waltzmatildah (waltzmatildah) wrote in het_reccers,


Fandom: Grey's Anatomy
Character: Izzie Stevens
Pairings Included in Manifesto: Izzie Stevens/Alex Karev

Blurb: When Grey's Anatomy first began as a medical drama with a relatively unknown cast and a set of very high hopes back in 2005 (Really? Is that all? It feels like a lifetime ago!!) Katherine Heigl's character of Izzie was one of the five interns that created the core of the show. Initially fairly well liked for her friendship with George, her idealistic view on life, her hilarious and sometimes clueless one-liners, and her fantastic “rack”, as the seasons progressed, fandom-wide opinions of Izzie began to polarise, with an almost “love her or hate her” mentality developing. Needless to say, I fell (and still fall) into the “love her with the power of a thousand suns” category and, to this day, she remains my favourite Grey's Anatomy character of all time.

greys: izzie

Why? Because she's Izzie! Because she's insecure and petty and beautiful and funny and completely unaware of most of it. She initially seemed to exist in a perfect world full of rainbows and sunshine until gradually parts of her facade were chipped away and the girl who grew up in a trailer park and was pregnant by the age of 16 were finally revealed. Her on again/off again relationship with Alex Karev was also a highlight and despite their many ups and downs (and extraneous romantic interludes along the way – Denny, George, Addison, Rebecca, Olivia, Lexie), it was clear from the word go that they were meant to be together. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it was the most realistic and well developed relationship that the writers of Grey's Anatomy ever managed to create. While it eventually ended badly, it's easy to put that down to the abrupt departure from of the show of Heigl rather than anything inherent in the actual relationship itself, and had she stayed on as a cast member I am more than confident that Izzie and Alex would have made it through.

In fact, in my own personal head canon version of events, this is exactly what happened!!

Alex and Izzie Kiss

One of the most memorable and still widely talked about story lines this show has ever done would have to be the season two ending, LVAD cutting incident which, while essentially a storyline about Izzie and Denny, eventually served to cement the notion of Izzie and Alex. And it may have been 5 years ago but I bet you all know exactly what it is I'm talking about...

Alex Carries Izzie

While they didn't automatically end up in each others beds following this moment, it did set the scene for what was to come for these two, with a pattern of “saving” each other when everything seemed lost. After a harrowing incident where Alex's then girlfriend, Rebecca, was revealed to be mentally ill and had just attempted suicide following an hysterical pregnancy (oh my, the drama!!), it was Izzie's turn to re-pay the favour... and it was every bit as haunting as when Alex lifted her from Denny's death bed.


Their wedding towards the end of season five again divided fans, with Meredith and Derek gifting a now ill with stage IV metastatic melanoma Izzie and Alex with the wedding day that was supposed to in fact be theirs. While the Mer/Der fans were up in arms over being “denied” their “rightful” celebration, the rest of fandom rejoiced at the perfection of the “Today's the day my life begins...” moment... Some of us may even have cried... I'm just sayin'...

greys: alex,greys: izzie

While Izzie (and Katie) eventually left the show under far from ideal circumstances, the character that she was over those five and a half seasons was hands down my most favourite female character of all time. Of. All. Time. And the irrevocable effects she had on the remaining cast members can still be seen today...

greys: izzie

Izzie Stevens? I love you. For real.

Now, have some fic!!

Fic Rec #1: Learn My Face, Forget My Name (I Think You'll Like Me Better That Way)
Pairing: Izzie Stevens/Alex Karev
Author: clockwork_jo
Link: http://clockwork-jo.livejournal.com/39237.html
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13/Character death

Why This Must Be Read: Oh, the angst! The angst in this is glorious! And not at all gratuitous. It's dark and raw and above all else, a wonderful insight into what might have been if Izzie had followed George onto the great elevator in the sky. While the Alex/Izzie relationship is at the core of the fic, his friendships with the other characters is also explored.

Note: this is actually from Alex's POV, you'll see why when you read it, but that does not at all mean it shouldn't appear here. It's a stunning look at what never was when it comes to Izzie/Alex.

Excerpt: Misty brown eyes look back at him, and a big grin meets his anxious face; he takes in air, swallows and looks down. Sees polished shoes that don’t match his disposition.

His vision pans up her gown, it’s white like the flowers she grasps tightly. He doesn’t think much of them, spent days watching her look over a catalogue- had no input- doesn’t care. The hands that grip them, they interest him.

He made some comment about the white, told her she was far from a good girl.

Fic Rec #2 Leave It Burn
Pairing: Izzie Stevens/Alex Karev
Author: truhekili
Link: Part One | http://ga-fanfic.livejournal.com/1982124.html#cutid1
Part Two | http://ga-fanfic.livejournal.com/1982268.html#cutid1
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13

Why This Must Be Read: Because it's Izzie doing what we all knew she'd do (if Katherine Heigl had been available to make a return!) when she discovered Seattle Grace was under siege.

It's Izzie coming home. It's Alex recovering from the gunshot wound he sustained in the season six finale. It's making everything right with the World once more...!!

This author, whom I love like burning, writes the most deliciously long and detailed fics and I can pretty much guarantee that her name is going to pop up again further down this list...

Excerpt: Lexi twists herself into an entire case of pretzels until she finally spills everything and then she just keeps saying that he did nothing but apologize to her once he’d called her Iz.

Hearing her name like that out loud again makes her queasy and drains the feeling from her limbs. But she wonders if that’s just what happens to people when they lose so much blood volume: they forget why they’re fighting with you, or maybe, they just forget that fighting was the only thing you had left.

