Note: I sort of intend this fic to be tied to In Time, a Meredith/Derek I posted last week -- I think these two fics take place simultaneously. Anyway, that's that.

For 100 Situations, table 1, Prompt #44: Stuck.

Warning: Spoilers for the end of S3.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. (Shonda Rimes, Shondaland, ABC, et al.) The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.

by lostlikealice

This is so far from a relationship, there's no justifying it. They should know better, they've had a year out in the real world doing a real job saving real lives (and ending real lives) and all of that, but Alex Karev is not entirely sure that people grow up anyway. He sure as hell isn't a grown-up, because he's sort of got this girl that he might have feelings for, but instead he's fucking his hot ex-sort-of-girlfriend who never actually liked him in the first place.

Ava is Rebecca is Jane Doe is Ava, but Izzie is right here with her great ass and fantastic tits spilling out of her blouse as she's buttoning it back up. And she doesn't want to be here either, she's acting all weird, and it has to do with O'Malley, he's sure.

The sex is good. Even after the sixth time this week it's just as good as it used to be. Does he want to risk the sex on his curiosity? But Izzie is soft and vulnerable, as soft as she gets, just right now, and he has to strike while the iron's hot. "So what, did you fuck O'Malley or something?"

She looks at him with this dangerous look like he's just taken one step too far and now he regrets even asking (but he'd never say that out loud). "What are you talking about?"

Alex shrugs, lays back and watches her bend over to get her panties from the floor. God, she is hot, there's no denying that. "You and O'Malley are acting weird. Last time that happened, Meredith slept with him. Did you?"

Izzie eyes him as she shimmies her panties on again. "I'm not acting weird. I'm sleeping with you. It's happened before, it's not weird."

And then you fell in love with a patient and killed him and rejected me. So it's weird, he wants to say, but he just pulls his shirt on over his head. Really, it's not so weird that all the women who just want sex come to him. It's the same reason people come to Sloan to get their plastics work done. You want the best. "Right. Whatever," he says. "... Are you okay?"

"Did you really just ask that? You're losing your touch with women," Izzie notes, pulling on her pants.

If she's going to be obnoxious about it, he might not even bother. "I'm serious."

"You're serious," she echoes, tying the bottoms of her scrubs.

He wants not to care, to send her off and let her wallow. He really does. "That's what I said."

"Get your pants on," she says in response.

"Fine." Alex shrugs and obeys, but goes on. "Are you going to answer my question?"

"I'm fine," she assures him. "I'm a resident! What do I have to complain about?"

"That's what I was asking," he mutters. "Whatever." He grabs his pager and clips it to his belt. "Forget it."

When he looks at Izzie, Izzie's been looking at him, and he waits for her to speak. Eventually she does. "Don't make this something it's not, Alex."

It does strike some part of him hard -- she never cared, she never will -- but he knew it was only sex when they'd started making out in the on-call rooms without any pretense. "I'm not an idiot. You don't have to let me down gently, Iz, I already know."

"I'm not Meredith, I don't get over bad things by screwing any guy that'll have me. I eat. Do you see me eating? No, I'm just having sex. With you." The subtext of every word is pretty much shut the hell up. Okay then. "I'm not asking you about your problems."

"I don't have any problems," he says, standing close to her and considering how she looks back at him. "If you don't want to talk to me, fine."

"Good," Izzie says with forced certainty. For some reason, though, she's not moving and neither is he. It's a relief that she kisses him just as he moves to pull her closer, and he touches her hair -- with his eyes closed and his mind somewhere else entirely he can imagine her hair is red, her lips are full and somehow he just knows she's doing the same thing. That's when she pulls away, her breath caught in her chest, a strange expression on her face. "Right," she says.

He brushes her hair behind her ear and he can feel her tense. "Go out with me."

"Alex -- "

"I mean it. You know we -- " we always end up here and we have something, even if you couldn't care less about me. "Iz, just give it a chance."

"No," she says, like she really doesn't want to say it, which is a small comfort.

He shakes his head. "It could work."

"No, Alex. I can't."

"Why not?" Before she snaps out some smart, avoidant answer, he adds, "It's not Denny."

She starts to draw away. "You have no idea what's going on. Just mind your own business."

He kisses her briefly before she has the chance to flee. "Whatever. I'll see you back home, then."

Izzie steps back and gives him a warning glare. "Yeah."

Alex can't resist, not when she's being such a transparent bitch. "How's O'Malley?"

She doesn't hesitate. "How's Ava?"

And there's his question answered. "You did sleep with him."

Izzie turns and leaves him. "Go to hell." The door slams behind her.

Before he can even think about what just happened, his pager goes off and he checks it. Sloan needs him. No more Addison, no more Vagina Squad, no more Ava, it's just him and a scalpel and Izzie on the side. Looks like the way it once was is the way it's meant to be.