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Rating: R - See warning below
Disclaimer: See Chapter 1
Pairings : Mark and Lexie
Note: Title from Friedrich Nietzsche’s quote “A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us.”
Warning : There are three medical incidents described. They are taken from real life situations, and toned down but may be considered graphic and unpleasant by some.
Previous Chapters : Ch 1 - Unlocking Doors; Ch 2 - Learning But Not Knowing; Ch 3 - Living Under The Radar


The Demise Of The Dirty Mistresses Club

By Lattelady

Ch 4 – Things That Shatter and Transform Us
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


It was late, almost 2200h. Mark Sloan had already taken a skin graft from Tom Johnson’s right thigh and was now carefully harvesting a section of the patient’s gastrocnemius muscle from the same leg. Callie Torres and Harry Bennington, the attending orthopedic oncologist, had resected a large tumor that had been wrapped around and invaded the fifteen year-old boy’s femur, just above the knee. Once that was removed the orthopods had replaced the joint and a good part of Tom’s thighbone with customized implants. Plastic surgery was needed to fill in missing muscle mass around the implants and close the gaping incision.

The OR was quiet except for the sounds of monitors and the low hum of voices as instruments were passed. All three surgeons, the anesthesiologist and both nurses were tired from a long hard day.

A low background noise cut into Mark’s focus. He slowly rotated his head from side to side and hunched his shoulders to stretch cramped muscles. As he took a deep breath, before resuming work, he gave himself a moment to listen. Careful concentration allowed him to make out the words over the hospital-wide speaker system: a code was being called.

“Code blue room 316B, code blue room 316B, code blue room 316B….” It repeated ten times before it was finally silent.

“Nope, not one of mine,” Bennington muttered. “That end of the third floor is Vascular, isn’t it?” His question was posed to no one in particular and was met with nodding heads.

Sloan stretched his neck one more time and tried not to think about Lexie. He knew she was on Code Call. Right now, instead of sleeping soundly in his bed at the Archfield, she was running through the halls in an attempt to save a life.
………………….
Lexie flopped onto a gurney in the hall where the staff vending machines were housed. It was 0100h and she could hardly keep her eyes open. She turned onto her stomach, buried her face in her arms, and tried to block the last few hours from her memory. The team had responded quickly and had worked hard, but there had been too much blood. They hadn’t been able to stabilize the patient enough to move him to the OR. Mr. Thompson has waited too long. Now he didn’t need the aortic aneurysm repair that had been scheduled for the next morning. The softened ballooning spot in his major artery had burst, resulting in the code. Lex had been assigned chest compressions and gotten covered in blood from the waist down, as it oozed out of Thompson’s nose and mouth faster than they’d been able to replace it.

When time of death had been called and it was all over but the paperwork, she had taken some time to clean up. Her scrubs, underwear, socks, and even her shoes were tossed in a biohazard bin outside the changing room. She’d slipped her bare feet into her OR clogs and shrugged her shoulders as she pulled on a fresh set of scrubs. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d gone commando at work, and unless she remembered to replace her back-up underwear in her locker, it wouldn’t be the last.

She was just falling asleep when a pager, clipped to the waist of her scrubs, began to vibrate. Instinct made her check the Code Team Call pager she held tightly in her right hand, but it was silent and there was no repeated overhead announcement.

She fumbled for the one at her belt and then grinned when she saw the text message: Where R U? M

U should be asleep. L She responded.

Just got out of surgery. Where R U? M. She rolled her eyes when she read the message. He could be persistent when he wanted to be.

Gurney in vending machine hall. L She punched in and sent the message.

You shouldn’t sleep there. M

Stop nagging. L

“I don’t nag.” Mark came through the double doors behind her. His long loping stride ate up the distance between them in seconds. He knelt beside her and wished he’d thought to grab a blanket out of the warmer in the substerile of his OR. She looked cold. Since he hadn’t, he did the next best thing; he wrapped one arm around her shoulders. “You’re exhausted. How’d it go, Little Grey?” When she buried her face in his neck, he had his answer.

“Don’t ask,” she muttered against his skin. Taking deep breaths, inhaling his scent. “You smell good.”

“I stink.” He ran his hand up and down her back. “I need a shower.”

“Well, yeah, ya do, but...” She gave him a crooked grin. “You smell like Mark and the scrub soap you use. It helps get the stench of blood out of my nose.”

