My sister lives in very rural Vermont with no internet access and at night, while we watched the first season of Alf and the fourth season of The Closer thanks to Netflix, I wrote this down. I was not sure I was going to write a Mark vignette from his POV based off of the ones I wrote about Lexie but I opened a word document and this is what came out. I have no idea where all of this angst is coming from lately. I usually hate angst and leave it to my favorite M/L writers to cover that in their stories since some of them write fantastic angst.
I am always so nervous about writing Mark just because I find him very hard to write and keep him in character. I adore Lexie and when I write her, I always have the easiest time but Mark is a completely different story and even though I am posting this, I am not at all sure about it. This was written completely at random, my brain just kind of spewing out through the keyboard so please forgive me if this did not turn out well. I would not be surprised if it did not.
It scares the shit out of him but he really cannot sleep without her. He lays in that hotel bed which suddenly feels too big without her sharing it with him and he will stare up at the ceiling for hours on end until the room begins to slowly fill with the grey light of the dawn.
He used to listen to Callie sleeping next to him but that did nothing to comfort him. She had breathed too fast, too deep. And when she rolled onto her side and reached out for him in her sleep, he found himself inching away from her before her hand could come in contact with his bare skin. Callie isn’t Lexie and Mark Sloan knows he is an idiot to think that he would ever want anything else and be satisfied with it.
Sometimes, during those seemingly never-ending nights, Mark will convince himself that he can still smell the faintest hint of her overly familiar scent lingering in the air. He would bury his face in the crook of her neck, always making her laugh, and he would inhale her apple-scented perfume as if she was an opiate and he was happily addicted and getting high from her. After he broke up with her, Lexie had come back to the hotel room to collect her things, taking her apple body wash and matching perfume from the bathroom. Callie smelled like some sort of floral arrangement and it had been shocking to Mark’s nostrils the first time he rolled over, his exhausted brain expecting the sweet, subtle smell of apples instead.
He becomes so desperate to smell Lexie again that he finds himself wandering into a department store and seeking the perfume counters like a hunter stalking its prey. Nothing the saleswomen spray in front of his nose though wakens his senses and he leaves the store, disappointed, and trudges reluctantly back to his cold and empty hotel room.
Three months after he ended things between them, three months after being with Callie and then ending things with her as well, Mark finds one of Lexie’s lace-trimmed tank tops – this one, white – in the dresser drawer mixed in with a few of his white undershirts. He stands there, holding it in his hands, staring down at it.
He can’t believe that she has left something behind. She had combed through every drawer, every nook and cranny of the room to make sure that she had gotten every possession of hers but somehow, she had missed this and though Mark knows he should go and return it to her, he honestly doesn’t want to. This is the last thing he has of her and he wants to keep it.
Maybe that makes him pathetic but he doesn’t care anymore.
Her deteriorating appearance shocks him and he can’t help but stare at her whenever he sees her. Lexie has always been thin so to see her lose so much weight scares him.
He knows it’s his fault. He sees how tired she looks, how pale, how thin. She isn’t Lexie anymore. She is quiet and withdrawn and that brightness in those big brown eyes of hers – the brightness he had always been scared of destroying – has been snuffed out and Mark hates himself because he went and did what everyone knew he was going to do to her.
He completely ruined her.
And then, as they walk down the hallway together, the faint smell of apples wafting from her into his nose, she confirms the rumors that he has been hearing for the past couple of weeks. She is transferring to Mercy West so she doesn’t have to be around him on a daily basis. It feels like a knife plunging into his chest and he can hardly breathe as she tells him in that quiet voice that has become hers over the past few months that staying at Seattle Grace, being near him, hurts too much.
Mark Sloan has never hated himself more than he does in that moment and when she hugs him and he wraps his arms around her, feeling her near-skeletal frame against his, he doesn’t want to let her go. He doesn’t know how he did the first time.
After their fist fight, Derek and Mark still aren’t talking to one another. Mark doesn’t blame him though. In the back of his mind, Mark wonders whether or not he got into the fight with Derek on purpose. He knew that Derek would wind up throwing a punch and Mark had wanted that. He had wanted to feel pain and be punished for what he has done to Lexie. He deserves every cut, every bruise.
He doesn’t always go to Joe’s after work and instead, will go to dark and dirty bars where no one knows of him or the deeds he has done. He drinks too much, ignores the women trying to flirt with him and sometimes picks fight with random strangers, reveling in the excruciating pain of their fists colliding with his face. When he shows up to work the next day, bruised and sometimes even limping, no one says a word to him. Dr. Bailey will give him looks of confusion and concern but besides that, everyone either ignores it or doesn’t know what to say to him.
