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
The following morning, Addison left her coconut latte untouched. Her pain had been partly replaced by anger. Isobel owed her the courtesy of at least answering her calls, they exchanged body fluids on a regular basis, damn it!
Izzie woke up with a heavy feeling in her head from the alcohol and a sore stomach from too much ice cream. She also had a feeling that she had judged Addison too harshly. The fact that she didn't want a relationship so soon after her marriage was understandable, neither should Izzie so soon after Denny's death. And also, she was probably the wrong gender. To Izzie, love was love and gender didn't factor into it, but Addison was likely to want a relationship with a man, even thought the mere thought of her lover with someone else made her blood boil. So, she should give her a second chance, even though her acid stomach told her it wouldn't be easy to separate her feelings from reality.
Izzie ran into Addison right after morning rounds. The attending had debated with herself whether to go look for her in the intern locker room, but she had decided to try to hang on to her dignity.
Going up in the elevator, Addison picked a fight with Izzie. She was fully aware that that was what she was doing, but she couldn't help it. Yesterday, she had made her feel like Derek had at the end of their marriage as she watched her mobile phone, urging it to ring.
"So... Is your cell phone broken?"
Izzie was a bit shocked by Addison's accusatory tone.
"So how come you didn't answer yesterday?"
"I was busy."
"Busy? You were too busy to call me back, even?"
"I was doing something."
"And you couldn't be bothered to tell me that when you knew I might be waiting up for you!?"
"Why would I, I never said I would come over, you just assumed I would come when you whistled as usual. Firstly, you are not my boss on my own time and secondly, you are not my girlfriend, which means I have no obligation to call you and tell you my whereabouts if I want to stay out late! So stop crowding me, Addie!!"
Addison just gaped at Izzie's outburst. They hadn't even been close to exchanging a harsh word since they became intimate and here was Izzie screaming at her, when Addison was the one who had just cause for anger, at last in her own opinion. And were those tears in Izzie's eyes?
At that moment of all moments, the elevator stopped and Mark Sloan walked in.
They both composed their features and stared stone faced straight ahead.
As the three of them left the elevator, Addison with the face of a general who had just lost the battle of Waterloo, Mark Sloan with an amused grin and Izzie with blushing cheeks and angry fists, Meredith, Cristina and George stood by the nurse's station and observed.
"See I told you! That's her angry face! And Sloan is right behind her with that annoying smirk on his face. Why else would she be mad at him, she hasn't worked under him for ages. And Montgomery must have walked in on it; she looks like she's seen a ghost."
George was waving his hands around agitatedly.
"You know what; I think Bambi might be right. Izzie looks all emotional and... Izzie-like."
Cristina turned to Alex who just walked in.
"Kind of like when you cheated on her with syph nurse."
"Come on, are you people still on about that? But seriously, not even Izzie has bad enough taste to sleep with Sloan."
"It horrible and gross, but I think George is right. Izzie can be really crazy when she's upset, maybe she'd even be crazy enough to sleep with Sloan. After all, she is the kind of girl who spills orange juice on 8 million dollar checks without flinching; she's not like the rest of us. And it would explain why Addison looked upset, maybe she likes stringing McSteamy along and now she's jealous because she's lost him to Izzie."
"So what do we do about it?"
"It has to stop, for her own sake; otherwise we'll have her back to marathon baking again or worse, on the bathroom floor. You guys have to help me talk to her; I'm in no position to tell her it's bad to sleep with inappropriate attendings. George, you're her best friend, maybe she'll listen to you. And you too, Cristina."
"Yeah, but what can I say? I'm sleeping with Burke, it's not like she's going to listen to me."
"Ok, yeah, but you're probably the least damaged and crazy of us, so there's a chance you can make her see sense."
"Thanks a lot, Meredith."
"Oh, shut up George, you married someone you hardly knew in Vegas, you don't get to talk."
Cristina sighed heavily. How did she let herself get mixed up in all of this madness? Secretly, she though that if Izzie wanted to use the steamy goodness of Montgomery's cast- off manwhore to get over Denny, then let her... Whatever poison works for you... On the other hand, she would have to hear about this for the rest of her life from Meredith if she didn't put a stop to it. And also, Sloan was smug enough as it was, she couldn't quite get why Izzie would give him the satisfaction of serving up a big portion of Bethany Whisper for him to play with? Especially since he was always such a sexist bastard when Izzie was around... Cristina shrugged. She'd never get Izzie, or even Meredith, not really; all she could do was to be there anyway.
