|Words Left Unsaid
Author: the.eye.does.not.SEE PM
"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone." Mark and Lexie both have regrets as the plane plummets toward the ground. Will they ever get a chance to make up for what they didn't say and what they didn't do?Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance/Drama - Mark S. & Lexie G. - Chapters: 8 - Words: 31,149 - Reviews: 131 - Favs: 70 - Follows: 77 - Updated: 06-26-12 - Published: 05-15-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8120236
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
zizis: Hopefully this reunion is just as beautiful as you were expecting!
Author's Note: Hi, all. I'm very sorry about the cliffhanger and its subsequent wait. I hope this chapter makes it all worth it. Thank you to everyone who reviewed on the last chapter and who have since added this story to their alerts and favorites. Please enjoy!
(Quick warning: A bit of a suggestive scene in this chapter… As well as loads of fluffiness. I hope you all don't go blind…)
"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone."
Harriet Beecher Stowe
"Hi, Mark. …What are you doing here?"
She sits up straighter as she speaks, propping herself up against the pillows. He's still twice her height and standing across the room. He doesn't move an inch when he speaks.
"I love you."
Lexie feels her breath stop. She feels her heart go wild. And she only half-hears him as he continues, still hung up on that single, beautiful phrase. You worried you'll die before you get to hear Dr. Sloan say those three little words? She can almost see that pilot grinning in her face as she recalls all his promises that got her through that day.
He doesn't clear his throat or shift his weight or move in any way when he speaks next. He just opens his mouth and plows straight through. And if he were saying anything else except the words Lexie had longed to hear for months, she might laugh at the similarities between the both of them. We just aren't capable or hiding our feelings, nor controlling what comes out of our mouths.
"Julia and I broke up, she was here and then she left, because she knew and I knew that I… I love you." He pauses for a quick breath. "I've been trying to say it all day, believe me, Lex, but I…"
Finally, she gathers her wits. "You love me?" She interrupts, her voice rising with hope. "You really…" She can't do any more than whisper the last part. "…love me?"
He nods. The movement's jerky, but it's there. It's true, and so are his words. "I do." Those two words seem to propel him into action. One second, he's standing rigid across the room. The next, he's crossed it, arrived at her bedside and settled into a nearby chair she didn't even remember being there.
"I love you," he says again, looking her right in her wide and surprised eyes as he speaks. He has no choice; he can't look anywhere else. "I love you, so much, and I—" He breaks off to gather his thoughts and swallow his embarrassment. "I'm so sorry I didn't say it before or say it sooner. If you had…" His voice is swallowed up again, but it isn't by humiliation this time. She can hear the tears in his voice when he speaks and almost see them in his eyes when he looks at her. She can only stare at him in mute awe, unable to believe that this is really happening, that he's really saying these things. "If you had died in those woods, under that plane, or—or in the OR… I… I never would have forgiven myself." He closes his eyes, and the lines on his face twist in anguish. "If you had died out there, Lexie, I don't know what I would've done—"
"But I didn't die." Her voice is barely louder than a whisper, but it might as well be a shout at this time of night. "I didn't die, Mark."
"You came very close," he argues.
She feigns lightheartedness, gesturing down the bed. "I don't see how a broken leg is death."
"It was a very slippery and very steep slope in your case," Mark replies matter-of-factly. His words grow saddened and regretful a moment later. "I could've lost you," he whispers, leaning forward. He reaches for her hand, gripping it tightly, desperately, between his two. She's vaguely reminded of when he asked her to hold his hand under the plane. Squeeze this. Squeeze until it doesn't hurt anymore. He seems to be taking his own advice now. "You could've undergone so much worse than a broken leg out there," he continues. "You could've died and—"
"But I didn't," Lexie stresses, unable to hear that word on his lips anymore. "I didn't die, Mark." Her voice is firm and louder this time, and it makes him pause a second, and take stock of their situation. She watches the truth spread across his face like the early morning dawn and she half-smiles at the phenomenon.
"You… didn't die," he whispers. She stares at him; confused as to why he's staring so intently into her eyes. He's looking at her like he's never seen her before, like he'll never see her again. She watches, her confused eyes narrowing without a clue, as he rises slowly to his feet.
"What are you…" She trails off, frowning slightly when he finally stands up straight beside her, as if to ask, What's going on here?
When he bends down a moment later, though, and his hands let hers go to cup her cheeks, she's no longer confused. When his mouth descends on hers and his fingers burrow into her hair, she's no longer without a clue. In fact, she responds in kind, without needing a hint: her lips move against his with a desperate passion and her hands grip the back of his neck like she's holding on for dear life. Which, it seems, she is.
Before either of them can ever begin to remember where they are or what's transpired over the last twenty-four hours, he's climbed over the bed's handrail and is crouched above her. She pulls him tighter against him, and he never moves away. His tongue slips into her mouth, and she welcomes it, joining it with her own. Too close, it seems, is never close enough.
