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Life In Shades Of Grey

Disclaimer: I don't own Grey's Anatomy or there would have been no reason to write this story
Spoiler: Season finale
Pairing: Mark/Lexie mainly, but there are touches of Derek/Mere and Owen/Cristina
Rating: G
Note: I'm tired of TV medicine. I'm tired of having my emotions jerked around for the sake of ratings. I will always be a Mark and Lexie fan and have watched my last Grey's Anatomy. I started writing this a while ago and have added to it between other things.
This story is dedicated to Lexie Grey, the actress who played her, and all the wonderful things that her fans should have been allowed to experience.

Enjoy, or not?

Life In Shades Of Grey

Shades of grey

By Lattelady

Did you say it? 'I love you; I don't ever want to live without you; you changed my life.' Did you say it? – By Meredith Grey

Sometime during their first night in the mountains, the pilot died.

That same night Mark Sloan developed a high fever and began slipping in and out of consciousness. Every few minutes he'd lean his head toward the woman sitting beside him and mumble, "I love you, Lex". His unconscious mind seemed to be writing it in indelible ink, on post-it, after post-it, and sticking them on the walls of his memory, so it would never be forgotten, left behind, or overlooked.

By morning Arizona Robbins' left leg was infected and the blood she'd been coughing up was accompanied by thick green mucus. When she tried taking deep breaths, it felt like a tight band had been tied around her chest. The pedi surgeon knew she'd developed pneumonia, an added complication to the other damages she'd sustained.

Derek Shepherd was pale from loss of blood. When he wasn't shaking with chills, he was burning with fever. His injured hand was numb and useless. The terrified expression on his wife's face was all that kept him going. He fought to remain conscious for her. She'd already lost too many people in her life; he refused to add to her worry. It was that thought that kept him from closing his eyes and giving into the darkness that beckoned.

"Lexie," Mere whispered. She stared off into the distance, her vision blurred with tears. "It's so unfair, I'd only just allowed myself to love you." Big Grey's head throbbed and her left thigh burned, where she'd pulled metal out of her leg the day before. It helped keep her mind off the terrible panic and grief that ground into her like shards of broken glass when she looked around their makeshift camp. Two were already dead and three badly hurt. She wasn't sure that Cristina and she had the strength to keep everyone alive until help arrived. But she had to, no matter how deeply she felt the loss of her sister; she knew she had to see to the living. She would face down death itself to protect Derek.

"Meredith...Mere snap out of it!" Cristina demanded. "I hear a creek or river or something. We have to get water or we're all going to die." Yang was cold, hungry, thirsty and terrified. She knew it would be easy to simply give up. Her PTSD was nipping at her heels making it hard to focus. The plane crash and Little Grey's death were too much for her to process. Yang knew that if she studied the big picture instead of one small thing at a time, she'd unravel as she had a year earlier.

The crash was the last in a long line of horrors that had started when she was six and trapped in a car, as her father slowly bled to death. She had thought the tragedies had ended last year, when she was once again trapped, but this time in an OR with a crazed gunman. But this was too much; the woods, the cold, the dead, and dying when she had knowledge and skill but no instruments or medications. She repeated the mantra that had gotten her through the night, this time out loud. "We've survived too much to give up now. Owen is coming. I know he is." It was that one thought that gave her the edge over her friend. Her loved one was safe and alive, not lying dead under a jet engine or slowly succumbing to septic shock before her eyes.

"He's coming? Yeah, Hunt will know what to do, and how to find us." Mere nodded trying to convince herself as much as support her friend.

"Water, we gotta get some water." Yang insisted.

"Sure, but first we need to…" Grey's words trailed off as she dug through the duffle she'd used as a pillow. "We can use a double layer of this shirt." She held up a tightly woven cotton button-down of Derek's. "It won't filter out bacteria but hopefully it'll keep out giardia or other protozoa. The last thing any of us need is vomiting and diarrhea to dehydrate us faster."

"Good, good idea." Cristina stumbled to her feet relieved her friend was able to push her grief and fear aside to help. They were the only two who hadn't developed a fever overnight. "I'll a...ah...there has to be something in the plane we can use to carry water."

It took the two women almost an hour to bring water back to the crash area and filter it.
"Mark is burning up. I'm really worried about him." Arizona held a wet cloth against his lips trying to encourage him to take a few drops of water.

