Word Count: 1800

Pairings/Characters:(Izzie/Denny), (Alex), (Alex, Meredith), (Alex, Sadie), (Alex, Arizona), (Izzie/Denny), (Alex/Izzie), (Alex/Izzie), (Alex, Addison), (Alex, Joe).

Spoilers: Season Five

Rating: PG

Summary: a character, pairing, or fandom you like.
2. Turn on your music player and put it on random/shuffle.
3. Write a drabble related to each song that plays.
You only have the time frame of the song to finish the drabble
You start when the song starts, and stop when it's over. No lingering afterwards!
4. Do ten of these, then post them.

Author's Note: I didn't pre-plan the pairings/characters as per the instructions. I know, I know, I suck. I just wrote what came to mind as the songs shuffled by. And, oh my, not at all where I thought this would go! Oh... and I didn't kill anyone off! Yay me!!!

Disclaimer: All television shows, movies, books, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libellous, defamatory, or in any way factual.

Ten Song Challenge

A Beautiful Lie – 30 Seconds to Mars (Izzie/Denny)

It's time to forget about the past, to wash away what happened last.

Hide behind an empty face, don't ask too much, just say,

'cause this is just a game.

Even as she is breaking up with Denny, Izzie knows that, deep in her heart, it still doesn't mean she is choosing Alex.

Even as she is telling him that she wants him alive, she knows she will still take him dead, if that is the best that can be offered to her. Which it is.

She knows this.

Even as she is using words to let him go gently, her heart is holding onto him for dear life, a white knuckled grip that completely undermines what she is trying to say.

She knows it is selfish and unfair. She is being selfish and unfair to both of them but at the same time she manages to convince herself that she isn't actually hurting either of them.

And for now that's the best she can do.

"I'm sorry," she whispers into her fingers.

I'm With You – Avril Lavigne (Alex)

It's a damn cold night, trying to figure out this life.

Won't you take me by the hand, take me somewhere new,

I don't know who you are but I... I'm with you.

As he so vehmently declared to Dr. Robbins, Alex doesn't make plans, not plans that aren't directly related to furthering his career anyway.

Especially not plans that involve him maintaining an honest to God relationship with an actual girl that he may very well love with every fibre of his being.

Alex definitely doesn't make plans involving things like that.

Except he has.

He's even told his mother about them.

"You're gonna love her," he gushed, grinning down the phone line.

Rattlin' Bones – Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson (Alex, Meredith)

Smoke don't rise, fuel don't burn,

sun don't shine no more.

Late one night, sorrow come round

scratchin' at my door.

Izzie loses consciousness in the dark, heady hours between Alex laying out an Iowa road trip and the shrill whistle of his pager errupting to life at 4.27am. He'd been up to use the bathroom a little after three and was especially careful not to jostle the mattress too much, lest he wake her.

He'd even kissed the back of her hand as he removed it from where it lay across his chest, warm and milky in the glow of raw moonlight filtering through half closed drapes.

A paramedic inserts an IV just below where his lips would have brushed her knuckles.

Meredith wakes Derek who travels back to the hospital with her in the ambulance. There is no room for Alex.

He sits on Meredith's couch and can't for the life of him figure out what is meant to happen next.

"Are you okay?"

It's Meredith and Alex doesn't answer. She doesn't expect him to.

Song to Say Goodbye – Placebo (Alex, Sadie)

You are one of Gods mistakes,

you crying tragic waste of skin.

I'm well aware of how it aches,

but you still won't let me in.

Meredith drives Alex to the hospital. There is someone else in the car with them, in the back seat. He has no idea if it is Lexie or Sadie or a hitch hiker that Meredith decided to collect along the way.

When they arrive Meredith disappears to gather information, leaving Alex with the Lexie/Sadie/hitch hiker person who just won't shut the hell up. He has never felt more incompetant and he has never cared less. He wanders off in the direction of the stairs, roughly shaking loose hand that closes around his left bicep in a valiant attempt at restraint.

He heads to the tunnels and although he doesn't really know why, he does know that Meredith will know to come find him here.

"She's been taken into surgery."

Sadie's shoulder touches his as she sits but she says nothing more.

Famous Last Words – My Chemical Romance (Alex, Arizona)

I am not afraid to keep on living.

I am not afraid to walk this world alone.

Honey, if you stay, I'll be forgiven,

nothin' you can say can stop me goin' home.

Arizona hears the news as she is scrubbing out, hears that Derek Shepherd is scrubbing in, that it's Izzie Stevens, that it's touch and go. A week earlier she barely even knew Izzie Stevens, knew of her, sure, you could hardly work at Seattle Grace and not know... but now she really knows. Knows she is somebodies someone and that that somebody is not going to do well with this news.

