Author: Chelle Storey-Daniel
Rating: I'll say strong R because details of a crime are described.
Summary: The fallout continues and Alex is just really, really great for Addison.
A/N: Please be warned ... there are details of a rape in a characters past in here. May trigger victims.
My previous works can be found here: Shades of Grey. Thank you, Alex, for the art. :)
A persistent knocking pulled George from slumber. He sat bolt upright and promptly fell to the floor. The chair that he had stuffed himself into for sleeping was as cruel as he expected, but it was more sanitary than crashing on the carpet. He wasn’t a germophobe per se, but hotel floors were not notorious for being clean, even posh ones like the Archfield. His entire body ached and his neck felt like it had been broken. Stumbling to his feet, he untangled the cover that was wrapped around his legs and finally made it to the door. "Shhhh," he said, holding his finger over his lips as he greeted Addison with a nod. "She’s asleep."
"No, I’m not," Callie called, flipping on the bedside lamp. "Who could sleep at all when it sounds like twenty football players just charged through the room?"
"Sorry," George told her, leaning down to pick up the blanket. "Since half my body is still asleep from lack of circulation I can honestly tell you that I had no control over it."
"Hey, you’re the one who insisted that you stay."
Addison hobbled past George. "Okay, I’m clearly missing something."
Callie sat up, trying to smooth the tangles from her hair. With a grimace, she gave up and grabbed a scrunchie from the end table, hastily pulling her hair away from her face. "How’s your knee?" she asked, pointing at the splint on Addy’s leg.
"Chief Webber fixed it. After he yelled at me for twenty minutes for not making a chart. He knows you were involved." Addison sat down on the foot of the bed. "Aren’t you working today?"
"I talked to Webber. I’m taking a few days off." Callie shrugged.
"You are?" George asked, sitting down in the chair that had mauled him for seven hours. "But-"
"I need some time to think."
"Spill it, Callie!" Addison propped her crutches against the foot of the bed and crossed her arms. "I’m not leaving until I know exactly what happened to you yesterday. Something did!"
"Which part do you want first? The part where some beefcake punched me, the part where I killed an old man - at least according to George, or the part where George called me a slut in front of his parents?" Callie narrowed her eyes at George for a second. "Oh, or maybe I should just skip to the absolute worst moment of a perfectly shitty day and tell you about Roy Porter."
Addison was glaring at George as well, but she turned back at Callie. "Who’s Roy Porter?"
"He’s a man who terrorized me when I was a kid. And he’s up for parole." Out of the corner of her eye, Callie could see the letter sitting like a big, horrific elephant on the bureau. Her stomach plummeted a little as she considered the unread information that was contained inside it. "Jake, the district attorney who prosecuted the case, wants me to testify at the hearing."
"What did he do to you?" Addison gently nudged the dark haired woman, laying a hand on her arm. "Callie?"
"He - he , uh, raped me. When I was thirteen."
"Oh my god!" Putting a hand over her mouth, Addison could only shake her head. Her eyes conveyed everything loud and clear.
Callie was used to that look; shock, sympathy and horror. She hated it as a child and she hated it now. Taking a deep breath, she ran a hand over her face and exhaled slowly. "I don’t want to do this. I - I don’t have it in me."
George and Addison exchanged the same troubled gaze. George leaned forward in the chair a little and softly said, "Sometimes it helps to talk about it. Tell us what happened. Please?"
"I never talk about my past. To anyone," Callie replied, a sudden chill racing through her. She pulled the cover up a little, burying her arms under it. "People don’t treat me the same when they find out exactly who I am."
"Who you are? Who you are is an amazing woman who went through hell and came out stronger for it," Addison replied. "And we’re not just people, Callie. We’re your friends."
"Hey, look at me." George pulled his chair closer, not stopping until his shins rested against the bed rail. "I spent the night doing a pretty bad impression of a contortionist to show you that I care. Nothing you say is going to change the way I feel."
Callie actually drew strength from the way he looked at her, from the firm grip that Addison had on her arm. With a small nod, she said, "My mother is Olivia Archfield."
"*The* Olivia Archfield." Addison’s eyes widened. "The actress? The mom on ‘Colton’s Crossing’. I watch it every week."
