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Bitter

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The clink of ice against her teeth pulled Addison Montgomery from her reverie. Acknowledging that her gin and tonic was empty, she held up her glass to get the attention of the bartender. Around her, exhausted businessmen sat hunched over their bourbons, excited tourists cheered their vacations over frozen margaritas, and anxious housewives calmed their nerves over small glasses of red wine. Addison mulled over her empty drink and tried to pinpoint exactly what she felt.

“Another?” the bartender asked.

“Please.” She nudged the empty glass toward him, her eyes remaining fixed on her hands. She wasn’t in the mood for a chat.

“Where ya headed?”

“Seattle.”

He set her refilled glass on a fresh napkin in front of her. “Flight 643?”

“That’s the one.” She took a generous gulp.

“They just announced the final boarding call, ya know.”

“I know.” She took another sip, allowing a sliver of ice to pass between her lips. She chewed it thoughtfully and politely smiled at the bartender. He raised an eyebrow at her and, after realizing that she wasn’t about to get up anytime soon, moved on to the next customer.

Until forty minutes ago, Addison had fully intended on catching her plane. The original plan would have had her in Seattle the previous night, but due to a last-minute surgery and a critically unstable patient, she’d been forced to reschedule for that day. It would have been close timing, but she’d have made it just in time. It wasn’t until she made it through security that she realized she would not be attending Callie and Arizona’s wedding.

Addison felt a surge of guilt at missing her friend’s wedding and forced it down with another gulp of her drink. It did nothing to quell the churning confusion of thoughts that had only been making her lightheaded ever since she received the damn invitation in the mail. How could she attend a wedding of a couple she didn’t support? How could she keep her mouth shut when the priest or whoever asked if there were any objections? How could she look Callie in the eye when it was all said and done and congratulate her for making a giant fucking mistake?

Addison bitterly chewed another piece of ice. Perhaps she was wrong – maybe Arizona Robbins was the best thing to ever happen to Callie Torres. Maybe, just maybe, Addison wasn’t looking at the situation from an objective standpoint.

She knew she wasn’t being objective, but how could she be? Addison Montgomery, expert of failed and misguided relationships, expert of losing meaningful friendships, did not always have the most sound point-of-view when it came to love. Nevertheless, the whole Torres-Robbins marriage charade felt like a giant trainwreck waiting to happen, and Addison couldn’t bring herself to watch.

The whole thing felt…wrong and yet, no one but Addison seemed to realize it. The entire relationship was a whirlwind of radioactively mutated proportions. One minute they’re broken up and separated by several continents, and the next they’re having a baby with Mark Sloan and getting married. Addison couldn’t wrap her head around it. She pinched herself because it couldn’t—shouldn’t—be real.

But it was.

Addison wanted to be happy for Callie. Callie Torres of all people deserved to be happy. After George and Erica and the Africa thing and the accident…Addison knew in her heart that Callie deserved happiness. She just wished it had come under different circumstances. Seeing her as a patient in that hospital had done something to Addison; it had awoken in her a silent but fierce love that scared the hell out of her. Callie had been fighting for her life, and Addison had been selfishly hoping she’d pull through so that maybe, perhaps, she could have a shot.

It could have been her. It should have been her. She would have loved Callie in sickness and in health. She would have been a better parent to Sofia – she actually wanted to be a mother, more than she wanted anything else. She actually liked Mark. She would have happily spent the rest of her life adoring Calliope Torres because she’d already perfected the act over the span of several years.

Addison asked for another drink.

Perhaps it was the alcohol that had made her such a bitter bitch who couldn’t be happy for her friend, but Addison felt that she was entitled. Callie had blown off their friendship years ago. She had chosen to focus her energies on her relationship with the hot Peds surgeon rather than maintain a long-distance friendship when Addison had relocated. She knew she was partly to blame for the strain in their friendship, but it hadn’t been entirely her fault. She had tried.

Once upon a time, Addison would have been chosen to be Sofia’s godmother. That had been the final blow: hearing through Mark that Cristina Yang had been chosen instead. Addison had cried for days. It said more about Callie’s feelings regarding their friendship than she ever could have verbalized to her face.

So yes, Addison was bitter.

Addison no longer felt guilty at all about wasting several hundred dollars on airfare so she could sit in a bar and drink away her sadness and not attend a wedding that would only make her more miserable than she already was. It was self-preservation at its finest. She knew with absolute certainty that Callie wouldn’t even notice her absence.

It hurt like hell.

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