It has been a week since he’s seen her last and he told her that he would come by Mercy West after one of her shifts to take her out to dinner. She hadn’t exactly refused so Mark stands outside the hospital doors on the other end of town, not caring that a light rain is falling, and he waits for her, ignoring every other person that enters or exits through the main sliding automatic doors.
And then, there she is, wearing blue jeans and a thin black sweater with a black rain jacket, and for a moment, Mark doesn’t do anything except stare at her. He wants to ask her if she has been eating because she still is too thin – almost painfully so – and he is taken over with the greatest urge to just drop onto his knees in front of her and apologize until he is blue in the face for everything he has put her through in the past few months.
He is an asshole who will never deserve her and yet, he knows that he needs her if he has any hope of continuing on with his life without going crazy. He needs her. Wants her. Craves her. Loves her.
She gives him a small, hesitant smile – that deep, unwavering sadness in her eyes – and she stops in front of him, the rain slowly darkening and wetting her hair and Mark reaches out, flipping her hood up for her over her head.
“I don’t want you to get sick,” he tells her and she looks up at him silently, curiously, and he hates that he has now put her in a position to question every single one of his movements. “Are you hungry?”
She shakes her head. “Not really.”
“Too bad. I’m taking you to dinner anyway.”
She doesn’t argue with him and they walk in silence to where he has parked his car.
He takes her to a small Mexican restaurant that has always been one of her favorites and after he orders two Corona beers for them and the waiter places a bowl of salsa and a basket of chips in the center of the small round table, they are alone and Mark looks at how the flame of the small lit candle on the table flickers across her face; at how beautiful she is.
He wants more than anything to reach out and take her hand in his and he finds himself sitting there, waiting for her foot to rub against his leg like she always used to do whenever they went out to a restaurant to eat but there is nothing like that anymore. She sits there and Mark stares at her, feeling the distance between them, the distance he is responsible for putting there.
Lexie looks uncomfortable and uncertain and she nervously wrings her red paper napkin in her hands as she looks over the laminated menu in front of her.
His lip is cut and tender and he hisses softly as the spiciness of the salsa hits it. She lifts her eyes and looks at him and then at the split lip. It takes her a moment in the dimly lit dining room but she then sees the yellow fading bruise on his cheek.
“What are you doing, Mark?” She asks him quietly.
He stares at her, a deep hollowness growing in his chest. He’d give anything to touch her. Just once – if that’s all she would give him. “Trying to feel something.”
The whole disaster with Callie was because Mark stupidly thought that his relationship with Lexie possibly couldn’t go any further. She was only twenty-four years old, still an intern. She had so much still in front of her. Mark and Callie were closer in age and due to their close friendship and, before Lexie, their bed-sharing ways, Mark began thinking that maybe, they could be something more together. Callie wanted love and Mark wanted a relationship that could possibly go somewhere without some ridiculous ten-year plan getting in the way.
And for a while, it worked. Mark thought he was happy. He saw the way Lexie was falling apart but he also saw the way Derek and Meredith were always with her so he thought that they were taking care of her. He hated that Lexie had to be taken care of though and he lost count of how many times he just wanted to go up to her and try and save her though he was the one responsible for doing that to her in the first place. He remained with Callie and Lexie continued falling apart and Mark tried to convince himself that Callie was the woman he was supposed to be with.
But the whole time he was with Callie, he watched Lexie and he finally had to admit to himself that all he wanted was Lexie.
It seems to be too late now. She isn’t who she used to be and if his arm so much as brushes against hers, she pulls away and he has no idea what he can do to reach her again.
He walks her to the front door of her father’s house but before she can disappear inside, Mark grabs her hand to stop her, dropping it the instant he feels her stiffen from his touch.
“Sorry,” he says, taking a step back. “I’m sorry.”
Lexie looks at him, her fingers wrapped around the strap of her brown bag, her back pressed to the door. “Thank you for dinner,” she speaks softly and he nods his head.
“I want to see you again,” he blurts out and then immediately sensing the refusal she is about to give him, he presses on. “Please, Lexie. I know I have no right to ask you for anything but…” he takes a deep breath and he feels his hands begin to sweat as if he is some young teenager on his first date. “I really want to see you again.”
“I can’t, Mark,” Lexie says, shaking her head, and she looks away from him.
“Please,” he interrupts, taking a step towards her.
She still won’t look at him and suddenly finds the porch floor far more interesting. He listens to her breathing growing uneven and he reaches out, touching her shoulder. She stiffens again but this time, Mark doesn’t remove his hand.
