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
To say that Izzie was in a state of shock didn't even cover it. "Fleeing" was the best term for what she was doing when she slammed the door to the intern locker room behind her. She hid in there for as long as she could, conflicting thoughts and emotions fighting for control as she went over the shocking statement from Addison in her head, time and time again. Was there really a chance that it was true? Did Addison... love her? Why now? She had almost managed to convince herself that she was over Addison and then came this afternoon... Of course she had felt it! It was all she could ever do when she was with Addison: feel... But she had felt like that before, almost from the beginning, when Addison touched her and Addison had said that she didn't. So what had changed now? Or had Addison felt it too all along and just lied to herself and Izzie about it? Izzie wasn't sure which one made her more upset: that it had taken Addison this long to figure out something that she had known by the second time they'd slept together or that she had felt the same as her and had just been dishonest about her feelings. Or was it in her head, again? But unless she had finally lost it, Addison had said that she loved her. In front of half the staff, just like that: I love you!
She opened her locker and took out a worn old picture of Denny, which she had stolen from his chart, since it was the only one they had. She caressed it with her thumb and felt the familiar pain as she thought about him.
"I'm sorry... I didn't mean to let you go so soon..."
A page from Bailey interrupted her guilt trip reveries.
"Dr Montgomery left a note for you."
Izzie saw from the look on Bailey's face that there was no getting away. With fear and trepidation, she read it:
Please talk to me! I meant what I said! I'll wait for you at the Archfield at eight. Love Addie.
"I'm going to give you five minutes to gather yourself and then I will need your full attention."
She nodded and Bailey seemed satisfied and walked away. She was so deep in a whirlwind of thought that she didn't even hear Mark Sloan until he suddenly stood before her.
"Have you no heart?"
"What are you, made of stone?"
"Dr. Sloan, with all due respect, this is really none of your business!"
It felt good, letting the fury out, finally. She had to hold back not to just punch his beautiful face.
"So, I'm guessing that she fucked up. She does that sometimes, she's Addison. So maybe she hurt you, just get over it! Interns are idiots, but you really must be a special kind of idiot, Stevens. Surely even you can see that Addison loves you? She brought you roses, these silly, sappy, over the top roses and made a complete ass of herself in front of the entire hospital. So what's wrong with you? She's Addison, Stevens! I thought Derek was the only one stupid enough to let her get away. You're damn well going to go and talk to her even if I have to drag you there myself. And yes, I do mean that literally and yes, I did read the damn note. "
"Don't you talk to me about Addison! You never get to talk to me about Addison!"
Izzie turned to walk away, but Mark caught her arm and stopped her.
"We've got more in common than you know Stevens! We're both in love with Addison Montgomery and if you don't get over yourself, we'll both have driven her away. Think about it!"
Addison spent part of the evening pacing to and fro, debating whether to call Izzie or not. But she wanted to give her some space, treat her like an adult and behave like one herself. Because... Izzie was coming to the Archfield at eight. She was coming... Right?
The rest of the time before Izzie's possible, fateful arrival, she spent trying on half of her wardrobe and rejecting it. Finally, she chose a classic black evening dress that had cost the same as the GNP of a small country. Was it a silly thing to do? Maybe, but she had promised herself full ceremonial garb for the final battle...Flying colours. Underneath the dress she wore exquisite lace underwear, just the right mixture between elegant and a slight hint of slutty, just in case...
She spent an inordinate amount of time on her hair and the application of lipstick, not her normal shade, a bright seductive colour, made for kissing... Just in case.
She agonized over choosing a perfume, before deciding not to wear any. Izzie had sometimes said that she loved the scent of just her, so just in case...
And she had room service bring champagne. This was a champagne moment, damn it! If she could have offered Izzie the sun and the stars too, she would.
And then she waited...
Come eight o'clock, her heart was racing, her palms were sweaty and her mouth dry. She took a tiny sip of champagne, just to calm her self down a little.
There she was! Soft steps were approaching and Addison ran to check her make-up in the mirror.
The steps passed and her heart sank. Never mind, she might have a patient to check up on, you couldn't expect her to be exactly on time...
The minutes passed and became an hour. Addison paced the room like a restless predator and tried not to loose her fighting spirit. Izzie was coming, damn it, she was! And she was sure as hell not going to cry!
At a quarter to ten, Addison was sitting on her bed, tears falling silently into her second glass of champagne. The Shoes were lying on the floor, forgotten and belying their promise of good juju. She could feel a mixture of tears and mascara running down her cheek, but couldn't be bothered to dry it off.
She almost missed the soft knock on the door. Not until the second time did she react. She tried to wipe the tears from her face with an unyielding starched linen napkin as she ran to the door.
Miracle of miracles... Outside that door stood a dog tired Isobel Stevens, dark rings under her eyes, lank hair and wearing a decidedly wrinkly top. She was still the most beautiful thing Addison had ever seen.
"Isobel... I'm so glad you came..."
She stepped closer to initiate a hug, but Izzie stepped aside and walked past her into the room.