Later in the day, she was sent to help Sloan with a patient, even though Meredith was practically jumping up and down with eagerness to go, which of course made Bailey pick Cristina, who didn't want to.
She found Mark Sloan even more annoying than usual.
"What's with you today Yang? You're even more bitchy than normal? PMT?"
"Dr. Sloan, may I speak freely for a moment, off the record, if you will?"
Mark Sloan yawned.
"I can't wait to hear what you and this pain-in-the-ass group of interns want to cry to their mommies about this time. Stevens still on about my dry cleaning, I suppose? You have exactly one minute, on the house."
"Not that I care, but you can drop the act, we know you're sleeping with Izzie."
"What? Stevens? Noo... I'm not sleeping with Stevens, Yang. What makes you think that?
"Oh, seriously? All those calls from 'Dr M'? George heard her take a booty call when she was at Joe's the other night and she was all 'can't say no to my favourite attending' blah blah. Izzie's just a few steady sutures away from a total nut job, especially since the Denny Duquette-thing and she's still obnoxiously optimistic and likes fluffy bunnies and Christmas and crap. I get that she's hot with the eight feet tall thing, and the blond thing and the ass and boobs thing, but seriously, couldn't you just have done skanky syph nurse like everyone else? Now we'll have to pick her up from the bathroom floor and hear about it for a year when you dump her or cheat on her or whatever it is you manwhores do. I'm already listening to Meredith's obsessing about her love life and now I have to listen to her obsessing about Izzie's love life too, which has a detrimental effect on my workday, which is what I actually care about, so the problem is YOU."
"Ok, say I'm sleeping with Stevens, for arguments sake. As you pointed out, she's certainly not hard on the eyes, so why would a 'manwhore' want to keep that a secret? Also, Stevens has barely worked with me, she's not interested in plastics, so she's hardly going to refer to me as 'her' attending, is she? And I'm certainly not her favourite. Think about it Yang. If the thought wasn't so ridiculous I'd say she's sleeping with Addison. Now that would be a sight for sore eyes..."
Mark Sloan chuckled at the thought.
Cristina didn't join him.
"Crap... That's why she doesn't want to talk about it. Izzie's sleeping with the She-Shepherd, not you. Ex She-Shepherd, whatever. Meredith is going to freak..."
"Actually, Yang, I was joking."
"Well, shockingly, I think you might actually be right about something for a change. It makes a mad Izzie-kind of sense. Tell Meredith about this and you're dead. "
"You know that minute on the house is long gone, right?"
"Yes, Dr. Sloan, Sorry sir."
When Izzie sat down for lunch, the other interns closed around her like a wall.
"Izzie, we need to talk."
George had his worry-face on again.
"Iz... We know."
"Know what, Mere?"
"About Mark Sloan."
"Mark Sloan? What about Sloan? Oooh, you have some juicy gossip or something?"
She looked at them expectantly, but nobody spilled.
"There's no point Iz'. We know, and it has to stop, for your own sake."
"What are you guys talking about!?"
"Oh, for chrissakes, they think you're having rebound sex with the manwhore."
"You think I'm sleeping with Sloan? Why?"
"That's what we've been asking, Izzie. Maybe baking was a better idea? Ow!"
"Great , George..."
"What? The muffins were nice and at least there were no manwhores during baking..."
Izzie didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
Then her pager went off. Saved by the bell...
"Sorry guys, you're going to have to be all crazy a bit later, got to go."
"Sorry, Mere', Bailey..."
She startled Miranda Bailey by laughing out loud about a minute later.
"Stevens? Am I amusing you?"
"Sorry Dr. Bailey. It's just that... life. It's weird, right?"
Bailey gave her a Look.
"Yes, Stevens, it is. However, this isn't life; this is medicine, which is much more important, so focus!"
"Yes Dr. Bailey."
Izzie spent the rest of the afternoon trying to work out whether it was better if her friends thought that she slept with Mark Sloan, or if they didn't...
Meredith and George cornered her at the nurse's station again. Izzie gave up when she saw George's sad puppy dog eyes.
"Guys... I'm not sleeping with Sloan. Seriously!"
"We won't hold it against you..."
"George... I'm not sleeping with Mark Sloan."
"Yes, Meredith, seriously."
