Notes: This is a fanfiction based on characters from the TV shows, Grey’s Anatomy, and Private Practice. This rewrites parts of the second season finale of Grey’s Anatomy. But this fanfiction tells an alternate story of what happens after Derek and Meredith have sex in the exam room at Seattle Grace hospital. Instead, it asks the question: What if Derek and Addison didn’t end things after Derek cheated on her with Meredith? What if they decided to give their relationship one more shot? This story and chapter were originally posted on Archive of Our Own on January 13th, 2022. This is chapter eight so it is necessary to read chapter seven (and the previous chapters) before moving on. This has been edited to include headings and images.
Start Again: Chapter 8
When Addison thought back on her and Derek’s conversations about starting a family, she mostly just remembered the fights they used to have. Their conversations were so vastly different when they were young residents getting married. They’d talk about how their babies would have her auburn hair and his nose. Derek would remind her that he wanted to name their son after his father, Christopher. And Addison would jokingly argue that she’d only give in if the baby looked like a Christopher. But the idea of having a mini Derek and Addison excited them. It still did. They just didn’t talk about it anymore. At some point, they stopped talking about it. Stopped dreaming of the life they were going to have.
Addison wondered when that stopped. Was it after the umpteenth fight about how Derek wanted a baby and Addison would insist it was too early? Or did it come later when Derek would just accuse her of being scared? I mean, how could she argue with that? She was scared. She still is. She didn’t exactly have the best parental role models growing up. Addison spent most of her childhood doing everything she could to impress Bizzy, to no avail. Then, there was covering up The Captain’s numerous affairs. Her parents never even let her call them “Mom” or “Dad”. How could Addison ever be a good mother when her own parents lacked in the parenting department?
The Difference Between Addison and Derek’s Parents
She did have some great nannies growing up, however. Although, they were mostly great because they knew how to deal with Addison when she was upset over something Bizzy said. The last thing she wanted was for their kid to love the nanny more than her and Derek. But she was kidding herself if she thought her kid wouldn’t have a nanny considering the long hours she and Derek worked. So, in order for this to work, there needs to be some kind of balance. But Addison would need to get over her crippling fear of being a bad mother first.
Luckily for Derek, he got to have the quintessential role model in Carolyn Shepherd. And maybe the fact that Carolyn always despised her didn’t make her feel any more confident about her potential parental skills. Despite the fact that Derek’s father was murdered, Carolyn still carried on. And flourished. All of her kids grew up beautifully. They all had a place to call home, their mother to confide in, and completely healthy adult relationships. Addison always blamed her affair on her father. She spent so much of her childhood helping The Captain hide his mistresses, leaving Bizzy clueless about the entire thing. If anything, it was a miracle Addison turned out to be so sane. At least that’s how she thought.
Derek never understood any of that. He never once doubted himself as a father. He had no reason to. Even though he watched his father get murdered in front of him, he didn’t let it bother him. For the most part. It was only when confronted with criminals that his anger against them came out. But it had nothing to do with parenting, whatsoever. Addison never met Christopher, considering the fact that he died when Derek was a kid, but she’d heard plenty of stories to make it feel like she knew him.
Of course, Derek and his family only ever talked about the great things about him. She was sure there were less than admirable things about him they weren’t saying. But no one ever talked about what they didn’t like about a lost loved one. It made sense why Derek wanted to name their future kid after his father. And why Addison never had that. But she always liked the idea of leaning on Derek and his family even more because of her family’s lack of affection. She got along great with the rest of Derek’s family: his sisters, cousins, and in-laws. But none of it mattered if Carolyn didn’t like her. At least to Addison.
Over the years, Derek insisted Addison was being crazy. That, of course, his mother loved her. And sometimes, Addison would believe him like when Carolyn insisted she call her mom instead of Mrs. Shepherd or Carolyn. But as time passed, she realized that everything she ever did or said around Addison was more or less a courtesy. Perfunctory kisses on the cheek and small compliments on her shoes or her dress. Addison didn’t know what was genuine and what wasn’t anymore when it came to that woman. But she hoped that seeing her in action gave Carolyn a little more insight into why LA made her so happy. Regardless, she was glad Carolyn more or less accepted their new arrangement and went back home to Connecticut.
Despite the fact that Derek and Addison weren’t pregnant like they thought they were, they both agreed they wanted a baby. So they decided it’d be a good idea to get checked out by Naomi. She was the fertility specialist, after all. But it would take a while before they got their test results. But Derek wasn’t worried. Addison, however, was still convinced she was being punished for, well, everything. But she couldn’t help but give in to Derek’s hopefulness.
