Title: In the Woods
Characters: Mark Sloan, Derek Shepherd, Sam Sloan
Word Count: 7,191
Summary: Mark and Derek take three-year-old Sam Sloan camping and spend some quality time together.
Here is the second part of the story since the first post was too large for LJ.
The clouds that had been hanging low in the sky all day finally break just as Sam squishes his melting marshmallow between his two graham crackers and bar of chocolate and they manage to get into the tent without getting completely soaked. Sam doesn’t seem to mind as he happily sits on his sleeping bag and munches on his gooey treat, getting chocolate and marshmallow all over his hands and face.
The wind blows at the tent and the rain pounds down and Dodger is getting nervous, whining and panting despite Mark trying to pet him to calm him.
“This is why I hate camping,” Mark says with a glare thrown at Derek. “Please tell me that you have something for dinner that doesn’t require a fire?”
“I’m always prepared,” Derek grins, reaching over and grabbing the cooler he has brought with him. “For Sam,” he says and hands over a turkey, cheese and cracker Lunchable with a Reese’s cup and Capri Sun juice inside.
Sam’s eyes widen. “I love Lunchables!” He exclaims happily and then immediately hands it to Mark so he can open it for him. He frowns though when Mark takes the chocolate peanut butter cup out before handing it back to him.
“And for us, I got us any sandwich you could want,” Derek says.
“Roast beef,” Mark requests and holds out his hand as Derek instantly tosses him one. “Not too shabby, Shep.” He unwraps the plastic from around it and takes a hardy bite. “Eh. Not as good as Lexie’s but it’s edible.”
Derek rolls his eyes, leaning back on one elbow as he begins eating a turkey sandwich. “Man, she has spoiled you over the years.”
Mark smirks. “I’ve been married to her for ten years. She’s gotten me used to certain things.”
“Daddy! I have to pee!” Sam suddenly exclaims.
Mark blinks at him. “You’re kidding.” Sam shakes his head, taking a sip through the straw of his Capri Sun juice. Mark snatches it from his hand. “Stop drinking that.”
“Daddy, I have to pee,” Sam repeats himself and then stands up, beginning to bounce up and down.
“And stop doing that. You’re just shaking your bladder,” Mark says and Derek laughs.
“I really, really, really have to pee,” Sam says, his voice shaking with his bouncing.
Mark sighs heavily, standing up. He finishes his sandwich in two more bites and then zips up his coat and flips his hood on. He then takes Sam’s lamb hat off and flips up his own hood, tightening it on his head and around his face so it won’t blow off in the wind.
“Hold onto Dodger so he doesn’t go running out there,” Mark tells Derek, picking Sam up in one arm.
“Here,” Derek says, already holding onto Dodger’s collar, and hands Mark a flashlight.
The rain is pounding down in such thick sheets and it is so dark outside, for a moment, it takes Mark a moment for his eyes to completely adjust. He makes sure the tent is zipped back up behind him and flipping on the flashlight, he carries Sam over to the nearest tree, very grateful that they potty-trained him early to pee standing up. All of their children were potty-trained fairly early – at least according to the baby books Lexie insisted on reading for some reason – but really, Mark didn’t see a problem with it. The sooner they had to stop dealing with diapers or Pull-Ups, the better of everyone would be. This night being a prime example.
“Alright, buddy. Get to it,” he says, putting Sam back down on his feet. But Sam just stands there, looking up at him. “What?” He asks, his voice a bit louder, needing to be heard over the heavy wind.
Sam shakes his head. “I can’t go! It’s raining and windy!”
“Sammy, if you have to pee, this is where you have to do it! You’re not peeing in the tent!” Mark says. “Do you want to stand out here and do it or do you want go back in the tent and hold it?”
Sam turns towards the tree and Mark shines the flashlight for him so he can see but still, nothing happens.
“What is it?” Mark asks, trying to stay patient despite the torrential downpour they are standing in.
“Daddy, you’re watching me! I can’t go with you watching me!”
“Sam, I got to hold the flashlight!”
“I can’t go with you here!”
Mark sighs, trying to think quickly. He then walks around to the other side of the tree and holds the flashlight out so it still shines on Sam but he can’t see him anymore.
“Better?” He asks.
“Yes!” Sam shouts and then is quiet as he takes care of himself.
A minute later, he jumps in front of Mark from the other side of the tree, a grin on his face.
“Good?” Mark asks and Sam nods.
“Daddy,” Sam says as Mark carries him back to the tent. “I love camping.”
Mark can’t sleep, even after the fifty games of Go Fish Sam had him and Derek play. The rain and wind shake the tent for most of the night and when it finally does stop, it is almost dawn and he goes outside for some fresh air. Everything is soaked and starting a fire will be absolutely impossible which means the worst thing for Mark.
He really hates camping.
Dodger is running around their campsite, bursting with energy, having also just spent a very restless night in the tent and he is peeing on every tree though Mark is fairly certain that the dog has nothing left in him.
Mark stands on the edge of the lake, looking out, watching as the first rays of the rising sun reflected off of the water and raindrops clinging to the tree branches like crystals. Knowing Lexie, she probably would love this. She would think it is beautiful or worse. Romantic. Mark can’t focus though on the sunrise. He needs coffee. Now.
Something suddenly collides into his leg and looking down, he smiles when he sees that it is Sam. He is still wearing his red fire truck pajamas with the long underwear underneath and he has tugged on his hiking boots and his down coat.
