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Chapter 9

The queen sized bed in Rossum’s room called to him as he walked through his front door. He had spent a while at the office after Addison left. That fact wouldn’t have normally bothered him, but in this case he wasn’t doing anything terribly productive. Rossum sat at his large oak desk and stared at the papers scattered in front of him. Sometimes he would run his fingers through his hair, other times he would sigh, once he got really desperate he pulled the JD out of his bottom drawer and poured himself a glass.

There was a battle raging inside of him. Rossum was not a trusting man by nature, and he just wasn’t sure if he was ready to pull Addison into that inner circle. She had never done anything particularly untrustworthy, but her actions hadn’t always been on the right side of the law and he had never trusted someone that he could technically consider a criminal. Despite his reasons against it, he knew there was a feeling deep down inside telling him that this argument he was having was pointless because he already trusted her. Isn’t that the reason he told Mortimer to hire her, the reason he kept his eye on her all these years?

As his head hit his pillow he was no closer to figuring out what he was going to do, and before he knew it, before he was ready for it, he was practically jumping out of his bed trying to locate the loud sound that had woke him up. His eyes were still bleary as he tried to look at his clock. Once he determined that it was not his alarm waking him up he turned to his phone. Sure enough, it was still ringing.

“Hello,” his rough voice answered.

“Hi, is this Philip Rossum?” It was an unfamiliar voice that answered back. Before, he could confirm he heard a familiar female voice in the background yell “agent Rossum you idiot!”

“You’ve got him.” He answered suspiciously.

“I have an Addison Grace here, and, I’m sorry, sir, but she is insisting that you are her boss at the FBI.”

“She actually told you that I was her boss?”

“Yes, sir, I’m sorry, I knew it wasn’t true.” His words got quitter as his sentence went on and Rossum knew he was about to hang up.

“Wait! Sorry, I didn’t mean that I wasn’t her boss, I was just surprised that she would admit something like that to anyone. I really don’t think I’ve ever heard the word boss come out of her mouth.”

There was a hesitation on the other line during which Rossum heard an exasperated “oh you have got to be kidding me!” then finally the man spoke again, “and you do, in fact, work at the FBI.”

“Last I checked we were both employed there. I’m sorry could I please ask what this is all about?”

“I’m sorry, Agent. My name is Stevonsky and we’ve arrested Miss Grace.”

“You’ve what?!” Rossum sat up and pulled on the first pair of pants he could find, “on what charges exactly?”


“You’ve got to be kidding me.” He echoed Addison’s earlier words because there was really no others to describe his surprise. So, he took a deep breath and tried to gather his thoughts, “have you booked her yet?”

“No, she wouldn’t let us do anything until we agreed to call you.”

“Yep, that’s definitely Addison. Good, don’t do anything. I’m on my way.” He pulled a t-shirt on and remembered to slip his badge into his pocket, “is she there, can I talk to her?”

“Sure, sir, here she is.”

There was a scuffling sound on the other side then he heard a deep sigh, “Rossum, are you there.”

“Yeah, Grace, it’s your boss on the line.” He heard her sigh again and he held in a snicker, then pulled on his serious mask. This was just the sort of behaviour that had him contemplating all day whether or not she was trustworthy. “Please tell me this is all a big misunderstanding? I mean, if we’re not paying you enough you probably could have just spoken to Mortimer.” Okay, so maybe he couldn’t resist poking a little fun at her.

“Very funny. It’s obviously not true. Can you please just get me out of here?” Her voice was different. It sounded desperate and pleading, not the voice of Addison at all, but more like a little girl’s.

“Are you okay, Addison? Have they hurt you?” this time he really was serious. His hands clutched his keys so tight they were digging into his skin.

“No,” she barely whispered, “I’m just tired and I want to go home.”

“Alright, just give me the address and I will be there as soon as I can.”

Addison consulted with the officer and reiterated the address to him. He quickly wrote it onto a spare piece of paper and placed it onto the passenger seat of his car. Rossum’s heart rate quickened the closer he got to the police precinct. The people became seedier and the buildings became more rundown. When he walked into the station there was not a lot of activity, that could have to do with the fact that it was around 3 am. He walked straight up to the receptionist, “Hi, I’m looking for Addison Grace.”

She glanced behind her, “sure thing, just walk straight back take the first left and she should be sitting at the third desk you come to.”

“Thank you,” he tapped the desk and followed her instructions. Finally he saw Addison’s shining hair came into view and he practically ran to her. “Addison, you alright?”

He was taken aback when he felt her arms wrap around his waist and her face buried into his chest, “thank god you’re here, Ross!” she backed away from him finally and took in his appearance, “what are you wearing?”

Now that he thought about it, Addison had never seen him in anything except his crisp, FBI suit. He looked down at himself and realized he was wearing dark green track pants and a navy blue t-shirt, “why are you concerned about that right now? You do understand that you were arrested, right?”

“It was stupid. This guy is stupid, and I am obviously not a prostitute.”

“Well, yes, that is pretty obvious,” Rossum tucked her hair behind her ear and motioned for her to sit down. “Now, can I please ask why you have arrested my colleague here?”

“We got a phone call –”

“You got a phone call, an anonymous one, no doubt, and you think that gives you enough evidence to arrest her?” Rossum slipped easily into his interrogation mode and Addison was looking up at him in awe.

“When I found her she was walking with a known pimp.”

“Are you serious? Since when is talking to someone a crime? Should I be worried, am I going to be arrested because she hugged me when I came in here?”

“Sir, don’t be silly.”

“I think you are the ones being silly.” Rossum pulled his badge and ID out of his pocket and slid it across the desk, “I work at the FBI and I assure you we would never be as sloppy as you have been today. Now, this young lady works with me and I can assure you that she is no prostitute. The fact that you, even for a second, thought she was is laughable. I am taking her with me and if you have anything to say about it feel free to call me.”

He grabbed Addison’s hand and pulled her up from her sitting position. They silently walked to Rossum’s car and only then did he let go of her hand to open the door and let her slip inside. He walk to his side, but didn’t start the car immediately. For a couple minutes they sat in the silence until Addison spoke up, “I wouldn’t sit here for too long. We might be behind a police station, but that doesn’t make it safe.”

Rossum started up the car, “so…”

“Look, I wasn’t here looking for trouble. I couldn’t sleep so I took a drive and ended up here. I needed directions and that guy I was talking to was the first person I saw. He was just giving me directions when this asshole cop shows up and arrests me.” Addison stared straight in front of her through her entire explanation. Rossum knew it wasn’t the whole truth, but he was confident that she wasn’t really out there soliciting, so he let it slide.

