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Coda - Season 5

Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Mark and Lexie
Disclaimer: These characters are property of Shonda Rhimes/ABC and Grey's Anatomy. They do not belong to me. Reimbursement is not received for fictitious works.


Coda - Season 5



By Lattelady


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mark Sloan’s shoulders slumped as he headed for the main exit of the hospital. He’d had one of the worst days of his life – one of the worst years of his life - he amended. A small part of him wished he could open the wide double doors into the Seattle night and find Callie Torres kissing Erica Hahn. ‘Ahhh, to be the cynical son of a bitch I used to be,’ he thought. But he knew he couldn’t go back. He’d changed, Lexie Grey had changed him, and he didn’t know what the hell to do about it.

Too bad he wasn’t living some poor quality TV show. Someone would pull back a shower curtain and presto, bingo, one, two, three, he’d still be the old Mark. He’d never need to make that promise to stay away from Little Grey, because he’d never let himself care about her. There wouldn’t be a hairline incision scar on his penis because there would have been no accident, no surgery to repair the damage. He’d have never gotten into a fistfight with Derek. He’d never have made a fool of himself over a woman. O’Malley would still be running around the hospital driving everyone nuts instead of occupying a spot beside Izzie Stevens in the morgue.

Mark shook his head at the last thought. Stevens had been one of the good ones, but he’d have to rewind life a lot further back than a year to save her. Even twelve months ago, her cancer would have been too far along to make much of a difference. Unlike the rest of his colleagues, he’d had no illusions about her outcome. Once there were metastases, especially to the brain and liver, it was all over. Those sneaky bastards always came back. Maybe Swender could have bought her a bit more time, if the tumors had been caught earlier, but…

“Damn,” he muttered as his pager went off, bringing him back to the here and now.

One look at the number and he knew he couldn’t ignore it. No one ignored a page from the ICU, even when he didn’t have a patient there, not anymore. Instead of reaching for a house phone, he took the stairs two at a time, after all, he had no where to go, no one to go home to, not after today, not after he’d told Lexie he was moving on.

“You paged me, Goodman?” Mark glared at Carol Goodman the ICU Night Charge Nurse. He’d always liked working with Carol. When she cared for his patients, she was thorough and compassionate. The one time he’d been in a code with her, she kept everything running like clockwork. But other times she could be a real pain in the ass.

“It’s Dr. Grey, Dr. Sloan.” She pointed toward the empty room that had belonged to Isobel Stevens. On the other side of the glass, he saw Lexie. She was turned away from the hall and prying eyes. Her arms were wrapped around her body as if to keep from flying apart. He looked closer and could see her jerky movement. He’d bet money she was crying and didn’t want anyone to know.

“Why’d ya call me?” He didn’t need this, not now. Lexie Grey had ripped his heart out, he was damned if he’d stand around and let her do it again. “It’s not my day to watch her.”

“Dr. Sloan, please…I need your help. I can’t get her to leave.”

“Bullshit, not even Yang crosses you.” He turned to leave, knowing if he didn’t get out of there soon he’d cave. Carol snagged his arm and sent his temper through the roof. “Look Goodman, if you can’t do your job, then call security, that’s what they’re here for.”

“Dr. Sloan…Mark,” his first name felt strange on her tongue. She’d never been one of his women, and she never would be. She’d always been very careful to keep her personal and professional lives separate. “I’m not going to call Security, nor am I going to treat Lexie Grey the way I would Dr. Yang.

“It’s been a day we’re not likely to forget for a long long time.” The nurse swiped at tears she couldn’t prevent from falling. “I don’t know what’s going on between you two, but I know what Dr. Grey did in here tonight.”

“What are you talking about?” He asked the nurse, but couldn’t take his eyes off the slim shaking woman in the ICU cubical.

“We’d been coding Izzie for over an hour. Couldn’t get a rhythm for more than a second or two. Her K was high, but not high enough for that.” She’d been an ICU nurse long enough to know that there were times when you simply lost a patient, no matter how hard everyone tried. This had been a doomed effort from the beginning.

“But Stevens was a DNR. Who the hell called the code?” Mark remembered a story that Derek had told him. Meredith had been unaware of her patient’s code status and intubated her when there was ‘do not resuscitate’ in the missing chart. It had torn the older Grey apart when she’d had to pull the tube and stand around while the woman died. Had Lexie made the same mistake?

