Title The Plan
Chap 16 of 16 What Makes Us Tick
Pair Mark and Callie, Mallie
Disclaimer All publicly recognizable characters, settings, plot, etc. are the property of the creators of the TV show Grey's Anatomy. Any original characters, settings and plots are the property of devylish. devylish is in no way associated with the TV show Grey's Anatomy and no copyright infringement is intended. This work is an amateur fan effort and no profit is being made.
"You are one lucky son of a bitch, Sloan." Ted chuckled and took a sip of the scotch Mark had served him.
"Tell me about it."
"No, really, that mess could have gone a totally different way. Callie could have been pissed beyond all get out when she found out you'd gone behind her back to her parents."
"Yeah, well, I guess I'm lucky she was already angry… angrier, at my supposed infidelity."
"She really cut your jacket?"
"I could make leather Band-Aids out of it."
"You know that could have been your ass."
"Did I mention that her parents were standing right there, glaring at me as Cal accused me of cheating on her?"
"You did; you did indeed. Like I said buddy, you're one lucky son of a bitch."
"Yeah… lucky." Mark threw back the last of his scotch and stood up to get some more.
"Okay, what's that?"
"The morose, sad, dark, half-assed 'I'm lucky' thing you just did."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"You lie well to women. You don't lie well to men."
"I lie well to everyone…. Not that I'm lying."
"So pretend you are lying. What would you be lying about?"
Mark sat back down, staring into his glass. "I have a ring." He looked up. "An engagement ring. For Callie."
Mark smiled. "I think it's good. Her parents think it's good. I'm not so certain about Callie."
"She turned you down?" Disbelief tainted Ted's tone.
"I haven't actually asked her."
"Well get off your ass Sloan and ask the woman already!"
"Easy for you to say. You aren't an ill-reputed man-whore, who could only get the woman he's crazy about to spend time with him by bribing her with a title and position at the hospital."
"What have you and Callie been doing for the past 6 months!?" Ted spit out frustratedly.
"Seriously, for being such smart people, the two of you are a pair of dumbasses. Dumb and blind."
Mark inclined his head and raised a brow.
"Seriously, in six months, you haven't figured out how to tell Callie how you feel about her? She's carrying your child and you're clueless as to how she feels about you?"
"Her carrying my child doesn't mean anything Ted. It's all part of our deal. Bear child – secure doctor-hood."
"And you really don't think she has any other motive for moving in with you, sleeping with you, procreating with you!?"
"What other reason could she have?" Mark dove into his scotch.
"Why am I surrounded by idiots?" Ted muttered to himself. "You don't think that maybe Callie has half an attachment to you? That she might like you?"
"No… I don't know. She's confusing. Women are confusing. One minute, I think she's fallen for my God given, amazing charms, and the next, I think she's just humoring me. Or worse, that she hates me." Mark grimaced, "Yeah, I've definitely seen 'dislike' emanating from her eyes…. God I miss the days when we could just clunk women over the head and drag them back to our caves."
Ted laughed. "You are so pussy whipped it's sad."
"It's an amazing pussy."
"TMI dude!" Glancing at his watch, Ted put down his drink and stood up. "Okay, I've gotta go pick up Christina." Taking a breath he added, "This is kind of a grey fuzzy area here, but, technically, I'm your lawyer and not hers so I'm going to tell you something that maybe I shouldn't."
"A day or two after we met to create the contract you and Callie signed, she called me and had me strike out the part of the contract that stated you were responsible for finding her a position at SG. The documents you signed don't require you to do anything for Callie."
"She had me take out the 'you owe me big time' clause. You owe her jack shit – at least, not in writing."
"Why the hell would Callie do that? And why didn't you tell me about the change."
"Her exact words were, tell Sloan, and I'll not only NOT go through with the plan, but I'll break a bone or two; which she assured me she knew how to do."
"Oh, she does. Her hands were made for bones."
"Did we just step into TMI land again?"
Mark grinned then reminded Ted, "You didn't tell me why she took the clause out."
Opening the front door to Callie and Mark's home, Ted snorted, "Don't be an idiot Mark. Even if Callie HADN'T removed the clause from the contract, any idiot to could tell -- after seeing her with you these past few months -- that she's crazy about you." And with that, Ted walked out.
She took the clause out. So I'm not required to…. Maybe she does feel something for me… for us… but if she does, why hasn't she said anything? Mark shook his head, stood up and walked into the bedroom. Opening the closet, he reached into the toe of his running shoes and pulled out the blue box.
'Time to stop being a chicken-shit Sloan.'
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Callie walked into the house, her parents in tow and sniffed appreciatively. Mark had cooked. It smelled like chili or spaghetti, but whatever it was, she definitely wanted two servings.
"Mark! We're back!"
"So he cooks too?" Her mother asked teasingly.
Callie smiled. "He has many talents."
"If he's so talented why haven't you married him?" Her father asked gruffly.
"Papa!" Callie exclaimed before muttering quietly, "Because Mark's not the marrying type."
"No?" Her mother wrapped an arm around her daughter's waist and guided her to the kitchen.
