredith commented as she licked her abused lip and considered ways of getting back at Addison as hormones and delicious madness burned through her veins.

"You make me crazy." Addison finally said as she opened her eyes and looked directly into Meredith's.

The primal wildness in those beloved eyes made Meredith stutter for breath. "Don't look at me like that." Meredith moaned softly, arching into Addison, pressing down on her body and feeling the seam of her own shorts rub against her in a manner that would soon cause Meredith to lose her mind.

"Like what?" Addison asked dangerously, making no effort to push Meredith off her lap. "Like that." Meredith said as she leaned in to kiss Addison lightly.

"This is your fault." Meredith said as she reluctantly peeled away from Addison. "And just for that, you are going to take me for a drive in this hot little machine someplace where state troopers and time constraints are not an issue." Meredith added as she flopped back into her seat and made an effort to rearrange her clothes before she buckled up again.

"Well, this settles it. The car is coming to Seattle as well." Addison muttered to herself, just loud enough for Meredith to hear.

Laughing, Meredith threw her head back in pleasure and ran her hand along Addison's arm appreciatively. "Good." She said in response.

Addison pulled back into the civilised world of streets and houses and away from the temptation of the open road, engines and hot landscapes and with that Meredith tried to compose herself. Showing up with come fuck me hair and a lazy smile on her face, might not be the best way to meet Addison's coworkers and friends.

Though maybe it would be. Meredith shook her head slightly at herself and turned her attention back on Addison. If Meredith had not known any better, she would have sworn that Addison was completely composed. The thing was that Meredith knew better and that knowledge thrilled her to no end.

Hot and bothered and in California.

That sounded like the title of a movie, actually. Meredith wanted to have that movie experience as soon as possible, actually and from the way a slight blush graced Addison's fine neck, Meredith knew that the feeling was mutual.

Very mutual.

What fun.


Chapter 46

As Addison pulled into the parking spot in front of her private practice the sun was beginning to set and the air was calm and dry. It was a far cry from the near constant threat of rain that Seattle possessed. "Ready?" Addison queried as she grabbed her purse and looked at Meredith.

"As I'll ever be." Meredith replied, feeling the nervous flutter of anticipation in her stomach.

"It will be fine." Addison said reassuringly. "You'll see." She added, giving Meredith's hand a squeeze.

Meredith nodded and grabbed at the door handle. "They know about us?" Meredith asked as she opened the car door.

"They know I am on my way back to Seattle, and know that it is a person who has lured me back. Naomi knows who you are." Addison exprapolated as she stepped out of the car and waited for Meredith to join her.

"Great, so this has the potential to be lots of fun." Meredith murmured with some trepidation.

"Nah. This is LA. They will be more upset that you have lured me away back to Seattle than about the fact that you are a woman. In fact I doubt anyone will care about your gender, actually." Addison said with a laugh as she took Meredith's hand and they walked together into the building.

"I don't know for sure who is going to be around at this hour, but most of them should be at work, or they normally are anyway." Addison said and then the doors closed behind them.

Meredith started to feel the inexorable march of destiny catch up with her as they approached the offices where Addison had been working since she had left Seattle.

"Addison!" A male voice said and Meredith turned to see a man walking up to them.

"Pete!" Addison said with warmth and a moment later shared a hug with the man.

Meredith vaguely wondered at the history between the two of them as the hug lasted just a moment longer that it would have had they been simply friends. She was actually curious about the history that Addison had with all of these people, to be honest. Maybe she could persuade Addison to divulge more information one of these nights.

"What are you doing here? I thought you were getting ready to go back to Seattle?" The man, Pete, asked.

"I am. Had to come and clear up some business and I wanted to show someone where I had been hanging out for the last while." Addison said and then pulled Meredith forward gently.

"This is Doctor Meredith Grey. She is the reason I decided to go back to Seattle full time." Addison sounded happy as she said the words and Meredith wanted to share her happiness, but that would depend in part on how this man reacted to the information.

"Doctor Pete Wilder." The man said in a genuine tone and shook Meredith's hand. "Well, I can see why Addison picked you over California." He did not seem uptight about it, so Meredith was pleased to shake his hand and smile.

"I hear you will borrow her from time to time." Meredith said, remembering that Addison had said that she would be doing some consulting from time to time with her colleagues in California.

"Pleased to meet you." She added and hoped that the rest of the group was as amenable.

"Violet is out on a case." Pete said to Addison. "Charlotte, Cooper, and Naomi are here though." Pete added and Meredith felt her palms begin to sweat at that news.

"Nice place." Meredith commented as they walked past reception to what looked to be offices.

It was a nice place, truly. Opulent and oozing of the promise of a wealthy clientele.

"So you two are together then?" Pete asked as they stopped at the door of a conference room.

"Yes." Addison said with another smile. "I think California had a very good affect on me." Addison continued as Pete opened the door. "It made me miss rain and well, when I saw Meredith again things just happened to make this happen." Addison said airily and Meredith could not help but smile at the other woman.

In the room were three other people and a baby.

A baby?

"Lucas." Addison exclaimed happily and moved forward towards the child.

"Oh, I've missed you, sweetheart." Addison said softly and picked up the baby and held him close to her body.

"My son." Pete said sheepishly, sounding like he was still getting used to the idea.

"Everyone, this is Doctor Meredith Grey, from Seattle." Pete said after a pause.

Addison was still preoccupied with baby Lucas who was cooing for her and smiling in a way that clearly indicated that he was just as taken by Addison as Meredith was. Who could blame the little guy after all?

"Naomi Bennett, Charlotte King and Cooper Freedman, doctors, of course." Pete continued and pointed at the people in the room.

Naomi was someone whom Meredith was familiar with from before so she greeted them warmly and smiled when Naomi rose from her seat to walk over to her and then Naomi actually gave Meredith a hug.

Meredith decided that Charlotte was probably the not so California one amongst the group. She probably had sharp edges and was someone that you either loved or hated. Someone like Charlotte would be a refreshing change in this sort of environment, without a doubt.

Cooper was an unknown entity to Meredith, but he set off her smarmy guy radar warning system immediately.

"Doctor Grey is the reason that Addison is leaving us." Pete said simply and at the words Addison looked up.

Well, the cat was well and truly out of the bag now.

"Is that so?" Charlotte said, turning to look at Addison who seemed to sense the scrutiny and raised her eyes from the baby in her arms to look at Charlotte in an almost challenging fashion.

"How's muff diving working out for you?" Charlotte queried with good humoured malice and before Meredith could react, Addison had wadded up a napkin from the table and thrown it at her coworker.

"You should try it someday." Addison murmured with a saucy wink, before she turned back to the baby in her arms and proceeded to ignore whatever else Charlotte was going to say.

Lucas for his part seemed to be ecstatic about this new development and Meredith could not help but be charmed as she watched the woman she loved interact with the tiny human in her arms.

"You offering?" This was Cooper who said this and at the words Addison shot the man a glare that would have turned an ordinary person to stone but it was clear Mr. Smarmy was quite immune to that sort of look.

No doubt he got it often enough.

Meredith was tempted to laugh, but whatever was said or going to be said was interrupted by the rapid succession of pagers going off and then by the cacophony of mobile phones ringing immediately afterwards.

"Whoops." Pete said and then everyone was standing up, reaching for their pagers and phones and putting down their coffee in a chaotic synchrony that Meredith found somehow impressive.

Whatever was going on seemed to require the attention of pretty much everyone at the same time. Meredith wondered idly what it could be, but there was no time for much speculation to happen.

"Um, can you keep Lucas for a while?" Pete asked Addison quietly, who nodded automatically.

"Sorry, Addison, Meredith. I'll come back as soon as I can." Naomi said and squeezed the redhead's arm.

"How did you manage to keep this a secret?" Addison asked Naomi, sounding incredulous.

Naomi laughed and looked around and Meredith got the impression that Naomi was not the person who one should divulge state secrets to. "Well, it seemed really important this time, Addison. I can keep a secret, I just need to remember to." Naomi rolled her eyes at Addison and chuckles were heard behind her.

"Don't christen the coffee table, others have to eat off it." Charlotte said in a wicked done and then they were all gone, leaving Meredith and Addison alone with baby Lucas.

"Well, that was weird." Meredith volunteered.

"They'll be back." Addison said with confidence. "They won't be able to stay away, especially not after I order Chinese food." Addison said with a laugh and flipped out her mobile phone as she cradled the peacefully resting baby in her arms.

"You're something else." Meredith murmured as she watched the formidable Doctor Addison Montgomery multitask.

"I am." Addison whispered with a wink during a pause in her phone call.

Meredith reflected that dinner was going to be an interesting experience to say the least. Part of her wanted to run away, another part of her wanted to know what was going to happen. Most of her simply wanted to be with Addison, come what may.

Addison was done with her ordering and was now sitting at the table with Lucas balanced in a sitting position in front of her. The little boy was playing with her hair and face and Addison was smiling. It was clear that she really enjoyed the child and as Meredith moved around the side of the table to sit next to Addison she could see why.

He was cute.

And adorable and sweet.

"Do you look after him often?" Meredith asked as she had one of her fingers seized by the child as he discovered a new playmate when she sat down next to his current one.

"Often enough. He is Pete and Violet's child, though Pete is raising him." Addison said, carefully holding the baby upright and tickling him under his little arms.

Lucas shrieked with delight.

"He seems to really like you." Meredith said warmly, enjoying the feel of the tiny hand that was holding on to one of her fingers.

"Lucas and I go way back, don't we buddy?" Addison murmured at the little boy.

"I mean Pete, actually." Meredith said as she found her hair entrapped by baby hands.

Baby Lucas seemed to be delighted that he had golden coloured hair to play with now as well as copper coloured.

"Oh, I guess. We had a thing once but really he has more issues than National Geographic." Addison extrapolated, seeming to disinterested in the whole topic.

"So do I." Meredith murmured as she gently untangled tiny fingers from her hair and immediately had her ears grabbed instead.

"Not really, Meredith. No more than I do. The thing is that you and I function fine with our issues for the most part. Sometimes they spill over but usually they are simply there, you know?" Addison replied and picked Lucas up and then carefully handed him over to Meredith.

"He wants to be held by you." Addison said as Meredith automatically wrapped her arms and hands around the miniature human she had been handed.

"He's about a year old, so not like a newborn. Don't worry." Addison reassured the suddenly nervous Meredith.

Lucas for his part seemed to be utterly content to bury his head in Meredith's chest and had soon closed his eyes to sleep. "He's got the right idea." Addison commented, pointing at the child.

Meredith blushed slightly. "Well, for him I will make an exception." Meredith replied. "For you too, obviously, but you're going to have to get in line." She added and Addison snorted with amusement.

"Will it be like this with us?" Meredith asked in a soft voice as she held the baby while Addison sat on the table facing them, with her own hands gently touching the sleeping Lucas.

"If we wish it." Addison said equally softly.

"Babies tend to be what they are made to be." Addison continued, her hands moving to stroke Meredith's hair and face.

"Kind of like puppies, I suppose." Meredith sighed sleepily.

She was suddenly feeling very tired, it had been a long day and well, holding a sleeping baby was obviously an excellent sleeping drought.

"Yes, kind of like puppies, but more high maintenance and less obedient." Addison laughed lightly and Meredith felt her heart glow in response to the tone.

"Can't wait to find out for myself." Meredith said as she leaned back slightly to find a more comfortable position.

"Me either." Addison murmured, glancing at her watch.

"I wonder what's going on." She murmured at the absence of her colleagues.

"Something California, for sure." Meredith said in reply, opening her eyes and looking at Addison. "Tell me I'm wrong." She added at Addison's incredulous look.

"You're not wrong." Addison said with mirth. "I'd pay to see Cristina deal with some of the high maintenance LA types here." Addison shook with suppressed laugher and Meredith was hard pressed to not loud outright at the statement.

"She has a knack. It could actually be very popular here. People would pay to be abused by her. Their therapists would reassure them that it would help them get over their issues with authority, or their mother's or their fifth grade math teachers, or something." Addison mused.

"At least my therapist does not let me get away with such nonsense." Meredith commented. "Yeah, took me a while to find one here that did not make me want to use paddles on them to shock them back to reality." Addison laughed lightly.

"You'll find a good one in Seattle, I am sure." Meredith said, freeing one hand from the sleeping Lucas to grab one of Addison's hands.

"Yeah." Addison said and then there was a comfortable silence as they watched the baby sleep in Meredith's arms.

"You should take him." Meredith said, realising that when they left California it might be a while before Addison saw the child again.

Addison opened her arms and a few moments later the sleeping child was resting contentedly in Addison's arms. "You look good with a baby in your arms, Addison." Meredith said as she stood up and pressed a kiss on Addison's temple.

"Thank you." Addison murmured and returned her focus to the boy in her arms.

"I want one like him." Meredith said of the sleeping boy.

It was true.

"Well, we could take him with us. Might take them a while to notice since there will be food to distract them." Addison joked, smiling at Meredith.

Laughing lightly, Meredith yawned and shifted in her seat. She wanted to be in bed, asleep. Fatigue was beginning to weigh heavily on her and it had been a long day.

There was a light knock on the door. "That would be dinner." Addison said, nodding at her purse. "Pay for it will you and give the man a good tip, I sweet talked the restaurant into delivering when they normally don't." Addison finished saying just as Meredith opened the door and observed a young man laden with bags of food at the doorstep.

"Hi." Meredith said in a low voice and groped through Addison's wallet, quickly paying the bill and giving the man a good tip for being quick and for talking his way past the receptionist with such apparent ease.

Putting the bags of food onto the table, Meredith stretched out her back. "I'm tired." She commented. "Can I curl up in your arms and sleep?" She asked as she pulled out the various packages and cartons of food from the bags and arranged them into what seemed to be logical piles.

"Anytime." Addison said with a big smile, the love was actually radiating towards Meredith as she spoke and Meredith basked in the sensation.

"Come here." Addison said.

Meredith came closer and rested her head on Addison's shoulder. "The others will be here soon." Addison said as they sat in comfortable silence.

"Okay." Meredith answered, feeling herself relax.

Come what may, she could handle it as long as Addison was at her side.

By the time they had left Oceanside Wellness Group offices, it was late. There had been a lot of talk and some eating and overall it seemed that Addison's colleagues had been mostly fine with the fact that Addison had decided to go back to Seattle.

Upon discovering just who Meredith was related to, there had been some focused interest on Meredith that did not deal with her position of being Addison's girlfriend. It would seem that the reputation of many of Meredith's bosses extended far beyond the walls of the hospital and Meredith had found herself fascinated by this knowledge.

Naomi and Addison had eventually retired for a while to a private office, leaving Meredith alone to deal with whoever else was coming and going but she had done find. It seems that the place where Addison had been working was not really filled with sharks looking for the scent of blood in the water.

But, now they were on their way home and Meredith found that she was almost dead on her feet, her fatigue was so profound and while Addison drove she focused her attention on staying awake, mainly. "I liked them." Meredith said as the lights of the city flickered by the darkened car windows.

"I'm glad. They liked you as well." Addison murmured in reply. "Even Charlotte, she's always like that, so the fact that she was not worse is a pretty good indication that she liked you." Addison was of course referring to the sharpness and hard wit of Charlotte.

Meredith had decided that she rather liked the acerbic overtone that coloured the blonde doctor's personality. It was a little like Cristina, though Cristina was not really intentionally the way she was. She just was the way she was, Cristina. Perfect for Meredith in so many ways.

"We'll try to catch up with Sam and Violet soon." Addison said of her two missing coworkers. "Violet is Lucas' mother." Addison said softly and something in her voice told Meredith that there was a lot to that story that she did not know.

"The birth of Lucas was very traumatic and difficult; horrifying actually." Addison continued and Meredith saw that her grip on the steering wheel had tightened to a white knuckled level. "Violet is still quite broken because of it, I am not sure she will ever recover to be able to become what a mother should be to Lucas." Addison sighed as she spoke and Meredith decided that a change of topic might be in order.

"And Sam?" Meredith asked. "He's Naomi's ex-husband." Addison replied. "It's complicated." She added blithely.

"It's always complicated." Meredith agreed as Addison turned the car into her driveway and a few moments later they were home.

"God, I am tired." Addison said. "Please make sure you force me to take a shower, I can't imagine going to bed otherwise, but I might if I get too close to one." Addison pleased and Meredith laughed.

"No problem, darling." Meredith promised with a smile and then they were out of the car making their way to the front door and finally when they closed it behind them, they were home.

"Time for bed." Meredith said firmly and pulled Addison along with her.

She had visited the bedroom briefly earlier, but aside from noting that it was airy and well decorated, the only other thing she had seen was that it had a balcony. Something to explore later, when she was not sleepy enough to actually fall off said balcony.

That would not do at all.

Right now, however, Meredith was concerned with Addison. The redhead was clearly exhausted and was that a limp?

"Shower, bed, Addison. You can give me the sumptuous guided tour of this beautiful place tomorrow." Meredith coaxed the unusually pliable Addison to the bathroom and kissed her before leaving her lover to attend to her evening ablutions in peace.

While Meredith located her luggage and marvelled that the bedroom could easily fit the living room in the Seattle home into it, she heard the shower turn on. Addison would be quick, she was exhausted and so was Meredith.

Throwing open her suitcase, Meredith dug around before locating a robe and her toiletries and then she started to undress, walking towards the balcony doors as she did. The view outside of them was breathtaking, even at night and Meredith could not help but open the balcony doors as she shimmied out of her clothes.

Standing naked in the doorway of the balcony, Meredith let the feel of salt and night and calm wash over her. It truly was beautiful and unique and it made her want to stretch out her body and go running along the sand in the night.

Absorbed as she was in her personal musings and the hypnotising view, Meredith failed to realise that Addison was out of the shower until she felt arms encircle her from behind and the light touch of lips on her shoulder. Addison's hands curled around Meredith's front, moving up to cup her breasts as that coveted mouth kissed along the side of her neck in the warm night.

Lost in the moment, Meredith did not realise that Addison had moved them forward onto the balcony until she felt the gentle breeze touch her from all sides and felt the press of the night join Addison's caress. Lifting her hands, Meredith cupped Addison's head, threading her hands though damp hair and forgetting all about being tired as Addison moved her mouth to kiss Meredith on the lips.

Moaning in earnest now, Meredith turned within the circle of Addison's arms and pulled on the belt of her robe, quickly exposing the other woman's body. Meredith smiled in the dim light, feeling the heat radiate off Addison's body as she did. "I love you." She murmured, stepping into Addison's arms and kissing her again, losing herself to the moment, to the night and to desire.

It was not until later, when Meredith herself was all showered and they were laying in bed drifting along the edges of sleep that Meredith remembered what she had meant to ask Addison earlier. Now, as she rested comfortably in the perfect embrace of her lover, with her body still vibrating from pleasure that she doubted she would ever get used to the intensity of.

"Have you thought of names, or when we would have kids?" Meredith turned over to look at Addison as she asked the question, relishing the sensation of skin on skin as she moved.

"Hmm, not really. Yes?" Addison murmured, sounding like she was half asleep. "Just so long as it is with you and we're not too old to run after the children when it happens." Addison continued and snuggled in closer to Meredith, sighing contentedly as she did.

"Okay." Meredith was happy with this reply and decided that the subject of names could wait until another time.

Addison was asleep now and Meredith felt her own body slow and then drift off.

She rather liked California.

