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Title: The Ties That Bind, Part 1
Pairing: Derek/Addison
Rating: R
Summary: Addison has a secret. There’s only one person she can confide in, and he’s two thousand miles away.
Spoilers: Up through PP 4.8 and Grey’s 7.8
Warning: Mentions of rape/sexual abuse.
Word Count: 5,101 (for both parts)
Disclaimer: All television shows, movies, books, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual.
Author’s Note: Written for the Big Bang Challenge at [livejournal.com profile] shonda_land






The rain beating down outside matched the beating of his heart, and he wondered again if he should be doing this, if this was the right thing. Meredith wasn’t happy about it, but she said she understood, so it wasn’t the fallout from her that he was worried about.

In fact, he wasn’t really worried about Meredith at all. Instead, he was worried about her — incredibly worried — and it was that feeling that was scaring him.

For the past two years, she had been such a small part of his consciousness, a piece of the past that he was long since over. Not that they didn’t get along — he considered her a friend after all — but that was it.

Until now. Now he was afraid it was becoming a much different feeling.

It had started with the phone calls. The first one was a surprise. It was five in the morning. He was sitting in the kitchen enjoying a cup of coffee, trying to wake up for work. The peal of the phone had shattered the morning’s solitude.

He had frowned when he saw her name on the caller I.D., but had picked it up anyway. She’d never call without a good reason.

“Addison?” he’d asked softly.

“Derek, I did something bad and I don’t know what to do.”

And then she had told him. About Charlotte’s attack, how Charlotte had called her, how she knew Charlotte had been raped but Charlotte hadn’t wanted a rape kit, how Charlotte made her swear not to tell anyone what happened, how she had taken samples for a rape kit without Charlotte’s knowledge and locked them in the hospital fridge and not told anyone, how the secret she had been carrying for just over 24 hours was already killing her.

“You need to report it, Addie,” Derek had told her. “It’s the right thing to do. It’s your duty. You don’t want to lose your license over this.”

“I can’t,” she’d said, and he’d known by the way her breath hitched that she’d started to cry. “I can’t tell anyone. I promised, Derek, I promised!”

She’d called him back every morning since with updates. She wasn’t sleeping and she was barely eating. The agony of what she had done was killing her.

The second day she had told him about Sam, how they were together. Derek hadn’t expected the sting of pain he felt at that.

“You’re sleeping with your best friend’s husband? How very like you,” he’d said coldly, the picture of them together bringing up unwanted memories of finding her with Mark.

“How dare you!” she had hissed. “You found a girlfriend when I was trying to make things work with you! You don’t get to judge me for this! Sam and I are both single. We aren’t doing anything wrong. I love him!”

She’d slammed down the phone, and he had stomped off to get ready for work, but for the rest of the day, her final words — “I love him!” — had played on repeat in his head.

He had figured she wouldn’t call back after that, but she had.

“I’m sorry,” was the first thing he’d said to her. “I shouldn’t have said that. It’s … weird, you and Sam. It’s weird. But this is between you and Sam and Naomi. I’m not going to judge you for it. If you can be okay with Meredith and me, I can be okay with this.”

“Thank you,” she had whispered.

They had talked a bit about Naomi that morning, how she was away on a business trip and how Addison wasn’t sure if their friendship would ever really be repaired. Derek hadn’t asked her about Sam. Some details were best left unknown.

Though he had asked her about Sam the fourth morning.

“Have you told him about any of this?” he’d asked after she told him nothing had changed. Charlotte wouldn’t talk to her, although she was trying everything she could, offering to get her coffee or tea or to be her friend. But Charlotte wanted nothing to do with her.

“I can’t tell him,” she had said. “He keeps asking me what my secret is, but I can’t tell him.”

“No,” Derek had said. “Not that. This. Does Sam know about this? Does he know you’re calling me?”

There had been a really long pause, so long he almost had started to wonder if she’d hung up.

“No,” she finally said.

The fifth morning had been the worst. She had been crying when she’d called, sobbing almost. It had taken twenty minutes just to try to get her to calm down enough that she could talk to him. His heart had ached hearing her cry and not being there to actually do something about it.

Addison crying had always been his downfall, starting from the day in med school he found her crying over her notes in the library when she thought no one was looking. He’d studied with her that day, promised her she was the smartest girl in their class and she wasn’t going to fail out. He had asked her out the next day.