While the misty haze of sleep and lingering anesthesia that had been fogging up her mind just ten minutes ago evaporating, all that's left in its wake is a sharp and determined mind. And that mind is focused on one thing, and one thing only.
His mind, on the other hand—through some fortune or misfortune, he doesn't take the time to decide—has become completely clouded by want and need. By her. His hands slip beneath her back as their kiss continues, and she shudders when they come in contact with the open tassels of her standard hospital gown. Only a few of the strings are tied; in no time, his strong hands are skimming along her smooth and excited skin. They leave trails of fire and want in their wake, causing desperate moans to emanate from somewhere deep in Lexie's throat.
It's only when he leans down, pressing himself against her and groaning at the way her body rubs against in a needy reply, that they both finally realize what's happening.
"Lexie," he pants, immediately tearing his mouth from hers and automatically bracing himself above her to separate their bodies. "We—"
He breaks off when her eyes close beneath him, feeling his voice get stuck in his throat at how horribly heartbroken she looks. "We can't," she whispers, her eyes still closed. She pushes the sleeves of her gown back onto her shoulders, hugging herself for a moment. Slowly, her eyes open and her hands rise to hold him. "With my leg, the cast, we—we can't…" She shuts her eyes again, using her hands to rub the sides of his neck soothingly. "I'm sorry," she whispers. "I—I wish we… I want us to…" She bites down on her lower lip hard, finally opening her eyes and meeting his. He stares at her in disbelief, not understanding why she has any reason to apologize. She wasn't the one who jumped someone when a quarter of their body was covered in plaster.
He smiles a second later, leaning back. He shifts his legs, moving to occupy the open half of the bed beside her. "Little Grey…" He begins slowly, remembering a time, so long ago now, that her cheeks would've lit up crimson and her mile-a-minute mouth would've stuttered its way through such an "embarrassing" encounter as this. But she is nothing like that blushing, shy girl she used to be. He smiles again, and he leans forward, pressing a gentle kiss to her lips. "'S'okay, Little Grey," he murmurs quietly as he pulls back. He mentally tells his body, his mind, his heart to calm down. He shifts more fully to his side of the bed, leaving a few inches of open air between them. "We don't need to do that tonight."
"We won't be doing it for nine to twelve weeks," she informs him, her lips twisting into an unhappy frown, "and that's not even including the months of physical therapy that will follow."
"Well," he replies, trying his best to cheer her up, "I had to put up with six weeks all by myself, if you remember." He smiles as her eyes widen. He had rarely brought up that traumatic experience since it happened, so she was more than a little shocked he chose now to recall it. "And I was much more sorely out of commission than you are today," he adds. "It's on fair that it be your turn now."
A tiny smile turns up her lips. "I knew karma would bitch-slap me for that," she notes amiably, immediately recalling the trying experience. She'd hadn't expected him to talk about it; instead, she expected him to keep that memory buried and hidden. She expected them never to speak of it. But she was happy he had, for it had been a defining month-and-a-half for them. It was what proved to him—and to her—that they were more than just sex. It had made them real, and was, in part, what had got them to where they were now.
He smiles again, a twinkle visible in his eye even in the darkness. "Payback's a bitch, huh?"
She chuckles, leaning forward to give him a lingering kiss. Her fingers are stroking the rough, stubble-covered skin of his cheek and jaw. "Trust me," she smiles, "you'll get your fair share of it once I'm back in the game."
He turns his head, pressing a few light kisses to her wandering fingers. "Can't wait." He grins, turning on his side to face her. "Speaking of which, I think I can come up with some pretty good physical therapy exercises for that leg of yours."
She grins back. "I hope they all involve wrapping it around your waist."
He frowns, critical. "Now I think we can get a bit more creative than that, Lex."
She laughs. "Then what do you suggest?"
He smiles, kissing her lightly. "I'll tell you later," he replies. "When you're better." She smiles, and he watches her, sighing slowly a minute later. Her hand pauses on the side of his head; the gesture spoke clearly of his exhaustion.
"What is it?" She whispers, tilting her head to look him more fully in the eyes. Her hand cups his cheek, holding his face in place so she can examine it. "Mark, what's wrong?"
He shakes his head gently. "Nothing's wrong," he whispers, kissing her lips in soft reassurance. His eyes fall closed before the kiss even ends. "I just…" He forces in a breath, forces in normalcy. "I can't stop thinking about it, about you, about what would've happened if—"
"Don't think about that," she interrupts, much more harshly than he'd expected. "Do not think about it," she repeats, her intense brown gaze never wavering from his. "It didn't happen and it isn't going to happen now. I'm going to make a full recovery. And even if I don't," she adds before he can speak, "it doesn't matter. One broken or disfigured leg does not mean we will not be able to be together." She swallows as she pauses, suddenly unsure for some reason. "Does it?" She whispers self-consciously, unconsciously shifting her healed leg atop the other as if to hide the damage from him.
