waltzmatildah: (greys: alex and addison layin' back)
[personal profile] waltzmatildah
Title: Over And Over In My Head
Fandom: Grey's Anatomy (and Private Practice)
Characters/Pairing: Addison, Addison/Alex (implied past Alex/Izzie)
Word Count: 1525
Rating: R
Summary: Addison learns something she probably shouldn't know. A surprise reunion of sorts ends in secrets spilled over house white and tequila shots. AU future-fic.
Author's Note: Secret Santa fic for the always awesome [livejournal.com profile] sweetone41185. No Owen in sight, hun! I don't like him either!! Sorry it's not Addie/Derek... :( Title and cut text from Finally See Our Way by Art vs Science.



She came across the information by way of office gossip. Los Angeles differed from Seattle very little in that respect. She got two from someone and another two from someone else and managed to come up with a pretty convincing four.

There were never names involved, but the information she did receive was more than compelling. She figured it out and then promptly forgot it all in the space of one emergency cesarean. She half convinces herself that she actually sees Izzie Stevens once, a tall, blonde woman darting out the practice doors with her chin dipped to her toes. Momentarily considers persuing the figure to confirm her suspicions before deciding against the move at the last minute.

Convinced as she already is that the puzzle pieces fit seamlessly. Naomi always was the best, after all...

She's back where it all started when it pops into her head again. Three quarters to almost full on a bottle of house white at a bar that isn't Joe's but might as well be. Just the right amount of pissed off at Sloan, or Shepherd, or maybe even a combination of them both, to convince her that cheap booze and cold comfort are exactly what she needs.

Coming back always did leave a bittersweet tang at the back of her throat.





*





In hindsight, the tequila shots are a bad idea. But tequila plural in any form generally is. And she should be getting too old for this but her shoes are kicked to off under her stool and the bartender is threatening to cut her steady supply of house white, though she knows he'd have done it drinks ago if he was serious, and the figure sliding to seated on her left is most definitely getting lucky tonight.

Oh, yeah.

“Doctor Montgomery Shepherd...”

And there's a name she hasn't heard in years. Forgets for a moment that it was hers... once. She slides her eyes to meet the syrupy syllables. Feels something in her chest shift by inches and degrees at the sight of him. A familiar smirk that she should have forgotten completely by now but hasn't even come close to.

Time has chipped away at his edges. And it's not the booze talking when she calculates his angles are not as sharp as they once were, the bite of his bark not at cutting.

“Doctor Karev. Fancy seeing you here...” She lifts her wine glass in his direction sloppily. Manages not to lose too much of the contents over the lipstick stained rim. A glass of something amber is settled in front of him and he wraps surgeon's fingers around the cheap crystal, reciprocates the gesture with a little more coordination that she could muster in its initiation.

“Fancy, indeed...”





*





In the aftermath, the exact time line of events is more than a lot too muddled to completely straighten out. The big hand on her watch had most definitely passed the stroke of midnight but she's confident that the hour had yet to turn indecent.

They swap an easy brand of banter over the time it takes for him to catch her up somewhat. Top shelf bourbon eventually making way for whatever's on tap and stale beer nuts served in shallow wicker baskets. Whether he's drinking to forget or forgetting to remember she doesn't quite manage to decipher.

“Oh, and congratulations I guess. How's fatherhood treating you anyway? Obviously pretty well if you can...” The deepening look of confusion that fills his face isn't enough to stop the spill of consonants and vowels that drip unimpeded from the tip of her tongue, “... you know...” She gestures expansively at the pub's interior. As though the motion itself may hold all the answers.

“What?”

“Well, I mean, you're here. And it's a school night and everything. So the leash you're on can't be too tight. Funny, I always figured Izzie Stevens would be a high maintenance baby mommy...” And when the words finally roll off her tongue, slippery slick and irretrievable, no matter how desperately she may want for them to be, storm clouds of the fiercest order descend with a vengeance.

He jerks to standing in a series of motions that don't seem nearly congruent with human movement. Tips his bar stool to backwards and falling and barely seems to notice the crash of metal on hardwood as it comes to a rolling rest in the hastily vacated space behind him.

“Alex?”

“What did you say?”

And she gets it then. The tequila and the wine and stale stench of cigarette smoke that hasn't existed in this space for years now shift just enough that the final pieces of the puzzle slide mercilessly into place.





*





She tells him what she knows. What she's deduced. How she got two and then two more and came up with a pretty convincing four all those months and years ago. And while that odd feeling of forced sobriety settles over her like a heavy cloak, she watches his face tell the story his voice refuses to.

Despair. Fury. Hurt.

Loneliness.

She apologises. Loses count of the myriad ways in which she manages to say the words.

