Disclaimer: I do not own Grey's Anatomy

Teaser: where's their yellow brick road?

Notes: because Alex is my favorite character and he obviously is in deep-like/love with Izzie, despite the fact that she's not getting over Denny for some time. It's just that… even as I was mourning for Denny and was grinning for Alex. 'Cause, c'mon, the asshole attitude is just a mask, you know?

Plus, Alex and Izzie are so ripe for angst, you know? And I feel like angst so… plus, I can't bring myself to write a Finn/Meredith or Derek/Meredith fic just yet… 'cause of that stupid thing they did... like having sex while one is freaking married. Uh-oh, I feel a rant coming on.

/Something to Sleep To/

"She's his yellow brick road

leading him on

and letting him go as far

as she lets him go

going down to nowhere"

-"Something to Sleep To", Michelle Branch

Izzie leads the way and Alex follows. But they both knew she doesn't know where she's going. She's lost and weak and despairing and she cannot remember the last time she felt so broken inside.

It's bit like, she thinks, losing her daughter. She had barely held the tiny perfection in her arms for more than a minute before she had been torn away. And because she would never have that daughter again, Izzie mourned for it as a death.

But Denny's death is different. With Denny there were hopes and dreams and futures that had spread out into the infinite impossibility of tomorrow. With her daughter, Izzie had always known there would be loss. But with Denny…

For a brief moment, Izzie's hands clench into fists and she think she will die. Just die from the raw tearing of her heart. But when her breath continues to hiss out, she realizes she will live for a bit longer yet.

With Denny, Izzie had seen the futures he had painted for them. Houses and children and happiness. She had believed. Had opened her heart and welcomed the warmth of his voice and the feel of his breath.

Her step falters, but only for a moment. It is like the fluttering of her still beating heart. She keeps walking, keeps going, even as her body yearns to curl itself on the hard concrete of the street and weep with all the pain and loss the swarms in her body. But she doesn't stop. Doesn't hesitate. All she has are her loose shuffles across the ground and they are the only things that keep the sharp beer bottle pieces of her heart from ripping her body apart.

And she cannot breathe. She cannot breathe. It is stuck inside her throat, deep down it wells up and refuses to release itself. She can't regain her balance. She is lost and she will never be found again.

Izzie feels this.

Behind her, George and Alex follow her like silent sentinels, watching as her body battles itself over her heartache and heartbreak. Their eyes are zeroed in on her back as if they cannot look away, and Izzie knows that they will not look away and she isn't sure what she's feeling with that knowledge.

George drives them home and Alex follows. Izzie rests her cool forehead against the cooler window and curls her legs under her dress, the pink spilling out over the passenger's seat. Her mascara is running and her cheeks are slashed with white and she looks like a princess who got to the ball five minutes too late.

She is dying, her heart washing away. Washing over to a distant shore. Denny Duquette is the light and all Izzie can see is the darkness the wells within her, that expels itself with her breath.

This is what a wife feels when they tell her that her husband's dead. This is what it feels like to have your heart ripped and stomped and then put back in because it's crueler to make you live.

Her breath must be hitching and near hysteria because George is casting looks at her. Worried looks. Looks that don't mean anything, can't meaning anything, because Denny Dequette is dead and nothing will ever mean anything again.

The infinite impossible futures stretch out before her, every one of them bright and far away and unreachable. And she wants to scream and fumble and grope for them because no, no this can't be it, can it?

The path before her stretches and darkens. She knows now what Red Riding Hood felt when she lost her way and she first saw the wolf's red, red, red eyes staring at her.

A sense of deep-bone fear wedged between her rib bones. Tomorrow will come, Izzie realizes with widening horror, tomorrow will come and she has no way to stop it. She can't hold back the wheels of time anymore than she can stop her heart from pounding in her ears.

George pulls in front of their house and Izzie can't breath, can't grapple in any oxygen as she stares at the house she has made a home.

But it isn't her home. Her home is what she would have made with Denny Duquette. This was… some mockery of all her dreams and aspirations. A bitter illusion over top of all she had built up upon saying yes and whispering it over and again.

Her fingers tighten on the dashboard, George grips her wrist and forces her to release. Softly, as if he is afraid any sort of strength will shatter her, he whispers her name.

Izzie jerks to action. She steps out of the car, hating the sound her heels make against the concrete. It sounds like the beating of her heart and all she wants to do is pretend—if only for a night—that she is dead because living has become too hard.