“Alright, well, can we agree that the next time you get lost in a place like this you keep driving until you find some place that you recognize, alright?”

“Gotcha, boss.”

“I’m going to drop you off at your car, then I’m going to follow you home to make sure you’re okay.”

“Home?! No, I…” she finally turned to look at him at that, “I found some things, do you have time to sit down, have a coffee or something?”

He narrowed his eyes, but didn’t take them off the sprawling street in front of him, “sure, I know a place just up here that’s open 24 hours.”

“Perfect.” She whispered almost to herself then pulled out her phone and started typing away at the keyboard.

His was the only car in the parking lot when they pulled in and the small café was deserted. The waitress told them to sit wherever they wanted and Addison led them to a large booth that sat against a large window. The waitress sauntered over to them and, without asking, set down two mugs and filled them with steaming brown liquid. Rossum thanked her and she walked away with a nod of her head. Rossum didn’t want to push, but Addison had barely even looked at him since they got into his car, and he was curious about what had made her act like this.

“So, you said you found something?”

“Yes, in Kansas.”

Rossum’s eyebrows raised, “you went to Kansas? How long have we been apart?”

He saw a small smile flash on Addison’s lips, “of course not. Please, me in Kansas, can you imagine. It happened in Kansas.”

“What happened?”

“That’s where it all started.”

Rossum was growing frustrated, “Please don’t make me ask.”

The smile was back, but vanished before she spoke, “the Tri-way killer. I think that’s where he started. There is this open case. A Jane Doe, nine years old found naked in the woods, stabbed to death.”

“That’s terrible.”

“Yeah, it is, but she was found naked, but no sign of sexual trauma, short brown hair, green eyes, and lying in a pile of peat moss.”

“Peat moss?”

“So you think he could have started in Kansas?”

“I think she was his first.”

Rossum looked into Addison’s eyes and saw how utterly serious she was about this case and it was in that moment that he decided keeping any secrets from her was not in his best interest. When she got that look in her eyes she could do amazing things, but she had to have all of the information and it was unfair of him to be dictating what she could and could not see. So, Rossum half listened to what Addy was saying and half thought about how he was going to break the news to her

Rossum held the old letters in his hands. There hadn’t been a new letter since the killings had started up again, but he was confident that it was only a matter of time. Agent Mortimer absentmindedly waltzed into his office causing Rossum to drop the letters quickly into a desk drawer, “Ah, good, you’re still here Old Boy!” Mortimer was leafing through a thick file as he settled into a chair across from Rossum.

“Is there something you needed, Sir?”

“Well, I wanted to drop off your cheque and remind you that a portion of this will be going to ag –er, Grace for her consulting.”

He then dropped the rectangular paper on the desk and Rossum’s heart dropped when he saw the number written in the little white box, “Sir, this can’t be right! This is more than double my usual salary, which would mean you are paying Addison more than me.”

“Don’t be silly old boy! I left instructions on the back. Wonderful job I did hiring Grace, wasn’t it? Stroke of pure genius; the girl has solved 14 active cases in the two months since she’s been here, and I can only assume this is because of the leadership you have shown her. It’s very sweet of you to take the girl under your wing like you have.”

A half smile flickered on Rossum’s face, “I don’t know about all of that, sir, but she is a remarkable talent that one.”

“Yes, well, in any case I’m sure she has been a handful. She can be a bit of a hot head.” Mortimer winked at Rossum and he knew the extra money was guilt money so he could tell the board of directors that Project Grace had been solely his initiative, but Rossum didn’t mind too much. He was actually thinking about splitting the money with Addison anyway. Nine of the 14 suspects they had caught were just waiting in her handy folders, and she had been very quick to identify the other five, bringing a unique and fresh approach, not only at crime scenes, but during research as well. He wasn’t going to give her all the credit, it really was a team effort, but as a team they had the best identification rate in the country, no one was even close to them.

Rossum had taken to thinking about her when he was having trouble with a case. They had been practically inseparable for the past two months, and Rossum had become increasingly protective of the young girl while the rest of the team found it difficult to not make googly eyes at her, even some of the women were quite taken with Addison Grace. Her eyes always flicked quickly around crime scenes, and when she was examining a body, she would always pull her long brown hair over one shoulder, even if it was in a ponytail. Sometimes her voice would get really low like she wasn’t really talking to anyone at all, but it seemed to help her think. “Come on Uncle Ross, you’re taking me out for a drink.”

She had come and left so quickly that he wasn’t entirely positive that he hadn’t imagined it, so he sat back in his chair and contemplated what had just happened until a flash of brunette hair was back at his doorway. “I’m sorry; did I not make myself clear? I wanted that drink sometime within this century “old boy”.” Her emphasis on old boy told him that she had been listening to his conversation with Mortimer; his anger hurled him out of his funk.

“Addison, this is the FBI, you can’t just go around listening to people’s conversations. Stuff that goes on in this building is private!”

“Then some people shouldn’t leave their doors open!” She was holding out his jacket, and he paused to slip the letters into his briefcase before rolling his eyes and conceding to the young girl in his office. He was glad that her attitude had taken a complete 180 from when he had seen her the previous night.

“Do you ever sleep? I feel like I haven’t got a full night’s sleep since I hired you.”

Addison already had a cab waiting outside the front doors, and as Rossum said his nightly goodbyes, she walked past like she was the only person in the building, “Oh, you’re so hard done by Uncle Ross! Getting dragged out for drinks with your gorgeous 24 year old colleague. I really do feel bad for you.”

“No one ever said you were gorgeous.”

She raised a perfectly manicured eyebrow in his direction, “Shows what you know, lots of people think I’m gorgeous, how do you think I can afford to live in Washington without a job?”

The cab stopped at a small bar that Addison seemed to know intimately. The bouncer threw his arm around her and let them both in without a second thought. Two seats were available right at the bar so they nabbed them and both ordered a scotch, neat.

“I just don’t understand, Uncle Ross, I am convinced that this guy is targeting you, but the signs are too subtle. He makes a big show of torturing his victims; he should be making a show of coming after you too.” She took a gulp of her drink and shook her head a little, “Oh, I don’t know, maybe I’m losing my touch.” Rossum shook his head and smiled as Addison looked over at his confused, “do my shortcoming amuse you?”

“It’s funny because you’re not,” Rossum drained his drink, “you’re not at all. In fact, you are so right it’s annoying.”

“Thanks?” she questioned. He pulled the letters out of the briefcase and threw them on the bar. Addison delicately picked one up, “What are these?”