But being 2,000 miles away from her when she was crying was a lot harder. All he had been able to do was whisper soothing things into the phone, tell her he was there and that she could talk to him and that it was going to be okay.

She had finally calmed down enough to where she could talk. It had been a horrible day. She and Sam had fought over something stupid — she thought he was mad at her for not telling him her secret — Charlotte was avoiding her like she was the plague, and the guilt she was feeling about the Jane Doe-labeled rape kit in the hospital fridge was haunting her. And to top it off, she’d had to spend half the day hiding in the bathroom or her office because she kept bursting into tears — and Addison hated crying in front of people.

It was after she had confessed all this that he had finally said it. He had wanted to say it from the beginning, but it had never felt right.

“Maybe you should tell Sam, Addison,” he’d said gently. “Don’t you think it’s time he knew?”

“I can’t tell him about Charlotte,” she’d said.

“I’m not talking about Charlotte.”

There had been another one of those amazingly long, awkward pauses.

Finally, “You said you would never bring that up.”

“No,” he’d corrected gently. “I said I’d never bring it up as long as I thought you were okay, but I don’t think you’re okay.”

“This has nothing to do with me,” she’d told him harshly.

“Are you sure?”

“I’m positive,” she had snapped, and he had let it go.

The next morning she’d told him she had told Sam about Charlotte and he was going to talk to Violet.

Over the course of the next few days, Sam had indeed done what he’d said he would do. He talked with Violet, without revealing anything, and as they had hoped, Violet had caught on. And once it had all started to come out, Addison had called the police to report that she had the rape kit.

“So why don’t I feel any better?” Addison had asked that morning. “Why does everything still feel so messed up? Charlotte is going to hate me, and I feel … I feel … I feel like this is never going to be okay again.”

“You know why you feel that way,” Derek had said softly.

“Derek, don’t. Please …”

“Go to the airport, Addison,” he’d said then, putting into words a thought he had had a few days before that he hadn’t really paid attention to.

“What?”

“Pack a bag. Go to the airport. I’ll have a ticket waiting for you.”

“Umm, what?” she’d said again.

“You need to get away, Addison. Come to Seattle. For a few days. You need to get away. Being there, it’s not good for you. You know that. And if you’re not going to talk to Sam, you need to talk to someone. Come to Seattle.”

Ten minutes later she had agreed, and five minutes after that he was booking her a ticket.

“Addison’s coming to Seattle,” he had told Meredith when she came downstairs to get her own cup of coffee.

“Oh, for a case?” she had asked.

“No. Something personal. She’s been going through a hard time. I thought it would be good for her to get away from L.A.”

You thought?” Mer had frowned at him.

“I told you I’ve been talking to her.”

“I know … it’s just …” Meredith had paused, then sighed, then smiled. “You’re right. You’re friends. It’s fine. I’ve been spending a lot of time with Cris lately, I know, so it’s good. This is good. It’s fine.”

Now, five hours later, Derek was here, at the airport, searching the crowd for the familiar locks of red hair, trying to ignore the pounding of his heart and the worry that he was maybe beginning to feel something for Addison that he shouldn’t be feeling.

“She’s just a friend,” he told himself, and then he spotted her.

He smiled warmly as she approached, but his smile faded as she got closer. From afar, she was as beautiful and as put together as ever: long back coat, black heels, her hair, now back below her shoulders, perfectly styled. But when she was standing in front of him, he saw something else — dark circles under her eyes that the makeup didn’t totally hide, the red of the tip of her nose a sure sign she had been crying and the look in her eyes, the incredibly sad, weary look in her eyes.

“Oh, Addie,” he whispered, and then she was in his arms, hugging him tightly, her head buried in his shoulder.

“I’ve got you,” he whispered into her ear. “I’ve got you. It’s going to be okay.”


***



“So we’re going to Joe’s?” Addison asked a few hours later. He had taken her to the Archfield to check in and now they were finishing up an early dinner in the hotel’s finest restaurant.

Derek nodded. “Mark and Callie want to see you.”

She quirked a brow as she watched her former husband. “You didn’t tell them …?”