“Hey, Sam,” Mark says, bending down and picking the boy up in his arms. “What are you doing up?”
“Can’t sleep,” Sam yawns, resting his head on Mark’s shoulder and rubbing his eye with one of his fisted hands.
“Did you have fun? Even with the rain?” Mark asks and Sam nods.
“I had a blast,” he yawns again and Mark smiles. “Can we do this again?”
“Of course we can,” he says and he completely means it. He’ll deal with all of this again if it is something that Sam likes and wants to do. “We’ll do this again when it isn’t raining though.”
“Daddy?” Sam murmurs and turning his head slightly to look at him, Mark sees that the boy is falling asleep again.
“Thank you, daddy,” he mumbled and then his eyes are closed and his breathing evens out, sleeping again.
Mark keeps holding Sam in his arms and standing at the edge of the lake, he watches as the sun slowly continues to rise above the waterline.
“Mommy!” Sam exclaims and the instant Mark unbuckles him from his carseat, Sam takes off running to Lexie who is smiling and coming down the front porch steps to greet them. “Mommy!” He calls out again and Lexie laughs as she stoops down and catches him in her arms as he runs into her.
“Oh, my baby boy.” Lexie kisses Sam on the head. “I missed you so much. Did you have a fun time with your daddy and Uncle Derek?”
“I had the best time. It was raining so much but we stayed in the tent and played Go Fish and I won most of the time because daddy stinks at Go Fish and Uncle Derek didn’t know what he was doing. And I had to pee outside and daddy took me and it was raining so hard and Dodger was crying and pacing the tent most of the night and Uncle Derek-”
“Whoa, Sammy. Whoa,” Lexie laughs. “Slow down, baby. You know you get the hiccups when you talk too fast like that.”
Lexie kisses his head again and watches as Mark and Derek unload their things from the back of the SUV. Mark yawns and rubs the back of his neck as he watches Lexie walk towards him. Even though he had only seen her yesterday morning, he feels as if it has been the longest twenty-four hours of his life.
“You look dead,” she can’t help but laugh. “What happened?”
“It rained nearly the entire time. You try sleeping in some flimsy tent when there’s a monsoon going on outside,” he says and putting Sam back on his feet, Lexie then stands up on her toes and sliding her hands onto Mark’s cheeks, she kisses him.
She smiles. “Sam had fun though.”
Mark stares at her for a moment and then sighs. “Yeah. Sam had fun though.”
Lexie laughs softly and kisses him again. “So, the odds of you and Sam getting sick because of the rain…”
He smirks and giving her hips a squeeze with his hands, he looks at Derek. “Next time, would you read the weather report before we leave?”
“Next time?” Derek asks, surprised.
“Sam wants to go again,” Mark sighs. “So I guess we’re going camping again.”
Derek looks at him for a moment and then nods, smiling slightly. “I’d like that.”
“I’m going to make some breakfast. Derek, would you like to stay?” Lexie asks.
Derek and Mark glance at one another and then Derek shakes his head, looking back at Lexie.
“I would love to, Lexie. And thank you for the invite but I should get home to Meredith and Amy,” he says, closing the back door of the SUV again. “Maybe we could all do dinner together later in the week.”
Lexie smiles. “Sounds great. And thank you for bringing my boys back safely.”
Mark and Derek shake hands and Lexie gives him a brief hug.
“Bye, Sam!” Derek calls out as he gets back into the SUV, watching as Sam and Dodger chase each other around the front yard.
Sam pauses to wave. “Bye, Uncle Derek!”
Lexie picks up one of the sleeping bags and slings a bag onto her shoulder and heads into the house with Mark carrying the rest of their things following behind her.
“This house was so quiet without you two,” Lexie confides, immediately taking everything into the laundry room. “Ally is still over at Brandon’s and Ellie…” she trails off, smiling. “It has been practically silent without you home. Did you have fun at all?”
Mark doesn’t say anything. Instead, he wraps his arms around her waist and turning her around, he presses her against the washing machine. “We have a pretty cool son. How did that happen?”
Lexie smiles, sliding her arms around his shoulders. “Some horrible mistake at the hospital. He isn’t really ours.”
“I didn’t think so,” Mark smirks. He’s quiet for a moment as he stares at her. He opens his mouth to say something but no words come out and he kisses her instead. “You know what I told Derek?” He asks and she shakes her head. He brushes his lips against hers, pressing her against the washing machine a bit harder. He won’t do anything right now, of course. They are standing in the laundry room and Sam or Ellie or even Ally returning home for the weekend could walk in on them. He is going to have to wait until that night. Mark smiles. “I told him that reunion sex is some of the best,” he tells her and laughs when she blushes just as he knew she would.
She shakes her head. “You were gone for twenty-four hours, Mark. That’s hardly a call for reunion sex.”
“I slept outside, Lexie. In the rain. In the woods.”
She laughs and gives him a kiss. “And your son absolutely worships you because of it.”
He feels his chest swell slightly at her words and he stands up just a bit straighter.
“Daddy!” Sam shouts, running into the laundry room. “Can we set a tent up in my room? I want to camp out again and I want Ellie there!”
Mark stares at Lexie for another moment and she smiles at him.
“Yeah, Sammy,” Mark says. “We have that popup tent in the basement we can use.”
“Yay!” Sam exclaims. “You’re the best!” And then he takes off running again, his feet heard a moment later pounding up the stairs.
Mark looks at Lexie again, a cocky smirk pulling at one corner of his mouth. He shrugs nonchalantly. “I’m the best.”