Pairing: Mark Sloan/Lexie Grey
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Note: Inspired by Amoreena by Elton John. This story was written in about fifteen minutes so sorry in advance for mistakes.
He sees her in the park across from the Archfield as he comes out of the hotel one afternoon on his way to walk the couple of blocks to the hospital. He has been in town from New York for two days and hasn’t seen her yet. If anyone accused him of avoiding her, he would deny it, of course, because Mark Sloan did not avoid women as if he is afraid of them. He could simply claim that he hadn’t been in any situation that had him running into her – which he is silently grateful for.
He doesn’t know if he can handle seeing her in all honesty. It has been more than two years since he left Seattle, and her, and he won’t admit it but he hasn’t stopped thinking about her since then. He has lost count of how many times he tells himself that he did the right thing in ending their relationship. Lexie Grey wanted things that Mark never would – the kids, the house, mowing a lawn, changing diapers. Those things aren’t him and he knows they never will be. When their relationship came to an eventual standstill, Mark had known that there was only one thing for him to do.
Derek and him talk every week and it is through Derek that Mark knows that Lexie had gotten married the year before – to some guy named Brian and Mark vaguely recalls the resident from when he was attending at Seattle Grace. And then just three months earlier, she had given birth to their first child. A daughter. Susan Cecilia. Lexie calls her Ceci and according to Derek, the girl looks just like her mom.
Mark tries to tell himself that hearing these things don’t hurt him. That the sharp burning in the center of his chest is just from the Chinese he had eaten for dinner.
When he steps through the front revolving doors of the hotel, it is a rare sunny day in Seattle and a soft wind is blowing, carrying that all too-familiar laughter with it. For a moment, he thinks he is imagining it because sadly for him, it isn’t the first time he has thought he heard her laughter in his ears. But then it gets louder, clearer and following it, Mark sees her almost immediately.
There are a set of swings and Lexie Grey, now Sharpe, though she will always be his Little Grey, is sitting on one, her baby daughter in her lap. Even from across the street, Mark can tell that Lexie is still as beautiful as she ever was. Her hair is long and dark, curled loosely with a few strands blowing in the wind. Her smile is bright and happy and even from the distance, he can tell the baby, her baby, is just like her. And for a brief fleeting moment, he wonders if they had had a baby together, would it be more like him? Or would it still be just like her?
Lexie laughs as she stands up from the swing and Ceci smiles as she turns her in her arms, holding onto her tightly, rubbing a hand up and down her back. She says something to the baby but Mark can’t hear from across the street and he can’t read lips. He wishes he could hear though. He wants to know if her voice sounds as he remembers it because Lexie’s voice is something he hopes he never forgets.
He regrets it. Of course he does. He doesn’t believe in true love or soul mates or crap like that because… come on. That is just some bullshit Hollywood and card companies force feed to people to make them feel like failures if they stay single forever. But with Lexie, Mark knows that he loved her and that if things had worked out differently, he probably would still be with her. No. Not probably. He would still be with her. She is Lexie Grey… Sharpe. He loved – loves – her.
Now though, everything is different. Well, she is different. He is pretty much the same guy he was before they started dating. He works too late, drinks too much, sleeps with too many women. Lexie though… Mark wonders if he should cross the street and talk to her. He always has thought of himself as a self-masochist.
He thinks of all of the nights they had spent together in the hotel behind him. Of hours of sex, of talking and laughing, of their legs tangled together as she rests her chin on his chest and tells him all about her childhood because Mark loves hearing about it.
He thinks of how it used to be kissing her. How with Lexie, kissing her had been almost as good as sex itself and sometimes, he found himself just lying on the bed or couch, making out with her like a teenage boy with his first girlfriend. She had always tasted sweet – like candy – and she had always smelled like fruit, those two senses colliding in his brain and he would hold onto her tighter and kiss her harder and standing there now, watching her, he can almost feel her hands on his cheeks and her body pressed to his.
He tortures himself when he has had too much scotch and too little sleep and he sits in his dark New York apartment, wondering all of the things that could have been different. Those nights when they talked in soft whispers about things they wouldn’t tell anyone else, she told him what she wanted for herself in the future and Mark realized for the first time just how truly different the paths they wanted to take were. He wonders if he could have forced himself to want all of those things that she wanted.
Would he be married to her now? The father of her children? Would he be in the park with her and their baby? Would he be happy? Would she be happy with him?
Lexie laughs again and this time, she is carefully sliding down the slide and the wind carries a baby squeal of laughter now as Ceci grins toothlessly up at her mom and Lexie looks so happy, Mark has to look away. Even from across the street, he can see that the baby has brown eyes. Would their baby have had blue ones?
He shouldn’t think about these things – things that have no chance in hell of ever coming true. Derek has said that Lexie is happy, really happy, and Mark is glad. It just reaffirms that his decision in leaving had been the best one. For Lexie anyway.
The jury is still out on whether or not Mark himself is happy.
Mark shoves his hands in his jacket pockets and looking back across the street at the park, he now sees a man approaching them. Tall, dark-haired, dressed in dark blue scrubs and Lexie smiles upon seeing him, standing up from the slide and going to him. She tilts her head up and he kisses her, framing her head in between his hands. And when he pulls away, she is still smiling and he reaches into her arms, picking Ceci up into his.
A sharp pain twists in Mark’s gut and he yells at himself to leave, to keep walking down the street towards the hospital so he can help Derek with this case and then leave Seattle again just as quickly as he came.
But he can’t move. He can’t stop staring at the family that should have been his. At Lexie who is giving this guy, her husband, a smile that she only used to give him.
He notices that the guy – what’s his name? Brian? Though Mark knows damn well what his name is – has a clean shaven face and Mark lifts his hand to rub his own scruff-covered jaw.
“Promise me something,” Lexie whispers to him, nuzzling her nose in his jaw.
“What?” Mark asks, his voice low, gruff with sleep.
“Promise me you’ll never shave,” she says and then she smiles. “I love the feel of your beard scratching my skin.”
That makes him smirk. “Is that so?”
And before she realizes it, she is laughing and Mark has her pinned on her back and his face is in the crook of her neck, rubbing against the delicate skin he finds there, his beard leaving red scratches on her skin that make her moan.
Mark looks at the family across the street. The family that could have been his. Should have been his if he hadn’t have been such an idiot who didn’t realize that there was more to life than living in hotel rooms and never moving forward with Lexie. He looks at her now, smiling and laughing, kissing Brian again, smoothing a hand over Ceci’s dark, uncontrollable hair.
He never should have come back to Seattle. He walked away from her once and now, seeing her again – and it doesn’t matter that she is a wife and mother now – Mark has no idea how he is going to walk away again.
The photo that inspired me.