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
Three years later
Dr. Isobel Stevens stood in the elevator going up to the surgical floor of Seattle Grace. She winced a little and rubbed her hand across a spot in the small of her back. Her feet were aching.
The doors opened and Dr. Mark Sloan walked in.
He kissed Izzie affectionately on the cheek.
"How's my baby mama?"
"My back is killing me. Other than that, great. A little hormonal, maybe."
Her eyes widened.
"Mark! Our baby just kicked like crazy! Come on, feel it!"
A few moments later, the doors opened again to reveal Dr. Addison Forbes Montgomery No-longer-in- any-way-Shepherd. Her eyes narrowed dangerously as she saw Mark Sloan kneeling on the floor in front of Isobel Stevens, embracing her.
"Dr. Stevens, Dr. Sloan. That's hardly appropriate behaviour. Explain yourselves!"
"Kicking like a champion!"
Izzie beamed at her.
"Yup. You can tell she's a Sloan."
Mark also beamed. He was such a ridiculously proud father-to-be.
"I wonder if you can be a bad influence on this baby even before it leaves the womb. I'll have to research that."
Then her face softened.
"It's an amazing thing you're doing for us, Mark. I still don't know how to thank you."
"Yeah, yeah, I'm growing."
She walked over to Izzie's other side and took Mark's hand in hers. She placed it on just the right spot on Izzie's stomach to feel the baby moving and gently caressed it with her own.
Looking into the faces of Izzie and Mark, sometimes she couldn't help but think the shallow thought that this might possibly become the most beautiful child ever born.
Izzie leant her tired head on Addison's shoulder.
Cristina Yang came walking round the corner and caught the sight in front of her.
"Baby bliss. I think I just was just a little sick in my own mouth."
"Shut up, Cristina." Izzie said benevolently.
"You should be really happy. This means one less competitor for Chief Resident."
"Yeah, right, like you ever had a shot, Blondie."
"Actually, Yang, she did. Her work with the clinic has been more than impressive. But there are more important things in life."
The voice of Miranda Bailey.
Addison nodded emphatically. She knew that this pretty much killed her chances of ever being Chief, but she didn't care anymore.
"So how are we today?" Bailey said with exaggeratedly clear enunciation in the general direction of Izzie's womb. She took a sip from her mocha latte and smiled benevolently.
Izzie suddenly broke into a run and disappeared.
"The smell of coffee triggers her morning sickness, and it's getting worse again. We thought we were over that stage, but I guess we were wrong. I'm doing strictly herbal teas at home. It's awful. Sorry, duty calls," Addison said apologetically.
About a quarter of an hour later, Izzie sat on the bathroom floor next to Addison, pale and weary. The attending was comfortingly caressing her back.
"Why didn't you remind me it was going to be like this? I haven't done this for twelve years, you could have warned me! This is your specialty; you knew it was going to be awful trying to combine hormones, morning sickness and swollen feet with being a resident. Damn it Addison, you should have known better!"
Izzie's cheeks blushed red with anger as she got up from the floor with the grace of a beached whale and glared at Addison, who just sat there and let Izzie's bad mood wash over her. When Izzie marched out and slammed the door, she got up and leant against the counter and looked at her watch with a calm smile on her face.
"Ten, nine, eight..."
She counted down silently to herself.
When she got to "two" the door slammed open again and Izzie launched herself at her.
"Darling... I'm sorry..."
And she kissed her over and over again, telling her that she loved her and Addison thought that they should fight more, because the making up was so sweet. There wasn't anything quite like having a penitent and hormonal Izzie wrapped around her, gushing words of praise and adoration to make your day a little brighter...
"I love you too honey, I'm yours to yell at whenever you like. You're right, I did get you pregnant in the middle of your residency. Which isn't fair."
"No fair." Izzie mumbled against her lips.
"You'll have to make it up to me, you know..."
"That I can do..." Addison whispered back.