“Letters from my favourite psychopath. That’s literally how he signs them. He’s been sending them to me for years, taunting me.”

Addison punched his arm, “and you didn’t think that this was something that you should share with me? How do you expect me to solve a case if I don’t have all the evidence, Rossum, Jesus?!”

“I’m sorry, but only two people actually know about the letters, Mortimer and Brogan. I can’t have the media catching wind of this; he would enjoy it too much.”

Rossum watched her silently sift through the letters with a far off gaze, “no, he wouldn’t.” she almost whispered to herself, “Why hasn’t he gone to them directly? If it’s just attention that he craves he could easily pull off a Zodiac or a BTK and just write the media outlets directly.”

“I’m not sure why he didn’t. After the first letter I waited for that to happen. It never did. Then, the second letter came and still no media, then the third and the fourth, and eventually I just stopped worrying about it.”

“You stopped worrying about a serial killer who obsessively writes you letters? Sounds healthy.”

“Do I look like a sweet young girl? I’m not really his type.”

“Yes, but if he is fixated on you and killing these girls stops giving him satisfaction, he’s going to blame you and come after you for that.”

“Well, I’ll watch my back.”

Addison pulled open one of the letters. Once she finished scanning it, she opened another, then another quickly, “They all say the same thing.”

Rossum had every word of the letters memorized; he solemnly nodded “LETTER” “Do you notice anything different about them though?”

“It’s not my first day, Rossum. There is one misspelt word in each, at least there has been in the ones live seen.” Addison didn’t tear her eyes away from the white paper.

“Yes little Miss Know-it-all, but do you know what all the misspelled words put together say?”

“Considering I’ve only read three of them, I would not like to solve the puzzle at this time.”

Rossum chuckled despite himself, the second scotch was taking its toll, “it says ‘All you see is perfection, but imperfection holds the key’ and so the taunting continues.”

She squeezed the letters excitedly, “I knew there had to be something more, I just knew it. I mean, yeah, the bone fragment was scary, but he seemed like the direct contact kind of guy, you know.” Rossum shot her a funny look. The smile on her face was one he had never seen on her before. She just shrugged, “I dislike being wrong; it must be because I so rarely am.”

“And so modest.”

“What has modesty ever done for anyone? Look at you.”

“I’ll have you know that I am very well respected and decorated agent with the FBI.”

“Ah, yes, but who lives in the mansion and drives the convertible Jag? That would be Agent Mortimer, a man with, dare I say, less modesty than me? And I can guarantee you he doesn’t give a shit about your feelings.”

Rossum knew she was right, but he had dealt with his issues with Mortimer a long time ago. Plus, he was more than generous about it when he knew he was taking credit. That reminded him about the cheque in his jacket pocket, “Well, it just so happens that he dropped off your first cheque today, you are officially off probation. Do you want to know how much you get paid?”

Addison smiled and made a grabbing motion with her hands. Rossum slid the paper over to her with the instructions facing up. She gazed at it for a long time, but he was unable to gauge her reaction. She finally took the thing in her hands, “It’s so weird that one little piece of paper can hold so much value. I mean it’s so fragile, and yet we work our whole lives, to the bone for it when really I could just tear this up and it would all be gone.”

Rossum was about to snatch the cheque out of her hands, but he realized that she wasn’t actually going to do it, she was just commenting on how easy it would be. “Is this your first paycheck?”

That finally snapped her out of it and she lightly laughed, “don’t be silly.” She said nonchalantly and pushed it back over to Rossum, “technically it’s not my cheque.”

“Have you seriously never had a job before, or is it all part of your act?”

“I guess I’ve never had a legitimate job, but some people might say I’ve worked my whole life.” She said cryptically then drained her glass and tapped the bar twice in front of her. The tender dutifully filled it again and winked at her, “Oh, and just so you know, this isn’t an act. As scary as it may be, this is just who I am.”

Rossum shook his head in disbelief. It was infuriating trying to figure her out, and just when he thought he may have cracked the case, she shuts right back down again and he is back to square one. “Would it kill you to give me a straight answer?”

“Probably not, but why chance it?” Addison swirled the brown liquid in her cup around and again drained it. Her eyelids were drooping slightly.

“Maybe you should take it easy on the scotch there.” As soon as it left his mouth he knew it was a mistake. Her eyes locked onto his and she smirked, but not a playful one like she usually wore.

“Give it a rest, Rossum. You’re not actually my uncle you know? Which is good considering the way you look at me.”

It was his turn to be outraged, “I don’t look at you in any way that couldn’t make me your uncle,” he blushed a little at the lie. He couldn’t deny that she was a beautiful, but that wasn’t the point at the moment. “You are just the most conceited woman I have ever met! You drive me insane!” He ran a hand through his hair then he threw enough bills in the bar to cover their drinks, “I assume you will be able to get home safely?”

Addison laughed, “Oh my god, you can’t even storm out properly.”

This comment made Rossum exhale deeply and turn to leave, but as he did Addison started chatting to the young bartender. She lightly placed her fingertips on his forearm and threw her head back in laughter. He couldn’t hear what they were saying, but it made the rage inside him boil up. Before he really knew what he meant to do he was marching back to his spot and dragged Addison away. Neither said a word until they were outside.

The rain was pouring down in a steady stream, but the pair stood under the protective awning. Finally Addison could stay silent no longer, “Well that was a bit unnecessary.”

Rossum stood straight and looked directly in front of him, “You should treat yourself with a little more respect.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Mr. High and mighty, I didn’t realize having a little fun meant I didn’t have any respect for myself. If that’s the case, which we know it has to be because you’re never wrong, then maybe you should respect yourself a little less. I think it would loosen you up a bit.” Then Addison stepped in front of him, her face inches from his. Her eyes flickered from his own down to his lips. Breathing became laboured and all Rossum could do was clear his throat. All of a sudden small hands were at his throat and Addison was pulling on the knot of his tie. She unbuttoned his very top button and as she did this his Adam’s apple skinned her knuckles. She looked back into his eyes, her playful smirk back on her lips, “there, don’t you feel like you can breathe now? Not everything is black and white sometimes to see the colour in things you have to get a little messy.”

It only took one big step backwards for her to be standing in the pouring rain. She lifted her arms to the sky and tilted her head backwards. When she started to spin it was like seeing her in slow motion. Mouth open, eyes closed, hair sticking to her face, it was the freest he had ever seen anyone, like it was the first time she had ever felt the rain on her face. He wasn’t sure if it was the scotch he had finished, or if he was just caught up in the moment, but Rossum shuffled his right foot outside the awning and he was ready to jump in, but headlights blinded him as a cab pulled up in front of the bar. He shook himself out of it and pulled his jacket collar up over his head and ran to the yellow door, Addison close behind on the opposite side.

