A/N: Good grief I've been missing the Grey's/Private Practice fandom lately. Have been meaning to finish up this story for a while, so (finally) here is the second to last chapter. Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Los Angeles, California
I'll never forget the first time I introduced myself as Dr. Addison Montgomery. I was a resident in New York and I got paged to the ER. I was prepared for anything. Emergency c-section, breech baby, ectopic pregnancy. But it was just a routine delivery, the woman's third kid. She pushed, she screamed, she held her daughter. But something changed in me when I heard that woman call me Dr. Montgomery.
I felt like a superhero, who had taken on another identity.
Honestly I never thought I'd feel that way again. Until today.
Alina awoke with a start, glancing quickly around the dark bedroom as she tried to catch her breath.
It had been almost three months since the attack, and physically she was as good as healed. But the nightmares were relentless, and Alina could barely remember the last time she had slept all the way until morning. Some nights she was back in her kitchen, getting charged at with a knife. Other nights, she was back in the hospital, watching helplessly as her ex-fiance walked back and forth down the hallways. Staring at her, waiting. Watching.
She would never admit it to the older woman, but it was because of these nightmares that she had yet to feel safe leaving Addison's house.
Alina ran a hand through her hair, blinking back tears as she looked at the clock on her phone. 4:15am.
Whether the tears were from fear or frustration at this point, she could never tell. All she knew was that she was tired.
Slowly, Alina stood up to go to the kitchen. It was too late at night her time to call her father without making him worry, and thus, making a pot of tea would have to do.
Slipping a cardigan over her pajamas, Alina crossed her arms and tried not to shiver as she made her way down the hall. The last thing she wanted was to wake anyone else up.
Except once she reached the kitchen, she realized she could do no such thing.
Addison was already awake, curled up in the corner of the living room sofa, the room dimly lit by a nightlight and the back porch.
Alina paused for a moment, realizing her mother still had no idea she was there. A small smile graced her lips as she stared, because despite being jolted awake by another nightmare, in that moment she could think of no happier sight.
"Alina?" she heard Addison whisper, once she made herself known by opening a cabinet.
"Sorry," Alina replied quietly, turning to face her. "I can go back to my room if you're trying to keep him asleep."
Alina watched as her mother looked down at the drowsy baby in her arms.
"No, no," Addison reassured her. "We're good. He's just about out."
"Well that makes one of us at least," Alina muttered, heading toward the kitchen.
"Hey," Addison stopped her, reaching a free hand out over the back of the sofa. "Come here."
Alina exhaled, coming to sit next to her mother.
"Are you okay?" Addison asked, kissing Alina's temple as she curled up beside her.
"Yes," Alina replied, before pausing. "No. Yes. I don't know. It's like during the day I'm almost completely functional and going to work, but then every time I fall asleep he's...it won't stop. No matter how many times I talk to Violet, or how many anxiety meds I take, he's still there. And on top of that I wake you up in the middle of the night. I guess I'm just frustrated more than anything else."
"Honey," Addison crooned, running a hand through Alina's hair. "I don't want you to worry about me. It's my job to be there for you, and make sure you are safe and taken care of. And if that means losing a few hours of sleep here and there, then so be it. And besides," she paused, glancing down at the now-sleeping baby. "I think I am more content in this very moment than I have been in my entire life."
Alina smiled softly, resting her head on Addison's shoulder. She reached over and gently stroked Henry's soft cheek.
"He's so perfect for you," she whispered.
A genuine warm feeling passed through her, remembering a few weeks back when she first introduced Judy, Henry's birth mother, to Addison. The two had clicked almost immediately, and within hours Judy had decided Addison was the one who should adopt Henry.
Then, as if that hadn't been enough, it turned out Addison had also been the one to deliver Henry. Unknowingly, and during one of her long shifts at the hospital with multiple births.
Addison and Henry had been connected from the start.
Her becoming his mother was inevitable.
"You both are so perfect for me," Addison replied, giving her a squeeze.
"Have I said 'I told you so' yet?" Alina joked, giving the baby her finger to grip onto.
"Only about six or seven times. But it's okay. I will gladly accept it."
"So where's the soon to be Doctor Mr. Addison Montgomery tonight?" Alina asked. "I don't think he's ever let you get up for a feeding alone."
"On call at the hospital," Addison answered. "One of his patients was having complications after her implantation."
