"The Nearness of You"

It's not the pale moon …
That inspires me…
Oh no, it's just the nearness of you …

Izzie tightened her arms around Denny's middle and squeezed a bit. She breathed in his scent, salt water and aftershave. "You dance so well," she said.

"What? You think a man with a heart condition can't have rhythm?" He pulled away and looked down at her. "How you underestimate me Izzie Stevens. You're lucky you look so pretty otherwise I might have to dump you."

"You think I look pretty?" Izzie remarked semi-modestly, "I tried on three dresses before I picked this one." Izzie looked down at her dress and for a second it changed from pink to black. Izzie shook her head and when she looked again it was the same. "Besides," she said quickly, "You wouldn't dump me… we haven't had sex yet"

"There is always that," Denny said. "But I mean it … you look beautiful in that dress. Too bad I never got to see it."

For a second Izzie paused, but she decided to ignore it. "I want to dance like this forever. Only slow songs art our wedding."

"Hey woman, we haven't even been outside of the hospital yet and you're making wedding plans?"

"Maybe we should get married at the nurse's station," Izzie said with a laugh. "And we can have the reception in the here in the waiting room."

"Well you guys do put on a nice shindig," Denny replied looking around at the decorations.

"I already started looking at wedding dresses. I was thinking something simple, classic."

"I bet you would've looked like a princess."

Izzie furrowed her brow with concern. "Why do you say it like that?"

Denny looked at her seriously. "Izzie listen to me. When I said I chose you I meant it. You know if I would've had a choice, it would've been you."

"Denny, what are you – ?"

"I just want you to know, I was loved Izzie and I loved you more than anything. Just remember that, I loved you." As he spoke Izzie could feel his arms slipping away. She reached blindly into the air.

"Denny? Denny! Denny!" Izzie woke up mid-scream, her heart racing uncontrollably. As it began to slow down, she almost wished it would stop. Silent tears began to run down her cheeks, spattering onto the sheets. She felt her breath catch in her throat as she embraced her shivering body. "Denny," Izzie whispered into the air.

As the first rays of light began to break over the horizon. She felt the whisper of phantom arms encircling her and for a moment she heard the steady beat of another heart. And then like a ghost … it was gone.