The cabbie looked critically in his rear view mirror at the soaking wet female now occupying his back seat. Rossum nodded at him, “She’s just a free spirit.”

He gave the man Addison’s home address. Not long into the trip he felt a pressure on his shoulder. He looked over to see a sleeping Addison with beads of water rolling down her face. A smile spread onto his face, he cleared a strand of hair that had fallen in front of her eyes and slowly cradled her head so it was resting on his chest, then he placed an arm protectively around her wet shoulders and tried to keep her warm.

When the wheels skidded to a stop Rossum quietly paid the driver. He gently pulled Addison out of the cab and into his arms. It was unbelievable to him how peaceful she looked while she slept. The little girl who was so full of anger and sadness when awake could be an angel as she slept. Rossum fumbled for the keys in her purse, but the door swung open before he could find them, startling him so much he almost dropped Addison to the marble floors.

“Jesus, you scared the shit out of me!”

Greg looked stressed out. His hair was dishevelled, there were bags under his eyes which were bloodshot, and his usually immaculate shirt had coffee stains and was wrinkled, “Sorry, sometimes Addy takes a long time to find her keys, especially if she’s been…” he made a drinking motion with his hand and Rossum nodded.

“Well, she has been doing some of that.” He walked into the apartment and rested her on the couch, “Is everything okay, man?”

“I was really hoping to catch her… coherent, conscious at the very least, but looks like that’s not happening. He produced a letter from his breast pocket and handed it to Rossum, “Can I trust that you’ll give this to her when she wakes up?”

Rossum wearily took the white envelope and nodded his head. Greg grabbed his briefcase from the kitchen table and headed to the open door. “You’re not really he uncle, are you?”

Rossum shook his head; words seemed to be escaping him as he watched what was happening in front of him, “were you two…?”

Yet again he shook his head, “just friends.”

Greg stared at him, “too bad, I think you would have been good for her, but I’d watch out, Addy isn’t really great at having friends. She’s good at seducing people and getting what she wants, but real emotional attachment kind of escapes her. She doesn’t really understand relationships, it’s not her fault and it really is part of her charm. Everyone thinks they’ll be the one to get to her, to change her, but they won’t, this is who she is.”

He stared at her for a little bit, then walked over the couch. Her hair was still wet, but Greg cleared it from her forehead and planted a kiss to replace it, and just like that he was gone and Rossum was left with a letter and a soaking wet unconscious girl.

Addison woke up with her comforter kicked off the bed and a thin sheet tucked under her chin. On her nightstand rested a glass of water and two small blue pills. She passed over the aspirin and took a couple sips of the water then grimaced; she always hated the taste of water that had been sitting out for an extended period of time. With the glass in her hand she ventured into the kitchen and pulled a vanilla yogurt from the fridge then poured the water down the drain and opted for a bottle instead. As she sank into the small kitchen chair she noticed an envelope in the middle of the table with her name messily scrawled on the outside. She curiously picked it up and started to read the note folded inside.

My dearest Addy, it read.

I don’t think you ever quite realized how much I love you. When we were together it felt like everything was possible and all was right in the world. I know that you never felt that way about me no matter how hard I tried, or how much I wanted it to be true. That being said, it is not the reason for this letter and it did not make me love you any less.

Karen has learned that she is expecting and had dubbed all extra-marital activities cease, at least for the time being, and as much as I don’t want to leave you, I really must agree with her. Children come first.

As for the apartment, I would never dream of displacing you from your home. It is your name on the deed and the space is yours to do with what you please.

I know it seems sudden, and is unexpected, but I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it’s for the best. I think you’ve been waiting for me to leave since we got together.

I really wanted you to know that, despite everything, I truly loved you, and I wish the best for you. I believe you will do amazing things.

Love always,


Addison folded the letter back up, placed it inside the envelope and into its original position on the table, and switched the coffee maker on. She was about to pour a glass when a loud grunt came from the living room. A shriek escaped Addison’s chapped lips and the mug in her hand fell to the ground. She took a cautious peek around the divider and breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Rossum stretching out from under a throw blanket on the leather couch.

Pulling two new cups from the cupboard, Addison filled both with the dark liquid and headed into the next room. When she silently handed Rossum his coffee, he looked up at her sadly, “There was a note from Greg, I left it on the kitchen table. Did you read it?”

“It had my name on it, of course I read it.” Addison replied matter-of-factly. Rossum patted her knee comfortingly.

“Are you okay? Do you want to talk about it?”

She sipped at the coffee and let out a small chuckle, “I don’t really need to talk about it, but you seem kinda upset, did you need to talk about it?”

“Well I just thought…”

“That the letter was Greg dumping me? I guess technically it was, but can you really dump someone that you were never really within the first place?”

Rossum looked like he was thinking her statement over, “I guess not. So, you aren’t upset or anything?”

“Why would I be upset?” Addison scoffed, “I’ve already told you about my relationship with Greg. It was never an epic romance; it was more of an inconvenience really. Now I get all the perks of being with him without having to feign interest in his day to day life. It’s like a dream come true.”

“Don’t get too emotional about the whole thing.” Rossum said sarcastically looking slightly uncomfortable with Addison’s reaction to the break-up, but she was used to people not understanding her, she didn’t even completely understand herself.

“Look,” she started, placing her hands on her knees and leaning forward, “I’m not the same kind of person you are. I don’t really get attached easily. Greg was…” she paused trying to formulate words for what exactly he was to her, “He was a good time, but essentially a means to an end.”

“I don’t understand how you can do that to people, just use them like that?”

Addison took a deep breath and tried to hold onto her composure, this was not a topic that she liked to talk about, “There is nothing that I want to get into right now that will make you understand the kind of person I am, or why it is that I behave this way. What I can tell you is I only use people who are looking to be used, or deserve to be used. I am usually pretty upfront about the deal. I try not to hurt people if I don’t have to, and, if I’m being completely honest, it’s not like I wasn’t being used in this relationship, so forgive me for not breaking down at the thought of Greg leaving, it’s really not that big of a deal.”

“Are you using me?” Rossum asked quietly, like he wasn’t sure that he wanted to hear the answer.

Addison scoffed, “For what, exactly? The scathing remarks? The witty banter? Other than the occasional drink and carry home, I would say you’re pretty safe.”

He smiled for what seemed like the first time that morning, “and I’m pretty easy on the eyes.”

