Implied Alex/Izzie; Alex Karev has every reason to be completely content.

Not Fine

It has to be the atmosphere. Alex Karev has every reason to be completely content but ever since Prom, misery has hung in the air of Seattle Grace and it's managed to get to him. At first he tried to blame the moodiness of the hospital on the synchronized periods of the women, but that theory was shot to hell when he noticed the Chief, Shepherd, and every other damn person sulking around too. No, it's Izzie. And Denny. If there ever was a haunting, forget Poltergeist, this is it.

Alex downs the rest of his coffee and lays back on the bench after the others leave, hoping to delay the inevitable cappuccino-fetching for Dr. Sloan to the very last moment. When he's an attending, Alex resolves, he'll get his own damn coffee.

… All right, so he won't, but he still doesn't want to deal with Sloan right now. He should (and is) grateful for the opportunity to work with a renowned plastic surgeon, but all he's learned so far is coffee and breast implants, both of which he learned a lot about in college, firsthand.

A locker closes. "Hi Alex," Izzie says as she breezes past him in an instant before he can even respond in any way but sitting up like a shot. He leans back to watch her gathering charts, checks his watch, and mutters a "Fuck" before going to the fifth floor to find Sloan.

She's back. She's actually back.

It might be Alex's imagination but even Sloan is looking a little subdued (for him, anyway). There's less flirting with female patients (or females in general), more professionalism, and only one bone dry capp. Alex almost feels bad for spitting in it. Almost.


He could have sworn he looked to see if anyone was watching, but he looks again. It's Izzie, who was apparently behind him in line and never said a word. "I can't believe you did that," she says.

"You can't?" he replies with wry surprise.

"Well, you and McSteamy are two peas in a pod, everyone thought you'd get along." She orders an espresso with cream. He recognizes the order, she's with Addison today.

Alex is truly repelled, almost too much so to speak for a moment. "I am not like him."

"You kind of are," she points out. "I mean, you're both pretty boys who screw every pretty girl who's willing. You're perfect for each other."

There are really no words for just how insulted Alex is, but he reminds himself that she is his sort-of ex and he's definitely heard worse from women. "Thanks," he says, deadpan, instead of protesting further, and goes on sincerely. "It's good to, uh, see you back here."

"It's good to be back, thanks." Izzie fixes a curious and suspicious stare on him. "Why are you being nice?"

He stares back at her. "What?"

"You don't need to be nice, you're not nice and I don't need nice," she says in her nervous rapidfire. "I'm fine and I want to be here and I'll be a great surgeon, and I will be happy, I am happy, okay? That's all. What?" she demands from him.

"What?" he demands in return, a little overwhelmed at her. "I didn't even say anything!"

"You're looking at me," she retorts. "Go back to work, I'm fine."

"You're fine," Alex agrees in surrender, but continues to search her face for signs of weakness until she's starting to get that tight-lipped look like she wants to punch him. He is too familiar with that look, so he takes a step back. "I know, yeah, okay, you're happy, you're great. Have fun with Montgomery."

He turns and leaves, not acknowledging her response or even really hearing it. He scrubs in for a nose job (somehow, Izzie guessed right) and watches Sloan swagger through the surgery. Alex had no clue you could put in an implant arrogantly, but Sloan manages.

Alex has ambiguous morals, ambiguous sexual morals especially, yeah. But he'd never sleep with a married woman, especially if he knew her husband. He would never sleep with another man's woman and he is nothing like Sloan, not really, not a bit. Not where it matters. There's time, maybe Sloan was just like him once, but no, there's hope for him yet.

Later at Joe's, Alex's eye is set on this stacked brunette and he bravely goes in, sending a hard drink to her. Not two feet away, Izzie bursts out in half-drunken laughter at something a bewildered (and equally drunk) George has said. Alex leans on the bar and watches Izzie out of the corner of his eye, completely missing his hot brunette mark checking him out. But, no, Izzie will be Izzie and be stupidly drunk tonight and have fun with George and Meredith, being her usual incredibly-weird-but-way-too-hot self. And Alex will go to bed with that hot brunette who won't have a dead fiancee breathing down his neck and lingering over every kiss.

Someday, maybe, (hopefully) this'll change. For now, he meets the gaze of his drunken mark and goes in for the kill. He has every reason to be content; he's fine.