DISCLAIMER: Grey's Anatomy and its characters are the property of Shonda Rhimes and ABC. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Seasons 1-3.
The Good No-longer Shepherd
Addison sat down on a bench on a roof terrace, for once feeling no interest what so ever in cute viewfinders. The decision to leave Seattle was supposed to be so simple, why did it suddenly feel so goddamned hard? After all, she had nothing keeping her here. Except that she did...
She closed her eyes and let her thoughts wander. She started to think about what Isobel would have done if she had been here next to her. She smiled softly as she thought about the bubbly and passionate way the intern used to talk about her day and all her quirks and foibles as she described everything that was going on at the hospital. The blonde would have taken her hand and played absentmindedly with her fingers, almost like she wasn't aware of doing it. And she would laugh, suddenly and spontaneously, like it came from her heart. And once in a while, she would turn her head and look at Addison with such intensity in those weird cinnamon eyes that the attending would feel her heart beating like it was going to break free of her chest, and just close her eyes and wait for that kiss; the kiss that Izzie would steal from her after a quick glance to ensure that no one was around and
Abruptly, she stood up.
She started pacing to and fro in front of the bench.
Why hadn't she seen it before?
"Fuck!" she added for good measure.
"She's my McDreamy..."
The softly whispered words made so many things fall into place.
Back in her car, tapping the steering wheel restlessly, she felt ridiculously like a character in a rom-com. Addison Forbes Montgomery No-longer-Shepherd really hated rom-coms. On the rare occasion that she had taken in a film of that genre, she had always despised how the characters had to stumble around aimlessly for at least the standard 90 minutes before those morons finally realised what had been patently obvious to the viewer from the very beginning, that Harry loved Sally.
And now she had become one of those morons. It was awful, really, but the certainty grew within her with every second: Izzie was the only thing she really wanted. She had the stupid teenager-decease, to thick to realize that girl who had been there all the time was the love of their life, straight out of an eighties high school movie starring Patrick Dempsey.
Love of her life? Addison's hands started to tremble on the steering wheel. Is that what Izzie was? What about Derek? He was the love of her life, right? Her family? The truth was she had hardly thought about Derek during the months she had spent with Izzie. And this pain, her fear of having lost her forever, beat the crap out of what she had felt when Derek had told her that he loved Meredith.
"Damn it!" she swore loudly to herself as the red light seemed to refuse to change just to spite her.
Yes, she had become that character played by Meg Ryan. And there was a big chance that she had already managed to blow her chances of a happy-ever-after. So, it had come to this, Addison thought morosely to her self as she sped into the cliché on her way back to Seattle Grace Hospital, to tell the heroine what the audience had known from the beginning.
What had she expected? A rom-com ending? That she would climb up on the roof of a car and shout 'I love you', making Izzie turn around and smile a dazzling 1000 watt smile and then run to meet her, through the benevolent crowd, who weren't at all annoyed at the interruption of their daily routine, but rather cheering them on, giving them a round of applause as their lips met in a searing kiss?
Not only did Izzie refuse to talk to her, she sent Meredith Grey to tell her so.
Addison sat down on one of the benches outside of the hospital and cried a silent river, head in her hands. The humiliation was devastating. She wasn't sure for how long she sat there. Her hands became numb from the cold and she had to stamp her feet to keep warm.
What would Izzie have done for the one she loved? Anything, was the answer. She had literally killed and stolen for him.
Suddenly, Addison knew what she had to do.
After the arrangements were made, she went home to change. Carefully, she scrutinized her wardrobe and selected, after due consideration, a purple silk top that Izzie was particularly fond of. The skirt she selected to go with in was so black it could qualify as anti-matter. It had cost a fortune, was flattering in the extreme and Addison saved it for times when she really, really needed to impress people. The choice of shoes took the longest. She went over and over it in her head, but it had to be The Shoes. They were the most beautiful things she had ever seen and the shoe fetishist in her had immediately known that she had to have them. They spoke to the more frivolous side of her personality, the one that she rarely showed. The shoes were fuchsia, shockingly bright and in a gorgeous matted silk. Addison had known that she would ruin them the first time she wore them and had therefore saved them, pristine in their box, tucked away on the top shelf of the hotel wardrobe, waiting for that one special moment, which demanded the world's most beautiful shoes. And this was it.
If there was something she bitterly regretted about the way her and Derek's marriage ended, it was how she had let it just die slowly of suffocation. Never again. If she lost this battle, she was going to loose it fighting to the end.
Slowly and with the utmost care, she put new make-up on. This was it, this was both love and war, and she intended to be appropriately attired and adorned for the final battle.
When she had finished, she looked at herself in the mirror. She knew that the moments to come would define the rest of her life. Slowly, she stepped into The Shoes. They kept their promise: she felt like she could face anything.
"You WILL remove these inappropriate displays, Dr Montgomery. This is a HOSPITAL."
Miranda Bailey spoke to her in the voice she usually saved for interns who had done wrong. Like cut LVAD-wires... She tried to Stare her down.
It was frightening, Addison acknowledged that. But if Miranda Bailey was the only obstacle she had to overcome to get her great love back, then she would count herself lucky.
"You can put those down over there, please."
The delivery man, carrying what could only be described as a sea of red roses, did as she said, with a terrified glance at Miranda Bailey.