“Lex,” he speaks softly and she lifts her head to look at him. His chest feels as if it collapses into itself when he sees tears brimming in her eyes. “Tell me what I have to do,” he whispers. “I will do anything, Lexie.”
She shakes her head again and reaching her hand behind her, she opens the door, stepping away from him and into the house. “I think it’s too late for anything.”
Before Mark can say anything to that, she closes the front door behind her and turns the porch light off, the darkness suffocating him as it swallows him completely.
He starts drinking more and goes back to fucking random nurses from the hospital in any on-call room he can find. He makes sure that none of them have dark hair and eyes and as soon as he’s done, he leaves them without ever really saying a word.
He goes to Joe’s with Callie – who is still miraculously his friend – and Hunt after their shifts but he almost leaves immediately upon entering the bar and seeing Lexie there with that guy that he sometimes sees her there with – John something or other. All Mark knows is that he absolutely despises the guy.
Mark watches as Lexie smiles for John, lets John’s fingers linger on her arm without flinching or pulling away and Mark feels such a blinding jealousy deep in his gut, before he can stop himself and tell himself that this is a very bad idea, he stalks right up to where John and Lexie are sitting at the bar and without hesitating, he winds his fist back and punches John square in the jaw, knocking him off of his stool and onto the floor. Lexie yells Mark’s name before hurrying off her own stool and kneeling down next to John. Mark stares down at her, at the way she touches his face, minding his tender jaw and all Mark wants to do is hit him again.
He feels Owen take his arm, pulling him back, but Mark shakes him off and he leaves the bar, gasping for air, having no idea what he is doing. This isn’t him. If Lexie wants to go and fuck and be with that fire boy then so be it. It’s her life. Her decision. And Mark is nothing more than the ex-boyfriend. He has absolutely no say in what she does or does not do. He is the one who pushed her towards other men anyway.
Mark goes around the corner into the alley running alongside the bar and pressing his hands against the slick brick wall, he bows his head and throws up onto the ground.
Mark sometimes has no idea what he is still doing in Seattle. He should just go back to New York and pretend that everything that happened in Seattle was just some nauseating-inducing dream. He tells himself that he would be so much happier in New York than he would ever be, stuck in grey and rainy Seattle. But then Lexie’s face flashes across his mind and Mark begrudgingly admits to himself that he isn’t going anywhere.
The bottle of scotch is already one-third empty when the knock on the hotel door comes. Mark is sitting on the couch in complete darkness in nothing but his boxer shorts and getting up, he grasps the neck of the liquor bottle in his hand. He isn’t surprised to open it to find Lexie standing there in the hallway and he is even less surprised when she slaps him across the face.
“What are you doing, Mark?” She demands to know and he actually is happy that she is angry with him because at least if she is angry, the hurt and pain that he caused her is momentarily forgotten. “I’m not your girlfriend anymore. I’m not your anything. You made damn sure of that three months-”
With his free hand, he grabs her by the back of her neck and pulls her into a hard kiss that cuts her words off. She stiffens as expected and she puts her hands on his chest to push him away but she finally surprises him when she gives in, her lips meeting his, his arm dropping down to wrap around her waist and pull her body tightly to his. And she lets him. She lets him kiss her, touch her, taste her deeply.
It is only when he begins to pull her into the room with him does she yank her mouth away, both breathless, and he sees tears welling in her eyes, one slowly trailing down her cheek. She won’t even look at him and without saying anything, she turns and hurries down the hallway, almost running, ignoring as Mark calls after her.
He has a sudden sense of déjà vu, of months earlier when he told her that he was ending them, and she ran off down the hallway without him chasing after her.
“Lexie!” He calls after her and dropping the bottle onto the carpeted floor, not even caring that he is still only in his boxers, he runs after her.
The elevator has already arrived and she is pushing the button as frantically as she can. The doors begin sliding shut and Lexie lifts her head, their eyes locking together, but Mark is too late and before he can throw his arm between them to stop them, the doors shut and she is gone.
He calls the hospital and takes the next week off, shutting himself off in his room, keeping the curtains closed and only answering the door for room service. He stays drunk most of that time and tries calling Lexie twice a day. She never picks up but that doesn’t stop him from trying.
Callie comes by, doing her best to coax him from the room but he doesn’t budge. He lays in bed with his ever present bottle of scotch and he convinces himself that he can smell apples in the air. And when he does sleep, he dreams of her. Of her being in that bed with him, of her light touches and her soft kisses. Of her smiles and gentle laughter and the feeling she gave him that made him think he was someone important, especially to her.
