Stay With Us

"In case you're just tuning in..."

"...gunman loose in Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital."

"One confirmed death."

She had always mocked people who sat glued to the television as a tragedy unfolded. Why tune in and listen to reports repeat the same information over and over again when minutes dragged into an hour with no news. No confirmation of anything. No names released until families were notified.

Isobel Stevens understood now.

She understood that you stayed glued to your television praying that there would be new information. Praying that the new information would assure safety to the people you loved. As time ticked by you prayed for an answer, had your world collapsed around you or were you one of the lucky ones?

"...methodically evacuating floor by floor."

"...many doctors still trapped inside."

"Stay with us as the story unfolds."

This was her punishment. She deserved to be sitting here, alone in her apartment, watching and praying that the growing death count didn't include anyone she loved. Because, really, if she loved them why wasn't she there? Why wasn't she in that hospital fighting for her life, praying she made it out alive? Or at least behind the police tape searching for a glimpse of a friend, a first hand account, of who was walking out of that hospital on their own accord.

This was her punishment for turning her back on her friends. For giving up on her marriage. For walking out on the only family she had.

"We, once again interrupt regularly scheduled programming as the tragedy at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital finally comes to a close. We've received reports that the lone gunman, responsible for the deadliest shooting at a North American hospital, has turned the gun on himself thus ending the nightmare for patients and hospital staff. We have confirmation of at least ten dead and many more injured as ambulances take the victims to local hospitals. Kristen O'Laughin will have the full story and more at Fox news at noon."

How could she live with herself if it was someone she knew? She'd already lost Denny and George in that hospital how could she handle it if she got the news that it was someone else. She'd walked away from them all but that didn't mean she loved them any less. She was already all too familiar with loss to have to go through it again. Watching the news brought back too many flashes of clinging to a cold bathroom floor praying for some sort of absolution, some sort of relief from the grief that threatened to consume her.

She remembered waking up and knowing that George was gone. How could she live through it again, burying a friend? What would she do if the news at noon said Mer's name with her staff picture from the hospital? Could she handle it if it was Cristina's picture? It's the thought of seeing Alex's face on the tv screen that pushes her off of the couch, Alex who despite everything she still loved more then anyone. Could she bare to find out that he was dead from the overly perky Kristen O'Laughlin?

The truth was she may have left Seattle Grace, set up a brand new life at a brand new hospital, but her heart still belonged in Seattle. The man she loved, the family she loved, they deserved better from her and she was going to be there.