Author: Chelle Storey-Daniel
Rating: Strong R for content. (Very strong content, folks!)
Summary: What exactly did that look (on the show) between Alex and Addison mean? And what happens when George tells his family that Callie cheated on him?
A/N: This follows *some* of the show with a few liberties taken.
Stress is, by definition, a difficulty that causes worry and emotional tension. Addison Montgomery was feeling enough stress to seek shelter in the supply closet to rethink her decision to stay in Seattle. The weather wasn’t great. She worked too often to enjoy the beautiful scenery. She lived in a *hotel*, albeit temporarily. And she had to watch her ex-husband relive the wonder of love and courtship with a very young, very beautiful intern. No, she couldn’t think of a single reason to stay in Seattle.
Except that there was nothing in New York for her. No friends, no family, and no job. There was just an empty Brownstone crammed with memories of a past that she cherished and despised. As she made herself comfortable on a fully stocked crate, she buried her face in her hands and tried to get control of herself. It was hard enough seeing Meredith and Derek acting like high schoolers, stealing kisses and sweet caresses, but to do that while trying to deliver healthy babies was akin to crawling through glass. And it shouldn’t bother her. Not really.
But it did.
The door opened suddenly, slamming into her knee and she yelped, falling off the crate. She crashed into a row of boxes that had been opened but not unpacked. When she reached up to grab her knee, her head was yanked backward and she yelped again, reaching up to feel the mass of tape that had tangled in her hair and effectively bound her to the heavy boxes.
Alex Karev stood smirking in the doorway, his hands on his hips. "What do you have planned for an encore?" he asked her.
She glared up at him. "Are you just going to stand there?"
"Would you like to *ask* me to help you?"
"You caused it!" She hissed the words through clenched teeth as pain radiated through her leg.
"Wrong." He eased the door closed behind him and leaned against it. "This is a *supply closet*. The lounge is down the hall. So, you caused it by sitting here."
"I hate you." She wriggled a little, trying to find a comfortable position while she tried to disengage from the tape.
He watched her futile efforts and smiled again. "This isn’t the first time I’ve knocked a woman off her feet."
"You have no effect on my feet whatsoever."
"What about the rest of you?"
She stopped struggling and glanced up at him. "What?"
"That look you gave me the other day. What was that?"
Her eyes widened. The exchange that he spoke of had been hunger, raw and bare, and she felt heat rush to her face when she remembered it. Oh, she had tried to block the memory of it from her mind, but it had certainly kept her awake at night. It had also gone unspoken. She had told no one that she missed working with Karev, missed the banter and the underlying sexual tension. Naturally, she said the only reasonable thing she could, "I have no idea what you’re talking about."
"I don’t believe you."
"You don’t have a choice."
Alex pushed away from the door and bent over her, pushing her hands away from her matted hair. Gently, he pulled every last strand from the sticky boxing tape and smoothed it back down, combing the tangles with his fingers. He heard the change in her breathing and smiled down at her. "What about the rest of you, Addison. How do I effect the rest of you?"
"Alex, you are in perfect position for me to bring my knee up in unmentionable places. You need to consider that before you continue this string of conversation."
"This knee?" He reached behind him, squeezing the knee that the door hit and she sat up quickly, knocking him back against the door as she cried out in pain.
He frowned and pushed himself back up, lifting the hem of her skirt. Even through the nude pantyhose she wore he could see the swelling and the bruising that was already forming. "Oh god, Addy. I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was so bad."
She swallowed hard, watching his deft fingers gently rubbing her flesh. She began to tingle in her own unmentionable places and gasped, pulling her leg away. "It’s fine."
"It’s not fine. Your patella is definitely dislocated. It could be broken."
"I think I would know if I had a broken bone." She held out her hand. "Help me up?"
Alex got to his feet and pulled her upward, watching her closely. She gingerly put her weight on her leg and toppled forward against his chest. "Maybe we should page Dr. Torres," he told her, reaching behind him to open the door.