"How does bacon and eggs and a walk on the beach sound?" Addison asked Meredith the next morning as they sat in her kitchen sipping truly delicious coffee.

"Sounds divine." Meredith answered, smiling broadly at the thought. "You make my life so much fun, you know that?" Meredith added, the words tumbling from her mouth before she could think better of it.

"I'm glad." Addison said, reaching over and squeezing Meredith's hand gently.

"I also make a mean breakfast so you just sit there and let me spoil you." Addison continued and stood up to go examine the contents of her fridge.

"How is it that your fridge is stocked and you have not been home for a long time?" Meredith asked idly as she leaned back in her chair and watched Addison.

In a minute she'd get up to help, but right now she was enjoying the view of Addison bending over. "I had someone come in to clean and stock things up." Addison answered as she stood up and held out bacon and eggs in triumph.

Again Meredith was reminded of the differences between her and Addison. For the most part, whatever Meredith wanted done, she had to do herself when it came to her house, this remodelling notwithstanding. Addison on the other hand no doubt had gardeners, and a maid and someone to look after the mundane things in her house even when she was around.

Hopefully the wedding of their two worlds would work well. Meredith kind of liked the idea of having people who were paid to do things like shovel snow, or weed the garden or whatever stuff, but she could not imagine not doing some things herself.

With that in mind, Meredith stood up to freshen their coffee cups and squeeze some oranges for juice. Addison for her part was happily making some very decadent looking bacon and Meredith realised that she was also frying the bread they were about to eat.

The walk on the beach would be needed after this.

In ten more minutes they were sitting down again and Addison was telling Meredith what she needed to do in order to ensure that her move to Seattle went smoothly. "Boring banking stuff and some packing, mainly." Addison concluded as she pushed her plate away and reached for her coffee cup.

"How long will it take?" Meredith only had a limited time to be away from the hospital as she was only a Resident, but she wanted to be there for Addison as much as possible and not rush her.

"Only a few days at most. I think we can assume to leave here the day after tomorrow or so." Addison murmured as she finished her coffee.

Meredith was already done with her breakfast and was feeling quite full and comfortable. "Ready for that walk I promised you?" Addison asked as they carried the dishes to the kitchen and put them near the sink.

"Absolutely." Meredith answered. "You're dressed just right." Addison said, pointing at Meredith's loose cotton pants and tee shirt.

"No shoes are needed." Addison said, obviously anticipating Meredith's questions for the time being. "Come on." The redhead encouraged and a moment later they were walking towards the private beach that lay behind Addison's house.

"Do you walk here a lot?" Meredith asked as they made their way to the water's edge.

"Sometimes." Addison replied as Meredith let the cool Pacific waters caress between her toes. "It just depends on what is going on, I suppose." She added after a moment.

"I can understand that." Meredith said as she retreated before her pants got wet.

The sand was still cool under their feet, and very soothing. It felt heavenly, actually and Meredith rolled up her pant legs before she grabbed Addison's hand and looked out over the water. "I think this is a view that I would take a while to tire of." Meredith said after a moment before she felt Addison's arms wrap around her from behind.

"Good." Addison whispered into Meredith's ear and then kissed just below it as the morning sun proceeded to make it's way up the sky.

The two of them stood in blissful silence, just watching the sun and the sea and feeling the sand between their toes. It felt exquisite to be held, to be loved. Meredith closed her eyes and let the moment engulf her.

"Addison?" A male voice intruded upon the bliss and Meredith could feel Addison jump in reaction.

There was no let up in her embrace though and Meredith felt Addison turn to the speaker. "Hi Sam." Addison said and Meredith noted a measure of tension in her voice as she spoke.

"What's going on?" Sam asked, sounding shocked.


Chapter 47

Meredith felt Addison twitch before she turned towards Sam. "What do you mean?" Addison asked simply, making no effort to pull away from Meredith.

As they stood together, Meredith got an impression that this was some sort of empirical test for Addison, and maybe even herself. Either they climbed into the glass closet, or they faced the world together.

"Now this?" Sam asked waving his hands at them. "What do you mean, Sam?" Addison had an edge in her voice now and Meredith wondered just where this was leading.

She had met Sam in Seattle some time ago, but that memory versus this event on the beach were not in any way related. "I thought Grey was with Shepherd. I mean what, Addison, you had to go after someone who was taken?" Sam seemed to be angry and frustrated and it made Meredith wonder about the history between him and Addison.

"Actually, I pursued her." Meredith interjected, putting a protective arm around Addison and holding her close. "I fail to see why you care so much." Meredith added, not about to stand by as Sam all but called Addison a slut.

"This does not concern you, Meredith. It is between me and Addison." Sam sounded impatient and almost patronising as he spoke.

"No, this does concern me. Addison is the woman I love and you are toeing the line right now in how you are speaking to her." Meredith interjected, feeling Addison breathe in deeply beside her.

Sam looked at her fully and Meredith thought that she saw something flicker in his eyes in reaction to her words. "I thought you and I had something." Sam said in turn to Addison. "What you think and what is fact are two separate things, Sam." Addison replied at once, her voice firm.

"I want to be your friend, Sam, but not if you're going to be like this. I have made my decision." Addison said tiredly, obviously wanting to leave the situation. "If I can't walk along the beach in the morning with the woman I love without you getting in my face, then I don't want you around me at all." Addison said with finality.

"Whoa, you can't blame me for having some reaction to this." Sam said defensively.

"Actually, she can." This was Meredith who spoke. "Think about what you're doing. It's not exactly good manners. There would have been better ways for you to handle this." Meredith added.

When Sam took a breath to say something in his defence again, Meredith cut him off. "If you had been at Oceanside yesterday you would have heard the announcement like everyone else did. So don't say what you're going to say next." Meredith knew enough about people that she knew that Sam was going to say that he had no idea and of course he was shocked.

"She's right, Sam. You can't do this and expect me to be understanding. This is my life and if you want to be part of it, you are going to have to have a more measured response to things." Addison spoke this time. "Think about it. If I had snuck up on you and a woman you were with and started out on the offensive, do you think you would be very happy with me?" Addison grabbed Meredith's hand and took a step away, obviously wanting to continue their walk along the beach.

Maybe they would also be able to capture some of the peace and contentment of a few moments ago as well.

Sam sighed and nodded. "You're right." He finally said. "I'm sorry." He added, taking a step away. "Apology accepted." Addison said looking at Meredith who nodded her agreement.

She was not about to cause waves between Addison and her friends if she could avoid it. "We'll talk later Sam. Not right now, I'm busy." Addison said by way of goodbye and then gently tugged Meredith into motion, before they proceeded down the beach in the opposite direction of Sam and his backyard.

He at least had the grace not to follow them and in a few moments Meredith could feel the reduction of tension in Addison's grip on her hand. "You okay?" Meredith asked, still enjoying the feel of sand between her toes and the ocean breeze ruffling her hair and her clothes.

Most of all, she was enjoying Addison, though.

"Yeah. Can we forget that and just keep walking. I want to think of right now, not five minutes ago or last year. Just right now, with you and the morning." Addison murmured, sounding very calm and peaceful.

"Of course." Meredith conceded easily.

She was more than happy to live the moment with Addison. It was precious and important for her to pay attention to the right now as otherwise she might miss it. Even though Sam was Addison's friend, when put into perspective he was merely a blip on the horizon of their lives.

Even if he did not come around or cut off his relationship with Addison there was nothing they could do about it, so worrying about it wad a waste of time in the end. Unless of course Addison decided that she did want to talk about it, in which case Meredith would be more than happy to listen.

It's what you did for someone you love.

Addison paused and reached down, holding onto Meredith's hands for balance and snatched up something from the sand. "Here." She murmured, pressing the object into Meredith's hand. "Careful." Addison added and Meredith opened her hand to look at the feather-light object in it.

"Sand dollar." Addison said unnecessarily.

Meredith paused to examine the fragile shell. It was intact and a little firmer than what she had seen before in her life. Carefully, she slid it into the breast pocket of her shirt, hoping to get it back to the house in one piece. "Thank you." She said softly and took Addison's hand in her own again.

The redhead smiled brilliantly, obviously happy that her small offering had been received with such pleasure.

Meredith felt a grin tug at the corners of her mouth.

It was the little things that really made a difference.

Love was grand.

Eventually they managed to get back to the house and Addison was finally showing Meredith around. "Are you going to keep this place?" Meredith asked as Addison walked her around the garden.

"Well, California does have its charms, and it is a nice house. We can bring the kids here for vacations, or come ourselves when the weather in Seattle becomes too much." Addison said airily, smiling in the sunlight.

God, she was beautiful. Meredith could feel her heart skip a beat at the sight of Addison bathed in sun of the California morning.

"Sounds reasonable enough. I don't think this place needs any renovation, though." Meredith commented.

The house was in pristine condition.

"True, but the interior design could use a more personal touch. We can make that the project for the next vacation down here." Addison replied, sounding pleased at the prospect.

"Works for me." Meredith said in a content tone.

"What would you like to do today?" Addison queried as they stepped back into the cool interior of the house.

Momentarily sunblind, Meredith blinked and tried to clear her vision.

"I can think of something I'd love to do for a whole day with you." Meredith purred.

Nothing but sand, sex, Addison and ecstasy.

"Can you now?" Addison said and took some steps closer to Meredith. "And just what is that thing that you think you could spend the day doing with me?" Addison queried, her voice dropping to a sexy register that thrilled Meredith to no end.

"Well, why don't you come with me and I'll show you." Meredith suggested as she carefully set aside the sand dollar that she had been playing with while the conversation had developed.

Taking Addison by the hand, Meredith walked the redhead towards the bedroom. "I have this fantasy." Meredith said as she closed the door and turned towards Addison. "I thought about it last night." Meredith added as she moved to undress Addison.

When Addison started to help her, Meredith gently bated her hands away. "Let me." Meredith whispered, wanting to communicate all that she was feeling. "Let me." She repeated under her breath.

Addison dropped her hands and stared at Meredith intently. "What is your fantasy?" She asked after a moment, her breath coming out in a slight pant. "You'll like it." Meredith teased gently in response.

She wanted to surprise Addison so she intentionally did not divulge just what exactly she was planning. "Come." Meredith urged, stepping towards the balcony and easing Addison's blouse of creamy shoulders as she did.

The balcony was spacious, there was a gorgeous daytime view of the ocean and the sunlight that shone down on them from a clear blue sky. Meredith wanted to make love with Addison, outside, in the California sun with the gentle sound of the water in the distance their only accompaniment.

"Out here?" Addison breathed, resplendent in the sunlight which burnished her hair copper.

"Yes." Meredith said easily, leaning in to kiss the valley between Addison's breasts before drawing the redhead into an embrace.

Warmed by the sun and by arousal, Addison felt like heaven in her arms and Meredith moaned her appreciation as she kissed her way up the flawless neck of her lover so as to bring their mouths together in a searing kiss that made Meredith forget what she was doing for long moments.

There was only Addison and the kiss and the sunlight on the balcony with Meredith. "Sit." Meredith urged, backing Addison up to one of the chairs that was scattered around the space.

Addison sat down and watched Meredith intently. Kneeling, Meredith carefully eased off the loose linen pants that Addison wore and pulled them off her legs, exposing even more coveted skin to Meredith's hungry eyes. "You're beautiful." Meredith murmured, leaning in to kiss one of Addison's smooth thighs.

Her lover twitched in reaction.

The warm sun on her back, made Meredith feel like she was melting into this experience. All that mattered was now, right now, this moment here. Addison curled her fingers into Meredith's hair and arched, driving Meredith's ardour even higher still, if that was possible.

How on earth had she lived without this?

Meredith knew however that now she knew what she could have, she would never be able to live without it again.

She needed this and she had to have it.

No longer clumsy, Meredith eased Addison's silk panties off her body in a smooth movement, casually discarding them without a backwards glance. Her entire focus was on Addison and this moment now.

The scent of arousal drove Meredith a little insane and she curled her arms around Addison's thighs, gently parting them as she knelt on discarded clothes on the balcony. No more teasing or foreplay was needed, Addison's copper coloured curls were glistening with moisture and Meredith could see that her lover was swollen and ready.

Without hesitation, Meredith lowered her mouth and dipped first her tongue and then her lips into the morass of ecstasy that awaited her mouth and her mind.

Addison jumped at the contact before she tightened her grip in Meredith's hair and held on firmly. The intensity of the moment made Meredith gasp and as she moved her mouth lower into sensitive folds she became aware of the heat and tightness of her own clothes which encased her body still.

She wanted to be rid of them so she could experience this moment without the barrier of cloth between her and Addison and the sun.

Thankfully she was wearing loose clothing and even as she moved her mouth gently through Addison's heat, she was able to wiggle out of her pants, kicking them aside. Addison seemed to realise her intent, because her hands moved from Meredith's hair to her shoulders and pushed back the button down shirt that Meredith wore. Together, without breaking he contact between Meredith's mouth and Addison's body, they managed to strip Meredith naked.

She's never been so glad to go without underwear before and now without the distraction of clothing, Meredith turned her full attention back to the delicious task at hand; Addison, pleasure and these moments in the California sun.

Addison for her part was holding onto Meredith's head again and thrusting her hips up to meet Meredith's mouth, her breath coming out in gasps as they moved in synch and Meredith was becoming delirious with sensory overload as she felt her own arousal ratchet up tighter and tighter.

Uncurling an arm around Addison's thighs, Meredith slipped her shoulders lower, pushing Addison's legs apart a little further before she brushed her fingers along Addison's inner thighs, intent on a goal that she knew would drive Addison over the edge. It only took a moment and Meredith had slid one, and then a second finger into Addison and the reaction in her lover was divine.

"More." Addison hissed into the bright sunlight and Meredith moaned in barely controlled reaction before she moved her hand and gently eased a third finger into Addison.

The hands in Meredith's hair tightened almost painfully and when Meredith began to move her hand in time with her mouth, Addison cried out, moaning loudly now, her reactions unrestrained and her movements becoming erratic. "Fuck, yes." Addison gasped.

Meredith was somewhat certain that she was going to come just by sympathetic response and the sensation of her own wetness dripping and sliding down her own thighs made it hard to think. She could barely coordinate her movements, actually.

This was insane.

How could she possibly feel so much?

"Come here." Addison ground out, tugging on Meredith who pulled her mouth away from Addison to look up at her.

She was careful not to halt the movements of her hand.

"I want to feel you." Addison gasped, her eyes wild and sparkling in the bright light of the day.

Meredith looked at the sun chair that Addison was half reclining on and made a split second decision, carefully extracting her fingers from Addison as she did so. Addison made a muted sound of protest but Meredith cut it off with a kiss that was hungry, desperate and that tasted of sex and the sea.

"Scoot up." Meredith whispered, encouraging Addison to move backwards so that Meredith could fit herself onto the chair as well.

Addison was quick to comply and Meredith then carefully slid herself into Addison's lap, scissoring their legs together carefully as she held onto her lover. The redhead's skin was warm and soft and Meredith lost herself for a moment in the sensory experience that her sensitive fingertips offered her.

However, the moment was interrupted when Meredith felt the press of Addison against her as their bodies slid into position. Addison seemed to adjust instantly to what Meredith was attempting and after a moment Meredith felt the last vestiges of her sanity escape as the warm, wet heat of Addison's sex slid against her own.

"Oh, Jesus." Meredith's voice was barely above a whisper and all thoughts ceased as Addison sought purchase and their bodies moved and slid together.

The intimacy of the position and the feel of Addison against herself was enough to bring Meredith to the brink of climax in a matter of heartbeats. "I'm going to come." Meredith managed to say, pulling Addison closer and kissing her desperately.

"Come for me, Meredith." Addison urged, her voice shaking.

"Come with me." She continued and that was enough to send Meredith over the edge as orgasm washed over her.

"I'm coming too, Meredith. Can you feel it?" Addison said and at the words Meredith felt a second wave of orgasm arrive and then they were coming together.

The feedback loop that was created was too much for Meredith's nerves and she could feel tears begin to leak out of her eyes as her emotions and her body and her mind were overwhelmed. As she felt Addison's wetness and skin and body slide against her own, Meredith could only ride out the experience.

Eventually, they both calmed down and just sat, gasping, holding each other in the sunlight with sweat and salt and sunlight marking their skins. Carefully, Meredith pulled back slightly from Addison and adjusted their position to something a little more comfortable as she leaned into her lover.

"Wow." Addison said softly, stroking a shaking hand through Meredith's hair.

Meredith kissed Addison's raging pulse on her neck in response, still too overwhelmed to speak, or move, or, think, really.

Wow, indeed.

They had moved indoors to the bed to take a nap when the sun had become too much on the balcony. Meredith in the lassitude of post orgasmic bliss, had dropped off to sleep almost at once, comforted by the warm presence of Addison in the bed with her.

It was through this dreamy state that the sharp sounds of a telephone intruded, shocking Meredith awake as Addison reached for the device.

What on earth?

"Yes?" Addison said into the phone. "What?" Meredith popped awake at the sound of alarm in Addison's voice. "I'll be there in half an hour." Addison said, closing the phone and rising to her feet.

"What's going on?" Meredith asked, following Addison's example and getting up.

"Sam and Naomi, their pregnant daughter was just in a car accident." Addison said as she pulled clothes onto her body and rushed to the bathroom to wash her hands and brush her teeth.

A few moments later she was back and stuffing her feet into her shoes. By then Meredith had also struggled into some clothes. "I'll come with you." She said to Addison who nodded and then they were racing to the car.

"Buckle up." Addison said unnecessarily and a moment later the peeled out of the driveway.

Addison tossed Meredith her phone. "Call Sam and tell him fifteen minutes." Addison instructed, powering down the wide road that led away from the house.

Doing as she was instructed, Meredith quickly reached Sam who seemed surprised that she was calling. "We'll be there in ten fifteen minutes." Meredith said to him calmly.

Addison for her part was doing her best to not get stopped, but also break a few traffic laws in her efforts to get wherever they were going. "Hospital." Addison said after some long moments. "Maya, their daughter. She's young and heavily pregnant." Addison explained as she drove like a racecar driver down the road.

"Give me the phone." Addison instructed, quickly dialling in a number when Meredith handed it to her.

Addison handed it back to Meredith. "Tell the person who answers who you are, who I am and what we are going to do. I want you to scrub in on this surgery with me and they need to have insurance ready for you when by the time we arrive." Addison said, her voice firm.

Doing as she was told, Meredith was barely off the phone when they were pulling into the driveway of the hospital. "It's a teaching hospital." Addison explained as they rushed to the emergency room entrance.

"I know you and I trust you, I want you with me." Addison extrapolated as she flashed her credentials at the reception desk.

"Addison!" It was Naomi who spoke and Meredith and Addison both turned towards them.

"I'm here." Addison said, enfolding her friend in a hug while Meredith spoke to the receptionist.

"I am Doctor Meredith Grey, there should be some insurance papers here for me to sign." Meredith said to the woman.

She had been promised that they would be delivered by the time they arrived, it was pretty much simply a matter of rubber stamping some forms and getting Meredith to sign them. No problems.

To her credit, the woman seemed to know what was going on and in a few moments Meredith was told that the papers would be ready in five minutes and that she should go and be with her patient. "Thank you." Meredith said and quickly went to find Addison.

"She's unconscious, they are prepping her for surgery." Addison was listening to the Doctor Charlotte King describe the situation.