“In that case…” he didn’t finish his sentence. He simply put his arms around her and pulled her against him. He’d stayed crouched beside her so it was easy to slide her upper body against his shoulder and let her bury her face in the neck of his scrubs. As he held her close, he took a good look at her and saw little things he’d missed before. She wasn’t wearing socks and the t-shirt she’d had under her top was missing. To further test his theory, he ran his hand over her rounded bottom. When he realized she wasn’t wearing anything under her scrubs, he groaned and tightened his hold on her.

“Mark, no…not here.” She pulled out of his arms; expecting to see his face filled with desire, instead there was sorrow in his eyes. “It’s all right, it is….well it’s not really…all right…he…ah… didn’t make it – blew an aortic aneurysm.” She shrugged, knowing it was all the information Sloan needed to understand what had happened.

“Ugh, messy.” He ran his hand slowly through her hair because he knew it helped relax her and made her feel better.

“Yeah,” she whispered and leaned closer to kiss him so he’d realize she was taking it in stride. “Tonight is all part of what I signed up for when I decided to become a doctor.”

“I know, but…” He frowned not understanding why it made his insides hurt when he thought of what she must have gone through in the last few hours.

“When I was doing all the postmortem paperwork, I pulled up his films. If we’d been in the OR and all set to start, maybe, just maybe we could have saved him. The aneurysm was located on his aortic arch.”

“Who the hell was going to perform that surgery?” They didn’t have a cardiac surgeon on staff since Erica Hahn had walked off in a fit of temper.

“Dr. Dixon was coming in for it but Jim Smith from Vascular was going to do the vessel repair.” Lexie’s lips twitched when she thought of the ridged cardiac surgeon working with the eccentric head of vascular.

“Oh, to be a fly on the wall in that OR.” Mark chuckled. “What color is Jim’s hair nowadays?”

“Kind of a sunny yellow, defiantly not any shade that occurs naturally. And if you were a fly on the wall of any OR, some efficient circulating nurse would smack you dead before you could contaminate anything.” She grinned, but her smile didn’t last long. “Smith got there just in time to call time of death. He must have been close by.”

“He’s like Yang, he lives for his work. He works long hour and takes more than his fair share of attending call. Something most of the surgeons are grateful for, including yours truly.” Mark remembered one particular horrific situation. His patient had scar tissue adhered to an artery and no matter how careful he’d been, he’d broken though. One second all had been going smoothly, the next his scrub tech had a small squirt of blood pumping against his gown. They’d applied pressure and called in vascular. Less than five minutes later Jim Smith had arrived, his favorite headlight already in place over his scrub hat.

“The man is in his late fifties, he really should get a life,” she snorted.

“He’s tried, but my office manager keeps him at arms length.” When Mark had finally convinced Jenny Kirkwood to join him in Seattle, he’d been thrilled that she’d drawn the attention of the well-known vascular surgeon. “She’ll attend hospital functions with him and I get the feeling they sometimes see each other outside of Seattle Grace, but only as friends.” It was the one and only time he’d tried to play matchmaker and had failed miserably.

“Don’t! Don’t you dare meddle in this Mark Sloan.” Lexie shook her finger at him.

“What do you know about Jenny, that I don’t?”

“All I know is what everyone else around here does. Jenny Kirkwood still considers herself engaged to the man who gave her the ring she always wears and if she wanted to talk about it, she would.” Lexie felt tears welling up in her eyes. It was something she understood. Her parents had been like that. In his lost and lonely state Thatcher Grey had turned to drinking and rejecting his daughters, because they reminded him of the woman who’d died. It was a far more destructive outlet for his grief, than the one Jen had chosen.

“That’s crazy. She’s worn that ring for the ten years I’ve known her.” It was something he’d always suspected about her, but had never wanted to believe. It was too different from the way he lived his life.

“It may seem that way to you, but if you push her about it or dig where you shouldn’t, you will lose her.” The young doctor was well aware of the almost mother-son relationship that existed between Sloan and Kirkwood. The only woman who was as close to him was Carolyn Shepherd, Derek’s mom.

“You’re right,” he sighed and dug his fingers into Lex’s hair, brushing it away from her face. “Don’t cry, Sweetheart. I won’t do anything that might hurt Jen.” He knew Lex was right. Jenny Kirkwood had a stubborn streak a mile wide. Years ago when it became public that he was having an affair with Addison, she shook her head in disapproval but kept working for him. When he’d left New York to follow his lover to Seattle, she’d refused to have anything to do with it. In Kirkwood’s mind Montgomery-Shepherd was more than fifty percent to blame for what had happened and if Mark was foolish enough to follow the woman across country, he could damn well do it on his own.

