This is the second part to the long one-shot I started yesterday. Once again, this really was just my brain rambling on and I honestly have no idea how it turned out. Thank you to everyone who read and commented on the first part. For this being a free-write, I really wasn't expecting that kind of response. Okay. So with this posting, I am officially out of town. Have an excellent week everyone.
Read the first part here
And the second part:
Despite her father’s worry, Lexie starts going for runs in the morning before she goes to the hospital for her shifts. He knows she still isn’t eating enough and she is running off more than she is eating but getting up and going for a run in the early morning when most of the neighborhood is still sleeping helps Lexie relax.
She runs with her I-pod, usually blasting Motown songs – songs her mom and dad both raised her and Molly on – and she mouths the words silently to herself as she runs. When she runs like this, for those couple of miles, she feels like everything is alright again. She can pretend at least.
“Look what I got! Finally!” Izzie exclaims, standing at their table in the cafeteria, with a wide bright smile, holding up a white photo album. “That stupid photographer certainly took his time getting us these-”
“Let it go, Iz,” Alex smiles wryly, having heard her bitch about the wedding photographer ever since the album arrived the night before.
Izzie takes a deep breath and then smiles again. “There are plenty of pictures of everyone,” she insists, handing the album to Meredith first.
The first few pages are of photos taken before the ceremony, people milling outside in front of the church or standing in small groups before sitting down in their pews.
Sitting next to Meredith, Lexie doesn’t really want to look at the photos. Alex and Izzie’s wedding was one of the last events they had attended as a couple and Lexie just knows that there are photos of them together somewhere in that album. And from the corner of her eye, she recognizes the pattern of her dress and glancing over, she sees that it is a picture of her and Mark standing on the sidewalk outside the church, his arm slung around her shoulders, holding her tightly to his side, and they are talking with Callie and Arizona, who had come to the wedding together.
Meredith sees the photo too and flips the page quickly, looking at Lexie, but she knows it is too late. Lexie has visibly paled and is staring down at the bottle of water in her hands. In a voice barely above a whisper, Lexie excuses herself, leaving the table. Not soon enough though, the picture is already burned into her memory.
Mark and Callie… was that the moment when Mark realized he wanted more with her than just being her friend? With his arm around Lexie and her nose nuzzling into his scruffy jawline, was that when he decided that what he wanted, he could only have with Callie and not with Lexie?
Without thinking it through twice, Lexie goes outside and flipping open her cell phone, she dials information and asks for the number for Mercy West.
“Hi,” the man smiled, coming to stand next to Lexie as she and Meredith sat at the bar in Joe’s. “Can I buy you another beer?”
Before Lexie can even open her mouth to decline, Meredith leaps in.
“She would love for you to buy her another beer and I am going to go,” she says.
Lexie nearly rolls her eyes, watching as Meredith takes her own glass of tequila and goes to the table where Cristina is sitting with Mark and Callie. Lexie is painfully aware of Mark watching her most of the night and now seeing the man standing next to her, Lexie sees Mark’s jaw visibly clench and he turns to say something to Meredith, who promptly ignores him.
The man sits down on the her vacated stool. “I’m John.”
“Lexie,” she says, feeling uncomfortable. She knows for a fact that she is not ready for this. “Listen. John, I,”
“Just got out of a very serious relationship that ended badly,” he finishes for her.
“It did for me,” Lexie admits. “He seems to be doing just fine with it.”
John smirks and she looks away, hating the sight of anyone smirking. “Well, I’ve been here for a while now and I tend to people watch and if your ex is that grey-haired guy over there with the scruffy face, I’ve noticed that he’s been watching you ever since you came in through the door.” Lexie stiffens at that and glancing at Mark over her shoulder, she sees that John is right in that Mark is staring at her so intently, she feels a slight shiver quake down her spine. “When was the breakup?”
“Three months ago,” Lexie answers quietly and then takes a small sip of her beer. John gives a low whistle and she nods. “I know. I’m pathetic.”
He shakes his head. “I wasn’t going to say that. I wasn’t even thinking that. I just don’t understand what he’s waiting for if he is still looking at you like that after three months. I take it, he ended it?” He asks and she nods. “He wants you.”
Lexie cannot help but laugh at that and it feels good because she feels as if she hasn’t laughed in so long but it hurts because she knows John’s statement could not be anymore false. “Do you see the beautiful woman sitting next to him with the black hair and kind of smoky eye makeup?” Lexie asks, keeping her face turned towards John, not wanting to look at Mark and Callie sitting next to each other.