"Yep. And my dad is Miguel Torres. You know, he directed the ‘Fantasy League’ movies and was in the running for Harry Potter, but chose to do ‘Sand Town’ instead. He won his eighth Oscar for it." Callie was silent for a second, allowing them to process her words. "I was their only child so it was natural that they’d get me into acting. By the time I was four I had already done Broadway and a string of commercials. When I was six I started voicing the role of Dinky in the ‘Ancient Lands’ movies and did that until I was ten. Then I recorded the voices for ‘The Little Fisher Girl’ and ‘Curly Jane’. When I was eleven I sang on Star Search and won the grand prize. Then when I was twelve, my voice started to change so my parents hired a vocal coach. Roy Porter."
"You were Dinky in ‘Ancient Lands’? I loved those!" George’s eyes were huge in his head. "I guess I don’t have to ask how you afford the Archfield anymore."
"Philip Archfield is my grandfather. He doesn’t make me pay, although I could because the royalties are really nice." Callie glanced at Addison. "Which is why I’m not batting an eyelash at the rent at Westlake Commons.
"My given name is Abigail Calliope Archfield-Torres. They wanted me to have a ‘stage name’ to protect my privacy so they called me Abby Torres. That way I wouldn’t be recognized as Olivia’s daughter and could have a semi-normal life. Anyway, they hired Roy Porter to help guide me vocally. He had an impressive resume and had worked with Broadway stars and I was friends with his daughter Molly. She was a couple years younger than me and was a really great kid. Her mom died when she gave birth to her and I kinda considered her a sister. She couldn’t sing, couldn’t dance, but loved it just the same. Roy worked with me for a year and I was getting ready to audition for the lead in The Wizard of Oz so we were working all the time to get my voice where it needed to be.
"He lived close enough that I could ride my bike to his place. So, I headed out just like always and got there right on time. It started out like a normal class. We did scales, we worked on a couple of hard notes and then he left the room and Molly came in. She told me I should leave and that something bad was going to happen. Roy came back and told me that there was a present for me in the shed. Molly refused to stay in the house even though Roy kept yelling at her. She kept saying that I had to leave. I should have listened to her.
"He locked her out of the shed and attacked me right away. I didn’t really know what was happening ... I mean, I knew about sex, but I didn’t really get that that was what he was doing to me. I was so scared and I was trying to fight him, but he was too strong. When he was finished he chained me up to the wall and I was confused and bleeding and I thought he was leaving me there to die. I blacked out or fell asleep or something and when I woke up, Molly was chained across the room. He had done the same thing to her. She was eleven and she had tried to do the right thing and alert the police when they stopped by searching for me. So he punished her.
"He kept us there for days. Molly’s hands were tied so tight that she cried all the time from the pain. Mine were tight, too, but not like hers. We didn’t have food or water. I’d try to drink something every time he put me in the shower which he did a couple times a day. It was cold, there was no heat in the shed. On the fourth day, we heard voices and started screaming. The cops opened the door.
"They had sent out search parties the entire time and Roy claimed that I never made it to his place, but they didn’t believe him. Especially when Molly didn’t show up for school. I stayed in the hospital for over a week, but Molly was there for two months. She lost both of her hands and had to have a hysterectomy. Eight months later, they found Roy trying to sneak across the border into Mexico and brought him back for trial. My parents had moved me across the country, but we had to go back. Molly had to go back, too.
"On my fifteen birthday he was sentenced to ninety years. Forty for me and fifty for her. Because of ‘good behavior’, he’s eligible for parole." The breath she took was shaky and her eyes burned with unshed tears. "He stole my childhood, my innocence, my voice, and completely altered the course of my life. And he could get out. He could walk because of good behavior. There is just something so wrong with that."
Addison wiped a tear from her own cheek and took Callie’s hand. "I’m so sorry."
George stood and walked to the window, staring out over the rain soaked city. He shoved his hands in his pockets in an attempt to stop their shaking, but it was futile. His entire body felt cold and brittle. Shaken. "I’ll go with you. To testify," he finally said.
Callie shook her head. "I’m not going."
"But he could get out." Addison said.