“I’m not crying…just tied. Go home, please.” Lexie lay on the gurney curled as close to the edge as she could. Her head rested on his shoulder with her face pressed against his neck. She shivered in delight as his fingers moved through her smooth red-brown tresses. “You’ve got an early morning and so do I,” she sighed. Mark’s surgery schedule for the next day was filled with the first group of children from the Cleft Palate/Cleft Lip Clinic. Lexie knew all of their records inside and out. She had wanted to be in on their surgeries, but was assigned to Orthopedics in the morning. “At least I’m only there until noon, since I’ll be post-call, but you’ve got cases booked all day.”

“Yeah and you should be doing them with me. Callie offered to switch interns…”

“She did?” Lex grinned at how pleasant it would be, if he took Dr. Torres up on her offer. “But we can’t.”

“Damnit, this is a teaching hospital and you have a legitimate reason to be there. You’ve been following these kids from their first visits at the clinic. It’s a little thing called continuity of care.” Mark straightened from his place crouched against the gurney and sat beside her, so her body was curled around his hip, as he looked down into her tired brown eyes.

“I’d love to be assisting, but we can’t.” It amazed her that she was more worried about Derek Shepherd finding out about them than he was. “It would look suspicious. Everyone knows you don’t like to teach interns.”

“I like to teach one of them just fine.” He grinned wickedly and ran a finger down her cheek.

“Mark, behave. We need to be careful.”

“I am careful, you don’t see me sleeping in a little used hospital hallway, with only fire doors, that can’t be locked, at each end.” He glared at her, hoping he had gotten her off the subject of Derek and his obsessions. He was for more concerned about her safety, than he was Shep’s need to control his life.

“Interns have slept on these gurneys for decades and nothing has happened. If residents and attendings wouldn’t use call rooms for things other than sleep, then maybe the rooms with locks on their doors would be available when they are needed for a lowly intern who is actually on call.”

“Lexie…”

“Besides,” she pouted. “I can’t sleep in any of those rooms, they’re haunted by all your…your conquests.”

“That’s the most redicu--.” He stopped mid-sentence, struck by the vulnerability in her eyes. “You’re jealous…”

“Am not.” She countered.

“Are too.” He grinned.

“Am not!”

“Shut up,” he whispered and silenced her with a searing kiss.

“You don’t fight fair,” Lexie murmured, when he pulled back just far enough to see her face. “And you’re overprotective.”

“Guilty as charged, on both counts.” Mark nodded and kissed her quickly one last time.

“I haven’t had anyone worry about me since before my mom died.” It was hard for her to admit and she hoped it didn’t make him think she was pitiful again. “It feels kind of nice.”

“What about your sisters?” He reminded her around the lump in his throat. She’d touched the soft inner core of Mark Sloan. A place he hated to admit existed, but knew was showing more and more since Alexandria Carolyn Grey had come into his life.

“I know Molly cares, but she lives far away and is busy with her own family.” Talking about her little sister reinforced her determination to never add to the younger woman’s worries by telling Mol the truth about life in Seattle. “You can’t count Meredith’s sporadic attempts to run my life. She used Derek to try and blackmail you to stay away from me, instead of asking us what we wanted. She ignores me at work and fights with my resident so Dr. Yang resents me more than ever. About the only helpful thing she’s done is let me use her attic…but…she doesn’t realizes that I almost never sleep there. God, I sound pitiful, just tell me to shut up before I completely bury myself.”

“I can so count Meredith. She got you out of that crappy apartment and away from O’Malley.” He grinned smugly. “The fact that she treats you like an adult and doesn’t track your coming and going…well…I’m kind of glad about that.” He leaned closer and gave Lexie nibbling kisses along her jaw. “Yeah, I’m very glad about that.” He grinned. His lips were inches away from hers. “Though you might want to think about cutting her some slack. She doesn’t know how to be a sister. It’s hard to go from being all by yourself, to suddenly having someone care unconditionally about you.” As he talked, Mark knew he wasn’t simply talking about Big Grey; he was talking about him, too. “Look at how she almost screwed things up with Derek for good.”