She started to protest, but he hoisted her into his arms and carried her into the crowded hallway. He bypassed two empty stretchers that he could have easily deposited her on and she didn’t complain. His nice, strong arms felt right around her. When he went into trauma two and gently eased her back against the bed, she felt bereft. She watched as he rushed back into the hallway and grabbed Olivia, demanding that Dr. Torres be paged to trauma.
She was able to get a really good look at her knee and grimaced. It was definitely dislocated and she would be saying farewell to her favorite Prada pumps for a while. She reached down and pushed at her kneecap and Alex caught her hand. "You’re gonna tear your meniscus if you haven’t already! Don’t touch it!"
"You touched it."
"And enjoyed it." He held onto her hand, sitting next to her on the bed. The page for Callie sounded over the PA system and he knew that her pager would go off as well. Smiling a little, he said, "I guess I should pay for damages. Dinner tonight?"
"I have plans with Callie."
"How about tomorrow?"
"I’m washing my hair."
He tilted his head to one side. "I’m being serious. Could I please take you to dinner? I swear to God I won’t knock you off your feet."
It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him that he had done that weeks ago, but she sighed instead. "Fine. But I feel that I should warn you that McDonald’s is not what I consider dinner."
"I feel that I should warn you that I don’t like being underestimated all the time." He squeezed her hand a little. "As a matter of fact, I think I could surprise you."
"You already have." She studied him for a second, taking in his crooked smile and the way his eyes never left hers. He was handsome. Far too handsome for his own good ... or hers. As much as he had annoyed the hell out of her while he worked ‘the gynie squad’, he had also captivated her with his knowledge and ability to stand up to her. It was refreshing.
"Someone paged me?" Callie asked, staring down at her pager which she was busy clearing. When she finally looked up, she wrinkled her nose. "Did I miss something?"
Addison pulled her hand out of Alex’s and held both up in surrender. "Alex dislocated my kneecap."
"I’m not even gonna ask." Callie, who was dressed in her street clothes, dropped her purse on the chair and moved around the bed. "Karev, could you get an icepack?"
"I’m on it." Alex winked at Addison and left the room.
Callie lifted the woman’s skirt and peered down at the wound. "Did you fall?"
"Alex slammed a door against my knee. What happened to *you*?" Addison pointed at the bandage on her friend’s face. "And why are you dressed for home? Are you leaving?"
With a nod of her head, Callie leaned down, running her thumbs over the injury. Wordlessly, she pulled Addison’s leg straight and before the redhead could comprehend that it was painful, she popped the knee back into track. "Sorry. It’s better if you don’t know I’m doing it. I’m going to order an X-ray just to make sure everything’s lining back up and then I’ll wrap it for you. Do you want me to make a chart for you? Or are we keeping this on the down low?"
"I want you to tell me what’s wrong with you." Addison eased upward in the bed, studying Callie. Something was definitely under the dark haired woman’s skin and she was not herself at all.
"I don’t want to talk about it. Chart or not?"
"No chart." Addison watched as Callie called radiology and requested a portable x-ray.
Callie hung up and said, "What do you want for pain?"
"I hate pain meds. It’s really not that bad."
"You’ll need something to take the edge off and keep the inflammation down. Mobic or over the counter Motrin should be okay if you don’t want anything narcotic. You’ll need to use the crutches for a few days, stop using them when you can put weight on it without pain, but keep the brace on for a few weeks. Unfortunately, once you’ve dislocated the patella it can, and usually does, pop out of place easier and causes discomfort while walking."
"Callie, could you talk to me as a friend and not a patient?"
Alex walked back into the room carrying a large ice pack. He gingerly laid it over Addison’s leg and looked at Callie. "What now?"
"Aren’t you on Sloan’s watch?" Callie asked.
"He told me to get out of his sight for the day. He hates interns."
"He’s not alone," Callie replied. To Addison, she added, "I’m going to go talk to Chief Webber really fast and then I’ll be back to review the x-rays."
"Why are you talking to Richard?"
"Later." Callie cut her eyes at Alex and forced herself to smile at Addison. "If you decide that you want something for pain, just let me know."
