AlexIzzie--- A Scar Away From Falling Apart

Overall Summary; A family emergency has Alex Karev racing back to Iowa. Izzie Stevens tags along as his support system. Mainly AlexIzzie friendship. Potential romance.

NOTE: I know Alex grew up in Iowa, but we've never been given a specific city so I picked one at random.

Title from Fall Out Boy's "The (After) Life of the Party"

Chapter Summary; Dr. Karev breaks down after the news of his mother's death, leaving Izzie to attempt to pick up the pieces. AlexIzzie. AlexMeredithIzzie friendship.

Izzie pours two mugs of coffee. She's in the kitchen of the house she and Meredith share. Alex is sitting at the kitchen table, not moving an inch. She's extremely worried about him. He hasn't said anything since they left the bar. When she had asked him if he wanted to leave all he did was nod. Perhaps he's in shock, Izzie thinks.

She walks over to him and places the mug in front of him. "You should drink something," she tells him.

Alex looks down at the table and nods. He knows she's right, but he thinks if he eats or drinks something he'll vomit. On any other night, the coffee would be welcoming, but tonight it isn't. The smell alone makes him want to gag. He plays with his hands under the table and rocks back and forth slowly. Alex feels tears coming up and he chokes them back.

Izzie notices Alex starting to break down and hastily rushes to his side. When she had found out about his mother, she had immediately sobered up. Even though she could feel a headache coming on, she comforts Alex. She embraces him once again and whispers soothing words into his ear. Tears escape from his eyes now and they're drenching her top. But she doesn't care; she just wants to be there for Alex. Izzie strokes the back of his head and tries to whisper words of comfort. "It's okay," she attempts, but knows it means nothing. They stay like this for what seems like hours before Alex finally pulls away.

He wipes at his eyes and attempts to clear his throat. "You should go get some sleep. You, uh, have work tomorrow," he stands up which makes Izzie jump slightly, "We. We have work tomorrow," he corrects himself. Alex starts to walk towards the front door, but Izzie grabs his elbow.

"You're seriously not thinking of going into work tomorrow are you? I mean, your mom just died. The Chief would understand. So would Bailey," she tells him.

Alex just shrugs and stares at her hand that is gripped on his elbow.

"Alex, stay here tonight. You're in no condition to drive home. Your car's not even here. I'll set up the couch for you, okay?" Izzie doesn't wait for a response. She unleashes her grip on Alex's arm and rushes over to a near-by closet. She grabs a pillow from the shelf and also a blanket. With the items in her hands, she closes the closet door and turns around. Izzie stares at the front door with a puzzling expression on her face as she notices it wide open. Alex bailed. She drops the pillow and the blanket on the floor and runs to the door. She walks out onto the porch, but it's too dark to see anything. She keeps looking anyway. "Alex?" she calls out again and again. She hears nothing in response.

Izzie panics.

It's five hours later and Izzie's darting into Seattle Grace, praying someone's seen or head from Alex. The first person she sees is Meredith. She walks up to her fellow intern. "Hey, Mer…have you seen Alex this morning by any chance?"

Meredith has a smirk on her face, one almost similar to Alex's. "No, but speaking of him, guess who I heard he left Joe's with?" Meredith leans closer to Izzie and whispers, "Are you two back together or something now?"

Meredith is breaking Izzie's train of thought. "I—I don't know," she stutters before walking off. She doesn't have time to gossip with her friend, she has to find Alex. She needs to. Izzie heads toward the locker room. She barely notices Meredith running after her.

"Iz, what's going on?" she asks as she follows Izzie, who's pacing up and down the aisles in the locker room.

"Nothing…I just, I just need to find Alex." Izzie stops pacing.

"Why?" Meredith asks as she opens her own locker and begins to change into her scrubs.

"Alex and I did leave the bar together, but not for romantic reasons. His moth—someone close to him died. He needed comfort so I took him back to the house. I tried to set up the couch for him to spend the night, but when I turned around he was gone. I don't know where he went. And I'm just…I'm just really worried, Mer." Izzie's eyes are fixated on the ground and she tries to take a deep breath.

Meredith gives her a sympathetic look. "Maybe he went back to his place?" she suggests. "Perhaps he didn't want to get you in the middle of it all. He cares about you like that, you know."

Izzie just shrugs and runs her hand through her blonde locks. "I know. I just wish he hadn't run out on me. I've been worried sick for hours. I want to know he's okay." Izzie plops down onto the bench with a frustrated sigh.

