Fandom: Grey's Anatomy
Character: George O'Malley
Pairings Included in Manifesto: George O'Malley/Izzie Stevens, George O'Malley/Meredith Grey, George O'Malley/Callie Torres, George O'Malley/Addison Montgomery, George O'Malley/Cristina Yang, George O'Malley/Lexie Grey
Blurb: When I very first saw Grey’s Anatomy, it was something like mid-season 2, when George is madly in love with Meredith. I only saw half an episode and didn’t actually seriously pick up and start the show until somewhere between seasons 3 and 4 (started over with the DVDs and fell in love). And of course at the time, I didn’t know who any of the characters were, what all the dynamics were, but something about George caused me to instantly like him. I called him “that cute guy” and couldn’t understand why “the main girl” wasn’t into him.
For this manifesto, I originally had a giant essay all written out. And due to a harddrive crash, I lost it, as well as all the recs I had previously lined up. As I began redoing it, however, I realized I didn't need the gigantic essay. Just a few lines, and about some of the pairings I'd chosen to include in this manifesto.
So here it is: I have never loved a fictional character more than I love George O'Malley. I identify with him, I understand him, I feel for him. He has an incredible heart, he's compassionate, he's loyal, caring, sweet, kind, good-hearted. He's flawed, holds a grudge, makes mistakes, inarticulate, and awkward. He's an underdog, a fighter, a lover, a friend. He stands up for what he believes in. He punched out Alex, he held Izzie's hand while she gave bone marrow even though they were fighting, he slept with Meredith even when he knew she didn't feel the same, he logs more hours in the skills lab than anyone else. He has manners, he loves his family, he cares so much about those around him, he's self-aware, observant, appreciative and humble. He is calm under pressure, he is strong, he is there for his best friend. He was the Chief's intern, one of Bailey's "babies", someone Owen saw a lot of promise in. He leaps with his heart, he trusts and loves deep. He died saving a total stranger from getting hit by a bus.
George makes most other characters I love pale by comparison.
Let me start by saying that I could have easily made an entire, excessively lengthy shipper manifesto for these two (*oh wait. I did). I adore their friendship, connection, deep bond and love. There were a lot of bumps in the road before they finally realized their feelings for each other (at the wrong time) but it was beautiful in so many ways, and their kiss in the elevator as well as the episode "Time After Time" remain my absolute favorite things from Grey's. These two are incredible, with off the charts chemistry, beautiful enduring friendship - a relationship that was ended far too quickly on the show. The below are just a sampling of my very favs for them.
Fic Rec #1: One Thing Leads To Another
Author: Tom Beaumont
Why This Must Be Read: One of my all-time fav G/I fics. George must attend a high-school reunion! It's multi-chapter and not only is the characterization mind-numbingly perfect, it's wonderfully funny as well as at times unexpectedly touching. Basically anything by Tom is utter perfection, but this particular multi-chapter fic stands out.
Fic Rec #2: Bringing Sexy Back
Why This Must Be Read: Izzie and George's relationship is budding, and Izzie is insecure. It's a delightful and heart-meltingly endearing to see how things progress, and the last couple chapters really nail it. The voices of the characters are very well done, including the rest of the crew (Cristina, Mer, Alex).
Fic Rec #3: Let the Flames Begin
Rating/Warning(s): Hard R, borderline NC-17 for sex
Why This Must Be Read: There are tons G/I fics out there, but this is one of the few that do a wonderful job of "that night". It's a beautiful insight into George's thoughts as things unfold.
Fic Rec #4: 7 Days to Change Your Life
Why This Must Be Read: This is one of those hidden gems on the web, and one of those fics written before anything actually happened canonically between George/Izzie, which in turn makes it the sort of interesting rare treat, where the writer is unhindered by the history and angst and so on on of later seasons. For being written so early in the show's run, it rungs magnificently true with the character voices, and ends on a suitably adorable note.
Fic Rec #5:
Rating/Warning(s): PG - R
Why This Must Be Read: This author has 8 stories up on FF.net, 7 of them being G/I fics. Rather than rec them all like I'd like to, I just link you to the author's profile. Each fic is just perfection. Mostly angsty goodness, each is stunningly written with amazing descriptions and super emotional punch. I only wish there was more like 700 rather than just 7!
