Disclaimer: I do not own Grey's Anatomy
Teaser: maybe they're all slipping away
Notes: three words. Oh. My. God.
"For this your special skill
you will be healing the ill
it's surgery but with no knife
she'll make a greet leechwife"
Beneath the glitter and the sparkles and the little girls eyes and the strong boy hands that grope underneath strobe lights, there is white linoleum. And, yes, that white linoleum says it all. Because the white linoleum smells like the hospital. And the hospital smells like death.
No matter how effective the hospital, how competent the staff, how pretty the decorations, a hospital always smells like death.
Camilla Webber knows this smell best of all. She has lived in this smell for a long while, wallowing in it the way a young girl wallows in a bath after the first time she gives herself to a man.
For a while she thinks she might escape it, but now its back and once again she walks hand in hand with it.
But she thinks if she closes her eyes and leans in to her uncle, inhales only his cologne, then the smell of death is not so close. She can pretend, she tells herself, this is only the prom and the white linoleum beneath her feet is the smooth marble of the ballroom.
And she knows she is slipping down into the dark, but the dark seems lighter when she is wrapped up in her uncle's arms and the strobe lights flashing above her head almost seem real.
Burke and Christina slip the same way Camilla does. They both shake as Christina grips his trembling knuckles, as she wordlessly eases his grief and pain onto her.
They say nothing to one another as Christina leans in and rests her head on his shoulder. He says nothing as Christina cries softly, shedding her rare and silent tears. And she says nothing as he cries as well. And together they wash themselves in their salty tears, trying to wash away the sense of defeat and loss that clings to them.
The tinge of it still reminds, but there is something that holds them back from the final slippery edge. And Burke thinks it is in the solid, hard way Christina's fingers tighten over his own as she mumbles his name.
In that moment they don't need the words they once would have said. The words Burke would have demand and the words Christina would have given reluctantly. They don't need them now.
Burke can take care of himself, he tells her that, but they both know he needs Christina to live.
Calli is stronger then any of them. But she's had to be. Throughout her life, she has been alienated. She has found no one to hold her up. And so she has had to hold herself, and thus she is stronger.
Which is why she thinks she will let Meredith Grey walk out of that room mused and looking as if Derek has attacked her. She doesn't like Meredith Grey, Calli thinks. Because she broke George's heart and it has become some holy grail Calli cannot achieve.
And yet, she grabs Meredith's dress and straightens her. She does not tell George. She does not tell anyone.
She thinks it is the look on Meredith's face that has her reaching out. She knows that look. Defeat and the deep sense of falling into a bottomless well of trouble. And she knows the look on Derek's face—George has given it to her—as if he is not quite sure what to do with her.
A bond is formed. A bond so strong that is seems nearly impossible. Because they do not know each other, her and Meredith. And yet, heartbreak and heartache, binds them in ways they cannot be bonded.
So Calli fixes Meredith in the only way she can and sends the doctor on her way. She sends a look Derek's way when she's gone. A look that requires no words because it says everything. Everything that she thinks Derek is.
Because when Calli walks into the room and finds Meredith and Derek together, she senses no love between. If there is love, then it is buried so deep that it seems to cease to exist. All Calli feels is the heat and passion and guilt and shame and the overwhelming bitterness. It rolls of waves from both of them.
But Calli sees the destroyed look in Meredith's eyes and so she hates Derek.
It's in the way Izzie's heels click against the marble floor. She shuffles away in a posture that sings of utter defeat and her carefully applied mascara is running along her cheeks. It hides well the tears that had dried and stained, but everyone who sees Izzie's long shuffle toward the doors know that they're there.
Bailey stares after her, for once surprised. For once she is not able to see this coming. And she can only stare as Izzie walks out, for good.
Alex shuffles behind her, saying nothing. He knows words are no good. He knows more then he lets on and that is why Izzie can walk out of the hospital on her own, because Alex follows her.
When she is out of the hospital and its white linoleum floors that smell like Denny and death, Izzie nearly breaks. She stumbles once, snapping her ankle, but she keeps on walking. And Alex moves right behind her.
She stops suddenly, shaking in the cool night air. He says nothing as he moves an inch closer, not touching but making his presence known.
"Go away," she rasps, near tears again. Her hands ball into useless fists. "Go away, Alex."
He looks down at her fists. Then at the back of her head. "No."
With a flutter of her pink dress, Izzie whirls on him. She lunges, her fists hitting the solid flesh of his chest. "Go away! Go away!"
Alex lets her hit him. He knows that sometimes, with all the grief and rage building up inside, the only way to survive with it is by lashing out. He is willing to be Izzie's punching bag. And it doesn't even hurt. Her fists are small and pale and useless against the wall of his chest.
"Oh God… oh God… Alex… just go away." She folds against him and Alex is ready to catch her. "I killed him. I killed him."
"No. No. You didn't, Iz," he tells her, shaking her only lightly. It feels like she will crack if he does anything else.
Her knees break and she hits the floor, her dress pooling around her sobbing body. She looks like Cinderella after finding out that Prince Charming is already engaged. And Alex, in his tuxedo, bends down to her feeling like peasant boy who's always been in love with her.
She only struggles lightly when he pulls her into his arms, and only moments later does her fingers close on his shoulders. Her breath is ripped from her chest and she cannot stop screaming.
Alex remembers absently holding her only moments before in much in the same position, stroking her hair and blessing her neck with small, chaste kisses. He remembers murmuring to her to let the cold, dead body of Denny Duquette go because it wasn't him anymore and the Denny that had loved her wouldn't want her to cling to the shell of the man he had been.
He remembers thinking that there was something in holding her. He has, in the short series of a day and a half, lied for her and held her as she cried over the body of another man. Alex never thought himself to be selfless, but holding Izzie as her tears dampened his shoulders made him want to give up anything, anything, to have Denny's eyes flutter open for her.
But all he can do is tell her to let his body go.
Izzie never questions him on how the hell he knows. And he is nearly glad. He didn't care, then, that Meredith and George and Christina watched as he soothed Izzie in a way that was uncharacteristic for him. But he wouldn't have been brave enough to tell her how he knew.
Even now, he is not quite willing to admit it to himself.
"Oh God… oh God… oh God…" she is screaming against his shoulders.
Alex knows she's falling, down into the very darkest of despairs. But he also knows that he isn't willing to let her go without a fight.
Holding her, he swears to himself and the ghost of Denny Duquette to try to catch her.
If they are all falling, Meredith Grey has crashed.
She smacked her face against the bottom when Derek's hand slid up her leg in the ancient mating ritual. She broke her bones when she clung to him, after telling herself over and over again she is done and they are through.
But she clung to him when his hands stroked across her body in possession and she arched into him when he took her.
Now she is trying to crawl out and she is not sure how.
Because they are both standing before her, asking her to take their path and be with them and she is not sure who she really wants to be with.
Derek with his heat and empty promises. Derek with a wife who is just as vulnerable and needy as Meredith. Addison, who slipped to the bottom long before Meredith perceived the edge.
Or Finn. With his earnest face and gentle eyes. Finn who was perfect for her and who understood what it felt like to lose everything. Finn who made plans and made her hope for some trace of happiness.
Finn, who isn't Derek.
"Meredith," Finn says, and his voice is soft.
Derek says nothing but he might as well be screaming her name.
She looks down at her feet and feels the fire burning deep inside her. She does not want to choose. She does not want to. And she cannot. If they stand there forever, the three of them, locked in eternity, she will still not be able to choose.
In the white linoleum, her reflection screams back up at her.
Notes: God, is the third season on yet?