Izzie has locked herself in the On Call Room and refuses to let anyone in after Denny dies. Cristina washes her hands of the whole affair. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd says that Izzie needs her space. George and Meredith are so distraught about it that they’ve actually started talking again. They are panicking in front of the door until Bailey reprimands them for wasting time and they scatter regretfully. Alex waits until after they’ve gone to come out of the shadows. It’s not like he thinks she is going to let him in when she denied the others. Ever since the, now dead, man had been wheeled into the hospital, Izzie has been nothing but hostile to Alex, but he’s going in there and he really doesn’t care if he has to break down the door. He’s counting on it. Izzie is welcome to hate him as much as she wants, and to say whatever kind of hurtful things she can come up with, but he’ll be damned if he’s going to let her sit in there and feel sorry for herself. He ignores her tear filled command to “fuck off” and rips the door off its hinges to find her huddled against a wall on a floor, eyes puffy and nose running.
“What are you coming to rub it in or something?” Izzie snaps, refusing to meet his eyes.
Alex gets down on the ground in front of her, grabbing and box of tissues on the way, and replies that even he is not that much of an ass. She demands he leaves but takes the tissues, and he says that he really doesn’t see the point in him doing that, being as she’s going to hate him and think he’s a jerk either way. If he leaves, he confirms that he really doesn’t care, and if he stays he’s being insensitive too. She insists that she has good reason to feel like that, that she has every right to hate him if she wants. He thinks that she’s probably going to throw the Olivia thing in his face until the day they die, if they know each other that long. He wouldn’t mind it so much if that was what she was bitching him out about. He doesn’t like being considered less than human though. So he calls her on her shit.
“Yeah, I gave you plenty of ammo for that, but Izzie… you aren’t being pissed at me about anything I’ve done. If you want to bitch me out about the whole Olivia thing… fine. I am guessing that verbally abusing me because you are upset about Denny isn’t going to make you less upset about him, seeing as you’ve been doing it this whole time and it hasn’t helped a damned bit.”
“Denny would never have cheated on me with some nurse.” She’s the one rubbing it in now, that she prefers a corpse to him, and Alex has a moment of hope that maybe this is about him and not about Denny, that maybe it really is about her being angry and trying to prove something to him. He doesn’t count on it.
“Maybe not.” He forces himself to agree, regarding her claim about Denny, before adding what maybe he actually wants to say, “ I’m not saying I’m the image of perfection here Izz. I’m just as fucked up as the next guy, probably more so than average even, but I do have feelings and even assholes deserve to be treated like human beings.”
“Could you save the lecture for some time I am less devastated?” Izzie complains.
“No” Alex replies, holding his ground. He might as well be honest, considering that being nice hasn’t paid off in the past 6 months at least, “The pity party you’re throwing yourself is completely useless, might as well get something accomplished with that upset, so we are talking this out now.”
“What if there’s nothing to talk out.”
She wants to hurt him, wants to make him feel like he doesn’t matter. Alex thinks she is trying to get back at him, to cause him pain like the pain that he caused her. He is pretty sure she has no idea how successful she is at wounding him; pretty sure he doesn’t want her to know either. It doesn’t do to show weakness like that.
“If there wasn’t, you wouldn’t have been being a bitch to me for this long.”
“You really are so fucking egotistical Alex. Not everything is about you.”
“Fuck you Izzie. You can’t have it both ways. I’m not some little fucking puppy like O’Malley and I’m not going to let you kick me around like he would. You’re full of shit and I’m sick of apologizing. Maybe your mom fucked you up real bad, but it’s your choice to push everyone away so that it doesn’t happen again. I’m a screw up and I know that… but you, you act like you’re all sweet and warm and caring and like you have some goddamned mental health. You aren’t too good for me; you aren’t too good for anyone. That’s just some bullshit you tell yourself to avoid actually having to have a relationship with anyone. Oh go ahead and have a relationship with a dead guy Izzie, because that’s a situation that’s definitely not going to call on you to learn how to repair relationships instead of pushing them away.”
He knows she’s not really ready to hear what he has to stay but it’s the truth and it’s the right thing to say anyway so he’s going to say it because honesty is the one thing he can count on so he’s sticking to it, and maybe, just maybe, it will make her mad enough to stop feeling sorry for herself for a few minutes.
“There’s this thing called helping, and you aren’t doing it… so go. Just leave me the hell alone Alex.”
“The truth hurts, doesn’t it?” He’s leering, that asshole smile that he can’t help using when people are down and he knows he’s right.
“Fine! I’m leaving then!” Izzie screams and she storms out of the room, just as Meredith is passing by. Meredith gives Alex the “what did you do this time” look and follows after Izzie, and Alex is left alone to stew.
He does stew, insults more patients than average and Bailey chews him out but he’s really past the point of caring. He can see all the other interns nervous as can be, praying Bailey’s wrath won’t turn on them, but she doesn’t even scare him anymore.
Alex counts the hours, the days, the shifts until Izzie seeks him out, has the smug satisfaction of having gotten her out of the on call room to tide him over. Burke shakes his head but leaves him alone with his candidness. Alex is pretty sure Cristina and he discussed it. Cristina is the only one of the other interns talking to him, and that’s just because the Chief has been picking him for surgery a lot and she wants to find out what he has that she doesn’t. It’s not what Alex has, but what he doesn’t, that gives him that extra edge. Having nothing gives you a certain kind of trancelike clarity.