"I'm sorry Miranda, but no can do. She won't talk to me and if this is the only way I can tell her how I feel, I have to do it. You're right, it's inappropriate. But I love her, Miranda. I'll do anything to get her back. Including fight you."
"You love her, huh? Took you long enough to figure that one out."
Bailey kept the stare up.
Addison looked back, steady as a rock. Miranda Bailey wasn't the only surgeon at Seattle Grace with a patented Stare.
"I cannot HAVE red roses on my surgical floor, Montgomery."
"Sorry Miranda, the roses are staying."
"They are BREAKING the rules."
"So rapport me to the chief."
She stepped closer to Bailey and put an entreating hand on her angry shoulder.
"Miranda, you're right, I broke her. I broke her heart. Help me unbreak it."
"Generally speaking, I think that the only thing that can heal a broken heart is a running whip stitch and some recovery time, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt."
She took her pager out and started punching numbers in.
A few moments later, the great love of Addison Forbes Montgomery came running down the hall, making almost no sound in her soft trainers. Her chest was heaving from the run and platinum locks fell freely around her face.
Addison's heart beat so hard... It was all so clear to her now. Isobel Stevens was everything. She was perfect. Perfect for her. Addison finally understood the true meaning of the word adoration. The certainty unclenched her tense stomach and made it flutter with butterflies. But there was also the blind panic. What if it was really and truly too late? What if she had thrown her only chance at happiness away out of sheer stupidity? Her hands felt cold and clammy. She wiped them nervously on her skirt.
At that moment, Izzie spotted her. And froze...
Bailey scowled at her and barked:
"Stevens. You're with Montgomery."
Then she turned to Addison and pointed an accusing finger at her.
"You have TEN minutes. At the most. Then I WILL need my intern back. This is a HOSPITAL, not a dating service!"
"And YOU need to find somewhere to put THOSE!"
She Stared at Izzie and nodded at the roses.
Izzie's voice sounded tense and small. Her face had suddenly become very white.
Bailey stared her down.
"With all due respect, Dr Bailey, Dr Montgomery isn't on duty right now, so I'd prefer to be assigned to another doctor. Maybe I can assist Dr Sloan?"
Addison felt sick. She knew how Izzie felt about Mark and she would still rather run and fetch him cappuccinos than talk to her.
"Dr Stevens, if I made this sound optional in any way, I'm sorry for being unclear."
"No. This is a teaching hospital. I demand to be taught."
Izzie was angry now.
"I think you fools could teach each other quite a lot."
Then her face and her voice softened. She put her tiny but oh, so powerful, hand on Izzie's arm.
"Izzie... I know these things are hard, but I need to ask you to do this. You and Dr. Montgomery have both been preoccupied lately and that is bad for my hospital, bad for my patients and most importantly: bad for you. So please do this for me, ok?"
Izzie bent her head down and nodded, almost imperceptibly.
Angry Bailey was hard to resist, but kind Bailey was impossible.
"Try not to blow it this time, will you?"
It was barely audible, but Bailey's Stare left no doubt about to whom she was taking.
"Oh, and be discreet and take it into the supply closet. I understand that is a favourite meeting place."
When Bailey was gone, an uncomfortable silence descended on the both of them. Addison let out a breath that she didn't realise that she had been holding. Somewhere deep inside, she knew she was still hoping for that rom-com ending. In reality, it wasn't like that. It was awkward and painful and she had no idea what to say next.
Izzie marched into the supply closet and deliberately didn't turn to look if Addison followed.
When the door discreetly clicked shut behind her, she took a deep breath and turned to face her, arms defensively crossed.
"Isobel... We really need to talk about earlier. About us..."
"Do we? What's there to talk about? You're leaving, I'm leaving, we fell into bed together for old time's sake. I don't have time for this, I have patients."
Izzie had promised herself never to let her close enough to hurt her again. There was a big lump in her throat threatening to transform into tears, but she was damned if she was crying in front of Addison Montgomery for a second time today. The roses were confusing, yes, and shocking and alluring, but this was the new Indifferent Izzie, focused only on the job, and she wouldn't be deceived by the siren call of Addison, who was leaving Seattle Grace, leaving her...
"Don't do this, talk to me! I know I've been blind, but I've finally realised what you mean to me."
"Oh, I'm sure you have. Good sex, right? Yes, it was good, but now it's over. Thanks for the flowers, Addie, but I'm not going to sleep with you again, you'll have to ask Dr. Sloan for sexual favours. You're used to that, so it won't be much of a change."
She turned and walked out, slamming the door behind her.
Addison just stood there and gaped for a moment before snapping out of the devastating realisation that the conversation couldn't have gone any worse.
She followed her out of the supply closet and saw her angry back making its way across the over walk. She knew she had to do anything to stop her. Anything...
She took a deep breath, ripped her heart out and put it on her sleeve.
"I love you!"
She didn't shout it, she just said it clearly, so that Izzie would be certain to hear it. The acoustics were brilliant at Seattle Grace and her voice was magnified by the surrounding space.
Below, a bunch of flabbergasted colleagues stared up at her. The Chief, nurse Olivia, certain to have spread it all over the cafeteria before night fall, Mark, Cristina Yang, Miranda Bailey... But she couldn't have cared less.
Right now, all she cared about was the pain in her chest as Izzie didn't even slow down for her 'I love you'.
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