"No. He's the run free, sow wild oats, and keep his eyes out for the next best thing, kind of guy."
"Are you sure about that mi amore?"
"Yes, I –" Callie stopped short as they entered the kitchen and saw Mark wearing earphones, jeans, and an unbuttoned shirt.
"He's definitely cute," her mother offered with a smile.
"Mama!" Turning pink, Callie moved to Mark's side and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Fuc – erh – fudge!" Mark glanced at Callie's parents then back down to her, tugging the earphones out of his ears, he leaned forward and kissed Callie, "you guys scared the crap out of me."
"Sorry." She momentarily let her head fall against his chest as his arm slipped around her waist. "What are you making?"
"No shit Sherlock."
"Callie!" Her mother warned with a tired voice.
"Fine. I don't care what you're making, as long as it's hot and saucy and I can have lots and lots of it. I'm starving."
Patting her on the tush Mark released her. "Why don't you go change out of those shoes, put on your slippers, and wash your hands? I'll have dinner on the table in about 15 minutes."
Callie didn't spend much time wondering how Mark had known her feet were killing her. She'd kind of given up on wondering how he read her so easily. It had been unnerving at first, but now, now it was kind of comforting. Turning to her mom she suggested, "Mom maybe you can try on that dress so that we're certain it fits."
As the Torres feathered out of the room Mark felt his gut tighten. In twenty minutes he was going to do it. In twenty minutes he was going to 'pop the question' to Callie Torres…. In front of her parents. (Somewhere in the back of his mind her realized that asking her to marry him 'in front of her parents' was a bit of a cowards way out… he was hoping she'd find it harder to say 'no' to him with others around. But, in the long run he'd decided that while it might be cowardly, they also said all w fair in love and war).
Lifting the top on the chili he added the last ingredients – the chilies – so that they could simmer for 10 minutes in the pot.
He, the man who never got nervous about anything was nervous. He never got nervous about anything unless it had something to do with Callie Torres. And then, fuck, all of his self control and confidence faded like the wind.
Pulling the box out of the drawer he'd stashed it in while cooking, he shoved the ring into his pocket and started to button up his shirt as he walked toward the bedroom to check on Callie's feet.
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She'd kicked off her shoes with glee as soon as she entered the bedroom, squishing her toes into the soft carpet that covered the floor – trying to revitalize her aching tootsies. Bending to strip off her pants, which suddenly seemed to be constricting her, she almost toppled over. She still wasn't use to carrying as much weight on her frame as she now was. Holding on to the bed for support she tugged at the pants a bit before sitting down and scooching them all the way off.
Oh yeah, much better.
Since she was apparently changing all of her clothes for dinner, Callie stood up and started to unbutton her satiny top; appropriate for shopping with mom and dad, but impractical for an evening home having dinner with her family.
Undoing the final button, she pushed it open and stared down at her belly. She was huge. And she wasn't even done growing yet. Curving her hands around her stomach, one on top and one below her growing bump, she rubbed her skin slowly. Some things were definitely worth gaining weight over. Things like this baby.
She wondered what their child would look like? Would it have her nose? And her eyes? Or would it have Mark's nose and devilish smile? No matter what, she pondered with a smile, their baby would have a definite personality. How could it not with parents like her and Mark?
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Mark walked into their room and saw Callie, half undressed, her hands touching her stomach, reverently, lovingly. She was lost in thoughts, happy thoughts from the small smile on her face and he moved up behind her and slid his arms around her, covering her hands with his own. As she relaxed against him, he marveled at her body. At her belly and her face; all of her was amazing. Even her hands. Her hands always had, and always would amaze him. So beautiful, so delicate when they touched him, or cared for a patient, but they were also strong; strong enough to break and reset bones. Strong enough to hold him close and make him act like a fucking emotional… sap. Him, Sloan, the ever elusive, guys guy.
Even as he had these thoughts, Mark held her close and realized he wouldn't change a thing. He liked being lost in Callie Torres. And it was at that moment that he changed his plans and reached into his pocket with one hand to pull out the box.
Bringing his arm back around to Callie's front, he held the closed box out for her to view.
Callie stiffened and swallowed hard. Her breath stopped for a second as she eyed the small container being presented to her.
"What the fuck is that?" Classy Torres.
"Open it up and find out."
"No!" She pulled away from his warmth. Shit-brick frightened at what she thought the box contained… of what it meant. She backed away from him, intent upon escaping; escaping a little blue box.
Mark took a deep breath and forged ahead. Flipping open the box he asked, quietly, more than a little afraid of her answer, "Callie Torres, will you marry me?"
Callie's shoulders dropped in defeat. There it was. The question. Now, now everything would all disappear. Her insides gripped and folded inwards.
She could live with him, she could bear his child. They had a contract. There was an end date in sight. That was a fact that she had clung to, it was the only thing she had had to hang on to; to keep her from falling. Falling endlessly and hopelessly in love with Mark Sloan.
But now, now he'd asked the question. He'd upped the ante. He had made it so that there would, maybe, be no end in sight. No clean cut way for her to escape him.