He shrugs his shoulders in a manner that is meant to demonstrate his disinterest. In the story, in her platitudes, in anything but the clear liquor he's taken to tipping back. One cracked shot glass at a time. His shoulders slide up to meet his ears, the right a little higher than the left as the hands on her watch slide effortlessly towards a morning she's already starting to dread.

The edges of him that she'd sworn only moments earlier had smoothed themselves to rounded seem to sharpen back into something achingly familiar. That Izzie Stevens still has the power to do that to him leaves her reeling.

She can't imagine holding that ability between her fingertips.

Loathes it as much as she craves it in the same split second.

“D'you really think it's mine?”

The question as an exhale of air more than an actual verbalisation, and the emptiness in the sound reaches all the way to her toes.

“I honestly don't know...”

A lie. She does know. She's learned the medicine. She trusts the science.

If Izzie Stevens had a child then there can be only one father.

But then, he already knew that too...





*





He slides car keys from his jacket pocket. A wordless dare for her to protest his next move.

She gives him a shrug of her own in return. Figures reverse psychology is her only friend as the music she'd stopped listening to hours ago is silenced completely with an echoed thud. House lights flicker to on while weary bar staff appear to sweep up broken glass and the little pieces of themselves that have been chipped away as the ghosts of years long gone caught them up fast.

He doesn't make a move to stand. She never expected him to. He's been lots of things in his life but stupid was never really one of them. She knows him well enough to know that.

They share a cab. Ask her later and she'll say the transport pickings were slim but when it pulls up at a condo in a part of Seattle she's never had cause to visit before she's suddenly glad they didn't swing by The Archfield first. That they won't be slipping between hotel sheets makes this whole predicament seem just that little less clandestine.

Sordid never really was her thing.

Despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

That she's already accepted the inevitable end to the evening is telling... that she's refusing to entertain the various complications that have arisen over the past several hours, even more so.





*





Time has been kind to him. She pulls his shirt over his head with a practiced ease that she fiercely refuses to examine. Runs numb fingertips over faded scar tissue that hums a path through her veins. A permanent reminder of how differently it could have all played out for him.

How differently it could have all ended.

He twists his fingers through hers and drags them lower. A deliberate deflection, of that she is most certain.

“You're drunk.” She rumbles the words into his ear. Hesitant.

“So're you.” Rumbled right back.

“But you'll regret this later...” It's an assumption she only half believes.

“And you won't?”

“I'm too old for new regrets.” A statement of fact. His fingers work their way into her under ware, tug gently 'til it's low enough for her to step out of.

She's beyond pretending that any of this is about her. But she's not entirely convinced it's about him either and so she lets him continue...

Figures the degree to which they're using each other right now probably has the scales tipped to his favour, but only just.

And it's a balancing act she thinks she can live with.

At least for tonight.

Date: 2010-12-29 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ovariesofsteel.livejournal.com
She can't imagine holding that ability between her fingertips.

Lines like this are why I love you.

Oh, teh angst.

Date: 2010-12-29 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Teh angst, indeed! Not a particularly cheery secret santa offering! Haha! I am nothing if not predictable in that department!

Thank you for reading, m'dear!!!

(also, pleased to note you obviously survived your stats final!)

Date: 2010-12-30 12:13 am (UTC)
fromtheashess: (pp kate sweater vest)
From: [personal profile] fromtheashess
I read this last night but being total fail!sauce I forgot to tell you how awesome it was. Beautifully written.

Date: 2010-12-30 01:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
No worries!! I'm just glad that you liked it!!!

(and I'm pretty sure you're not fail!sauce... even though it does sound kind of awesome!)

Date: 2010-12-30 01:11 am (UTC)
fromtheashess: (ga addie dark)
From: [personal profile] fromtheashess
I did, I did. :D

Haha. Fail!sauce? I say that all the time. Lol.

Date: 2010-12-30 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rorylie.livejournal.com
God this is good.

Like, you know, I really suck at this whole commenting thing beyond that, really, but this is really, really fantastic.

Date: 2010-12-31 01:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Thank you!!

And I'm pretty sure you suck at NOTHING!

Also, did you notice that I even alluded to spawn in this?!! Are you proud?! I'm like... a step closer or whatever!

Date: 2010-12-31 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rorylie.livejournal.com
I'll wear you down eventually!

Baaaaaaaaaaabies!

Date: 2011-01-13 06:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dulcedeusex.livejournal.com
Your writing style just gahhhh gets me every.single.time.

I'm a fan of Alex/Addison and all their issues so I really enjoyed this.

Fave line:

“I'm too old for new regrets.” A statement of fact.

-- Oh Addison! There was so much the show could have done with you in Seattle and just didn't.

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