Addison was looking at ultrasound images as the man spoke. "Okay." Addison said after some long moments. "Doctor Grey, come with me." Addison said and thrust the scans at Meredith. "Study these. We have about ten minutes." Addison said and turned her attention to Naomi and Sam while they walked as a group towards the surgical prep area.

"It will be okay." Addison said, but Meredith could hear a note of doubt in the redhead's voice.

Turning her attention to the scans, Meredith could easily see just how serious this was in an instant. They would be lucky if things turned out okay.

Very lucky.

"Doctor Grey." Meredith turned as she heard her voice. "You need to sign here." The woman who ran up to Meredith said and without hesitation Meredith did just that.

Now, their fate and that of Maya was up to destiny, skill, and a sprinkling of good luck.

"I don't think it is such a good idea for Doctor Grey to be involved with this. She is merely a Resident and there could be a conflict of interest." Doctor King interjected into the situation.

"As Chief of Staff, it is my duty to say this." Charlotte continued blithely.

Meredith saw Addison's shoulders tense up at the statement and when her lover turned to talk to Charlotte, it was apparent that she was a little miffed, to say the least.

"You and I working on this, is a conflict of interest, Charlotte. Think about it and don't be absurd." Addison said in a dismissive fashion.

"I know Meredith and we have worked together on many occasions before and I trust her, and while she may me merely a Resident, she is certainly not a greenhorn and you would do well to remember that, especially in this situation where I don't need the pettiness of distractions interfering with the read goal: That of saving Maya, and her baby." Addison concluded as they stepped as a group into an elevator.

"Fine." Charlotte said in a huff and Meredith would have smirked, had the situation not been so dire.

They proceeded to the scrub rooms, their footsteps rushing along the polished corridors of the hospital.

"Ready?" Addison asked once as they finished scrubbing in and were getting ready to step into the OR.

"Yes." Meredith replied simply.

There was nothing more than she could say about the situation and she needed to do everything in her power to help Addison and support her right now.

Entering the OR, Meredith immediately situated herself within Addison's sphere. Whatever the redhead needed, Meredith would provide. Addison's confidence in Meredith would not be misplaced.

"Are we ready?" Addison inquired of the staff that was poised around Maya.

A moment later, things began.

Addison had the task of saving mother and child, if at all possible and the seatbelt of the car had devastated the situation to the point where the scans looked frightening, even to Meredith's eyes, and Meredith was not easily shocked by things. Not at this state in her career anyway.

"Scalpel." Addison said, holding out her hand.

And so it began.


Chapter 48

The surgery had been long. Difficult. Demanding.

Meredith leaned back, exhausted, her scrubs soaked in blood and sweat and operating room detritus. She needed to scrub out, but right now even that simple task seemed like too much.

No sign of Addison yet.

Meredith opened her eyes at the thought and looked around, where was Addison?

Quickly, Meredith peeled off her soiled scrubs and threw them all into a bin, before she marched over the sinks and scrubbed out faster than she ever had before. She had no idea right now where the clothes were that she had come to the hospital in, but a fresh set of scrubs were not hard to find.

The next task was to find Addison.

Stepping out into the corridor, Meredith was faced with an unfamiliar hospital, lack of id card, and her cell phone being in some unknown location right now. "Doctor Grey." A voice said at her elbow and Meredith glanced over.

"These belong to you." The woman said, obviously an intern and handed Meredith a pile of clothing.

"Thank you." Meredith said, rummaging for her cell phone and immediately calling Addison.

No answer.

Well, she'd find her lover.

Putting her phone away, Meredith quickly glanced around and tried to extrapolate just where Addison might be. If only Cristina was here, she would help Meredith find Addison, and might actually do a better job than Meredith herself. The most logical choice was the doctors lounge, if there was such a thing here, but a batter choice would be wherever the staff at this hospital went to vent.

Meredith stopped the next Intern that walked past. "Where do people go when they need to vent in this hospital?" Meredith asked the young woman who she had stopped.

"I'm a Resident here, but I am new." Meredith said, lying only a little.

The young woman seemed to be relieved by her explanation and nodded. "The garage or the roof." She said, before she extricated herself and went on her way.

Hm. Meredith thought about it for a while. Addison would go to the roof, for sure.

Now, how did one get to the roof?

Meredith looked around before she spied a fire escape and headed towards it, relieved to find it unlocked. Bounding up the stairs, Meredith hoped that she had guessed right about where Addison would be. It was hard to imagine that they had gone from the bliss of the morning, to this in the evening.

The surgery had lasted for several hours and had taxed Addison a great deal even with Meredith supporting her every step of the way. Addison had seemed shattered after the surgery and had made herself scarce as soon as she had been able. It was understandable, Addison's friend and coworker, Dell had died, and Maya while managing to give birth to a healthy baby girl, had suffered devastating injuries that were still all up in the air as to their long term consequences.

Never mind the effect that this had on Naomi and Sam, who were also Addison's friends, so the impact on Addison had to be that much more devastating.

Meredith had never known this Dell person, only by proxy through Addison's stories, but she was also made sad by the fact that the young man had died. What a total waste of life and now Addison was shattered, which was understandable.

Meredith respected that her lover might need some private time, but at the same time her lover might not need time, so she was going to find out before making any assumptions about it either way.

Going down stairs was easier than going upstairs anyway.

Emerging onto the roof after her stair marathon, Meredith was out of breath but still bursting with purpose and energy as she looked around. She immediately spotted Addison and moved towards her. "Addison." She said just loudly enough to be heard.

Meredith did not want to startle the redhead.

Intense eyes turned in her direction and Addison seemed to breathe a sigh of relief as Meredith approached her and by the time Meredith came to a stop in front of Addison, the other woman's posture had relaxed considerably.

Addison was crying now. Deep, sorrowful tears as her whole body shook with sobs that Meredith felt inside of herself. If only there was some way that she could relieve Addison's pain. The reality though was that she would need to simply hold onto her lover, and love her, and be there for her.

In the end, it was what Addison needed most of all. Unconditional love and understanding.

Still, Meredith's heart was breaking as she held onto Addison and for a long time she simply held her lover under the California sunset and hoped that the tears and the twilight would wash away some of Addison's anguish.

Eventually Addison calmed down and settled into the occasional sniffle as night fell and Meredith simply kept holding Addison. She's hold the other woman for as long as it took, it really was a simple equation.

"I want to go home." Addison said after some time passed in complete silence.

"Let's go then." Meredith said, more than willing to leave the hospital behind.

"No, I mean Seattle." Addison said, leaning into Meredith and wrapping her arms around Meredith's waist.

Meredith felt her heart jump in her chest at the words. "So, we go home then." Meredith said, running her hands through Addison's hair and holding her tightly.

"Tomorrow I still have to do a few things, but the next day." Addison said with a sigh. "I should have gotten things done today, but my afternoon plans were interrupted by this." Addison continued, waving her hand expressively behind Meredith's back.

"Alright, so the day after tomorrow then." Meredith kissed the beloved head that was cuddled in her arms.

"Bizzy is using the jet, so just regular first class if you can stand it." Addison joked lightly and Meredith giggled.

"I think I can handle regular first class." Meredith said with a mock sigh and was relieved when Addison chuckled again.

It was a moment that Meredith would not trade for the world, this one right now.

The next day found Meredith doing something she had not done in a while. Addison had asked her if she would mind packing up some personal items so that they could be brought to Seattle.

I'll leave the place empty for now and decide later if I do want to keep it. Addison had said, explaining that she'd get her friends to check in with the place every now and then and have the usual gardeners and cleaners maintain it in the meantime.

Meredith kind of liked the idea of having a little California hideaway for when they needed a break from Seattle and it was an awfully nice house, to boot.

Addison for her part was on her laptop and on the phone, busy tying off loose ends so that she could move her life back to Seattle. Meredith was glad that there was going to be a finality to this as she really wanted Addison with her for now and forever.

The ring of her own cell phone distracted her and Meredith snatched it up and answered it. "Dude." It was Cristina.

"Hi." Meredith said happily, missing her friend suddenly.

"When are you coming home?" Cristina sounded unusually eager.

"You okay?" Meredith asked, concerned suddenly.

"Yeah, just stuff." Cristina said vaguely.

"So when are you coming home anyway?" Cristina pressed again.

"Looks like tomorrow, but for sure the day after. Is the hospital still standing?" Meredith queried as she stood up to stretch her legs.

"Yeah, but Callie and Arizona broke up. Can you believe that?" Actually Meredith was surprised, despite having heard on the grapevine that there had been some trouble in paradise.

"Geez, I go away for a few days and look what happens." Meredith said as she walked out of the bedroom into the main living area where Addison was leaning back on the sofa with her arm over her eyes.

"Callie and Arizona broke up." Meredith said to the redhead who immediately straightened up and looked over.

"Really?" She asked and Meredith nodded.

Addison snatched her phone from the table and opened, obviously intent on calling Callie to find out what was going on for certain.

"You okay?" Meredith asked her friend again.

Cristina was a hard nut to crack, she probably would not divulge what was going on over the phone so Meredith, despite the fact that she was enjoying her sojourn away with Addison, was looking forward to getting home to find out just what exactly was going on with her best friend.

Moving back to the bedroom to give Addison some privacy, Meredith glanced around, considering the boxes that were scattered about. She had maybe an hour's worth of packing left and then Addison had said emphatically that they were going to go to LA to see some of the things that LA needed to be seen for.

The Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame, and maybe some shopping. Meredith was looking forward to spending time with Addison doing ordinary every day things like that, but first she needed to finish this, that is if there was to be any hope of them getting home tomorrow.

"I've gotta go." Cristina said into the phone, sounding distracted. "Wait, Cristina." Meredith interrupted, sitting down again and hoping her friend would open up just a little bit.

"Can't right now, Mer. Bailey is here rolling her eyes at me." Cristina extrapolated and Meredith could have sworn she heard the formidable Miranda Bailey in the background say something cutting and suitable to Cristina in response.

"Okay. Just remember, I'll help you hide the bodies. What are friends for?" Meredith said quietly.

"Right." Cristina said before she hung up.

Staring at her mute phone for a moment Meredith shook her head and then set it aside. She needed to get packing and needed to get back out to Addison.

It felt very personal to be putting her lover's personal items into boxes but it was clear that Addison trusted Meredith to do this so she was happy to help. Hopefully the renovations on the house in Seattle were going okay as well. No one had called with any concerns or issues, so Meredith could only assume things were going well.

She was not going to call to find out either, there was nothing really that they could do if something had gone wrong except possible spoil what remained of their vacation, so for the next twenty four hours at least ignorance would remain bliss.

Still, considering the amount of money they had paid to have this done in good time and by the best, it was probably all working out fine. The contractors in question would be motivated to not fuck it up, to say the least.

Meredith sealed another box and then reached for a stack of photo albums, trying to resist the urge to peek into them.

"You can take a look if you like." Addison said from the doorway, making Meredith jump slightly.

"Oh." Meredith said, reflexively petting the bed beside her in the hopes that Addison would join her and give her some insight into the photos.

The redhead smiled and nodded her head, coming to sit next to Meredith and grabbing the topmost album. "You realise that this is quid pro quo, right?" Addison murmured as she opened the heavy cover.

"Oh yeah. Don't you worry, I'll be showing you my embarrassing childhood pictures as well. I think there might even be some home movies, do you think you can handle it? " Meredith said with a laugh.

"We'll need beer and chips or something, just to make sure that I can deal with it." Addison joked in response and Meredith laughed, shifting herself closer so that she could see better.

She was certain that Addison had been an adorable child and she was about to find out if her suspicions were true or not.

Afternoon eventually came and photo albums were examined, boxes were packed and business was attended to. Now, Addison was driving Meredith into LA, promising her an afternoon of fun and sights and dinner at a restaurant that she was certain Meredith would like.

Meredith for her part was happy to be in the car with Addison, they so were going to be taking some long drives back in Seattle, in places where they would not be arrested for getting their freak on in the car. It was hot to watch Addison drive and Meredith decided that she liked this new found fetish quite a lot.

Addison for her part seemed to have picked up on the fact and Meredith was pleased to see that the redhead seemed to have recovered her confidence when it came to driving. It had taken a few trips in Meredith's car for Addison to rent another car in Seattle, but she had eventually.

This hot little car though, it was made to be handled by Addison.

"What are you thinking about?" Addison asked out of the blue, glancing over at Meredith.

"About you." Meredith smiled and turned her attention to the window, watch as they entered LA proper.

"Good things I hope." Addison said, dropping her hand from the wheel to squeeze Meredith's hand where it rested on the seat.

"Very good things." Meredith reassured her lover.

"Can we go to Hollywood Boulevard first?" Meredith asked.

She could see the Hollywood sign from a distance, if needed, but the pulsing centre of the Hollywood film industry was another thing altogether. "Of course." Addison said with a smile that she reserved for Meredith alone.

By the time they were done with Hollywood Boulevard and had seen a few of the more famous landmarks that were on offer, it was growing late in the afternoon and as they needed to get an early start tomorrow, Addison suggested that they head back to Malibu and eat at a local restaurant that she enjoyed there.

"Are you happy?" Meredith asked Addison sometime later when they were laying in bed together, pleasantly full and tired and packed ready for their morning flight.

"Why do you ask?" Addison queried as she rolled over in the bed to study Meredith more clearly in the dim light.

"It's important to me to know." Meredith offered as she shifted closer to Addison.

"Yes, I am happy." Addison said, stroking a finger down Meredith's face.

"You make it so." She added and Meredith sighed happily at the thought as her eyes became heavy with sleep and the peace of the night and of laying next to Addison overcame her.

"Me too." Meredith mumbled, trusting Addison to decipher what she meant. "Good." Addison whispered, kissing Meredith's temple before she too settled down into sleep.

Tomorrow they would be going home.

It was just under ten minutes until they were scheduled to land. Meredith had decided that she loved Learjets and she loved First Class. They had made good time to the airport in the morning and though they had been subject to the indignity of a security check as they were boarding a commercial flight, the TSA seemed to be having a good day and it turned out to only be a minor issue.

The fight itself had been luxurious and Meredith had spent most of it napping while resting her head on Addison's shoulder.

Overall, it sure beat flying economy.

That said, Meredith could not wait to be on the ground and out of the airport. She wanted her own house, her own bed and well, her own life. Now all of these things included Addison and she shared them with the redhead.

How extraordinary.

The plane landed without incident and they were able to disembark and find their luggage in short order, now it was just a matter of getting a ride back into the city. Cristina, Lexie and Richard all knew that they were coming home today, but it was also the middle of the day. Their friends and colleagues could not exactly be expected to just drop everything to come pick them up so they would need a taxi, or something.

Thankfully the weather was being nice for a change and they had both slept enough the night before so it all did not seem so overwhelming as they pushed their way through the airport.

"Addison!" A familiar voice called out. "Meredith!" Was heard a moment later and they both turned towards the voice.

"Richard!" Addison said happily and moved to embrace the older man as Meredith smiled from ear to ear at the venerable surgeon.

"I took a long lunch, no surgeries scheduled for another ninety minutes and I figure the two of you would need a ride." Richard said as he released Addison and moved to squeeze Meredith's hands warmly.

Meredith appreciated the fact that he left displays of affection like hugs up to Meredith's discretion. Maybe in time she would be comfortable with him initiating more things, but for now she felt like she needed to be the one in control. As much as she liked Richard the fact remained that he was not an entirely benevolent figure in her life and until she found exactly where he belonged and was comfortable with it, they needed some boundaries.

"That's great, thank you Richard." Meredith said warmly and Addison added her chorus of appreciation to the mix.

"I borrowed your car, Meredith. Lexie had it at the hospital and she said to go ahead due to luggage." Richard said sounding shy.

Meredith certainly did not mind and after he helped them load their luggage, she even let him drive them back into the city. Might as well enjoy the last tendrils of her vacation for as long as possible.

"Did you have a good time in California?" Richard asked as he expertly drive through the familiar streets of Seattle.

"Yes and we got everything done that we needed to. It's official now, Addison is back." Meredith said happily, reaching over the front passenger seat to wrap her arms around Addison who was sitting in the front in deference to her longer legs.

"I'm so happy for you." Richard said sincerely. "I went to check on your house a few times. The contractors are worth the money you spent on them." Richard said, sounding very much like a version of a father that Meredith had wished she had, actually.

"Thank you. I was hoping that you would." Addison said sincerely.

"Milo came back home yesterday, I think Cristina and Callie truly spoiled him though." Richard sounded surprisingly warm as he spoke about the small feline who was part of their family.

Meredith suspected that the little cat had charmed his way into Richard's big heart and who could blame Richard, the cat was a cutie.

Addison seemed to be having the same thought as she laughed in the front seat beside Richard and as they neared the house, Meredith felt a profound sense of peace joy. They were home and now it was just a matter of living the rest of their lives, hopefully.

"Everything still in one piece at the hospital?" Meredith asked.

"Well, hm, you know, no one really tells me anything. But I have my sources." Richard said with a conspiratorial tone in his voice.

Meredith smiled, it felt good to be having this conversation.

"The rumour mill has it that Cristina and Jackson have gotten together, Callie and Arizona have broken up, and Owen and Teddy are doing something." Richard said as he parked the car expertly and switched off the ignition.

"I am sure there is more, but I am only privy to the major stuff." Richard concluded.

Without a doubt they would be finding out soon enough what exactly was going on when they went to work tomorrow. They still had the rest of the day off, but Richard needed to get back to the hospital, though.

Like the perfect gentleman that he was, he carried their luggage to the front steps and on Meredith's initiation embraced them both warmly. "I'll see you later." He said with a smile before he hurried back to the car which he was taking back to the hospital with Meredith's blessings.

Lexie would bring it back later and he did have to get back to work.

"Welcome home." Meredith said to Addison as she slid her new key into the lock.

That was another thing they had done, they had changed the locks in order to truly begin anew. It was mainly a symbolic gesture but it was one that Meredith had felt was important.

"Welcome home." Addison echoed, as she reached for the door handle to open the door with Meredith.

It was good to be home.


Chapter 49

"Wow, will you look at this place?" Meredith exclaimed as they walked further into the house and looked around.

The contractors were done and had left notice that if there were any issues that the word was guaranteed and whatever problem arose would be attended to at once. Other than that, they were done. New paint job and wallpapers, new carpets, new overlay in the kitchen, new plaster, new master bathroom.

It looked fantastic, actually.

Meredith could not be believe that this was her childhood home, actually, or the place that they had left not very many days ago for that matter.

"Milo!" Meredith said, surprised at how much she had missed the little feline.

The cat for his part, seemed quite happy to see the both of them home. Or at least that was what Meredith thought. It could be hard to tell with cats. They really needed to get a dog, something for Milo to play with and Meredith was more of a dog person anyway.

Addison bent down to say hello to Milo while Meredith wandered into the kitchen to have a look around. A quick examination of things told her that they needed to go grocery shopping and Meredith was suddenly reminded about the fact that in her house in California, Addison had simply called someone, or a company and had her fridge and cupboards stocked. It was a bit of a startling contrast in a way.

"Hey, you have to come see the bathroom." Addison exclaimed as Meredith was examining the fridge and trying to make a mental grocery list of what they needed to get in order to function as a house.

The only evidence of food was the sort of things that Alex or Lexie would buy, order in, or obtain. In order words, not very edible. The two of them really did need to grow up just a little bit, perhaps if they started paying some attention to something other than each other and work.

Meredith walked towards the bathroom and laughed at herself. She did not pay attention to much aside from Addison and work, so in reality, who was she to talk?

