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
By Reallybigpineapple


Part 9

"Come on, Addie, you're not listening. Claude is that guy to the left, the one with the faux-hawk. B.J's not a guy, she the girl in the Vivienne Westwood rip-off. She's the one who made that evening dress we hated last week."

"We did? Seriously?"

"Addie! Seriously."

Izzie sighed and rolled her eyes, but Addison could feel her smile, even though the intern was sitting with her back against Addison's front.

Half an hour later, Addison thought she would rest her eyes, for just a moment...

She jerked awake with a sense of panic, finding it difficult to breathe.

"Addie? What's wrong?"

Izzie's slowly moved from her position leaning against Addison's chest and rubbed her sleepy eyes.

"What? I must have fallen asleep."

"Yes. We both did. You said my name, that's why I woke up."

"I did? Well, guess I must have been dreaming."

"Anything good?"

"Don't know, can't remember."

As they undressed sleepily and lay back down, under the covers this time, the dream came galloping back into Addison's brain at a breakneck speed.

A barefoot Izzie, wearing a shapeless, washed out sundress, and very pregnant. The tiny room around her contained several blond children of various ages. Addison sat on the doorstep of what was obviously a trailer home, drinking beer, wearing torn jeans and a wifebeater. Two of the blond children came over and crawled into her lap and hugged her.

"Richard! Miranda! Leave your father alone, she's busy."

Addison couldn't imagine what with, since she was just sitting here drinking beer, but the blond children did as Izzie said and climbed down. Her white trash wife came and sat next to her. She removed a grubby baseball cap from Addison's head, which turned out to have "best in my field" embroidered on it and kissed her cheek.

"More beer, honey?"

Addison shook her head.

"Thanks, sugar, but I'm fine."

She put her arm protectively around Izzie's fragile shoulders as the blonde leant into her.

It wasn't the fact that she had seemed to be gender confused, or that she lived in a trailer park, or even that she didn't seem to have a job, but a whole bunch of children by her mysteriously impregnated wife, that made her gasp in shock as she remembered. It was the fact that against all odds, she had been so happy with her life in that dream that the feeling still lingered in her stomach.

"You ok?"

Izzie looked at her with a concerned expression.

"I'm fine, I'm just a bit overheated."

She went into the bath room and closed the door. She splashed water on her face and ignored the look of panic in her own eyes. When she got back to the bed, she lay down with a safe distance between her and Izzie.

The following morning, she still couldn't shake the dream. She even had a feeling she might have had a similar one this night, since she could distinctly remember the feeling of running her hand over Izzie's rounded belly coupled with an intense protectiveness and a vague image of a 50s setting, white picket fence, Stepford feel to it...

She flinched when Izzie snuggled closer with a contented sound.

She scrunched her nose up and muttered something, while she wrapped one leg around Addison's. She yawned widely and Addison's heart melted. She temporarily forgot her feelings of unease as she watched Izzie wake up.

"Good morning..."

Addison gently caressed her face with the back of her hand.

Without opening her eyes, she rolled over on top of Addison and lay her head down on her chest.

"Morning." she replied in a voice that wasn't quite awake yet.

Addison wouldn't have been either if it hadn't been for that damn dream... Izzie gradually forced her eyelids apart to look up and find Addison watching her with a smile. The instinct to offer her lips up for kissing was instant. The kiss was soft and gentle, just right for this early in the morning.



"You and me... I really like this... thing that we have."

Izzie was suddenly wide awake. She looked into Addison's eyes to see if there were any clues on what was coming next.

"Me too…"

She hadn't prayed in a long time, but she did now…

"It's such a relief just to have fun, no strings attached, no heartbreak. Mutual carnal amusement is just what the doctor ordered."

She leant down for another kiss, smiling. Izzie was so shocked she didn't think to pull away, but her lips didn't respond. Addison might as well have slapped her as kissed her.

Stupid, stupid... Izzie felt the tears burn behind her eyelids. How the hell could she have been so stupid to think that this had meant something to Addison? After all, she was Izzie Stevens, patron saint of falling in love with the wrong person…

"Yes. Yes, it's great. Just having fun."

Her voice sounded strange, but Addison didn't seem to notice.

"Oh, it's late; I'd better take a shower and get dressed."

"You have to? I thought we had an hour and I was hoping that maybe…"

Addison gave her a look that would have been irresistible at any other time, but right now Izzie couldn't bear to be around her. She quickly extricated herself from their embrace.

"Sorry, promised George I'd check on one of his patients for him, have to be in a little earlier today." she lied swiftly.

In the shower, she finally allowed herself to let bitter tears mix with the hot water. She didn't wash her hair. She usually did, since she liked having the scent of Addison's shampoo on her all day, but not today…

When she stepped out of the shower, Addison was there brushing her teeth.

"You ok? Your eyes look a bit…"

"I think I might have become allergic to your shampoo. Shouldn't use it anymore."

The answer came swiftly. Another easy lie…

She got dressed in record speed and threw a hasty "Got to go, see you later" over her shoulder.

Addison came out of the bathroom with a surprised look on her face.

"Were you going to leave just like that? Don't you have something for your favourite attending?"

She walked up to Izzie, wrapped her arms around her neck and leant in for a goodbye kiss. There was a look of expectation on her face. These goodbye kisses could get very hot and heavy in Addison's experience… Her eyes flew open in surprise as Izzie just barely, chastely brushed her lips with her own.

"Are you coming over tonight?"

Izzie realized she should have expected that. After all, according to Addison, nothing was wrong, they were "just having fun".

"I'll try, I have a patient that might need monitoring."

"Oh, I don't mind if you come late, whenever is fine, just call when you're on your way."

