Fairytale of New York
A story, in the sprit of Christmas, about Alex/Izzie and Mer/Der. A year on from now and everything has changed. When Alex and Izzie, meet up with Meredith and Derek for a festive reunion in New York, a couple of days before Christmas, just as a terrifying storm is about to hit the city.
A year previously, Alex finally made the decision to leave Seattle behind and take his dream job at Hopkins. (Because, lets face it, in the real world he NEVER would have turned that down!) He also faced up to the fact that Izzie, always had been and always would be, the complete love of his life and he would never truly be happy with anyone else. So, he looked her up and discovered she was working at a hospital in New York and within a couple of months of contacting her they had re-married.
Izzie, had been working in New York, having moved to the city after leaving Seattle, to seek out treatment from a leading Oncologist there. After making a swift and full recovery, she had then started working at the same hospital, passed her boards and secured a neuro fellowship. After getting back together with Alex, Izzie decided to quit her fellowship in New York and relocate to work in Baltimore, where they could properly start their life together. Although, she had still had kept her apartment in New York and was travelling back there once a month to finish working on a trial she had been conducting.
Meredith and Derek, still based in Seattle, had been through a difficult year. Meredith, struggled to come to terms with the loss of her sister. As well as juggling her career, motherhood and being a supportive wife to Derek. She had also been plagued with constant doubts, over her decision to stay in Seattle and not take the job in Boston.
Unable to work as a surgeon, the past year, Derek, focused his energy on teaching, writing and travelling the country giving talks. Although, having just been cleared to work again, he is unsure whether he could ever regain his confidence enough to be able to achieve the levels of success he'd had before.
"Okay, listen up folks, looks like it's going to be one white wintery Christmas. We are looking at a red weather warning. Later this evening, we are expecting massive hail and snow storms, with chilling winds of over eighty miles per hour. We strongly urge you to stock up on basic supplies, food and batteries, stay out of city parks and get prepared for possible evacuation. If you have a flight scheduled, you may want to start making alternative plans... So, any last minute Christmas shopping you have to get done, now's the time to do it guys..."... Alex groaned, as he drowned out the sound of the radio and switched the car engine off. He undid his seat belt and stretched his arms out, tired from the long drive up to New York from Baltimore, after his exhausting shift at Hopkins. He was in New York, having a few well deserved days off, to spend the holiday with Izzie, before helping her finally move the rest of her stuff out of her old apartment and down to their place in Baltimore.
Opening the car door, and stepping out on to the street, Alex was immediately hit with a sharp gust of icy wind, as he turned to quickly make his way up to the comfort of Izzie's apartment to drop his things off, before he made his way down to the hospital where she worked to meet her.
Stepping in to his wife's apartment, Alex smiled and shook his head, as he remembered her saying sheepishly to him on the phone earlier that morning, that she may have put a few Christmas decorations up.
'A few decorations?' Alex thought, as he looked around amused, taking in the spectacular, festive wonderland he had stepped in to. Alex had forgotten just how much, Izzie, loved the holidays. There was an impressive, pine green Christmas tree in the corner of the room, beautifully decorated with glittering red, gold and silver lights, with a few perfectly wrapped presents placed underneath it. A row of frosted candles, wrapped in holly were along the side table. Two bright stockings were hanging over the fire place and a further border of twinkling Christmas lights were hung around the room, and lastly a large bunch of fresh mistletoe was tied above the kitchen door and the whole place smelt deliciously of cinnamon and spice. Alex breathed in, as he realized for once in his life, he felt right at home.
Alex, had always hated the holidays when he hadn't been with Izzie. Growing up, they had just been a stark reminder of everything he didn't have. Now, he hated to admit he was actually, starting to grow to love them a little, as they were becoming a stark reminder of everything he did have!
Derek Shepherd, paused, blinded slightly by the bright stage lights, gliding over the sea of faces in front of him. He knew, if he thought about it too hard, he would freeze, clam up, struggle to force the final few words out of his mouth. So, instead he focused on the one person, that had kept him going throughout the past turbulent year of his life and moving closer to the microphone, he smiled and said with crystal clear definition.
"Lastly, I would like to thank my wife. For putting up with me, always believing in me and no matter what, never doubting me. Without her support, I feel certain, that not only would 'The Shepherd Method', not be the success it now is. But, more importantly, that I would not be standing here today... Thanks for listening folks and I will be available for questions after" And he stepped back, breathing a silent sigh of relief. Derek, was never normally the sentimental type. Maybe it was the time of year, or that Meredith was actually there with him at one of his talk's for once; or just the fact that he was back in his home city. But, something had made Derek, express his gratitude to Meredith so publicly, for her unconditional love and support as he had struggled to readjust to his new life without surgery.
