I know everyone is busy with the summer and I know I write stories that most who are on my flist are not interested in but I am so grateful to those who constantly read my stories and take the time to comment and encourage me and talk with me. You have no idea just how much it means to me. Writing these stories make me happy and I am just glad that I can share them with you and you, in turn, like them. I had several show an interest in a further continuation of this story so here is the next part. This chapter may seem all over the place and slightly chaotic but that is exactly what I was going for. Thanks in advance for being awesome and reading. I hope you like it!
Mark lays in the unfamiliar bed in the dark hotel room, staring up at the ceiling. It is almost one o’clock in the morning and even though he is exhausted from working a long day and then catching a plane to Vancouver, he can’t seem to bring himself to fall asleep. His mind refuses to shut down.
Lexie is next to him on her side, facing him, one hand between her cheek and the pillow and the other hand resting on his stomach. She isn’t asleep either and instead, she watches him. She sighs softly and moving closer to him, she rests her head on his chest and he brings one arm around her shoulders, holding her tightly to him.
“I can’t sleep,” she states the obvious.
“Me, neither,” Mark says and he can’t help but smirk because of it. “Do you think Sadie has finally gotten Sam asleep?”
“Hopefully. Or she probably has just killed him by now,” Lexie concludes, closing her eyes, feeling Mark brush his thumb back and forth over a small patch of skin on her arm. “And do you think Ellie’s alright? I am really worried about Ellie.”
“She’ll be fine. She’s known Sadie her entire life.” Mark pauses. “And Ellie is a lot stronger than we ever seem to give her credit for.”
Lexie sighs softly. “I know.”
“She’s like you,” he continues. “Everyday it becomes more and more obvious.”
She shakes her head. “That’s funny. I think she is just like you. The quite type who everyone has pegged wrong.” That makes him smirk and he presses his lips to her forehead. “I am becoming one of those pathetic moms who always have to keep an eye on their children twenty four hours a day.”
“You’re not like that at all and you know it,” he tells her with a shake of his head.
“Do you ever think of having another one?”
“Another one what?”
She smiles faintly. “You know what. Another baby.”
Mark instantly shakes his head. “God, no. I’d be pushing seventy when the kid graduates from high school.”
“I sometimes think about it,” Lexie admits. “If the baby… we would have had four children if our first baby had lived.”
“But it didn’t and we don’t.”
She is quiet for a passing moment and then she shrugs. “I still think about it.”
Mark continues rubbing his thumb on her skin and slowly, he rolls her onto her back, placing himself on top of her. She smiles up at him, sliding her hands onto his cheeks, and he slowly lowers his weight on her, resting himself up on his elbows on either side of her head. He smiles as she pulls his head down towards hers, their lips brushing lightly across one another and she smiles as he brushes a thumb across her cheek tenderly.
“I wish I met you when I was younger so I could have given you an entire army of Sloans,” he says and she smiles faintly at that but then shakes her head slightly.
“You’re not old, Mark,” she tells him for the countless time.
“Fine. But I am getting older. We all are.” He pauses, stares into her eyes, sweeps his thumb down from her cheek to her jawline. He takes a deep breath. “I’m sixteen years older than you, Lex. There’s going to be a time when I’m not going to be around anymore.”
Lexie closes her eyes and shakes her head. “I don’t want to talk about this.”
“We have to, Lexie.”
“Why now though?”
He sighs. “Lexie-”
“Mark, please. Unless there is something you’re not telling me…” she trails off, staring at him and then her eyes widen. “Oh, god. What is it? Did something happen? Is there-”
“No,” he cuts her off, shaking his head. “Nothing’s wrong. I swear. I’ve just been thinking about this lately.”
She feels tears sting her eyes and she runs her hands down his chest before sweeping them up his arms over his shoulders. “Why?” She whispers.
He is quiet for a second and then he sighs heavily, dropping down completely on top of her and resting his head on her shoulder in the crook of her neck. She runs his hands through his hair and then down his back.
“Do you really want a fourth kid?” Mark asks quietly, almost in a whisper.
“No. I was just talking. I think our three are more than enough,” Lexie says and wrapping her arms around him, she hugs him tightly to her. She smiles faintly. “And I think Sadie is going to more than agree with that statement by the end of the weekend when we get back.”
He snickers against her skin and she presses a kiss to his forehead.
“I don’t even want to think about what I would do without you,” she whispers.
