Fandom: Grey's Anatomy
Pairing: Addison/Erica, mentions of previous Addison/Mark, Addison/Derek, Callie/Erica
Written for ahkna for Grey's Secret Santa 08
When she’d complained for what, she admits, was probably the twentieth time about not having seen snow on Christmas for two years and Savvy had suggested she spend the holidays in New York with her and Weiss, Addison had booked a plane ticket immediately. Savvy had been vague enough on the invite that Addison had felt ok staying with them. She figured the ambiguity had been intentional because it was the holidays and the brownstone still hadn’t been opened by anyone but the cleaning lady and Savvy just knew her like that.
It wasn’t until the middle of the stretch between Christmas and New Year’s that she began to think staying there may not have been the best decision. It wasn’t the fights that bothered her. These were the explosive kind of fights that ramp up so quickly that an outsider can hardly follow either party’s line of reasoning. The kind that either fizzle out just as fast or keep accelerating until it is clothing rather than words getting thrown around.
It really wasn’t the fighting that led Addison to sneak out of their apartment at eleven that night. It wasn’t the hushed accusations or the fact that this fight sounded like it was going to be resolved in the second way. It wasn’t even that the combination of the location and the fights brought back bad memories. Not really. It was more that the memories were so distant now it seemed like they had never been real.
She walked for fifteen blocks with the collar of her coat turned up against the wind, trying to convince herself that this was a good thing before she found a bar that looked promising.
It was crowded and noisy enough that people weren’t paying any attention to who is coming or going, something Addison found surprisingly comforting as she walked in and looked over the place. It was exactly the kind of bar she used to listen to Derek complain about Mark dragging him to during their residency. It also wasn’t one of the ones she had started frequenting with Mark after Derek left. And that was good enough.
She made her way through the busy room toward the bar, there were only a few seats open and none of them were together. Resigned to rubbing elbows for at least part of the night, Addison sat down at a corner stool, ordered and began the ever-therapeutic activity of starring blankly at the mirror behind a bar.
The voice was gravelly and vaguely familiar. Addison turned to face the blonde sitting on the stool beside her.
“Erica? Hi- I…” Her eyebrows shot together “What are you, I mean- you’re here.”
Those last two words were accompanied by a slightly spastic arm gesture that Erica thinks may have been intended to encompass the bar or New York or had maybe just been meant as some kind of greeting.
“I’m here.” She raised an eyebrow and let slip a half grin before taking another sip of the pinot noir in front of her.
“So, New York?”
“I left Seattle Grace and Presbyterian made a decent offer,” Erica shot her a sidelong glance, saw the questions written all over her face and quickly continued dryly, “I did think about pulling an Addison, you know.”
Addison’s eyebrows knit together again as she set her glass down, previous questions momentarily forgotten.
“An Addison. You know… move to LA, live on a beach, start believing in alternative medicine, and generally shock the hell out of everyone.”
Addison practically snorted into her vodka and tonic before looking up to see the quizzical expression on Erica’s face.
“You just don’t exactly seem like the, ah… zen, beachy type,” Her laughter lasted barely another moment before she noticed how tightly pursed Erica’s lips had become and quickly muffled the sound in another sip of her drink.
“No. I guess I’m not, am I?” This time she gave Addison entire smile, tight lipped though it may have been, before draining her glass.
Addison found herself watching Erica closely as she orders another drink, thinking that she had definitely missed something last time. Or maybe it hadn’t been there to be missed before. She’s still tightly wound, just differently so.
A few rounds later they had worked their way through all the easy small talk. Where they had done their residencies, where they had grown up, numbers of siblings, childhood pets, where they had gone for undergad and medical school, what Erica thought of New York, how things were going in LA, who was working at Presbyterian and how different working in a private practice was. And, of course, it was all the cheerful, polite, happy version of things.
But happy people don’t lean over their drinks the way Erica had been when Addison had come in. During the next lull in the conversation all Addison can do is fiddle with the stem of her martini glass because she thinks maybe they know each other just well enough that she should ask the obvious questions, but she’s not really sure how to do it.
After one more round of drinks some light gossip about a Seattle Grace nurse slips into their conversation. After two more the person who had been slated to become head of cardiothoracics before Erica was brought in had gone from being ‘a great asset’ to ‘a smug moron’ and Addison thought she might be getting closer to a point where just asking would be ok.
