I know I promised not to fill your flist pages up for the next week and I should be packing right now - I absolutely loathe packing - but I was sitting at my computer today and this suddenly started coming out. I do not generally even like angst but I started writing this and I could not stop. It is not finished. I do not even know where I am going with this so I do not know if I will really finish it. It really was just my brain spewing out all over the keyboard. I hope it is not too shitty.
“You taught me how to be a better man,” he tells her and then winces at how incredibly clichéd and grating that sounds to his own ears. It sounds like he stole that from some shitty movie. Lexie still won’t look at him and he takes a step closer to her. “I just… I think we both have gotten everything we needed out of this and me and Callie… I can just see myself being with her.”
He keeps talking and each word is like another punch in the stomach. She can’t breathe and her throat is beginning to ache from her efforts at trying to keep herself from breaking down and starting to cry in front of him. The last thing she wants to do is cry in front of him, for him to know just how much he is hurting her.
What a horrible thing to say to a woman. You’ve changed me for the better but I don’t want to be this better man with you.
Lexie has to get out of there and the sooner, the better. Still without looking at him, she grabs her jacket and ignoring his attempts at trying to stop her, his hand trying to grab her arm, his voice pleading with her to stay so they can talk this out, she leaves. Tears stream down her cheeks like hot lead as she rushes from his hotel room down the hallway towards the elevator.
He doesn’t follow after her – a part of her is hoping that he would – and that probably hurts her more than anything.
She hears words he has said to her at an earlier time – a time when she couldn’t believe how happy she was and she couldn’t imagine being happier.
You think you broke me, Little Grey? You’re the one who put me back together.
Suddenly, Lexie wishes she hadn’t. By putting him back together, she has lost him.
It comes down to him breaking her heart. To not wanting things like she does. To not being able to love her as much as she loves him. He does the only thing he knows how to. He pulls away, blocks himself off and her out. Begins thinking that he should be with someone else other than her. Decides that what they have together isn’t worth anything so he throws it all away but not before tearing it to shreds and throwing the pieces heartlessly at her feet, marred and broken beyond repair. And then he leaves without even looking back, as if she isn’t worth even a single glance back over his shoulder.
She knows crying is futile because when has crying ever solved anything? But Lexie can’t help herself and she curls herself into the tightest ball possible and weeps on her bed in the attic until her eyes hurt but the pain in her chest and stomach hasn’t subsided in the least. She doubts it will anytime soon.
She buys new bed sheets but it doesn’t help. She can still detect his scent when she sleeps – or tries to anyway. She hasn’t been getting much sleep since she ran from his hotel room. When she still can smell leather and soap, that is when she decides that she has to move out of that attic and get her own place. A place he has never, and will never, see. A place he has never slept in or where they had sex or where he whispered things in her ear that made her believe in him. And them.
As she packs her things away in her suitcases and cardboard boxes, she finds the purple sweater she had been wearing that night the first time she went to him. Knowing that she will never wear it again, she balls it up and throws it into a dark corner of the attic, praying that Meredith never finds it.
“I know I haven’t been the best father in the world,” Thatcher says, handing her a cup of tea and sitting down next to her on the couch and from the look in his eyes, she knows that he knows just what sort of an understatement that is. “But you can stay here as long as you want. And,” he swallows nervously. “You can talk to me about anything that you need to talk about.”
She gives him a faint smile of thanks and then sips at her tea. She knows she won’t talk to him about this though. She thinks of the dinner they had had a few weeks earlier, the three of them. Her newly sober father and her boyfriend meeting for the first time and a miracle had occurred when they had gotten along with one another.
Lexie remembers the way Mark had held her hand throughout the meal and the way her heart had fluttered in her chest whenever he looked at her and she smiled at him because he had actually shown up and that was all she ever wanted from him. For him to be there for her and she knew that she would always be there for him if he needed her.