Mark lifts his head and looks down at her, his hand returning to cupping her cheek. He doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t make promises to her that as a doctor, he knows that there is always a possibility of him breaking. Hell, Lexie can make the promise to him that nothing would ever happen to her but then could go and get into a car accident.
He isn’t sure why he has been thinking about things like this lately. He’s fifty years old, is in perfect shape and has always been extremely healthy. He can’t even remember the last time he had a cold or the flu. He really doesn’t see anything happening to him but that doesn’t mean that it won’t. He has been thinking about this more and more for some reason – thinking about what Lexie and the kids would do without him. What he would do if something ever happened to Lexie or one of the kids. It is natural, as a doctor, to start thinking about mortality. As doctors, it is dealt with everyday.
His cell phone begins to vibrate on the nightstand next to the bed and remaining on top of Lexie, he stretches his arm out to grab it.
“Who would be calling you this late?” Lexie asks.
Mark looks down at the caller i.d. and instantly sits up on his knees, flipping the phone open. “Ally, what’s wrong?”
Though she is only nine-years-old, Mark and Lexie decided to get Ally a cell phone that she only uses for emergencies. The girl has Mark and Lexie’s cell phones programmed in as well as their home number. There are also the numbers for Owen, Sadie, Jeremy, Callie, Meredith, and Derek in case she ever needs someone and cannot get a hold of either her mom or dad. Brandon’s house number is also saved as well as Grandpa Thatcher’s, who she actually calls several times a week to tell him all about what she did in school that day.
Lexie sits up as well, her heart immediately seizing in her chest, and in the background, Mark can hear Sam squealing with laughter and Ellie crying.
“What’s going on?” Mark asks.
“Sam won’t go to sleep and Aunt Sadie looks like she is about to start crying,” Ally answers. “And Ellie is already crying. She’s having one of her moods and she won’t calm down and I don’t know what to do for her and Aunt Sadie-”
“Okay, Ally. Okay,” Mark interrupts. “Give the phone to your Aunt Sadie.”
There is a rustling on the other end and then, Sadie is panting breathlessly into the phone.
“Your son is the spawn of Satan,” Sadie says without any other form of greeting.
“You gave him a Coke. And you probably also gave him ice cream. What did you expect was going to happen?” Mark asks. “Put him and Dodger in the backyard and let the two chase each other around.”
“You’re kidding,” Sadie scoffs.
“I’m serious. They’ll wear each other out and should pass out in about an hour.”
“Sam, stop jumping on the bed,” Sadie suddenly exclaims but her only answer is the boy laughing. “He won’t wear pants either. He’s running around in his underpants and that lamb hat on his head.”
Mark tries not to smile. “He’s kind of going through a phase right now…”
“Great,” Sadie mumbles and then sighs heavily. “And Ellie won’t stop crying.”
“I can hear,” Mark sighs, scratching the back of his head. “Hand Ellie the phone and tell her that Lexie wants to talk to her.”
Lexie tucks strands of hair behind her ears and takes the phone from him. “Sadie? How long has she been crying?”
“I have no idea. It seems like forever,” Sadie sighs exhaustedly. “My ears actually hurt. And I don’t even know what made her cry in the first place. Can you make her stop? Please, Lexie.”
“I’ll try,” Lexie swallows, hating to hear her daughter crying in the background.
There is a rustling with the phone and she can hear Ally trying to soothe Ellie, telling her that mommy is on the phone and wants to talk to her.
“Ellie?” Lexie says and she can hear the girl sniffle but her tears almost immediately stop upon hearing Lexie’s voice. “Hi, Ellie. How are you, baby?”
Mark leans forward and puts his ear to the phone as well, trying to overhear.
“What’s going on, Ellie? Is something wrong?” Lexie asks.
“No,” the girl says quietly, sniffling again.
“Then why are you crying? You shouldn’t cry. You promised me that you would be okay before me and your daddy left.”
“Here,” Ally is heard saying. “Mommy?” She says into the phone. “Aunt Sadie and Uncle Jeremy’s house isn’t our house. She doesn’t like it.”
“I know, Ally,” Lexie breathes softly, closing her eyes.
Mark takes the phone back from her. “Suzie Q, put Ellie back on. Ellie? It’s daddy. Please don’t cry anymore. Your mommy and me hate it when you cry.”
“Daddy,” Ellie says but she doesn’t say anything further.
