I have no idea how many of these family vignettes I am going to write. I know a lot of people like them but I don't know how long I can keep everyone interested. I have more things for these drabbles to write but I would rather quit while I was ahead instead of dragging these out and losing people along the way. A lot of this one wasn't in my original plan but I wanted to put a focus on Mark's relationship with Ally now with the diagnosis of Ellie but I am still not sure if I like how it turned out or not. Check it out and let me know. Thank you.
Mark’s receptionist, Jean, retires, wanting to spend more time with her grandchildren and hired in her place is a young woman, Megan, twenty-three years old and fresh out of college but with secretarial skills from several summers jobs she has had.
“Just don’t be an idiot and we’ll get along fine,” Mark tells her gruffly after hiring her and then asks her to get him his cappuccino before his first patient arrives.
He doesn’t have time to train her, doesn’t tell her what he likes and dislikes, doesn’t tell her how he likes things done in his office. Either she sinks or she swims. It is a test Mark puts her through to see what she can handle. He knows he isn’t an easy man to work for but he demands perfection from himself so why not demand, and expect, the same thing from his staff members?
Megan makes her first mistake on her third day. Lexie comes to the office with Sam and Ellie after taking Ellie to the dentist’s office for her very first appointment and she wants to see if Mark has time to eat a quick lunch with them.
Mark had told Lexie about his new receptionist but Lexie hadn’t been expecting someone so… young. And beautiful.
“Hi,” Lexie smiles, coming to stand in front of the desk, shifting Sam onto her other hip while Ellie hides behind her legs. “Is Dr. Sloan in?”
Megan gives her a polite smile. “Let me see.” She picks up the phone and calls into his office but before she can get a word out, Mark snaps and tells her that he’s busy, hanging up on her. “I’m sorry, ma’m,” Megan says. “Dr. Sloan is busy at the moment and isn’t seeing anyone.”
Lexie smiles, nodding. “Alright. I figured he would be. I just wanted to give it a try.” She turns, reaching down and taking Ellie’s hand in hers. “Come on, Ellie. We can see daddy when he gets home tonight.”
“Daddy?” Megan echoes, her eyes widening slightly as she rushes to her feet. “Oh, I didn’t know-”
“Lexie?” Mark says, having stepped out of his office, an empty coffee cup in hand.
Lexie smiles widely at him. “Hey. We were in the neighborhood and we wanted to see if the brilliant plastic surgeon who works here had a few minutes to eat with us.”
“I didn’t know you were here,” Mark says, looking pointedly at Megan, who looks down at her hands folded in front of her, before he strides to Lexie and kisses her before giving Sam a kiss on his head and then crouches down in front of Ellie, smiling at her. “And how was your first dentist appointment, Ellie bean?” She nods her head and then opens her mouth for him. “Best teeth I’ve ever seen,” he muses and she smiles at him, making him smile wider.
“Are you busy?” Lexie asks as he stands back up. “Because if you are, I don’t want to keep you-”
“I’m never busy for you,” he interrupts and then glances down at his watch. “I have someone coming in for a consult at one but we have plenty of time to go to that bistro down the street. Ellie likes the grilled cheese there, doesn’t she?”
Lexie smiles, nodding. She then gives him another soft kiss on the lips. “Ellie wanted to come and see you.”
“She said that?” Mark asked.
“She kept saying daddy while we were in the car,” she reveals and he feels a twist in the center of his chest before he releases a breath, smiling.
“Can you wait for me outside for a second?” He asks. “I just got to talk to Megan.”
Lexie nods and he cups her cheeks in his hands, kissing her again before she leaves the office, holding onto Ellie’s hand. When they are gone, Mark turns towards Megan, his face set in his usual hard expression that he always wears except when his family is around him.
“She never said… I didn’t know she was your wife,” Megan tries to explain.
“Yeah. The pictures of her in my office really keep her identity a secret,” Mark snorts with a shake of his head. “I don’t care what I’m in the middle of doing or what I say I’m in the middle of doing. When my wife or my kids are here, you tell me.”
Megan nods quickly. “Yes, Dr. Sloan.”
“I’m going out to lunch,” he tells her on his way to the door. “If anyone calls, send them to voicemail. Don’t transfer them to my cell. I don’t work when I’m eating with my family. Let’s see if you can manage that.”
