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
Addison was in no way prepared for the wall of disdain she ran into next day when she met Bailey's interns.
Izzie wasn't with them, but the looks on the faces of Meredith, Alex, and George reminded her of a pack of hyenas. They were walking toward her like one person and for a brief, crazy moment she got the feeling that they would walk straight into her. Instead, they looked through her as they passed, like she didn't exist. She knew then, as certainly as if there had been a lit neon sign above their heads with the message "We know you've been sleeping with Izzie" in bright pink, that Izzie had told them about their affair. Yet another factor that she hadn't counted on in this equation: the girl toy came with an overprotective posse...
Later that afternoon, she secretly watched Izzie talk soothingly to an agitated patient, patting her arm and smiling a weary smile. As the patient broke down and cried, Izzie lent her shoulder for comfort. But her gaze was focused on something far away on the horizon, like she wasn't really there. Addison wasn't sure why she stood there like a stalker, but she seemed unable to move...
Where was the shoulder for her to cry on?
The following weeks made Addison feel like a ghost. She might as well have been invisible for the notice people took of her.
It seemed like the rumour of the affair had, through some miracle, not spread to the entire hospital. But Miranda Bailey knew, that much was obvious. She didn't say a single word to Addison if she didn't have to and avoided all contact that wasn't a professional necessity. Even if Addison was really offended by her silent treatment, she still couldn't deny that Bailey was one of the few people who actually had the right to an opinion. Izzie was one of her interns and they had broken the rules... That didn't mean it didn't hurt, of course.
As it turned out, even her ex-husband, the seducer of interns extraordinaire, disapproved.
So now they were shouting at each other on the stairwell, rather like they had in the months preceding their divorce.
"Derek! Do you really think you of all people have the right to judge!?"
"Yes, Addison, I do actually! Meredith and I fell in love, it's not the same thing at all!"
"You had no idea you would fall in love with her when you picked her up at Joe's!"
"Come on! You KNEW Stevens when you fell into bed with her! You knew you weren't gay and wouldn't fall in love with her! And you knew how fragile she was because of Denny Duquette! Frankly, you should have known better! But instead, once again you end up hurting someone."
"Izzie is not fragile! She's one of the strongest people I know! And seriously, Derek, do you think you are really one to talk, dating the perfect twelve year old!?"
"Oh, really mature, Addison!"
She recognised his thin-lipped angry face. Apparently things weren't going great between Derek and Meredith. And normally, she would have actually felt sorry for him, but when he was like this, she couldn't muster up any sympathy. She knew this was probably more about his troubles than about her affair with an intern, but right now, she didn't care. She had enough with her own damaged life. Derek could be such a judgemental bastard sometimes. She opened her mouth to give an acerbic retort, only to find that she couldn't think of one.
"You know what, Derek? Just go to hell."
And the interns? 'Scorn' was really the only word she could think of to describe the attitude of Bailey's interns.
It wasn't just the discomfort of having caught doing something you know you shouldn't and being judged for it; only now did Addison realize just how big a part of her life Izzie had become. Without her, she spent her evenings in her hotel room, bored, restless, weary and sad, mourning her non-existing life, making up excuses to stay on at the hospital, sometimes all night, sleeping in the on-call rooms, to get away from the silence and the loneliness.
Izzie's life had simply stopped making sense. She dragged herself through each day, limbs heavy and mind empty and numb, except for the constantly nagging question of what was wrong with her. It was like she had a handicap somewhere in her personality that made her think that she could save Denny's life if she just tried hard enough or that Addison Montgomery would somehow love her back if she just gave enough of herself.
But life didn't work like that; only Izzie Stevens that worked like that. The self-doubt and the hesitation about going on as a surgeon she had felt after Denny's death was back, with a vengeance.
Also, there was the constant guilt. Denny's dead body was only months in the ground before she not only slept with someone else, but fell in love again... What kind of person does that? Like he and his suffering heart was nothing, just a fling that you could get over by picking someone else up in a bar. Denny had been the one, the love of her life. She was sure of it. Or at least she really, really wished she was. If was probably just as well that Addison didn't love her. She didn't deserve love, not when she had given her heart away with Denny's shadow still walking behind her. Addison had cheated on her husband, but Izzie was no better: she had cheated on Denny's memory by forgetting about him, almost forgetting what he looked like, what he felt like to hold, when Addison had taken her in her arms.