“Well, of course there’s that too.” Addison let out a sigh of relief to be done with the topic. She let a couple moments of silence pass by and let her head fall back against the couch. Her mind brought her back to the cab from last night and Rossum’s muscular arm draped across her shoulders, her forehead against his chest, the comforting smell of his cologne. Addison had learned early on in life that you have to learn to rely on yourself for protection, that there was never going to be a knight in shining armour to come and save you, but last night, tucked tightly into the crook of his arm was the closest that Addison had ever felt to safe. She played it off as the alcohol talking and turned back to the older gentleman in her living room. “So, you just decided it was okay to sleep over last night? Why, Mr. Rossum, I can assure you I’m not that kind of woman.”

Rossum laughed boisterously, “Well, after I carried you up here and tucked you into bed I was far too tired to attempt to get myself home, plus with Greg leaving, I just really didn’t want you to have to wake up alone.”

“As sweet as that is, you don’t have to worry about me. I’m used to waking up alone; in most cases I prefer it.” She flashed a weak smile, then quickly recovered, “So, are we just going to sit here all day, or are we going to work on this case?”

“Yes, I suppose we should head into the office.”

“If you show up in that suit again people are going to start to talk, agent.” She took a moment’s pause, “I’ll tell you what, you go take a shower, grab one of the suits that Greg left behind, you guys look about the same size, and I’ll whip up some breakfast.”

Rossum looked taken aback, “that was just about the last thing I expected to come out of your mouth.”

Hands on hips, Addison smirked, “What? Didn’t take me as the domestic goddess type? Wait until you see just how wrong you are.” She shooed him out of the kitchen and handed him some fresh towels.

Back in the kitchen, Addison tossed Greg’s letter into the recycling bin, pressed her fingers to her lips and blew him a kiss goodbye. She then pulled the eggs, spinach, cheese and tomatoes out of the fridge and started scrambling them into an omelette. While slicing the tomatoes her knife slipped out of her hand into her finger. She quickly grasped the wound with her other hand, but saw the blood seeping through the spaces in between her fingers, “fuck” she whispered to no one.

As she watched the blood a thought struck her. She glanced over at the knife, blood still evident on the steel blade. The first thing she noticed was that it didn’t belong to her. Running the water, she placed the throbbing digit under until the water was no longer marked with red and she could get a good look at the cut. It was clean and deep, but she had barely felt the knife enter her skin. This brought up memories from their most recent crime scene, all the stab wounds skinny and perfect, not a single knife missing from the kitchen that they could see at least.

Ignoring the blood gushing out of her finger, Addison ran to the bathroom and pounded on the door, spraying blood all over her white walls. Rossum finally emerged in a cloud of steam with a yellow towel slug around his hips and an annoyed look on his face. That look turned to concern when he saw all the blood, “Jesus Addy! What the fuck happened?”

Addison looked to her middle finger, seeming to have forgotten all about it, “Oh, this? It’s nothing, I just need a Band-Aid or something, but I was thinking, this guy is intensely meticulous, he doesn’t like to leave anything to chance, he plans everything to a ‘T’. So why would a guy like that trust his victims to have his perfect torture weapon, he wouldn’t. He is bringing it just like he brings the cleaning supplies and the duct tape and the rope. It’s all a part of his fucked up little murder kit. That’s why we haven’t found a knife, he’s not taking theirs as he leaves, he’s bringing his own and taking that with him.”

“That’s quite a revelation, little girl, but it doesn’t really bring us any closer to finding him.”

She wiped her forehead in frustration leaving a streak of blood across it and down her cheek, “but that’s because you never let me finish. All of the cuts are so precise, so clean, they have to be specialty knives, normal knives leave marks, there would be struggle marks. If I’m right… specialty generally means expensive, right? And expensive means well-kept records. I wouldn’t be surprised if these things were special order, made for and only for the unsub. It might be a long list, but at least it’s a start. We need to take a closer look at those stab wounds, and we need to start researching top knife brands.” Addison was almost out of breath after she choked out her entire shpeal and Rossum stood in front of her with his mouth agape.

“Wow, Addison that is amazing work! All because you decided to make breakfast,” he chuckled a little he glared back at her middle finger. The deep crimson liquid encasing it and showing no signs of stopping. He grabbed a wash cloth and squeezed it with his hand trying to put as much pressure on it as possible, “but all of that is going to have to wait until we get your finger looked it, I think you’re going to need stiches.”

Addison took over squeezing the cloth to her finger as Rossum quickly dressed. He instinctively grabbed the Mercedes keys off the table, but Addison stopped him, “what are you, crazy? I don’t want to get blood all over an 80 thousand dollar car! Grab the Honda ones, obviously.”

She motioned to a set hanging off a key rack attached to a worn out Sunset Zoo key chain. Rossum snatched them up and placed a comforting hand on her lower back as he guided her to the underground parking garage.

In the hospital Rossum anxiously shook his legs as they waited for a doctor to take a look at Addison. She placed a hand on his knee when she couldn’t take the movement anymore, careful to not get any blood on it. She smiled warmly at him, “it’s just a little blood. I promise, I’ll be just fine.”

“I know you will, you’re too stubborn to be sick. I just don’t really like blood.”

“You examine dead bodies for a living, how can you not be good around blood?!” She asked incredulously.

“There is a big difference between blood on a dead body and blood flowing out of your friend. Plus, I know what happens when enough of that stuff leaves the body that is why I don’t like blood. Nothing good ever comes after you see it.” Rossum glanced down and turned white as a ghost. Stifling a laugh, Addison placed her thumb and forefinger on Rossum’s chin and pulled his gaze upward. She forced him to look into her emerald green eyes.

“Don’t look at that, keep your eyes on me. Tell me about something. Tell me about your childhood.”

He tried to look down again, but Addison’s grasp on his chin was tight. So he took a deep breath and nodded, “Born in Chicago to Mary and Frank Rossum. Mother was a homemaker, father was a lawyer –”

“Not the FBI profile stats, tell me something real.” Addison interjected keeping her eyes on his.

He gave a small half smile and his eyelids drooped slightly at the memory, “From as far back as I can remember my mother would pack me peanut butter and jam sandwiches with the crusts cut off. She used to cut them into quarters too, I loved that. It was a comforting feeling, always knowing what was coming. But, we always had a strict schedule, a routine that we would never stray from, like something terrible might happen if we did. It wasn’t until years later that I figured out that everything was part of her OCD. Obsessive Compulsive disorder controlled my mother’s life, and, in turn, mine, for a long time.