She barely knows Alex Karev either, but she does know this.

She fights a strange compulsion to find Dr. Karev and see for herself, confirm her suspicions. Instead she heads to the OR waiting room where she's been told a group of fellow employees are waiting, solidarity in numbers and all that.

She rounds a corner and almost runs head first into him. He's not looking where he is going, she's not looking where she is going and neither of them apologise for it.

He is paler than a conscious human being has any right to be and she wouldn't be surprised to discover he is suffering from a mild case of shock.

"So, I guess this is why you don't make plans, huh?"

Alex meets her eyes and smirks. Arizona doesn't pretend it's anything more than a practised reaction.

Mad World – Gary Jules (Izzie/Denny)

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad,

the dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had.

Izzie wakes by degrees. Like swimming through something think and viscous. Sticky sweet and cloying at her eyelids.

She is aware of very little.

Denny is gone.

She is painfully aware of this.

"Denny?"

She claws desperately at hope anyway.

Round Here (Piano Acoustic) – Counting Crows (Alex/Izzie)

Round here we're carving out our names,

round here we all look the same.

Round here we talk just like lions,

but we sacrifice like lambs.

Round here she's slipping through my hands.

Izzie is being distant and difficult, she knows this. She blames work, she blames the time that she missed while recouperating, she blames the patients that put demands on her time.

She blames Alex.

It's irrational and misguided but it's there. Alex feels it, smells it, breathes it every time they are in the same room.

She has spoken at length to Dr. Shepherd since the surgery, that she was seeing Denny is now common knowledge amongst those closest to her.

The fact that she no longer does is something of a relief. That fact that she so desperately wants to lies, gulf like, between them. The proverbial elephant in the room.

"Izz, I can wait..."

Alex pleads, which is rare. It makes Izzie want to vomit.

Zzyzx Rd. – Stone Sour (Alex/Izzie)

Tell me I should stick around for you,

tell I can have it all.

I'm still too tired to care and I gotta go.

Alex's chest hurts constantly, twenty four seven, seven days a week. He walks a fine line between panic and control and hides it all with his usual fall back, anger and sarcasm. This time he has pity on his side and he pushes the boundaries of his collegues patience until they are as tightly wound as he is.

Izzie recovers, swiftly and completely. An even shorter hair style and the extinguishing of any light and happiness in her eyes the only indication that anything has changed.

Alex holds on, probably too tightly, maybe not tight enough. He can no longer tell the difference. His mother rings to confirm the road trip plans, he lies and says they will be there on the eighteenth, that he can't wait. She laughs excitedly and he knows he is only going to disappoint her.

It's actually been a while since he's done that, disapppointed her.

"See you soon."

The words linger like acid in his throat.

Flame Trees – Cold Chisel (Alex, Addison)

Oh, the flame trees will blind the weary driver

and there's nothing else could set fire to this town.

There's no change, there's no pace,

everything within its place,

makes it harder to believe that she won't be around.

Addison comes. It's for a neonatal case that has nothing to do with Alex but she seeks him out anyhow. Attempts light hearted conversation for approximately fourteen seconds. Alex is done, she can see this clearly. He is professional, he is careful, he is guarded. He is also done.

She has been filled in. She knows about Lexie, she knows about Rebecca, she knows about Izzie and she knows he is done with it all. It takes her fourteen seconds.

She considers herself something of an authority when it comes to matter of loving and losing, of making plans and having dreams and then watching them burn to extinction on your fingertips.

Alex's fingertips are charred, charcoal grey.

"How can I possibly compete with a dead guy?"

He doesn't expect an answer which is lucky as she doesn't have one. There is ash on her fingertips too.

Boston – Augustana (Alex, Joe)

I think I'll go to Boston, I think that I was tired.

I think I need a new town, to leave this all behind.

I think I need a sunrise, I'm tired of sunset.

I hear it's nice in the summer, some snow would be nice.

Four months later, Alex leaves. He tells only the Chief and Joe.

Lots has changed in those four months and, at the same time, everything is still painfully the same. The snow drifts melt and the sun shines a little more often but the hallways echo just as loudly and the bedroom door opposite his remains closed.

He silently recants what he told her, that he wasn't going to leave, and he packs his bags when everyone is sleeping or working or drinking or doing whatever it is that they do when the moon shines. He no longer knows.

The Chief wants to know why and Joe wants to know where and for how long.

He shrugs his shoulders and tries his best to look nonchalant. The Chief is fooled, Joe is most definitely not.

"So this is goodbye then?"

Alex answers with a cheque that covers his tab.