"Thanks for making me call Sloan a manwhore. I'll never scrub in on anything good now."
"Oh, everyone does that."
"To his face?"
"Dude... You said it to his face? I thought only Addison dared to do that. That's really sweet of you, Cristina."
"Whatever. And besides, who's Montgomery to call him a whore."
Just as the bitter retort in defence of Addison was about to drip of her tongue, she remembered not to. Cristina had a point... George saved her again.
"So, who's the guy, then?"
"Oh... I'm so not telling you now, since you thought I would sleep with Sloan."
Izzie felt horrible about shouting at Addie earlier. She didn't know what had gotten into her. Except that she did...
To her embarrassment, she had wanted to join Meredith in saying 'pick me, love me' or maybe 'bloody motherfucking asshole for not loving me' she wasn't sure which.
She found Addison looking at x-rays with a frown of deep concentration on her face and started to talk before she lost her nerve.
"Addie? I'm sorry I shouted at you before. Do you have time for coffee? Not exactly coconut latte, but....Maybe we need to talk. "
Horrified, almost in slow motion, she saw Bailey stick her head around the corner.
Addison's face was a study in panic. Bailey's forehead was scrunched together in deep thought.
"Stevens, if you have time for coffee breaks, you're not busy enough. And we don't encourage the interns to be on first name basis with attendings during working hours, you know that, Izzie. That goes for you too, Grey."
Meredith got up from her position on the floor, picking something up that she had dropped. She mouthed Addison's nickname to Izzie over Bailey's shoulder, with a big question mark hanging in the air between them. This was a disaster...
They both stared at her in confusion.
"No, Dr. Bailey. I mean, yes Dr. Bailey."
Miranda Bailey watched Izzie break into a run as she disappeared down the corridor.
There was something strange going on here. There was the look of extreme discomfort on Addison Montgomery's face. And why had she encouraged Izzie Stevens to use the short form of her name? She had only heard a few close friends and Derek do that. Had Addison ignored the Chiefs orders about the differential treatment of Stevens or was there something else going on here?
Unfortunately, she was leaning towards the latter, since she purely by chance had seen Addison and Izzie standing outside of the hospital, round a corner, a few days ago. They had been deep in conversation, their heads close together, one of Addison's hands resting on Izzie's arm. Or maybe not resting, really... More like caressing... She hadn't really been able to say why that scene disturbed her. Not even when Addison threw her head back and roared with laughter. Addison almost never laughed. At least, not like that...
"Isobel! That's horrible!"
Laughing together, like they knew each other really, really well... And they were on first name basis. Who on earth called Stevens "Isobel"?
It hadn't been until Izzie had broken a piece from the chocolate chip cookie in her hand and fed it to Addison that Bailey had known for sure that something wasn't kosher. Izzie hadn't given her the cookie; she had fed it to her, hand to mouth... And Addison had taken it from her in a totally casual way, like there was nothing weird about it. Since she didn't want to jump to conclusions, she analyzed it thoroughly. Would Izzie have done that with say... Dr. Burke? Apparently they were some sort of friends. No, impossible, she couldn't see it. One of the other interns? Alex Karev, maybe, George, certainly, and Meredith, perhaps. Her resident, i.e. herself? Certainly not, no way. And Addison Montgomery? She was the only one who might have a Stare that matched her own and possibly be as hard a teacher, even though Bailey would never admit to that of course. No-one cookied Addison Montgomery by hand. Except, it seemed like Izzie Stevens did... Why? When all probabilities where exhausted, then the improbable, or almost impossible, might be the answer.
She sat down and shook her head to herself.
Izzie Stevens, what have you gotten yourself into this time?
"George, for the 10 000th time, I'm really not sleeping with Mark Sloan."
He hadn't been convinced by her denial and refused to let go of his pet theory.
"Right. Who else could it be? I'm sorry, but you have really bad taste in men. Alex? Not a good idea, Izzie. Also, I heard you say "attending" on the phone. Come on, who else can it be? It's hardly Limp Harry, is it..."
"George, I'm not going to tell you."
"Why don't you want to talk about it? You always want to talk about it. You're Izzie, you always want to talk!"
"Don't worry George, everything is fine."
She turned around and hugged him.
When she let go, he smiled at her.
"You say that now, and then boom, disaster strikes."
She smiled back.
"You and me both."