Entering the bathroom Meredith's first reaction was to blink a little. "Whoa." She exclaimed, moving closer to Addison and looking around.

"This is nice. Very nice. We are so going to use this tonight." Meredith continued, pointing at the perfect for two people sized Jacuzzi.

"Oh, totally." Addison said as she caressed the side of the shiny tub. "Awesome." She added, easily echoing Meredith's sentiments.

"I must say, I did wonder what this would all look like when all was said and done, but I am very, very pleased." Addison murmured as she stood up and leaned in to kiss Meredith's lips lightly.

"Me too." Meredith concurred as they moved towards the bedroom.

"Nice bed." Meredith said as soon as they had walked into the bedroom.

They had selected and ordered a frame to go around the new mattress and while they had been in California, it had been delivered. "We need to try that out too, tonight." Meredith added as she walked around the bedroom looking around.

"We have a new house." It made Meredith feel better to see just how nice her childhood home had become, especially after spending some time in the incredible opulence of Addison's California home.

"We do." Addison said with satisfaction as she sat down on the bed which had been mercifully unwrapped from its plastic sheeting as well.

Meredith supposed that the contractors had been done making a mess and as the plastic sheeting was technically part of their work, they had taken it with them when they had left.

It was wonderful to see everything so put together and ready and Meredith simply could not wait to see what happened next. Life really did seem to be finally slotting into place for her and for Addison.

Suddenly feeling sleepy, Meredith climbed onto the bed and then crawled across to Addison and cuddled up against her. The pull of sleep was overwhelming and in what felt like moments, she fell asleep listening go Addison's heart beat steadily under her ear.

Meredith was woken out of a light doze by the sound of the front door opening and closing none too gently. Either Alex or Lexie had come home.

Addison was still asleep, so Meredith gently extricated herself from her lover and tiptoed out of the room in search of whoever it was who had come home. As she moved through the house, she heard Milo greet whoever it was and it made Meredith wonder if they had any cat food in the house.

Hopefully someone had stocked up at least for the cat.

It reminded Meredith that they needed to go grocery shopping, which meant that she needed to collect cash and wish lists and snag either Alex or Lexie to be her beast of burden and make the trip to the store before it became embarrassing to even try to make someone a cup of coffee.

Walking into the kitchen quietly, she observed Alex interacting with the small feline in a way the belied his tough guy image. It seemed that her stoic, taciturn friend had a soft spot for warm and fuzzy cats. Meredith could not blame him, but in order to save some of Alex's face, she backed up and made some noise before she turned the corner into the kitchen.

By then, Alex was looking into the fridge with the cat winding itself around his ankles.

Meredith was not fooled.

"Hey." She said pleasantly, hoping that Alex was not in one of his darker moods, she was not really in the mood to deal with any issues right now.

Maybe later, or tomorrow, just not now.

"Hey yourself." Alex said over his shoulder as he came up with some orange juice from the fridge and slammed a glass down on the table.

"How was your California sex romp?" He asked as he took a big drink of the juice.

Meredith smiled at his choice of words.

Though Alex could be a real pain in the ass, inwardly Meredith hoped that he would never really lose his abrasive edge. They needed people who were not as nice or as expected, in this world.

"It was fine. How have things been here?" Meredith asked as she sat down and tried to gain her bearings.

She was still feeling a little sleepy and disoriented from her day.

"Fine." Alex said, looking at her intently for a moment. "I like the colour of my room." He added after a beat and then left the kitchen.

Meredith smiled. That was about as cuddly as Alex was going to get and as close as he ever was going to get to saying thank you about anything.

She'd take it.

Alex was Alex.

So be it.

Milo took the opportunity to come and nudge and curl himself around Meredith's legs, obviously intent on the idea that he should get some attention, or food, or something.

"Okay, cat. Let's see if this kitchen has some food for you, hm?" Meredith said to the little warm creature and rose to her feet to start searching the cupboards.

It did not take long for Meredith to realise that while the kitchen was pretty much void of things suitable for human consumption, there was a bag of dry food, several cans of cat food and even some cat treats and an unopened bag of cat toys in one of the lower cabinets.

Meredith would bet money that it had been Alex who had brought it home just now, actually, as she had not seen the stuff when they had come home a few hours ago.

He really did have a soft spot for the cat.

With a smile, Meredith fed the cat and made sure he had water, before she threw a couple of toys on the floor and went to inspect the laundry room. Hopefully the affection that Alex seemed to have for the cat translated into looking after what came out, as well as what went in.

Turns out it did. The litter box was immaculate.

Chuckling to herself, Meredith left the laundry room and walked right into Addison who was standing in the kitchen now.

"What are you laughing about?" Addison queried as she wrapped her arms around Meredith and pulled her close.

"Alex likes the cat. He bought it food and I don't think I've ever seen a cleaner cat box." Meredith replied, enjoying the sensation of being held by the redhead.

"You sure it's him? What about Lexie?" Addison's question was a valid one, but Meredith was certain that it was Alex.

"Yes. I'm sure." Meredith murmured into Addison's chest and decided that being held by her lover was just about one of the most perfect things in the world.

"Looks like we're going to need to order in. I just checked. There is nothing to eat in this house." Addison said after a while.

"Yep. What are you in the mood for?" Meredith asked as she snuggled in tighter to Addison.

"Vietnamese." Addison said at once and Meredith smiled against the soft fabric of the tee shirt that Addison wore.

"Okay, works for me." Meredith replied, but made no move to reach for a phone or to search for a phone number.

Until she heard Addison's stomach growl that is.

"Fine." She said with a laugh and peeled herself away from Addison.

"Would you rather go out?" Addison asked, glancing about the kitchen.

"No. I want to eat and then go try out the Jacuzzi and then I want to have my wicked way with you in our bedroom." Meredith replied succinctly.

"Works for me." Addison replied as she reached for the phone.

The Jacuzzi was fabulous, Meredith decided as she eased her way into the warm, bubbling morass and joined Addison who was already laying back in the water. An excellent investment, to say the least.

Meredith had not asked Addison just what the bathroom refurbishing had cost, but she had an idea that it had been the bulk of the cost for the redoing of the interior. Addison never mentioned money, actually. Meredith knew that her lover was wealthy, but it never really seemed to come up in conversation.

Sometimes though, Meredith was reminded of this difference between them and then she would also reflect on how they seemed to fit despite the rather large gap in their personal histories and present existences. "I love this." Addison said happily, moving closer to Meredith in the large tub of bubbling water.

"Me too." Meredith replied and she meant it.

The Jacuzzi was simply divine.

And so was Addison.

Meredith felt Addison rise up beside her and move to straddle Meredith in the tub, carefully ensuring not to splash water over the sides, but also making sure that she did not dislodge Meredith from her seat under the water.

Before Meredith could think much about what was going on Addison was kissing her with hunger and veracity that simply took Meredith's breath away. "You're exquisite." Addison murmured against Meredith's mouth as they surged against each other.

"So are you." Meredith said in gentle riposte and wrapped her arms around Addison, feeling the delicious sensation of their bodies curled around each other in the Jacuzzi.

"I might drown you if we keep this up in here." Addison suggested as she kissed the side of Meredith's neck, making Meredith's toes curl in the water.

"Well, we can come back to it, the water is not going anyplace." Meredith breathed, the coil of arousal in her lower abdomen, that seemed to be always at the ready when it came to Addison had sprung to live at the first kiss and now it was demanding attention and would not be ignored.

"Works for me." Addison said and rose to her feet, bringing her body up out of the water right in front of Meredith.

"Oh my God." Meredith moaned, unable to control herself at the sight of Addison's wet body rising out of the water, each rivulet marking her lover's curves and slopes as she moved.

Snapping to attention, Meredith rose to her own feet, automatically accepting the towel she was handed and drying herself quickly. They had not managed to dunk their heads under water yet, so it was with damp hair and steaming bodies that they stood facing each other in the bathroom.

"Don't look at me like that." Addison warned.

"Why not?" Meredith queried, wanting to play with fire.

Needing to, actually.

Addison did not answer, instead she stepped forward and grabbed Meredith, pushing her against the cool tiles of the wall next to the sink. The bathroom was steamy and warm so it was a shocking contrast but Meredith did not care, what she cared about was Addison who at this moment was leaning in to kiss her with an intense, hungry look on her face.

Oh my.

Meredith's was not able to complete the thought before Addison kissed her, hungrily. The feel of slick skin under her fingers was intoxicating and she could only react as Addison pushed Meredith's legs apart with a strong thigh. Addison pulled their mouths apart, gasping for breath in the steamy room as she looked at Meredith.

"Tell me what you want." Addison asked.

"I want you." Meredith whispered in response.

Addison reacted at once, sliding her hand along Meredith's thigh and then around it, and up and then she slid three of her fingers into Meredith's body while Meredith could only hang on, her nerves and her mind overwhelmed by pleasure and by Addison.

"Oh my God." Meredith managed to finish her thought this time and Addison was spurred on by the exclamation, her hand moving faster while her mouth kissed along the side of Meredith neck.

There was no space between their bodies, it was just sweat and steam and skin and desire and Meredith was glad that Addison was strong enough to hold her up as without her lover doing just that, Meredith was certain that she would be on the floor by now.

Orgasm was not long in arriving, especially when Addison moved her mouth close to Meredith's ear and whispered: "Come for me."

Meredith felt her body surge in reaction to the softly spoken demand and just moments later she was coming, her climax pouring over her body in a flood of pleasure that was intense enough to make Meredith see stars.

Oh wow. Oh fuck.

Meredith's hands slipped on Addison's smooth back as she sobbed with pleasure.

Then it was over.


Managing to somehow stay upright even as her hands were slipping along Addison's skin, Meredith could only stand shakily in her new bathroom and marvel the whole situation, at Addison and at this moment right now.

Eventually Meredith came back to herself and regained her footing. Addison seemed to sense this and pulled back slightly, allowing Meredith to stand up fully against the bathroom tiles. "I like our new bathroom" Meredith murmured softly as she wrapped herself around Addison and took a deep breath.

"Me too." Addison replied, her voice laced with heat.

The sound of it caused a cascade of reaction in Meredith. She had to have Addison and she had to have her now. "Come on, darling." Meredith murmured, pulling away from Addison and tugging her out of the bathroom towards the bedroom.

Addison followed along willingly, her footsteps seeming loud in Meredith's wake. "Lie down." Meredith instructed, gently pressing Addison to sit and leaning in to kiss her deeply, gently, completely.

Her lover complied easily and lay back on the bed and Meredith watched hungrily as Addison moved restlessly in anticipation. Meredith dropped to her knees beside the bed and kissed along Addison's hips, biting a jutting hip bone gently and causing Addison to squirm in reaction. By now her lover was gasping and Meredith was loathe to tease Addison any further so she went lower on the redhead's body, easily parting willing thighs as she moved her lips along the fine hairs under her mouth.

"You're beautiful." Meredith murmured.

It was true. The expanse of glistening flesh that was exposed in front of her was beautiful. Meredith did not hesitate to lean forward and taste, running her tongue along engorged lips and then wrapping her arms around strong thighs as she committed fully to bring Addison to ecstasy.

Addison moaned and lifted her legs to bring her heels onto the edge of the bed, opening herself up even more to Meredith's questing mouth and tongue and Meredith could feel Addison begin to peak even before she had even really started to do anything. It was very satisfying to know that Addison had such a strong reaction to her and as Addison began her climax, Meredith could only hold on and ride it out with her lover.

It was unbelievable. Like nothing else in her experience.

As they both lay panting some moments later, Meredith felt a sense of peace wash over her and closed her eyes, comfortable in her intimate position of resting her head on Addison's lower abdomen as they caught their breath.

"I love you." Meredith said softly after a while.

Addison heard her. "I love you too." Came the quiet reply as they rested together so comfortably.

It was a perfect moment yet again and Meredith thought that she might burst from the overwhelming feeling of it all.

It was only later, when she lay in bed, bathed and with Addison's taste still lingering in her mouth, that Meredith realised what the hell the matter with her; she was happy.

How was that even possible? Meredith had never thought that she would achieve this state of being.

Of course, the reason why was Addison. It was plain and simple.

Still, as Meredith lay in bed with her lover fast asleep cuddled up against her side, Meredith could scarcely believe her luck.

In the morning, Meredith found herself still cuddled up against Addison as they enjoyed a few last minutes of peace and quiet before their respective days had to begin. Addison was being unusually quiet and seemed to be enjoying her morning cuddle and Meredith was certainly not complaining.

The bedroom door opened and Cristina poked her head around the corner. "Are you two having sex?" She asked bluntly.

"What? No." It was Addison who answered and Meredith could not help but giggle at her lover's tone.

Cristina let go of the door and crawled up onto the bed, looking expectantly at Meredith. "Sorry, I have not trained her yet." Meredith said to Cristina who was beginning to look confused, actually.

"Trained me?" Addison seemed to be befuddled at the addition in her bed.

"Yes, darling. Would you go and make some coffee, please?" Meredith batted her eyelashes at Addison and knew that the redhead would unable to resist.

"Geez." Addison said in a good humoured way as she began to disentangle herself from Meredith and reached for her dressing gown. "Have fun with my future wife." Addison grumbled in a good natured was as she stumbled out of the bedroom to go make coffee.

"I thought you said you had not trained her yet?" Cristina remarked as she crawled into the bed with Meredith.

"Notice I had to ask?" Meredith replied with a laugh and turned to look at her best friend.

"Ah. Yeah." Cristina answered as she got comfortable.

"So, what's up?" Meredith asked, focusing her attention on the other woman and curious as to why exactly Cristina was there.

"Teddy." Cristina said, rolling her eyes.

"Ah, do I need to go dig out my shovel? You know, we got some new ones when they did the landscaping." Meredith asked lightly.

Though Cristina was now with Jackson, it still had to get under her skin sometimes to work with Teddy even though Meredith knew that Cristina genuinely liked the Heart Surgeon. Cristina had loved, or did love Owen, and Teddy had effectively come between them, so it was quite the double edged sword.

"So, tell me." Meredith prompted when Cristina did not immediately launch into a diatribe about Teddy.


Chapter 50

Two weeks had passed since Meredith and Addison had arrived home from California. Things were going exceptionally well, so much so that Meredith could barely believe it as in her life things had a tendency to not go well for any length of time at all.

Now, she had love, a house, a career, friends, a life, and things were going well.

It made Meredith nervous somehow, deep in the back recesses of her subconscious in any case. It was not a comforting undercurrent to have and Meredith wondered if she would ever have the ability to trust that a situation was as it appeared to be.

Right now she was at work and the day had been long. Too long. She wanted to get home and go to bed. This had been another phenomena that being with Addison had instilled in her. Meredith found that she wanted to be home when Addison was home, or in anticipation of Addison coming home.

Moving through the hospital Meredith was in search of Cristina. Her friend had indeed hooked up with Jackson Avery, a huge departure from her usual spate of intense and older and troubled but powerful men. Meredith figured that Cristina had decided to take a grab at some simple happiness and good sex to fortify herself for her next angst-filled relationship, whenever that occurred.

Meredith knew that there was almost no chance that Jackson and Cristina would work out in the long term but for now she was very happy for them. She also needed to talk to Cristina about swapping shifts tonight. Meredith had a cardio thing tonight so she knew that Cristina would probably jump at the chance.

If Meredith could find her, that is.

Addison had paged her earlier and asked what she would be doing tonight so Meredith was intensely eager to see just what Addison was up to. "Cristina." Meredith called out as she spotted her friend walking down a corridor.

Cristina turned at once towards Meredith and Meredith hurried to catch up with her. "You want my cardio shift tonight. I'll swap you for your next ortho or plastics gig." Meredith asked without preamble.

With Cristina preamble was not needed.

"Sure." Cristina said simply. "Sucker." She added and Meredith laughed.

"Thanks." Meredith said.

They walked together for a few moments before Meredith's curiosity got the better of her. "How are things with pretty boy?" Meredith was genuinely curious.

"Sugary. I may be getting some cavities." Cristina said flippantly but Meredith could tell that Cristina was happy to be with Jackson for the time being anyway.

"You like him." Meredith said, nudging her friend. "Yeah. Now shut up or your ruin my rep." Cristina nudged Meredith back as she said the words and all was right in the world once more.

Meredith decided that she would now know what to do without Cristina in her life. It would be a very incomplete place without her. "Gotta go, booty call." Cristina exclaimed suddenly and Meredith looked over to sport Jackson Avery standing by the board.

"Did you just say booty call?" Meredith inquired, incredulous at her friend's choice of words.

"Shut up." Cristina said absently and veered off in the direction of pretty boy.

Laughing at the apparent absurdity of the world, Meredith rummaged for her phone and proceeded to call Addison. Hopefully the redhead would be available, but if not Meredith would simply leave voicemail.

As it turned out, she as transferred to voicemail, which was not so surprising. Addison was in high demand, she was one of the best after all. "Hi Addie. I got Cristina to swap with me so I will be home at a decent hour. Can't wait to see what you're up to. I love you." Meredith finished the call and started to try to think of ways that would actually allow her to leave somewhat on time today.

What did Addison have planned?

Meredith had become accustomed to the redhead's little quirks over the last while as they had settled in to living together in their own home, versus what it had been before, which was the place where Meredith had lived.

One of Addison's quirks was arranging surprises. It seemed that her lover delighted in things like flowers and diners and dates and dancing. Or simply taking Meredith out for coffee but somehow making it magical when she did so.

Anticipation coiled in Meredith's abdomen as she hurried to finish her day.

She could barely wait to see what Addison was up to now.

When Meredith finally arrived home a couple of hours later she was tired and hungry. Hopefully Addison's surprise included food and rest.

Pulling up to the curb and parking, Meredith noted that Addison's car was parked on the curb. Normally it might be in the garage, but for whatever reason it was not today. Meredith did not have the energy to think of reasons why. It was just an observation.

Addison's stuff had arrived a few days after they had returned from California and it had been fun figuring out how to slot Addison into the house and by now, it truly felt as it Addison was part of the house and home, right down to her hot little car and the extravagant little touches that made Addison who she was.

Meredith did not spend inordinate amounts of time pondering the differences between Addison and herself, they seemed to work together, but sometimes it was glaringly obvious. While Meredith herself did not necessarily have any financial issues, her student loans had accrued, despite having won scholarships and having inherited a sum of money from her mother when she had died.

She was better off than many of her peers, but overall until she actually became a fully fledged doctor and started making enough money to be in the black, she had to be careful about spending, especially as she had allocated basically five years worth of budget on her part of the home improvements they had made.

It was worth it thought.

Addison pounced her as soon as Meredith entered the front door. "Hi!" Addison said happily, hugging Meredith tightly to herself and then grabbing her hand and pulling her towards the kitchen. "I bet you're hungry." Addison murmured as Meredith bemusedly allowed herself to be led around the house.

"I am." Meredith conceded and Addison beamed at her.

What was she up to?

"Time to eat then." Addison said simply and when they entered the kitchen Meredith saw a spread of Mexican food and Corona laid out. "Where's the Tequila? " Meredith inquired somewhat bluntly.

"Later, darling." Addison soothed and sat Meredith down.

"Now, eat, drink and be merry and let me have some fun. I can't wait to show you something." Addison sounded almost giddy and Meredith looked at her girlfriend, trying to discern what on earth she was up to.

Addison gave no clues, though.