For a time, she entertains the idea of possibly transferring to Mercy West, especially when she sees Mark and Callie sitting in the cafeteria, eating their lunches together. She doesn’t want to run away though. She’s stronger than that. She won’t let him chase her away even though she still can hardly look at him without a dry knot forming at the base of her throat and it won’t disappear no matter how many times she tries to swallow it down.
So she stays and she begins eating her lunch, whenever she remembers to eat, in a supply closet.
Meredith wants to take her to Joe’s for drinks one night after their shifts but Lexie declines, saying that she would just rather go home. She has been living in her father’s house, knowing that she can’t afford her own place while she’s still an intern and also making sure her father stays sober gives her something to do.
Meredith gives her a worried look and says that she has noticed the weight she has been losing ever since the breakup. She actually isn’t the first person to say that to her. Cristina of all people told her that she was looking too skinny and it would only lead people to believe that she was naturally weak and frail looking.
Lexie ignores it though. She hasn’t been that hungry lately anyway. She can’t really eat anything without thinking of a time when she and Mark had eaten it together and in the back of her mind, she knows how ridiculous she is being. He has been right all along. She truly is pathetic.
Lexie watches from the nursing station, ignoring the pile of charts that Karev handed her earlier to transcribe, as Mark slips out of the on-call room as inconspicuously as possible with Callie behind him, running her fingers through her tousled hair but she nearly collides into his back as he stops suddenly, seeing Lexie standing just a few feet away, her eyes immediately locking with his.
Lexie stares at him and she can physically feel her heart twisting in her chest. It is such a blinding pain, it almost takes the breath out of her. She picks up the charts and hugging them to her chest, lowering her eyes to the floor, she turns and hurries away. She can feel his eyes watching her as she scurries into the nearest stairwell.
She doesn’t know where she is going. All she knows is that she has to get away.
Most of her fellow interns still aren’t talking to her. They never approved of her relationship with Mark in the first place and now that he is off, screwing Callie in any available on-call room they can find, most of them feel that Lexie has simply gotten what she deserves.
She never realized just how alone she was until she no longer had Mark in her life.
She still cries but it is only when she knows for a fact that no one will catch her. Mostly, she does it in the middle of the night, curled underneath the familiar covers of her bed in her childhood room.
She goes shopping for some new clothes when her old ones become too big for her. Her father gives her silent looks of concern and Meredith suddenly seems to be appearing more and more at her side in the hallways, asking casual questions like how she is and if she wants to get a bite to eat with her. Derek makes sure that she is assigned to his service more times than not.
“You shouldn’t let him do this to you,” Izzie whispers to her as she runs the intern skills lab for the day.
Lexie stiffens at the words but she doesn’t acknowledge in any other way that she has heard. She doesn’t ask how else she is supposed to handle this. She doesn’t think anyone, Mark especially, knows just how deeply her feelings for him had gone. She was, is, in love with him. She had actually pictured having a forever with him and him imagining the same things with her.
She can’t just wake up and pretend that their relationship had never happened. That she hadn’t loved him. That he had not become the most important person in her life that she felt she could always count on. Things like that can’t just be turned on and off like some light switch. It takes time to get over something like this and that’s what Lexie is doing. Taking her time.
Looking down, Lexie sees a blueberry muffin that has magically appeared in her hand. And it was put there by Alex of all people. She stares at it, frowning, and then looks at him quizzically.
“You look horrible,” he tells her in his usual blunt matter. “When was the last time you ate something?”
“I had a sandwich last night for dinner,” she says, slightly defensive but in her mind, she can’t remember if that had been last night or the night before last. “I’m not hungry. And I hate blueberry muffins.”
She plops the muffin back in his hand before continuing on down the hall. Truth is, she loves blueberry muffins and Mark always used to order her one for breakfast every morning through the hotel room service. She knows it is completely pathetic to not eat one just because he used to get them for her but honestly, she isn’t hungry.
Derek and Meredith finally get married without post-its being involved and as promised, Mark is the best man and Lexie is one of the bridesmaids. Her dress is an emerald green but she has lost weight since she ordered it initially and it has to have some last minute alterations done by a slightly frantic Izzie who has deemed herself to be the wedding planner. Again.
