I'm so sorry it took so long. School's been keeping me busy so I only have the weekends to write. Also, thank you everyone for the nice words, I love reading them :)
Your back hurts.
Usually, this stems from good all-night sex that's got you bent in different ways, but today, it's completely different. You've been driving for hours, and in silence. Taking the plane would've made it easier for you, but he's been fidgety and suggested the roadtrip, saying he needed the hours to think.
There is nothing you want more than to ease his worries, to hold him, and feel like it's working. But his mind is far away, somewhere you can barely reach... somewhere he wouldn't let you reach. And it's breaking your heart.
When you finally reach Phoenix, and you step into the hospital room with him, your heart breaks even more. He holds his newborn in his arms, as Julia watches from the bed, smiling. They engage in happy conversation, and you just stand there by the door, forgotten.
Why the hell did I even come?
"I bought you a plane ticket back to Seattle. As a thank you for driving me all the way here."
You turn your head towards him, as he sits on the edge of the bed, looking down, his back facing you. "You're not coming home with me?"
"They need me, Lex." He slowly positions himself right beside you, and you watch as his face suddenly becomes unreadable. And you just know that he is in that damned place you can't reach.
"How long are you staying here? I can help you out and let the Chief know."
He was silent. His eyes still glued down to his fidgeting hands. Something is wrong. You can feel it.
"I might... move here. Julia's asking me to move, so we could try again. Be a family."
Your entire world crashes. What about me? goes on and on in your head like a stupid loop. You're back to where you started. It's always going to be the same thing over and over again, and you just can't do it anymore. It's desperation — you'll beg if you have to. Beg to make it work, beg for him not to leave you.
"What about me?" You finally voice out.
He faces you and just watches as you break down in tears in front of him, the way you did a million times before.
Four years ago, a week after the first time you and Mark had a big fight, you found yourself crying in the resident's lounge. You weren't sure if it was because you miss him or just because you're really, really tired from that 36-hour shift.
He hasn't come over since then, and you haven't made a move to go to his apartment either. Neither of you has made a move, and you're wondering whether or not this means you are now broken up. After all, you've seen him laughing (maybe flirting, even) with a young nurse (about your age) this morning.
So you make your way to the pit, where you know he is, stitching someone's face or debriding someone's burns. An attempt to do a confrontation you didn't know you had in you.
"Are you still my boyfriend?" You say when you find him stitching someone's arm up and he looks at you, surprised. "Because if you are, then I don't wanna fight anymore. And if you're not—"
"I am." He says quickly. "I am."
Your face softens, and the warm feeling takes over you, making you realize how much you've missed him the entire week. He's your best friend and your lover, all in one, and it has been a tough week without him.
You bend down to kiss him, and his tongue quickly swipes over your bottom lip, making you smile. "I miss you. Come home with me."
"I would never say no to that."
One smile, and you know you are whipped.
It took a couple of minutes before he notices you standing right outside the door and he walks towards you.
Your flight is in a couple of hours, and when you woke up this morning, he was already gone. The questions just keep piling up in your mind even more, you couldn't take it.
"I just wanted to say goodbye. I mean, I don't know when I'll see you again, or if I ever will, so..." Your voice cracks and you wipe the tear threatening to fall from the corner of your eye.
"Lex..." His hand reaches out to touch you, but you step back. He was so cold to you last night, you just wanted it to end that way. You figured it's easier to leave when you hate him.
You wrap your arms around yourself for comfort, and you realize it works better when he does it. How did it all come down to this? Every time you try again, it all gets messed up in a bigger web than you were in before. Meredith's right. You never learn. "I really love you, you know. It's stupid. Everytime you ask, I take you back in, because it's... you. And all I wanted in return was for you to choose me, to put my name on top of your list. And you never... all you do is break me."
The tears you were holding back all come to the surface, and you struggle not to have another breakdown in public. You couldn't look him in the eye, not when you know all you're going to see is pity.
"Lex." He breathes, and holds you tight. You bury your face in his shirt, trying to take him in from the last time. When he speaks again, your knees go weak, you would've fallen to the ground if he wasn't holding you up.
"I came here to say goodbye to them. I chose you. Let's go home."
"So he just... dropped them? Just like that?"
Meredith asks you during lunch at the cafeteria, her judgy eyes matching her equally judgy tone. You roll your eyes at her. Sometimes you just hate how much of a gossip she is.
"You don't feel bad that you're taking away the kid's chance to have a complete family?" She says and you reach over the table to slap her sandwich off her hands.
It lands on the floor and the usual angry Lexie! has heads turning towards your direction.
"I was gonna eat that! You're really immature." She wipes the smudged mayonnaise from her fingers and glares at you even more.
You shrug, and go back to eating your food. "You know, I wish sometimes you'd take my side."
"I am always on your side."
"You're not though, Mer. Not when I have to go this far trying to defend him and our relationship. I love him. He makes me happy."
Meredith sighs, and steals a chip from your plate. "I know. But you're my sister. And you've been down this road way too many times and I always have to be the one to pick up the pieces. If he breaks you again, Lexie..."
"Maybe not this time. Maybe this time it'll work."
You were on your way home when you pass by the attendings' lounge, and see him sitting on the couch, deep in thought.
"Hey." You say, and give him a warm smile. "You okay?"
He smiles back at you, and rubs the back of your neck when you sit beside him. "I'm fine. Just thinking about my kid."
"No, it's not your fault." He says, looking back down at his feet. "Julia, she's... she cheated on me while we were together. And she left me to run away with her ex-boyfriend. She admitted it to me when I went to say goodbye. I don't even know why I'm still calling him my kid."
Overwhelming relief washes over you and you pull him towards you, holding him tight. And you know now — that he doesn't want anyone to know, because he got so excited about "his son" for months, only for it to blow up in his face. But he told you.
"You going home?" He changes the topic almost as quickly as he started it.
You nod, knowing he's stuck in the hospital for the entire night. It almost makes you wanna stay here with him instead of going home to an empty apartment and an empty bed.
When you say your goodbyes a few minutes later, you stop in your tracks by the doorway at the sound of his voice calling your name. It was all you needed at the moment, and the dark cloud looming above you for days now finally leaves you.
"I love you."
A month later, when you were in your undies making breakfast at his apartment, he comes out of the bedroom and puts down a small box right on the counter next to the stove.
You watch romantic comedies, you knew what it was. Your heart starts to pound, and your breath hitches at your throat. You turn to face him, and he's already looking at you, watching your every reaction.
"I'm not good at these things, and I haven't really prepared anything at all, except for this ring. It's been... at the very back of my closet for years now, waiting for the right time. And I know, that I want to do it here, at home, just the two of us."
You listen intently, getting a grip on the counter to stop yourself from shaking so much.
"This is the place where we are most ourselves. Where we've seen each other at our happiest and our lowest. These four walls have seen us fight and make up over and over again." He chuckles softly and pauses before speaking again. "And it is in this place where I realized that it's always gonna be you. I've seen life both ways — with you and without you. And babe, I don't ever want to be alone or be with someone else for another second. I've chosen from the very first moment you walked in my hotel room five years ago. It's you."
"I love you, Alexandra Caroline Grey. Marry me."