She watched his eyes turn wary and his face become carefully blank, as if he’d said more than he was comfortable saying. “I’m glad you worry about me, Mark,” she whispered. “I worry about you too. I…I care about you.” It was more than she’d planned to say but much less than she really felt. When his eyes warmed and he kissed her gently, she knew she’d been right to go with her gut.

“I care about you, too, Lexie Grey.” He didn’t think, he simply reached into the breast pocket of his scrub shirt and pulled out a keycard he’d been carrying with him for over a week. He’d gotten an extra one from the Archfield’s front desk, but had never given it to her. It was always with him, as he watched and waited, vacillating between wanting her to have it immediately and wanting to guard his privacy. His emotions and his intellect had waged a fierce war. In the end, he finally let go and went with his feelings.

“You want me to have a key to your room?” Lexie recognized the magnitude of the gesture and found it as thrilling as it was frightening

“Yes…no…yes…I don’t know.” He rubbed his eyes and told her the truth. “I know I want to think about you sleeping in my bed while I’m working this afternoon, not buried beneath ten blankets in that cold drafty attic of Meredith’s.” There was much more he wanted but he didn’t dare say it here, they weren’t behind closed doors.

“Thank you. I’ll…I’ll….” She held the card tightly in both hands. “I’ll never use it unless you know I’m coming over.”

“We’ll work it out as we go along, just like we’ve done all the rest.” Intense blue eyes met deep brown ones. “I know you’re not comfortable about it being a hotel, but for now…” He shrugged unwilling to tell her he’d been looking at condos in his spare time when she’d been at work. Only Jenny Kirkwood knew about that and for the moment he wanted to keep it that way.

“When I get off at noon, I’ll go to your place to sleep, but I’ve got to run some errands and then go to my father’s tonight.” She pocketed the card and ran her hands up his arms until she gripped his biceps. “I need to be sure he’s all right.” It was something she’d been doing almost every week for the last year. It wasn’t a pleasant task, but someone had to do it. She brought him groceries and did some cooking, though most of the time he didn’t eat much of what she left in his freezer.

“Why don’t you wait until I’m out of surgery and I can go with you?” Mark knew how badly Thatcher Grey had treated Meredith in the past and he didn’t trust the older man not to turn on Lexie at some point.

“No, it’ll just get messy if you do. He’d be banging on Mere’s door in no time flat and our secret would be out. I refuse to be the reason you and Derek have a falling out again.”

“Humph and you call me overprotective.” He was amazed at how fierce she could be at times.

“I’m not kidding about this. He’s your family.”

“Okay, Little Grey, you text me when you leave your dad’s. I’ll see if my ‘family’ wants to have a drink at Joe’s after work tonight.” Mark ran his fingers through her hair and gently massaged her neck.

“That feels nice,” she yawned. “Please don’t switch interns with Dr. Torres…” She yawned again. “If you do, you’ll only have help half the day instead of all day long,” Lexie muttered.

“Shhhh, go to sleep, Sweetheart.” He left tiny kisses along her temple as his hands moved through her hair and up and down her back.

“Promise…Mark….” She fell asleep whispering his names, surrounded by his scent and his touch.

“Shhhhh, babe.”

When her breathing became slow and even, he carefully disentangled his hands from her hair. He stood and watched Lexie until he was sure she was sleeping soundly. He still didn’t like the idea of her napping in an open hall, but there was nothing he could do about it this time. Though he planned to extract a promise that it wouldn’t happen again. Shaking his head and wondering what had come over him, he turned and headed for the locker room.

Twenty minutes later Sloan walked quietly through the corridors of Seattle Grace. He’d showered and changed into his own clothes. His signature leather jacket was zipped tightly against the stormy night. There was a blanket over his arm that he’d taken from the warmer in the Recovery Room. He slipped quietly into the hall by the vending machines where Lexie Grey was sleeping. Once he’d covered her with the blanket, he gave her one last kiss, turned, and headed toward the Archfield and his empty bed.

…………………....


Mark arrived at work early the next morning. He had a large green paper coffee cup in one hand and a frown on his face. He hadn’t slept well and it had caught him by surprise. He’d been tired when he’d crawled beneath the covers, but he’d tossed and tuned for an hour before finally falling asleep.

He tried telling himself that his restlessness was because he was used to repeated intense sex each night. He was simply suffering from excess energy. But that didn’t explain why he’d finally fallen into a peaceful slumber when he’d buried his face in Lexie’s pillow and inhaled her gentle scent.