She walks down the aisle, clutching the bouquet of roses in her hands, looking at anything except Mark as he stands in his place next to Derek, trying not to notice how he looks as if he has just stepped from the pages of GQ Magazine, trying to ignore the feel of his eyes on her as she walks to the altar, soon joined by Izzie and then the maid of honor Cristina.
At the reception, she stays for the traditional wedding party obligations, but then she sees Mark and Callie sharing a slow dance and Lexie drinks far too much champagne on an empty stomach. Going outside for some fresh air, she takes off her black heels and sits down on the steps, a flute of champagne still in her hand.
I’m gonna tell him and when I do, you’ll be my date to the wedding.
She closes her eyes, trying to block his voice out but it echoes in her ears on a constant repeat that makes her want to scream.
“There you are,” Derek says, coming outside and bouncing down the steps towards her. “I was hoping for a dance with my new sister-in-law. We don’t even have to go inside if you don’t want to,” he adds, knowing full well as to why she is out here in the first place instead of inside with the rest of the party.
And though she has had too much champagne and the world is spinning slightly around her, Lexie nods and Derek takes her hand, helping her stand up. She leaves her shoes off and Derek slips an arm around her waist, slowly swaying them both back and forth and she sighs, resting her chin on his shoulder, staring blankly into the night.
“We were supposed to come here together,” she whispers before she can stop herself.
Derek sighs softly, nodding. “I know.”
Before she can stop, she feels tears brim her eyes and a few escape, rolling slowly down her cheeks. She doesn’t even realize that they have stopped dancing and Derek hugs her as she cries in his arms.
Lexie is holding so many charts in her arms that she can barely see over them but the instant she steps into the elevator, she knows that she isn’t alone and she knows that he is there. She almost steps off to go and take the stairs but she would probably trip and kill herself doing that and she needs to put these charts down somewhere as quickly as possible.
“What floor?” He asks.
“Ground floor,” she answers, her voice soft, her eyes staring straight ahead at the charts in front of them so with her peripheral vision, she can see him looking at her. He presses the appropriate button and the elevator begins moving again. “Thank you,” she says in a soft voice, that damn dry knot appearing in her throat, and her stomach feels as if it is about to heave up everything within it though it would just be a cup of coffee and water she has been drinking that day.
The box is completely silent and she can feel him staring at her. She wants to tell him to stop. To go to hell. To leave her alone. She doesn’t though. What good would that do? He’s still with Callie so he must be happy and deep down, no matter how much he has hurt her, Lexie just wants him to be happy.
“Lexie-” he starts to say but thankfully, they reach the first floor and the doors open with a soft ding.
Lexie rushes off the elevator without hesitating before he can say another word. Again, he doesn’t follow after her.
First Alex, who is now married to Izzie. And then George, who never saw her in the first place. And now Mark – Mark who she actually is still in love with, who she is crazy about and who can still give her goosebumps when she sees him – is with Callie. Her track record is certainly less than impressive. Lexie wonders if there is a guy who will ever look at her as a forever kind of girl.
There is a pileup on the expressway and the E.R. is packed with people needing help, everything bordering on near chaos. Lexie runs around, helping residents and attendings, and ignores the light-headedness she is beginning to feel. But then, the room begins to spin around her and before she can sit down and collect herself for a moment, she feels herself start to black out, the floor rushing up to meet her, and suddenly, she faints in the middle of everything.
She slowly blinks her eyes open and it takes her a moment but it then dawns on her that she is in a hospital room, lying in a bed, wearing one of the hospital gowns now. Through the glass windows of the room looking out into the hallway, she sees her father standing at the nurse’s station, filling something out. Surprising, Meredith stands with him.