Fic Rec #6: Toothbrush Next to Mine
Why This Must Be Read: Much like "7 Days to Change Your Life", this is a gem written before G/I canonically happened. It deals with storyline of Izzie always stealing George's toothbrush and is just irresistibly cute.
I always liked George and Callie while they were dating, but never loved that they got married. That being said, I always thought they had wonderful chemistry and I loved how for a long time, Callie was really there for him, and how George was her McDreamy. Callie fell fast and hard for George, who made the decision shortly after his dad dying to propose and elope. In the end, the fact that they hadn't been dating long coupled with the fact that George found himself in love with Izzie ultimately caused their marriage to crater. So many things George did while he was with Callie - from calling her on her cell phone when he was just down the hall to apologize for not calling, to demanding Izzie stop making mean comments about his wife - were great examples of his character.
Fic Rec #7: In Repair
Why This Must Be Read: It's short, but it's great look at how George and Callie start to deal with things after the whole Izzie-incident. A couple lines in particular are achingly true to George and while a bit heart-breaking, it still ends up feeling optimistic.
Fic Rec #8: Breakable
Rating/Warning(s): G / PG
Why This Must Be Read: Short but really well done look at George immediately after his dad dies, and the way that Callie is there, and understands him. Really poignant and wonderful!
As a total multi-shipper, I absolutely see the potential for greatness with these two despite what happened on the show with the tragic sex. Their friendship was sweet, and I always thought given the proper chance, George would be a good fit for Meredith in that he would always be there for her, to protect her and make her feel safe, to be a beacon of light when she was at her dark and twisty-est.
Fic Rec #9: Torture Devices
Why This Must Be Read: Because if George and Meredith were to canonically happen (properly) in season 2, while she was busy mourning McDreamy, it should have happened exactly like this. Cute and sweet, SO George in every way. The author totally captures his voice and the progression of his feelings and thoughts as well as the ending, are wonderfully sweet and spot on.
I never understood why the writers decided to cut this ship off at the knees. The friendship between George and Lexie was adorable and endearing, as was Lexie's growing crush on him. Though from George's side, I understand why he chose not to act on Lexie's obvious feelings (having just failed his intern exam, and certainly love-scarred by his experiences with Meredith, Callie and Izzie, there was no way he was feeling ready for something new), it was still utterly disappointing that nothing ever properly developed between them. Alike in so many ways, they would have made such a cute couple! But there's always fics... ;)
Fic Rec #10: How It Feels For A Girl
Author: Tom Beaumont
Why This Must Be Read: Though told from Lexie's point of view, it's a wonderful insight into the unrequited love she had for him on the show and there are plenty of perfect lines about George's character.
Fic Rec #11: Better Luck Next Time
Why This Must Be Read: George and Lexie, being cute and awkward... their first time together. Short and sweet!
Yes, I know. She's Addison and he's George. And how could it work? Oh, it does. Somehow, it really does. I've read a handful of fics for these two - all I've managed to find so far - and even written a oneshot myself. It's the type of rare pairing that you've never considered before really, until the one day you read a fic for them out of curoisity, and now you ship them and feel like no one else anywhere does.
Fic Rec #12: Operation Self-Destruction
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13 - light R
Why This Must Be Read: I had played with the idea myself for a while until I found this fic and realized I wasn't totally alone in my crazy musings. This is "the one-night stand that wouldn't end", as the summary puts it, and is a wonderfully and unexpectedly believable look at how George and Addison possibly would have ever happened.
The other pairing in this manifesto that at first seems wild, but written the right way could somehow work. George and Cristina are very opposite in so many ways, and yet at second glance they really have a lot in common. This is the type of pairing that could never happen canonically, not only because George is no longer on the show, but because of the dynamics of everything, it just wouldn't. That being said, given the right fanon, it's easy to see how it could have gone if the show had taken a different direction.
Fic Rec #13: A Little Less Conversation
Author: Tom Beaumont
Why This Must Be Read: Yes, I know, the third fic by Tom in this manifesto. I tried not to. But his stuff is just that good. His characterization is phenomenal and even though he admits in his author's note that George and Cristina will never happen, it's still a wonderful read that somehow manages to feel easily possible.
Fic Rec #14: A Safe Place for All the Pieces Scattered
Why This Must Be Read: Set post-Burke/Cristina-non-wedding, this is what I meant when you can see them getting together had the show gone in another direction. Sweet and sad, and wonderfully Cristina.