“I know you need your schedule but this is only for a couple days,” Mark furthers. “Can you be okay for just a couple of days?”
Ellie is quiet and he can hear Ally informing him, “She’s nodding her head, daddy.”
“Good,” Mark sighs with relief and looking at Lexie, he nods his own head to let her know that everything is alright. “Ellie, can you give the phone back to Aunt Sadie?”
Less than a handful of seconds later, Sadie has the phone again. “Jeremy wants to have children,” she declares. “That’s easy for him to say. Do you know where he is right now? Asleep. He’s been working at the hospital all day and he is exhausted and he is actually sleeping through all of this.”
“Lucky him,” Mark smirks. “I mean it though. Take Sam outside and let him run it out with Dodger.”
“It’s the middle of the night, Mark,” Sadie reminds him then pauses. “Will it work?”
“It should. When me and Lexie are stupid and give him too much sugar before bed, that’s what usually works for us.”
“I am not stupid. Lexie made me lists of what the kids can and cannot eat. And giving Sam a Coke with dinner was not on the list of something I should not do.”
“He’s three-years-old, Sadie, and he gets a small bowl of ice cream after dinner,” Mark reminds her. “That’s more than enough sugar for the kid.”
“Well, I didn’t know that.”
“Well, now you do so you better not call tomorrow night with this problem.”
Lexie rolls her eyes, snatching the phone from Mark’s hand. Mark and Sadie have a very brother/sister relationship and when they start disagreeing and arguing with one another, there is no telling how long that could last.
“Sadie, can you do me a favor?” Lexie asks.
“It’s one o’clock in the morning, Lexie, and your children, who I am babysitting for you because you already asked me for a favor are still not asleep.”
“I know,” Lexie says, almost wincing. “But I just thought of something that may help Ellie be more at ease tomorrow. At our house, you know that quilt on the back of the couch in the living room? The one Mrs. Shepherd made for me a few years ago? Whenever Ellie watches a movie, she always wraps herself up in that. Maybe if you went to the house tomorrow and got that, she would be a bit more at ease.”
“I’ll get it tomorrow.”
“Sadie, Mark and me cannot thank you enough.”
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll call you back tomorrow to let you know which kid I’ve killed.”
Lexie smiles faintly. “Good night, Sadie. And give all of the kids a kiss from me.” She slowly slaps the phone closed and then hands it back to Mark who returns it back to the nightstand. “I’m absolutely crazy if you didn’t know that already.”
Mark smirks at that and interlacing her fingers behind his neck, she pulls him down towards her and together, the two lay down again, Mark resting his weight on top of her again. Their lips meet in a soft, yet pressing, kiss and when they part, she smiles.
“Three children are more than enough,” she says and he smirks. “And if I ever start talking about having another one, remind me of this weekend.”
Dr. Jeremy Bloom, a neurosurgeon at Seattle Grace, wakes up to find that his wife is not next to him in their bed. He stretches his arm out and feels that the sheets on her side are cold, as if she hasn’t been to bed at all. Lifting his head from the pillow, he squints his eyes for a second, adjusting his vision as he stares at the red digital numbers of the clock on the table next to the bed. Two-thirty in the morning.
Where the hell is Sadie?
The house is quiet. He feels bad that he came home from work, ate dinner, and subsequently passed out asleep. He couldn’t help it though. He had been at the hospital for almost two days and he was beyond exhausted. He hadn’t meant to leave Sadie with all three Sloan children for the whole night by herself but he has purposely lightened his schedule for the next two days so he can help her more.
Pulling on a pair of sweatpants and a long-sleeve tee-shirt, Jeremy steps from the master bedroom and silently makes his way down the carpeted hallway. The three children hadn’t wanted to be separated so they were staying in the guest room at the top of the stairs with the queen bed that could easily accommodate all three.
The door is partially ajar and poking his head in, Jeremy sees the three asleep in the bed. Ally is asleep in the middle of the bed, on her stomach, the teddy bear she has had since birth and something she never sleeps without is tucked tightly in her arm. Ellie, always wanting space, even in her sleep, is near the edge of the bed, on her side, her back towards her sister. Sam is on the other side of Ally, the fleece lamb hat still on his head and his thumb in his mouth. He only sucks his thumb when he is sleeping. Dodger, the dog, is spread out across the foot of the bed, his head resting on Ally’s leg but when he senses Jeremy, he lifts his head and looks towards the door. Upon seeing Jeremy, he wags his tail, knowing that the children aren’t in danger.
