Never Any Rain
Izzie is a supermodel of the highest order (think Heidi Klum) looking for an escape, and Alex is a bartender returning to his roots. A journey, both literal and figurative begins for the friends (maybe more?). Oh, and for this first part, Izzie is a brunette ... just go with it. All will be revealed. I own nothing.
"Well, well. Look who the cat dragged in."
"Shut it, Karev," the tall brunette said as she sat down at the rugged little bar.
"Life not so grand in the wonderful world of the super model, Bethany?" the handsome bartender teased.
"That's not my name."
"Sorry ... Izzie."
He poured a glass of chardonnay and placed it in front of her. She smiled at the handsome bartender and took a sip.
She knew she didn't fit in here. Her Prada heels and Alexander McQueen top and True Religion jeans proved that. The other patrons in the out-of-the-way bar were not industry people.
Yet, somehow, she felt comfortable within the confines of the four walls. She had first come to the hole in the wall joint when she moved to town. All alone, she needed to find a place away from the stresses of being an unknown in Hollywood. Plus, Joe didn't kick her out for being underage.
Joe, the bar owner had taken care of Izzie from the beginning, acting as advisor, friend, and protector. He had even let her stay in the room above the bar so she wouldn't be sleeping in some dump of an apartment on the bad side of town.
Then the modeling jobs came and magazines began calling, so she moved on. Joe figured he'd seen the last of her at his tiny little bar, and he was surprised two years after she became a household name to see her walking back into his front door.
By then he had hired Alex Karev, a midwestern kid who had followed his girlfriend out to L.A so that she could chase her dreams of stardom. The first taste of stardom, a part as an extra in a soapy nightime medical drama, and she had dropped him like a hot potato.
Joe noticed the friendship the unassuming bartender and the glamorous model had struck up. She would come into the bar three or four nights a week, most of the time after a night of parties that she hated but had to be at.
Their first meeting had been ... eventful, to say the least ...
"Is Joe here?"
"Who's asking?" Alex asked as he searched the shelves behind the bar for a particular kind of alcohol.
"An old friend."
He turned to face the woman, her face not phasing him. Sure he noticed that she was gorgeous, but this was L.A. and it was filled with beautiful women.
"Joe stepped out ... he'll be back later."
She looked at him surprise in her chocolate colored eyes.
"He must really trust you, if he's leaving the bar with you."
"Yeah, well, I'm a responsible guy."
"Somehow, that surprises me," she said as she eyed him carefully.
He sent her a smirk that was adorable, but bordered on arrogant. She knew the type. The modeling world was full of guys like him. Hell, he could've been a model, she thought to herself. He sure had the looks and the body for it.
"You just met me," he said, pulling her out of her assesment, "and already you're insulting me."
"I'm pretty good at reading people." She held out her hand. "Izzie Stevens."
"Alex Karev," he said as he shook the pro-offered hand. "What can I get you?"
The pair chatted throughout the night when Alex was between customers. Neither one of them could explain it, but their was an instant kinship between them. She felt he understood her, and he felt an overwhelming need to look out for her. His instinct had been correct.
As she said her goodbyes to Alex and the recently-returned Joe, she moved quickly toward the door, but was stilled when a parton grabbed her arm.
"You're Bethany Whisper. The underwear model, right?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
She looked back toward the bar. Joe was talking to customers at the other end of the room, and Alex was no where to be found.
"Yes you do, Bethany." The man was a very tall, strong-looking man in his mid fifties. His wrinkled attire and table full of beer cans did nothing to quell Izzie's fears. "What do you say we go back to my place and you can show me some of the latest fashions."
"I, uh, I don't think so."
His vice-like grip on her arm frightened her. It was a feeling she wasn't really accustomed to. Sure, men in the industry hit on her, but she could handle them. They were mostly pansies who gave up with the right motivation. She could take care of herself in those familiar surroundings. Here, though, this was different. This man only saw her as the hot thing in the magazine. His only knowledge of her was sexual, and that scared her.
He tightened his grip on her arm, placing the other arm roughly around her waist. She squirmed to free herself from his grasp, refusing to yell for help. That would only garner attention, and that was not what she wanted.
"Come on, Baby. Just one night." She struggled against his hold, which pissed him off more than anything. "So you like it rough, do you, Bethany? We can do that." Then she felt his hand connect with her unblemished cheek.
As Alex exited the supply room, he could tell that something was off. He looked around and saw it. Clearly being held against her will, Izzie was trying to get away from an older patron who'd had too much to drink.
Already angry, Alex moved toward them. That's when he saw the man slap Izzie across the face and anger turned to fury.
"Let her go!" he shouted as he moved between Izzie and the man. Her attacker fought back, but Alex's youth and sobriety worked to his advantage against the very large, but very drunk man. Punches flew, and the bartender quickly had things under control.
"What the hell happened, Izzie?" She heard Joe come up from behind her.
"That guy ... he wouldn't let me go. He slapped me, and then Alex ..." She was too shaken up to continue. Joe didn't need to hear anymore. He moved to help Alex escort the man out.
Alex returned to Izzie after they made sure that he was gone and wouldn't be back.
"You okay?" he asked, placing a hand on either side of her face.
"I'm fine. Thank you, Alex."
"Do you want to press charges or anything? We've got his credit card number ... "
"No. It would wind up in the papers, and I don't even want to deal with that. He's gone and its over. I'm fine." Even as she said it, she could feel a slight swelling on her cheeck from the slap. Denny would be angry if he found out.
"Come on. Let's get you some ice for you're face."
After that first meeting, she knew that he was more than just some bartender.
"You've been in here alot lately, Iz. More than usual."
"I get so tired of all of these parties. I've been to 6 this week, and its only Wednesday. I need to be around real people."
"Life sucks in the wonderful world of fame and fortune."
She glared at him over her beverage of choice.
"So, I found out what Rebecca has decided to do with her time, now that the crappy medical drama got canceled."
Alex knew that she loved to hear updates about his ex, and that they always made her laugh. For his part, Alex was completely over Rebecca Pope. He'd never really loved her, but she had a way about her that kept him from leaving her.
She'd had no problem ditching him when "her big break" came along, and he was still bitter. Pissed that she'd uprooted his life for her dreams of celebrity, and then left him to tend bar at a hole-in-the-wall beer joint.
"She got a new job."
"Really ... doing what?"
"Low budget porn."
"Yep. Little film called Nasty, Naughty Nurses 13."
"Well, at least she keeping with a theme."
The two talked until it was time to shut the place down, and he walked her out to the cab he had called for her.