Meredith looked up from helping Derek drink from a disposable coffee cup and frowned. "Considering I used the pilot's unsterile Swiss Army knife to make an incision and then stuck pump tubing from Cristina's hair styling spray next to his heart, it might have been kinder to have let him die quickly yesterday from cardiac tamponade instead of --"

"No, Mere," Derek's voice was grave and low, his eyes bright with fever and fear. "You did what you had to do. If you hadn't preformed the pericardiocentesis he would be dead. He may be septic, but as long as he is alive, as long as any of us are alive, we have a chance." The last came out in a whisper. He knew he was talking about himself as much as he was his friend. Shepherd knew his left arm was infected. It was the source of the raging temperature that was sapping his strength. The likelihood of being able to use his hand again decreased with each hour that passed.

"Love you, Lex," Mark mumbled and sucked liquid from the wet scarf pressed against his lips. "Love you-"

"No, no...no...noooo, Can't one of you make him shut up?" Cristina plugged her ears and blinked tears from her eyes. "This can't be happening, not again." One by one people she cared about were dying. It didn't matter that she had built a hard shell to keep feelings out somehow people kept slipping in and it was breaking her heart.

"He can't help it." Mere grabbed her friend's arms to get her attention. "He can't. He's saying it now, for all the times over the last three years he should have and didn't."
"Let me go!" the dark haired cardiac surgeon demanded. "This is crazy, all of it. I refuse to listen to anymore of his whining. He and Three messed up. We shouldn't have to be tortured like this."

"Cristina," Derek gasped and met her piercing glare. "What if it was Owen dead under the engine on that wing?"

"No, don't you say that. Don't you dare say that," and the stoic woman lost control and sobbed into her hands. "He's safe. He'll find us," she cried. In her heart she prayed that she would get to see her husband again so she could tell him how much she really loved him and how sorry she was.

The second night in the woods the crash victims huddled together to keep warm. Arizona's body ached to lie down but the one time she'd tried, her lungs had filled until she could hardly breath. She'd spent the next hour coughing bloody green mucus.

Meredith had Mark on one side of her and Derek on the other. She'd developed a fever mid-afternoon and her eyes were glassy. Her left leg hurt too much to support her.
Cristina grumbled, "You owe me for this," as she wrapped her body around Derek's other side.
The man was barely conscious but able to smile and whisper, "I figure it's a fair trade for all the times you and Mere kicked me out of bed."

During the night Sloan burned white with fever for long silent periods of time then would wake and stare with uncomprehending eyes into the dark. All he could see was Lexie's face in all its beauty, as she smiled, laughed, made love, or rested quietly against his shoulder. When her brown eyes met his he'd tell her how much he loved her. Arizona held Mark's hand and tried to reassure him in his delirium, until she lost consciousness sometime before the moon rose bright overhead.

Late the next afternoon when three helicopters landed in a clearing on the other side of the creek, Cristina and Meredith were the only ones conscious.


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

Five Weeks Later:

Arizona Robbins ended up needing her left knee replaced. Meredith was hospitalized in Boise for a course of IV antibiotics. Once Derek was stabilized he was rushed by Med-Evac to San Francisco and an old friend who was a hand specialist. It took eight surgeries, but if Shepherd followed through, with careful physical therapy, he would regain part, if not all, of the use of his left hand. It would be months before he would be back in an operating room, as anything but a patient. Eventually he hired a Physician's Assistant who acted as his left hand in surgery. It had been Cristina's idea. She and Preston Burke had done countless surgeries like that. Derek operated that way for the rest of his life.

Mark Sloan had the longest recovery time, though the small, close, circle of people he called friends, realized he never really recovered. Lexie's death had changed him.

He required three surgeries to clean up the tenacious infection that ate away at his pericardium. Once he got past the physical aspects of the crash, he simple seemed to fade. The luster and passion was gone. It was like he lived his life in shades of grey.

He broke off his relationship with Julia, as soon as he could speak clearly, after they had extubated him in the ICU. He was kind, and asked her forgiveness, but said it could never be.