She tried to avoid her, but she was everywhere. If she wasn't actually close by, she took possession of Izzie's head and taunted her. The memories of how she had smiled a secret smile from across the operating table, how she used to wait impatiently for her in the on-call room, lips meeting hers before she had even closed the door sometimes, how she left hot chocolate for her for no reason other than it being 'good juju' and of her passion when they were naked together. She went over it again and again in her head, trying to figure out when and where her broken heart had taken a wrong turn. And she watched Addison from a distance with a slowly disintegrating heart, feeling how she was loosing her religion and possibly her sanity.
She felt nothing the few times she was chosen for kick-ass surgeries. She felt nothing when George hugged her close for comfort. She felt nothing when Miranda Bailey yelled at her in front of everyone for not paying attention. Only when she saw Addison did she feel. And then only like crying.
One afternoon, as she was sitting in the supply closet, crying listlessly once again, after having seen Addison stand really close to Mark Sloan and whisper something to him, smiling...
She realised too late that this particular supply closet was a bad choice. She remembered how Addison had pulled her in here one day with that smile and the entreating look that meant that Addison had been thinking about something...
"Close your eyes."
"Come on, Addie... I like looking at you."
She moved in to kiss her, but Addison backed away.
"Close you eyes."
Addison's mind had a wonderful talent for multitasking. Sometimes, when walking out of the OR together, or leaving a patients room, Addison would give her look that would show that her mind hadn't been focused only on medicine...
"Close your eyes."
Addison's voice was seductive and full of expectation. Izzie obeyed. She knew better than to argue with the inner workings of Addison's brilliant mind...And body... She gasped.
"Oooh. That was unexpected..."
Izzie gasped again.
"Good. Oh, yes, definitely good..."
Addison had touched her so reverently... Like she lo ...Never mind. Izzie shook her head and dried her tears. That was all in the past now. Like her life...
The weeks went by, and Addison had successfully avoided Izzie's intern posse so far. But to her huge disappointment, she really needed an intern for one of her cases on this particular Thursday.
After assessing her possibilities, she decided to ask for O'Malley, since he was the least troublesome of Bailey's brood. She certainly was in no mood for Yang or Grey... And Izzie was of course out of the question, although she was tempted, very briefly, to imperiously command her to come, just because she could. But it wouldn't be right. Their working relationship had never been like that. And besides, she had a nagging fear that Bailey would simply refuse to give her Izzie.
She put on her best haughty attending face when George O'Malley walked into the room. She needn't have bothered. The intern refused to look her in the eye and didn't dignify her commands with as much as a word... Nods and grunts was what she got, at best. When asked a question, the intern usually just shrugged indifferently; like she bored him.
She tried to keep calm and not let it get to her, but by the afternoon, her shoulders were rock hard with tension and her patience was running out.
"O'Malley! Where the hell have you been? I told you I needed those labs ASAP!"
He shrugged again.
Addison squared her jaw and drew her shoulders back into battle stance. She bored her eyes into George O'Malley, who characteristically looked down on the floor instead of looking her in the face. For some reason, his pouting made her even more furious than the open disdain of Cristina Yang and the whiny reproach of Meredith Grey. Who the hell did he think he was?
"I don't think I appreciate your attitude Dr. O'Malley."
"Well, I don't think I appreciate yours!"
"What you did to Izzie... It's... I mean, what sort of person does that?"
"What happened between me and Dr. Stevens is really none of your business, Dr. O'Malley!"
"Yes it is! She was almost kicked out of the program, and just when she was back on her feet, you make her break the rules again. What if the Chief found out? And for what? So you could scratch an itch? Her fiancé just DIED and you decided you needed to have some fun AND risk her career? It didn't occur to you that she might be you know, traumatized, and not to be played with?"
"Dr. O'Malley! You are so completely out of order!"
"Did you know she's leaving?"
"Leaving? What on earth are you talking about?"
There was suddenly this strange cold and clammy pressure on her chest. What was he talking about? He was talking nonsense, right?
"She's transferring to Mercy West. Says she needs to get away, get a fresh start, concentrate on her work. It's your fault, of course."
"With all due respect, Dr. Montgomery... You are just not good for people!"
Addison just stared at him, jaw hanging. If O'Malley had thought about it for days, he probably couldn't have found a more hurtful thing to say.
"I'm off the case, right?"
His tone was almost mocking and he didn't wait for her reply before walking out of the room with a confident stride, like she was no-one you had to pay attention to, no-one of importance.
Addison went over to the mirror and stared at her own face. Was he right? Was she... BAD for people? She went through them in her head, the boyfriend she had left for Derek, Derek himself, Mark... She certainly hadn't always improved their lives...
But that was almost not important, compared to the awful possibility of ruining Isobel Stevens' career as a surgeon. Mercy West? They weren't even close to Seattle Grace as a teaching hospital.
But there was something she could do to stop it...
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