“It was bad in there. Karev overruled the DNR and the Chief backed him.” It wasn’t moral and shouldn’t be legal, but they all knew that a dead patient never came back from the grave to thank a doctor who honored a DNR, but live relatives did sue if they didn’t agree with a patient’s last wishes. “Grey came along and talked some sense into them.

“You know that tranquil, gentle, tone of voice she has. It was like she was pouring calm over chaos.” Carol looked off into the distance remembering. She didn’t need to see Sloan to know that he was nodding, well familiar with everything Lexie. “Dr. Grey’s eyes were huge and damp, but she faced them down. Telling them it wasn’t what Izzie wanted, despite what our hearts were telling us to do. The Chief was the first to stop, and then he had to hold Karev back as he yelled at Grey. I thought Alex was going to take her head off; he was in so much pain. It was pretty bad, but she stood her ground. She was right, we all knew it, but it was hard.”

“Yeah, one thing I’ve learned, Little Grey is almost always right about feelings and caring type things.” He nodded in understanding. Except today, with him, she’d been wrong with him and he couldn’t figure out why.

“Yes, she is.” Carol smiled gently. “After the Chief calmed Alex down, he took Bailey outta here. She was a mess. I’ve known Miranda since she was an intern, but I’ve never seen her breakdown the way she did when Yang called time of death,” Goodman’s voice broke at the memory. There’d been tears running down Cristina Yang’s face too, but it wasn’t something the nurse was going to talk about.

“Does she know about O’Malley?” Mark was suddenly worried that was the real reason Lexie was refusing to leave an empty ICU room and face the world.

“Dr. Hunt told her when he got here.” She remembered the younger woman hearing what the trauma surgeon had to say, nodding and asking for his help with Alex and Cristina. “I’d texted him when he wouldn’t answer his pager.” Carol worked nights; she’d seen Owen and Cristina a number times, enjoying the relative peace in the darkened hospital, often just keeping each other company. Their body language was off the charts. When Yang’s eyes had tuned stormy and tears had run down her face, the nurse had known exactly who to call.

“We were kinda busy,” Mark grunted. It had been a futile attempt at best. If George had lived, his life would have been changed completely. They lost time when he coded in the OR. There had been too much vascular and nerve damage to his left arm and hand. Mark doubted it could have been saved and if it had been, there would have been very little function. The damage to the man’s pelvis had been extensive and he needed skin grafts to most of the left side of his face. Those were his more superficial injuries. The more severe ones had been the ones that killed him.

“I know. I’m sorry you lost him. He was one of the good ones, like Izzie,” her words were hushed and she covered his hand with hers. “What ever has happened between you and Dr. Grey, you need to fix it, make it right.” Goodman looked up at him with pleading eyes. “Cause she’s one of the good ones too and she’s alive.”

“You automatically think it’s my fault.” His lips twisted in distaste as he spoke. “I thought you weren’t one of the ones who gossiped around here. I guess I was wrong.”

“Wait.” She clutched the back of his leather coat to keep him from walking away in a huff. “I don’t know what happened or whose fault it is. I just want it fixed. I want one small piece of happiness to come out of this day and you’re the only one who can do it for that woman in there.” She was using her ‘don’t give me anymore shit’ voice. It had never failed her, not on Yang, Bailey, or even the Chief. She was damned if Sloan would walk out on her.

“Leave me alone, Goodman.”

“No, I will not.” She ground her teeth and moved in front of him. “I don’t care what caused the spat between you and Lexie. Save it for tomorrow, because tonight she needs help and won’t take if from me.” Carol planted her fists on her hips and glared into Sloan’s cold blue eyes. “After the Chief took Bailey away and Hunt came and…and…well he was here for Cristina. The two of them got Karev to go home with them. That left Dr. Grey all alone in there. She did what was needed, notifying Swender, who had her call the family, a stack of paperwork…”

“She’s the intern, that’s her--” he couldn’t finish it, not when it was Lexie. She could be tough on the outside, but she was soft, sweet and caring on the inside. It was what gave her the strength to do what she thought was right, even if it broke his heart.