"Of course not." Mark speaks the words gruffly, as if hers had affronted him. Lexie smiles at the idea, thanking him with her eyes.
"That's what I thought," she murmurs. She inhales a deep breath, her mind fogging over at his familiar scent. "So," she resumes quietly, "there's nothing to worry about, nothing to fear." Her fingers begin stroking the scratchy beginnings of a full beard on his cheeks. "I'm right here," she whispers, staring intently into his eyes. "I'm not going anywhere." She smiles, "Now's a great time to get me back," she jokes, "cause I can't run away, even if I would want to."
He laughs, his eyes falling closed. She exhales a breath of relief, knowing that the worst has passed. "Now I get why you hung out at my hotel every night after you broke me," he smirks, his teasing blue eyes finding hers, "you knew if you nursed me back to health, I'd never be able to leave."
"You wouldn't have been able to leave anyway," she replies, confident in her allure and his weakness to it.
He levels her with a dry, judgmental stare. "You fractured my penis, Lexie," he informs her distastefully—as if she didn't already know. "I don't think that puts you high on my list of girls to jump back into bed with."
Lexie grins, triumphant. "And yet you came crawling back to me anyway."
"I wasn't crawling."
She smiles, acquiescing, "Okay, okay, you weren't crawling."
His expression grows tender, his eyes glow warm. "I wasn't crawling," he corrects. "I was running. I ran back, because I knew you had something no one else could give me."
Lexie's lips twitch; she holds back from asking 'another penile fracture?' She knows this is a serious moment. "And what's that?" She whispers.
"Attention. Acceptance." He draws in a breath; the hushed action sounds boisterously loud in the near-silent hospital room. "Love." He swallows, finally finding her eyes. "And a place to belong."
She feels a happy smile spread over her face without her even moving a muscle. "Yes," she whispers, trailing her hand across his face and letting her fingers brush over his lips. "I gave you all those things." She feels tears prick her eyes and she smiles to stay them off a bit longer. "And you gave them right back. You paid attention to me like no one else had; you accepted me for the crazy intern I was, you…" The tears fill her eyelids again, and this time, she can't hold them off. She hears his breath catch as they fall down her cheeks. "You loved me. You really loved me, Mark. Even when I didn't know what that was, exactly, or what it meant, or what it could mean… You loved me." She breathes in shakily, lifting a hand to wipe her tears away. "And you gave me a place to belong," she finished raggedly. "When I had nothing and no one, you took me in. Not—Not because I was an estranged family member or a charity case or—" She shakes her head. "None of that. You took me in—"
"—because I wanted you." His low, deep voice interrupts her, sending a delicious thrill down her spine. It takes her a minute to remind herself that what she wants—what they both want—isn't an option right now. Calm down. "I wanted you," he repeats, staring into her eyes and apparently oblivious to what's going on inside her. "Sure, at first it was just for sex… But you and I both know that just-sex phase didn't last very long."
She can't help but smile. "Yeah… Refresh me, was it after the fifth or sixth time we fell asleep holding each other while watching TV—for barely an hour, by the way—was it then that you finally realized we were something a bit more than just casual fuck buddies?"
He grins, cupping her neck with a gentle hand and guiding her willing lips to his for a brief kiss. "Maybe seventh," he replies. "The first six were flukes."
"Very romantic flukes," Lexie teases, grinning at him.
"They were nice," he allows diplomatically.
"Nice," she quotes with a laugh. "Nice, right." She chuckles. "Okay."
"Nothing, nothing…" She rolls her eyes, sighing dramatically.
"What?" Mark presses.
"Nothing," she smiles sweetly. "It's just…" She blinks slowly at him. "If I'm not mistaken, it was you who fell asleep nearly every time. I just laid there, waiting for you to wake up so we could screw already and I could go home to my own bed."
He smirks. "You watched me as I slept, didn't you?"
"I might've…enjoyed the view," she replies tactfully.
He grins, settling himself back against the pillows and moving closer to her. "Wanna enjoy the view some more?"
She smiles, looking down to reach for his hand and envelop it in hers. "Maybe," she whispers, "but only if I get to do so for many more days to come. Enough of this one-night stuff."
His lips twitch happily. "How 'bout months, instead?" He teases. "That enough for you?"
"I think years would be better." Her quiet reply could've knocked him off his feet… If he were standing. As it is, he simply feels his mind go blank and vaguely registers that his breathing and heart rate seemed to have spiked.
"What?" He mumbles, having trouble focusing now. What did she say?