Fic Rec #3: Grapevine Fires
Pairing: Izzie Stevens/Alex Karev (also Christina Yang/Preston Burke)
Author: slybrunette
Link: http://slybrunette.livejournal.com/374120.html
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13

Why This Must Be Read: Again, it's post 6.24 (Death And All His Friends) and presents another way in which Izzie could have/should have returned to Seattle Grace. Again, this author knows her subject like the back of her hand, and captures the uncertainty that underlies all the actions with deft perfection.

Also, when Izzie is listening to her voice-mail, you'll know the part I mean when you read it, my blood runs cold. Every time.

Excerpt: The television tells tales of mass causalities but gives no names. It’s over, by now, has been for hours, but her former place of employment is now a crime scene and she’s got images of her friends as she’d last seen them emblazoned in her memory.

Fic Rec #4: Almost Home
Pairing: Izzie Stevens/Alex Karev
Author: truhekili
Link: Part One | http://ga-fanfic.livejournal.com/1668764.html#cutid1
Part Two | http://ga-fanfic.livejournal.com/1669294.html#cutid1
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13

Why This Must Be Read: Almost Home is set some thirteen years post the season five finale. It maps the trials experienced by Izzie and Alex and they fight to keep their marriage intact despite challenges that would crumble lesser pairs. While the friendship they have built with Meredith is a highlight, it is the simmering desperation that underlies their now rocky relationship that is the core of this excellent fic. Set in an alternate universe (obviously), the author goes to great lengths to ensure that her readers are not cheated of any details. Excellent, excellent fic!

Excerpt: He was a pediatric surgeon; not a great one, but he could hold a job; he was a husband too, not a great one, but good enough to buy her a ring, and pay for a house, and mow the freaking lawn, and make sure their car’s tires were properly inflated, because she never thought of those things, and enough to make her laugh sometimes. And her beast was always well fed; at least, he’d never heard any complaints.

Fic Rec #5: Anniversary Waltz (a prequel to Almost Home)
Pairing: Izzie Stevens/Alex Karev
Author: truhekili
Link: Part One | http://ga-fanfic.livejournal.com/1711165.html#cutid1
Part Two | http://ga-fanfic.livejournal.com/1711797.html#cutid1
Part Three | http://ga-fanfic.livejournal.com/1711797.html#cutid1
Part Four | http://ga-fanfic.livejournal.com/1712398.html#cutid1
Part Five | http://ga-fanfic.livejournal.com/1713451.html#cutid1
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13

Why This Must Be Read: Written after Almost Home, Anniversary Waltz serves to fill in some of the blanks that are inherent in an alternate universe fic. As previously mentioned, this author is so freaking good at creating lengthy stories that take their time to build and develop. The beautiful thing about this pair of fics is that they're so real. The desperation and the fear and the longing and the love and the devotion and the desperation are almost palpable.

Excerpt: Flowers and candy weren’t his style, but she never expected a map. Not that it would help much. If they took a wrong turn, they’d be lost until the fall harvest, amid acres of corn. Folding the paper clumsily, she pawed through her bag for her hair brush and lip gloss. Mothers loved her, she reminded herself again, as she took another deep breath.

Fic Rec #6: Ours Is A Path That Has No Turning
Pairing: Izzie Stevens/Alex Karev, Meredith Grey
Author: mammothluv
Link: http://mammothluv.livejournal.com/59906.html
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13

Why This Must Be Read: Bittersweet humour at its very best towards the end, poignant reminiscing at the beginning... I love the interchange between Meredith's flashbacks to early days Izzie and the contrast with where things are in the present (the present being smack bang in the middle of Izzie's cancer battle). The friendship between Meredith and Izzie, as well as the established relationship between Izzie and Alex are so understated and calm and above all else (and in retrospect considering how things currently stand on the show) sad.

Excerpt: Meredith’s first impression of Izzie was all blonde, perfect boobs, and endless energy.

Fic Rec #7: The Answers Left Behind
Pairing: Izzie Stevens/Alex Karev
Author: slybrunette
Link: http://slybrunette.livejournal.com/350707.html
Rating/Warning(s): R

Why This Must Be Read: One word. OUCH. A perfect summation of the underlying punch in this one-shot. The bitterness indelibly etched into the post 'coming back after leaving without a word' conversations between Izzie and Alex is so sharp you can almost taste it. Not for the faint of heart!!

Note: This author writes the HELL out of Alex Karev... JSYK!

Excerpt: The words don’t feel strong enough to convey what he felt after she left. They don’t tell her about all the nights spent in the hospital because he had nothing left, because he had built his entire world around her.

Fic Rec #8: To Build A Home
Pairing: Izzie Stevens/Alex Karev
Author: slybrunette
Link: http://slybrunette.livejournal.com/352358.html
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13

Why This Must Be Read: There's almost a third character in this fic, an inanimate object that is every bit as important to the characters as their friends and family are. Alternately referred to in fandom as The Frat House, Casa Du Grey, Meredith's House, Meredith's Mother's House, and my own personal favourite, The Home For Wayward Interns, anyone who's anyone on this show has a story to tell about it.

But houses aside, there is a degree of maturity and acceptance and understanding achieved by Izzie and Alex in this that is rare in fic and what absolutely makes it a must read. It's no “happily ever after” ending, but it's real and it's raw and if it were to happen 'in canon' then I'd probably die. For real, and with its tantalising future-fic vibe, it leaves you with the feeling that it definitely could...

Excerpt: Year five and she always thought if the cancer came back she’d end up back there. She thought it would be permissible, then, because half the phone numbers she had were dead, disconnected, someone else’s (she knows, she’s tried) and once those people were her friends, her support, and you can only try to forgot those things.

Tags: !remembered, fandom: grey's anatomy, ship: isobel stevens/alex karev, special: manifesto
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