Disclaimer: If I owned Grey's anatomy… Well there is a lot I would do, and it would probably stop being a show I would watch, so I won't complain.

Author's Note: I love George and Derek, really I do but I just had to write this. Mark has the potential to be such a great character, and you know what they say about rebounds. I know its short, but bigger isn't always better, right?


Filthy Mistresses

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don't give up. –Anne Lamott

They didn't love each other, not yet, they were both too raw, their emotions scraped to thin, to feel something like that. They could love each other, they could even be in love with each other, they were compatible, and there was chemistry, but there was something in each of them, a desperate hope that it would all be o.k. That if they would wait just one more day, one more week, one more month, it would all turn out alright. The hope was unreasonable, unfounded, and intangible, but other then each other it was the most real and solid thing that either of them had.

She had her friends, and he a four-million dollar a year career. She was an intern, promising and bright. He was the most renowned plastic surgeon on the east coast, and depending on who you asked the west as well. She had eyes that could steal a soul. He had a smile that could capture hearts. They were the kind of people that a person would be crazy to leave, the kind of people that were made to be fought for. The kind of people that were drawn to the untouchables, to the one person that they couldn't, shouldn't have. The kind of people on a path of self-destruction.

They both deserved better, it was mutually agreed, then the broken husk that they were saddled with. They both deserved, all but two decided, the person that had broken them. But they didn't listen to the words of their friends, the advice of their well-meaning colleagues. What they had was real, it was a broken, painful, and tangible manifestation of their pain.

They knew not to expect love from the other. They knew going in that it would never be their face that the other would see, their name the other would call out, and they knew it was better that way. People that didn't know them saw an invisible but still oh-so-real, bright red A hanging around their necks, and 'Filthy Mistress' stamped in big, bold letters across their foreheads. People that didn't know them steered away from them. Very few saw the reluctance to hurt like they had been hurt written in their eyes, or heard the pain hidden in their voices. Very few realized that they had turned to each other for comfort, because turning to anyone else was just unfair.

They did find comfort in each other. In the other's arms and the other's silence. In the lack of empty promises and shallow proclamations. In the promise that so long as everything wasn't alright they would have each other. And have each other they did, from gentle touches, to bone-snapping caresses they had each other. There were smiles on their faces, smiles that reached their too-pained eyes, for the first time in a long time, and it gratified all those who could remember the time when neither was broken.

So, no, they did not love each other, but they didn't really need love. They weren't really ready for love. But they had began to see each other's faces in the dark of the night. And it was the other's name that broke the sacred silence of the dark. There was hope for them. For the two lost souls, and broken hearts. Hope that in the end, or a time not far from then, they could love. That they could offer more then comfort, and the silence left by the absence of empty promises would soon be filled by true and beautiful pledges.

Hope is necessary in every condition. –Samuel Johnson