“The new girlfriend?”
“The girl he says he is supposed to be with. Not me,” Lexie says, her voice dropping to a soft tone again and she takes another sip of beer though she really doesn’t want to drink anymore. “I’m sorry, John. I really am not ready for this.”
She stands up and slips her jacket on. She stops though when he holds a napkin up for her to take. She can see his name and number scrawled on one side of it.
“For when you are ready,” he smiles at her.
Lexie takes the napkin and looks down at it before back at him. “Why are you interested in me? There are a lot of other girls who… who would be more than ready and willing to have you buy them a drink.”
He shrugs. “But those other girls aren’t you. I mean it. Give me a call when you want. I won’t be forgetting you anytime soon.”
She feels her cheeks flush slightly underneath the low lights of the bar and with a slight nod of her head, Lexie grabs her purse and turns to leave, keeping her head down as she walks so she doesn’t even risk accidentally glancing over towards Mark and meeting his eyes.
Lexie goes running the next morning but when she rounds the corner, she comes up short as she looks ahead of her and sees Mark sitting on the steps, waiting for her. For a minute, she actually considers turning and literally running in the other direction. But instead, she stops her I-pod and slowly approaches him, Mark standing up, wiping his hands on his thighs as she approaches.
“Hi,” he says. “Your dad… he said you went out running.”
She nods because not only is she out of breath from the two miles she has just covered but she really doesn’t want to talk to him.
“You shouldn’t go running,” he says. “You don’t need to. You're still not eating enough.”
“And I wasn’t aware that I made you my personal trainer and nutritionist,” Lexie retorts before she can stop herself. She looks away, towards the front door of the house that he is currently standing in the way of her getting to. “It clears my head.”
“I have to talk to you,” he tells her, taking a step towards her but Lexie immediately counters it with one of her own backwards, keeping the distance between them. He sighs. “I can’t sleep anymore. I haven’t really been sleeping for the past few months and…” he sighs heavily, glancing up towards the sky before back at her. “I absolutely despised cuddling with a person. I hated sleeping that close to someone but you made me love it. Our bodies pressed together, your feet tangled with mine-”
“Mark-” Lexie cuts in because she really can’t listen to this. Already, she feels her throat beginning to close up.
“-Callie doesn’t sleep like that. She’s like me. She likes her space in bed,” he finishes and takes another step towards her. “Lex… fuck. I miss you so fucking much and I feel like I’m going crazy without you.”
Lexie tries to swallow past the large lump that has taken residency up at the back of her mouth and her insides begin to clench together so painfully, it physically hurts for her to keep standing in front of him. She can’t move past him though.
“That’s nice,” she whispers because she doesn’t know what else to say to him.
He rubs the back of his neck and takes a deep breath. “Lexie, I think I’m in love with you,” he says suddenly.
She inhales a sharp gasp of air and she takes another step away from him as if she is trying to shield herself from his words. “You think?” she whispers.
“I know. I know that I’m in love with you.”
Lexie has no idea why she does it. She doesn’t even think about it. With her heart twisting in her chest and tears blurring her vision, Lexie lifts her hand and slaps him across the face, stunning them both.
She shakes her head slightly as he stares at her. The slap seemed to have barely hurt him but Lexie feels as if she is being torn apart inside by some wild animal. The pain is so great, she almost doubles over but she forces herself to keep staring at him. Tears pour down her cheeks but for once, she is feeling anger more than anything else.
“You do not get to say that to me, Mark. Not now,” she says, her words hard despite the slight tremble in her throat. “Three months ago, you didn’t give a shit about me. You said that we both had gotten everything we could out of our relationship but I… god, Mark. I loved you. I love you! I was stupid enough to imagine a forever with you and I had no idea that you were already inching yourself out the door!” Her voice steadily grows louder. “You broke my heart. You broke me! And now you think you can just waltz up to me and tell me that you love me?”
“Lexie, I mean it-”
“I don’t want to hear it,” she cuts him off with a shake of her head and she wipes her cheeks, feeling her hands shaking. “Please, Mark,” she now pleads almost in a whisper. “I’m barely making it as it is. Just… please. Stay away from me.”
