We've given in to getting through the days...
-Matt Pond PA
When George O'Malley got up that morning, it was with a heavy sigh caused by the knowledge that the day would probably be the very same as the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that. He would get to the hospital, get passed over to participate in any decent surgeries - or a surgery at all - work in the clinic for most of the day, do rounds, paperwork and log yet more hours in the skills lab.
As he brushed his teeth, he knew that it was all part of the job, but it was starting to get awfully mundane being the guy who always worked hard and no one seemed to notice. Taking a moment to look at himself in the mirror, he wondered what he'd done - or hadn't done - to get to this point in his life: living in a terrible little apartment (somewhat affectionately nick-named the crapartment), doing the same thing day in and day out, no love life to speak of, feeling like he hadn't moved forward in his life for too long, watching everyone else doing what he wasn't.
Well, I'm not going to waste my day thinking about it, he thought, snatching up an apple for breakfast on his way out the door. I have enough time in the evenings for that.
He sighed heavily. Just another day.
"So then I said that I wasn't going to take this lying down, and that there were rules against playing dirty." Meredith pulled her hair back into a loose ponytail at the base of her neck while she spoke.
"That's what she said," Alex chimed in as he walked past to head out of the locker room.
Cristina wrinkled her nose in disgust at him then turned back to Meredith. "Did he back off?"
She shrugged. "Didn't matter. She still gave him the surgery."
George tossed his things in his locker as he arrived and asked her, "What happened?"
"The plague struck again." Cristina quipped.
"I know, right? I mean who does that? Who lies to get a surgery?"
Cristina raised an eyebrow indicating she clearly would and Meredith ignored her.
"Who lied to get a surgery?" George sat down on the bench beside Meredith.
"Oh, some Mercy West idiot." She answered. "Cristina's not kidding. They're seriously like the plague. Infiltrating, slowly killing us off... You know the Chief said he's going to be laying off or firing at least five more people before the end of the week. And he said everyone was fair game, Seattle Grace or Mercy West staff."
"Perfect." Cristina slammed her locker shut after retrieving her lab coat and exited the increasingly crowded locker room.
The day passed by rather uneventfully. No major traumas came in and though there were a few relatively regular surgeries on the board, none of them were given to George. He was hardly surprised. Whether he asked for it or not, put his hand up, joined in when there was sucking up to be done, he still seemed to get passed by.
"Better luck next time, hey O'Malley?" said Alex as he headed off to help perform a bowel repair surgery.
George didn't reply as he scooped up a pile of charts. He was very much looking forward to the day when Izzie would be back at work. He missed her smiling face and whenever he felt like he was having a bad day, she'd make him feel better. It somehow made the mundane days seem much more tolerable to have her around, too. She'd been given a few months off since her bout with cancer in order to fully recover and she was coming back to work this week.
He checked the first chart in his pile and walked down the hall to begin rounds.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Patterson," George greeted the elderly man on the hospital bed. "How are things today?"
Mr. Patterson had come in three days previous for an emergency cholecystectomy (gallbladder stone removal) and was recovering from surgery. "Oh, just dandy," He grinned. "Hoping I can finally get the green light so I can go home and see my grandkids, Dr. O'Malley!"
George chuckled as he looked over Mr. Patterson's chart. "Well sir, your white blood cell count is a little higher than I'd like, but I don't see why I can't send you home tonight."
The older man's grin increased. "Thank you, Dr. O'Malley, thank you."
"You're very welcome, Mr. Patterson. One of the nurses will be by soon with discharge papers." George shook the man's outstretched hand and continued on his way to complete the rest of his rounds.
It was sort of a routine or tradition they'd developed. Once a week, usually a Wednesday or Thursday, several of them would go over to Meredith's house, as it was the biggest, for supper. The mix of people was often different depending on who'd already made plans or who was working, but it didn't matter what the mix was, just that they got together.
It made Izzie especially happy, as it gave her something to do. She'd been stuck at home for the past couple months as she fully recovered from her bout with cancer. She was on medical leave from the hospital, and while she and Alex now mostly lived in Derek's old trailer, she spent most of her days at Meredith's house until Alex came home from work and then they would go to the trailer later. Meredith loved the arrangement as it meant that most days of the week she didn't have to cook nor even clean as Izzie was bored and enjoyed both activities so was more than willing to do both. She was enjoying cooking even more, as in the few months that she'd been home and getting back on her feet, she'd made it her goal to become as good a cook as she was a baker.
That evening it was just five of them: Meredith, Derek, George, Cristina and Izzie. Izzie made them a wonderful Italian meal and Cristina left right after as she'd made late evening plans with Owen. The remaining three helped with the dishes then stayed and chatted for another hour or two. The conversation inevitably turned to when Meredith and Derek were really going to get married.
"We are married," shrugged Derek.
"Real married," Izzie corrected. "Like with a legal, binding document."
"We have a binding document." Meredith grinned and glanced at Derek.
"Uh, I don't think Post-Its count as legal or binding." said George.
"Well, alright, I can concede the legal part," Derek replied. "But it's definitely binding."
Meredith stood from her chair. "Speaking of binding..." She looked suggestively at Derek who laughed.
"Married three months and she still can't keep her hands off me." He joked. He and Meredith then bid the other two good-night and headed upstairs.
Izzie and George moved to the living room and settled down onto the couch together. When they heard the door to Meredith's room shut, Izzie giggled.
"What?" asked George.
"The whole Post-It thing. It's just funny."
He laughed with her. "It is. They really should have a real wedding soon."
She nodded, her golden hair just about touching her shoulders when she moved her head back. "I'm dying to be a bridesmaid."
"You do realize that when and if they ever do get married for real, they're just going to sneak off to City Hall during their lunch break at the hospital."
"I can hope."
The pair talked for quite some time after that about everyday things before George glanced at his watch and decided it was about time for him to head home.
"You going to be okay here?" he asked as he rose from the couch.
"Oh yeah," she waved her hand at him dismissively. "Alex will be here soon and we'll go back to the trailer together."
"I mean with the, uh, Post-It newlyweds upstairs." He gestured towards the ceiling with his thumb.
Izzie smiled and held up the TV remote. "Very loud volume. Got it covered."
"Ah." George slipped on his coat and grabbed his keys. Before he got the chance to say goodbye, the phone rang. Izzie leaned across to grab it.
"Hello, Grey residence, Izzie speaking?" she said brightly into the receiver.
George gave her a wave to indicate he was going when she froze and her whole demeanor went from cheerful to shocked. He stopped where he was, dread blooming in his stomach.
"What?" her voice wavered. "When?"
He didn't move - something was very wrong. A good few minutes of silence passed by on Izzie's end of the phone as the caller talked.
"Uh... uh, ok, t-thanks." She shakily hung up the phone.
"Izzie? What is it?"
She looked up at him numbly. "Mom's dead."