Meredith would just have to wait and see and she obviously needed to eat first as Addison was expectantly assembling a fajita for her to eat. Well, Meredith supposed there were many worse things in the world than having a beautiful woman make her food, or well, at least put it together for her.

Eventually hunger won out over curiosity and Meredith proceeded to eat with gusto, happy to be with Addison and deciding that whatever the other woman was up to, it could wait until after they had eaten.

Addison cracked open a beer for Meredith and handed it over and then proceeded to do the same for herself. "To us." Addison said and offered her bottle in a toast.

Amused and charmed, Meredith clinked bottles with Addison and drank a large swallow of beer. "What are you up to?" Meredith asked as she set aside her beer to fcus once more on her food.

"You'll see." Addison replied enigmatically, looking and sounding far too pleased with herself, actually.

The food was good and the company was better so Meredith refocused her attention. She could not help but wonder just exactly what awaited her after dinner, though.

The sound of the front door opening caught Meredith's attention and Alex walked in, being as subtle as a herd of stampeding elephants. "Yo." He said, moving towards the fridge and opening it up to look inside.

"Don't throw out your leftovers." He finally said after a few moments of futile gazing into the fridge before he turned and left the kitchen.

"He's such a gentleman." Addison mused, taking a bite of a tortilla chip and leaning back a little, obviously working on some kinks in her shoulders.

"He certainly is." Meredith agreed as she reached for her beer again.

"Trust me." Addison said as she walked Meredith through the house in the direction of the garage.

"I do." Meredith replied, she was blindfolded so she had to trust Addison.

It was an easy thing to do.

Feeling a shift in the air in front of her, Meredith smelled concrete and oil and realised that they had entered the garage.

Huh, what was in here?

"Okay, I am going to take off the blindfold, but keep your eyes closed, alright?" Addison said, sounding like a kid at Christmas.

"Okay." Meredith promised, feeling a little like a kid at Christmas herself.

The silk scarf from around her eyes was removed and Meredith was walked a few more steps and positioned. "Okay, open your eyes." Addison said, holding onto Meredith's hand as she spoke.

Opening her eyes, Meredith blinked once against the harsher light of the garage and then she focused on what was in front of her.


It was a BMW, a hot little sexy car that screamed speed, freedom, and understated decadence.

"Nice car." Meredith said, running her free hand along the sparkling paint job and moving with Addison around to the side of the vehicle to peer into the windows.

The car was white with black accents and the interior was leather. "When did you get this?" Meredith inquired as she opened a door and felt the overwhelming scent of new car pour out.

"Today, actually. Or well, I got it a couple of weeks ago, but I had some customizations and registration and insurance details to take care of first." Addison said, still sounding like a kid at Christmas.

"Nice. You going to replace the Audi with this?" Meredith inquired as she admired the car some more.

It was a BMW X6, apparently.

"No." Addison said as she walked Meredith around to the driver's side door. "Get in." Addison encouraged and Meredith looked at her lover for a moment. "Please?" Addison smiled as she said that one word that would get Meredith to do whatever it was that the redhead asked.

Letting go of Addison's hand, Meredith slid into the car and noted that the seat was adjusted almost perfectly for her. "This is a beautiful car." Meredith murmured, running her hands along the steering wheel and dashboard.

The car seemed to beg her to take it for a drive.

"I'm glad you like it." Addison said, handing Meredith a set of keys through the window.

Meredith took the keys automatically and glanced at them.

There was a heavy brass split ring to which was attached the car alarm dongle, and the car key itself, but there also was an enamelled key fob with the letter M on it. "What?" Meredith asked with a stutter, starting to feel a sneaking suspicion about the car overcome her.

"Yep." Addison said, clapping her hands with glee. "You wanna take it for a drive?" Addison asked.

Suddenly the lack of Tequila at diner made sense.

"This is for me?" Meredith was too shocked to move.

Addison had gotten her a car? This car? A car like this? A hot, sexy, BMW?

"Yes!" Addison said happily as she slid into the passenger seat and snatched up the remote control for the garage door that was conveniently sitting in the cup holder between the seats.

"What?" Meredith repeated as she garage door opened and revealed the night.

"Come on." Addison urged and held up Meredith's wallet. "I have your driver's licence right here, Doctor Grey. Now take me for a drive." Addison urged again.

"But." Meredith said, her fingers sliding the key into the ignition.

"No buts, let's go!" Addison laughed and buckled up her seatbelt.

Meredith took a deep breath. There was obviously no talking to Addison about this, present, right now. So, she'd take the redhead for a drive and then maybe they would talk about it.

The car purred to life as Meredith turned the key in the ignition. The vibration of the powerful engine seemed to resonate in her lower abdomen and Meredith felt a surge of arousal blast its way through her blood.

"Wow." Meredith said softly and eased the car out of the garage carefully.

It felt like a racehorse under her hands, like a swift, wild animal straining at the bit, wanting to gallop at full speed and Meredith had a sudden insight as to why this sort of car had so much appeal. Turning onto her street, Meredith looked over at Addison and smiled. "Where to?" She asked, feeling a pounding that matched the beat of her heart start at the juncture of her thighs.

Addison smiled, her eyes sparkling in the night. "Someplace with a view and with privacy." The redhead murmured, her voice joining the pounding in Meredith's body.

Who knew that a car could be such an aphrodisiac?

By the time they got back to the house it was quite late and they were both tired. However, Meredith was exhilarated by the car, even while being flabbergasted by the generosity of the gift itself. Getting out of the car in the garage, Meredith ran her hands along the warm hood. Driving the car had been fabulous and she was amazed at the handling of the vehicle.

"Really this is almost too much, Addison." Meredith said as she walked around the car and approached Addison who was still looking quite pleased with herself.

"It's not." Addison said simply, leaning in to kiss Meredith soundly.

"Say goodnight to your car, I'll be waiting in bed for you." Addison teased and Meredith swatted her on the behind as she made her way out of the garage.

"Huh." Meredith said to herself as she ran her hands along the glimmering paint of the car's exterior.

"What's this then?" Meredith jumped at the voice and turned to face Alex who had just stepped into the garage.

"Sweet." He murmured, taking a step closer to the BMW.

"This new?" He asked, his eyes roving over the exterior of the vehicle greedily.

It reminded Meredith of how Alex looked at women he wanted. "It's my new car." Meredith said simply.

"You bought it?" Alex inquired sharply.

Meredith felt heat begin to creep its way up her neck as she considered the conversation. "No, Addison gave it to me." She eventually replied, realising that she could not get away with not replying.

It still sounded kind of weird to her ears.

"Addison gave you this?" Alex sounded disbelieving.

"Yes." Meredith said, feeling suddenly on guard.

"Of course she did." He shook his head as he said the words.

"What?" Meredith asked, a full blush gracing her face now as she was trapped in this conversation, a conversation that she did not want to have.

"Wow, dude. If I had known that she gave away cars like this, I'd have stayed around to fuck her." Alex said nastily and Meredith reacted as if struck.

Alex did not notice though, he had already turned to leave and was gone before Meredith could respond.

Damn it.

She should have come back with a something at once. Why had she been caught flat footed by his statement?

Was she some feminine version of a gigolo to Addison?

The redhead had put up quite a bit of money on the house renovations, easily more than half of the share, more like two thirds, and now this car. For what?

Meredith knew that her lover had a trust fund and she also knew that Addison earned a very generous salary from the hospital and all of her private patients and whatever consulting, lecturing, teaching and papers she wrote, to name a few things.

Suddenly Meredith had a little insight as to how George must have felt when he discovered that Callie was well off. Unlike George, who had simply been an Intern and a Resident with very little income, Meredith had an inheritance of sorts and she owned her own home, so her Resident salary went much further.

However, Addison was a millionaire.

What did she see in Meredith?

Meredith turned to look at the car. It was an extravagant gift that Meredith herself would not be able to reciprocate anytime soon. And what did you get someone who had the power to buy pretty much anything that she might want anyway?

With a sigh, Meredith switched off the light and left the garage, closing the door behind her as she wandered into the kitchen were the remnants of their dinner were still laying about.

Alex, or someone had helped themselves to the leftovers, though.

Absently, Meredith stacked the dishes into the dishwasher and put away some things as she pondered her internal questions. Addison was waiting, though and Meredith wanted to be with her girlfriend.

Finally done with her kitchen tasks, Meredith closed off the lights and made her way to the bedroom, intent on brushing fajita and beer out of her teeth before joining Addison in the bed.

When she entered the room, Meredith saw that the redhead was fast asleep, looking angelic and beautiful as she was splayed out on the bed. It made Meredith's heart clench in her chest to see it and she hurried to the bathroom to brush her teeth, wanting to lay herself down next to Addison as soon as possible.

Tomorrow, or the next day, she would ask Addison some questions about money and love and cars. Tonight, Meredith simply wanted to sleep with the woman that she loved and have dreams about sleeping and nothing else.


Chapter 51

A month passed without too much incident and Meredith had sold her old car once she had secured a parking space a little closer to the hospital entrance. The month had also ensured that Meredith had become comfortable with the car and with the fact that Addison had gifted her with it.

They had talked briefly about the issue and Addison had reassured Meredith that she was unconcerned with the disproportionate difference in their incomes and assets. She only wanted to love Meredith and be loved by Meredith and it was just that simple. The car was an indulgence and it was in Meredith's name to do whatever she wanted with, but it was also an exceptionally safe vehicle so Addison hoped that Meredith would choose to drive it instead of the old beater that she had been driving.

Meredith had come around eventually and decided that she would ignore Alex, who was a jerk anyway. Addison had not been amused to discover what Alex had said about the car and it had only been some quick talking from Meredith that had saved Alex from possible eviction.

Addison was now a co-owner of the house, so in theory she had a say, though in practise Meredith knew that unless it was a major issue, Addison would let Meredith decide who or how anyone would live in the house. She was unlike Derek in that way; the redhead seemed to be content to let Meredith be a Resident, and young, and to learn her way despite being partnered with an eminent physician who was a little older and a lot more wealthy.

Opening the front door of the house, Meredith carefully closed it behind her and made her way to the kitchen. Addison was working a later shift tonight and Meredith knew from experience that such a schedule could easily mean that the redhead would simply crash at the hospital. This sort of thing happened from time to time, not that Meredith had to like it at all, regardless of who was working late.

Lexie was in the kitchen when Meredith stepped into it and she actually looked downcast, to say the least. "Hey." Meredith said by way of greeting.

Lexie looked up at Meredith and Meredith could have sworn that she saw a sheen of tears in her sisters eyes. "What's wrong?" Meredith asked, despite herself.

She had finally grown used to the fact that Lexie seemed to favour her mother rather than their mutual father and be more emotional about things, but that did not mean that Meredith always wanted to be privy to what was going on, though.

"Alex." Meredith's sister answered with a sigh.

Ah yes, man troubles. Though Meredith did suspect that Lexie was seriously thinking about getting back with Mark Sloan eventually, she was still with Alex and Alex was a problem. As much as Meredith actually liked Alex in many ways, she found him to be insufferable at the same time.

"What did he do?" Meredith asked almost afraid of whatever answer Lexie might give.

"He's being a jerk." Lexie said unnecessarily.

Meredith had already guessed that Alex was being a jerk, but just how he was being a jerk was the question. Did Meredith want to find the answer, that was the other question right now.

"I have not really exchanged more than two words with him in a week and whatever we have said has been him using me as his Lexiepedia." Lexie said, sounding forlorn.

"Sorry." Meredith said and she really was.

Alex was a jerk, it was as simple as that.

"You want me to kick his ass for you?" Meredith asked as she got up and went to fetch them a beer from the fridge.

"I guess you are my big sister." Lexie mused as she accepted the beer that Meredith thrust at her.

"Yeah." Meredith said as she took a swig of the amber coloured liquid.

She was Lexie's big sister.

Now that she had gotten used to it, it was kind of an awesome thing to be.

It had been a long, arduous shift and Addison was eager to get home. The thought made her pause, home. It seemed that with Meredith she finally had a home, versus simply a place where she hung her hat.

Even when she had been with Derek, she had never really felt as if she had a home, it was more of a mutual place where they had both been from time to time and like their marriage, it had been a sham, really. A front and possibly an obligation that neither of them had been fully committed to in the first place.

But now, with Meredith, formerly the Dirty Mistress, but now Addison's girlfriend, she had found what had been missing; a home.

Meredith had actually send Addison a text message an hour ago saying that she was waiting for Addison to come home and that she was consoling her sister about man troubles.

That could only mean Alex. It was doubtful that Mark was causing any issues just yet, but knowing Mark he would not be able to leave well enough alone and there would be Mark troubles for Little Grey in the future. However, Meredith's younger half-sister was an adult, so she would need to learn to make her own paths in life, even if that path left a trail of metaphorical bodies in her wake.

Right now Addison was in search of Richard Webber. She had a question for him, or well needed to ask him about something and as she could not ask her own father, she needed the next best thing, or possibly even the better choice of options, Richard.

"Hey, Richard. Have you got a moment?" Addison queried as she leaned into a conference room where Richard was sorting through paperwork.

The man did not have an office anymore, but because of who he was, the conference rooms of the hospital were gladly given over to him for when he had to work. Unlike other Attending Doctors he did not have to cram himself into small offices and share space with other doctors. It was a perk of having once been the Chief of Surgery.

"For you, Addison? Of course." Richard said simply and swept his papers into a pile before he waved at the chairs surrounding the conference table indicating that Addison should sit down.

"How are things?" Addison asked the man.

He seemed to be doing well these days and from the reports she had heard his alcoholism and his career were back on track. Now if only he would become Chief of Surgery again, things would be awesome, really they would. For all of them.

Derek lacked charisma and he was not a good leader. He behaved more like a businessman and the hospital was more of a battlefield in reality, than a boardroom which was what Derek liked to treat it as.

"I'm fine, Addison. But we are not here to discuss me." Richard said pointedly as he rested his chin on his hands and looked at her expectantly.

"You're not planning on breaking Meredith's heart are you? If you are I may have to forget about how fond I am of you and have to go Medieval on you." Richard said in a serious tone, though he had a twinkle in his eye as he spoke.

"Um no, not planning to hurt her. I am actually hoping to make her very happy." Addison cursed her fair skin as a blush crawled up her neck and to her cheeks at the words.

"Oh?" Richard seemed to be transfixed now by whatever possible thing that Addison may be getting ready to say next.

"Do you think it's too soon?" Addison blurted out.

"Is what too soon?" Richard queried.

"Asking her to marry me." Addison replied in a small voice, somehow feeling very insecure suddenly.

Why on earth for? She was quite a catch. Wealthy, well connected, not bad to look at, sought after. Why would she feel insecure?

This was Meredith Grey, that's why. A complicated woman to say the least and unpredictable at that. "Well?" Addison prompted when Richard seemed to be fumbling for answer.

"Um, well. No?" He replied, being very unhelpful.

"I need more than that." Addison said with a sigh.

"Well, you have to do it right. Meredith is a little skittish about this emotional stuff, though she has grown up a lot recently." Richard said after a pause. "Also, she is not very traditionally romantic when it comes to these things." He added.

"Neither was her mother." The murmured afterthought caught Addison's attention.

Sometimes she forgot just how far back this man's history went with Meredith and just how tangled up it was in good and bad things. No doubt it was part of the reason Meredith had such a complex personality.

"Right." Addison said after a while. "Will you help me?" She did not really have any other parent to ask.

Her relationship with her biological parents was conflicted and complicated, so they would not be good allies in this endeavour.

"You want my help in wooing Meredith Grey to marry you?" Richard looked like he was going to choke on his own tongue when he said that.

"Yes." Addison answered simply.

"Oh." He said. "Well okay." He continued, seeming to come to some sort of mental decision that Addison was not privy to.

"When do you want to do this?" He asked as he reached for a legal pad and a pen.

Addison smiled. Bless him, Richard was a list maker.

This could work very well indeed.

A week had passed since Addison had spoken to Richard and she now felt ready to proceed with her plan in more detail. She had ordered the ring, a rush job by one of Seattle's best and bearing in mind what Richard had said about large romantic gestures, Addison had planned a small something-or-other to occur in the kitchen in conjunction with asking Meredith to marry her.

She had also enlisted Richard's help. Turns out that the former Chief of Surgery was quite the little organiser when it came to wining and dining women.

It was no small wonder that Adele had taken him back on more than one occasion, though Addison herself was hardly the sort who could pass judgement on the behaviour of others. She tended to have either tried or to have actually succeeded in imbibing in most vices and it was only a more recent development that had led her to try to find virtue instead.

Part of her could not believe that she was considering this option. She had done some investigating of Washington State law and had learned the an equivalent to Civil Partnerships was an option here to make for a more legal union in the eyes of the law. Also, Addison had sought the advice of her lawyers with regard to paperwork that would solidify their legal standing as well.

Things like powers of attorney, living wills, actual wills, whatever joint assets that Meredith would want in both of their names in order to facilitate the protection of whoever was left should something unthinkable happen to one of them. They were morbid thoughts for sure, but Addison had learned that taking life for granted was not a good thing to do. She could die tomorrow, Meredith could die tonight. It was all up to fate, chance, destiny, luck.

Whatever word worked best.

Hearing movement upstairs, Addison remembered that Lexie was still in the house and Addison needed to get rid of her to make her plans work. Alex was not a problem he was on call for thirty-six hours.

Richard had actually left some time ago after helping her set up the kitchen in an appropriate manner, but Addison still needed to get some stuff from the store and time was running short as it was.

The sound of her phone distracted Addison from what she was doing, which was not much unless trying to organise too much into too little time was a significant something to be doing. "Hello?" Addison said into the device, trying to find a pen in her purse in order to write herself a to do list.

It was her jeweller. The ring was done and ready to be picked up.

"Fabulous. I'll be there as soon as I can to pick it up." Addison intonated enthusiastically as she finally located a pen and started to scribble on the back of a receipt.

Of course she could use her Blackberry for this, but a grocery list was hardly such a significant deal as to require a PDA to organise it. Addison thanked the jeweller and put her phone away, again wondering how she was going to organise her time in order to better facilitate actually getting things done before Meredith came home.

Granted there were still a few hours left before that happened, but the Jeweller was on the other side of town and other things could take an hour or more.

"Hi there." Addison jumped slightly and looked up at the speaker.

"Hi Little Grey." Addison said warmly, even though she was distracted by what she was doing.

Lexie had by now stopped trying to insist that Addison call her something else, pretty much deciding, wisely, that Addison would call her whatever she liked despite whatever objections Lexie may have had.

"You doing okay?" Addison asked, despite herself.

Lexie looked a little down, probably man trouble in other words. It always seemed to be man trouble with her, or with most people. Hell, at one point it had always been man trouble with Addison as well, but now there was Meredith and things had changed.

"Alex." Lexie said, shrugging her shoulders.

"I wish he'd treat me like I was a person, instead of a reference library that doubles as an inflatable doll." Lexie sighed as she spoke.

"I thought things were going better between the two of you." Addison said distractedly as she rummaged in her purse for something else.

"Yeah, but this is Alex. He is not exactly consistent or reliable." Lexie extrapolated.

"Indeed." Addison replied, not really willing to go into it any further, considering that she too had some history with Alex.

There was a comfortable silence for a while as Lexie got herself some juice and then leaned down to pet the cat which had come to wind itself around Lexie's ankles, little slut of a cat that it was.

"You look busy." Lexie commented as she glanced around the kitchen some moments later.