She hurries past him and ignores him as he calls out her name. Less than ten minutes later, she is naked and sitting on the floor of the shower, the water scalding hot and almost hurting her skin as it cascades down around her. Hugging her knees to her chest, she closes her eyes and can’t seem to stop from breaking down and crying all over again.
Her father makes her lunch as he always does but the instant Lexie arrives at the hospital, she throws it in the trashcan without even opening it. She has absolutely no intention of eating that day.
Derek and Mark get into another fistfight and this time, it really is about Lexie.
She was on the other side of the hospital when it happened but gossip spreads like wildfire throughout like Seattle Grace and she heard about it soon enough. It had started when Mark told Derek how he felt about Lexie and Derek telling him that this time, he really needs to stay the hell away from her before he hurts her even more. She was the best thing to ever happen to him and it’s fault he doesn’t have her anymore so just leave her alone.
Apparently more words are exchanged and then all talking stops as their fists start flying and connecting with faces.
The instant Lexie hears about the fight, she almost runs off to go find Mark to make sure that he’s alright like she did the last time he and Derek got into a fight. But she stops himself. She reminds herself that he has Callie now. She will be the one to go back to the hotel room with him and put ice on his hand and kiss each cut and bruise marring his face. Callie will be the one to help him undress himself since his hand is practically broken and it hurts him too much to use it. Callie will be the one he takes a shower with because he claims that it will only speed his recovery along.
Mark has Callie now. He doesn’t need Lexie to take care of him anymore. He doesn’t need her to stroke his hair and promise him that she’s not going anywhere.
So instead, after her shift, she goes to Meredith and Derek’s house and finds them sitting on the couch together, drinking, and Lexie lingers in the doorway of the room, looking at Derek’s bruised and cut face.
“Thank you,” she hears herself say softly though why she is thanking him, she really has no idea.
That doesn’t seem to bother Derek and he nods his head. “Someone had to do it.”
They ask her to stay but Lexie shakes her head and begins the walk home, the street quiet, the night cool. She wonders if since Mark has told Derek too that he loves her, that it makes it true. She hates herself for wondering it.
Lexie smiles, almost laughing, as John grabs her hand and spins her around in circles until she is dizzy and she then feels his hands on her hips, trying to keep her steady. He is smiling too and she allows herself to admit silently to herself that she is having fun with him. Great DJ by The Ting Tings is playing over the jukebox in Joe’s and though they are the only ones dancing, she doesn’t even care.
She has never called him but they have begun meeting one another randomly at Joe’s and she slowly begins to allow herself to sit with him and talk with him. She finds out that he is twenty-eight, a fireman and is originally from Providence, which leads the two of them to talk about the east coast and how much they sometimes miss it – especially on the days when the rain in Seattle never seems to stop.
When John excuses himself to go the bathroom, Lexie remains at the jukebox, trying to decide what song to play next. The instant Mark comes up next to her, his body brushing against her arm, she suddenly feels a thousand degrees hotter and she uselessly tries to swallow away the dryness in her throat. She takes a soft, deep breath and then lifts her head to look at him. A couple weeks have passed since the fight and his bruises are now just fading yellow spots and the cuts are almost healed.
“I broke up with Callie after the fight,” Mark tells her without any sort of build-up.
Lexie nods. “I know,” she says. He reaches out to touch her elbow but Lexie crosses her arms over her chest, taking a slight step to the side away from him, returning her eyes down to the jukebox. “Don’t, Mark. I…” she sighs. “I am not doing this.”
“I’m not doing anything,” he insists. “This has been three months in the making. I never should have been with her in the first place. I should have been with you this whole time-”
“But you haven’t been,” she tells him, looking at him again. She is acutely aware of the people in the bar that night from the hospital, watching them closely and she glances towards the hallway that leads towards the bathrooms, seeing if John has returned yet. “And now, I’m here with someone.”
“You’re not here with anyone. You came alone. You just met up with him here,” he says and he smirks when she narrows her eyes at him slightly. “I watch you, Lexie.”
“Mark,” she sighs, feeling suddenly completely exhausted. “I told you to leave me alone.”
“I can’t do that. That may make me a complete asshole but I can’t just leave you alone,” he says unapologetically.
Lexie stares at him, unable to move her eyes away from his. She hates him because even after all of this time, she is still completely under his spell. Why does he do this to her? How does he do this to her?