Talking Baby Names
“What about for a girl?” Derek asked as he finished drying off a clean dish.
“What?” Addison asked.
“A girl,” Derek repeated. “What name do you like for a girl?”
“Oh,” Addison realized. She momentarily checked out and started diving head first into both her parental and possible fertility problems. “I don’t know, Carson?”
“Carson,” Derek gave her a look that told her he was already vetoing it.
“What’s wrong with Carson?” Addison asked, sipping her glass of wine. To which Derek just chuckled in response.
“What about Ella?” Derek asked. Addison’s stomach dropped.
“Not that one,” Addison took another sip of her wine and looked away. She couldn’t look at him, honest eyes and all, and tell him why they couldn’t name their future baby Ella.
“Why not? I like it. It’s cute. And it’s weirdly old-fashioned and modern at the same time,” When Derek finally turned to face Addison, he saw her fidgeting with her fingers.
“What? Did someone named Ella bully you or something?” Derek joked. When Addison didn’t answer, he realized there had to be something more to it.
“Addie,” Derek walked over to her sitting at the table and placed a hand on her shoulder. But Addison still couldn’t bring herself to look at him. They were finally in a good place. What good would it be to blow things up all over again?
“Who’s Ella?” Derek asked, earnestly.
“No one,” Addison took a sharp inhale, grabbed her glass of wine, and walked away.
Derek and Addison Visit Naomi
Derek knew he struck a chord, he just didn’t know why. And it didn’t look like Addison was giving in anytime soon. But he wasn’t in the mood for a fight. They were going to have a baby, one way or another. And Ella was a nice name, but it wasn’t one he was set on. So he thought it’d be best to leave it alone for now.
For the next few days, Derek and Addison continued talking about their future children, all of which brought them back to the honeymoon phase of their relationship. All because they were both avoiding the name, Ella. Eventually, it was time for them to see Naomi for their test results.
“Good or bad, just tell us,” Addison said bluntly.
“It’s gonna be good,” Derek smiled at her. It always surprised her how optimistic Derek always was.
“Well,” Naomi took a deep breath. And it was then when Addison knew something was wrong.
“Is it me?” Addison interrupted Naomi before she spoke again. Naomi hesitated at first, but then gave her a sympathetic look.
“It’s me,” Addison said, with no questioning tone this time.
“What is it?” Derek asked.
“Addison, your FSH level is high,” Naomi stated plainly.
“Well, maybe it’s just high this month,” Derek suggested. “We could always try ovarian stimulation,”
For a second, both women looked at him in awe. I guess all that studying with Addison really paid off.
“And her antral follicle count is only two,” Naomi added.
“Well, that could be due to stress,” Addison tried to rationalize.
“Guys, I’m sorry. I did all the tests. There is no fertility potential here,”
Addison Blames Herself
“I’m finally ready to have a baby, and I can’t,” Addison laughed a little and sank down into Naomi’s armchair in her office. Derek tried to comfort her by rubbing her back gently with his hand, but it didn’t seem to help all that much.
“Addie, there are other options,” Naomi offered.
“Yeah, I know, about the options,” Addison sat up and ran her hand through her hair.
“I’m so sorry,” Naomi looked at both Derek and Addison. “I know how much you wanted this,”
“It’s okay,” Derek said softly.
“I just didn’t realize I was out of time. That’s all,” Addison said, her voice starting to break as she tried to hold back tears. Derek continued trying to comfort her, but Addison walked out of Naomi’s office before they could see her really break out crying. Derek thought about following her out, but thought maybe it’d be best to just give her a minute.
This was karmic justice, Addison thought as she started breaking down once the elevator doors closed. She already aborted a baby, so now the universe was punishing her now that she was ready to have one with the right person. The one she was supposed to have a baby with. Maybe Derek was right. Maybe they should’ve had a baby years ago. Maybe if they did, their relationship wouldn’t be such a mess. Not that Addison really subscribed to the school of thinking that a baby could fix a marriage. But in this case, maybe it could.
Derek Wants to Keep Trying
As for Derek, he still held onto the hope that they could have a baby. Their baby. Even after Naomi told them that there wasn’t any fertility potential. He still thought they could do it. There had to be a way.
“Can we still try fertility treatments?” Derek asked after a beat.
“Derek…,” Naomi started, sympathetically.