She can hear the steady beeping of the heart machine she is hooked up to and another iv bag is connected to a vein in her arm. She stares at it for a moment, not understanding, and then turning her head, her eyes instantly lock with storms of steel blue, staring at her. He seems tired and his beard looks scruffier than normal. He is also holding her hand and she slowly eases it out of his grasp, looking away from him, putting both of her hands underneath the blankets of the bed. She has no idea why he would be there.
Bailey is standing on the other side of her bed and Lexie focuses on her instead.
“When was the last time you ate something?” Bailey asks, frowning with concern.
Lexie realizes how dry her mouth is and she tries to clear her throat. “A few days ago,” she answers honestly because she can’t even remember the last time she ate and Bailey’s frown deepens.
“You need to take care of yourself, Dr. Grey. Do you have any idea how much you weigh?” She inquires and Lexie shakes her head. “Too damn little, that’s how much. You’re all skin and bones. We’re pumping you with nutrients right now.”
“I’m fine,” Lexie tries to insist though given that she has fainted and is now in a hospital bed, she knows how asinine the weak claim sounds.
“You’re not fine, Lex,” Mark says but it’s as if she doesn’t even hear him. She does noticeably stiffen though as he speaks and uses her shortened name.
Bailey notices it as well and she looks at him across the bed. “Dr. Sloan, I can handle it from here.”
Lexie can feel him hesitate and then after what feels like an eternal minute, he leaves and she feels as if she can finally breathe again.
“Dr. Sloan’s right, Dr. Grey,” Bailey says. “You’re not fine.”
Lexie nods though. “I’m fine. I just forget to eat sometimes. I’ve been so busy,” she insists, ignoring the tears burning in the back of her eyes. “I’m just fine.”
They keep her overnight for observation despite her protests and she lays there for what feels like hours, trying to get comfortable in the foreign bed, but finally she feels herself begin to drift off. In the midst of her sleep, she senses someone else in the room with her but she can’t open her eyes and she falls back asleep. When she wakes up the next morning, her hand is outstretched as if someone has been holding it and there is a chair next to the bed that hadn’t been there the night before.
“What’s that smell?” Lexie asks, sniffing the air as she and her father enter the house, Thatcher’s hand just barely on her back as if he expects her to topple over in a faint again.
“I found some of your mom’s recipes. I’m making that chili of hers in the crock pot that you used to love so much,” Thatcher smiles and Lexie stares at him for a minute, not knowing what to say. “I need you to get better, Lexie. I don’t know what I would do if anything ever happened to you.”
Lexie stares at him for another minute and for the first time in a very long time, she sees her father from her childhood, the father she absolutely adored and has been waiting for all of this time. Without a word, Lexie wraps her arms around his shoulders and hugs him tightly.
After the thousandth time of her asking, Lexie finally agrees to go to Joe’s with Meredith and Derek. She sits at a table with them, George and Cristina and she feels herself smiling as she listens to the conversations around her and takes the tiniest sips from the beer bottle Derek had bought for her.
Feeling the hair on the back of her neck suddenly stand up on edge, Lexie naturally turns to investigate and she instantly sees Mark standing at the bar, staring at her and she immediately remembers why she has been avoiding going to Joe’s for so long now. With some stuttered excuse given to Meredith, hardly understanding her own words, Lexie stands up, grabs her coat, pulling it on as she rushes from the bar, her fingers shaking as she tries to button it.
He has followed her. After all of this time, he has come after her but Lexie wishes that he hadn’t and she quickens her pace down the sidewalk. He catches up with her easily, jogging to her. The instant he grabs her arm, she gasps and he drops his hand, instead putting himself in front of her so he is blocking her path. She tries to get past him but his body follows her, refusing to let her by.
“What are you doing?” She demands to know with a mixture of pain and hurt and it is the first thing she has said to him in the three months since he broke up with her and subsequently, broke her.
Mark stands there, silent, not moving, not making a sound. His eyes simply stare into hers and she hates herself for not being strong enough to look away.
He then says, “I don’t know.” He lifts a hand to rub his ear and that surprises her because he only does that when he’s nervous but he has no reason to be nervous now. “How are you?”