He leaves without another word or glance in her direction. When he is gone, she sinks back down in her seat and takes a series of shaky breaths, trying to keep herself calm and be grateful that she still has a job. She has been told that Dr. Sloan can be a very difficult man to work for. But the man is too handsome to not want to continue to work for, and with, him.
For Easter, Lexie buys Ally and Ellie new dresses and Sam looks like a little debonair gentleman in dress pants and a button down shirt with a sweater vest. She gushes over how beautiful they all look and proceeds to take picture after picture of them until Ally begins to complain that her eyes are hurting from all of the flashing.
Lexie has hardboiled two dozen eggs and has dyed them in red, blue, yellow and green before scattering them throughout the backyard for the kids to find. She doesn’t care about grass stains as Sam crawls through the grass, cooing and giggling when he finds eggs himself, and Ally scrambles up the playground set to find one on top of the slide, dirtying her white tights in the process. She doesn’t care that they are no longer coifed to perfection. They are kids and all Lexie cares about is that they are having fun and they are creating memories.
She never understands mothers at the playground who freak out when their children get dirty. They’re kids. It’s their job to play outside and get dirty and stained.
Ellie has found a dark red egg hidden underneath the deck chair and she stares at it intently before cradling it to her chest as if it is the most precious thing in the world. She holds it out for Charlie to sniff but when the dog suddenly gobbles the entire egg up – shell and all – and Ellie stares for a moment before bursting into tears, great sobs that shake her entire body and sounds as if her entire world has just ended.
Mark scoops her up in his arms and tries his best to comfort her as she continues to cry onto his shoulder.
“Ellie, look,” Ally says, coming onto the deck, holding a blue egg that she has found. “Do you want this one?” She holds it up in an offering but Ellie ignores it, continuing to bawl her eyes out.
“Ally, go find another red one,” Lexie urges. “She likes how the red ones look.”
Ally nods, running off of the deck and going to scour the backyard for another one.
“Shhhh, Ellie, it’s okay,” Lexie tries to soothe her, wiping at her cheeks as Ellie squeezes her arms around Mark’s neck, her chin resting on his shoulder, an endless amount of tears pouring from her eyes. “Ally’s finding you another one.”
“Here!” Ally exclaims, running over, holding another red egg in her hand.
The instant Ellie sees it, her crying stops completely and she reaches out, taking it from Ally’s extended hand.
“There you go, Ellie,” Mark says, brushing some strands of her dark hair plastered to her tear-soaked cheeks off of her face. “Everything’s okay now.”
Ellie cradles the egg delicately in one hand and clasps it carefully to her chest. She carries the egg around with her for the rest of the day and when she does to sleep that night, Lexie makes sure to place it carefully on the nightstand next to her bed, placing it far enough back from the edge so Charlie can’t possibly eat this one too.
Lexie and Sadie go shopping on a Saturday, dealing with the over-crowded mall, to spend some much needed girl time together. Lexie feels horrible because despite the two woman being best friends, she can’t remember the last time they were able to do this without one of the children coming along as well.
Roaming through Victoria’s Secret, Lexie tries to help Sadie pick out something that she wants to wear for hers and Jeremy’s six month anniversary and in return, Sadie picks up the flimsiest scraps of lace and satin in an effort to try and get Lexie to buy and wear them for Mark.
“Doesn’t he like you in lingerie?” Sadie asks.
Lexie laughs as Sadie tries to hand her a dark green satin corset. “Of course he does but it’s not really important to him. Usually, when we have sex, he doesn’t really pay attention to what I’m wearing. He just wants me as naked as quickly as possible.”
“No, not Mark,” Sadie teases and then laughs. “I’ve seen that man have eye sex with you when you’re wearing sweats and baby food spit up all over your shirt.”
Lexie blushes and she feels her heart flutter in her chest. “Well, I guess it’s a good thing that my husband likes me. Have you been by his office lately?”
“Not for a few weeks. Why?” Sadie asks, taking a red lace camisole and holding it up against herself.
“Sadie, you have to go and see his new receptionist.”
“Uh-oh. Is she hot?”
“Extremely,” Lexie nods.
Sadie’s eyes look over the racks and then takes a black lace corset complete with black thong and garters. “Not that you need it because Mark worships the ground you walk on but nothing wrong with reminding him one of the reasons why he completely adores you.” She smiles when Lexie hesitantly takes the hanger from her hand. “You should surprise him at his office one day.”