“No,” Derek refused to let this be the end of starting their family. “Is there a chance?”
“A slim one,” Naomi said.
Derek turned to leave, but stopped before he walked out the door.
“Do you know who Ella is?” Derek asked hesitantly.
“I think I’ve had a couple of patients named Ella,” Naomi said. Derek sighed.
“Why?” Naomi asked, suspiciously.
“We were talking baby names, and I offered the name Ella and Addie just,” Derek waited for a beat and started pacing slightly. “She shut down. And I don’t know why,”
“That’s weird,” Naomi said, honestly. The only other person that knew about Addison’s abortion was Mark. And she mentioned the name Ella after she saw how excited Mark was about having a baby with her. But after she had the abortion, Mark cheated on her with a peds nurse and Addison left for Seattle to get Derek back. Addison thought about telling some of her friends, like Naomi or Savvy. But she was too ashamed to tell them. She already knew they judged her for the affair. Telling them about the abortion would only skyrocket it.
“Yeah,” Derek breathed. He took a deep breath. Addison was probably at the car by now, waiting for him to go home.
“Thanks,” Derek said curtly before leaving Naomi’s office. When Derek got downstairs, he found Addison in the downstairs lobby, standing near the door.
Derek and Addison Go Home
“Ready to go?” Derek asked.
“Yeah,” Addison said plainly as she turned to walk to the car with Derek. On the short walk there, Derek placed his hand on the small of her back and Addison leaned her head slightly towards his shoulder. The last thing she wanted was for Derek to know about the little mental breakdown she had in the elevator.
When they got home, they kept their conversation light. They ordered takeout for dinner and wound up watching a movie on the couch. They didn’t say much, but they didn’t need to. Their fertility troubles didn’t deter them from wanting to start a family. And it definitely didn’t deter Derek from wanting to still try to have their own biological baby.
“I’m sorry,” Addison said softly as she rested her head on Derek’s shoulder as they watched a movie on the couch.
“Don’t be,” Derek kissed her sweetly on her temple and rubbed her shoulder softly with his hand. She didn’t have to say what she was apologizing for. He knew how much they both wanted this. And he didn’t blame her for their fertility issues. After a while, everything was good. It wasn’t great considering they knew they might not be able to have the family they’d always envisioned. But they knew they were on the same page: they wanted a baby, and they were willing to try anything to get it.
Derek Confronts Addison
After the movie, Derek started stacking the dishes to put in the sink as Addison straightened things out on the couch. After almost a year of living in LA together, they’d fallen into a pattern. It wasn’t monotonous; it was comforting. They were used to having more sporadic schedules when they worked in hospitals before, but now, they worked at a small private practice with a pretty set schedule. It was only every once in a while when they had to rush to St. Ambrose for a patient emergency.
As they were cleaning up, Derek couldn’t help but let his mind wander to Ella. Who was Ella and why did it bother Addison so much? He tried thinking back on the stories Addison used to tell about her childhood and past coworkers. But he ultimately came up empty. He remembered a story she told once about this bully that used to make fun of her braces, but she couldn’t really still care about that now. Could she? Derek couldn’t let it go. He had to know.
“Addison, who’s Ella?” Derek finally asked. He knew that Addison would most likely shut down again, but he couldn’t keep tiptoeing around her. He turned around to catch her face and saw that she was holding back.
“No one,” Addison said, quickly, as hearing the name again stopped her in her tracks. But after seeing Derek look over at her, she went back to folding the blanket they had just cuddled under during the movie.
“Addie,” Derek said frustratingly as he stepped away from the sink towards her.
“I just don’t like the name,” Addison insisted. Though not very convincingly.
Addison Opens Up
“Addison. This isn’t gonna work if we’re not honest with each other,” Derek said. She couldn’t argue with him there. But seeing the look on Derek’s face just flooded back memories of him kicking her out of the brownstone.
“Please, Addie,” Derek pleaded. His eyes were always so open and honest. It was one of the many reasons why she fell in love with him in the first place. But she was still scared of losing him again. They were finally in a good place. They were talking about starting a family. It was a miracle that he took her back after the affair, after both of their affairs. She didn’t know if he could take it anymore. But she also knew Derek would never let this go.
“Ella was my baby,” Addison said softly as she looked away. She wanted to be honest, but she couldn’t look at him. Not with those eyes.
“You had a baby?” Derek asked, confused. But he kept his voice soft because he could tell how upset it made her.