“Don’t you say it. Don’t you dare say that she’s the intern and it was her job.” She spit the words out in anger. “Lexie Grey always does her job, usually better than most. And tonight she stayed and helped us – the nurses - with the morgue packet. We all helped on our breaks. Now the morgue attendant has come and gone but she’s standing there in that empty room, surrounded by the carnage left over from the code. It’s like she’s lost.”

“Lost, huh,” Mark grunted. He’d been lost, not so long ago, then she’d come along and shown him the way to happiness. Hell, he’d even fought Derek for her, why shouldn’t he be willing to fight her for her.

“Dr. Sloan, our ICU resident is asleep in the Call Room on the south side of the unit, the one on the north is empty.” Carol nodded to her left.

“Why Nurse Goodman, you have a dirty mind,” his voice was a low deep rumble and he smirked like a fifteen year old who’d just found his dad’s stash of Playboys.

“Paaalllessseee,” she rolled her eyes in exasperation as she watched him move quietly into the room beside the young intern.

“Lex,” he whispered as he cupped her shoulders and nuzzled her neck from behind.

“She was Patient X,” Lexie gasped and covered her mouth with her hands as she leaned against Mark’s familiar warmth and cried.

“Sweetheart, it’s okay, come with me.”

“No, please,” She gripped the front of his jacket and looked him in the eyes. “I want to stay here right here. I can’t go backward, and I don’t want to go forward…not now…she died…she’s the one who made me realize that there was always a chance, no matter how slim. Her odds of living were greater than our odds of staying together, now she’s dead - been dead since they found that last tumor - so…so…so are we.”

“What are you talking about?” He’d never seen her this distraught. “Are you comparing us to cancer?”

“No…yes…not really…listen to me. Dr. Stevens gave the interns an assignment. We were to diagnose a patient from start to finish. We discovered Patient X had stage IV melanoma with mets to the liver and brain. I should have figured it out sooner, that she was the patient, but I was too immersed in learning what I could around here and…and…loving you to see what was really happening.” She had to make him understand. She hated that she’d hurt him, but looking back she realized they never really had any odds at all.

“You love…” his voice broke on the word love, but he cleared his throat and tried again, “You love me?”

“Of course I do. Why do you think I wouldn’t move in with you?”

“I haven’t a clue.” His brows rose in amazement and his body filled with relief.

“The same reason I interfered when they were coding Dr. Stevens. If by some miracle we’d been able to stabilize her we could have kept her alive on life support until some new tumor ate through a major vessel and she bled out. But that wasn’t what she wanted.”

“You win, you are so much more the girl than I am, because you’ve completely lost me.” He wiped tears from her cheeks with his thumbs. “What does Stevens dying have to do with us, our relationship?”

“Somehow in my mind I’d tied her odds to living with our odds of staying together. When they found that last tumor I knew we weren’t going to make it.”

“Just yesterday I asked you to move in with me. Doesn’t that count for anything?”

“You didn’t ask. You told me you were buying a condo and maybe I should come with, like a side order of toast. And the look on your face was blank, as if you didn’t care one way or the other.” It had made her realize how unimportant she was to him. “When we talked next you lost your temper and then refused to speak to me.”

“You think I have all the power in the relationship…” he looked at her in wonder, finally making sense of what she’d said. She’d believed that he had the power, that he’d had it all along. The short time he’d spent feeling as if she was the powerful one made him understand how painful that feeling was. No wonder she’d been reticent to move forward with him.

“You do, damnit, you do, don’t you understand that. That’s why I have to pull back, that’s why I have to pull the plug, stop the code, stop trying to save something that is destined to fail. It already hurts more than I can stand, to see you getting on with your life, as if I never mattered. But better to do it now, than to move in with you and love you even more, if that’s possible, then when you realize that living together is a lot more complicated and messy than simply spending every night together, we’ll bleed out and I can’t stand that.”

“So there really wasn’t any ten year plan?” He cupped her cheeks and ran his fingers deep into her hair, dizzy from trying to make sense of what she’d said. “Or seven year plan?”

“No, I simply try to make it through each day. Going home to you was always the best part.”

“Then, that’s what we need to do.” He kissed her lids and then her nose as he wrapped his arms around her. “Lexie come back to the hotel with me tonight? Then once we get some sleep, we need to go find a home for us, one that isn’t mine or yours, or Meredith’s, but ours. I don’t give a damn about our odds or what other people have to say. I…love you. I don’t want another woman in my bed or my life. I only want you as an equal partner forever.”