With his ears ringing from the deafening applause, following the overwhelmingly positive reaction to his talk. Derek, glanced over, to see his beautiful wife, smiling proudly back at him, from where she was stood underneath a huge sparkling Christmas tree, to the side of the large conference hall. Her eyes full of emotion as they met his, glittering as the bright, golden Christmas trees lights bounced off her face.
As he made his way down the steps to the side of the stage. Derek lit up a little inside, as he realized he actually couldn't remember the last time he had seen his wife smile like that. He also couldn't couldn't remember, the last time she had accompanied him to one of his talks and taken any time out at all for herself, from her busy work schedule back in Seattle and their baby daughter Zola. Derek was glad Meredith had come with him this time. The trip away together to New York, although brief, had certainly done them both good already.
As he walked straight up to her, Derek placed his arm gently around Meredith's neck and whispered softly in to her ear "I love you."
Before Meredith had the chance to respond, Derek was tapped lightly on the shoulder and he turned to respond to the inevitable flow of questions stemming from the aftermath of his talk, flashing Meredith a brief apologetic smile, before he was away, already engrossed in an in depth discussion.
Meredith smiled to herself, grabbing a full glass of champagne from a passing tray and sinking back in to the cover of the Christmas tree again, happy to stay in the background. She knew, there would be plenty of time for her to have her husband to herself later on, for now, she would let him bask in the success of what had been his biggest talk to date.
Izzie, stepped out in to the chilly New York December afternoon, her long blonde hair whipping around her face with the fierce winds, shivering, as she wrapped her charcoal grey, winter coat tightly around herself. She shivered some more, as she was hit with a sharp pang of emotion and a small tear formed in the corner of her eye. She still couldn't quite believe, that the time had come to finally say goodbye to the city, friends and hospital, that had been her home for the past, almost three years of her life. The place that had brought her back to life, made her re-discover who she really was and realize that no matter what had happened to her in Seattle, she'd still had everything to live for. For that, she would always be eternally grateful, but Izzie knew that the time was right to move on now, as she suddenly spotted Alex walking towards her. Hitting her with a rush of butterflies. They had been back together for nearly a year, but it still made Izzie go weak at the knees, every time she was near him and she still couldn't quite believe that she wasn't dreaming and despite everything, somehow they had managed to find their way back to each other.
Moving faster and faster, so she was almost running, Izzie leapt in to Alex's arms, as he buried his face in to her neck and the world stood still for a second, as they lost themselves in each other. Breaking apart eventually, just enough for them to find each others lips and lock together in a passionate kiss.
"Easy you two, you might want get yourselves a room" Elliot, one of Izzie's friends and co-workers said, as a group of them walked past.
"I haven't seen my husband for over two weeks, I'll have you know" Izzie said, giggling shyly, as she broke apart from Alex a little to face her friends.
"Well, have fun then and make sure you wrap up and stay indoors, it's going to be one wild night..." Elliot replied.
"Thanks, we will" Izzie said, still beaming at her friends, as another one added. "Oh and don't you dare leave town before coming to say goodbye properly Izzie."
"Wouldn't dream of it." Izzie said, as her eyes met Alex's for a brief second, before she turned back to wave her friends off.
Alone again, Alex wrapped his arms around Izzie's waist, as he looked in to her wide, soft brown eyes. "So, you stop by my apartment?" Izzie said, as a light sprinkling of snow fell around her, sparkling flakes catching in her long blonde hair.
"Err..yeah, although I thought I'd taken a de-tour and ended up in Santa's freaking grotto" Alex said, raising his eyebrows.
"Oh, you know it's my last Christmas here in New York, so, I wanted to make it a special one" Izzie replied, batting her long eyelashes sweetly at Alex, as the snow continued to fall around her.
Alex shook his head, as he put his hand up to lightly brush a snow flake out of Izzie's hair and move it away from the side of her face, as he said softly, his breath frozen against hers. "You know, we're not due to meet Meredith and Shepherd for a few hours yet. So, we could always just skip the Christmas shopping and go back to Santa's grotto right now, to warm up and have some fun."
Izzie leaned back a little and bit her lip, as she said playfully. "Oh no, you don't get out of taking me Christmas shopping that easily, Alex Karev."
"Okay, but you'll have to make it up to me later then." Alex replied, as he leaned in and whispered exactly how he wanted her to make it up to him. Causing a tingle of electricity to bolt through Izzie, as she turned to rest her head on his shoulder and they walked away arm in arm, as the bright white flakes of snow, fluttered even more heavily around them.