Alex watched as Callie grabbed her purse and walked out of the room. "What the hell is wrong with her?"
"I don’t know." Addison’s brow creased in confusion. "But I’m officially worried."
Chief Webber was not in his office when Callie knocked on the door. She picked up the pen on his desk and left a note, requesting that he call her. She scrawled her number and signed her name, then traipsed back down the hall. She saw the O’Malley’s, minus George, clustered together in the hallway and tried to walk past unnoticed to no avail. Mrs. O’Malley called her name and rushed forward, putting her hand on her cheek. "Hello, Mrs. O’Malley," Callie said as nicely as she could to the woman who gave birth to the man who had gutted her.
"Please, Callie, call me Louise. Oh, sweetheart, how bad are you hurt?"
Callie let the woman tilt her face from one side to the other and answered the questions that the woman rattled off about her injury. Ronnie and Jerry came forward, both eating snack cakes from the vending machine. Ronnie wrinkled his nose at her. "Someone said that you lost an eye."
Jerry shook his head. "I heard that you were tackled in the waiting room and lost all your teeth. Just tell me who did it and he’s dead."
"Sorry to disappoint you guys but the story really is boring." If George had nothing else going for him, he had the best family she had ever seen and she grinned a little at them.
"Harold wants to see you for himself." Louise pulled her along the hallway toward Mr. O’Malley’s room. "No one would tell us anything about you no matter how much we asked. And we couldn’t find George to ask him."
"He was in surgery with me." Callie surrendered to the fact that she was not going to get out of the O’Malley family reunion and allowed herself to be pulled along beside Louise.
"So, you get to operate. Why doesn’t George?" Ronnie asked.
"I’m a resident. He’s an intern."
"That means you’re a lot older than Georgie, right?" Louise asked innocently.
Callie was amused. She had never met anyone’s parents before and it was playing out just like on television. The questions, the curiosity. She knew that George had told them that they had dated. "A couple of years. I doubled up courses in medical school because I was going for a specialty."
"Oh, so you’re a smart one," Jerry said, his mouth full of cake. "George complained all the time about the schedule when he was in med school. And you took even more than he did."
"George had to work!" Louise snapped at her son. To Callie, she added, "I bet your folks had put aside money for your education. We couldn’t afford it for George. He had scholarships left and right, but he still had to work to pay for books and for lodging."
Callie had already heard George’s account of college life so she simply nodded and followed Louise into Harold’s room. The old man put the magazine he was reading down and beamed at her. "There’s my girl! How’s the prettiest doctor in the hospital?"
Two minutes with Harold O’Malley could effectively erase every trace of a bad day. A genuine smile slipped across her face and she leaned down, giving him a quick hug. He patted her on the back and slid to one side, urging her to sit down. She did as he requested and reached up, straightening the straps of the sling around his neck. "How’s your collarbone?"
"Right as rain." He pointed at her face. "Two of my sons have been convincing me that you were half dead. They tried to give me a heart attack. What happened, honey?"
"A guy took offense to me trying to set his broken arm and decked me."
"Some guy hit you?" Harold was scandalized. "You want Ronnie and Jerry to go talk to him? With their fists?"
Callie chuckled. "No. Chief Webber decided to set his arm. I’m sure he made him pay."
"A guy who would hit a woman deserves to lose his arm." Harold narrowed his eyes. "If I wasn’t in this bed-"
She turned and saw George standing in the doorway. His hands were on his hips and he was looking at her like she was trying to murder his father. She stood and faced him. "Your dad asked to see me."
"Is your collarbone hurting?" he asked his father.
"No, it’s fine."
"Then you don’t need to see her," George snapped. He glared at Callie again. "And you don’t have any reason to be around my family. So leave."
"Callie is my guest! I want her here!" Harold shot back. "She’s a breath of fresh air."
"She’s also a slut."
"George!" Louise shot to her feet and stalked across the room. "I did not raise you to speak about women that way! You show her some respect!"
"She doesn’t deserve it!" George shouted.
