Alex Karev + black wifebeater
writing to this
He’d never felt this before. Never had someone watch him like a hawk, never known the feeling of someone caring enough. In sickness and in health were the vows stated clearly in front of an audience, but Alex had never witnessed their power for himself before now. He’d stayed by Izzie’s side at her worst, when she shaved her hair and grew sick and weak, as the IL2 pumped through her veins and changed her, both inside and out. He’d cared so much that when the weight of her betrayal and abandonment finally sunk into his bones it hurt worse than a gun shot.
In fact, he’d almost welcomed another pain, this one more visceral and easily treatable. Time healed all wounds, but some still lingered phantom in one’s soul. Some still left a scar, invisible to the naked eye. And sometimes, time simply allowed a person to settle into their diluted vision of what life, of what love, was supposed to be.
As he laid there in bed that night, it was with a small twitch of his ear that Alex become alerted to the presence of her entering the room again. Everything was heightened in his compromised state. His body ached, his skin felt paper thin and raw; he was warm. His head felt like an ocean with tidal waves crashing against his skull. Even a jerk of his hand or slight modification of position felt like the most challenging task he’d ever had to complete. Somehow he’d taken for granted how many freaking times you swallowed in a day. He knew because now whenever his throat clenched, it felt like a sharp knife was sliding down his windpipe.
He wanted to say something, ask how their son was, how she was… but he couldn’t. His body was so tired and the effort it took to form sentences, let alone thoughts was a milestone he just couldn’t try for tonight. So instead, Alex watched quietly as Addison managed to find a comfortable spot for herself on the couch, curling into a ball. Before she could glance in his direction, the ped’s surgeon shut his eyes tight, not wanting to disturb her with another flood of unneeded concern. He could feel her gaze and willed himself to stay still. If she knew he was awake, she’d ask why he wasn’t sleeping, if he needed something, how he felt.
But all that Alex felt right now with conviction was loved.
He felt cared for, concerned for, worried about, and ultimately safe. It was such a foreign experience to the neglected boy buried underneath this rugged surface of a man that he felt stunned by the weight of its intensity.
He wasn’t even that sick. Sure, people dropped dead from scarlet fever in the nineteenth century, but not today. The antibiotics were going to knock it clean out of his system in a couple days, and he’d be good as new. This was nothing compared to an un-anesthetized procedure in the middle of a conference room, and the aftermath to follow. Nor was it anything really to match bathroom floors and the patched up and forgotten cover ups that followed, left to fester in shame instead of heal in open air.
No, this definitely wasn’t the worst, but it surely wouldn’t be the last.
Even though Addison had not been there with him through his most trying trials of pain and suffering, what mattered was that she was here now to make even the most minor of aches and bruises more bearable. That was more than Alex had ever known. It was more than he had ever hoped for or thought he deserved.
She was everything to him, and more. She had given him a home. She had given him fatherhood. She had given him peace of mind, self-confidence, partnership, unwavering devotion and trust. She had given him everything, and she did it because she wanted to. Because she loved him.
For the first time in his life, Alex Karev knew what it felt like: to not question it, to give in and allow someone to tend to to him rather than vise verse, to know it was okay to be dependent, to hog the bed. At least for tonight he’d feel it.
He could be stubborn tomorrow.
*nods* Can I get you anything? More water, maybe?
No, you can’t get me anything. I’m fine, Addison… *swallows painfully* But I’d feel better if you go read to Gabe or something. Despite how much I love you staring at me.
He’s okay… worried. He asked me if you were dying. I’m not sure why he seems to think that every time one of us gets sick. I set him straight. How are you?
He’s just scared. We’ve been through a lot lately. But that’s good that you made sure he understood… *nuzzles head into pillow, trying to formulate words* I’ve been better. But then I’ve also been worse.
*smiles weakly* I know. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to watch and make sure.
*closes eyes for a few seconds* How’s Gabe?
It’s not your fault… and I’m not trying to sleep yet. I just… *sighs* I want to make sure you’re okay before I sleep.
*softly smirks* It’s not the 1800’s anymore, Addison. I’ll live.
Huhm? *perks up a bit* Sorry for what?
Making you sleep there.
*squirms to get comfortable, watching Alex sleep from the safety of a chair*
*deadpan* I’m sorry.