Q:Maddison. (Because I can't get enough of you talking about Maddison, ever.)
No, no, no! Stupid tumblr, I typed THE LONGEST response to this and it ate it. I’m so depressed. No matter.
1. When or if I started shipping them: I casually shipped them prior to seeing Yesterday, because all of fandom was ahead of me (yay Australia), but after I saw the episode it was game over. I loved them. They had an intensity in their interactions that I had always longed for in the interactions between Derek and Addison. And I’ve shipped them, stupidly, ever since.
2. What I think their challenge is: Their timing. They’re never quite on the same page, even though they always understand each other in a way the other people in their lives don’t. When Mark broke the bet so Addison could leave with a clear conscience I was devastated, but in a good way, because I thought they would grow separately and find their way back to each other. In my head, that’s still what happens. They’ve never been ready for each other, but they’re always waiting around corners at the big events in their lives for the other. Their challenge is finding their moment, I think.
3. What makes me happy about them: Literally everything. I love how they have a familiarity in their interactions that makes me believe they have a long history. I love that even when they’re not together, they’re bickering and interfering in each other’s lives or just managing to talk about things they can’t with anyone else. I love how much implicit trust there is between them - how Addison knows Mark won’t judge and how Mark knows that sometimes, she just needs to get out of her head a bit (and yes, that means sex, thank you crossovers).
4. What makes me sad about them: That they can never quite make it work. I love them for it, because it’s so true to who they are as characters - they just don’t quite know how to be together and it makes my heart hurt for them.
5. What moment I wish had never happened: Abortion arc. Not because there’s anything intrinsically wrong with the storyline, but because it felt unnecessary and was sort of lost amongst the many story lines competing for attention in season 3. It meant that Addison’s relationship with Alex was short-changed (I think) and it was never properly dealt with. I like how Private Practice has actually addressed it since, but Mark could stand to think about … well, anything in his past on Grey’s.
6. Who I’d be comfortable them ending up with, if not each other: I think we all know the answer to that. No, I haven’t seriously hated any of their other love interests, I just haven’t loved any of them either, except in isolated moments. I liked Addison and Kevin, but their break up was completely contrived and cheapened the whole thing. I liked Addison and Pete, but I also liked that they broke up. (For the record, I NEVER liked Addison and Sam. It felt forced and I don’t particularly think Taye Diggs and Kate Walsh have great chemistry on screen.) I liked Mark and Lexie, but I also felt like they came to their natural conclusion and now the writers are trying to force them on us again. I even liked Mark and Teddy, but again, I’m glad they’ve moved past it. I would honestly like to see them both happy; if it has to be with other people, then no one we’ve seen yet, but I’d also be quite happy if they just kept dating casually and occasionally hooking up. (Thank you crossover.)
7. My happily ever after for them (warning this is extremely long):
In LA, Addison and Sam break up for the last time when they realise they want entirely different things. Addison goes to see Naomi in New York, for some much-needed best friend post-break up time where much emotional turmoil is worked through, cheesecake is eaten, Naomi confesses that she and Sam made out behind Addison’s back, Addison confesses that she felt terrible for falling for Sam because he was Naomi’s ex-husband, they make peace with each other and, after several bottles of wine and some good girlie crying, discuss harvesting Addison’s eggs and an IVF strategy. The next morning, bleary eyed, Addison confirms that she really does want to try to have a baby. Fife’s interest in piqued and he agrees to help out. With six months of IVF, some intense retconning on behalf of the writers (which is fine because the reproductive physiology in Private Practice is already tentatively likely) and a bit of science magic, Addison’s uterus becomes occupied with a tiny sperm-donor human. Amelia helps Addison during the pregnancy and becomes an honorary parent to the child, all the while confronting her own demons.
Meanwhile, in Seattle… Derek and Meredith conceive naturally (it happens!) and have twin boys. Mark and Derek do adorable bro-like things and are sounding boards for each other about being dads and teach their daughters and Derek’s sons to do things like fish and throw baseballs. Life is peaceful. Mark dates. Jackson and Lexie break up. She tells Mark she wants to try again, but in the end, she goes back to Jackson. (I imagine there is to and fro here, and a source of much tension, but in the end, she and Jackson get engaged and Mark isn’t sorry to see her go, because he does truly love her and wants her to be happy.) Callie and Arizona move to San Francisco, so Mark does too, wanting to stay close to Sofia. He opens a private practice there.
(I imagine that Mark and Addison do keep running into each at christenings and weddings and funerals and such. And they totally bone a lot when they do that, sometimes in wildly inappropriate places.I have such a super huge kink for that.)
On a trip to LA to see an old friend from residency, his friend offers him a two-day surgical rotation at his clinic at St Ambrose, obviously an effort to woo him into taking a job opening in LA. On his first day at the hospital, he has to talk to Addison, who has started to do more surgical hours again because she missed it, because he needs her OR slot. They’re both stunned by the chance meeting and fumble through it gracelessly. The next week, he calls the night before he flies to LA and offers to buy her lunch to apologise for stealing her OR out from under her. They make a habit of it. The reconnection is tentative at first, but it’s not long before they fall into bed together, again, as they always do. After that, it all goes swimmingly until Mark finds out about Addison’s daughter. Shocked, he returns to San Francisco without giving her a chance to explain, feeling hurt that she kept such a huge secret from him and wonders what else she has been keeping, assuming the child’s father must be in the picture. (Derek tells him he’s being an idiot, since Mark himself has a child in unorthodox circumstances.)
Addison shows up on his doorstep that weekend, after he doesn’t show up at the hospital on his usual days. They drink scotch and she tells him the whole story. They exchange apologies: him for overreacting, her for not telling him about her daughter. They settle back into a comfortable friendship, but don’t discuss their relationship: it’s a little more serious to contemplate now that they both have children.
This reaches its inevitable conclusion: a confrontation, possibly involving a sex fight, and two sulky surgeons. She calls him after a week of silence and they meet at Santa Monica Pier. Staring out over the water, they decide to give it a proper shot (actual excerpt to actual unpublished sequel to Flaws In Science /shameless self-promotion):
“With all our cards on the table,” she says, “Without the insecurities, the doubts. We’re too old not to fight the urge to self-destruct. So I won’t run if it gets hard and you won’t sleep with someone else for the heck of it and we’ll talk. Ok?”
You stare at her, smirking. “And how long do you think it’ll last?”
She wets her lips, nervous. “I don’t know. All I know is I want to try.”
And the rest isn’t quite history. They don’t walk off arm and arm into the sunset, or they do, but it doesn’t stay that easy. But they make it work. Eventually she leaves LA, Amelia and baby in tow, and moves to San Francisco where they face the challenge of living in each other’s space and blending families. And Amelia and Callie get on like a house on fire. And Arizona and Addison work together at the same women’s and children’s hospital. And Amelia eventually moves out of Addison’s house, on her own, and starts dating someone wildly inappropriate and has a string of bad relationships until she meets someone exactly like her and they click and (in my head it might even be a woman). And Addison and Mark? They fight. They’re both too stubborn for their own good. Mark sometimes stalks out of the house and finds himself in a bar flirting with a woman half his age before he knows it. Addison sometimes finds herself picking at his faults for no good reason. It’s not all good, but it is mostly good. They get each other. It’s trial and error. But they learn to be with each other and they find their moment.
AND EVERYONE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER THE END.