But before she gets around to it, or to even really figuring out how to ask, last call goes out and the two of them head outside to hail a cab.
Afraid she's about to miss her chance (because for some reason this now seems important), she asks both questions bluntly, at the same time, and in the middle of Erica’s story about sunrise yoga. As she watches Erica’s expression fly from amused, through shocked and confused, to furious she reflects that strategic drunkenness may not have been the best choice on her part.
“Denny fucking Duquette is why I left. I know you were there when it happened so I don’t really think I need to explain that one. And Callie,” she paused for a moment, it was the first time she’d said her name since that night in the parking lot, “wasn't... what I thought.”
She crossed her arms over her chest and began pacing in either direction along the sidewalk, looking desperately for an exit in the form of a cab.
Unfortunately for Erica there were none in sight.
“So,” she rounds on Addison, “while we are being so truthful, why exactly did you leave Seattle?”
She’s only inches from Addison’s face and is some mix of irate and panicked that makes Addison think carefully before answering.
“There wasn’t anything left there for me,” her voice was low but steady, honest, and she looked miserable. “At least, nothing I wanted.”
And it’s exactly what Erica wishes she could say.
Breathing suddenly feels hard and she watches, frozen, as Addison’s face gets closer and closer. It isn’t until the split second before their lips touch that Erica realizes she's close to being off balance and it had been her leaning in. But in the next instant that doesn’t matter because that is Addison kissing her back, Addison reaching up to cup Erica’s face with her hands as they pull apart and Addison leaning in for a second kiss.
The cab ride was quiet, easy. The alcohol made the next steps simpler too, their clothing practically fell off. And now, it seems almost sudden, Addison is lying, completely naked, on Erica’s bed and she can’t help but compare. It’s like the second operation she preformed- all the absolutes are the same, but all the relatives are different. Same themes, different details. And somehow it’s oddly comforting. She quickly finds that some of the things that made Callie practically purr elicit only a minimal reaction from Addison. When Erica traces a finger along the inner curve of her hip, a spot that with Callie had only been a point along the way to someplace else more exciting, she finds that Addison gasps and squirms. Erica continues, moving over her entire body and can’t help but smile a little as she hits each sensitive spot, whether it be familiar or new.
Addison tilts her head back and drags her lower lip between her teeth as Erica kisses up the inside of her thigh then continues on after only the slightest hesitation. She’s missed this. As modern and progressive as LA supposedly is, this was still not at the top of her men’s list of favorite things to do in bed. And if she’s going to be really specific about what this is, she hasn’t had it since her time as an undergrad. Mark though, she thinks as Erica slips two fingers into her, when they’d been together in New York he’d always been willing. Mark... he really should be the last thing on her mind right now, because Erica’s fingers are so close to hitting that spot just right and she still has her tongue working so perfectly that the only response Addison can manage is to tangle her fingers in Erica’s hair and arch her back, looking for just that much more pressure.
When Addison does come the chills that run up and down her spine are like ice. That thing Erica had just done, that swirling thing with the tongue followed immediately by curling fingers, a light bite and a hiss of breath from between her teeth… that was one hundred percent Mark Sloan. Once her body relaxes and her mind clears she begins to connect the dots. Erica must have learned it from Callie who learned it from Mark.
It was impossible. Leaving was impossible. Derek had told her to go. She should have just done it when she had the chance, because now she doesn’t even seem to have a choice. New York followed her to Seattle, which found her again here.
She isn’t sure whether she wants to laugh or scream or cry. But Erica had moved up her body in the after shocks and was starting to look at her like she suspects something was wrong, so she settles for kissing her long and slow before shifting on top of her.
Erica comes down slowly, savoring the sense that she can actually feel the blood rushing through her every vein and capillary, the feeling that she needs every breath she takes. But then she notices that Addison’s breathing had already quieted back to a normal rhythm and she tries silently to even out her breathing until she feels her heartbeat slow and the tingling sensation retreat from her limbs.
Several minutes pass in silence before Addison props herself up on her elbows and turns almost apprehensively to look that the person beside her.
“You didn’t seem that surprised to see me.” It’s only half a question but the silence was making each moment seem longer and throwing everything that was wrong about this into sharper, more sober relief, so Erica answers anyway.
“I heard the name of the bar from Sloan, actually,” she says with what she hopes looks more like a wry smile than the look of panic she can feel her facial muscles fighting to set into.
And all Addison can do is close her eyes and breathe.