“For the longest time I thought a normal bath involved your mother rubbing your skin raw,” Addison knew she should be horrified by this, but she wasn’t, she had seen worse, hell she had lived through worse. So she left her face blank, but Rossum surprised her when a genuine smile spread across his face, “she was fun too though. Impromptu dace parties in the living room. Baking cookies at midnight, she really did try to control her disease, for me. I remember –”

“Addison Grace?” A blonde nurse stood off to Addison’s right with a clip board in hand and interrupted Rossum’s memory. Both she and Rossum stood, but Addison turned to face him before taking a step forward, “Phil, I’m not sure if you’re going to be able to handle watching this.”

He waived her off, “Oh don’t be silly! I’ll be fine, I just get a little queasy is all.”

She waived at the pretty nurse and walked towards her, “Whatever you say, agent.”

Addison’s laughter filled the room, “you fainted! I can’t believe you actually fainted! I knew you weren’t going to like it, but I didn’t think you would just pass out!” She was wailing with laugher. A blush spread across Rossum’s face, but he tried to cover it up by not looking at the hysterical blonde.

The doctor stepped in to check on her and Addison attempted to stifle her giggles. Suddenly, a thought crossed her mind and she became very serious. She turned to the doctor who was examining his handy work, “hey, doc, if you were to say that there was a set of knives that compared to a surgeon’s scalpel, what would they be?”

“Well, it just so happens you are speaking to a doctor and a cooking enthusiast!” he boasted, “I bought my knives for how sharp they are. They are called Cadrils, and they’ll cut straight through bone if you really want them to. But, those are just the ones I’m partial to, there are others that are equally as great – Cutco, Kensington. For me, there is just something about Cadrils that make me feel like I’m in the OR. Are you interested in cooking?”

“Would any of those brands take special orders, like a customized set?” Addison asked, ignoring the doctor’s question.

“I know for a fact that they do.”

Addison shared a look with Rossum who arched a brow in interest. She tried to sit patiently as the doctor finished examining the stiches, and spelling out her instructions, but she practically pushed him away and ran out of the hospital.

Knowing the kind of driver Rossum was, she forced the keys out of his hands and into the ignition. She punched the small car as hard and fast as it would go. To her right, Rossum wasn’t wearing the usual look of terror that he donned when she drove. It was more like he was lost in thought. She pulled into Rossum’s parking spot because it was closer to the building, and practically pulled him out of the passenger seat. This finally seemed to snap him out of the trance and together they ran into the large government building.

When they finally reached reception Addison noticed they were getting some odd looks. She looked down and noticed that she and Rossum were grasping each other’s hands. She quickly pulled away like he had a deadly disease, but, still, the looks continued. Rossum re-grasped her hand with a smirk and pulled her en-route to his office.

“Don’t, Phillip, people are looking at us!” She harshly whispered, trying to struggle out of the death grip he had her in.

“It’s not so much this that they’re looking at,” he motioned to their hands, “as it is the blood all over your shirt, hands, oh, and a little on your face.”

He was right, she looked like something out of a horror movie, or more familiarly someone in one of their murder investigations. The crimson blood had dried to a more burnt orange and she could feel the parts of her face that were tight and caked with the stuff. She tried to conceal the horrified look on her face as she lost step with Rossum and hid most of her body, and face behind his broad back until he finally pulled he into his office and locked the door, “Oh shit, I totally forgot about how I look! This is so embarrassing! What must those people think of me?”

Rossum placed his hands on either cheek and mimicked taking a deep breath, she followed, then felt a little silly about her freak out. That wasn’t like her at all. Rossum continued to look into her eyes, “Everything will be fine! I have a shirt you can wear. As for what people think, they probably just assume that you are some sort of witness that I am interviewing about a case, no one has to know that you are human and occasionally get hurt.”

He walked over to his desk and pulled out a crisply folded, white, button down shirt and handed it over. She grabbed it and immediately whipped off her stained pyjama shirt. In reaction Rossum covered his eyes, “Whoa, Addy! Warn a guy before you just pull your top off!”

“Oh, grow up Rossum, it’s just skin, not like it’s anything you haven’t seen before.” She mocked, doing up the buttons on the shirt slowly, taunting the agent who still had his hands over his face, “you’re just lucky I was wearing a bra, or unlucky, depending on how you look at it.” He still refused to look at her after she has the shirt securely on, “Oh my god man, uncover your face, my body is not going to turn you to stone, you prude.”

He glared at her when his hand was finally back at his side, “just because I’m a gentleman doesn’t mean I’m a prude. I’m sorry that I’m not used to women stripping in my office.”

“Let’s just stop this before it gets out of hand and you say something you regret.” Addison dismissed while she smoothed down her collar, “now, about my face and hands. Do you think you can get me a wet towel, or cloth or something? I would get it myself, but I think I’ve caused enough of a stir already.”

“Oh, yes, of course. Sit tight, I’ll be right back.” He headed to the door, but Addison stopped him, “Uncle Ross?”


“Will you get me a coffee too?”

A small smile spread across his face, “sure.”

“…and a muffin?”

He looked at her warningly, “Addison –”

She pouted and made her eyes really big, “Please, my finger hurts.”

Groaning, Rossum nodded his head, “you’re going to be the death of me.”

Addison smirked at her accomplishment, wandered over to Rossum’s chair, flopped in and put her feet up on the desk. Pain killers were racing through her system, but she still did feel a twinge of pain emanating from her finger so she popped a couple more in her mouth and swallowed them dry. Addison leaned her head back and felt her eyelids droop. Just before she let sleep take her, a small knock rang through the office. She didn’t even have time to ask who it was before Alex came waltzing in causing a shocked look to cross Addison’s pretty face, one that she quickly remedied before the agent looked back her way.

“Hey Rossum, I’m glad you’re finally here, I needed –” Alex’s sentence was quickly cut off when he saw the brunette sitting in his bosses chair covered in blood, “Oh my god, Addison, are you alright? What happened?”

She flashed him her sweetest smile, “Oh, all this?” She asked motioning to her face. “I just got a small cut on my finger, but it’s all been repaired. Now I’m just waiting on Uncle Ross for something to clean myself up with.”

“I heard that he was in here with a witness and I know the only open case he is working on right now is the Tri-way killer. I was so shocked when someone told me about it.”

“So you barged in here?” Addison’s eyes flicked to him and he turned red under her gaze.

“He usually leaves a sign up if something like that were happening in here. I guess I didn’t think it through fully.” Addison was unconvinced, and she knew it showed on her face when Alex let out a sigh and bit his lip, “okay, truthfully, I was hoping to catch him. I was just really curious, you know? I feel bad about it now, you clearly didn’t want anyone to see you.”

