A/N: So, this didn't turn out nearly as good as I thought it would, but I don't hate it.
Disclaimer: I'm not sure who owns Grey's (it's not really Shonda, is it? ABC, probably), but it's not me. And I didn't compose 'The Only Moment We Wore Alone', either. That belongs to Explosions in the Sky.
He wakes up early, hours before his wife's alarm clock is set to go off, and quietly gathers his things. A change of a clothes, a towel, and a tube of sunscreen is all he needs; a good thing, because his companion is far from a light packer and will probably take up most of the trunk and back seat with all of her crap. The thought of her trying to shove a parachute, an inflatable raft, a couple of road flares, and a duffle bag's worth of snacks into the trunk makes him laugh, but he quickly suppresses it. The woman sleeping down the hall knows nothing of his plans, and it is imperative that it stays that way. If she wakes up before he leaves, the day will be over before it starts.
He scribbles a note saying that he is taking a trip to Westport to visit his Great Aunt Maggie and won't be home until the next evening. This is not a complete lie, as he is going to Westport, but he forgets to mention that Izzie is going with him. And that Great Aunt Maggie has been dead for three years. He feels bad lying to her and considers calling the whole thing off, because she is his wife and she's done nothing to deserve this treatment, but then thoughts of his best friend flood his mind and he remembers why he's doing what he's doing. He needs this. He breaths in a shaky breath, signs the note 'Love, George', and tapes it to the refrigerator.
When he arrives at the home Izzie shares with Meredith and Alex, the home she used to share with him, he finds her sitting on the porch. No telling exactly how long she's been waiting, but he notices that she is rhythmically tapping her sandal-clad foot against the concrete steps. She does that when she starts getting antsy.
Her tired eyes spark to life when she registers his presence in the driveway and she is immediately off the porch and running down the driveway, where she greets him with a hug -arguably one of the best he's ever had- and a quick kiss on the cheek. He reciprocates the gesture without a second thought. As he starts to pull away, she hugs him again and mutters "I'm really glad you came," as she buries her head in his shoulder.
"Me too," is his reply, thought he's not sure yet if he actually means it.
They load the car quickly and as quietly as they can in an attempt to keep the roommates from waking up and spotting them. This is not an easy task, because just as George had predicted, Izzie has packed as though she's moving to the beach, and there are a lot of involuntary grunts and grumbles as they try to shove everything into the small car. He wonders if anyone will notice that everything she owns is gone. When he voices this concern, Izzie simply laughs.
When they finally manage to arrange all the luggage in a manner that will allow the trunk to actually latch shut, he opens the passenger side door and gestures for her to get in. It would seem, however, judging by her face, that she would like to drive. This makes George nervous, because he's seen her behind the wheel. She's not a bad driver, really. She's rather good, actually, and he trusts that they would never get into an accident and die a fiery death because she couldn't make a turn or merge on the highway. He does, however, have visions of them getting into run off the road and then murdered by a trucker named Jim Bob because Izzie cut him off and then gave him the finger. Because Izzie is slightly...aggressive. However, he's learned to pick his battles when she is concerned, and he doesn't think this one is worth it. So he hands her the keys and ducks into the car.
She climbs into the driver's seat moments later, an excited grin on her face, and puts the key in the ignition. She glances at him and asks one last time if he's sure. He hesitates for a moment, but then sees a flash of panic in his best friend's wide, brown eyes, and replies with a quiet but sturdy "Of course." She lets out a breath she didn't realize she was holding and pulls out of the driveway.
Hand in hand, they leave Seattle behind.
-----The three hour drive up is mostly quiet, but it's a comfortable quiet. Something George has always loved up their relationship is that they don't have to use words to express how they feel. The same cannot be said about any of his other relationships, especially the one with his wife. Just thinking of how twisted and wrong that is makes him sigh heavily and, as if to twist the knife in his gut a little deeper, Izzie correctly assumes that he is thinking about Callie and tells him to stop.