"I'm so glad he's taking this on with you," Alina said, as Henry cooed in his sleep. "I know I said this before, but you really, really deserve this, Mom." She looked up at her mother. Calling Addison Mom still sent a warm feeling through her. "A happy ending."
Addison chuckled softly.
"Well I certainly hope it's not the end. I still have a lot of firsts to get through with both of my kids."
"You know what I mean," Alina replied.
"Yeah," Addison exhaled, leaning her cheek against Alina's head. "I do."
A few days later, Alina sat on the sofa in Addison's office with her feet up on the coffee table, leaning a wide-awake baby Henry back against her legs. Despite only being about a month old, Alina could swear he was already attempting to smile at her.
"You might actually be better with him than me," she heard Addison joke from behind her desk, glancing over at them fondly while flipping through a patient file.
"No," Alina replied in a baby voice, giving her little brother a smile. "Big sister just loves babies, that's all. Thanks for letting me tag along, by the way."
Despite being almost completely healed, she was still only back working at the hospital part time, and this was as good of an excuse as any to get out of the house.
"Of course," Addison replied. "Any excuse to not let either of you out of my sight."
Alina noticed her mother wink at her and shook her head with a grin.
"I should have known," she said, adjusting Henry as she stood up to approach her mother. "How many files do you have left to go over?"
"Oh…" Addison counted the stack on her desk. "I have about half of these to pass off to the OB on call at St. Ambrose, and the other half to take down to the fourth floor, but I'll just do a few more today. Want to make sure everyone is covered in case one of my patients goes into surprise labor during my somewhat unexpected maternity leave…"
"Unexpected but well deserved," Alina said, kissing her mother's head before leaning down beside her. "Can I help with anything?"
"I think I'm alright," Addison replied, running a hand over Henry's cheek. The baby's large chestnut eyes looked up at her from his spot against Alina's chest. "Just having you both here is plenty."
A knock at Addison's door startled them both.
"Come in!" Addison called out.
It was Amelia.
"Hey, Addie, sorry to bug you, but I just noticed you were here and could we...maybe chat in my office for a second?"
Alina exchanged glances with her mother.
"Go," she said. "We'll be fine hanging out here."
Addison ran a hand over Alina's hair before getting up to follow Amelia down the hall.
"Looks like it's just us, little man," Alina said to Henry, sitting down in Addison's desk chair with the baby on her lap. "Should we help mommy go through some of her patent files?"
Alina glanced through a few of Addison's case files before grabbing a handful and returning to the sofa with Henry, laying him down on his back beside her. She was just about through with one when she heard a knock at the door.
"Knock, knock," came the voice of Cooper Freedman.
"Cooper!" Alina smiled, setting the file down on the coffee table. "It's good to see you, how are you?"
"I think I should be the one asking you that," Cooper replied, coming to sit on the sofa, sandwiching Henry between them. Alina gave the baby her finger to hold onto. "From what I've heard, you've been put through the ringer these past couple of months."
Alina exhaled, blinking slowly.
"It certainly wasn't the most fun I've ever had in my life. But," she paused, looking down at Henry, who was currently attempting to fit his other fist into his mouth. "I got a mom out of it. And a little brother. And even a soon-to-be stepfather. So I suppose it had to happen this way. I could do a lot worse, as far as families go."
"Well, Charlotte and I are happy you're alright, and even happier to have you in our...inner circle, I guess you could call it."
"You make it sound like you all are part of some secret club."
"I suppose you could refer to the practice as such." He looked down at the baby. "You mind if I hold him?"
"Oh!" Alina said. "Of course. I know it's been a whole two days since Addison first brought him here to show him off."
"Hey, what can I say," Cooper replied, scooping up the baby. "Uncle Cooper is a sucker for babies. Hi, buddy." He smiled down at Henry, who cooed happily in Cooper's arms.
"I guess it's good you're a pediatrician then," Alina commented.
"Yeah," Cooper sighed, watching Henry for a second before looking back up at Alina. "But uh, speaking of which, I'm especially glad I ran into you today because there's...something I wanted to run by you, professionally speaking."
"Okay," Alina replied with a little uncertainty. "Is everything alright?"
"What? Oh, yes!" Cooper replied. "Yes, don't worry, it's nothing bad."
"Alright then, go on."
"Well, I suppose I should start by telling you that Charlotte's pregnant."
"Wait, what?" Alina blinked in surprise. "Oh my god, congratulations!" She reached forward to place a hand on Cooper's arm.