After parking in the doctor’s lot, Sloan went the long way around, through the ED, and down the back stairs, hoping to find Lex just waking up. He’d brought her coffee and wanted to surprise her. But when he arrived in the hall where she’d been sleeping a few hours earlier, all he found was the gurney she’d used as a bed and the blanket he’d covered her with, before heading to the Archfield.

In frustration, he pounded up the stairs and cut across the lobby to the bank of elevators, pointedly ignoring the nurses who trickled in behind him, as they waited in a group for a car to arrive. Though Mark had slept with most of the women around him, he had no wish to engage any of them in conversation. There was only one female who was on his mind and he’d already missed her once that morning.

Finally the doors opened and he saw Lexie leaning sleepily against the back wall of the elevator. The crowd, behind him, pushed him forward until he was standing beside her. Very carefully, while keeping his eyes straight ahead, he lowered his right hand to his side and moved closer, until his knuckles grazed the back of her left hand. He heard her breath catch and felt the back of her fingers rub against his.

They stayed that way for nine floors, both ignoring where they were going, simply enjoying the elevator magic that was urban legend around SGH. Then they were alone, all the other passengers where off to start their workday, leaving them standing, staring straight ahead, waiting patiently for the doors to close. When they did and the car started to descend, he turned toward her, slid his hand around until their fingers were interlaced. With his free hand he gently ran his thumb under the dark circles below her eyes. He leaned forward to kiss the top of her head, her temple and was working his way to her lips when the elevator stopped, again.

He felt her fingers clenched his and she leaned her forehead against his chest for one quick moment before the doors opened. “I shouldn’t be later than 9 PM,” she mouthed as she stepped away from him.

Mark nodded once and exited, empty handed, leaving Lexie sipping a grande Americano that he’d brought her and unobtrusively handed off to her, when the car had been the most crowded. ‘None of those damn nosy nurses had suspected a thing,’ he thought to himself, as he grinned and headed toward the men’s locker room.

.........................


Lexie slept soundly in Mark’s bed, surrounding by his familiar scent and wearing a rumpled t-shirt he’d left draped over a chair. She slept so well she didn’t hear her alarm and was running late when she finally woke up.

After grocery shopping, she drove through one of the worst rainstorms to hit Seattle in years. The wind was gusting and rain pounded on her windshield until she could hardly see. For the first time since her mother died, she breathed a sigh of relief instead of dread when she pulled into her father’s driveway. There were no lights on in the house and she didn’t see Thatcher’s car.

“Dad,” Lex called out as she unlocked the front door and switched on the hall light. The home Susan Grey had kept spotless was a mess. “Dad, it’s Lexie.” But her calls went unanswered. It was obvious her father wasn’t home. She stamped down on the warm thought that maybe she could do some housework and fix him a meal or two before he returned. Her mother would have hated it if she knew someone wasn’t taking care of Thatcher.

She hung up her coat and purse in the hall closet and went to work shoveling through the trash, garbage and dirty clothes that had were left in the living and dining room. She lost count of the liquor bottles that went into a large trash bag. It took her over an hour to get the rooms into some semblance of order and start the laundry.

Lexie was working at the counter next to the stove, cutting up vegetables for a salad and keeping an eye on the stew that she was cooking when her neck began to tingle.

“Suzie?” a drunken voice called out from ten feet behind her.

Pasting a smile on her face, Lex turned around and saw her father weaving through the room. “No, Daddy, it’s me, Lexie.”

“Lexie doesn’t live here anymore.” He glared at the woman he’d mistaken for his dead wife. “She left me like all the rest.”

“You’re right, I don’t live here. I’m an intern at Seattle Grace Hospital. I need to live closer to where I work.” It wasn’t exactly the truth, he’d thrown her out months earlier in a drunken argument, but this was the first time since she’d been visiting him that he’d brought it up.

“Fuck Seattle Grace and fuck Richard Weber!” he roared.

“Daddy, please you shouldn’t talk about the Chief like that.” Lexie stepped back. Her father was drunk and in a terrible temper.

“Why not?” he shouted. “First he screwed Ellis and convinces her to leave me; then he turned Meredith against me when she came back to Seattle; now he’s gotten to you too?” He picked up the salad she’d been making, and threw it against the wall above her head. She ducked as lettuce and vegetables rained down on her head and shoulders. “What’d he tell ya? That I’m weak and can’t keep my women?