“No…Well, yes and no,” Addison clarified.
“I’m gonna need a little more than that,” Derek said.
“I had an abortion,” Addison said, holding back tears.
“It wasn’t yours,” Addison added quickly when he saw the look on Derek’s face. She’d never abort Derek’s baby. But she could tell that was his first thought when she looked at him.
“Who’s…,” Derek started. But then it dawned on him.
“Mark,” Addison said it out loud, anyway. Derek sat and took a deep breath as he ran his hand through his hair.
“He got me pregnant and I…,” Addison paused for a moment and took a deep breath. She wanted to be sure of what she said before letting it all spill out. Derek watched her intently as she spoke.
“He was excited,” Addison started. “He even went out, and he bought this insane Yankees onesie and a calendar and marked the due date,”
“But you had an abortion,” Derek added.
“Yeah, I did. I wasn’t excited, I was ashamed. And embarrassed and scared. I was everything a woman shouldn’t be,” Addison said.
“You didn’t want a baby?” Derek asked.
“I wanted you,” Addison said, honestly. “I wanted to have a baby with you,”
Derek gave it a moment to sink in. This was, after all, a lot to take in. He knew Addison stayed with Mark after he left. And he knew they tried to make it work. After seeing Mark show up in Seattle, he could see it written all over her face. And his. But he was too angry at the time to really ask anything. To really talk about any of it. And as much as he hated it, he had to admit he was partly to blame for everything blowing up.
Derek Reflects on Their Relationship
After Mark, he agreed to try again with Addison. But he never really meant it. He never really tried. And they both knew it. So Addison tiptoed around him and did anything and everything she could to just keep the peace between them. All the while he pined for another woman. The wrong woman. All he wanted for months was to be with Meredith. But when it finally happened, he wanted to take it back. All of it. He wanted to go back and change things. He’d argue with Addison more, yell loud, fight harder. It’d be messy, but they wouldn’t have wasted so much time talking circles around each other and pretending like everything was okay. It was the moments when they avoided the fight when things went to shit for them.
It happened in New York. They both got so busy with work that after a while, they just got lazy. They didn’t make time for each other anymore. After a while, it got to the point where he actively avoided Addison. And she’d make little comments about how he was never home and always working. But he’d just give off the half-assed excuse of being a surgeon, saving lives. But he knew she worked just as hard and was just as busy doing the same. But he’d use it time and time again, anyway.
Derek Thinks Back on Their Marriage
After a while, she stopped pushing. She’d still make sarcastic comments sometimes, but it was only after he started walking away. No wonder she turned to Mark. Who else was she supposed to turn to? When Derek found them in bed, his bed, all he could feel was white hot rage. And that fight was like this release of all the fights they should’ve been having already. But now, finding out about their baby was something else. He was still angry, but the fact that Addison aborted the baby meant something, too.
Was it enough? Was Addison aborting Mark’s baby and choosing him instead enough for him? All he did was explode when he found them together. And when Mark showed up in Seattle, he did it all over again. He even made sure Addison knew he didn’t really forgive her. He knew it was despicable to throw that one in her face, but with Mark around, he couldn’t help but let that last bit slip out.
“Derek,” Addison pleaded after a few minutes of sitting in silence. “Please say something,”
“You named her,” Derek finally said.
“Yeah,” Addison took a deep breath. If she’d kept the baby, she’d only be about two months old and she’d be back in New York. In the city she had so much love for once upon a time. But New York was the past. A painful one at that. And LA was her future. LA was their future.
“It was too early to know the gender,” Addison wiped a tear away. “But it was a girl. I knew it would’ve been a girl,”
Derek Thinks About What Could’ve Been
“You wanted it. Her,” Derek added.
“I wanted her to be yours, ours,” Addison added softly. “I wanted her to have my red hair and the gap between my teeth, but your eyes and your smile. I wanted her to be our baby,”
Derek felt conflicted. Just thinking of Mark made him feel that white hot anger creeping up on him again. Almost as much as Meredith’s name still disgusted him. But hearing Addison talk about aborting their baby was something else. It made him feel something unexpected. He could tell she wanted Ella by the way she talked about her. And with that look on her face, he knew she still thought about her. He knew she had at least some regret for aborting her. Maybe more so now that they were trying to start their family.