"...with triplets," he finished.
This time, Alina was speechless, her mouth agape.
"I...whoa," she managed. "Triplets. As in...three babies."
"Yes," Cooper nodded. "Three babies. It's…"
"Kind of a miracle," Alina added.
"That it is," Cooper said.
"How is Dr. King doing?" Alina asked.
"Still in a bit of shock, I think," he chuckled lightly. "She's a great stepmother to my son, Mason, but we definitely...were not trying for another kid just yet."
"Well if I've learned anything this year it's that surprises can lead to the best outcomes," Alina smiled. "Does anyone else here know?"
"Just Violet so far," Cooper said. "We planned on telling Addison soon, just with Henry and everything we didn't want to overwhelm her. And then as fate would have it, I ran into you here before I could get to her."
"Fate?" Alina raised an eyebrow.
"I've been thinking," Cooper continued. "Charlotte has made it very clear that she'll stay home with the babies for the standard maternity leave, but ultimately she doesn't want to stop working. Being Chief of Staff at St. Ambrose is...a part of her. And I'd never ask her to give that up, no matter how many kids we had. So we talked about it, and we decided that after her maternity leave is up, I would take a leave of absence and be a stay at home dad for a while. At least through their first year, maybe longer."
"Wow," Alina said again. "That's...I'm really happy for you, Cooper. Those babies don't know it yet, but they hit the parent jackpot."
"Thanks," Cooper said, and Alina noticed him blush a bit as he glanced back at Henry, who had nodded off against his shoulder. "But, this leads me to my question. I'm going to need someone to take on my patient load here at the practice while I'm on leave. Now I know most of your experience has been in hospitals, but I've seen you with Lucas, and with our NICU babies, and after helping make sure Addison got to adopt this little guy...kids love you, and I think you'd be a really good fit here at our practice."
Alina was stunned. She had thoroughly enjoyed the cases she had worked on with Cooper at the hospital, and the practice definitely had a homey vibe to it, but did he seriously already trust her enough to take care of patients he'd been seeing for years? And was she really ready to give up her fast-paced hospital doctor life for a private practice?
When she'd thought of something like that in the past, she had imagined herself being closer to 40 years old, not 29.
"Are you serious?" she stammered.
"Yes," Cooper replied with a shrug, and without a second thought. "Granted I haven't cleared it with Addison yet, but between you and me, I don't think there's anyone she would love to have join our practice more than you, Alina. I've known her for over five years, and I don't think I've ever seen her happier than she's been since you two found each other."
Alina felt her eyes prickle ever so slightly. She knew Cooper was right. Because despite everything that happened to get here, Alina had never been happier either.
She finally had a mother.
"Well, I…" she started. "I'm certainly very flattered. And I'm honored that you'd trust me with your patients. But I do still have my fellowship term to finish up at the hospital…"
"Which is why I figured I'd put the bug in your ear now," Cooper said. "Charlotte isn't due for another six months or so, so it probably wouldn't be until early next year sometime that I go on leave."
"Okay," Alina thought out loud.
Her first instinct was to tell Cooper that she'd think about it. After all, it was a huge decision to make, and a big responsibility to take on. Not to mention, what would it be like working with (and technically for) her mother? Would that put a strain on their relationship? Alina couldn't even bear the thought of losing the bond she'd managed to form with Addison, especially over a professional disagreement.
But then she thought - despite basically being attached at the hip these past two months, she and Addison still had so much time to make up for. Her favorite part of the day was when her mother would come home in the evenings and tell her all about her patients, or cool surgeries she got to perform.
Alina felt so safe with Addison, like nothing bad could ever happen again so long as they had each other. And clearly the universe felt the same way, given this opportunity that just fell into her lap.
Maybe this was where she was meant to be.
"You know what," she said, looking Cooper in the eye. "Yes. I'll do it."
"What's up?" Addison asked, as Amelia shut the door to her office behind them. "Is everything okay? Are you okay?"
She knew Amelia had been through hell and back over the past six months, what with getting sober, losing her lover, and finding out she was expecting. The last thing Amelia needed was another complication.
Addison glanced down toward Amelia's protruding stomach quickly.
"What?" Amelia replied. "Oh, oh yeah everything's fine there. Baby's fine. Growing like a weed. The usual."
"Good, good." Addison felt herself exhale in relief.