“Dad, Chief Weber has nothing to do with this.” Her voice broke as she tried to get out of his reach, but he was surprisingly quick for a man who could hardly stand up and who smelled like he’d bathed in bourbon. “I’ve made you your favorite stew. You need some food.”

“What’d he tell ya, God damnit!” he shouted inches away from her.

“He didn’t tell me anything, not a thing.” She judged the distance to the living room and the hall closet where her coat and purse were hanging and took tiny steps to move around him.

“You stay here when your father is talking to you!” The hand that had been lying on her right arm, tightened and he yanked her closer. “Now tell me what that bastard said.”

“Nothing, I swear.” She began to shake as she tried to tug free. “Stop acting crazy!”

“You sound just like Ellis,” his words were slurred and he wasn’t sure where he was. “Damnit, Meredith, you sound just like your mother.”

“I’m Lexie, Daddy, not Meredith.” She tried one last time to make him see reason.

“Shut-up, just shut-up. I know exactly who you are, you lying bitch and you can get the hell out of my house, like you were so anxious to do all those years ago.” Thatcher had a grip on her wrist and pulled her toward the back door. “But it didn’t do you any good did it, Ellis, cause the weak bastard didn’t have the guts to leave his wife. I hope he broke your heart like you did mine!”

“Let go of me!” She tried to twist free, but he just held on tighter. It was obvious Thatcher was having alcoholic hallucinations. “I’ll go, just let me get my coat and purse from the closet.”

“Get the hell out and don’t come back.” He ignored her protests, as he unlatched the door and used his body weight to shove her out into the stormy night. “That bastard took my first family and when I’d finally found happiness again, he killed her too. You and he killed Susan.” Grey banged the door shut and locked it.

Lexie tumbled down three steps to the back yard and landed on her side in a large puddle. The rain was coming down hard, soaking her clothes and hair, but she felt nothing, absolutely nothing. She was a doctor and realized that her emotions were missing in action. When they returned, it would all come crashing down around her. She needed to get out of the wet cold Seattle night before that happened.

In a few quick steps she was standing at the back door to her father’s house. When she tried the knob, her hand shook. Lex pulled back quickly. There was nothing she could do. The man she knew as her dad was gone and in his place was a raving drunk. If she went up against him again she was sure that one or both of them would end up getting hurt.

She had to bite her lip to keep from laughing hysterically. “Yeah right,” she muttered. “As if he hasn’t hurt me enough already.” But this hadn’t been physical, well not at least until the last, but since there was nothing that could make her raise her hand against Thatcher Grey, even now, she was sure she’d come out on the losing end, again.

She looked over at the nearest house where Mary and Louisa Talbot lived. But the house was dark, a sure sign that the two elderly sisters who lived there, were already in bed. Both of them were deaf and Lexie knew from experience that she could blast hard rock music all night and not disturb them; pounding on their door wouldn’t get her anywhere.

Lexie ran around to the front of the house and tried to open her car, but for once, she’d locked it. Finally in desperation she took shelter under the overhang of the garage. She knew she was missing some small detail, but couldn’t remember what. Her mind had turned to mush during the argument with her father and when he’d pushed her out into the night, thinking he was locking out either Ellis, or Meredith, things had gone completely sideways.

“God, Mark’s right, I am pitiful.” She shivered with her arms wrapped around her and rain blowing into the tiny patch of shelter she’d found. “I should just go and knock on any of the neighbors’ doors.” But she was too embarrassed and confused.

.........................


At the Emerald City Bar, Derek Shepherd and Mark Sloan were having a beer. Derek was waiting for Meredith and enjoying the company of his best friend.

“We haven’t done this in a while, it’s nice.” Shepherd smiled. “My mom give you a hard time when she was here?”

“Naw, it’s always great to see her.” Sloan grinned remembering the advice Carolyn had given him about Lexie. He didn’t think now was the time to share that tidbit with Derek. “Though she took my office manager off for a few hours in the afternoon and my private clinic ground to a halt.”

“Mom and Jenny remind me of Meredith and Cristina. You know that whole, if you’ve got a body to bury, I’ve got the shovel thing.”

“You don’t suppose Mrs. Shepherd knows…?” Mark’s mind was back on the conversation he’d had with Lex. For some reason, he didn’t understand, it was becoming more and more important for him to discover the emotions that would cause a woman to be that loyal and that faithful to one man.