"Right. You said you wanted to talk, so talk!"
She really needed to muster up all the fight she had in her. Addison looked ravishing, devastating, madness-inducing and the tear-and mascara stains on her cheeks really made her even more heartbreakingly alluring, so she had to struggle not to repeat her mistake from this afternoon and just throw herself in her arms...
Addison took her hand. Her scent filled Izzie's nostrils and the look in her smoky blue eyes made her heart break all over again. But she had promised herself...
Addison was completely unprepared for the anger she saw on Izzie's face.
"You love me? When did you reach that conclusion? Before or after you went: 'ooh, Isobel, I'm glad we're casual, no strings attached, and by the way, I'm going to screw other people? What's this about, Addie? Mark Sloan finally stopped pining for you and you're looking for a replacement? Well, in that case, sorry, I'm not McSteamy, I'm not playing that game!"
Addison shook her head.
"I've been in love with you since you stepped under my umbrella outside of Joe's, or maybe since you called my eyes stormy seas blue, or possibly since the first time I laid eyes on you, I don't know, since I can't remember a time when I didn't love you anymore. I know I've been slow on the uptake, but I love you, Isobel. I love you."
"So... You just thought that you'd treat like me like shit as a subtle way of telling me of these new warm and fuzzy feelings?"
Izzie's fists were clenched and her cheeks were blushing red with anger. Her words were harsh, but Addison was thrilled at having elicited a reaction, any reaction, from her.
"Mark was familiar, the devil I knew..."
"I'm not talking about Mark! I'm talking about you pretending that what we had didn't mean anything, like it wasn't a relationship? Like it wasn't... magic?"
"I was afraid, I didn't know what to think."
Izzie's voice was low and cold.
"That's a fair comment."
"I want you to say that you cheated on me. If you really are..." Izzie tried to mould her tongue around the unfamiliar words "in love with me, then say that you cheated on me and that I wasn't crazy for reacting like that."
"I cheated on you, and I'm sorry."
"Not enough. Say that you lied to me about not having feelings for me. Say that you're a liar."
"I'm a liar." she echoed obediently.
She tried to blink the tears forming behind her eyelids away. She thought briefly that she must look terrible.
"I suppose I should thank you really, now that you've embarrassed me in front of everyone who means something to me. That just makes it easier to take the job at Mercy West.
"You are NOT transferring to Mercy West! You're not running from the opportunity of a lifetime because you had a bad teacher, I won't let you. This is Seattle Grace, Stevens!"
Suddenly, it was Addison the Attending talking, voice firm and gaze steely.
Izzie mumbled something.
"I said, you aren't a bad teacher. You're a great teacher."
Izzie looked up.
"Besides, who are you to talk!? You're actually moving to another STATE to get away from me."
She was shouting now.
Addison could have slapped herself.
"I'm not moving. I'll leave Seattle Grace if you want me to, but I'm not going to California."
"You're not leaving?"
Addison shook her head emphatically. Once it had dawned on her how she really felt, it had been so clear to her what she had to do.
Izzie looked gobsmacked.
"What do you want from me, Addison?"
"Don't be ridiculous."
"Maybe it's ridiculous, but it's the answer to your question."
Izzie didn't laugh anymore. Or shout. They stood in silence.
Finally, a quiet sob escaped Izzie.
"I'm sorry, but I really need to not say it back, Addison, because that would mean that you are the one. And you can't be, because Denny was, right? He was good and great and wonderful and I didn't even wait a year before sleeping with someone else. Not even a year of mourning for the man I loved."
Tears started running down her cheeks.
"Sometimes when we're together, I don't even remember what he looked like. And I thought about what I would have done if it were you who needed the heart... I killed him so he could live. I stole a heart for him. And if you're the one, it's like Denny meant nothing. Because I'm pretty sure I would have done it for you too..."
Izzie looked up, slowly.
"If you need a new heart? I swear I'll cut your L-vad wire and steal one for you. Or give you mine. You already have it."
Izzie's smiled a heartbreaking, reluctant smile.
"We're not a match, dummy... "
Slowly, she extended her hand. Addison's heart almost stopped when their fingertips touched.
Izzie stepped just a little closer. Addison's knees became decidedly shaky.
Izzie moved into her personal space. Addison almost didn't dare, she almost remained still, but a deep breath later, she slid her arms around Izzie's neck. The pressure on her chest that had been there for the last few days miraculously disappeared as they touched.
(Bryan Ferry, Slave to love)
For some reason she couldn't quite fathom, the first thing that left her lips after slow dancing, cheek to cheek, heart to heart, for an abstract amount of time, was:
"I want a McName. You can't call me Satan anymore."
Izzie stopped, but didn't let her go.
"You can't hurt me again."
"Never. And you have to promise not to run away from me again."
Izzie said nothing, but hugged her closer.
"I meant the 'forever' part."
Izzie rested her head on her shoulder as they started dancing again. She turned her head and whispered in her ear.
"How about McDarling..."
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