"I'm sorry for being such a hormonal bitch."
"Oh, that's ok. You'll just have to make it up to me..."
"No, I don't. I'm carrying your child. I vomit, swell and ache for you. But I will anyway, just because I'm such a good person."
Sitting in her office filling out charts, a dark, brightly lit Seattle outside of her window, Addison couldn't resist taking the box out of her handbag and looking at it again. She smiled at her own guilty pleasure. She remembered another guilty pleasure as she thought of the thumbed old copy of Seattle Magazine she still had hidden away in her desk drawer for sentimental reasons. Izzie had signed it for her. "To my McDarling, who preferred the live version, from Bethany Whisper."
Lost in her reveries, she was just a little bit slow on putting the box back in the drawer as a brief knock on the door was followed by Miranda Bailey. She looked at the drawer and back up at Addison's face with raised eyebrows.
"That wouldn't just happen to be an engagement ring in that box, would it?"
Miranda Bailey gave her the Stare.
Addison stared back for a few seconds before caving.
"Maybe... Ok, yes. Yes, it's a ring."
"Addison Montgomery, are you going to ask Izzie Stevens to marry you? To-day?"
"I don't know."
Addison had a big frown on her face.
There was the Stare again...
"I keep telling myself that I should wait for the perfect time. When you propose, you should do the champagne, caviar, roses and romantic mood music thing, right? Right now, she shouldn't have champagne or raw food and we can just barely hug, let alone dance. Also, we've never really talked about marriage and she's nine months pregnant. Maybe she has enough on her plate to worry about right know, you know? Or what if she says no?"
"For god's sake, Addison! The woman is carrying your child and that doesn't spell commitment to you? She's not going to say no!"
"I suppose not..."
"So what's the real reason?"
"When the divorce between me and Derek was final, I swore I'd never go through that kind of pain again, so I promised myself not to get married ever again. And we're doing so well, so I guess I'm afraid of jinxing it. And I don't think I'd survive if she left me again."
"So why did you buy a ring, if that's how you feel?"
"There was something about this ring that just said Isobel Stevens. I had this really strong urge to see this ring on her finger and I wanted to be the one who put it there."
Addison reluctantly pulled the midnight blue velvet box out of her hand bag and opened it.
"What do you think? Is it ok?"
The ring was shaped like a symmetrical diamond drop, with tiny, itty bitty diamonds around the edge. It was by no means small, but Addison still thought it was tasteful.
"My god. "
Bailey's eyes widened as she saw the ring resting majestically on its cushion.
"You hate it. You think it's tacky."
"I don't think you could do tacky if you tried." Miranda Bailey said calmly.
"So you think it will be ok?"
"I think it will be much more than ok."
Miranda smiled at her.
"Addison, look, only you can know how you feel. But if you felt like buying a ring, maybe that meant something. And for what it's worth, I don't think I've ever seen anyone so in love as Izzie Stevens with you. So as long as you have no plans to break her heart, maybe it's time you made an honest woman of my intern. And as for the perfect time; we're surgeons, there's no such time as the perfect time. If you plan champagne and roses, you can bet your life that one of you will get paged in for a trauma."
Addison bent down and hugged her.
"Right as always."
Just before they went their separate ways, Bailey gave her a once over and huffed in her usual style.
"You must be richer than God, woman!"
The next morning, they met in the parking lot going in.
"So? Did you do it?"
Addison took a deep breath. This was it...
"Yes. Yes, I did."
Miranda Bailey was probably the person least interested in gossip in all of Seattle Grace. Evidently, this one was too good even for her to pass up.
"Let's just say that you can practise using Montgomery-Stevens. On both of us."
Bailey beamed at her.
"That's wonderful, Addison..."
Addison hugged her.
"Will you be my matron of honour?"
"Addison Forbes Montgomery, you bet your ten blade I will!"
"But let's keep it a secret, ok? We haven't told anyone yet."