"No, this is about…something else. I mean it's kind of about the baby, but not like, a health thing."
"Okay," Addison said slowly. "Go on."
Amelia sat down in one of the chairs in front of her desk, gesturing for Addison to do the same. She let out a long breath.
"I'm just gonna come out and say it," Amelia said. "I've decided…I'm moving to Seattle."
Addison blinked, not fully processing.
"I'm sorry, you're…what?"
"Moving to Seattle," Amelia repeated, placing a hand on her stomach. "You know I'm six months along and I've been thinking a lot about what kind of life I want my kid to have, especially considering he's only gonna have one parent, and…Derek and I, we haven't always been on the same page about everything, but we've made a lot of good strides recently, working together, and now he and Meredith are starting their family. I think this might be a chance for us to actually have a relationship, raise our kids together.
And here…I love you guys, more than anything, you know that, and I'm gonna miss you, but this hasn't exactly been the easiest year for me and I just think I need…"
"...a fresh start," Addison finished. She already felt the tears pooling behind her eyes. "I get that."
Better than anyone, she wanted to add.
"Yeah," Amelia breathed, and Addison heard the heaviness behind her voice too.
She reached forward, taking Amelia's hand.
"You're not gonna start crying are you?" Amelia half-laughed. "Because if you cry, then I'm gonna cry, and I've cried enough for a hundred people these past six months."
Addison chuckled, unable to hold the tears back.
"You're my sister," she said. "And you just told me you're leaving. Of course I'm going to cry."
Addison got up, moving to kneel in front of Amelia.
"Listen," she continued. "I love you no matter what. No matter what you say or do, or how far away you move, I'm always going to have your back, got it?"
A couple tears fell down Amelia's cheeks as she nodded, choking on a laugh.
"So you're not mad?"
"No, I'm not mad," Addison replied, carefully wiping a tear from her sister's cheek. "You're doing what's best for you and your kid. How could I ever be mad at that? Come here."
She leaned forward, pulling Amelia into a hug, swallowing her own tears.
"There is one thing though," Addison said.
"What?" Amelia muttered against her shoulder.
"Well, someone has to tell Derek and Meredith that they're just gonna have to deal with me visiting all the time."
"I'm serious," Addison laughed. "If you think you're getting rid of me that easily, think again. As if I'd ever let you move up an entire coast and not see you again for ten years."
Amelia squeezed her tighter.
"Never. Never, never, never."
"He down for the night?"
Addison plopped down on the sofa beside Jake later that night, having just put Henry to bed.
"Oh yeah," she answered, snuggling up against him as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders. "Out like a light. I think two visits to the office in 48 hours did a number on him."
"Well at least he's getting a head start at seeing how amazing his mom is," Jake muttered with a smile, kissing Addison's forehead.
She smiled, letting herself relax against her fiance. An episode of Scandal played quietly in the background.
"Mmm, flattery will get you everywhere, Dr. Reilly."
"Where's your mini-me tonight, by the way?" Jake asked, referring to Alina. "Almost feels strange to be sitting here without someone around to critique my choice of TV show."
"Alina had a late surgery today. Two year old came into the ER with a broken leg. She should be home in a few hours."
"Wow," Jake said with a small smile and nod.
"Wow, what?" Addison raised an eyebrow.
"Nothing," he replied. "Just a little surprised by the lack of anxiety in your voice just now when you told me that. Especially considering three weeks ago you were this close to filing a missing persons report if she was more than thirty seconds late getting home."
Addison paused, opening her mouth to respond.
"But before you say anything," he cut her off. "I'm not criticizing. Knowing how much you love her, and watching you get to love her, only makes me love you more. I'm just glad you're feeling better about her being back at work."
Addison had to smile, exhaling slightly.
"Alina would probably be the first to tell you how overprotective I've been," she said. "But I don't know. It was like, for the longest time I'd think of her in that hospital and all I'd see was her lying in that ICU bed, or on that…that bathroom floor, and I…" She paused, swallowing the emotion that came with remembering seeing her child lying helpless on the floor, at the mercy of her abuser. "I'd just panic."
Jake held her tighter, gently rubbing her arm.
"I suppose I just kept telling myself that if she's okay being back there, I'm okay with it," Addison concluded. "She's 29, she's an adult, and an adult who's gone without a real mother for far too long. She knows what she's doing."