George turned from the window and kneeled next to the bed, looking up at her. "You said he stole your voice. It’s time to take it back."
Callie looked away from him, her gaze resting on the letter again. How could she possibly find the strength to go there again, to stare into the face of the monster who had broken her down the middle. Roy Porter had been her friend, her confidante, her mentor. He had destroyed her repeatedly, shattered the remnants of her childhood. Callie was strong in spite of what he had done to her, but she wasn’t that strong.
No one was.
After a few minutes, Callie took a deep breath. "No one at the hospital knows who my parents are or what my childhood was like."
"Your secret is safe," Addison assured her. "I don’t know why you’d want to hide your accomplishments, though."
"It’s just better." Callie twisted the blanket in her hands. "I’ve never had real friends. People only liked me because they thought they’d score an invitation to my house so they could meet my parents. They didn't realize that I only saw my parents four times a year if I was lucky. Thank God for nannies. I had the best one in the world."
Addison forced herself to smile, even though her heart was breaking for Callie. "Well, I liked you before I knew."
"Me, too," George said.
"If I go back and testify I won’t be doing it as a minor. I was protected before because my parents paid for high priced lawyers to conceal their identity and mine. But I won’t have that same protection now. They’ll release my name and I can’t do that. My family is in the media enough without my help."
"But-" George began.
"You don’t get it," Callie cut him off. "My father is about to open what promises to be the biggest film of the year amidst Oscar buzz. My mom’s television show was just added to syndication and pulled a thirty share last week. If this news leaks then every major media outlet will camp out in front of Seattle Grace for the money shot of me falling apart or wearing mismatched clothes or god forbid looking happy under the circumstances. My parents will have to hold a press conference, my mother will probably have another nervous breakdown and find something else to despise me for and my dad will have his movie premiere ruined. I can’t do that. I won’t."
"Maybe since your name was withheld last time they won’t be able to use it now," Addison suggested.
"In a perfect world that would be the case. I don’t live in a perfect world. I live in a fishbowl."
"We’ll think of something." George sat down on the bed and put his arm around her. "Together."
But her heart wasn’t in it.
Alex stepped off the elevator on the twenty second floor and glanced out at the skyline. His throat constricted as a wave of nausea rolled over him and he quickly moved to the other side of the hallway, away from the row of windows. The fear of heights had been his constant companion since childhood. He had fallen out of a tree when he was four and from that point on, looking down from even a second story window would cause his insides to churn and paranoia to roll through him. He was fine as long as he didn’t look down, but if he did, all bets were off.
A bead of sweat trickled over his brow and he swore, using the sleeve of his jacket to dab at his forehead. He made a mental note to convince Addison that the ground floor was much safer as he knocked on her door. She didn’t want to accompany him to dinner, claiming that there were too many stigmas attached to it, and had invited him to lunch instead. Checking his watch, he noted that he was ten minutes early and knocked again.
He had not told anyone about his flirtation with Dr. Montgomery. There were stigmas attached to that as well. It would seem that everyone in his intern group had a rite of passage that included dating the residents or attendings. He had thought himself immune to it, but one look at Addison’s fiery red hair and seductive smile had been his undoing. He genuinely liked her company and was anxious to see where their relationship could go.
Assuming she opened the door. He knocked again, harder this time, and put his hands on his hips. Surely she wouldn’t stand him up. Not only had he braved the twenty-second floor, he had gone out as soon as the department stores opened and bought a jacket, shirt, and tie. She wasn’t the kind of woman who considered McDonald’s a lunch and he wasn’t the kind of guy to disappoint a lady. "Addison?" he said, tapping on the door again. "I know I’m early, but come on."
He gave it five minutes and decided to head to the lobby to call her room. He stood in the elevator, watching the floors tick past. On the fourteenth, the doors slid open and Addison stood on the other side, looking like she’d just witnessed a murder. He immediately reached for her and she stepped into his arms, resting her face in the crook of his neck. He was tempted to comment on how well she fit against him, but she sobbed and it startled him so much that he silently pulled her closer.
The doors slid shut behind her and he held onto her. Reaching behind her, he pressed the button for the twenty second floor, but had to endure the ride to the lobby before it began to rise upward again. He massaged her back, pulling her a little tighter against him as she sobbed. "What happened?" he asked her after a few seconds.