"It's just us," she reminds him in a stern voice. "Remember what we said? Just for today, we're not going to think about anyone else."
"Right. It's just us," he echoes, placing his hand on her thigh. "Just us."
This makes George sigh even louder, because even if they didn't mean it that way, it's exactly the truth. They're not thinking of anyone else. They never have and he wonders if they ever will.
He knows this is wrong, but there's something deep inside that keeps him from doing anything about it.
They make it to their destination around six in the morning, just as the sun is beginning to rise. The sky is overcast and there is a slight chill to the air, not exactly ideal swimming conditions, so it looks like they're going to have the beach mostly to themselves. This excites Izzie, it seems, because she's already running down the beach, tearing her clothes off in a frenzy (this concerned George at first, because he wouldn't put it past her to skinny dip in the ocean, but he then catches a flash of pink under the shirt she's wrestling with and realizes she's already wearing her bikini), and splashing in the water. He grabs the towels and chairs and the multi-colored umbrella and the plastic buckets and shovels and everything else Izzie insisted they bring and follows behind.
He makes their place by the shore (with no help from Izzie, who's now found a stray dog and is playing fetch with it) and then joins her in the water. It is beyond freezing and his first instinct is to run back towards the warm sand, but he knows that Izzie is going to get him wet whether he likes it or not, so he might as well just tough it out.
Sure enough, she tackles him within seconds, submerging him under the frigid ocean water. He considers for a moment the possibility that it is cold enough to actually turn him into an ice cube should he stay under long enough, but Izzie rolls off of him before he has a chance to test the theory. He hears her laughing loudly as he comes to the surface, spitting out saltwater and sputtering for air.
He's still for a moment, just long enough for her to let her guard down, and then he pounces her. He tries to, at least, but she is faster than he realized. He chases her up and down the beach for what feels like ages before he finally captures her. He hoists her onto his shoulder, ignoring her kicks and squirms and delighted screams, and carries her to the spot they've claimed as their own. He lets her down on the blanket spread out under that stupid umbrella that he couldn't get to open all the way and then sits next to her.
And then they kiss.
Or, at least, George thinks that's what happened. It was quick, though, so he can't be sure. And then he sees Izzie's face, flushed bright red, and he knows.
"Sunscreen," she mutters, quickly grabbing the bag beside her. "If we both show up at the hospital with sunburns, people are going to get suspicious."
"Sunscreen," George repeats. "Yeah, I guess you're right."
She squeezes the bottle and lets some of the goopy mixture fall into her hands. She takes the liberty of getting his back for him, and then he does the same for her.
And then they kiss again.
The rest of the day goes by quickly, quicker than either of them had hoped, and when the sun disappears completely under the sea, they pack up their things. Izzie wants to stay longer, but all George can think about is getting to a shower and a bottle of Aloe Vera (as it turns out, the sunscreen had expired a few years earlier). He promises her that they'll come back tomorrow, for just a little while, before they head home. She seems to be alright with this arrangement, but he still has one hell of a hard time getting her in the car.
They drive to the hotel in silence, aside from the soft music coming from the speakers. Izzie sings along and taps her finger against the steering wheel, but stops when she notices George staring at her. Her turns his gaze to the window, hoping she'll start again. She doesn't.
The room is damp and cold, so Izzie immediately climbs into the bed and bundles up under the covers. She asks George to bring her the tupperware container in his arms, and he obliges. She pulls out out a chocolate chip cookie, even though it couldn't have been more than fifteen minutes since they had stopped at Whale of a Cone and had some ice cream, and begins to nibble it slowly. He notices that she's not talking as much and that every time she shuts her eyes, she keeps them closed for a few seconds longer than the time before, and he knows she's about to pass out for the night.
When he looks at her in that moment, burnt to a crisp, covered in sand, about to fall asleep with half a cookie hanging out of her mouth, an overwhelming sadness washes over him. Because all he wants to do is lay down beside her and never get up, and he knows he can't.