A companion piece of sorts to my previous vignette, "I've Poured my Heart Out a Million Times for a Million Reasons" because it would not leave my head.
She isn’t ready to move on. Not in the least. Only a week has passed since Lexie left the Archfield, and Mark, for the last time and her heart still feels like lead in her stomach. But George, who for some reason has begun acknowledging her existence again, practically drags her by her coat sleeve to Joe’s after their shift, saying to her that it’s time for her to forget that a man named Mark Sloan even exists.
Lexie looks at George as they sit down on two stools at the end of the bar and he orders them two beers. He is the complete antithesis of Mark and Lexie tries to remember why she had thought herself to ever be in love with George in the first place. Now that she had had Mark Sloan, there is no way that she can ever go back to someone like George.
She doesn’t want to be there and she sips at her beer reluctantly because she needs something to do as George talks about all of the things Dr. Hunt is showing him. It does sound interesting but she only listens with one ear. Her intern year is almost over. The exam is coming soon and then she will be a resident, needing to declare a specialty.
Mark had taken her under her wing, showing her what she can do in plastics and he told her more than once that she had a natural talent. She had actually considered it too – before everything that happened between them. Now, she doesn’t know what she wants to do.
She doesn’t have to turn in her stool to know that he has just entered but she does look over her shoulder, watching as Callie drags him reluctantly through the door. He seems about as eager to be there as she is and somehow, through the crowd, their eyes lock instantly and Mark comes to an abrupt halt. Callie looks at him, confused, before following his eyes and seeing her sitting on the stool.
Lexie watches as she says something to Mark that makes him shake his head in response, his eyes never leaving hers. Lexie tries to look away but even now, even after all of the hurt and the tears he has caused her, she can’t bring herself to move her eyes from his.
“Do you want to go?” George asks because he has seen Mark and Callie as well.
Lexie manages to look at him and shakes her head. “You can stay.”
“But you’re going to go?” He frowns.
“I didn’t want to be here in the first place,” she says and it is because of this exact reason.
It’s hard enough to see Mark everyday at the hospital, feeling him watch her every move. She doesn’t want to see him in Joe’s, the place where their relationship fell apart. She stiffens and glances around, wondering if that redhead he went home with is here tonight.
“Lexie-” George tries to say but she is already sliding from her stool and grabbing her coat and purse.
She knows she has to walk right past Mark to leave but she keeps her head down, doing it as quickly as possible. Even in crowded bar, she can smell him perfectly – leather and OR soap – as she passes him, her arm accidentally brushing against his chest.
“Lex,” he tries to say, his hand reaching out to touch her but she quickens her pace, slipping through the door and stepping back out into the cool and wet Seattle night.
The rain from earlier has stopped but the dark clouds remain hanging low overhead, about to pour more water down upon the city at any given moment.
It doesn’t surprise her that he has followed her but she doesn’t turn around. She doesn’t even acknowledge him and continues walking. He catches up with her easily and his hand grabs her elbow.
“What?” She spins around to look at him. “What do you want, Mark?”
He is silent for a moment, staring at her, putting his hands in his pockets. “You didn’t have to leave just because of me. You could have stayed.”
“I don’t even want to be here tonight,” she says. “I’m going home now.”
She turns to continue walking away but he isn’t ready to end the conversation.
“I finally got it out of Derek that you’re staying with your dad.”
“And he worries if I don’t get home at a decent hour. He’s trying to be a dad again.”
“That’s good,” he says with a nod and she sees him swallow as if he’s nervous. Mark Sloan is never nervous though. He rubs a hand against his jaw. “Lexie, I need to talk to you.”
She shrugs. “I don’t see what about. We’re not at the hospital and I wasn’t on your service today so we didn’t have any patients together today.”
He sighs heavily and stares at her, his eyes dark and pleading. “Can we go somewhere? Maybe… I don’t know. Get a coffee or something?”
“I’m going home,” she says again.
“I’m sorry,” he cuts in. “I want to talk to you about… I want you to know how sorry I am. I don’t…” he shakes his head, stirring his thoughts. “I don’t want to lose you.”
“You know what?” Lexie says. “I don’t think I’m even mad at you. I’m more mad at myself for this entire thing. I mean, you sleeping around with random women, that’s what you do. Everyone told me that. Everyone gave me warnings and told me to get out while I could because they all knew that you would do this to me. But I didn’t listen. And I’m mad at myself because I allowed myself to believe… things I had no right believing.”
“It was different with you. I was different with you,” Mark says, grabbing her again, his fingers curling around her elbow, holding her still.
She shakes her head. “I don’t believe you, Mark. I can’t.” She looks straight into his eyes, the eyes that always watch her – whether it’s in the hospital or in Joe’s or in the darkness of the hotel room as he moved above her, watching her face as he slid in and out of her. She almost lifts a hand to his cheek but fists her fingers together to keep herself from making a stupid move like that. Instead, she takes a deep breath. “Honestly, Mark. How did you think this was going to end between us?”
He stares at her, the silence stretching between them, and then he sighs softly. "I didn't think that it would."