Addison still hadn't had any time to talk to Izzie since the disastrous encounter earlier. She had no clue as to what Bailey and Meredith had made of it all. It didn't seem like they had caught on, although Bailey had given her a Look, she was sure of it...
She was woken from her brooding when she saw Izzie crossing the over walk in the corner of her eye. She turned her head and couldn't help but smile.
Izzie was with Dr O'Malley, who was obviously upset about something. Dr O'Malley always was Izzie was smiling and the light from yonder window framed her face like a halo. Small strands of fair hair danced around her face. Damn it, she was gorgeous She wished that she could reach out and touch her. Izzie shook her head at something George O'Malley had just said and turned around to hug him tight. The attending could have gone for an Izzie-hug right now. She was really sorry about fighting with her... When Izzie let go, Dr O'Malley was smiling too. Who wouldn't, after being held that close by Isobel Stevens?
"Oh. I see."
She turned to see Mark standing next to her. His voice sounded funny.
Addison cleared her throat.
"What? You see what?"
"It's not just sex. You're in love with her."
"What!? No, I'm not!"
Too late, she remembered what she should have answered.
"Who are you talking about?"
"Right Nice try, Addison."
Addison pushed Mark Sloan into a nearby linen closet, one of those that always seemed to be readily available at Seattle Grace, and shut the door.
"Why would you say something like that, Mark?"
The trademark Sloan smile gradually faltered.
"Addison, I have hoped for a long time that one day you might look at me differently. With love and not just with lust. Just now, I saw what love looks like on your face. Except, unfortunately for me, it wasn't me you were looking at."
"Come on Mark, it not like that at all! Sure, we have engaged in some mutual carnal amusement, which I'm not sure how you found out about, by the way "
"But I'd love to hear the details." Mark deftly cut in, the cocky grin back on his face.
" the details of which shall remain private, but that's all! I'm not in love with Isobel, Mark, that's absurd! I'm heterosexual."
"Trust me, speaking as someone who has screwed up his only chance of happiness with the woman he loves; it ain't all it's cracked up to be. So just think long and hard about that."
As Mark left the room, Addison felt waves of panic going through her system. An uninvited memory of her dream appeared like a flash before her, protectively embracing the fragile shoulders of a pregnant Izzie, her body bountiful with fertility... Her chest constricted. What the hell was that about, anyway? Dreaming of babies? Having babies with IZZIE? Where had that image come from?
She had to sit down, heart beating.
It's just that you really want a baby and she's so... What? Young? Fertile? Izzie would be such a great mother...Did she want a... a relationship with Izzie?
She breathed in firmly. This was just hormonal crazy talk, brought on by her biological clock. She really liked that her rendezvous' with Izzie were care free and uncomplicated. Just a little girl-on-girl to amuse yourself with. Ok, so a little voice in the back of her head was whispering that sex with Izzie was better than with anyone, but that was just because she had been so frustrated before they started, right? It had nothing to do with the fact that Izzie made her tremble and cry and loose all semblance of dignity. Seriously, as Izzie would have said. Seriously.
The sense of panic wouldn't go away, even though she told herself she shouldn't care about what Mark said. Mark had been wrong many times, hell, he was Mark Sloan, the king of being wrong. But something had changed, he was right about that.
Addison didn't recognise herself anymore. She used to be sharp as a razor. She used to be the woman no-one would even dream of messing with. Except, she had managed to mess with herself. She had waited for Derek, all weepy and needy, waited for him to love her, even though she had known all along that it was too late. And now this, waiting by the phone again, feeling lonely and unwanted, just because her girl-toy fuck-buddy didn't want to come play with her. It had to end.
She ran into Mark again in the world's slowest elevators; Seattle Grace's. It was time to find old Addison again. Mark was more or less a bastard, but at least he always wanted her and wasn't afraid to show it. It would be easy and uncomplicated, no confusion. Time for a medicine without side effects... She put her hand on his toned arm and caressed it.
"Come home with me, Mark. I could use some company."
He threw her a surprised look.
"Really? What about Stevens?"
"What about her?"
"You have feelings for her."
"That's none of you business."
"Got to hand it to you, she's easy on the eyes. Whiny, but easy on the eyes. You've got good taste in women."
Addison's eyes narrowed.
"I do. But don't talk about Isobel that way. Not if you want to take me up on my offer. "
"What kind of manwhore would I be if I said no?"
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