But she gave her up. She gave up her entire life in New York, her friends, her family (though they technically lived in Connecticut, it was still close enough that required her to visit Bizzy, The Captain, and Archer on occasion), and Mark. Derek was angry about the affair but he wasn’t so blind to not see that Mark wasn’t just a fling. Mark wasn’t just his best friend, he was theirs. If Addison stayed in New York, if she’d given birth to Ella, she and Mark would be a family right now. They’d have the life that he and Addison had always envisioned for themselves.
Addison Chose Derek
She could’ve stayed and had it all. It would’ve been Mark instead of Derek, but it would still be everything they both ever wanted. But she gave it all up. For him. It was the picture-perfect future but it wasn’t worth it to Addison. Not if she had to be with Mark instead of him. Derek loved and was angry at Addison all at the same time. He loved Addison’s professional drive, sarcastic humor, and even her awkward tendencies. He found it endearing, even more so after he met her family. How she turned out so sane amazed him. Despite it all, he still found himself angry at her for her one mistake. Which was unfair because he made the same mistake. Just in another city under different circumstances.
But if he were truly honest, Derek was angry at himself, too. He had her. Mark may have always been flirting and pining for Addison, but Derek was the one who had her heart. Even throughout the affair, even now. And he let her go. Somewhere along the way, he forgot how much of a prize he had on his hands. He dove headfirst into his career, and she did the same for hers. The only difference was she tried to hold on tighter when he let her slip.
Derek Gets Over It
And then when he did, Mark swooped in to pick her up off the ground. He gave her the attention she craved, the comfort she needed. And after he left, Mark was the one who had her heart. Or at least he thought he did. But the part that really angered him was the fact that he managed to get her pregnant. After hearing about Addison’s fertility troubles, Mark still managed to get her pregnant. And here Derek and Addison were, contemplating their options. Their other options. If Derek weren’t so stubborn, if he’d stayed to fight and work things out with Addison in New York, there would never be an Ella. Or if there was, she’d be his.
“Okay,” Derek finally said.
“Okay?” Addison was confused.
“Okay,” Derek repeated himself. “So we won’t name our baby Ella,”
He said it so matter-of-factly; it shocked Addison. Was he angry? Was he upset? It was hard to tell. It didn’t help that Derek just went back to the sink to wash the dishes like everything was normal. She expected him to snap. She expected him to explode all over again. But he didn’t. And that scared her. As awful as their fights got, it was usually what got them through. It was the quieter moments when they ignored their problems when things would get bad between them.
“That’s it?” Addison asked, cautiously.
“Yup,” Derek said, plainly.
Addison Needs Reassurance
“You’re not mad?” Addison wasn’t sure if she should fight his nonchalance or just accept it. But she couldn’t just leave it alone. Not when, time and time again, arguing helped their relationship more than leaving things alone. It sounded counterintuitive, but there were plenty of studies out there that talked about how arguing could help strengthen a relationship. And that tended to be true for Addison and Derek.
“No,” Derek said, after thinking about it for a minute. Addison stood there, watching him finish up the dishes, dumbfounded.
“Everything’s okay,” Derek chuckled a bit when he turned around to see Addison, stunned. And he meant what he said. But Addison wasn’t convinced just yet.
“Are you sure?” Addison asked hesitantly.
“Yes,” Derek wrapped his arms around her waist. The look on Addison’s face made him feel like he had to explain further.
“I’m not exactly happy that you got pregnant with Mark’s baby,” Derek started, cupping her face with one of his hands, while he kept his other hand on Addison’s waist.
“Well, I expected that much,” Addison said, honestly.
“But you gave it up,” Derek added. “You gave up the whole idea of having a life, a family, in New York with Mark for me,”
“I did,” Addison agreed as she started letting go of Derek’s lack of an angry response.
“And as much as I hate to admit it, I know that couldn’t have been easy,” Derek rubbed his fingers on Addison’s cheek as he kept his hand on her cheek.
“It wasn’t,” Addison added. Instead of saying anything else, Derek just smiled back at her, his blue, mesmerizing eyes and all.
“So, we’re good?” Addison asked again, just to be sure.
“We’re good,” Derek said, leaning in for a kiss.
I couldn’t make it that easy for Derek and Addison to have a baby. I did say in the last chapter that I wanted to incorporate some of Addison’s fertility troubles from Private Practice, so I did. Plus, I wanted to bring Mark back into the conversation a little, in terms of the baby Addison aborted. But I really went more into Derek’s thought process in this chapter because I thought it’d be more interesting to see. Hope you guys enjoyed this chapter and I will hopefully update soon! Thanks for reading and stay safe out there!I