A/N: First shot at Grey's Anatomy, but damn, it sure as hell ain't gonna be my last. I am completely in love with this show. Every week it delivers and it has me hooked. And I am loving the chemistry between Alex and Izzie. So good right now. Anyway, I wrote this because after seeing Make Me Lose Control, I noticed a definite spark between Alex and Izzie, a sort of understanding. So, I decided to fill in the gaps. Takes place directly after Enough Is Enough (No More Tears).
Disclaimer: I don't own it…but maybe someday…maybe. All rights reserved. And the song is "Glorious" by Spook.
No More Tears
Why is it that whenever we look for something, we never find it? But, by some stroke of luck, we happen upon it one day when we're completely unawares. And most of the time, we don't even remember losing it where we find it. It's just one of those things, I guess. One of those things that complete life because if we didn't have happenstance, we would have order wherever we chose to place ourselves. For life to be worth living, we have to have a balance of both order and disorder, otherwise it would be boring. We have to take the good with the bad because we never really know which one is more fulfilling.
I found him leaning against one of the walls of our little 'lounge', the wafting stench of his bottle of beer drifting around the few gurneys that lay about. The room was dark, with the only illumination coming from a small light on the ceiling. I noticed carelessly the stack of files he had resting on one of the gurneys. Paperwork, I guessed, from the day's many challenges. I silently scolded him for occupying my late-night sanctuary, but deep down I knew it really didn't belong to me. I only thought it did. Most of the time.
He looked up as I placed a foot on the hard concrete floor. He had been deep in thought, his beer slowly calming the nerves that wanted so badly to rise and surface. I waved a careless hand impulsively, easing the tension. He gave a half-smile in return. Better than nothing, I reasoned. Come on, this was Alex we're talking about. I moved to curl up on one of the gurneys, pulling my legs up underneath me as I faced him with an unsure expression. I suddenly remembered earlier today when he had pulled me aside, reproaching me for trying to persuade that kid to go through with the kidney transplant that would save his dying father's life. I remembered the pain in his eyes and wondered absently where that had come from.
I smiled, washing the memories away. "Do you always drink on the job?"
He moved his eyes over me, chewing on the inside of his cheek. "It's a full service job. It sucks you in and spits you out. Have to find some sort of release."
And if tonight
You should speak my name
And every star should fall
And gather themselves all around you
I knew what he was talking about. Internship isn't exactly one of the most organised occupations out there. You always had to rush to operating rooms to scrub in, sometimes even take the lead when the surgeons thought you were ready. But the most exhausting thing about this job was having to deal with the results of the surgeries, good or bad. That elation when you save a life will always run through your veins like an adrenaline rush, but the momentary heartache will always stab into you when you lose someone.
"Why not go to a bar?" I questioned casually. I had always pictured Alex one of those 'bar junkies'. "There are plenty around here."
He took a sip of his beer, his lips circling around the rim of the bottle skilfully. "They're public places."
I felt a pang of surprise. The way he had said that made me feel like I wasn't seeing the whole picture. I began to think differently about that father and son case we had worked on together today.
"Besides," he added with a little lop-sided grin, "they overcharge."
I smiled back; grateful he wasn't dwelling too much on the pain. Typical Alex, always trying to make a joke of things. Though, something struck me as odd. He wasn't acting like the Evil Spawn I knew him as. He was actually acting vulnerable, like he needed a helping hand, a strong shoulder to rest on. It was then that I realised I didn't know Alex Karev at all. He wasn't the man I thought he was. There was another side to him. A softer one.
A million lights to surround you
I lay deeper into the gurney, my blue scrubs crumpling as I pulled my legs in closer. "Alex, why do you always have to act tough?"
He shrugged, his own scrubs wrinkling against his movement. "I'm not now."
I sighed, a small breath expelling almost silently. "You know what I mean. Around others, you're always acting like you're better than them. Like you have to prove it."
I saw a small hesitation flicker in his eyes as he leaned further into the wall. "Guess that's just who I am."
"No it's not," I said forcefully, raising my voice slightly. "I've seen you care, Alex. Just not around others. I mean, today for example. You helped that kid save his father when he could've let him die. You bonded with him and I just can't understand why."
He frowned, his eyebrows furrowing. He turned around to face me squarely. "You want to know why? Because I was that kid, Izzie. I had that same, exact father and I knew how much it hurt when he would lose control."
