There was that look again. Too subtle to be a puppydog face, but equally potent. Meredith had assumed that Dr. Callie Torres, one-time Chief Resident of Seattle Grace and total ass-kicking babe, would be too smart to fall for this shtick, but judging from what she could see through the glass pane of the office, apparently not. She gritted her teeth as she stared at it, a car wreck just waiting to happen. Poor Callie, actually looking sympathetic at whatever Izzie was sniffling about. This is Izzie, mind you, the Izzie who stole her husband and didn't even feel a twinge of guilt about it.
It's definitely the accursed semi-puppydog face that did the trick. It had certainly worked on Meredith, not too long ago.
"Dr. Grey, why are you staring at Izzie and Callie in the manner of a scorned ex-lover?"
Meredith is momentarily shaken by the cool voice coming from behind her. She whirls around on the chair and recognizes the long, well-styled, wine red curls. "Oh, Dr. Montgomery, I, um…Izzie has a stray lock of hair and it's really bugging me."
Addison merely stares at her with a deadpan expression.
More staring. A narrowing of eyes.
Meredith fidgets in her chair. "How could you tell?"
"Simple, Dr. Grey. You can't really notice a misplaced strand of hair from thirty feet away."
"Now, don't be too hard on yourself," Addison says, pulling up a metal stool and sitting down next to her. "Only a semiotics expert would be able to resist Izzie's well-practiced expression of 'I'm hurt and vulnerable, wanna go home and fuck?'" Her voice is pinched at that last phrase, a fact not lost on Meredith.
"That's an awful lot of detail to be derived from my flimsy excuse." She grins, leaning closer. "You fell for it too, didn't you?"
"Then why did your left eye twitch just now? Why have you been watching them just as intently as I have? Ooh, look, now she's leaning in towards Callie, doesn't that make you seethe?"
"I'm fine." And now it's Meredith's turn to give the deadpan expression, and Addison caves within seconds. "Yeah, okay, about two months ago."
Silence hangs in the air as Izzie places a hand on Callie's forearm. Callie, for her part, still seems utterly clueless.
Moments later, Addison edges her seat closer and whispers, "So, does this mean you're a —?"
"No, no it doesn't," Meredith interrupts, shaking her head resolutely. "I didn't even like it that much. And you…?"
"No. Well, only when the mood strikes."
Her gaze falls back on Izzie's blatant and visible manipulation of Callie. "I don't understand it at all. She seemed so sweet."
"Operative word being 'seemed.'"
"Point taken," she says, nodding. "But we were, like, friends. Friends don't do that to friends, it's wrong!"
"Heh, tell that to Dr. O'Malley." Meredith falls silent at this, all 'well played, sir,' but Addison is still curious. "So what happened?"
"I'd imagine it wasn't much different from yours. She was crying and whining about Alex, so we went on a Girls' Night Out, and about eight tequila shots later, she's got her hand on my boob and I'm wondering what the hell is going on, but I'm too drunk to care all that much about the answer," she sighed. "You know me, with enough alcohol in my system I'll open my legs for anybody."
"Now, that's not true," Addison chides. "You can at least distinguish which ones are pretty, which is a remarkable feat for someone that hammered."
"It's the seemingly naive ones you have to watch out for. Once you let your guard down, they'll bite you on the ass."
"That bad, huh?"
"Actually, no, I kind of saw it coming. And I did like it, mind you. I just feel for the countless other hapless victims she's claimed: you, Nurse Olivia, Jamie from Pediatrics, Rebecca the openly gay lab technician…" Addison eventually notices that with every name mentioned, Meredith's expression crumbles a little bit more, so she trails off. "Sorry about that. I figured you were familiar with the concept of one-night stands."
And the awkward silence is back once again, as it almost always is between the two of them. Meanwhile, Callie puts a comforting hand on Izzie's shoulder, and appears to be suggesting something. Izzie, who until that point was wearing that perfected, disingenuous look of despair, cracks a small smile and nods at whatever Callie has said. It's a scenario that's all too familiar.
Eventually, the two of them leave the nurses' station, arm-in-arm in what looked like a friendly, platonic gesture, although Meredith and Addison knew better. Meredith makes for the office door. "I have to warn her —"
Before she can even reach for the doorknob, Addison's surprisingly strong grip is on her elbow, stopping her. "Just let it be, Meredith. "Circle of life' and all that."
"But I like Callie! She doesn't deserve to get played by Izzie like we did. Well, like I did, anyway."
"Listen, Meredith." Addison's grip on the waifish blonde loosens considerably. "I've known Callie longer than you do, I spend a lot more time with her, and trust me — that girl needs to get laid."
Meredith shrugs. "Whatever you say."
"Good girl." Addison gets up herself, and they leave the office together, walking at a friendly but cautious distance beside each other.
"You know, I always thought that open, heart-to-heart discussions would always end with people feeling better about themselves, but right now, I just feel kinda weird."
"Your happiness is not my priority, Dr. Grey," Addison retorts, although she's grinning.
"Yeah, I'd be an idiot to expect otherwise."
Addison gets inside the elevator first, but keeps the doors open for Meredith. Once they reach the ground level, they spot Izzie and Callie getting into a taxi cab outside the hospital. Meredith rolls her eyes, Addison has no discernible reaction. But upon walking through the exit doors, Addison coolly suggests, "Wanna go wherever they're going? You, me, Girls' Night Out?" She gets inside the elevator first, but keeps the doors open for Meredith."Why, Dr. Montgomery," Meredith giggles, "are you trying to get me wasted?"