The house smells too much like familiar and home. It smells like Izzie and George and Meredith live here and it smells nothing like what Izzie imagined her home with Denny would smell like and its horrible because it says that she will never fill a house with the smells of Denny's cologne or her baking because Denny is dead.

And she wants to scream.

She walks upstairs, hand on railing, and the men who love her watch her take the long, funeral walk.

George's fists are clenching and unclenching, and for the first time he is wishing for violence. He wishes Death would take some tangible form so he could batter his fists against all the things that have destroyed Izzie Stevens. All the things that caused her to look at Seattle Grace's chief and say goodbye.

Beside him, Alex's is silent and his eyes are burning. He is posed for action and he cannot look away from Izzie even as George glances away and back in helplessness. His muscles are taunt under his tuxedo jacket and his breath is hissing out.

Then it happens. Izzie's legs buckle. They buckle under the weight of her grief and her pain and her helpless rage and her knees are hitting the stairs and she is howling in pain. She presses a hand to her face to muffle the sounds and stop the tears and her other hand is digging into the wood on the banister.

Alex gets there first. George doesn't move. He stares at them helplessly from his position at the foot of the stairs, watching in misery as Alex picks Izzie up as he has done before. And what's worse is that Izzie doesn't stop him.

She mewls like a helpless kitten in his arms, clinging to his chest as her dress spills down them both like pink, silk blood and the white undershirt just peeking out of his suit is stained with mascara as Izzie rubs her face against the v.

It takes eons for them to reach Izzie's bedroom. With the tenderness of holding a newborn, Alex places her on the bed, the crimson coverlet slashing against her pale pink dress and she looks like she is bleeding on the outside as well as in.

She rolls onto her side, sobbing and choking and sputtering out all her terror and fear and indescribable grief over everything. Everything that could have been, would have been, and is not.

Alex leaves but only to grab water for Izzie because the way she is gasping on her bed frightens him and he can't remember he's a doctor. All he knows that this is Izzie and she is weeping helplessly on her sea of blankets.

When he comes back into her room, she is standing, facing her window. Her shoulders are taunt under her sheen of dampened hair.

There is a wild, animalist desperation in her eyes when she faces him. She is helpless and she is raising a hand to rip at her bodice, her nails clawing fruitlessly at the silk, like it is suffocating her, drowning her in pain.

"It get it off…" she whispers in a chant, yanking at the neckline that holds taunt. "Oh God… get it off. Get it off."

He approaches her, hand outstretched but not sure what to do with it.

"It smells like him," she cries weakly, but it reverberates so loud in Alex's heart she might as well be screaming it. "It smells like him and—God, God!—Denny smells like death. I can't tell the different anymore… Denny and death… I can't tell the different. Oh God… oh God…!"

Then Alex is reacting. He jumps forward, digging his hand into Izzie's neckline. He rips it. There is nothing sexual when he tears that dress away from her body. All he knows that she will kill herself if it isn't gone and he can't stand to let her die.

She is naked and shivering in simple pink panties and he is dragging her into his arms, running his hand over the smooth column of her back in a way he never thought he would again.

Not sexual still, but something akin to the way an aging men would stroke the forehead of his dying wife.

Her hands are digging into his shirt as she gasps out the last of her dry tears. Her legs are shaking hard against his and he just wants to make it all stop. Make where they are some secret world where they cannot be touched, by anything. Denny or death.

They are desperate to touch, to streak their hands against flesh. There is something comforting in the feel of hot skin under palm and there is something in the way Izzie clings and Alex holds that feels a bit like a cocoon and it is wonderful in the way that it shuts out some of the pain.

Alex dances Izzie back to the bed and climbs on with her, holding her as she shakes hard against his chest. It is two hours later when he feels her head bump his shoulder and her breathing finds some steadiness.

In her dreams, Izzie is drowning, sinking into the darkness that sounds and tastes too much like Denny to be comfortable. She tries to fight, but she remembers Denny and if the darkness inside her head the only place where she can feel him again then she sinks. She can't find the path she was supposed to be walking anymore and is plunging headlong in a deep well of inky water and she cannot surface. Worse, she is not sure if wants to.

To surface and grapple for the path again would mean to let go of Denny and Izzie thinks she doesn't want to do that.

Stroking her hair, Alex watches her sleep and is just as lost as she is.

notes: I'll probably do a whole much of Meredith/Finn/Derek stuff because I have mad-Finn love. I hope Meredith doesn't do something stupid like pick Derek. Did you notice that Derek is basically Richard Webber? It's eerie how similar their lives are, isn't it?