"Alex," I said softly, regret seeping into my tone.
And if I should come
To know myself
Perfected and reflected in that glow
"My father was an alcoholic," he continued, ignoring my silent apology. "He used to beat on my mother when he was drunk, which was, like, all the time. I used to hear it from my room, her screaming and him yelling, slurring his words pathetically. There were so many times I wanted to hurt him, and eventually I did, and I regretted it. I regretted it because I realised I was no better than he was."
There was a stunned silence. I sat with my mouth slightly open, watching his eyes stare back into mine, his gaze daring me to say something. I took a while to soak it all up. I had vaguely heard that story, but I had been trying to avoid eavesdropping. I had blocked most of it out, though I had managed to catch that little part at the end how Alex trained himself to fight his own father. I had heard that earlier in the day.
"Alex," I said his name again, though not as soft this time, "you weren't like him when you fought him. You were fighting for the right side when you hurt him. When he hurt your mother, he was on the wrong side. He was in the wrong. You did nothing wrong."
Glorious in your eyes
He smiled painfully. "I still regret it. I regret it because I can still see the look my mother gave me when we were at the hospital waiting for him to be checked out. You know, after everything he put her through, she still loved him. It's like she was addicted to him."
I nodded, a few bangs of my hair falling out of place my behind my ear. I let them fall loosely in front of me. "I know what it's like to have a mother who's addicted to something that hurts her."
He raised a surprised eyebrow and took another sip of beer. "Then you know how hard it is to disappoint her."
Smiling wanly, I reached out an open hand and took the bottle from Alex's hand, sighing inwardly when the liquid slid down my throat. I looked up at him and gave him the bottle back. "Because she believes in a higher power."
Alex looked at me, his eyes searching my face. I could no longer see that mischievous grin that always hinted trouble. It was like, eventually, we had an understanding. We had common ground to treat on together. I almost laughed out loud thinking about it. It was close to ridiculous, and yet in some twisted way it seemed right.
So if tonight
I should stumble
On my tongue
And the words get in the way
I shifted impulsively when he began to walk around the gurney to sit next to me, his beer still hanging loosely from his hand. He slouched back slightly, making himself comfortable. I sat up, crossing my legs and making more room for the both of us on the compromising gurney. He offered his beer and I seized it gratefully, taking a large sip and savouring the taste. I handed it back to him wordlessly, taking advantage of the rare situation by accepting whatever he offered. It wasn't like he was going to do this again for a while.
"So," he began, breaking the momentary silence, "what was your mother addicted to? Gambling, drugs…?"
"Psychics," I answered promptly, giving him a serious look.
I could tell by his smirk he was amused by that. I didn't care. As trite as this may sound, I wanted this night to last forever. Ever since my split from my ex, I hadn't exactly been lucky in love. It was nice to share a moment with a colleague outside of work, especially if it happened to be Alex Karev.
And silence becomes my confession
This moment my only possession
Alex leaned his head against the wall casually. "And I suppose it was hard, having to deal with that."
"It's no joke, Alex," I sniped jokingly as I threw a pen at his head. A good warrior will find ammunition anywhere.
"Oh yeah," he said while nodding seriously, "I know. It's not easy for anybody, whatever the addiction may be."
Then you would come to know yourself
Reflected as I have come to know you
He winked slyly and I found myself smiling despite how hard growing up had been for me. The living conditions had been less than forthcoming to me, and modelling hadn't exactly strengthened my self-esteem. It had been hard, shedding clothes to pay for something I had never thought I could achieve. But perseverance had given me much more than a dream job; it had given me confidence to succeed in anything I put my mind to. I felt I could even melt ice with nothing but words.
Glorious in my eyes
"You're not as insensitive as you make out to be, Alex. Maybe you should try proving that to others," I proposed with a casual shrug.Oh, you're glorious…
All he could do was lean further back on the gurney, sipping on his beer with an amused look. Silence reigned for a while and I welcomed it, occasionally looking at him with a smile. And I would catch him staring back, his eyes glinting with amusement. Obviously he thought it was as weird as I did; that the two of us could have more in common than we ever imagined. It was an ironic twist of fate that I just happened upon him at such a late hour, when just about everyone else had gone home for the night. It seemed implausible, because I knew deep down that I had always been searching for Alex Karev, the real Alex Karev, and when I least expected it, I had found him.