“No, Mark.” Derek slowly shook his head. “If there’s someone who knows Jenny Kirkwood’s back story, it would be mom, but I’d never ask and even if I did know, she’d never tell.”

“You’re right, sorry, but old habits die hard.” He reached for his pager to be sure it hadn’t accidently gotten turned off. It was getting late he should have heard from Lex by now.

“I’m not keeping you from something important am I?” Derek turned on his bar stool and watched his friend carefully. “That’s the tenth time you’ve check that thing since we got here.”

“Hmmm…oh that.” Mark grinned sheepishly as he clipped his pager onto his belt. “No…ah…just checking,” he mumbled.

They sat in companionable silence. Shepherd enjoyed his friend’s obvious attempts to keep from reaching for his pager every few minutes.

.........................


Lexie was soaked to the skin and her teeth were chattering when she finally remembered she was wearing her hospital pager. As she pulled it out of the front pocked of her jeans, she gave a small thank you for the ingrained training that caused her to keep it with her at all times. If she’d left it in her purse, it would be sitting in a dry house, along with her coat, car keys, wallet, and cell phone.

“Mark….Mark…Mark…” she muttered as her stiff fingers took ten times as long to punch in her short message. When she pressed the send button she bit her lip to keep from crying.

.........................


“Derek, what do you know about Meredith’s father?” The question seemed to come out of nowhere, but as the minutes had ticked by Mark grew more and more uneasy.

“Why the sudden curiosity?” Shepherd’s hand froze with his drink halfway to his lips.

“Not sudden really.” Sloan ran his thumb and forefinger over his mustache. “You’re my best friend and if things keep going the way they are, you and Meredith are going to end up married. I’d just like to know something about the in-laws.” He shrugged as casually as possible. It sounded good. Hopefully Derek didn’t look to deeply at his answer.

“I think he’s a weak, drunken bastard and if I have any say in the matter, he won’t be coming anywhere near Meredith or Lexie.” He spit the words out like angry bullets and each one hit Mark in the chest.

Sloan visibly paled at his friends reply. “Ya sure you’re not a bit prejudice there?” It had been all over the hospital when Thatcher had struck out at Mere in anger and grief, but the older man’s relationship with his younger daughters was different from the one he had with the eldest. At least Mark hoped it was.

“Most definitely not, he’s….” But he was cut off when Mark grabbed his vibrating pager.

911…2323 Overbrook Rd. Hurry – L

“Emergency, gotta go,” his voice broke, as his features turned to ice. Only someone who knew him as well as Derek did, would know that something was terribly wrong.

“Let me go with you, maybe I can help.”

“No,” Mark’s voice was cool and clipped while his fingers were quickly sending a reply to the message he’d received. “You’ve already done enough.” He turned and fled into the rainy night.

.........................


On my way – M

Lexie sobbed in relief when she read the message. Her legs gave out and she sank slowly to the concrete with her back pressed against the locked garage door. She wrapped her arms around her shins and buried her face against her knees in an attempt to keep the blowing rain from running down her neck.

……………..............

Sorry this took so long to be written, but I work was very busy and then I was out of town for a while. - Latte

To Ch - 5 - Stand Or Fall

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
kimbari
Jan. 25th, 2009 09:21 am (UTC)
lj-cut please
lattelady6
Jan. 25th, 2009 09:26 am (UTC)
Oooops sorry! I've been editing this thing all day. I surprised my eyes aren't glued shut.
sweety_loody
Jan. 25th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
thank u. i really loved that chapter. showing mark's tender side was wow. i mean this chapter was totally wow. so keep up the amazing work and can't wait to your next one. you are a great writer :-)
lattelady6
Jan. 27th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
I'm glad you like it. I'm glad the chapter worked. The ending of this one and the beginning of the next have been written since the start. This was originally going to be done in flashback but I decided I would be the only one who knew what was going on.
singer201
Jan. 26th, 2009 05:38 am (UTC)
Ah, it starts to get very interesting. I liked Mark with the stealth coffee and the warm blanket. Looking forward to the next chapter.
lattelady6
Jan. 27th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
Ohhh you made my day by mentioning those two parts. I've them in my head for the longest time and wanted to have them in the story. There were supposed to be in last chapter, but it went too long. The original stopping place for this chapter was after Mark finds her. But I wanted to put a few little things in, so I changed the cut off. Glad they are noticed!
k4writer02
Jan. 27th, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
I just went and read the whole story, and I really enjoyed it so far. I like the tenderness that Mark shows Lexie, especially in this chapter with the blanket and small gestures like coffee. And last chapter with the gym and making her stronger for Code Team--really nice. I like that each of them has a project now. And you conveyed how tight their schedules are and how little sleep interns get so well. The sense of sacrifice added to the reality of the story for me. In chapter three, I really liked the whole thing at Joe's with darts and Callie and all. I hope you continue this story!
lattelady6
Jan. 27th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
Wow, thanks so much. I really appreciate that you've picked up on a number of the small things I've put in the story. They take up extra time and space, but I love to write them.