Ronnie and Jerry both leapt to their feet and started toward George, but Callie got to her feet and moved between them. "It’s okay. And - and he’s entitled to his opinion."
"She cheated on me," George announced, his hands fisted at his sides. The words shocked even him and he instantly regretted it. His intention had been to find her and apologize to her for what had happened in the operating room. Instead, seeing her fitting so perfectly into his family, something *he* couldn’t manage, had infuriated him.
Callie looked down at the floor, tears burning her eyes and humiliation searing her soul. When she looked back up she purposely avoided looking at anyone but George. She couldn’t take the devastation that was surely written on their faces. She took a deep breath and said, "You cheated yourself, George. I fell in love with you and I tried to be everything you wanted me to be. I befriended Meredith, I cooked for Izzie, I accepted the fact that you only wanted me around when it was convenient and I begged you to love me back, but you couldn’t. You wouldn’t. You took everything I had to give and gave me nothing in return. We were broken up. We were broken up because you didn’t want me. So you can’t blame me for trying to find a little comfort in someone who did."
Without another word, she walked out the door.
She didn’t hear Louise imploring George to go after her. She didn’t hear Ronnie and Jerry both threatening to kick his ass. She didn’t hear Harold calling her name.
As soon as she stepped into the hallway, she saw a familiar face that she had prayed to never see again. She drew up short, feeling the wind knocked out of her. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"I wanted to deliver this in person." A sharply dressed older man took a step forward, holding out an envelope.
Callie didn’t lift her hand to take it. "What is it?"
"Roy Porter is eligible for parole." He lowered his arm, still clutching the envelope.
"He got forty years just for me!" Callie shouted, her voice shaking. She was unaware that the O’Malley clan had followed her into the hallway. "It’s only been fifteen! How could they even consider it?"
"Good behavior," the man replied softly.
"Good be- good behavior!? You have got to be kidding me!"
"Callie-" The man took a step forward.
"Of course he has good behavior! There are no little girls there for him to rape and torture." The tears that had been threatening to explode all day finally fell. "This can’t be happening," she sobbed.
"Is there somewhere private we can talk?"
"No, Jake, there isn’t!" she snapped, drawing her sleeve over her eyes. "Why are you telling me this?"
"I need you to give a victim impact statement at the hearing. I need you to tell what he did to you and how it has affected your life," he said. The look on her face prompted him to go on. "I know what I’m asking you. Callie, I lived it right along with you when I prosecuted him -"
"You don’t know what your asking! Or you’d know better than to ask!" she cried. "You didn’t live it at all! I lived it! And then I relived it during that stupid trial and now you’re asking me to do it again?!"
"You’re not a child anymore. You’re a success! You beat him! This time you can face him as an adult."
"I don’t want to face him at all!"
"We both know what will happen if he gets out! He’ll do it again!" Jake reached out and touched her arm. "I’ll go with you."
She took a deep breath and rubbed her face. "Will *he* be there?"
"Oh, of course he will! Of course he gets to be there! Make sure that the rapist gets fair treatment while the victim has to face him! There is something really WRONG with the judicial system in this country." She massaged the back of her neck, trying to reign in her emotions. "Will Molly be there?"
Jake shifted back and forth. He reached up, loosening his tie and regarded her for a second. "No."
"Why not?" she asked. "He did it to her, too."
"Molly killed herself."
Callie’s face fell and any hope of controlling herself was forgotten. She bent at the waist, her hand on her knees and took several deep breaths. The rug had been pulled from beneath her and she was falling. Falling. Falling. She was aware of George beside her, aware of his hand on her back, could hear him talking to her, but it was too much. It was all too much. She pulled away and stood up, staring at Jake. "When?"
"When did she kill herself?"
"Two days ago."
"After you told her this?"
"After she received the letter."
Callie took a step forward and yanked the letter from his hand. She stared down at her name on the envelope, then looked back up at him. "Can you really blame her?"
She walked away, the letter feeling like a thousand pounds in her hand.
By the time she made it to the parking lot ... she was running.