He convinces himself that he can feel her hands on his cheeks, cupping them as she kisses him, smiling slightly against his lips as the scruff of his beard tickles her.
He can feel her warm, naked skin pressing against his and he binds his arms tightly around her waist, keeping her to him, not giving her any chance of escaping. She teases him for squeezing her too tightly and she laughs as he smirks, not loosening his arms. She squirms against him, settling her body and forming it to his, and she kisses him, sighing softly, contently into his mouth.
Mark can feel himself smiling as he sleeps.
He lifts his head when he hears her say his name and he sees her standing in front of him, her shift at the hospital over for the night and she is looking at him, confused and somewhat apprehensive to see him there, sitting on a bench outside of Mercy West, clearly waiting for her. He is leaning forward with his elbows on his knees but when he sees her, he sits back against the bench. He doesn’t get up and he watches her as she looks at his face, her eyes taking in every new bruise and cut that he has received from his latest bar fight at some random place he now can’t even remember.
She slowly sits down next to him on the bench, turning slightly so she is facing him, and his eyes remain locked with hers.
“You look horrible,” she tells him softly and for some reason, that makes him smirk.
“You do too,” he says, wondering if she will ever be at a healthy weight because skeletal Lexie definitely takes time getting used to looking at. “I think I’m going to go back to New York.”
Her eyes widen at his sudden announcement and she stares at him, shocked. He watches her closely and he wonders if it is just false hope he is allowing himself to feel when he sees what he thinks to be deep sadness in her eyes. If that is for him though, he cannot tell. Lexie always looks sad lately.
“Oh,” she finally manages to say in barely a whisper.
“Aren’t you going to tell me not to go?” He asks.
Lexie looks at him. “Am I supposed to?”
He sighs deeply, everything within him deflating. He tilts his head back, looks up at the partially overcast sky. “I love you,” he says. “I don’t know if you believe me… I don’t know if you will ever believe anything I say ever again. I fucked everything up with you. Everything that was good in my life was with you and I just tossed it away because…” he pauses, smirks, shakes his head slightly. “Because I was looking for something that I had all along and didn’t even realize.”
He looks at her and sees her swallow something in her throat, her eyes looking down at the clasped hands in her lap before looking at him again, fresh tears in her eyes.
“And what is it that you had?” She asks him in a whisper.
He doesn’t answer right away though. Instead, he watches her eyes widen slightly as he slips off the bench and gets down on both knees in front of her, not caring that there was a recent rain and the ground instantly soaks through the jeans he is wearing. Lexie unfolds her hands, not knowing what to do, almost trying to get away but Mark puts his hands on the bench on either side of her, boxing her in. He looks at her and he can feel his heart pounding quickly, relentlessly in his chest.
He opens his mouth to say something but then he decides against it. He's here, on his knees, offering himself to her. Whether she takes him or not is entirely up to her. He is not going to beg her to. Being on his knees is as big of a begging gesture as he can make. He doesn’t have to tell her that he's sorry or that he's falling completely apart without her. He doesn’t have to say that he loves her and that if he could, he would take it all back because the only parts in his life that were ever worth the effort of remembering, she was in them.
He knows Lexie can see all of that as she is unable to look away from him. He waits for her to say something, anything, but she doesn’t and he doesn’t move even though the concrete pavement is beginning to hurt his knees. He wonders how they look to people passing them. Neither notice nor do either of them really care.
“Tell me what I have to do,” he hears himself say to her.
Lexie opens her mouth to say something but she closes it again, her eyes looking down at her lap and before he can stop himself, he leans forward, resting his forehead against the top of her head and he closes his eyes, inhaling her apple scent. This, she, is the only thing in the world he ever wants to smell and he's afraid that he will never be this close to her again to ever breathe it in.
He can feel the battle waging within her and he doesn’t speak again. He doesn’t move or try to even breathe too loudly. He knows that she should just tell him to fuck off because after everything he has put her through over the past few months, that would actually be the nicest thing she can say to him.
And maybe the old Lexie would have done this. But this isn’t the old Lexie, his Lexie. This is someone entirely new, someone he is responsible for creating, someone he doesn’t know but wishes more than anything that she will give him that chance to.
Lexie pulls her head back and they both lift their eyes at the same time to look at one another. He lifts his hands, brushing the tears from her cheeks and he loathes himself for doing this to her. If he wasn’t so completely selfish, he knows the best thing he can do for her is to just walk away and leave her alone.
But he can’t do that. He has made that mistake once already and he refuses to do it again. He refuses to give her up. He refuses to just leave her alone because he has reached that point – a point he has probably always been at – and he will do anything he can to fight for her.