She shook her head and when the doors opened on her floor, she stumbled and almost lost her footing. He lifted her into his arms and carried her down the hallway. She unlocked the door and he carried her into the room, placing her on the unmade bed. Glancing around, he saw a box of tissues and grabbed a few, handing them to her as he sat next to her.
In silence, he took her hand and brought it to his lips. "Tell me."
"It’s just - Callie is rapidly becoming my best friend and I found out that something awful happened to her when she was a kid." She blotted at her face with the tissue. "And why are you always there when I need to be carried?"
"I have many skills."
She smiled a little and reached out, tugging on his tie. "Dressing isn’t one of them. This thing is horrible."
Alex narrowed his eyes at her. "I’ll have you know that a very nice old man picked this out for me this morning and assured me that it was the best selling combo."
"An old man, huh? Did he have his glasses on?" She chuckled at the look on his face and nudged him with her shoulder. "You bought a tie this morning?"
"You said that you needed a fancy dinner."
"But this is *lunch*." She blew her nose. "And I think we better just call room service because I’m not presentable and I don’t feel like getting presentable."
He pushed an errant strand of hair behind her ear. "I think you look beautiful."
"In my worn out sweats and ratty Boyz II Men shirt?" She tilted her cheek into his palm.
"In anything." He watched as her gaze moved over his bottom lip and leaned forward, kissing her softly. After a second, her hand caressed his neck and pulled him closer. He obliged and shifted so that he could deepen the kiss.
Addison sighed and pulled away after a few minutes. "I am *not* sleeping with you on our first date. No matter how charming you are."
"Can we count the whole knee incident as the first one and this as the second one?"
"Slow, Karev. I want to take it slow."
"Fair enough." He stood and took his tie off, shoving it into his jacket. Then he slipped his jacket off and laid it on the end of the bed. "So, do you have a menu? I spent all day shopping and haven’t eaten yet."
"Top drawer." She grinned and pointed at the end table. As he studied the menu, one that she had memorized, she took in his dress pants and crisp beige shirt. He cleaned up really well and her heart thumped in her chest when he met her eyes and grinned at her. She didn’t know what she was thinking.
But she was definitely entertaining whatever it was.
"What happened to Torres?" He handed her the menu and sat next to her again.
"That’s her story to tell. I really can’t go there again."
"Okay." He pointed at the menu. "I’m getting roast beef. What about you?"
"That’s my favorite, too."
"See? We’re perfect for each other."
"Because we like the same food?"
"No, because you like me as much as I like you. And we both know it."
"You’re pretty sure of yourself."
"I’m convinced." Smiling, he kissed her just behind the ear, then whispered, "Do I need to convince you?"
"I don’t think so."
"Damn." He pulled a small box out of his pocket and handed it to her. "Because I thought this might do the trick."
"What is this?" she asked, taking it from him.
"I noticed that charm bracelet that you wear all the time. I thought you’d like it. Consider it an apology for nearly severing your leg."
She took the lid off and gasped. A gold ‘A’ rested against the felt and she ran her thumb over it. "It’s beautiful. It actually matches a necklace that my dad gave me last year."
"Yeah, well, this one stands for Alex. You can wear me anytime."
She laughed, wrinkling her nose. "How long did it take you to come up with that?"
"The entire drive over. Did you like it?"
"You’re so cute."
"Just one more thing we have in common." Alex leaned across her, picking up the phone. "Call for food before I starve to death."
She placed their order and hung up. When she turned back to him, he was closing the blinds. "What are you doing?"
"It’s bad enough that we’re in the sky. I don’t need to see it."
"You’re afraid of heights?"
"Awww." She motioned for him to come back to the bed. "Want me to take your mind off it?"
He raced across the room and slipped beside her. "What did you have in mind?"
"I’m letting you get to second base. But ONLY second base. We’re doing this the right way."
"I’m a pinch hitter, Addison. I only hit homeruns."
"Whatever you say." He winked at her, then leaned in to kiss her.
His heart slammed against his chest when she threaded her fingers through his hair.
Whatever he was falling into felt like home, no matter how many bases he crossed.