Pairings: Alex/Addison, Derek/Meredith
Disclaimer: Chris and Allie and Caroline and Baby A, B, and C are mine. Everyone else? Not mine.
A/N: I'm having so much fun writing this. I'll let you all in on a little secret at the end, but… read on. Thanks for reviewing! Read. Love. Review. (And watch GA – it's what Jesus would freaking do)
Chapter 5 – Bless the Broken Road
Life is messy. We, as doctors, see that played out in other people's lives every single day. People shoot themselves with bazookas, trees end up in the wrong place, towels are left where they shouldn't be… Like I said, life is messy.
And yet, when our own lives become messy, we reel in shock and confusion when we should be used to it all.
"Seriously? Seriously? You were in a freaking wreck, and all you can say is that you're okay. Seriously?" Izzie glares at her fiancé and considers throwing her stethoscope at him. On second thought, the combination of high-dose pain killers and his broken leg would probably lead to him dropping it on the floor, and she's not sure that she can bend over right now without wanting to puke.
"I didn't want you to worry. I just thought…"
"Thought what? That I wouldn't notice when you came over for breakfast in the morning with a broken leg?" Tears begin to roll down Izzie's cheeks as she focuses her eyes on the hinged splint and lower air cast. Luck has never been on her side, not that she believes in it anyway. The last time she had a fiancé in the hospital, he died. And now Chris is lying before her, trying to downplay the fact that he has a broken leg.
"Iz…" Chris says quietly. He reaches his hand out toward her, but she shakes her head. A nurse enters the room and picks up his chart, but Izzie stops her.
"I'd like to see his chart, please." Wordlessly, the nurse hands her the chart and then backs off. Izzie flips the chart open and bites her lip in tears as she looks over it. "Femoral diaphysis fracture. And a closed tibial shaft fracture that they're not putting in a plaster cast because of impending surgery. Jesus, what the hell happened?" Without waiting for an answer, Izzie looks at the young nurse who still seems to be expecting some sort of order.
"Can you page his doctor? I'd like another PT and PTT… and page Meredith Shepherd. Tell her that I want her to look at Chris's CT." The nurse nods and leaves the room without saying anything. Izzie stares at the chart again and slams it down on the bed.
"Let the other doctors worry about the tests, Iz."
"No! This how I cope. I can't bake right now, so this is how I'm coping. Now tell me what the hell happened before I give you another fracture," Izzie snaps.
"There was an accident. It all happened so fast. I think… I hit a slick spot or something, and I spun out and hit another car. They won't, the nurse wouldn't tell me who I hit. I'm scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning – intramedullary nailing, I think." Before Izzie can launch into rant about how they shouldn't be talking about this like any old patient, Meredith enters the room, looking confused.
"What's going on? I thought you were paging me about Addison."
"Addison? Why's Addison here?" Chris asks. Before anyone can answer, he freezes and closes his eyes. "Was it… was Addison the one in the other car?" Meredith glances at Izzie. Lying has never been her strong suit, and she's not about to test her skills here. "Izzie. I need to know if Addison was the other driver. Please, baby."
Izzie takes a deep breath and looks back down at the chart before handing it off to Meredith. She knows how to talk to patients. What Cristina and Alex lack in bedside manner, she more than makes up for. But no one ever told her how to talk to the man who almost killed Addison Montgomery, the man who also happens to be her fiancé. Suddenly, she bursts out laughing.
"I'm sorry, I just, I laugh at inappropriate times. Did you ever see Sweet Home Alabama? Remember the part where that hot guy goes, 'She's my fiancée for Christ's sake!'"
"Izzie," Meredith says, still avoiding Chris's stare. "I think you guys should talk alone. I'll look at his CT before rounds." Slowly, Meredith backs out of the room, leaving Izzie to fend for herself.
"I need to go check on some stuff. I'll be back before your surgery," Izzie murmurs. She refuses to meet Chris's eyes. "We can talk about this later. I need…" Before she can even finish her sentence, her pager beeps, and she finally looks up. "I have to go."
watches Izzie run out of the room toward the elevator and silently
curses himself for ever leaving the house. He gets it, why she's
upset. She told him about Denny on their third date, but it doesn't
make this any easier. He always knew that medicine would be a hard
life, but no one ever told him it would be this hard. And in some
twisted way, he wishes that he could be ignorant again.
Izzie and Meredith run into Addison's room at the same time and are both rendered speechless at the scene before them.
"Stevens, Grey, you seem to have done well for yourselves."
"Chief, what, what are you doing here?" Meredith stutters, reaching for the chart from a cocky intern who reminds her of Alex.
"Shep called me about Addison, and I thought I'd come in for myself." Izzie leans over Meredith's shoulder and frowns when she sees Addison's temperature. "How long has she been feverish?"
Meredith starts to mumble something about not actually being allowed to see Addison's chart when Bailey enters the room looking angry.
"What are you fools doing? I told you that – Chief, sir, so good to see you," Bailey says, while glaring at Meredith and Izzie. They both shrug, and even the intern has the sense to step back when Bailey glances at him.
"Now, someone tell me about this post-op fever," Dr. Webber says, assuming an authoritative tone, even though he retired a few years back. He glances at the intern and nods. "You, go."
"Uh, the common causes of post-op fever are…"
"Wind, water, walking, wound, wonder drugs. The five W's," Alex cuts in. Meredith smiles as Alex crosses into the room and pulls up his chair beside Addison. "Since she's post-op day one, it's probably wind. I'd diagnose with a chest x-ray. A CBC wouldn't be a good indicator since her white blood cell count will be up because of the trauma and surgery."
"You've turned out to be a good doctor, Karev," Dr. Webber says.
"I learned from the best," Alex whispers, squeezing Addison's hand. Dr. Webber nods and then says something about returning later. Alex nods and watches as Izzie, Bailey, and the intern file out after Dr. Webber.
Meredith starts to leave, but when she looks at Alex, she stops. Tears uncharacteristically start to fill his eyes again. Meredith reaches out and takes Alex's other hand. As much as she wants to run the other direction, this is her family.
"Everything's going to be okay," she says. "She's going to be okay. You have to believe that."
one ever told us that it doesn't get easier as we progress,
probably so we wouldn't all quit. When we're in that mess
ourselves, it feels like there's no way out. And then there's
nothing to do but hold hands and float or sink together.
A/N: I hated this chapter. It's… messy, and it didn't come out the way I wanted. But.. it is what it is, and it did give me some more stuff to work with in the next chapter. Izzie wants to be there for Chris, but she doesn't know how, and she's caught in this… mess. Alex has come so far, but none of that matters if his wife doesn't live. I'll be honest – I have insecurities about meeting others' expectations for my writing, so please let me know what you like and don't like. Anyway, review!