"Yeah, planning something, but running out of time to get everything done." Addison replied as she finished off her grocery list.

"Huh. You need some help?" Lexie offered and Addison immediately brightened to the idea.

"I'd love some. You think you could take Milo to be groomed and also pick up my dry cleaning and get my briefcase from the hospital? " Addison pushed the list of chores and locations at Lexie and hoped that the younger woman would say yes and that it would take her at least an hour or more to get the list done.

"I'll let you scrub in on something fun next week." Addison offered Lexie a carrot.

"Sure." Lexie said after she glanced at the list. "Give me money." She added and held out her hand.

Addison handed her a wad of cash and snatched up the list to hand to her. "No need. Lexiepedia, remember?" The other woman said and tapped at her temple making Addison laughed lightly.

"Thank you." Addison said, sincerely.

"Sure." Lexie said with a wave and disappeared to go upstairs for whatever she needed to achieve her new to-do list.

Now she just needed to get across town to pick up the ring.

That was what was the next thing on her agenda in any case.

Right after she had a shower, that is. With that in mind, Addison headed for the master bathroom and just hoped that she would get her own to-do list done as well.

After having scooped up Milo and put him into his carrier, Lexie snagged up her purse and got ready to leave the house. She did not know really just exactly how she was going to accomplish Addison's to do list in a reasonable amount of time, but she was going to try.

Opening the front door she startled when she ran into an older man with his hand poised to knock.

The man looked familiar somehow.

"Hi." Lexie offered instinctively.

The man smiled at her and nodded his head. "Hello there. I'm the Captain, Addison's father." He held out his hand and Lexie extended her non-cat carrying hand to shake it, instantly charmed.

"I see you're going someplace. Is Addison around?" The Captain asked.

"Uh, yeah. I have some errands to run." Lexie fumbled out the words before she caught up to the second half of the question. "Addison won't be back for a while, but you can wait for her if you like." Lexie added.

"Ah well, perhaps I can accompany you then on your errands, you seem to have your hands full and perhaps you could use some help." Addison's father said amicably and Lexie smiled at him.

He had a car.

Perhaps she could get her errands done after all.

"I'm Lexie Grey." She introduced herself as she closed the front door.

"Oh, any relation to Meredith Grey?" The man asked, sounding interested.

"Yes, she's my sister." Lexie supplied as she followed him to the car and then she was further charmed when he opened the door for her.

"Where to first?" He asked and Lexie held up the cat carrier and pointed to the very mellow looking Milo inside of it.

"Milo here has an appointment to be made into a pretty kitty." Lexie explained and smiled as Addison's father stuck his finger into the carrier to greet the cat.

"Well then, we shall have to get Mr. Cat to his appointment then." The Captain said and a few moments later the three of them were on their way with Lexie feeling very pleased with herself.

The house was empty by the time Addison left for the jewellers, which was good. With some luck and some good timing everything would be set up by the time she got home and then it would just be a matter of executing her plans to perfection.

Getting into her car, Addison slid her hands-free into her ear and made a phone call to the Maximilien French Cafe, with whom she had arranged for home delivery at no small expense, but it was worth it.

"Yes, hello. This is Doctor Addison Montgomery, I have a delivery today." She spoke as she drove determinedly towards the jeweller, feeling her heart begin to pound at what she was about to do.

Was she really going to do this? Buy a ring for the woman she loved and ask that woman to marry her?

Was this really happening to her?

Apparently it was.

"Yes, the garage door is open, please set thing up in there. There is a time constraint so please be as efficient as you can be." Addison gave the instructions to the very helpful owner of the restaurant and with that done she then thanked him.

Everything would be done according to her specifications, though on her own dishes so that there would be no need for them to come back for any of their own crockery or cutlery the next day.

It was going to be perfect.

Addison drove expertly and traffic was on her side so she arrived at the jeweller in good time which pleased her to no end. On a day like this she did not need any further complications as she wanted this to go perfectly. She had no plans on ever doing it again, after all, so getting it right the first time was important.

Finding a place to park close to the entrance of the jewellery store just added to Addison's nervous euphoria and after taking a deep breath, she alighted from the car and made her way through the front door of the little boutique that she had only visited once before, when she had placed the order for the ring not very long ago.

"Doctor Montgomery." The sole occupant of the store said as soon as Addison walked in.

Turning to greet the distinguished looking woman, Addison smiled. She had liked the proprietor of the establishment from the moment they had met a short while ago and well, maybe Meredith liked jewellery and Addison could come back here some other time. She had a feeling that she could make a friend out of this woman and that was something she was keen not to miss out on.

"It's ready." The woman said after some preliminary chit chat and then she disappeared into the small anteroom attached to the storefront for a few moments, no doubt to get the ring while Addison glanced around the store.

It really was a nice place.

"Here we go." The woman said on her return to the main area of the store.

Addison swallowed hard, feeling heat begin to creep up her neck and face as she was faced with the physical reality of what she was going to do in just a short little while. Turning around she walked towards the counter where the shining object was resting on a piece of blue velvet, ready for her approval.

This was it.

Looking down at the glittering ring, Addison picked it up to bring it closer to her eyes. It was delicate, glittering with diamonds and very pretty. It suited Addison's idea of what she wanted to give to Meredith and she liked how it felt in her hands. Hopefully Meredith would also like it. Meredith was a surgeon though, so Addison had ordered a suitable chain for Meredith to hang the ring on when she was in surgery, or at work in general and she reached for that next to examine its weight and feel in her hands.

"Good. I like this. Thank you." Addison finally said and handed the items to the women to pack away for her.

"I'm very glad Doctor Montgomery." The woman said as she turned to pack away the items.

"Could you include a length of that velvet ribbon?" Addison asked, pointing at the blood red ribbon that was in a spool under the counter.

"Of course." The woman said and added a length of the ribbon to Addison's bag.

When the woman turned back to Addison she handed over her Platinum Visa Card and waited patiently for the transaction to be processed. This was a nice place. Addison decided that she would come back to it when it was time to upgrade to wedding rings. The thought made her heart flutter and Addison sighed her name on the charge slip with a flourish before she tucked away her purchases and took a deep breath.

"Good luck." Addison looked at the woman as she spoke and raised an eyebrow.

"I've seen a lot of moments like this in my time here." The woman said kindly, giving Addison a genuine smile.

"Thank you." Addison said, deciding that definitely she'd come back to this place when it came time to upgrade to other jewellery.

A few moments later she was back in her car and on the way home. With some luck she would get everything done that she needed to before Meredith was due to arrive home and hopefully Lexie had also managed to finish her errands and was once more sequestered in her room, or at least not underfoot.

Now it was time go get home.

Addison had been home for maybe five minutes when she heard Meredith pull up, pause, and back up back again. Addison's car was blocking the garage so Meredith would have to park on the street.

It was a pretty good bet that Meredith would forgive her for that.

The garage was set up in a mixture of sumptuous food and oddly homey touches. It had been cleaned and organised and dinner was set up. She just needed to light the candles and then it would be ready.

Meredith was moving through the house now, which gave Addison a few more moments to make sure that everything was perfect before she moved into the house, carefully closing the door leading to the garage behind her. No sense in spoiling the surprise before it was time to reveal it.

Where was Meredith?

Raised voices caught Addison's attention and she frowned, moving towards the sound with increasing displeasure. She had plans today, they did not involved dealing with whatever nonsense Lexie and Alex might be arguing about and why was Meredith's voice raising above it all?

What was going on?

Rounding the corner Addison spied an absolutely horrified looking Meredith looking into Lexie's room and Addison started to register what Meredith was saying so loudly as well. "Lexie, what the hell is the matter with you?" Meredith was saying and she looked downright queasy in Addison's opinion.

Seeming to sense her presence, Meredith raised her eyes and the look of abject horror in them increased exponentially. She slammed the door shut and attempted to look casual. What the?

What the hell was going on?

"Lexie, you better get rid of that mess, now!" Meredith said behind the door, sounding high pitched and shrill as she spoke.

Addison was sure she could hear a note of panic in Meredith's voice. Not good. Whatever was going on it was not good. Shit.

There was a muffled exclamation from inside of the room and the sound of a gruff male voice that somehow rung a bell in the back of Addison's mind, but she could not place it right now.

The sounds were followed by a muffled banging sound and some other noises that Addison could not identify as she moved closer to the scene of whatever crime was being committed right now.

Alarmed now Addison hurried her steps and ignored whatever Meredith was trying to tell her. Meredith reacted by opening the door and slipping into the room and slamming it behind her.

What the ever living fucking fuck?

Addison began to have a terrible suspicion that whatever was going on was something that she should not see, but why?

"Meredith!" Addison pounded on the door as she tried the door handle.

Whatever this was, she was not going to stand by idly and let the wool be pulled over her eyes about it.

No way. Not this time, and not ever again.

She had not been born yesterday and this was childish.

The door gave way as she put her shoulder into it and Meredith leapt back as Addison spilled into the room, furious beyond measure and she had yet to see what was going on.

What she saw made her stop dead in her tracks. "What the fuck?" Addison said as loudly as her voice would do without her actually shouting.

Oh my God. What the hell? What? Fuck. What?

"Jesus fucking Christ!" Addison did not care what sort of blasphemy she committed right now, in fact she was pretty sure she was about to commit murder, so mere blasphemy was of no consequence by comparison.

In fact she was about to commit mass murder, not just murder. Maybe some assault as well. Idly she wondered if there was a baseball bat in the house as she felt her stomach roil in horror and disgust at the scene set out before her.

"You have got to be kidding me." Addison raked her hands through her hair and across her face, looking between Meredith, Lexie, and her own father who was sitting up in Lexie's bed, naked as the day he had been born and with a look on his face that made Addison want to run him over with Bizzy's fucking Learjet.

She hated him this moment. She hated him with every cell and molecule of her being and if he were suddenly seized by a heart attack right now, she'd let him die and then go shit on his grave, that was now angry she was.

"Addison." Lexie began, sounding suitably ashamed of herself, but Addison was not hearing of it.

"No, you don't ever speak to me again." Addison said, pointing her finger at Lexie, horrified beyond words at what she was witnessing.

"Don't you ever even look at me again, you filthy slut." Addison hissed again to empathise her point. "You cunt of a goddamned whore." Addison muttered under her breath, but plenty loud. Lexie heard every word. Good.

"You have ten minutes to get your ass out of this house you fucking treacherous bitch." Addison continued after she took a deep breath, wanting Lexie gone.

"Hey, this is my house, I get to decide who stays and who goes." This was Meredith's voice now and it slid across Addison's broken nerves with a horrible chill.

"Your house?" Addison murmured under her breath, coming to a horrifying revelation deep inside of herself.

Turning to her father she shook her head. "I never want to see you again, father. Get out of my house and get out of my life." Addison said to her father with a voice so cold it would probably solve global warming. "Permanently." She added, pointing at the door for emphasis.

"Why are you still here?" Addison shouted when he sat immobile, frozen in the middle of the bed he so impudently decided to invade not so long ago. "Get out! Get out! Get out!" Addison could feel her self control slip from her fingers as her mind started to become hysterical.

If no blood was spilled today it would be a miracle.

"Addison." Her father said, sounding like the charming asshole that he was.

"No, never again. Any contact you want with me from now on you do it through my lawyer. Now get out and don't push me or I will have a restraining order made up and I'll see you in court after that." Addison's voice dropped to zero degrees Kelvin.

"Get out." Addison whispered at him, ready to commit a felony against him.

"Get out or I will fucking throw you out the window." Addison snarled, hoping that he would fall down the stairs and break his neck on his way.

The Captain did not argue with her, rather he scrambled up from the bed and dragged the sheet to the hallway with him along with his clothes and hopefully he would be out of the house soon, or Addison would make good on her promise and call the police on him and make a huge scene.

Lexie sobbed.


Furious beyond all reason, Addison turned to Lexie and clenched her fists. "No wonder Mark left you and Alex treats you like shit. You deserve it, you worthless sack of garbage." Addison flung at the now cowering woman.

"My God. Are you totally insane?" Addison screeched, out of control.

Addison no longer cared who or what she hurt and when Lexie sobbed again Addison felt a vicious stab of satisfaction. "Grow up, you stupid, vapid ridiculous child." Addison murmured, glancing around the room angrily.

"You know, your father was part of this too, it's not all Lexie's fault." Meredith said from the side and Addison turned to look at her.

"You think I don't know that?" Addison gritted out. "Your sister is a fucking whore. No one forced her to spread her legs for a man three times her age and she knew that he was my father. She knew, the bitch. That is what makes this even worse." Addison felt incredulous that she was explaining this to Meredith when Meredith should be seeing her point of view easily, family or no.

There was silence as neither of the Grey sisters could come up with anything to defend themselves. It was hardly surprising, there was no defence for something like this, it was wholly inexcusable and to add insult to injury, it had been done under Addison's own roof.


Fuck the fucking Grey Sisters. Shit.

Or well, what she had assumed to be her own roof. Who the hell knew what it was now based on Meredith's words in the past ten minutes.

"Meredith." Addison said as she turned to her girlfriend. "You were going to try to hide this from me?" Addison queried, feeling nausea begin to form in her abdomen.

"This?" Addison pointed to Lexie who flinched at the accusing finger pointed at her.

"She's my sister." Meredith said, as if that somehow justified what she had been about to do.



"I am your girlfriend. We share a house and a life. That was my father, who has just apparently slept with your slutty whore bitch of an abortion of a sister who really needs to learn to keep her legs closed. My father! Revolting." Addison paced the room, wondering how the hell she had gotten herself into this sort of situation to begin with.

Why had she trusted Meredith?

What the hell was wrong with her?

"Hey, don't talk about my sister like that." Meredith sounded cross.

"You're defending her?" Addison snapped at her lover.

"Yes." Meredith said primly.

"She slept with my father... My father!" Addison shouted.

"She's an adult." Meredith said, raising her voice.

"She's a whore." Addison said succinctly.

Christ, what a fucking mess.

Damn the Captain. Addison would not forgive him for this. Ever. He might be able to make some amends if he behaved for the rest of his life, but she would never forgive him or permit him to cross back into her life ever again.

God damn him. God damn him to the fires of hell for all eternity.

"She's family." Meredith said, sounding like a child.

"And what am I?" Addison asked, sounding sad even to her own ears.

Meredith was silent.

That told Addison more than she needed to know.

"I guess that tells me what I needed to know." Addison sighed, feeling the threat of tears begin.

She would not cry in front of Meredith. Never again.

Lexie for her own part was weeping now, perhaps having finally understood in her infantile way the gravity of what she had done.

Too late now. Much too late.

Meredith had just shown Addison her true colours and until this could be resolved, Addison wanted nothing to do with either of them. She needed space and time to think and she needed it now before she started to throw things.

"Addison." Meredith said, her voice modulated and frightened.

"No, Meredith. Just no." Addison said raising her hands.

"I know she's your sister. But that was my father and this is just beyond disgusting." Addison waved her hands at the room.

"I thought you and I were going to make a life together, I was so sure about it" Addison choked on her words as she spoke.

"But, your sister, who pays no rent and who barely contributes in any way to the household, gets your priority, based purely on the fact that she is your sister." Addison slapped the wall angrily, feeling the satisfying pain of the impact travel up her arm.

"I never asked you to pay for anything!" Meredith yelled angrily and Addison had to concede that bringing money into this was a low blow, but damn it, she was angry.

"You never asked your sister, either." Addison threw up her hands in defeat as she said the words.

"It's not a matter of money, Meredith. It's a matter of trust and it seems to be that I cannot trust either of you. It's a matter of respect, can't you see that?" Addison tried in vain to make her point understood but somehow knew that it was futile to even try.

This was not an argument she was going to win.

There was no point. It was a waste of time.

"You've known me longer than you have known your sister, Meredith." Addison said simply.

Meredith had nothing to say about that. Typical.

Goddamn her. Fuck.

"Why did I believe you said that you loved me?" Addison felt her heart die in her chest as she whispered the final words and then she turned leaving the room and making her way to the master bedroom.

She needed to pack a bag, grab some stuff, get in her car and get away from here.

Fuck the world.

Belatedly Meredith had began to think that perhaps her blind defence of Lexie was not the smartest thing in the world, especially when Addison stormed out of Lexie's room with a look of utter devastation on her face.

"Thanks, Lexie. I'm so glad I let you into my life so you could ruin it for me." Meredith said offhandedly to her sobbing sister.

A crash from the master bedroom caused Meredith to snap out of her trance and ignoring Lexie's attempts to explain this mess, Meredith hurried after Addison. She found her girlfriend throwing some stuff into a small bag and grabbing a coat from the closet.

Shit. Not good.

"Will you calm down so we can talk?" Meredith tried to break through to Addison.

"There is nothing more to say, Meredith." Addison sounded defeated but resolute as she spoke.

"So you're just leaving then?" Meredith asked, stunned completely by this turn of events.

Before Addison could say anything, Lexie stormed into the room, dressed now but still looking very much like the little slut that Meredith had to agree that she was. "Addison, I'm sorry." She pleaded and Addison glanced over at her contemptuously.

"I don't want to talk to you, Lexie. I thought I had made that clear." Addison said bitingly at Lexie and even Meredith had to flinch at her tone.

"But." Her sister tried to break into Addison's defences as well, but at this point even Meredith was too annoyed to give a damn about Lexie's feelings about anything.

"No, Lexie." Addison said again, this time sounding more angry.

"I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you, you've got to believe me." Lexie pleaded, ignoring Addison's warnings.

"You're a stupid child, Lexie. Saying sorry and I did not mean it in a situation like this is akin to spitting into the ocean. It means nothing. Nothing." Addison extrapolated while she finished packing.

"Get out, Lexie." Addison repeated and when Lexie hesitated again, Addison lost whatever was left of her patience.

"You're not a kid anymore, Lexie Whore. This sort of mistake is unimaginable. Get out of my sight if you want your sister to actually be able to say goodbye to me." Addison lashed out angrily, stabbing at Lexie with her words and both Meredith and Lexie flinched.


Lexie, never really realising when to shut her mouth opened it again. "Get out. Now." Addison warned, her tone glacial.

Thankfully Lexie bought a clue and left quickly.

"Yes, Meredith. I'm leaving." Addison said, answering Meredith's questions as if there had never been any interruption at all.

"Can't we talk about this?" Meredith pleaded, unable to believe that so much had unravelled so quickly.

"There is really no point, Meredith. You've made your position and your loyalties clear." Addison replied and closed her bag and picked it up, talking past Meredith on her way to the front door.

Meredith started to feel like she had stepped into some alternate universe and was oblivious to the fact that she had started to cry until she felt a tear escape her eye and make a hot trail down her face.

"I love you." Meredith said, desperation colouring her tone, this could not be happening to her, to Addison; to them.

"This time love is just not enough, Meredith, think about it. How can love be enough when there is no trust, no respect? How can it be enough when you don't value it and cherish it and really know what it is supposed to mean?" Addison sounded downright reasonable as she spoke, but the words she was saying cut into Meredith deeply.

Throwing herself in front of the door, Meredith turned to Addison, unable to believe what was going on. "Are you breaking up with me?" Meredith asked, her voice breaking.

"I'm going away to think, Meredith. I need to think if I want to be involved with someone who won't take my side or defend me when the situation is this serious." Addison said flatly. "Your sister slept with my father. You should be livid with her. You should be furious and horrified with her. You should understand my feelings and my point of view." Addison continued.