“No.” He shook his head. “I told them you had a difficult case and you were having a hard time with it. That’s all they know. I figured what you want to tell them is up to you.”

Derek saw her visibly relax and she smiled. “Thank you,” she said.

Derek lowered his voice to make sure no one near them could overhear. “I still think it would be good for you to talk about it,” he said.

Addison frowned. “You said you would drop it.”

“Addison, I’m worried about you.”

“Well, you don’t need to be. I’m fine.” She glared at him and wiped her mouth with a napkin. “Are you ready to go?”

“Addie …”

“Don’t Addie me.”

“Addison,” he corrected, trying hard to make his voice even more gentle this time.

He reached across the table for her hand, but she snatched it away before he could touch her. He stifled a sign.

“Addison, you wouldn’t be reacting like this if you were okay.”

“Oh?” That brow of hers was heading northward again. “So now you’re a psychiatrist?”

“No,” he said, “I’m just saying that after what happened with Charlotte, it’s not unexpected that you would be remembering …”

Addison slammed both hands on the table, effectively interrupting him. She raised herself a little out of her seat so she could peer directly into Derek’s eyes.

“I wasn’t raped, Derek,” she hissed. “It’s not bringing up anything. Drop it.”

“Just because he didn’t rape you, Addison, doesn’t mean — ”

“I said drop it!”

Addison’s voice had risen dramatically, and quickly she dropped back into her seat, her cheeks flushing scarlet.

“Please drop it,” she pleaded, and reached up to wipe her eyes, but not before Derek saw the familiar sight of unshed tears gathering there.

He sighed. He knew he couldn’t push her.

“Okay,” he said softly, “let’s go.”


***



As they left the restaurant and headed to Joe’s, Addison told Derek she was fine and that they were fine, but the tension-filled silence in the car on the way to Joe’s and the way she almost ran into the bar so she didn’t have to walk by him told Derek that wasn’t exactly true.

He hoped maybe being around Callie and Mark would help her.

But an hour later, when Callie plopped down beside him at a table, he began to rethink that as well.

“What’s up with Addison?” she asked, gesturing over her shoulder to the redhead at the bar, surrounded by what looked like at least 10 shot glasses. Mark was sitting next to her, but Derek couldn’t tell if Addison was talking to him, flirting with him or just avoiding him altogether.

“We had a little argument,” Derek said. “I tried to help her, and it didn’t go so well.”

“Oh?”

“She’s going through a rough time right now, and I want to make her feel better, but I think it only made things worse.”

Callie smiled sympathetically. “She’s a stubborn one, that’s for sure,” she said. “I’m sure she’ll come around.”

“Hopefully before she drowns her liver,” Derek grumbled, watching her slam another shot as Mark leaned over to whisper something in her ear. “He does know she has a boyfriend, right?”

“Uh,” Callie’s eyebrows shot up and she stood up. “I’m not sure about that.”

Derek smiled a real smile then as Callie raced over to Mark. Two seconds later, Meredith slid into her vacated seat.

“What’s up with Addison?” she asked.

“It’s been a rough week.”

“Apparently,” Meredith said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen her quite so drunk.”

As if to illustrate Meredith’s point, a high-pitched giggle erupted from the bar, and Derek turned just in time to see Callie and Mark both grab Addison’s arm to keep her from toppling off her barstool.

He sighed. “Maybe I should have Joe call her a cab before she hurts herself.”

Meredith pursed her lips. “Maybe you should just take her home with you.”

Derek blinked. He was sure he had misunderstood something. “What?”

His voice came out a bit squeakier then intended. Mer laughed.

“Honey,” she smiled. “Don’t look so worry. I just meant, after watching her drink everything in sight, maybe it’s better to not let her stay alone tonight.”

Derek frowned. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

“Why?” Meredith asked. “You told me she’s your friend. And I’m going to go stay with Cristina whether she likes it or not. It’s not like you’re going to sleep with her. Right?”

Derek almost choked on the glass of scotch in his hand. “Of course not!” he said, and winced at how defensive it sounded.

Meredith didn’t notice. She just smiled, leaned over and kissed him and offered a, “See you later, then.”

Derek sighed. Why did he have a bad feeling about this night?

Date: 2010-11-16 10:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woodrosegirl.livejournal.com
I love it. That was brilliant!

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