Author's Note: Thanks for the reviews!
Where we belong
She didn't stop until she was on the beach. There, she felt her lungs sting, urging her to slow down. Addison could feel the water around her feet, soaking the hem of her dress. She didn't care; just kept walking. The panic that had momentarily taken control of her vanished with every wave hitting the beach. Only few people knew it, but the seaside had become Addison's sanctuary. Here, looking at the ocean and feeling the sand underneath her feet, she could think through her everyday disasters. Like leaving her husband-to-be at the altar in front of their families and friends. Bizzy was going to have her head for this, but right now Addison didn't care. Because, she couldn't bring herself to regret it. Sure, she felt sorry for her fiance – or ex-fiance now – for stringing him along, letting him believe they had something that was never there. At least she had saved them both from a mistake they'd regret for the rest of their lives. The rest of her life. What was she going to do with it now? Looking up, she could see her house in the distance. And something fell into place.
Derek sat on a deckchair on her patio, head in hands. He only looked up as a shadow fell over him. "Addison?" If he weren't already in love with the trembling angel in front of him, he'd fall for her now, hoping to never hit the ground. Knowing he probably will, because even if that white dress so perfectly hugging her body and her auburn hair cascading down her back in natural curls both make her look like a fallen angel, she's actually the devil. Yet he couldn't help but love her, despite the fact that he was in for another round of heartbreaking. For a moment, they took each other in; the past lovers who still held so much power above the other. When she finally spoke, her voice was as sharp as a dagger: "I hate you, Derek Christopher Shepherd." Yet she came to him, crying. "So obviously, there is no good reason in the world for me to run from my own wedding, except – except that I love you. And it makes me hate you." The angry tears became broken sobs of a woman who knew that her love would eventually burn her, but still couldn't think about one single reason to not touch its fire. Derek silently opened his arms and Addison sank into them, hiding her face while he pressed a kiss onto her hair. "I can assure you, the hating-part will stop eventually.", he murmured, "As for the loving-part, I hope it never does."
Derek only tore his eyes away from the sleeping woman in his arms as he heard movement behind him. He saw Amelia standing near the patio's door. His sister smiled at him, while absently saying into her cell phone: "I've found her, Naomi... No, there is no need for you to come over. I think she has everything she needs right now."
5 months later...
All everybody wants when meeting their ex is not only to be as bright and shiny as possible but also to be breathtakingly. Breathtakingly Addison certainly was on this fateful morning as she spotted her ex-fiance in her local grocery shop – just not in the way she wanted to. More in a 'wearing a slightly too long hoodie and slightly too short pants' and 'just rolled of bed, because apparently you can't live on love and air and take out forever' way. She tried to hide behind a stack of canned food, but - "Addison?" No such luck. Slowly, she turned around. "Oh, uhm – hey!", she said, a big smile plastered on her face. God, this was awkward. Why, oh why didn't the earth swallow one when it was desperately needed? "So, uh – how are you?" "Good, actually." He did look good, too – a nice tan, sunglasses hanging from his Hawaiian shirt and of course the cargo shorts which showed off his muscular legs. Addison did feel slightly sleazy in her old 'Yale' hoodie and her hair carelessly thrown into a sloppy ponytail. Certainly not the hotshot version he was used to. "And you?" "Listen, we don't have to do this. The awkward talking. I mean, you probably hate me anyway and could possibly think about thousand better places to be than in this aisle. So let's just pass each other by, okay?" "First off, Addison – I don't hate you. I might have been hurt – because believe me, being left at the altar flat out sucks – but now I can look at you and say wholeheartedly that I'm okay. That I get why you did what you did. And secondly, I've always enjoyed talking to you. So, how are you?"
"Hey, Addie, which cereal -", Derek, who had come up behind her, stopped mid sentences. Addison reached for his hand, intertwining their fingers, suddenly not caring about the fact that both of them looked like they had hidden out in her house all day. "Great.", she said to her ex-fiance. "We're great." He smiled slightly. "So the great love stories don't end with signatures on divorce papers, huh?" He turned a bit, signaling for a blonde woman further up the aisle to join them. "Anyway.", he said. "This is Sasha, my girlfriend." The blonde smiled, saying: "Hey, you're Addison, right? The runaway bride." Addison shrugged. "Yeah. I suppose that's me." And then, Sasha did something completely unexpected: she hugged the neonatal surgeon and while she did so, she whispered: "Thanks for running."