She needs to be stronger. She needs to stay away from him and not be pulled back in because losing him once was hard enough. She knows she won’t survive the next time and with Mark, there would definitely be a next time. She already expects that. She can’t do this with him again. She just can’t.
She cries out as her back comes in sharp contact with the wall behind her but when Mark tries to pull away to ask if she’s alright, her fingers tighten in the hairs on the back of his head and she yanks him back to her for another kiss. Their mouths meet desperately, hungrily, and he grabs the back of her thighs, lifting her up, her legs instinctively wrapping around his waist.
With every kiss, every touch, every piece of clothing removed until their naked bodies are pressing together and he thrusts inside of her for the first time in months, in the back of her mind, she knows that she shouldn’t be here, doing this with him, but then Mark whispers her name, kissing her as he slides in and out of her body, and she clings to him, giving herself completely to him. She knows she is going to regret this but for the moment, she is going to enjoy herself.
It is almost dawn when they stop and he lays behind her, holding her back against his chest, his arms wrapped tightly around her. Each exhale of his breath, she feels on her neck and she closes her eyes, biting down so hard on her bottom lip, she almost begins to draw blood.
“I have to go,” she whispers and he instantly tightens his arms around her.
“You don’t have to do anything,” he tells her.
“I can’t be here. I… I shouldn’t have even been here in the first place.”
“You don’t mean that.”
“Why wouldn’t I?” Lexie demands, shifting in his arms, trying to get away but all it gets her is on her back, looking up at him. “This was a mistake, Mark. I can’t do this with you again. Why don’t you understand that?”
“Because, this, tonight, what happened between us wasn’t a mistake or an accident or whatever the fuck else you want to call it,” Mark tells her, his voice hard. “You and me belong here, Lexie.”
She closes her eyes, shaking her head, trying to breathe. “I want something more than fucking in a hotel room,” she says. “And what I want, you’ve already showed me that you can’t give it to me.”
“I can give you anything you want.”
She shakes her head again and tries again to get away from him but his hold only tightens. He is too strong for her. “No, you can’t,” she whispers. She stares up at him. “You broke me, Mark. Don’t you know that? I wanted everything with you and you just… it didn’t mean anything to you. I didn’t mean anything to you.”
“Lex…” Mark begins to look uncomfortable and he releases her, sitting up on his knees. Lexie sits up as well, holding the sheet tightly around her otherwise naked body but she doesn’t scramble out of the bed like both were expecting her to. “I don’t know how to do this. I don’t make sappy flowery speeches. That’s never been me and you know that.”
“You don’t have to say anything, Mark. What else is there to say?” She says softly.
“I have plenty to say to you.” He rubs the back of his neck and then looks at her again. “You came back here with me for a reason.”
“Lack of judgment.”
He sighs. “Maybe but I think it’s because you love me.”
Lexie stares at them and then shaking her head slightly, she looks down at her hands in her lap. “Fuck you, Mark.”
“I don’t care what you say, Lexie. Tell me you hate me. Tell me you never want to see me again. It doesn’t matter because I know you. I still know you and I know that you want to be with me. And I want to be with you and I will do anything to get you back,” he says.
Lexie shakes her head. “Fuck you, Mark,” she whispers again and crawling off the bed, she begins getting dressed and he doesn’t stop her. “You know… after everything you’ve done to me, you haven’t told me once that you’re sorry.”
She doesn’t look back at him. She leaves the hotel room and she swears to herself that this time, she definitely will never come back.
She feels numb; like she is barely breathing. She feels as if she is simply mimicking the motions. She continues to learn, continues to study, continues to go through the rounds each day. Everyone continues moving around her and Lexie feels as if she is simply along for the ride.
Lexie takes her intern exam and it comes as a surprise to no one when she passes with flying colors. Only after she receives her results does she tell Chief Webber that she plans on continuing her residency at Mercy West. The doctor is stunned into silence as he stares at her and she tries to explain herself without coming right out and saying that the further she is away from Mark Sloan, the better.
When she tells Derek and Meredith, they are both equally stunned.
“You’re letting him chase you away,” Meredith says with just the slightest hint of disgust because even when Addison came and she and Derek were “working” on their marriage, Meredith didn’t leave.
Lexie shakes her head. “I don’t really have anything here at this hospital.”
“We’re here,” Derek frowns.