She wasn't strong enough to be with him forever and not fall. She wasn't positive that she strong enough to be with him even for a short term and not fall for him. Hell, she knew she wasn't strong enough.
"No. No. I - I can't."
"Can't, or don't want to? Won't?"
"Why are you doing this Mark? Why now? Why at all? Why – why can't we just do what we planned to do? Live together for a while, have our child, and, and go our separate ways?"
"Why did you change the contract?"
They were always circling, dancing around the truth, weren't they? Neither one wanting to be the first to truly open themselves to the other; afraid, scared, terrified that their fragile hearts would be destroyed.
"I'm going to kill Ted." She drew her shirt closed around her waist. "What happened to Lawyer/client confidentiality?"
"Why did you do it Callie?"
"I'm a woman. Do I really have to have a reason for doing something? We're capricious spirits."
"Bullshit. Why'd you do it Callie?"
"Why are you asking me to marry you?"
"I'm a man. Do I really have to have a reason for doing something? We're stupid creatures."
She echoed him, "Bullshit."
"I'm thinking," Mark edged closer to Callie, "I'm thinking you changed that contract for me."
"Ha!" Callie backed up again, her hips coming in contact with the armoire. Shit.
"I'm thinking," he was now a foot away from her, "I'm thinking you might, kind of, sort of, like me."
She laughed again, this time less convincingly.
Mark stopped right in front of her, and placed his free hand on her hip. "Callie, tell me the truth."
"I can't." She dropped her head against his chest. "I can't."
Mark buried his nose in her hair; taking in the scent of her shampoo, and the perfume she'd put on that morning. He gathered a small bit of strength from her scent and from the feel of her arms around his waist; her warmth against his body. "I… want you to be my wife because, I kind of like you, Torres. I more than kind of like you; I think you've broken me for all other women. You make me happy. Down to the toes happy."
She held her breath then asked, lightly, "So, you're letting your toes do your thinking for you now?"
"Toes, skin, veins…, heart."
Callie lifted her head and let her chocolate browns connect with Mark's blues. "Heart?"
"Seems to be doing most of my thinking these days."
She hadn't pushed him away yet. She hadn't laughed at him. She was just looking at him. He was taking these things to be good signs. "I think you like me, you may not like me as much as I like you, but, we get each other Callie. We understand how one another thinks, what makes each of us tick. Hell, I don't even look at other women anymore."
Callie rolled her eyes.
"Well, okay, I look, but it's purely from an aesthetical point of view, I'm a plastic surgeon." He touched her face, brushing the hair away from her cheek. "All the other women fall short of you, Cal. They're not tall enough, or not short enough, not curvy enough, not brunette enough, not as beautiful as you. I'm always comparing them to you. And you always win."
"What about in three months when I've gained 15 more pounds and I look like a tan, beached whale?"
"You'll be my, beautiful, tanned, beached whale."
"What? You didn't know I had a thing for beached whales of Latin descent?"
"You were supposed to say, 'You won't look like a beached whale, Callie'."
"I'd hate to lie."
She whacked him on the chest.
Nuzzling his mouth to her ear, Mark whispered, "Do you like me Callie?"
She hid her head against his chest again. "If you hurt me Mark Sloan, I will castrate you and do a dance in spiked heels on the part I cut off." Her voice was firm and controlled, but her hands clung to him desperately.
"Message received and understood." He pulled her into a tight hug and asked again, softly, "will you marry me Callie Torres?"
Just as softly, she whispered back, "Yes."
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I'm holding the most beautiful girl in the world in my arms. Her head is tucked against my chest, my arms wrapped around her, and she sleeps. Her beautiful blue grey eyes shuttered against the dim lights of the hospital room as I hum a song I didn't know I knew -- just for her.
Callie is asleep too, her valiant, heroic struggle to bring this beautiful creature into the world having left her tired, and worn, and blissfully happy. As I hold our daughter, I watch Callie and thank God. I've never been a particularly religious man, but at a time like this, holding the miracle that is Simone Anastacia Sloan, yeah… God deserves a little attention.
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Callie stirred in the bed, her eyes blinking open and taking in the sight of the man she loved, holding the child they'd created. She spoke tenderly, "I don't know which one of you I love more."
Mark looked up with a grin, "You're awake. How are you feeling?" Balancing the baby carefully, he leaned forward and kissed Callie's forehead.
"Like my vagina just got run over by a Mack truck." She smiled. "That, and happy. Unbelievably happy."
Mark sat down on the edge of the bed and slowly shifted their daughter over to Callie's arms. He felt the loss instantly. But the feeling of loss was filled almost immediately by the sight of Callie staring with awe at Simone.
"We did this huh?" She touched the baby's nose with a finger. Mark's nose.
"You did it; I just donated a little genetic material." He ran his hand through the curls on top of Simone's head. "Thanks for doing such a good job, Mama Sloan."
"No problem. Any time." Callie bent forward and kissed Mark's cheek. "Thanks for loving me."
He caught her eyes. "No problem. Any time."