Season's Early End

A/N: A new Grey's Anatomy fan, I thought I'd give my take of Izzie at Denny's funeral. Surprising since it's the Izzie/Alex relationship which interests me. However, I'm always one for angst ;) References to Episodes 2.17 As We Know it and 2.27 Losing My Religion. Rated T for one swear word.

Disclaimer: Characters and all Grey's Anatomy associations belong to their respectful owners.

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Izzie laughed at funerals.

When she was little, an elderly woman lived down the street. Everyone called her Grandma Anne. Grandma Anne had silver hair which a six year old Izzie had been extremely jealous of. When Izzie finally confessed her envy, the old woman laughed for a very long time. Grandma Anne assured Izzie she would have her chance for a silver crown in due time, and until then she should cherish her blonde tresses.

One late summer afternoon, Izzie called out to her mother that she was going to visit Grandma Anne. The day had been particularly hot, and Izzie knew Grandma Anne would have an ice cold pitcher of lemonade for all her visitors. But before Izzie could walk out the door, her mother called her back,

"Isobel, there won't be any more visits to Grandma Anne's house."

Izzie was confused and asked if Grandma Anne moved to a different neighborhood. Her mother shook her head no, and it was on that afternoon that Izzie learned about death.

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The following weekend was Grandma Anne's funeral. Izzie wore a black dress that had a bit of lace on the sleeves. While Izzie waited with her family to view the casket, she picked away at the lace until a large hole began to form. When her family finally reached the casket, Izzie balanced on her tiptoes to peer inside.

There lay Izzie's beloved Grandma Anne. Her silver hair cascaded onto the pillows, and her lips formed a slight smile. To the six year old, it looked like her neighbor was merely napping. Just to make sure, Izzie reached out and touched the woman's cheek. To her surprise, the skin was cold and rough. Izzie quickly withdrew her hand and backed away from the casket. That was not her grandma Anne. Her Grandma Anne was warm with rosy cheeks. Her Grandma Anne always invited Izzie to sample her latest batch of cookies.

It was then that Izzie finally understood what her mother had tried to explain. Grandma Anne was dead and no amount of wishing would bring her back. Being dead meant leaving a cold body behind.

And it was at that moment that Izzie began to giggle.

As her parents rushed her out, all the while giving apologetic glances to those around, Izzie's laughter filled the otherwise hushed room.

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After that, Izzie's parents avoided bringing their daughter to other funerals. In fact, Izzie had been to only two other funerals since then. Both times she had to leave the room due to uncontrollable laughter.

But here she was for yet another funeral. Only this time, it was for Denny.

Izzie had skipped the viewing earlier that morning. Alex had been right. The minute Denny's heart stopped beating, he stopped being Denny. And she just could not bring herself to look at that cold empty body pretending to be Denny.

So there she was at the burial grounds, sitting on plastic folding chairs with other mourners who had loved her Denny. She watched the priest move his mouth, speaking words she could not focus on. She glanced at the people around her, people who had no idea that Denny loved her, loved her! and that she was supposed to marry him and spend the rest of her life with him. Izzie imagined herself standing up and proclaiming to the world that Denny was hers, and she was Denny's; and marriage was supposed to last 'til death do you part, so how fucking unfair was it that theirs never got the chance to start.

Izzie found herself suppressing the urge to do something. And as she watched the casket being lowered into the hole in the ground, she could not keep the small noise from escaping her lips.

Izzie cried.

And that small cry turned into deep gasping sobs. And how Izzie wished that she would just start laughing, because laughing at funerals was familiar and safe, and crying meant she could feel her heart breaking all over again.

And this time, as Meredith and Alex escorted her away with George and Cristina following closely behind, Izzie's cries echoed throughout the otherwise still cemetery.