“But you’re both family. I can see you whenever I want. And it’s not like I’m leaving Seattle. I’ll be just across town.” She then looks at Meredith. “And I’m still living with dad. I don’t see myself moving out anytime soon.” She takes a deep breath. “This is something that I really need to do.”
Meredith stares at her for a minute and then reluctantly, she nods her head. “I just got used to having you around.”
She is sitting on the floor of a supply closet, her lunch untouched next to her. Dr. Bailey was so concerned with her, she pulled her earlier into an exam room and forced her onto a scale and then proceeded that for someone her height, she is severely underweight. Lexie was barely listening though and she still isn’t hungry.
John asks her out on a date and she accepts. They go and see a movie – some awful horror flick that makes them leave the theater when it is done in laughter. He reaches over and takes her hand in his and though it feels nice, Lexie immediately thinks on how wrong it feels. John’s skin is cold unlike Mark, who always felt warm to her, and his hand isn’t as large as Mark’s was.
And when he walks her up to the front door and kisses her, Lexie almost instantly pulls away, giving him a hushed apology before turning and hurrying into the house after bidding him thanks and good night.
She doubts he’ll call again. Lexie doesn’t know if she is relieved about that or not.
She leaves the intern locker for the last time on her last day at Seattle Grace, a gym bag slung on her shoulder after having cleaned out her locker. She isn’t surprised to see Mark standing in the hallway, already changed out of his scrubs and his hands in his jacket pockets. He is waiting for her. She knows he is. They stare at one another.
“I’m sorry,” he says then and she doesn’t at all doubt his sincerity.
It pierces straight into her chest and she has to look down at the ground and blink quickly to keep herself from crying.
“But you should also know that I’m not giving up on you,” he then adds.
Lexie remains silent, having no idea what to say to that. She nods and giving him one last look, she begins walking down the hallway. Mark falls in step next to her.
“So… Mercy West?” He asks and she nods. “Because of me?”
“It hurts too much,” she says softly and she hears him sigh softly.
“I’m sorry,” he says quietly but with the same about of earnestness from before. “Do you know what you’ll declare yet?”
She shrugs. “I haven’t been really thinking about it yet but… I was thinking maybe cardio.” He nods and he looks at him from the corner of her eye. “Or plastics.” He instantly looks at her, surprise in his eyes. “You told me once that I had a natural talent for it.”
“You do,” he insists. “But if you want to learn plastics, Mercy West is shit for that. You should stay here. I can teach you.”
Both inwardly cringe simultaneously upon him saying that particular phrase.
Lexie swallows. “Thank you but… I have to go. I need to get away from here.”
He stares at her for a moment and then nods his head reluctantly. They reach the sliding doors of the entrance to the hospital and they turn, facing one another. Mark opens his mouth to say something but he must have changed his mind because he closes it again. Instead, he reaches out and brushes a strand of her hair from her cheek and she lets him without flinching or tensing.
“Can I come by sometime?” He asks. “Maybe take you out for dinner after a shift?”
She nods slightly. “Maybe,” she answers and she means it.
She takes a deep breath then and before over-thinking, before telling herself just how much he has hurt her and the amount of pain he has put her through, before telling herself that really, she should hate him, Lexie steps forward and hugs him, her arms sliding around his shoulders. Mark doesn’t hesitate in wrapping his arms around her, hugging her tightly, so tightly, it almost hurts.
Both lose all sense of time and neither know how long they stand there, hugging, but eventually, Lexie loosens her arms and pulls back, tilting her head to look up at him. Every time she looks at Mark Sloan, her heart still thumps madly in her chest and she knows that no matter what happens, she is always going to be in love with him.
“Bye,” she says almost in a whisper.
He shakes his head though. “Not bye. I’ll come to Mercy next week to see you.”
She nods and keeps staring at him. “Mark?”
“That night, after I fainted… did you sit in my room with me while I slept?” She asks.
“Yeah,” he answers. “I didn’t leave once all night.”
“Why did you do that?” She wants to know. Need to know.
“I told you, Lex,” he says. “I love you.”
Lexie is silent after that and stares at him for another moment before nodding once again, swallowing the lump in her throat and this time, for the first time, it disappears.
“See you next week,” she whispers before turning and stepping through the sliding doors out into the Seattle night.
A light rain is falling and Lexie closes her eyes, tilts her face upwards towards the sky and feels the cool water trickling down on her skin. She takes a deep breath.