Miranda Bailey found Izzie alone looking at x-rays.
She smiled gently at her former intern's back.
"Dr St... Dr Montgomery-Stevens?"
Izzie took a deep breath.
"Do that again."
Bailey frowned at her.
"Do what again?"
Then it dawned on her.
"Dr Montgomery-Stevens, I need your help."
"Dr Montgomery-Stevens, I do NOT have all day."
She couldn't keep the smile out of her voice.
They walked together to the nurses' station to pick some charts up. Izzie stood next to her when she got a weird look on her face.
"Dr Bailey, I think I need your help again."
"Izzie, I am not going spend my day calling you Montgomery-Stevens over and over again," Miranda Bailey hissed under her breath.
"Miranda... I think my water just broke."
"Oh MY god, ok, right..."
Bailey tried to gather her wits as she supported Izzie's weight with her arm around her shoulders.
She saw Addison one floor down, talking animatedly to Mark Sloan. She wasn't in a position to get her pager out of her pocket, so instead she bellowed without thinking:
"DR SLOAN! DR MONTGOMERY-STEVENS!!"
Then she slapped her free hand over her mouth as she saw Addison's gobsmacked expression.
Meredith Grey, Cristina Yang and George O'Malley turned around as one person.
A YEAR LATER.
The shrill noise of a baby crying cut through the air and woke Addison up with a start. It took her a few seconds to regain consciousness. She had been sleeping like a log. So had Izzie, judging by the groaning noises next to her. Still half asleep, Izzie pulled the pillow over her head.
"I'll get her, go back to sleep."
"S'alright, I can go."
Izzie's sleepy voice was hardy audible.
"Honey, you were in surgery until past midnight."
When she didn't sleep in their bed, the baby slept in a small room en-suite to their bedroom, originally intended as a walk-in closet. Addison had insisted that she was reaching new heights of human growth when she gave the space up for a conveniently located nursery instead of letting all of her shoes live there in the style that they deserved. Izzie had just rolled her eyes at that comment.
"Hey, hey, Miranda Marcia Forbes Montgomery-Stevens, what's all the noise about?"
She lifted the almost ridiculously blond baby out of its crib and started rocking it gently. The screaming turned to crying, but didn't stop. She sighed and made her way to the kitchen. Yawning, she prepared a bottle for her daughter and carried her back upstairs to sit in the comfy chair in their bedroom while she fed it to her. Izzie seemed to be sleeping under the pillow.
She looked at the enlargement of their wedding photo on the wall above the headboard. She had bribed the sales clerk to never reveal the price of the gown that Izzie had worn, since she knew that she would have been horrified and refused to let Addison pay for it if she knew how much it had actually cost.
When she had come walking towards her on that day, her curly hair festooned with flowers, she was so beautiful that Addison actually, just for a brief moment, felt sick to her stomach from the intensity of it. And then there was the short stab of angst. What if she messed this up?
But then Izzie smiled, and her strange brown eyes, sparkling with expectation and emotion, had looked into Addison's stormy seas blue...
Their relationship wasn't picture perfect. They fought sometimes. Explosively.
Addison was very possessive, she knew that. Once, when Izzie had stayed out all night with the other interns and forgot to turn her cell phone on, Addison waited up for her, anxiety making her heart beat so fast it hurt, and with the bad taste of fear in her mouth. When Izzie finally made it home in a state of fairly raucous drunkenness, she had asked for kisses and instead, she had gotten a hysterically screaming Addison, who had thrown the tantrum of the century. To say that Izzie sobered up fast was an understatement. She had spent the rest of the night holding her sobbing girlfriend, stroking her hair and whispering endearments in her ear. From this she gleaned that Addison felt a little threatened and excluded by her intense friendship with the other interns, that she suffered from separation anxiety after the divorce and was in great need of reassurance. She never forgot to send a text message or call when she was staying out after that night. And often, she would bring Addison with her when she went to Joe's or had lunch with the other interns, even though she knew they hated it and felt they couldn't relax when their boss was there. But it's what you do if you love someone. Meredith still mumbled something about therapy under her breath almost every time whenever Izzie and Addison kissed or touched each other in public.