Addison raised her eyebrows in acknowledgement and Alex’s eyes shifted towards the button up shirt tipping low on Addison’s chest, “doesn’t exactly look like your kind of style.”

“Oh, this old thing? It’s not mine, it’s Rossum’s.”

“Oh –OH!” Alex’s eyes widened in what he thought was revelation.

Addison laughed and tossed her bloody shirt at the towering agent, “Not like that, you pervert! There was blood all over me, so I put on the spare he kept in his office. Suits me, don’t you think?” She winked flirtatiously and Alex’s open gape was interrupted by Rossum entering his office with full hands.

“I hope you don’t mind cranberry. Now before you jump down my throat, I know you prefer bran, but –” Rossum looked up and almost spilt the coffee in his hand, “Agent Brogan, sorry, I didn’t realize you were in here… Addison, will you get your feet off my desk please?”

“Whatever you say Uncle Ross. I was just trying to get a little comfortable, but it’s kinda impossible in your stuffy office.”

Rossum ignored her quip and looked at Agent Brogan quizzically, “Can I help you with something Alex?”

He suddenly seemed to realize that he was the one that didn’t belong in the room, “I heard that you may have had a lead in the Tri-way killer case, but it looks like people were mistaken. Well, keep me updated. Always a pleasure Addison.”

“Oh, the pleasure’s all mine Agent Brogan.” Rossum rolled his eyes at this and tossed a wet cloth at the brunette.

She started to dab her face, but without a mirror she had no idea what she was doing. On top of that the painkillers were starting to kick in and she was feeling a little loopy. When Rossum saw her trying to wipe off her left eyebrow for the fifth time he decided to intervene, “Okay, let me help you.”

He kneeled down beside his chair and gently pulled the cloth from her hands. Addison pouted at him and stared with her wide eyes while Rossum gingerly pressed it against her pale skin. Addison wasn’t really sure when the blue pills had taken a hold of her, but they were coursing through her system now. Her lips formed a lazy smile and she pushed her hands through Rossum’s thick hair, “you have great hair, Rossy. Is my face still all bloody?”

“No, sweetie, it’s almost gone.” He gave her cheek one final dab then started on her hands.

Once Rossum started on her hands she looked down at them and a horrified look crossed her face. Her voice lowered to a whisper and her eyebrows lifted with worry, “I didn’t mean to.”

Rossum looked at her strangely. How many of those pain killers did she take he wondered to himself. “Of course you didn’t mean to do it, Addy, it’s alright.”

“You can’t tell him. He’ll be angry.” Rossum crossed the room to his closet. He wasn’t sure what was going on with Addison, but she was slightly shivering and he wanted to grab her a jacket, but as he reached for the door handle Addison leapt across the room and snatched his hand away, “what are you thinking? You can go in there! He tells us we can’t go in there.”

Her voice was angry, but with an underlying sadness to it, he could see the tears pooling in her eyes, “who, Addy. Who tells you this?”

“Daddy.” She said this like it was the most obvious answer in the world.

“Why doesn’t he like you to go in the room?” He knew that she was rambling, but she so rarely opened up about anything. It might have been wrong, but he needed to know.

“That’s his work room. I don’t know what he does in there, but mommy and I have to stay away.” She looked into Rossum’s eyes and hers went wide, “I shouldn’t be telling you this! Daddy doesn’t know you, he wouldn’t like this at all.”

“Does daddy ever hurt you?”

“No! daddy loves me.” She lowered her voice, “well, one time he hurt my wrist, but that was my fault.”

“Why was it your fault.”

Her eyebrows knitted together and her bottom lip started to quiver. A couple tears rolled down her cheeks and Rossum remarked that she looked like a little girl; he wiped away the tears quickly and pulled her onto his lap, double checking that the door was locked. She wrapped her arms around his neck and whispered right into Rossum’s right ear, “I tried to go into the room. I don’t know why. I know I wasn’t supposed to, but it was right there and I just wanted to take a quick look. I didn’t mean to make him mad. I didn’t mean to…”

“I know you didn’t. It’s alright. Did daddy catch you?”

He felt her nod against his neck, “daddy says he knows everything I do. He’s always watching… Always.”

“Where is daddy now?”

He felt more pressure against his neck and he could feel her eyelashes fluttering, “he said… he told me I couldn’t follow them. He told me he’d always be watching… don’t say anything…not…a…word…”

He head rolled onto his shoulder and Rossum tried to wake her, “Addison, Addy! Don’t say a word about what?! Addison, wake up!”

There was water and coffee on his desk so he gently placed her in the chair and re-wet the towel he had used earlier. He ran it over her face until her eyes fluttered open. They looked more like Addison’s normal eyes and Rossum felt relieved, but also a little cheated. Placing the mug to her dry lips, Rossum urged her to drink the hot liquid and she accepted. She pushed it away and laughed lightly, “Geeze, those pills are strong. Next time I will stick with the recommended dose!” she still sounded a little loopy, but like herself.

“Do you remember what happened?” He wasn’t completely sure if he wanted her to remember or not, but he was leaning towards no. She was bound to be upset if she knew that he pried that much into her past. Shrugging her shoulders sloppily, she pulled on the knot of Rossum’s tie and slipped it off his neck. He swallowed hard, “Addy… what are you doing?”

She cinched the tie around her small waist and tied it in a loose bow, “accessorizing. We have to go talk to M-Maggie.” She shook her head, “no that’s not right… Morpheus…” she snorted in laughter, “no, that’s from the Matrix.” She paused and looked deep in thought, “Magnus, we need to see Magnus.”

“Magnus can wait, you need to rest.”

“I’m good, Uncle Ross, s’all good.” She stumbled a little and a blush spread across her face, “I will be all sorts of normal after I finish this coffee.”

He placed it in her hand and held out the muffin he had grabbed as well, “eat this too, it’ll help.”

She nodded, but her lack of argument and the soft look on her face made him think that it might be a lost cause. He started to weigh the pros and cons in his list. Even in her altered state, he knew Magnus would be a good person to see, and he really did need to get to work. Addison might slow him down, but he couldn’t leave her in the office, god knows what kind of trouble she would get in there, at least if he took her with him he could keep an eye on her. She leaned happily against the door eating the last of her muffin, “Urm, erll reedy!”

He laughed at her lightly as she spoke through a mouthful of food, “Alright, but we are going to take it easy and slow, right?”

She nodded a little too enthusiastically, “righty-o!”

He firmly placed a hand on her elbow and opened the door. He tried to avoid eye contact from interested workers, but Addison had never been friendlier. She was smiling and waving at everyone they passed and at times would place her hands on their face. Rossum took a deep breath and tried to tighten his grip on Addison’s elbow, “Addison, stop touching people!”