Lexie almost snorts at the question but she doesn’t and instead, she remains silent and looks down at the ground. She can’t talk to him anymore – not like she used to be. She isn’t the same fiery intern she was while they were dating. Or even before that. She has changed completely and it is all because of him. It gives him too much power to admit that but it’s the truth. Lexie knows that because she not only loves but lost Mark Sloan, it has changed her entirely and possibly, frightfully, irrevocably.
“I never meant…” he begins to say and clears his throat before continuing. “Hurting you is the last thing I ever wanted to do to you.”
This time, she can’t help but laugh slightly. She looks at him in disbelief. “What did you think you were going to do to me, Mark, when you said those things to me? Do you have any idea-” her throat tightens and her eyes begin to burn. “-I gave you everything I had… I fell completely in love with you, which I see now was the stupidest mistake I could have ever made because I was just some stepping stone for you to use to turn you into a relationship type of guy for another woman.”
He reaches out to touch her again but Lexie takes a step back, shaking her head.
“Stay away from me, Mark,” she whispers and then, seeing a taxi rolling down the street luckily in her direction, she instantly rushes to the curb, hailing it down.
She gets in and slams the door behind her, giving the driver her address. She sinks down low in the seat and closes her eyes, trying to take deep steady breaths and wiping at her wet cheeks. Maybe transferring to Mercy West now isn’t such a bad idea after all.
She sits on the floor of a supply room, eating her turkey sandwich slowly. Her father packs her lunch every morning, both to keep track of what she’s eating and also, it gives him something to do. It makes him feel like a father again and Lexie doesn’t take that away from him. So she takes his lunches with her every day and though he packs way too much food and she doesn’t eat all of it, she does make an effort to at least eat one thing every day from the brown paper bag. It means so much to him.
The door opens and turning her head, she stops in mid-chew as Mark enters, carrying a bottle of water and a plastic container of salad that he has gotten from the cafeteria. He doesn’t say a word to her. He simply sits down on the floor next to her and cracking the lid open of the salad, he begins to eat. Lexie stares at him, the bite of turkey growing heavy and dry in her mouth. She forces herself to swallow but she doesn’t ask what he is doing in there. And she also doesn’t get up to leave either. It may sound juvenile but she was there first and he always eats in the cafeteria with his girlfriend.
This is her supply closet.
She stares straight ahead, her back stiff as it rests against the wall, and continues taking small bites of her sandwich. She reaches into the bag between them and pulls out an apple juice box, stabbing the straw through the top and returns her eyes to the shelf across from her as she drinks it. They eat their lunch in absolute silence but when Mark is finished with his, he stands up and gives her a smirk – not one of his cocky ones but one of the smirks that is near smiling.
“Same time tomorrow, Grey,” he says and then leaves her sitting on the floor, slightly stunned and more than confused.
She tells herself to not go. To find another closet. To skip lunch altogether.
But she can’t stop herself and when she opens the door, he is already there, eating a grilled chicken sandwich. He smiles at her – an actual smile – and she freezes in the door at the sight of it. She needs to turn around and leave. She can’t move though. Why does he still have all of this power over her? She absolutely hates him for that.
Before she even realizes it, she finds herself sitting down on the floor beside him and she opens the paper bag to see what her father has packed for her today.
“If I told you that I missed you, would you believe me?” He asks suddenly, softly.
Lexie feels herself freeze – everything stops. Time. Her heart. Her lungs. Even the food she has just swallowed stops halfway down her throat. He is staring at her, waiting for her to say something. She doesn’t know what he expects from her though.
“You don’t have to believe me,” he begins talking again. “And I don’t blame you for not believing me. I wouldn’t if I was you. I just miss everything about you-”
“How’s Callie, Mark?” Lexie interrupts. “Your girlfriend.”
She has suddenly lost her appetite and grabbing her bag, she stands up and leaves the closet, needing to get away from him as quickly as possible.