"No, Meredith. Don't bother." Addison raised her hand and stopped Meredith before she could say anything.

"I knew that today something would change, I just did not think the change would be this." Addison said cryptically, shaking her head sadly before her face and body language hardened in resolve.

Meredith could see the moment where she lost Addison, right down to the second, actually.

"Get out of my way or I will go through you." The quietly spoken demand had the same effect on Meredith as if she had been shoved aside.

Addison paused to reach out and touch Meredith's cheek as she swept past, and for a fraction of a moment, Meredith could see the intense, soul crushing sadness in Addison's eyes and it broke Meredith's heart completely.

She had done this to Addison. Somehow she had done it and now it was too late.

Addison seemed to hesitate for long moments and for the span of a short eternity, Meredith stood in her lover's almost embrace while Addison seemed to struggle with herself and her resolve. The soulful gaze of the other woman tore into Meredith and broke her heart again and again.

Meredith tried to initiate a proper embrace but Addison put up her hand and held Meredith away, gently, but very firmly in a manner that brooked no refusal.

"Love, trust and respect come together, Meredith. You need to learn this, and until you do you and I can never be." Addison whispered brokenly before she turned away and reached for the door her shoulders slumped in defeat

A moment later the front door closed and a minute later Meredith heard the distinctive and powerful engine of Addison's car starting up and then the horrible sound of her driving away.

Oh shit.

What the hell?

Oh fuck.

Meredith slid down the wall, paralysed by this turn of events. How could this have happened?

A sound in the hallway a little while later caught her attention and Meredith turned and saw Lexie trying to approach her. "No." Meredith said, feeling her anger rise at her little sister.

Addison was right, she should be angry at Lexie, not trying to blindly defend her. "Just stay away from me before I say things to you I can never take back." Meredith said. "You should go and sleep at the hospital or anywhere. I don't care. I don't want you around me." Meredith added, not caring how much she might hurt Lexie.

Right now, Meredith could feel her own wellspring of pain begin and Lexie was in part to blame. Meredith knew that she herself was the real reason that Addison had left, but the catalyst had been Lexie.

Where was her phone?

Meredith could barely remember what she had done when she had come home even though it had been only a little time ago. She could only remember the sound of Addison leaving and her parting words.

Some time passed during which Lexie wisely left and Meredith found herself unable to uproot herself from the hallway floor. The wood was hard and it was making her back ache, but Meredith welcomed the pain, wanted it actually.

Her musings were interrupted by a furry nudge against her bare arm and Meredith looked over to see Milo rubbing himself against her.


Meredith snatched up the little cat and hugged his tiny protesting form tightly to herself as she buried her face into his soft fur. He smelled clean and was purring and something hard poked Meredith in the forehead.

Curious, Meredith put the cat into her lap and examined him, noting an expensive ribbon around his neck that she had not seen before.

What was that?

Reaching around to feel the cat's neck, Meredith's fingers encountered the hard thing that had poked her. Slipping the ribbon from Milo's neck, Meredith held up the object and felt her heart stop in her chest.

It was a ring.

A beautiful, delicate, very expensive looking engagement ring.

It also looked to be suspiciously Meredith's size.

Oh my God.

This was what Addison had meant when she said she had been sure something would change today but had not been expecting the change to be what had actually happened between them.

Oh my God.

Rolling to her feet and in the process dumping the indignant cat to the floor, Meredith brought the ring closer to the light and felt her heart seize again.

What had she done?

When would she grow up?

She needed to catch up with Addison and she needed to do it now.

Grabbing her coat and bag, Meredith double checked that her phone and wallet were in it and made her way to the garage. Addison could not be going anyplace tonight, with some luck she would be at the hotel she normally was at when she was in Seattle.

With some luck. Meredith just hoped that Addison wanted to be found.

Opening the garage door, Meredith stepped in and was immediately assailed by the smell of food and candle wax. Looking up in confusion, Meredith blinked at the sight in front of her, remembering only belatedly that her car was on the street and not parked in the garage.

The garage was decorated and Meredith was sure that she had never seen it so clean before. There was a table and two chairs, candles and covered plates of food. Meredith fiddled with the ring in her fingers and felt fresh tears start.


Moving closer to the trays of food, Meredith opened one up and stepped back in surprise. It was the same dish that Addison had eaten on their first date. Looking around the garage again, Meredith had the slow realisation that Addison had recreated their first date, after a fashion and the ring in Meredith's hands was the final testament as to what Addison had planned to do during their dinner.

Meredith would have said yes.

However, now she did not know if she would ever get the chance to hear Addison ask the question at all.


Rushing back to the house, Meredith put the cat down and snatched up her bag and dug around it in until she pulled out her phone and then she hurriedly dialled Addison's number.

No answer.

Next, Meredith dialled the hotel where Addison liked to stay, hopefully they would tell Meredith if Addison had checked in. After all, Addison was her boss and Meredith could always use that to gain the needed information.

"No, I'm sorry, Doctor Grey, it does not appear as if Doctor Montgomery has any plans to spend the night here tonight." The front desk of the hotel informed her with relative ease and Meredith distractedly thanked the woman for her time.


Now what?

Meredith sand down to the floor again and laid her head in her arms, defeated.

How had this happened?

Why had she once more let something wonderful and good slip out of her fingers like dry sand on a windy day?

It seemed that fate was against her and she was destined to be alone, without love simply because she did not know how to deal with love and how to keep love and how to nurture it.

Would she ever learn?

With a sigh, Meredith looked up at Milo who was staring at her with his inscrutable green eyes, almost goading her into doing something.

Come on, bitch. Get up and get after her.

He seemed to be saying, oblivious and uncaring about the huge tears that were coursing down Meredith's face as she silently cried for the loss of something so good and right.

Well, bitch?

The cat blinked at her contemptuously, seeming to project the words with his hard feline eyes.

Great, now she was having hallucinations about the cat and each moment Addison was getting farther and farther away from her.

Damn it.

Meredith scrubbed her sleeve against her face harshly and sighed. The feeling of despair was getting stronger and stronger and she did not know what to do about it. Addison had left and there were just ruins left now.

Ruins and a ring and the tatters of Meredith's heart.

Her mother was right, Derek was right. Everyone had been right. She was unlovable and that was all there was to it. She was simply Meredith. Ordinary, screwed up and doomed to be lonely and alone in this life.

Would she ever learn?

It seemed that she never would.

Rising to her feet slowly, Meredith made her way to the bedroom and crawled onto the bed, grabbing Addison's pillows from underneath the covers and hugging it tightly to herself as she slipped more deeply into the feeling of gloom. It was oppressive yet somehow familiar and comforting.

Addison had left.

The one true love of her life was gone.

So be it...



Thankfully it was the weekend, not that it really mattered what time of the week, or even what year it was. Addison was gone. She had left two days ago and Meredith was still in shock. With only Milo as company, she had been staring at the same spot in the ceiling of the bedroom for most of the past two days.

There had been some intermittent breaks, to shower, to make sure that the feast that had been so carefully arranged in the garage was disposed of before it evolved language skills and ran away and to force herself to gag down something to eat every now and then. Other than that, Meredith and Milo had been occupying the king sized bed in what was supposed to be Addison and Meredith's bedroom.

Except Addison was not here.

She had left.

All because Meredith was an idiot.

Why would she never learn?

Lexie at least had not attempted to come home and Alex seemed to be staying away as well, though Meredith would confess that she would not necessarily be aware if either one of them had showed up in the last forty-eight hours or not.

She had screened calls as well, everyone had tried to call her, including Addison's father, but no Addison. That was the only call Meredith was going to answer and yet she had not called, would probably never call again.

So, Meredith lay in her bed, with Milo as her company. The cat had taken up residence at her side and aside from occasionally disappearing to do some cat thing, he had not really left her side and Meredith had come to rely on the subtle vibration of his purr to maintain some shreds of her own sanity. If that was possible.

Why had she been so stupid?

Of course Addison was right, family loyalties and impulses aside, Lexie had been in the wrong and what she had done by sleeping with Addison's father had been unforgivable, really. There were limits to the insanity that blood-ties and friendship could allow.

And Meredith had betrayed Addison by not standing up for her, with her. She had been a child and Addison quite rightly had left, but the wreck she had left behind was something that Meredith had been unprepared for, actually.

Addison had become her life, her everything, and now she was gone.

How the fucking hell had this happened?

The vibration of her phone caught Meredith's attention and she snatched up the device, glancing at the display: Cristina.

Meredith put the phone down again and focused her attention on scratching Milo behind his ear in just the way he liked it especially. The cat purred louder and showed his appreciation by digging his claws into Meredith's thigh and kneading. Meredith barely felt the needle-like pricks as she rolled over in the bed and curled herself around Addison's pillow once more.

What was Addison doing?

Where was she?

Was she okay?

A few more calls to likely locations around Seattle had pretty much confirmed to Meredith that her love was no longer in Washington State, or if she was she was someplace really obscure.

No doubt Addison had gone back to California, to Malibu.

Was she okay?

Angrily Meredith scrubbed away the fresh tears that started to cascade down her face as Milo settled himself at her back. How could she still cry? One would have thought that she would have run out of tears by now.

How had this happened?

No answer. Not from her own consciousness, not from the cat, not from the universe at large, either.


"Come on." Cristina Yang said to her posse.

She pushed open the door to Meredith's house and stepped in.

Well, it did not smell as if anyone was dead, that was always a good sign in Cristina's mind anyway. Glancing over her shoulder at the accompanying support she had brought Cristina led the way to the bedroom.

That was where Meredith would be and in anticipation of almost anything, Cristina had brought the big guns with her. Miranda Bailey, Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins were all trailing behind her with determined looks on their faces.

Now to find out what the hell was wrong with Meredith. Also, where the hell was Meredith anyway? There was no sound coming from the inside of the house, it was still like a tomb and that gave Cristina the willies, to put it mildly.

Her best friend had not been taking calls for two days and had not been seen since leaving work two days ago. Something was terribly wrong and even Cristina herself was not privy to what it was. Better not be that Addison and Meredith were locked in a long weekend worth of lesbian orgy.

There were some thing that Cristina would prefer not to see.

The fact that Lexie had been at the hospital for the last two days and Alex had been with whatever fuck-buddy he had at the moment, versus at home, was indicative of something having gone seriously wrong, though.

Pushing the door open to reveal the bedroom and Meredith, who was laying in the middle of the enormous bed that Cristina herself had given a test ride to. There was a pussy in the bed with Meredith, but it did not belong to Addison Montgomery. Rather it was furry and feline and went by the name of Milo.

"This is serious." Bailey murmured from behind her.

Cristina had to concede that this was the truth.

Meredith barely reacted to them entering the room. What the hell was going on?

Despite grilling Lexie at the hospital, Cristina had really not gleaned anything useful as to what was actually going on with Meredith. All she knew was that Addison was involved, Lexie looked guilty, and Meredith had fallen off the radar.

It was time for Doctor Cristina Yang to take care of business, in other words.

"Well, let's get to it." Cristina said as she led the others into the room and walked over to stand by the bed near Meredith's head.

Her friend did not look well, not at all. She looked like she had not slept in days and that she had been crying non stop for those days. Meredith was pale, her hair was greasy and she looked utterly defeated.

Cristina could not believe that Lexie was simply lounging at the hospital like some coward. Even if Lexie had been the source of this consternation with Meredith, she should have had the guts to check on her sister, especially after not seeing or hearing from Meredith for days.

It seemed that Cristina had to do everything herself these days.

So be it.

"Cristina." Meredith finally reacted to Cristina's presence.

That was a good sign. Maybe.

"What is it?" Cristina asked, deciding that initially she would do her best to be gentle, she's leave harsh for later, once she knew what was going on.

"Addison left." Meredith murmured and opened her hand revealing something shiny and sparkly.

Cristina knew what it was at once.

An engagement ring.

She herself had once been in possession of one. Burke had give it to her.

That seemed like a lifetime ago now, actually and so much had happened since it almost felt like she was remembering a different person; not herself.

Why would Addison have left but have also given Meredith a ring? And why was Meredith in a borderline catatonic state? What the hell?

"We're going to need coffee and sugar." Cristina said out loud.

Even if Meredith did not need it, Cristina herself did need it. Whatever was happening her was going to require a lot more than simply prying Meredith from her bed and asking her to elaborate on the last two days of her life.

She was going to suggest tequila, but it was not even noon and they needed Meredith to be coherent, not drunk.

Bailey turned to Callie and Arizona. "You two, coffee and sugar and make it snappy." The formidable surgeon said in her best command voice.

Arizona and Callie all but saluted as they turned on their heels and made their way out of the bedroom.

Milo seemed to sense with hit cat radar that they were on their way to the kitchen, so he leapt off the bed and made a beeline to follow them.

Lucky cat. Cristina mused.

Now, what the hell was going on with Meredith?

"Grey!" Miranda Bailey commanded.

She had no idea what the hell was up with Ellis Grey's child, but this was pathetic and Bailey was not going to put up with it.

Meredith reacted as if a fire had been lit under her. "What?" She asked as she sat up and rubbed her eyes.

She did not look very good.

"What the hell is going on with you that I had to come all the way over here and leave my hospital alone?" Bailey decided that this young Resident needed some reality insertion.

"Addison left." Meredith breathed, looking like she would cry again.

"No crying. Tell me why she left." Bailey commanded gently.

They needed the whole story so that they could fix it.

And where the hell were Torres and Robbins with the coffee anyway?

"It's complicated." Meredith said finally when Bailey managed to look impatient enough.

"Life is complicated, Grey. Now out with it." Bailey pressed again.

"Lexie slept with Addison's father and I took Lexie's side." Meredith blurted.

It took a lot to make Doctor Miranda Bailey speechless, but she was speechless. How did one respond to a statement like that? No wonder Meredith was all messed up, how could any sane person not be messed up by something like that?

"What the hell?" The voice of Cristina said from beside her. "You're joking. Please tell me you're joking." Cristina intoned as she sat down on the bed next to Miranda and looked decidedly queasy.

"Yang, the issue here is not that Lexie slept with Addison's father." Bailey said patiently, even though inside of her head she was blinking in disbelief.

"It's not?" Cristina looked confused, bless her.

"No, the issue is that Grey here seems to have an engagement ring in her hands and no girlfriend to wear it for." Bailey stated just as Torres and Robbins entered the bedroom again bearing coffee and possibly every bit of sugar that the house contained.

The cat slipped in behind them and there was a break in the proceedings in which everyone ended up with a cup of coffee in their hands and a surface to sit on.

Boy would Mark Sloan enjoy this view, four women sitting on a king sized bed with Bailey presiding over the proceedings.

"Okay, Grey. Start from the beginning, tell us the details, but remember we haven't got all day. We have surgeries to get back to and you need to get after your girlfriend before it's too late." Bailey said as she took a big sip of her scalding hot coffee.

Meredith sighed. "Fine." She finally said and in turn took a sip of her coffee as well.

"This started two days ago..." She began and all four of them leaned closer so as not to miss a thing.

It took two pots of coffee and all of the sugar in the house, but eventually Meredith had told her whole story and was now sitting in the kitchen while Milo was indulged with a can of tuna and the assembled surgeons considered options.

"You have got to go after her." Bailey said as she put her cup into the sink.

That was the only solution to this problem.

"Yes. You need to pack a bag, and get going. She has a two day head start on you, but unless she has left the country you can catch up with her." This was Callie who spoke up next and as she spoke Miranda saw her step closer to Arizona and grasp the blonde surgeon's hand.

"Love is worth fighting for." Arizona said softly and Meredith seemed to begin to register what they were telling her.

"You can thank me later, Mer, for brining my posse along, but now you have got to get into the shower and get going." Cristina interjected in her no nonsense way.

Bailey could not help but think that Cristina was in many ways a kindred spirit to herself, even though they were so different. While she'd never admit it to the formidable Doctor Yang, Miranda quite liked the woman and knew that she would go far if only she kept her priorities in order.

"Well, Grey. I see you still sitting there." Bailey prodded Meredith.

"Go shower, now. We'll clean up here and then leave but I will be checking later and if I find you here sulking and feeling sorry for yourself when I come back there is going to be hell to pay." Bailey commanded and Meredith looked at her with a deep look of gratitude.

"And ain't nobody better tell the Interns that I have a soft side or there will be chaos in the hospital and Bailey does not like chaos." Miranda intoned as she watched Meredith leave the room with the cat hot on her heels.

After Meredith has left Bailey turned to the assembled surgeons. "Okay, let's get this done and get out of here." She said with a wave of her hand and there seemed to be a mutual agreement that it was best to let Meredith prepare by herself.

Dishes were loaded into the dishwasher and counters were wiped and when Bailey was satisfied that nothing would crawl away and evolve if it was left for a few days she guided the others out of Meredith's house.

Next on her list was Lexie Grey. That girl better be ready as when Bailey was done with her, she as never going to be the same again.

Meredith managed to take her shower and dress herself in short order, but once more she found herself sitting on the bed feeling sorry for herself and wondering how on earth she had gotten into this mess in the first place.

It was a rhetorical thought, of course. She knew the answer and now with the combined power of the most powerful women of the hospital behind her, she had, in theory at least, the motivation and the impetus to go after Addison.

Would Addison give her the time of day, though?

There was only one way to find out and Meredith was tired of feeling sorry for herself, actually. She needed to do something and right now the only person who could save her relationship with Addison was herself. There was only one way to find out if this could be salvaged and as Arizona had said; love was worth fighting for.

A sudden resolve seized Meredith and she rolled over, swinging her legs off the side of the bed and rose to her feet.

She was going to fight. Fate be damned.

Fuck fate.

Rushing to the closet, Meredith grabbed a bag from the closet and power packed some essentials as she called Richard, asking him to check on the house and telling them where she was going. Just so that no one would worry that she had gone off to do something foolish like take another swim in Elliot Bay, or something.

She'd call Derek later and ask for some personal time, use up her sick days if need be. Addison was worth it. The redhead was worth everything, Addison was worth any risk or consequence.

Meredith would not be defeated, not this time..

Grabbing her purse and carefully slipping the sparking engagement ring into it, Meredith then grabbed Milo and found his carrier, putting him into it before the cat could even protest. Meredith then moved to the laundry room and grabbed the cat's food bowls and his leash. She's get food and water for both of them along the way, right now there was no time.

Meredith had a mission now and she intended to accomplish it with Milo in tow. Anyway, she'd need someone to talk to during her journey and the cat was not only integral to the whole Addison situation, he was a scintillating conversationalist as well. Meredith had learned this over the last few days of hanging out with him.

Quickly Meredith made her way out of the house and secured her bag and the cat into her car before slipping into the driver's seat and buckling herself in.

This was it. It was now or never, and never was not in Meredith's vocabulary. Not anymore in any case.

Fuck fate.

Doctor Meredith Grey was not going to be giving into fate anytime soon. What, or rather who she wanted was Doctor Addison Montgomery and it was just going to be that way, somehow or other, one way or another.

As Meredith peeled away from the curb she decided that Addison would have gone to California so that is where Meredith was going as well. With her new car she'd manage the trip in quicker than she would by trying to get a flight with such short notice. She did not have a Learjet, but she had the power of her will and her will was indomitable.

Fuck fate.

Meredith was only concerned with her destiny...

"Well, what do you think she is going to do when we roll up to the house?" Meredith asked her travelling companion as she guided her car through the light traffic in Malibu.

