Izzie heard the front door creak open and slam shut from in the kitchen. "Mer… is that you?" she called. Meredith had plans with Derek immediately after work, and it was unlike her to be home early – if at all – when she was spending the evening with McDreamy. And after their encounter in the locker room… well, Izzie seriously doubted George would be back in the house so soon.
No response. Izzie dropped her wooden spoon into the unmixed cake batter, untied her apron and headed for the front entryway. "Who's there?" She jumped a bit at the sight of George turning to face her from the hallway. "Oh… it's you," her surprise turned into a smirk. "I wasn't expecting you back here tonight, George," she said, turning back toward the kitchen.
"Why not?" he replied firmly, following her. Izzie had to admit, she wasn't used to this new, confrontational George – but then again, the old George wouldn't have run off to Vegas and married a woman so obviously unworthy of him.
Izzie went back to mixing her chocolate cake. "I dunno," she said nonchalantly. "I thought you'd be spending time with your wife. At her place. Both of your place. Whatever." She rolled her eyes – something she did so frequently it had become like a reflex.
"Izzie, what is your deal?" he asked, more than just a hint of anger in his voice. "You don't have to like Callie, but you damn sure have to respect her place in my life. You've treated her like crap ever since we first got together, but it's only gotten worse since we got married."
Even though she'd never say so out loud, Izzie knew she was being unfair to Callie. Ever since Denny's death, she'd clung to George for comfort… and maybe she just wasn't ready to be without a support system. And she resented Callie not only for taking her best friend, but also for having what she never got to have with Denny, someone she fell in love with just as quickly – a future. Why did Callie deserve happiness and not her?
"I don't know," she snapped. "Meredith is with the man she loves, Cristina is with the man she loves, and now… Callie, too. And she deserves it least of all!"
Izzie could see the anger rising in George's face. His eyes narrowed and his mouth stiffened, his teeth obviously clenched. Had she gone too far?
"You're unbelievable," he said, huffing. "If anything is destroying our friendship, it's your attitude. I wasn't going to tell you this, but you've pushed me to the point where I don't care anymore."
She tapped her mixing spoon anxiously against the edge of the bowl, her face hardened with anger.
"You know the one person who has always loved you, despite your judgments and holier-than-thou take on things?" he paused for her to answer, but continued when Izzie just stared back blankly. "You know, Alex?! Even he's had it with you. Callie told me, he's moved on – with Addison!"
Izzie felt as though all the wind had been knocked out of her. She wasn't sure whether to respond to the thought that Alex really loved her, or the idea of him being with Addison now. It was a horrible, horrible feeling that honestly surprised her.
Alex and Addison had been spending a lot of time together lately. And he had been taking a lot of her cases even after she released him from her service. Izzie swallowed hard and tried to push the thought out of her head.
"Alex doesn't love me," she finally said. "And I'm sorry, George, but I can't talk to you right now. I just can't."
George turned and went to his room, presumably to gather some of his things, then went back out the front door. Izzie continued mixing, but her mind wasn't on the cake.
She'd missed her chance with him, twice now – first when she passed him up for Denny, then when she'd told him just a few weeks before that she wasn't ready to move on. It was strange; she hadn't given it much thought, but she'd always assumed that when she did feel ready, Alex would be the one. Despite the mistake he'd made the first time they dated, he proved himself in the months since she lost Denny. She felt like they were closer now than they had ever been before – even when they were sleeping together. So why didn't he tell her he was with Addison now?