“Now that’s the way to ask a woman to move in with you.” She grinned and blinked away tears. “And the answer is yes.”

“Move in, hell,” his voice was low and deep as he leaned in to kiss her. “I was asking you to marry me.”

“You were?” She kissed him deeply and sighed, “The answer to that is yes, too.”

As Mark and Lexie walked out of the ICU and headed for the elevator, Carol Goodman grinned. She'd gotten what she’d wanted: one small moment of happiness in a terrible terrible day.

The End

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
littleone87
May. 18th, 2009 06:39 am (UTC)
Oh WOW! I don't even know what to say. What a unique take on everything! Lexie freaking out because she felt like it was a lost cause for her and Mark was just heartbreaking!

“You do, damnit, you do, don’t you understand that. That’s why I have to pull back, that’s why I have to pull the plug, stop the code, stop trying to save something that is destined to fail. It already hurts more than I can stand, to see you getting on with your life, as if I never mattered. But better to do it now, than to move in with you and love you even more, if that’s possible, then when you realize that living together is a lot more complicated and messy than simply spending every night together, we’ll bleed out and I can’t stand that.”

I simply LOVE this paragraph. So beautifully written and I think you did so excellent with the metaphor of them bleeding out.


Beautiful work. The ending was magnificent. I am so glad they made up! If only this could happen on the show. *sigh*
lattelady6
May. 18th, 2009 12:18 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it. This was the only solution I could come up with. Lexie's 180 in her feelings toward Mark made no sense. The whole two-hours made no sense. A finale is supposed to give closure, all this one did was give us more questions.

I'm tired of being jerked around in the Izzie story line. In real life that woman wouldn't live more than a few months. I get the feeling the writers are suffering from indecision. The whole George thing made no sense. What the heck did Cristina say 'yes' to. And the solution of Mer/Der's postit marriage was really lame.

sorry for the rant.
boho_vintage
May. 29th, 2009 12:24 pm (UTC)
“You love…” his voice broke on the word love, but he cleared his throat and tried again, “You love me?”

Yes, Mark, *I* love you. *composes self*

Hi there. Thank you for writing this! Mark&Lexie have become my OTP, so yeah, the finale threw me and, well, pissed me off to be honest. I'm proud of Mark for all this growth and it just hurt to see him shot down by Lex like that. I'm optimistic that they'll be okay (well, sometimes) but seriously, seriously. I need them to be okay. I need them to be endgame. I need for Mark to have found that. Yeah, okay, I love the guy ridiculous amounts and I'm rambling but fuck, that finale messed with me.

But this....ohmygod, I love it. Such a unique take on things and it just makes sense.

“Then, that’s what we need to do.” He kissed her lids and then her nose as he wrapped his arms around her. “Lexie come back to the hotel with me tonight? Then once we get some sleep, we need to go find a home for us, one that isn’t mine or yours, or Meredith’s, but ours. I don’t give a damn about our odds or what other people have to say. I…love you. I don’t want another woman in my bed or my life. I only want you as an equal partner forever.” >>> favorite!



ETA: What the heck did Cristina say 'yes' to.
I thought she was saying yes to being with Owen, to meeting him halfway. When she said her I love you (♥), he said that she can do this, they can do this, she just has to meet him halfway and say yes. But yeah, the finale seemed random in so many places.

And the solution of Mer/Der's postit marriage was really lame.
I thought it was cute and very them but as a ferryboat shipper, I need them to legally wed. And I'm not sure Shonda's willing :/

Shall stop rambling now. ♥

Edited at 2009-05-29 12:28 pm (UTC)
lattelady6
May. 29th, 2009 10:39 pm (UTC)
I'm humbled by your response. Thank you so much.

I wasn't happy with the finale, either. I so agree that it left things up in the air when in promised us some answered. Shonda is a poop if she doesn't let them get married and will kill her own series. Too many people are already saying "enough already" with the whole Mer/Der thing.

On the Lexie/Mark issue, it was as if aliens had abducted Lexie and left a strange clone in her place. Please return her soon. Her actions were very out of character.
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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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