I'm really pleased about your comment about the small amount of sleep interns get. In our hospital and it is a teaching hospital, the residents (even the first years are call residents where i work), are restricted, by law, to an 80 hour work week.
autumnrae89
Jan. 29th, 2009 04:54 am (UTC)
Well, I read this last night but felt I couldn't comment because I lost my only Mark/Lexie icon and then I figured you probably don't care about my icons. :P

Anywhoo! This is one of the first few fics I've read for the pairing and my first series fic for them and I'm enjoying it immensely. For me, I don't know why but I try and point out things that might not necessary fit in with the character as I know them and Mark Sloan, I think, is one of the characters who gets left by the way side but I was pleasantly surprised to find that you kept him incredibly real and how I picture him.

It's hard to adapt characters to new situations (such is the nature of fic) and keep them realistic but you've done it wonderfully that I'm excited to see the next chapter. :)
lattelady6
Feb. 1st, 2009 05:28 am (UTC)
Welcome to the M/L ship, I hope you read a lot more stories about this pairing.

I'm happy that you like my story an think I've written Mark true to character. This is my first major undertaking for GA and have been a bit worried.
usedtobending
Jan. 30th, 2009 09:22 am (UTC)
This was amazing. I like how you brought in Thatcher. I really enjoyed when the show focused on Lexie's home life and how even Alex was there for her. I really wish they would continue that on the show bc I know that Mark would protect her in a heartbeat. So I'm happy to see it here in your fic because it shows how much Mark wants to be that guy for Lexie.
lattelady6
Feb. 1st, 2009 05:38 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. What happened at the end of this chapter was the reason the story was written. I'm glad it worked.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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Quotes

The moving finger writes: and having writ Moves on. nor all your piety nor wit Shall lure it back to cancal half a line, Nor all your tears wash out a word of it...The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

If I quiet the voices in my head, I would face the day with nothing to write. - Unknown

I must go down to the seas again the lonely sea and sky...J Masefield

Cinderella walked on broken glass,
Sleeping beauty let a whole lifetime pass.
Belle fell in love with a hideous beast,
Jasmine married a common thief.
Ariel walked on land for love and life,
Snow white barely escaped a knife.
It was all about blood, sweat, and tears.
Because love means facing your biggest fears


The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of...French Proverb

I have drempt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after. They've gone through me like wine through water and altered the colour of my mind ...E. Bronte

To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage...Lao Tzu

It takes chaos to give birth to a dancing star ..F. Nietzsche

How many loved your moments of glad grace, and loved your beauty with love false or true? But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you, and loved the sorrows of your changing face...Yeats

Let us go, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky...T. S. Eliot

In that book which is my memory, on the first page of the chapter, that is the day when I first met you, appears the words, "here begins a new life".
La Vita Nuova

Midnight courage of the heart...Jen Kirkwood

The three o-clock in the morning courage which Bonaparte thought was the rarest...Thoreau

Did you say it? I love you; I don't ever want to live without you; you changed my life. Did you say it?
Make a plan, set a goal, work toward it, but every now and then, look around, drink it in, 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow. - Meredith Grey

Shakespeare is easy, life is hard...Wheels

Don't try to be a great man, just be a man. Let history make up its own mind...Z.Cochron

I had a job to do and I was unafraid...Jack to John Creighton

For I dipt into the future, as far as the human eye could see. Saw the vision of the world, and the wonders that can be...RWW Hipwell

Without diviation from the norm, progress is impossible...F. Zappa

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea, In a beautiful pea-green boat: They took some honey and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five-pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, and sang to a small guitar...E Lear

Sweet and low, sweet and low, Wind of the western sea, Low, low, breathe and blow, Wind of the western sea! Over the rolling waters go, Come from the dying moon and blow, Blow him again to me;... Tennison

Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn... Keats

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