AN: This is a repost on anouther account, because the other account has been deleted.

Alternate version to the ferry crash epsiodes from season three. Meredith died after she fell into the pier. Izzie and George still live in Meredith's house, but Gizzie pairing never happened. Neither did Addison's going to California.

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. They belong to Shonda Rhimes.

I woke up and wished that I was dead
With an aching in my head
I lay motionless in bed
I thought of you
And where you'd gone
Let the world spin madly on

(The Weepies, World Spins Madly On)

The alarm goes off, telling him to get up even though he hasn't slept. He doesn't know what had possessed him when he decided to set his alarm to radio setting rather than the normal annoying beep. Today he would have taken hours of that annoying beeping over a few seconds of the radio. He doesn't need to be told that it's five thirty in the morning. He doesn't need to hear the annoying, sickeningly cheery radio presenter telling him that it's the fifteenth of February 2008. He knows that already.

George O'Malley opens his bedroom door and is immediately whacked with the smell of Izzie's baking. Izzie Stevens is the only person who gets up to bake at two in the morning. The sobbing George had heard through the wall told him that she wasn't sleeping either. He was actually relieved when he heard her go to the kitchen at two. George knows that baking is Izzie's way of coping, of relieving stress. He's glad she's got baking because right now all he wants to do is get a bottle of tequila and put Meredith's old coping mechanism to the test. He might head to Joe's after his shift and do exactly that. Cristina, Alex and Izzie will probably join him. He won't be surprised if Bailey or Burke help them destroy Joe's tequila stock. He doesn't expect to see Dr Shepherd there tonight. George doesn't expect to see Dr Shepherd at work today either.

George goes into the bathroom and does the usual 'wash and get dressed thing'. Only today it doesn't feel normal. Today isn't normal. Now that he's dressed he heads downstairs. To get there he has to pass the room that Meredith once occupied; the room that still has Meredith's things in it; the room to which the door hasn't been closed in a year. When George stands parallel to the door, he looks inside and notices how much it looks as if somebody still lives in that room. The bed is made, the curtains are open and a pair of sneakers sits waywardly in the corner. The room seems free of dust too. George knows that Izzie dusts and vacuums Meredith's room, changes the sheets on her bed. Izzie doesn't deny that she does so, and George says nothing about it.

As George walks down the stairs, the mail comes through the door. George picks the letters up and looks in the address windows to see whom they are addressed to. Isobel Stevens. Matthew Smith whoever the hell that is. George freezes when he looks at the last address window. Meredith Grey. George stares at the letter for what felt like an eternity. He doesn't know why or what good it is doing, but he just has to stare at it. A letter for Meredith hasn't arrived for months. Why today of all days? George sighs and places the letter on the table beside the door. He looks at where the letter has landed then his eyes move to the photo frame that sits perpendicular to it. The photo frame contains a picture of him, Izzie, Alex, Cristina and Meredith. It was taken just over a year ago and they are all happy, smiling, even Cristina. The days in which that photo was taken seem so long ago now.

George wanders into the kitchen and sees masses of cupcakes scattered over the kitchen. "Holy baking, batgirl," he says in a cheerier tone than how he really feels. Izzie turns around and looks at him. She smiles at him. George thinks smiling stops her from bursting into tears.

"I'm going to go upstairs and change the sheets," Izzie says, her voice cracking slightly.

George knows she's going to Meredith's room, and he knows it will probably upset her even more today, but it's the norm for Izzie to change Meredith's sheets, so George lets her change the sheets.