Meredith sipped her champagne and putting her hand up to her mouth, she chewed on her nail nervously, tentatively glancing around the room, for a familiar face. Flashy medical conferences, just weren't really Meredith's thing. She wasn't as confident as her best friend Cristina, or as naturally charming as her husband Derek. Meredith looked over to where Derek was stood, locked in an intense conversation with some fellow, leading medical professionals. Derek was nodding his head and smiling politely in agreement at them, he looked so polished and handsome, still every bit the rock star surgeon, in his sleek designer suit, with his perfectly styled hair. Meredith was so proud of him, despite everything, she knew he would come back even stronger when he started back in surgery again soon.
Meredith then groaned, as she spotted the one person she had been desperately trying to avoid all day walking straight towards her. It was Dr Levin, the woman that had offered her the position at Harvard, the position that Meredith had turned down.
"Dr Grey" the older woman said, as she strode towards Meredith. "How lovely to see you." Her smile was polite and friendly, whilst her eyes in contrast were icy and accusing. "What brings you away from Seattle and all the way out here?" She went on to say, through her bright red lips, as a cloud of her powerful musky perfume hit Meredith.
"Oh, well I came to support my husband" Meredith said, smiling back as warmly as she could, as she detected the sharp undertone to Dr Levin's words. Meredith had dodged her calls for a couple of weeks, before she had finally sent a cowardly email to explain her reasons for turning down the offer and by the look on the woman's face now, she wasn't used to people saying no to her, as her eyes bored intensely in to Meredith even further and she said. "Of course, you're the woman behind the great Dr Shepherd. I take it all is going well back in Seattle for you both?"
Meredith looked her firmly in the eye, as she replied. "Yes, very well thanks."
"That's great to hear, your mother would be very proud." Dr Levin said sharply in response.
Meredith felt as though, that last remark was a sharp slap around the face. Dr Levin had know Ellis Grey and they both knew, Ellis, would have been anything but proud, that Meredith had turned down the chance to work at Harvard, on one of the best programmes in the country. But, Meredith had to keep reminding herself, that she never was and never would be her mother. She had a family in Seattle and they were her first priority now.
Meredith gulped and looked over at the large clock on the wall behind her, willing the time to pass. She couldn't wait to unwind later with her husband and catch up with her good friend Alex, who they were due to meet for dinner before they flew home. Since he had left Seattle almost a year ago, Meredith had really missed Alex and being here now, just reinforced that even more. At that exact point in time, Meredith wanted nothing more than to be joking around with Alex and anywhere but stood in a room full of superficial, judgmental people, like this hostile, scary woman in front of her.
"Ooh, you ordered champagne" Izzie said, flicking her glossy long hair back. As the waitress brought an ice bucket and expensive looking bottle of Dom Perignon over to where she was sat with Alex, by the window in the low lit, fashionable restaurant/bar, after their afternoon shopping trip, as they waited for Meredith and Derek to join them.
"Well, it's not every day that we see the Shepherd's" Alex said grinning. Although, if he was honest, he also wanted to show off a little. The last time he'd seen anyone from Seattle, he'd been living practically rent free at Meredith's house on a modest resident's salary, barely able to pay for a four pack of beer. Now, for the first time in his life, he actually felt like he'd achieved something and that all his hard work had paid off. He was earning enough money at Hopkins to live very comfortably, having bought his own apartment, splash out on a flash new car and he was also planning to surprize Izzie and buy her the diamond Tiffany earrings she'd had her eye on earlier. Alex knew money couldn't buy happiness, but it sure helped, he thought with a smug smile. As he picked up his champagne glass and looked across at his beautiful wife. Her face illuminated, from the light of the flickering candle, placed perfectly at the centre of their table. With the bright city Christmas lights, shining brightly in the window behind her.
"To us." Alex said, as he raised his glass and thought, maybe, just maybe, he had made it now.
Izzie beamed back at him, as a powerful gust of wind lashed against the window behind them, followed be a sudden fierce down pour of giant icy hail stones hammering against the glass. Alex, looked over at the flat screen on the wall behind them, to catch the headline. 'City on red alert! As worst storm in decades, about to hit!'
Turning back to Izzie, Alex said, half joking, half serious. "You think we should be at home now, stocking up on canned food?"
Izzie, busy examining the contents of one of her shopping bags mumbled back. "Oh, no, they say the same thing every year, it never comes to anything."
"Okay, if you say so. Well, I hope Meredith and Derek get here soon, I'm starving." Alex said, as he turned to pick up and scan the menu in front of him. All thoughts of the potential storm fading, as he looked forward to seeing his friends and the night ahead...
To be continued...