Chapter Three
A Taste of Happiness
Ambere Skye
Christian Tripp died that night. His last request was to have his pastor pray for his soul and read him his favorite biblical passage.

Luck would have it that one of the girls had heard about Denny and Izzie, and his second collapse. After he passed out, Izzie's friends coaxed her from the room, but she would only stray as far as the doorway, rough cafeteria chair serving as her bed as she waited on the test results.

Dr. Bailey had spoken about surgery, surgery to remove a small blood clot that was building in his brain. Another risky surgery, another chance to lose him all over again.

They'd been so lucky, all this time. Surgery after surgery, he'd come out on top, he'd survived her botched attempt to steal a heart, his roller coaster conditions, the varied twists and turns that always led him back to the hospital and under her care.

Not that, in some twisted way, she appreciated his flawed heart, the one damaged so badly that it'd brought them together.

From the first meeting he was charming, sweet, and so, so sexy. He was perfect for her, a man's man. He had lived in his short life, and was ready for the things Izzie wanted herself. Love and family. If he'd just get better they'd have them both.

"Izzie?" she jumped at the voice. It was George and Callie. George had a bag, and from the way it crumpled when he shifted, she could only hope it was full with wondrous junk food. Callie held her jumpsuit in her arms and the old running shoes from her locker. With grateful hands she took both from them, smiling with as much gratitude she could muster. George knelt at her side, his hands keeping him stable, resting on her knees.

"How is he?" he moved Izzie's bangs aside, took a good look at her appearance. Red eyes, flushed face, runny nose, he interpreted it all as signs that Denny Duquette probably wasn't doing as well as she wanted him to do.

"He had a stroke, George. I forgot about blood clots…..he was always prone to them, you know, and now, now they have to operate again to remove one from his brain," her face fell, but she didn't cry, she bravely resisted the urge to cry.

"Iz," she waved him away.

"I thought with the heart that he would be okay, that we'd be okay. But Denny's not okay, George. His body won't survive another surgery," she sniffed, wiping her nose on the back of her hand. Callie swallowed hard, and moved to leave the friends to their conversation.

"Dr. Torres!" Izzie's estranged voice shot through her. She didn't turn, afraid that she'd cry too if she looked at her too long.

"Will you watch him while I'm gone?" she whispered. Callie knew that there were many implications behind that simple request. Trust. So she nodded to the slightly younger doctor, helping her to her feet and guiding her to an empty room she could change, and possibly, rest inside.

And somewhere, two teenage girls led the aged pastor up the darkened steps of Denny's ward, and they caught Izzie before she left to change, and one of the nurses caring for Denny.

He was conscious, and was asking for Iz anyway.

Callie stood with old flowers, wilted and dying, with George by her side. Meredith had been tracked down, and Derek had followed her inside as well. It seemed like most of the staff had appeared, and although it hadn't exactly been an easy day, everyone was pleased it would end so well.

So, with hands folded, heads bowed and hearts thumping (both quite safely) in perfect unison, Isobel Stevens changed her last name.


THAT'S how it should've ended!