Meredith frowns and takes a seat next to her. "I'm sure he's okay. But it's Alex, you know? He doesn't like to talk about what's going on with him inside; he likes to deal with it by himself. Maybe he just needs some space for a bit."

"Maybe," Izzie agrees. She rests her head against Meredith's shoulder and mumbles a quiet, "Thank you."

Meredith just smiles sadly.

Alex sets the cigarette he had been smoking into the ashtray and leaves it there. He lets out a puff of air, forcing himself to not cough. He tells himself he's not a smoker usually, he only does it when he's stressed out. And ever since he found out his mother is dead, he's been a little stressed out.

He sees a blonde out of the corner of his eye from his seat in the diner. She reminds him of Izzie and he chastises himself mentally once again for walking out on Izzie that very morning. He knows he shouldn't have, that she would have taken care of him, but he left anyway. Maybe he was scared. After all, he and Izzie's relationship was progressing again, and if she saw him like this he was afraid she'd run off. He was scared that his mother's death would remind Izzie of Denny's and she would again claim that she wasn't ready for a relationship.

Alex doesn't think he could handle that again. She has already rejected him so many times he can't keep track anymore. He couldn't live through another rejection.

He feels his cell phone vibrating in his pocket as he takes a sip of his coffee. He doesn't feel like talking to anyone, but answers anyway for an unknown reason.

"Hello?" he whispers. Alex doesn't really know why he's whispering. The diner he's in isn't even that crowded.

"Alex?" the person on the other line questions. "It's Meredith. Where are you?"

He's kind of surprised that Meredith is calling him. But then he remembers that her and Izzie are close, and Izzie probably told the brunette everything about what happened by now. The thought puts him in a bitter mood.

"Why the hell do you want to know?"

"I don't," she tells him bluntly. "Izzie does."

Hearing her name softens his attitude, but not by much. "Your point?"

"Just tell me where you are so she can come get you and so Izzie can stop bothering me. Please." He loves that Meredith is begging him to get Izzie to leave her alone. So much for the two of them being close.

"Fine. The diner on Anderson's. But I only want to talk to Izzie." He knows once Izzie gets here he'll break down again, and he doesn't want anyone else to witness that.

"Alright. She's on her way." He hears Meredith hang up her phone and he puts his own away. Alex takes another sip from coffee. He really wishes he hadn't left Izzie's place when he did all of a sudden; he really needs her right now.

Alex glances out the window at the clear blue sky before curling back into the corner of the booth.

"Are you positive he said Anderson Lane?" Izzie asks Meredith frantically over her cell phone. She's driving in her car, searching frantically for a stingy diner. "Because I've been up and down this road for the past ten minutes and I can't find the damn place." She's beginning to worry as she turns her car around once again, making her way back up Anderson Lane.

"I'm sure. He told me the diner on Anderson's. That's the only Anderson I know," Meredith confirms.

"God damnit," Izzie curses as she slams on her breaks.

"You okay?" Meredith asks over the phone.

"Yeah," Izzie whispers. Her concentration is settled on something else. "Just some moron tried to cut in front of me." She continues to stare at a blue sign in the shape of an arrow that reads 'Lucky's Diner". "Say, can I call you back?" Izzie asks but hangs up before even waiting for a reply. She pulls over to the curb quickly, and places her car in park. She rushes out of her vehicle and runs down the sidewalk toward the blue sign that had caught her eye in the first spot.

Izzie flings the door to the diner open and startles herself when she hears the slight jingle of the door. She quickly glances around and barely notices him seated in the corner of the restaurant. His back is towards her, so she doubts that he knows she's here.

Izzie walks up to the booth cautiously and takes a seat next to Alex. "Hey," she says softly, laying a hand on his shoulder.

Alex gives her a small, sad smile. "Hey," he mumbles. Her hand slides from his shoulder down to his hand. She squeezes his hand softly, which was clutching his cell phone.

"Are you okay?" she asks carefully, leaning her chin on his shoulder.

Alex nods. "I, um…I just booked a flight to head back home to Iowa. Tess said she needed me back home, so…" He trails off, clearing his throat.

"Well, that's good. You should go home. You have to; your family probably really needs you right now." She's staring at the side of his face when she gets a sudden impulse. Izzie places her lips against Alex's cheek.

If Alex is taken aback by the sweet kiss to his cheek, he doesn't show it. He seems to be listening to his own impulses.

"Come with me," he says abruptly.


"To Iowa. Come with me," Alex repeats.

reviews are encouraged. flames are not. :)