Jeremy fights back a yawn as he heads down the stairs, wondering where the hell Sadie is at that hour of the night. There is a light on in the kitchen and even though it is two-thirty in the morning, he is not surprised in the least to see Owen Hunt sitting at the kitchen table with Sadie. When Jeremy married Sadie, he understood that not only was he marrying her, but he was also opening his life up to her three best friends; her family. Owen Hunt and Mark and Lexie Sloan.
He admits to himself that there have been several instances when he has been jealous of the close relationships his wife has with the three – especially Owen. Mark and Sadie are like siblings but with Owen, though Sadie vehemently denies it, Jeremy always suspected that there had always been something more between the pair than either ever let on. He tries not to think about it though, not wanting to torture himself with an over-active imagination.
“Hey, you,” Sadie smiles, tilting her head up and Jeremy drops a quick kiss on her lips before shaking Owen’s hand as he sits down in the empty chair on the other side of Sadie at the round kitchen table. “What are you doing up?”
“I can ask you the same thing,” Jeremy answers and Sadie pushes the cup of tea she has made for herself towards him and he takes a small sip.
“Owen came by to give us this,” Sadie says and Jeremy notices the quilt draped across her lap. “Ellie loves it and Owen was working late tonight so he stopped at Mark and Lexie’s after his shift to get it. I am hoping this keeps her calm.”
“How did you sleep through all of what happened tonight?” Owen wants to know, asking with a slight smirk. “From what Sadie says, it was a hell of a first night.”
“I have no idea. I honestly didn’t hear a thing,” Jeremy admitted, rubbing a hand through his dirty-blond hair and then reaching out and grasping Sadie’s hand.
Sadie yawns, shaking her head. “I have no idea how Lexie does this nonstop.”
“Easy,” Owen replies. “They listen to her. We’re just the uncles and aunt. They don’t have to fear us if they disobey us.”
“Well, they walk all over you because you let them tie you to a chair,” she laughs.
Jeremy smirks. “Someday, I am going to hear the entire story of that incident.”
Owen shakes his head slightly, a smile cracking through. “Ally was reading some book called Hatchet and asked me if I could survive in the Canadian wilderness. So I was teaching them some survival skills-”
“-and knot tying just happened to be one of them,” Sadie jumps in. “So Sam asks him if they can tie something to something and since it’s Sam and he is oozing with that Sloan charm that I call manipulation, Owen lets these kids tie him to a chair.”
“It was for ten minutes, tops,” Owen insists and Sadie laughs. “I got out of it. Their knotting needs some practice.”
“Is he going to be babysitting our kids when we finally have them?” Jeremy smiles but he notices that Sadie’s smile falters slightly when he mentions it.
“Sam is going to be just like Mark when he grows up,” Sadie changes the subject.
“Definitely,” Owen nods in agreement. “He smirks just like him and he’s only three.”
From the corner of his eye, Jeremy sees someone standing in the doorway of the kitchen and turning his head, he sees that it is Ellie.
“Hey, Ellie,” Jeremy greets with a warm smile.
Owen and Sadie instantly whip their heads around to look at the small girl and Sadie gets up, unfolding the quilt.
“Look what Uncle Owen brought you, Ellie,” Sadie tells her and then kneeling in front of her, she wraps the warm large patchwork throw around Ellie’s shoulders. “What are you doing up?” Ellie doesn’t say anything but it looks as if she might start crying again and Sadie knows that she can’t handle that again if she does. “What is it, Ellie? What do you need?”
She stands up and remembering the notebook pages on the counter, she quickly grabs them and shuffles to Ellie’s page, scanning it. The night had been so hectic that Sadie sees that Lexie has written that Ellie likes sleeping with a glass of water next to her bed every night and that night, Sadie had forgotten, being so preoccupied with Sam.
“Water,” she sighs with relief. “I’ll get you water right now, Ellie.” She goes to the cabinet to get a glass but she stops herself. “You like the clear plastic one with the purple stripes, right? You like stripes?”
And for the first time since Lexie and Mark dropped her off, Ellie smiles and nods, clutching the quilt tightly around her small body, and in return, Sadie smiles. She might be getting the hang of this babysitting thing after all.
Of course, the instant she thought that, she knows she has thought it too soon when the sudden quiet of the night is interrupted by a blood-curling scream from the guest room on the second floor.