"Years," she replies with a small smile. She leans forward, snuggling her head against the pillow and touching her forehead to his. "If you'd like," she whispers, "I would be perfectly okay with us discussing those sorts of plans about the future." She pauses. "Permanent plans," she stresses quietly, as if it were necessary. She waits for him to speak, but when he fails to reply, she continues, obviously a bit more unsure of herself because of his lack of a response. "But if we—if we could wait… wait 'til I'm back on my feet—literally—I'd be really grateful." She pauses again, smiling tentatively, as if worried he might reject her, even now.
"G—Grateful?" He manages to choke out finally.
She breathes an audible sigh of relief when he finally speaks. "Y—Yes," she continues quickly. "I—I've thought about it and I… Well, like I said, I'm okay with discussing those sorts of things. If you want to. If you still want to." She takes a slow breath. "Just not until after I'm back on my feet, okay? We—We should wait to do things—to do anything—until I'm back on my feet. I… I know I brought it up, and I don't want take it back, I don't, but I… I don't want either of us to be making these decisions in the wake of what happened, just because it happened, either. I… I'd like for us to talk, Mark." She bites down hard on her lower lip, turning it white momentarily. "Really talk," she whispers. "I'd like us to really talk—about this, about us, about our future…" She trails off, staring into his eyes. She strokes his cheek absentmindedly with a free hand. "So?" She murmurs after a time. "We'll talk? About the future, our future, once we're both ready?"
He nods. "Yes." He leans against her hand. Slowly, he reaches up, taking that hand in his and moving it to his mouth. She shivers at the soft touch of his lips, and just like before, stares at him with wide eyes as he presses a loving kiss to the center of her palm. "We'll talk. I promise."
"Good." She closes her eyes in relief. She lets her hand drop, resting it lightly on his chest. She leans forward, tipping her chin outward to brush her lips softly against his. "I love you, Mark."
She stays awake long enough to hear his immediate reply. Then, she shifts forward, tucking her head beneath his and pressing her small, battered body against his. She closes her eyes and waits those few short minutes until sleep takes over.
I love you, she thinks again but doesn't quite have the wherewithal to open her mouth this time and speak. Luckily, he seemed to read her mind anyway and replies in kind.
"I love you." He speaks quietly, softly. She struggles to reply, wanting him to know how she feels, wanting him to know how wonderful it is to be in his arms again, in his life again… "I love you." Some part of her frowns when he says it again, confused. "I love you." She whishes she were closer to consciousness than to unconsciousness. Then she could ask him why he keeps saying it. "I love you." His voice is muffled this time, but closer. She can hear the tears in his voice, and seconds later, feel them fall into her hair and soak into her scalp. "I love you." He's holding her tighter now, clutching her desperately in his strong arms like he thinks she's going to fly away. Or run away. She tries to make a mental note to remind him of the definition of marriage tomorrow. She's fairly certain there's a clause in those vows somewhere that states that there will be no running, no leaving, no dying. "I love you." She'll have to look it up. She can't remember right now, and she feels inadequate because of that fact. "I love you." He must feel inadequate too. He's shaking around her, trembling, and pressing never-ending kisses to her hair and forehead—the closest parts his lips can reach. "I love you." He's stumbling over the words now; his throat sounds clogged and painful. She wishes she were awake enough to hug him hard, to kiss him back, and stroke his graying hair and tell him not to cry. I'm right here, she wants to say. I'm not going anywhere.
But she's so tired. And she's going somewhere, she's floating off, carried away by the drugs and the fatigue and the latent pain.
"I love… I love you too," she finally manages to mumble. Her words come out as a gurgle against his chest, but from the way she feel his heartbeat change, she knows he must've heard them. She smiles at its altered rhythm, letting it lull her to sleep.
"L—Lex?" He wonders, suddenly on high alert after hearing her voice.
But he's too late. She's already gone.
Mark feels fresh tears prick his eyes, replacing the old ones from moments ago, as he holds her tight against him. Did she hear me? He thought she was already asleep when he started whispering to her. He's humiliated for all of five seconds before he realizes—there's no reason to be. He feels a smile spread over his face at the epiphany, and he clutches her closer, much closer this time. Tighter. "I love you," he calls, not even bothering to lower his voice.
"Mmhm," she mumbles weakly in reply. "I know. I know… you do." She nestles her head closer towards his chest. "Go t'sleep now," she instructs, already falling away again. "Go t'sleep, Mark."
Lullaby baby, I'll keep you here,
Lullaby baby, keep you still here.
I would wrap you in angels, just to keep
While the world might break you,
Be strong in your will
And trade all your scars for love
I would wrap you in angels,
Just to keep
Author's Note: Originally, this chapter and the next were just going to be one chapter… But then I kept adding to this last scene and it got super long. The lyrics came from the same episode of Criminal Minds that the quote did; they both worked in tandem as inspiration for this story.
Anyway, I hope you liked this chapter! Please leave me a review below!