Lexie laughs. “You’re horrible,” she says but goes to try it on anyway.
“What’s wrong with it?” Mark asks as he and Owen stand in the driveway, Owen’s head buried underneath the hood of Mark’s precious Porsche.
“You got a crack in the engine block,” Owen declares, pulling back, grabbing the rag to wipe the oil from his hands.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Mark frowns. “I hardly drive this thing anymore. How the fuck do I get a crack in the engine when I barely touch it?”
“You got a problem with the slow heat transfer to the lower end of the cylinders,” Owen explains and Mark’s frown deepens.
“Look, Hunt. I know how to change a flat tire and the oil,” he says. “So stop trying to show off to me.”
Owen smirks. “I don’t advise driving it. You’ll have to call for a tow truck.”
“Unbe-fucking-lievable,” Mark murmurs, pulling his cell phone out of his jacket pocket. “You know, just once I want you to come over here and not cost me money. If you’re not drinking my beer or eating my food, you’re finding cracks in the engines of my cars.”
Owen laughs, shaking his head slightly, before stooping down and picking up the beer bottle he had set there, taking a sip.
“Daddy?” Ally asks, crawling onto the couch as Mark sits on the floor with his back resting against the couch behind him, his legs stretched out underneath the coffee table as he creates a three-dimensional model of Vivian’s face on his laptop for a surgery he is giving her in a couple of days.
“What’s up, Ally?” He answers, most of his attention still focused on his work.
“The zoo’s manatee exhibit is opening today,” she informs him. “Will you take me?”
“I can’t right now. I’m working,” he says. “Besides, it’s raining.”
“The exhibit is inside. And you’re always working.”
He frowns. “No, I’m not. I just can’t take you right now.”
“If Ellie wanted to go, you would take her,” Ally pouts, crossing her arms over her chest and sitting down on the couch with a soft humph.
Mark’s fingers stop tapping in mid keystroke and turn his head to look at her. “What do you mean by that?”
“You and mommy love Ellie more because she autism.”
“I don’t love Ellie more because she has autism,” Mark shakes his head.
“So you love me more?” Ally inquires.
“Why do I have to love one of you more than the other? Your mommy and me love all of you equally.”
Ally rolls her eyes and she looks so much like Lexie in that moment, Mark can’t do anything except stare at her.
“No, you don’t,” she says and then smirks just like Mark would. “You love Ellie more because Ellie’s different and you and mommy do anything for her now to make her happy.”
He shakes his head, looking back towards his laptop screen. “Don’t be a brat, Ally.”
“If I had autism like Ellie, you wouldn’t call me a brat.”
“I mean it, Ally. Knock it off,” he says, his annoyance beginning to grow.
“I’ll go get Ellie to come and ask you to take her to the zoo. If she asks, we’ll wind up going,” Ally says, climbing off the couch.
“Hey!” Mark says loudly. He stands up, crossing his arms over his chest. “I don’t know what is going on with you but you stop it right now, Susan Alexandra Sloan. You’re being a brat because I can’t take you to the zoo this very second so you’re pouting and you’re being mean about your sister after you promised your mom and me that you would help us take care of her.”
“I don’t want to take care of her!” Ally exclaims. “She always needs someone to take care of her like she’s a baby. And I don’t need you to take me the zoo!”
Mark smirks. “What are you going to do? Walk there by yourself?”
“No,” she says, crossing her arms over her chest, mirroring him. She pauses for a moment. “I’ll call Dr. Shepherd and he’ll take me. I like him more than you anyway!”
She has no idea how much those particular words stab him and she turns and runs out of the room and he hears her beginning to cry as she races up the stairs to her room. Mark sits down on the couch, a hand rubbing his chest as if that helps cease the burning sensation now spreading through his body.
I like him more than you anyway!
He leans forward, his head in his hands and he closes his eyes, trying to force himself into taking deep steady breaths. He knows Ally was just saying that because she is pissed off at him. She can’t have her way so she lashes off. Classic Sloan behavior but it doesn’t stop from hurting Mark any less.
He has lost count of how many times he has experienced that in his life. People constantly choosing Derek over him. Constantly holding Derek on a higher pedestal than him. Constantly comparing the two and deciding that Derek was the better one.