This didn't mean than Addison didn't allow herself to become snippy sometimes when Izzie "played with her little friends" as she would call it when she was in a bad mood. She still remembered their disdain from when Izzie and she where apart. But she had also learned to restrain herself and give Izzie some space.
Izzie, on her part, was extremely jealous, which she was aware of. This didn't mean she could conceal it all the time, however. Early on in their relationship, she had once refused to talk to Addison for two whole days, after "catching her" as she put it, hugging Mark Sloan. Whenever a patient gave Addison the eye or gave her a compliment, Izzie was furious. But she had also learned to hold back most of the time, and even encouraged Addison to socialize with Mark Sloan on her own. To everyone's surprise, Mark, Izzie and Addison had become best friends and some people called them "the threesome" behind their backs. Hell, they had even had Meredith and Derek over for dinner successfully, even though Addison had held Izzie's hand and given her constant affection throughout, just as a precaution.
Addison's guilty secret was that she found Izzie's jealously so hot that she had even provoked it by some light flirting a few times in the early days, when she was still insecure enough to look for constant confirmation of her love and desire.
Little Miranda made a noise and scrunched her nose up, before looking up at Addison with her perfect copies of Izzie's expressive brown eyes. The look in them was completely open and trusting. Izzie used to look at her like that sometimes, in the OR, or just before lying down to sleep on her shoulder. When her daughter had looked at her like that for the first time, Addison had truly understood the meaning of the words unconditional love.
She had insisted that a huge copy of their wedding photo was put up on their bedroom wall to remind her self of how she should savour every moment of it. She and Derek had been bad at the savouring, at least in the end, and she was going to make damn sure that she didn't make that mistake again. Izzie had said that it was smug of them to have a picture of themselves looking their best on the wall, but Addison simply replied that she had a lot to be smug about.
Izzie stirred underneath the pillow and looked up, all wild-haired and sleepy-eyed.
"I'm just looking at our wedding picture."
Izzie smiled. An adorable, sleepy half-assed kind of smile. She sat up on the edge of the bed.
"Did you take my robe again?"
She liked wearing things that smelt of Izzie.
Izzie sighed and rummaged around for Addison's blue satin, which had now seen better days. It even had a tear in the hem around the neck after a particularly passionate love making session a few years ago, but Izzie loved it and refused to let Addison throw it away. She said that she fell in love with Addison in that robe and it was there to stay. She shuffled away to the bathroom.
Addison gently hoisted baby Miranda up on her shoulder and patted her on the back, making cooing noises. She was making all the classical mistakes with their baby: spoiling her rotten, pampering her in every possible way, always letting her sleep in their bed if she wanted to, always picking her up the second she started to cry. And she had every intention of continuing.
The desired burp happened, but just as she was getting up to put her back to bed, she felt something warm and wet on her shoulder. She sighed again and picked up some Kleenex.
She put the baby back in her crib and caressed her tiny back. Izzie came back from the bathroom and stood beside her, stroking her daughter's soft blond curls. She turned and looked at the picture.
"You looked really beautiful in that dress. But you were even more beautiful later when I took it off..."
"I was." Addison replied calmly and put her arms around her.
"You smell like baby vomit."
Izzie sighed and leant her head on Addison's shoulder.
"If I didn't have an early surgery, I would seduce you, baby spew and all."
"If you didn't have an early surgery, I would let you."
"Baring exciting traumas..."
She just about had the energy to take Izzie's robe off before they lay down together, Addison's head on Izzie's shoulder.
"Goodnight, love of my life."
Within seconds, they drifted off to sleep.
(Real love, The Smashing Pumpkins)
And they lived happily ever after.
Yes, Shonda, I'm still talking to you...
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