“Why? They like it when I touch them!” she turned to a man who was walking by and placed her hand on his arm, “Sir, do you mind when I touch you?”

The man looked confused, then turned to Rossum who was running over, “I’m so sorry Agent James. This is Addison, she’s a little eccentric, you’ll have to excuse her.”

He smiled and slightly laughed, “You are a lovely girl, Addison.”

“Thanks to you man.”

They finally reached the lab and Addison wriggled out of Rossum’s grip before he could really understand what was happening.

“MAGNUS! Mag-Mag, where are you?”

Rossum saw him stick his head out of his office and adjust his glasses, “Addison? Is that you? I wasn’t expecting to see you until tomorrow.”

She pouted, “I wanted to see you now, Uncle Ross took me.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and nuzzled her face into his small chest. Magnus looked like he might pass out from surprise.

Rossum quickly pulled her off in case Magnus did fall, “Sorry Dr. Norms. Addison had a little accident today and she may have taken a few too many perks.”

“Oh dear, is she alright?” he sat her down in a chair and pulled a small flashlight out of his pocket. He started shining the light in her eyes but she pushed his hand away and stole his thick rimmed glasses off his face.

“Look at me, I’m Agent Rossum ‘blah blah blah, I’m angry. Look at me. Addison you’re wrong’. But I’m never wrong.” She pointed at him and whispered, “never.”

“Yeah, yeah, alright Addison. Can you give the doctor his glasses back and then we’re going to play a game called Addison is quiet and shuts her eyes for a couple of minutes.”

Addison pouted and handed Magnus his glasses. Rossum spread his jacket over her and prayed that she would drift off to sleep and let him work. “Sorry again Magnus. We’re actually not here for any results. We wanted to go over the knife wounds of the victims in the tri-way killer case.”

“Why, do you think you’ve found something?” He was already opening up his drawer and sorting through files. He pulled one out and it was the latest victim, “I don’t have all the files here, but I was assuming that this one will provide a start?”

“Yes, that will be fine.”

Magnus hanged some pictures on a board and then stood back to look at them, “What exactly am I supposed to be looking for?”

“Describe the wounds to me.”

“Wounds vary from .2 to 1.5 inches. They’re smooth, no hesitation, no catches. None hit any major arteries or organs. The only wound that isn’t a stab is the slash across the throat which is also anticipated as the first blow.”

“No catches? Is that normal, I get the no hesitation this guy isn’t the remorse kind of guy, but a regular kitchen knife shouldn’t be that sharp should it?”

“Not generally, and no it’s not very common, but it’s also not unheard of. Many households are starting to carry better quality knives that are capable of this and more.”

“Is the knife serrated? Did any of the stabs hit bone?”

Magnus adjusted his glasses and examined the wounds further, “I can’t see any evidence of serration. There is also no note from the coroner indicating that, so I would have to say no. As for the knife hitting bone, that’s also a negative for this victim, but I can request the other files and review them if you’d like.”

“That would be great actually. We’re thinking if the wounds are unique enough we can pin down the kind of knife used.”

“We?” Magnus questioned all but forgetting the young lady curled up in the chair across from them.

Rossum nodded in her direction, “Addison, it was actually her idea. She had an epiphany while almost slicing her finger to the bone, then started rambling about rare knives… this actually might be the quietest I’ve ever seen her.”

Magnus squinted at her through his thick specs, “She’s certainly not squirming around as much as she usually is. If I didn’t know better I would say that she wasn’t even breathing.”

Both men gazed at the pretty brunette in front of them in silence. Rossum stared at her face. She was still, her eyelashes weren’t even fluttering. His heartbeat rose before he really knew why, “Oh my god, she’s not breathing!”

Rossum ran over to her and grasped her shoulders in his hands. He lightly shook her, “Addison! Addy, wake up!” He pressed two fingers into her neck, desperately trying to feel a pulse, until he felt her shoulder move under him and a hand slap him away.

“What are you doing? You tell me to go to sleep now you’re yelling at me to wake up. Make up your mind already!” Addison groaned.

Rossum released the breath that he wasn’t aware he was holding. He was relieved, not only that she was still breathing, but that she was sounding more like herself again. “Jesus Addy, it looked like you weren’t breathing. I thought your heart stopped.” Anger trembled in his voice, he knew it was irrational, but he was upset that he had been so worried.

“I’m fine. I’m just a really still sleeper.” She snorted a little as she laughed, “This actually isn’t the first time that’s happened to me.”

“Well, would it kill you to move around a little bit? Cough or something?”

“I can’t really control what I do in my sleep, Rossum.” She pulled his jacket off her body and handed it back to the stern agent standing in front of her.

“It’s not just that, Addison, you need to take care of yourself. You need to sleep more, stop drinking so much, eat on a regular basis.”

“Are you kidding I’m fine. Plus, you’ve seen me eat, I’m not going to starve anytime soon.”

Rossum felt his blood pressure dropping steadily as she smiled at him. He tilted his head slightly and exhaled quickly, “can we at least agree that taking the recommended dosage on your powerful pain medication is probably the best route from here on out?”

Addison reached out and pushed her index finger into Rossum’s nose, “Aw, you’re no fun at all, are you?” she looked at him a little, but he didn’t let his face waiver until she rolled her eyes, “okay, I will be more careful about the amount of little pills I pop.”

“That’s all I ask.” They looked at each other for a little before Magnus cleared his throat behind them.

Addison flashed a smile his way, “Oh, Mags, I’m sorry. Were you feeling left out? Did you want to tell me what you think is wrong about how I live my life?”

A blush crept onto his cheeks, “no, I just wanted to make sure you were feeling alright. Would you mind if I did a quick check-up?”

“I didn’t know you were a doctor. I mean, I knew you were, like, a ‘I know everything about this subject’ doctor, but I didn’t know you were a medical doctor.”

“Ah, yes, well I trained to be a medical doctor before I got my PhDs. Turns out people aren’t inclined to trust an 18 year old with a scalpel. All for the best though, I was always a bit squeamish with blood.” He spoke as he led Addison back to the chair she was sleeping on.

“This isn’t going to involve me taking my shirt off, is it? Rossum has very delicate sensibilities and I’m afraid he wouldn’t be able to handle it.”

“Very funny Addison. I’m surprised you even remember that given you’ve been high as a kite all morning.”

Magnus stepped in between them once again, “No, no you won’t have to take you shirt off. Just some general reaction tests and I’ll take a look at that finger.”

“You’re too good to me Mags.”

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