He doesn’t even realize Lexie sitting next to him until he feels one of her arms around him and her fingers soothingly stroking through his hair. He takes a shaky breath and she rests her forehead against his temple.
“I’m going to go get her so she can apologize,” Lexie says softly, having heard everything said between the two from the kitchen.
Mark shakes his head. “Don’t force her into apologizing.”
“She can’t talk to you… either of us, like that Mark,” she says. “She has to know that or else, she’ll think it’s okay.”
“Lex, just…” he trails off with a sigh. “I got to finish this.”
He takes his laptop from the coffee table and standing up, he goes and heads downstairs into the basement where he has a quasi-office set up. He doesn’t come up again until Lexie comes down to tell him that dinner is ready.
The meal is eaten in mostly silence except for Sam’s occasional gurgles and baby babble as he messily eats his finger foods. Ally sits in her usual seat next to Mark but there is no talking or laughing or playful banter between the two. She doesn’t tell him about the newest animal she is reading about and he doesn’t talk about the New York Yankees baseball game that was on earlier.
He chews silently on his food as he watches Ellie across from him as she meticulously lines up each kernel of corn on her plate in rows before spearing each one individually with her fork and eating it that way. He then glances down at Ally’s plate and sees that she has barely eaten anything.
When he is finished with his dinner, he tells Lexie how good it was and then takes his plate to the sink before going back down into the basement to finish his work.
“Daddy hates me,” Ally whispers, her eyes welling with tears.
“No, he doesn’t, Ally. Your daddy loves you but your daddy has feelings and you really hurt them,” Lexie tells her.
“May I be excused, mommy?” She asked, already standing up. “I’m not hungry.”
Lexie looks down at the plate with most of the food still on it and then at her daughter. “No television and no computer tonight. I want you to go upstairs to your room and think about what you said to your daddy earlier.”
Ally nods without argument and trudges from the kitchen.
“I told you that I liked to change my mind,” Vivian, his patient, tells him as he sits in front of her, drawing dotted lines on her implanted chin with a red marker.
“I feel like we just put this in and now you want it out again,” Mark smirks.
“You have got to be the only plastic surgeon who encourages people out of surgery,” she observes with amusement.
“Dr. Sloan, your daughter’s school is on line one,” Megan’s voice crackled through the intercom of the phone.
“One second,” Mark sighs, rolling his stool away and capping the marker. “Mark Sloan,” he answers his phone, standing behind his desk.
“Dr. Sloan, this is Nurse Holcomb at Morris Elementary and I’m sorry for calling, sir, but I can’t get a hold of your wife,” a woman states.
Mark knew that Lexie was at Seattle Grace that day to watch Sadie during an organ harvest surgery - something Sadie had been ecstatic about finally doing herself - from the gallery and outside cell phones weren’t allowed within hospital walls.
“It’s fine. Is everything alright?” Mark asks.
“I’m afraid that Ally has been throwing up and has a high fever. It seems that she has the flu and we are hoping you can come and get her to take her home,” the nurse explains, Mark’s stomach dropping to his feet as he listens to her words.
“Yeah. Yes, of course. Tell her that I will be right there,” Mark says and then hangs up, shooting a regretful look towards Vivian.
“As long as you can see me tomorrow,” she says.
“Have Megan schedule you an appointment for first thing tomorrow morning,” Mark nods, shedding his white lab jacket and tossing it onto the back of his chair. “And I won’t even tell you tomorrow how crazy I think you are.”
“Oh, you love me,” Vivian smiles with a dismissal wave of her hand.
Ally is lying in the bed in the nurse’s office, rolled into a ball on her side, the wastebasket placed on the floor right next to her. The instant Mark appears in the doorway, she begins crying and he kneels down next to the bed, his hand going to her forehead, feeling that it was burning hot with a fever. He is relieved though to just be there with her.
“I’m sorry, daddy,” she whispers, clenching her eyes shut. “I don’t want you to hate me. And I don’t like Dr. Shepherd more than you. You’re the best daddy in the whole world and I don’t want you to hate me.”
“Shhhh, Suzie Q,” he murmurs. “I don’t hate you. Not at all. You know I love you.” He kisses her head and then gently picks her up in his arms. “Come on. Let’s get you home. Are you going to throw up?”
Ally shakes her head from its resting place on his shoulder and by the time Mark signs her out of school and carries her to the car, she is already fast asleep in his arms.