"Huh," Jake said. "That might just be one of the most emotionally evolved things I've ever heard a parent say." He grinned slightly. "I know when Angela studied abroad her junior year and moved to South America I was a wreck for a solid three months."
"Well in your defense I can still bother my daughter via text message at least every minute and a half, surgery or not," Addison joked. "Yours went just about off grid."
"Touche," Jake replied.
Addison hummed happily.
"We have some good girls, don't we?"
"That we do," Jake agreed. "Not to mention the little man asleep upstairs."
A genuine warm feeling passed through her, as it did every time she was reminded she now had a baby of her very own. And despite the number of times she woke up with him throughout the night, Addison hoped that feeling never went away. Henry was her son. Henry completed her family in exactly the way she needed.
"Have I ever told you how happy I am to have this life with you, Jake Reilly?" she muttered, running a finger up and down his chest.
"Mmm, once or twice," he mumbled, lips pressed against her head.
"Oh," Addison paused, reaching for her phone in the back pocket of her jeans. "Speaking of happy, I wanted to show you, I started making a list of potential wedding venues."
She pulled up her notes app, scrolling through the various images and websites.
"Now the nice thing about Southern California is that weather won't really be an issue for us, but I figure we won't want to be standing anywhere outside in the sun during the middle of summer, so I saved the best indoor venues in a 'Summer Wedding' folder…"
"Well, was there anything that stood out to you the most?" Jake asked, looking over her shoulder at an outdoor beach venue.
"Oh, I don't know," Addison sighed. "To be honest I was mostly just excited about the thought of marrying you and sitting awake at 2am with Henry, so I may have jumped the gun a little bit."
Jake smiled next to her, leaving another kiss against her temple.
"I suppose though the next question is how long of an engagement do we want…" Addison trailed off. "What do you think?"
"Honest answer?" Jake said after a moment.
"Honey, if there were ever a time to be brutally honest in a relationship I'd say planning a wedding is pretty high up on the list," Addison chuckled, turning her head slightly to face him.
"If you want the big fancy traditional wedding, I would be more than happy to give that to you. But honestly? I just want to be married to you. If you said 'let's go to the courthouse tomorrow' I'd be the first one there." Jake tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "Look, if one of these venues spoke to your soul then absolutely, I'm all in. I'm just saying, I'd be equally as thrilled to marry you in the backyard."
Addison felt her eyes prickle.
"Jake…" she mumbled, nuzzling against his neck, hugging him tightly.
"You've already given me everything I need," he muttered. "Anything else is just icing on the cake. Or, wedding cake, I suppose."
Addison let out a breathy laugh.
"I see what you did there."
She glanced over Jake's shoulder out the back window, toward the ocean. For a second, she let herself imagine what it might look like to marry him in that very spot, on her back porch, surrounded by only the people she loved most.
Addison had done the big traditional wedding before, with Derek. None of it had been planned by her, and as much as she had loved Derek at the time and was happy to be marrying him, it was definitely not the most personal of ceremonies.
This time, she knew she wanted to do it differently. She no longer had some Bizzy-esque image to maintain—at least not one that she cared about—and nothing made her happier than her chosen family, here in California and beyond.
"You know what," she said. "Let's do it."
"The backyard," Addison clarified. "Let's get married here. This summer."
"Addison." Jake looked at her. "Are you sure?"
She placed both hands on his cheeks.
"I have never been more sure about anything in my entire life," she smiled, rubbing her thumb gently along his cheekbone. "Who needs a long engagement when all I want is you, and Henry, and Alina, and Angela?"
Jake's eyes sparkled as he leaned forward to kiss her.
"Just close friends and family, the beach, our kids, and you," she grinned against his lips.
"Mmm," Jake hummed. "Sounds like heaven to me."
His hands ran up and down her back as Addison let herself get lost in the kiss. Lost in him. Soon, Jake was leaning her backwards, the both of them lying down on the sofa.
"What time did you say Alina would be home again?" he mumbled, his lips leaving a trail down her neck toward her collarbone.
"Not for a few hours," Addison breathed. "Surgery just started."
"Well in that case," Jake said. "You're mine for the next few hours."
Addison ran her fingers through his soft hair, forcing him to pause and look down at her. His gaze was so full of lust and love, and it was a look Addison never wanted to live without ever again.
"Thankfully," she smiled softly. "We've got a lot longer than that."
And she leaned upward, capturing his lips in a kiss that was certainly promise enough.
Thank you so much for reading!