"I wonder if he knows he's all I think about at night" –Taylor Swift, Teardrops on my Guitar
All I think about [Nick/Lexie
She had known better than to fall in love with a patient. She had pieced together what had happened to Izzie Stevens over snippets of workplace gossip and, at the time, had thought it was so foolish. It had happened so quickly to her that she doesn't have the right to judge Izzie anymore.
For weeks after Nick's death, she couldn't sleep. She would sit in the kitchen at three in the morning with no light besides the streetlamp streaming through the curtain, brooding over a cup of tea, staring into its depths as though it could reveal her future. If some drops spilled (cold from sitting untouched for so long), she would remember the way his blood had felt instead, how hot and fiercely it had drained from him.
His smile and charm had captivated her immediately. She had tried keeping him at a distance, to maintain the emotional boundaries a doctor needs, but he had wormed his way through her defenses almost effortlessly. It was inevitable that she felt attached to him in ways unlike her previous patients. It was deeper, and that frightened her. Yet, she continued to gravitate toward him.
When she does manage to sleep, she dreams about his hospital room. Sometimes he's there, stretched out on the bed, casually dressed in jeans and an old t-shirt, with only a faint scar where his tumor had been. He turns to smile at her, but she wakes before their eyes meet.
Other times, the room is empty and clean, bright sunlight casting a parallelogram onto the neatly-made bed.
Devastation from both dreams lingers over her as she lies in bed, curling into the blankets as she bites her lip to force back the tears.
She didn't attend his funeral, at least not the ceremony, although she craved to know about his life beyond the medical charts and the stupid, goddamn ex-girlfriend who abandoned him when he was sick. She waited in her car for the burial to be over, for the mourners to leave. It took all her restraint not to go up to the woman she could tell was his mother and say, "I was there when he died, I was the last person he ever talked to. I didn't listen to him when he asked if we should start calling people. I'm so sorry about that, about everything. I would give my left arm, anything, to bring him back."
She tried and failed not to gaze at the mourners to figure out if his ex-girlfriend was there.
After they had all left, she got out of her car, her long black dress doing little to display the extent of her grief. She wondered fleetingly if Izzie had gone to her patient's funeral.
She sat by the fresh plot, brushing her hand over the dirt and suddenly felt her failure rushing over her like a current. She had felt his pulse beneath her hand, used all the strength in her fingers to keep him alive, covered in his blood that had stained more than her clothes. And still, it hadn't been enough.
He had known he was going to die, and the way he could see (so clearly) beyond his own mortality continues to make her shiver. She thinks about it a lot.
"So, I can't die, right?" He had studied her, testing her as though he didn't believe what he said. Looking back, she knows he didn't.
He had told her he was in love with her. The words had gripped her heartstrings, gave them a jolting yank that she remembers vividly. Now, it feels hollow. She can't help but think that maybe he was joking then. She likes to believe he wasn't.
If their time together had been a jolt, his death was a suckerpunch that knocked the wind out of her. It took a long time to come to terms with it. As much as she tried not to, she cursed the other patient who had taken the OR away.
At nighttime, she thinks about what would have happened had he survived. The 'what-ifs' haunt her. The most she could say is that she wouldn't be feeling the way she does now.
Sometimes she plays games with herself, imagining that they had met in high school, or collided in the grocery store as she scrutinized bagels and he picked up donuts. But he was the type whom her high school crowd never associated with, the smart aleck in her government class that she'd cast curious glances at while covertly hiding her giggles, but never reach out to. It's a form of self-torture, but she can't seem to stop herself.
She wonders if there's a heaven where he knows how much she thinks about him, can feel the love that bloomed in her heart before she understood its presence. And if there is one, if he watches over her and thinks about her too.
She hopes so, and that's how she gathers the strength to return to Seattle Grace. She keeps trying to save lives, but the one that she couldn't remains under all those other faces.
For now, she recalls the times he made her laugh, and allows a momentary, sorrow-tinged smile into her teacup.
Well, this is my first venture into Grey's Anatomy fic. I just saw 'Crash into Me' tonight as a rerun, and was so affected by Seth Green's character and his interaction with Lexie that I had to write out my emotions. It was very reminiscent of Denny, whose death I cried for more than any other TV character. I hope you enjoyed reading this fic, and please review! I might re-edit this piece later.