"Ok, I'll try."

She tried to sound breezy.

"I miss working with you."

"Me too."

At least Izzie really meant that part…

The rest of the day was spent in a dreamlike condition, feeling guilty about not thinking constantly about Denny anymore mixed with a sense of despair. Was this going to be her life? Serving her heart up on a platter time and time again, just to get it broken? She had stupidly thought that Addison had been the cure, while all along she had been a symptom of the illness. She felt sick of herself.

When George asked her to go to Joe's with them, she gratefully accepted. There was no way she was spending the night at the Archfield with Addison, pretending to 'just have fun'…

George looked strangely serious when he sat down next to her and pushed a vodka tonic toward her, which she gratefully accepted. Meredith sat down to her right with her customary tequila. Cristina tried to catch Joe's attention and Alex gave her a dirty look as he hit the bull's eye of the darts board.

"This is great, just like old times…"

Izzie was starting to feel a little less like road kill. These were her guys, her family. Screw Addison! Actually, better not, that's what got me into trouble in the first place…

"Soo… About this mystery guy of yours…"

"George, can we not talk about that tonight? I really need a break."

Meredith leant toward her.

"Things not going so well?"

Since when did Meredith care about other people's love life?

"Not great, no. Can we let it go?"

Meredith shoved Cristina.

"We're here for you, if you want to talk about it."

"You are offering me to talk about feelings?"

"Meredith made me. Ow!"

"You are really starting to freak me out. What is this?"

"We just want you to know that you can talk to us. No matter what."

"No matter who the guy might be."

"Yes, we won't freak out or anything. Seriously."

Izzie cell phone started ringing. She looked down at the display:

Dr. M

Oh yes, you would freak out if you knew who the 'guy' is, she thought to herself as she let Addison's call go to voice mail with a childish sense of satisfaction.

Addison was pacing. She had tried to read an article in The Lancet about the latest findings on cystic fibrosis in premature infants. She was very thorough when it came to keeping up with the latest research. And she was one of the foremost in the field of treating this decease in preemie cases, and really interested in what European clinical trials had shown and …. Why the hell couldn't she focus!?

So, it was already 23.30 and Izzie hadn't shown. Or called. Or even sent a text message, but that was fine, because she was fine. Seriously. Izzie hadn't exactly promised anything and she was probably stuck with a patient and they weren't a couple, so technically she didn't owe her any phone calls, so she was just upset because it was impolite not to answer your phone. Really impolite, and the only reason she was feeling so agitated was that it reminded her of waiting for Derek, when he used to stay out late without calling and she thought he was with Meredith and… It had nothing to do with having turned into a woman who sat by the phone feeling all weepy and anxious because a blonde centrefold twelve years her junior hadn't called and because she had been so weird this morning. She hadn't even kissed her back. Because it had nothing to do with that. It didn't. Seriously.

She looked at the display of her Blackberry again, but it was every bit as blank as it had been ten minutes ago. Maybe she should send another text, maybe Izzie hadn't heard the first one come through. Or call again. But she had already called twice… and sent a text message less than hour ago, but she chose to ignore that last thought. She spent almost ten minutes on finding a sufficiently light tone for the message.

Hi. Stuck with a patient? I'll be up a while longer, so just let me know if you're coming. Doesn't matter if it's late, I'm here if you feel like talking or if you don't ;0) Hugs, A

She hesitated before pressing the send button, but finally took a deep breath and did it anyway. She sat there for at least five minutes after that, staring intently at the screen. But nothing.

Izzie could hardly believe it when she got a second text in less than two hours. Not to mention the two phone calls… In just a week, she had become addicted to being near Addison almost constantly. When she saw the tentative message, the longing almost made her leave the bar stool where she had been planted for the last three hours, with a drink glued to her hand in the traditional Seattle Grace method of drowning your sorrows, and rush to meet her. But then she replayed the scene from this morning and remembered how the attending had broken her fragile dreams with just one well aimed blow and deleted it.

Addison shocked herself by bursting into tears that night, as she was laying there staring at the ceiling, wondering where Izzie was. But it had nothing to do with Izzie, it was just that her life was difficult right now. Divorced, alone, not knowing where her career was going… Nothing to do with the absence of Izzie…

Izzie was no stranger to tears as she sat in the kitchen of Ellis Grey's house and realized that for the first time since she moved in, she didn't feel at home here. Since it was too late to start baking, she tried to cure her pain by eating extensive amounts of ice cream, but with unusually limited success. This time, she thought she might actually, literally be going crazy. How could she have imagined the bond she had thought existed between her and Addison? How could she even have contemplated that Addison might… come on say it! Fall in love with her? An intern who used to support herself by posing in her underwear, raised in a trailer park, and an upper class, top notch surgeon with a huge trust fund, a house overlooking Central Park, a taste in fashion that fitted Milan as well as Seattle and one of the most beautiful men Izzie had ever seen desperate for her attention, how could she have been that stupid? Addison had probably just wanted what most people wanted from Izzie: to see her naked and use her as a plaything for a while. She was a pretty girl, she got it... She had just been fooled by Addison's sex, that's all. Just because she was a woman didn't mean she was any different in her desires from the others who used to ogle Izzie openly in the corridors of Seattle Grace or in the glossy airbrushed pictures that showed significantly more of her …

She looked up as she heard soft steps.

"Do you ever feel like there are rules to this game that everyone else seems to know but you? Or just that there's something wrong with you and no-one bothered to tell you?"

"All the time" Meredith said as she sat down next to her. She accepted the spoon gratefully from Izzie's hand and asked no questions as she leant her head on her shoulder. Meredith recognized pain when she saw it and also knew when comfort without questions was called for.

Part 10

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