A few days later when Owen came to visit him, Mark presented the Chief with a plan for teaching new interns. It was the first and only time anyone saw him smile since the crash. But of course he was smiling, Lexie was whispering in his ear, telling him how proud she was of him. No one would ever again have to learn the basics of surgery the way she had. That was how Mark Sloan became the official Intern and Resident Advisor. It was a position he held until the day he died. Countless new doctors learned to suture, start IV's, and general operating room protocol and procedure under his tutelage.

In the months between his discharge form Seattle Grace-Mercy West Hospital and his return as an attending, Mark moved out of the apartment he'd shared with too many women, but only one that had any importance in his life. He moved into an old house in the hills above the bay. He and Lexie had looked at the property and been about to make an offer on it, when he'd discovered Callie was pregnant.

He loved the house and could feel Lexie in every room. Meredith had given him a box Lex had stored at her house. It had been labeled with his name. It contained all the plans they'd made for the home by the bay. Lex's paint charts and her wish file, filled with decorating ideas. He carried out her carefully thought out plans, creating their home for him to live in alone. As much as he felt her presence, he knew she wasn't there. He wasn't crazy, but he was happier in places that were important to them as a couple.

No one ever caught him in a compromising position again. He never tried to seduce the new nurses and after a few years, his reputation as a local bad boy faded into memory. It was only the older staff, who would shake their heads, and think what a shame.

Mark always insisted on operating in OR 6, the one with the gallery. Every surgery for the five years he lived after the crash, he would walk into the room. Once the scurb had gowned and gloved him, and his circulator had plugged in his headlight, he picked up his blade and bovie, and stopped to look upward. And there leaning against the window on the far left was Lexie. She smiled and leaned forward to watch what he was doing, always there, always watching over him.

He was still the number one plastic surgeon west of New York and north of LA. Some said his skills were better than ever, more finely honed, more focused. His department still brought in more money than all the others combined.

The seasons passed, turning into years and Mark Sloan began having chest pains again. He knew his only option was to have Cristina remove what was left of his pericardium, but she had told him that there was only a 50% chance that he would improve. Actually, she thought it was far less than that, because in her opinion, the part of Mark's heart that was giving him trouble couldn't be fixed surgically. It had already been sliced away when Lexie died holding his hand.

Cristina Yang had finally become a romantic, the day she gave birth to Kelly Yang Hunt and her heart wept for Mark. Every time she saw him, Derek's words were echoed back, "What if it had been Owen." Just the thought made her shiver and reach for her husband's hand.

Two months later, on the fifth anniversary of Lexie's death, Mark's damaged heart gave out and he died in his sleep.

The End


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 3rd, 2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. Thank you.
Aug. 3rd, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I had to do something to make myself feel better.
Sep. 14th, 2012 08:04 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness that was wonderful. I too feel like Mark will never be Mark again and am having a hard time believing that this season will be anything but a glossing over of what happened at the crash sight.
Sep. 15th, 2012 12:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much for commenting. I know a lot of people have written stories like this. When I started it, I never thought it would be finished and see the light of day.

I've heard that the actor who plays Mark is leaving the show. Not sure if they are killing him off but i hope they do. Not that i'll be watching. I am boycotting the whole thing.

We were promised a happy ending for this pairing and he didn't even kiss her goodbye.
Oct. 14th, 2012 02:38 am (UTC)
So I just wanted to drop you a line since I know you had vowed not to return to Gray’s this season. My husband and I just watched the season premiere. (Yes, I know it has been like 3 weeks but it was sitting on the DVR until tonight.)

Anyway, they did actually give Mark the sendoff he deserved. Apparently he came back from the crash alive but ended up on life support. The show was sprinkled with flashbacks via video of Mark - the best one being from Cally and Arizona's wedding when videographer asked him who he would want to dance at his granddaughter's wedding with and he answer was Lexy. Derek and Cally ended up invoking his living will and they pulled his life support. It was a fit ending IMO. It was too hard to conceive of Mark without Lexy. It reminded me of your story and I wanted you to know what they did.
Oct. 14th, 2012 02:59 am (UTC)
Thank you for the heads up. I had heard they were killing him off. Good to know it was a fitting ending for Mark and Lexie.
Sep. 18th, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
That was a beautiful story
Sep. 18th, 2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much. It was a hard story to write but I had to get it out.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )



Latest Month

September 2012


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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