They had been on the road for a little over twenty-four hours, stopping only for potty breaks and refreshments and a quick shower at a truck stop along the way.

"I think she'll be surprised." Meredith continued, answering her own question.

Milo looked at her impassively from the passenger seat. She had taken him out of his carrier pretty much as soon as they had left Seattle and after some initial exploring, her had settled into place on top of Meredith's jacket in the passenger seat and by and large Meredith had found him to be one of the better companions on a road trip.

He did not complain about what music she was playing, nor did he seem to mind when she talked, or when she was silent. He never said, are we there yet, and did not mind how many or how few breaks she took. The cat had also consented to the concept of doing his business while on a leash, much to Meredith's immense relief, no pun intended.

It also helped that he liked junk food, though Meredith swore just as soon as they got someplace with a pet store she would buy him cat food again. Addison would not forgive her if the cat were to become a lard ass.

Would Addison forgive her for being so stupid, though?

This was the third or fourth time that Meredith had been quite stupid with regards to the redhead. The lessons of life were not exactly something that Meredith seemed to be able to learn at a quick rate, and the thing was that Addison was the type of person who needed those lessons to be learned. Meredith was hurting Addison and her reasons for doing this were vague at best and certainly had nothing to do with Addison when all was said and done.

Meredith decided that she would be going back to the therapist, just as soon as she recovered Addison and convinced her that despite whatever flaws and fuck-ups Meredith had, she was worth the effort and to please not take it all so personally each time. Meredith swore that she would try harder not to react without thinking and would also make a concentrated effort to realise that she was not always on the correct side of whatever situation.

There was always another side of the story.


Milo said from beside her and Meredith glanced over at the prim looking feline. "Don't look so satisfied with yourself, you don't have the balls to look so smug." Meredith murmured at the cat.


The cat replied and Meredith free one of her hands from the steering wheel to give him a scratch under the chin. He might not have had any balls, but he was one of the best males that Meredith had been aquatinted with in her time. It was no wonder Addison kept him around, really.

Hopefully Addison would be amenable to seeing the two of them. Meredith was not going to give up without a fight, she's leave if Addison called the cops and had her dragged away and then she'd post bail and come back until Addison had a restraining order put out on her.

There was no way Meredith was going to just go away and give up. She's tried that for about two days back in Seattle, it had not felt good. Not at all.

Pulling up to a familiar house front Meredith was glad to see Addison's car parked in the driveway. The other woman was home. Quickly, Meredith found a parking spot and switched off the ignition of the car and leaned back in the seat to bask in the silence for a long moment.

Milo nudged her arm, apparently eager to get out of the car, unlike Meredith who was feeling butterflies in her stomach turn into a stampeded of elephants as she realised what she was about to do.


Quickly, Meredith secured Milo's leash on and glanced around the cat. She's need to get the inside detailed and the outside washed, soon. The normally pristine interior of the powerful vehicle was a real mess now and Meredith wanted it to be nice, it was a present from Addison after all and hell, it was a sexy, hot little car too. Without the fast food stains that is.

It was time to go, destiny waited for no one and each minute Meredith delayed, was another minute where Addison was hurting and where the gap between them was becoming wider and wider.

Grabbing the cat and her bag, Meredith pulled her keys from the ignition of the cat and opened the door, making short work of getting out and arming the car alarm before she turned towards the house.

It was now or never and Meredith was simply not going to accept never as an option, not this time. Never again, and certainly not when it came to Addison.

It was now that Meredith had to really pull it together and fix this, no matter what.

A future without Addison was not an option. No sir, the only option was Addison.

It has been almost four days now.

Addison sighed as she looked out over the ocean, failing to see or feel the joy of its movement or beauty. It had been four days since she had seen Meredith, since they had been happy, since fucking Lexie had slept with the Captain.

Shaking her head, Addison continued her morose walk along the beach. How could this disaster have happened? What the hell?

The whole incident had prompted Addison to take steps to eliminate her father from her life, legally speaking. She had contacted her lawyers to ensure that whatever next of kin relationships, joint finances, and legal status he had in her life was eliminated as much as possible. She had also had a letter drafted to be delivered to him to outline her conditions when it came to how he was to approach her in the future.

No more simply showing up in her life unannounced and directives to stay away from her work, her friends, and basically everyone, on pain of restraining orders, civil suits or other legal consequences.

None of this mattered of course, Addison did not really care at this point, but it gave her anger an outlet and for a few hours it had given her something else to think about aside from Meredith.

Determined not to cry again, Addison paused in her walk along the sand and looked out over the water, as if it would somehow provide her with the answers to life itself.

The drive down from Seattle had happened in a blur and Addison though that she was lucky there had been no accident along the way, because she had barely been focused on what she was doing. Her only focus had been Meredith.

Damn her. Meredith and her childish stupidity.

Addison had to concede that there was this startling difference between them and perhaps she had been too impatient and too quick to react to Meredith's taking of sides back in Seattle.

Her lover was simply not experienced enough with life to know that taking sides was not a smart thing to do rashly or without thought. Everything had consequences and Meredith was only learning this slowly.

Too slowly.

Addison turned to walk back to her house. She was tired of the beach and there was always a chance that she would meet Sam on the beach and she did not want to deal with him right now, or really ever, actually.

The sand pushed its way between her toes as she walked and Addison lost herself in the movement of her feet as she made the trip back up the beach. Lost as she was in her thoughts, she almost stumbled when something wrapped itself around her legs.

Looking down in alarm, Addison felt whatever she was going to say die on her lips as she registered what she was seeing.


"Milo, what are you doing here?" Addison finally said out loud, as if the cat could answer her question.

What on earth?

Addison scooped up the cat and looked around. This could mean only one thing and as she regained the movement in her legs Addison became aware of another thing on the beach with her, a very familiar figure in the distance.


"What the hell?" Addison murmured into Milo's fur as the cat rubbed itself all over Addison, no doubt ecstatic to see her, or simply needing a suitable place to deposit some fur.

Addison put the cat down again as she forced her limbs to move forward towards the mirage in the distance. Was this for real? Meredith was here?

She did not know what to make of the situation, or what she should do next.

Milo had no such qualms though and he bounded forward in the sand towards Meredith, seeming to taught Addison to pick up her pace and get with it. As she moved forward, Addison started to make out Meredith's features.

The other woman looked careworn, tired and like she had not slept in days.

And now she was here.

What was she doing here?

Addison stopped walking and waited, not wanting to seem to rush forward into an unknown situation. Plus she was still furious, hurt, and felt betrayed. It was going to take a lot more than a cat on the beach and a mirage of Meredith in the distance to make what had happened four days ago forgivable.

"What are you doing here?" Addison finally asked when Meredith came to a stop with the cat winding it's way around her ankles.

"And why did you bring the cat?" Addison continued, feeling somewhat perplexed and irritated at the same time.

Meredith looked like hell, but she also looked like heaven. Addison realised just how much she had missed the other woman and as that knowledge filled her, so did the stabbing pain of betrayal. The dichotomy of emotion caused Addison to feel disoriented as she wanted for Meredith to say something.

It seemed that Meredith was also having some issues with the moment.

"I came for you." Meredith finally said, her voice sounding hoarse and sad.

It broke Addison's heart to hear it.

"The house was empty, I found Sam in his yard and he told me you were walking on the beach." Meredith continued seeming to anticipate Addison's next question.

"Is that so." Addison murmured as she started walking again, not really willing to continue this conversation on the beach.

"And the cat?" Addison repeated the question as she pointed to the playful feline who was following them up the beach.

"I needed the company as I drove, but also he was a messenger in Seattle, so I thought it fitting to bring him along." Meredith replied.

"So you found the ring." Addison said, deadpan.

Meredith leaned down and picked up the cat from the floor, and gently lifted his chin up, displaying the sparkling item nestled on the ribbon the cat was wearing. How had Addison missed that before?

"Don't worry, I know how to tie a good knot." Meredith murmured, petting Milo and giving him a kiss before she put him back onto ground and watched him dart ahead of them towards the house.

Touched, Addison leaned down to pet the cat in turn and she blinked back tears as she brushed her fingers along the ribbon he wore. It was sweet and it gave Addison a warm feeling to realise that Meredith had sought to replicate some of the aspects that Addison had planned.

Maybe there was hope, maybe not.

Addison did not give a reply right away, she needed to think about Meredith and why she was here. Why was Meredith here?

"Why are you here, Meredith." Addison asked tiredly as they stepped into the house with the cat hot on their hells.

Addison blinked in the sudden dimness as she forced back tears that threatened to spill down her cheeks despite hereself.

"You know, the last time we were together here, we were happy." Meredith commented.

"That was before you decided to side with your whore-sister against me, Meredith." Addison sniped angrily.

She was still feeling testy and touchy about that and Meredith had a lot to answer for when it came to what had happened back in Seattle.

"It was bad enough to have the Captain betray me, and to have Lexie be such a traitor, but you?" Addison shook her head as she walked to the fridge and opened it up.

She needed a beer.

"Addison. I did not mean to do that." Meredith said, softly.

"But you did, Meredith. You did. And you did not hesitate, think twice. In fact you tried to hide if from me." Addison said feeling her ire rise as she handed Meredith a beer.

No sense in being rude.

Meredith opened her mouth and looked as if she was going to say something to justify her reactions, but instead she closed it and then reached for the beer and had a long drink of it, no doubt to gain some time to think about what she was going to say next.

Eventually, she put the bottle down and looked back at Addison.

"You're right. It was inexcusable. It was an intuitive, childish, stupid reaction that I would give anything to be able to undo but I can't." Meredith sighed as she sat down on one of the stools in the kitchen and started to play with the label of the beer bottle.

Milo chose the moment to make his presence known and it was clear that the cat had needs that he expected to have filled.

Addison might have laughed, but she was not in the mood. Pushy pussy. Perfect.

"Oh, I have some stuff for him in the car. I'll go get it." Meredith said, seeming to leap from the stool as she spoke and before Addison could properly process what was going on, Meredith had left Addison alone with her thoughts and with her cat for a new moments.

Now what? Addison thought to herself as she glanced around the kitchen and tried to make sense of what was going on.

What was she going to do?

Addison was inside and she was hurt, sad, and pissed off. But at least she had not thrown Meredith out, or demand that she leave. In fact, Addison had offered Meredith a beer, no less.

Maybe there was hope?

Meredith quickly rummaged around the truck of her car for Milo's cat box and bowls, before she slammed it shut and looked around her. How was she going to make this up to Addison and prove that she was worth another chance to the redhead? How was she going to make sure that she actually changed, versus wasted another chance with Addison.

That was assuming that Addison actually gave her another chance.

It was time for all or nothing. All in, all at once. Addison was worth it and Meredith was not above begging. No sir, Meredith Grey would beg, if she had to.

With that thought in mind, Meredith made her way back to the house with her kitty items in tow, hoping that Addison would still be in an okay mood. It would be a lot harder to break through if the other woman's mood had declined.

Hurrying back into to the house, Meredith quickly made her back to the kitchen. Addison was still there, waiting, with an inscrutable look on her face. Milo however was more than happy to see here and as Meredith quickly laid out water and a can of tuna for him, she felt Addison's eyes on her.

The silence was unnerving and Meredith was beginning to second guess herself as to her chances of ever getting back into Addison's good graces.

When Meredith was done with the cat, she turned back to Addison who was still staring at her intensely. "Addison." Meredith said, taking a step towards her girlfriend.

Hopefully Addison would still be her girlfriend after this. Technically they had not broken up or anything, it was just, a hiccup. Meredith prayed that this was the case, she could not face the possibility of not being with Addison.

"Please." Meredith said, lowering herself to her knees and before Addison could protest or move away, Meredith wrapped her arms around the other woman's waist and laid her head in Addison's lap.

"Forgive me." Meredith whispered. "I'm an idiot who needs to grow up, much quicker than I have been." Meredith could feel hot tears escape her eyes as she spoke, her voice muffled by her arms and Addison's body.

At least Addison was not pushing her away. That had to count for something, right?

"It's not as simple as that, Meredith. This is not just a matter of forgiveness, it is a matter of trust. If I can't rely on you to take my side, or protect me, even from your family, when it counts, then how can I trust you?" Addison said from above her, but she was still not pushing Meredith away.

"I know." Meredith murmured, sighing as she shifted her position.

"I have no excuse for what I did. I acted without thought, I acted like a teenager who had been caught smoking." Meredith said after a moment, looking up at Addison who was silently crying now.

Oh shit.

Meredith could not stand the thought of Addison crying and yet she knew that the other woman had probably spent the last few days crying, all because Meredith was an idiot, a stupid, fucking idiot.

"I'm sorry." Meredith said as she stood up from the floor and grabbed Addison's arms, forcing them willingly around her body and pulling Addison's head tight to her chest.

She was not going to give up without a fight.

"I'm an idiot, but I can learn, Addison. Let me learn, give me one more chance. I can't promise that I won't do a stupid thing again, but I can promise that whatever stupid thing I do, it will not be a betrayal of your trust, or taking sides against you when it really counts." Meredith spoke into Addison's soft hair and felt her love begin to sob against her, the shaking of Addison's shoulders rending Meredith's heart.

She had to get Addison to stop crying, somehow.

"I learn quickly, Addison. When it matters, I learn. I am so sorry this happened. I would give anything to be able to go back and take it back. I'd give anything, my darling. Please forgive me. Please." Meredith felt her own tears burn her face as she spoke.

She just hoped and prayed that Addison would realise that she was sincere. She would learn, she would not do anything like this again. She could not live without Addison. This has to work, somehow.

Please, God. Please...

"Meredith." Addison said, her voice sounding tired and wary as she pulled herself out of Meredith's grip gently, but she might as well have yanked herself away by the way it made Meredith feel.

"Do you really think that you can simply waltz in here and say you're sorry and just expect me to forgive you just like that?" Addison sighed as she spoke and then she turned away from Meredith, walking towards the large glass doors that graced the back of her house.

"What else can I do?" Meredith said around her tears, wondering if she really had gone too far and if it really was too late this time.

Belatedly she realised that there should have been no this time, not after the last time. She really did need to grow up, right now.

"I don't know." Addison finally said, sounding as sad as Meredith felt.

Meredith felt the weight of the situation press down on her and wondered what the hell she should do now?

There had to be something, anything. She had come this far, giving up was not an option, but right now she felt the anguish of hot tears as they cascaded down her face and splashed onto the kitchen countertop while Addison regarded the world outside in silence.

Addison believed Meredith. She knew that Meredith was sorry and she knew that Meredith realised her error. But what Addison was not sure of was if Meredith would learn the lesson she needed to learn. This had not been the first time Meredith had reacted poorly to a situation to the point where there had been consequences.

Of course, everyone made mistakes. Addison herself made them constantly, so maybe what was needed here was giving Meredith the chance to learn, but there had to be some ground rules. Addison was not going to put up with the sort of bullshit that had happened a few days ago ever again though. Once was all the learning that Meredith would get on that level of lesson.

"Addison." Meredith said at last, seeming to come out of her sad reverie.

There was something incredibly tenacious about the other woman, Addison decided.

Good for her.

"Please, Addison. Let me prove to you I have changed, that I can learn. Let me show you, please." Meredith moved up to Addison as she spoke and it was all Addison could do to not give in at once when those beloved hands touched her.

Was Meredith worth the possible pain if this went wrong again? Addison knew that she would be unable to survive it if Meredith turned on her again.

There were no more reserves left, none.

"Okay." Addison finally said, aware that Meredith had stilled her movements and was probably waiting for the axe to fall.

"Okay?" Meredith asked in a tearstained tone.

It broke Addison's heart, but she had to remain strong, never again would they be in this situation, ever.

"Yes." Addison said simply.

"I sense a but." Meredith said as she wrapped her arms around Addison more firmly, seeming to be unable to help herself.

It felt wonderful; too wonderful in fact.

"And you are right." Addison said with a sigh as she turned and wrapped her arms around Meredith in return and gave her a tight squeeze.

It felt heavenly, but she needed to think so she pulled away and backed up, putting some distance between them to allow her to do just that.

"Everyone makes mistakes, Meredith. This is not an issue of mistakes." Addison said, waving her hand between them.

Though it was also an issue of mistakes, for sure, but that was not the matter at hand, right now mistakes would wait until another time to be discussed, it would be too much for it to happen right now.

"This is an issue of trust, and betrayal. It was not a misunderstanding, or a jealous outburst. It was not miscommunication." Addison said as she reached for her now warm beer, wanting to give herself a moment to think.

"This was a betrayal, and for what? I know Lexie is your sister. But what she did, it was inexcusable. Lexie was wrong, one hundred percent wrong, in the wrong, and it was also disgusting." Addison continued after a moment.

Before Meredith could speak Addison held up a hand. "No, Meredith. I don't want to hear your excuses or reasons. I want to see a change." Addison sighed again before she continued. You will make other mistakes and I forgive you in advance for those, you'll tell white lies to me sometimes and I will understand that."

"Okay?" Addison queried and Meredith nodded.

She looked relieved and frightened all a the same time and Addison desperately wanted to make it easy for her, but she could not, would not.

Not this time. They had to get over this the right way, or it would haunt them for years, or forever.

"Mark my words though, Meredith. There will be no repeat of betrayal, though. Not by you to me, and not by me to you. This goes both ways." Addison finished as she went to the phone and decided that they needed to eat and that it was time to order in.

"This goes both ways. You have every right to be angry with me if I ever do anything like this to you. Heaven forbid that I ever do, but if by some unimaginable circumstance I do, then please, be angry with me." Addison said as she held the phone to her ear and waited for someone to pick up on the other end.

A few minutes later she was done ordering dinner and turned back to Meredith who was now seated, unmoving on a chair. "What are you thinking about?" Addison queried.

"Thank you." Meredith said.

"For?" Addison asked as she hunted for her wallet.

"For giving me another chance. You won't be sorry." Meredith said succinctly.

"I know." Addison said as she went to sit by Meredith to wait for dinner to arrive.

"Do you?" Meredith looked into Addison's eyes as she said the words.

Leaning forward Addison kissed those beloved lips gently. "Yes, I do know." Addison murmured.

"But you have some sucking up to do, Doctor Grey, so don't think you are not going to be giving me foot rubs and back rubs and making me breakfast in bed for the next while, either." Addison said with a gentle laugh.

"I'd do that anyway, Doctor Montgomery." Meredith murmured and smiled fully at her.

It was breathtaking.

"I've missed you." Addison said honestly.

She really had. Life had felt empty and incomplete.

Meredith leaned in and kissed Addison fully, puling her in tight and opening up, coaxing Addison to do the same. God, it felt so good to hold Meredith again. To kiss her again.

Addison had been convinced that she would never hold the other woman again and this was just a few hours ago. It was a good thing that Meredith Grey was stubborn and driven, or this might have ended. How tragic that would have been.


The indignant sound from around their feet reminded Addison of something else. Reaching down she picked up Milo and lifted him to her lap, and petting him generously as her fingers eased the ribbon from around his neck and freed the ring from his warm body.

The diamonds and gold sparkles in the evening light of the kitchen.

"Will you marry me?" Addison asked, looking up from the ring and into Meredith's eyes.

It was a far cry from what she had planned in the garage a few days ago. They were tired and tear stained, in California unexpectedly. Takeout was arriving, and who knows what would happen next, but Addison did not want to wait any longer.

She would not let this slip through her fingers.

"Yes." Meredith whispered leaning in to kiss Addison again.


The End

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