Disclaimer: I don't own Grey's Anatomy, in case no one would have guessed...
First off, thank you SO much to everyone who reviewed my last fic; I tried to respond to everyone, but just in case I wanted to say again how encouraging your feedback was and I'm really glad that people seemed to like it. I was worried about the characters staying, well, in character, being a newer viewer of the show, so the support really helped me feel more confident in that area.
Moving on, I just want to say although I started a George/Lexie fan, I think I have officially converted to Mark/Lexie and will be legitimately disappointed if their chemistry ends up going nowhere. That being said, at least I will have the little scenarios floating around my head, and this one came to me begging to be written. It's meant to take place somewhere towards the end of 5x05 "There's No I in Team". I would have loved to have seen something like this happen on the show (you'll know what I mean when you read it, I hope), and hope you do to! Reviews, as always, are greatly appreciated.
The lights were off. The door had been closed and the lights were off (and maybe she's a hypocrite because talk about not seeing the signs) but she barges in anyways, not really noticing, because right now Lexie needs someone to talk to and she knows he's been lounging in the on-call room for at least the last hour now. So she opens the door and ignores the lights and somehow completely misses the pile of scrubs on the floor by her feet (blue scrub pants, not unlike her own, and a darker blue shirt, and without giving it any conscious thought Lexie wonders why they're not a matching pair). Then she looks over to the far corner of the room, because there's no one else in here, and sees the reason why the clothes on the floor don't match.
Lexie had heard rumors, and she's certainly not unfamiliar with some of the less than official uses for the on-call room (all the interns were lectured on it for forever on their first day, so even if that whole Alex thing hadn't happened and the nurses didn't gossip about everyone's encounters, she would have known), but somehow, the last thing she expected to find was Mark Sloan's head between Dr. Torres' legs. (And why was Dr. Torres watching him like that? She was really concentrating on him, like she was taking mental notes or something and… oh. Lexie had heard those rumors too, and maybe she hadn't realized how seriously everyone around here took the whole "teaching hospital" thing.)
If they didn't hear her come in, and they both seemed pretty involved so really she wouldn't be surprised if they hadn't, they certainly heard the door slam behind her, and she felt her cheeks flush crimson with their eyes on her. Callie couldn't seem to decide to be mortified or pissed; her mouth formed a kind of angry 'oh' as she scrambled to pull up the bed-sheets. Mark, on the other hand, looked more amused than anything, eyeing her up and down with that look and those eyes (she sees, now, why they call him "McSteamy" especially now with his scrub shirt off), and Lexie's not sure how she feels about that.
The room is silent still, although at least Mark's had the decency to extract himself from Callie, letting her slip (as gracefully as anyone in the situation could manage) under the sheets, and Lexie is standing there, frozen in place. She's shaken out of her reverie by Callie: "Um, hello? I'm still half naked but I'd like to get to my pants, if that's okay with you." She sounds mad now, and Lexie makes a mental note to stay away from orthopedics for a little while.
Mark stifles a laugh while Lexie, for lack of anything better to do, slaps one hand over her eyes, blocking her vision. "I'm so sorry" she blurts, each word tumbling over the next, "I'm so so sorry. I didn't realize and I was looking for you, well, Dr. Sloan, that is, and I didn't think… I mean, I thought maybe you were sleeping or something because the lights were off but I figured I would wake you up." With her eyes still tightly closed behind both hands now, Lexie couldn't see the broad grin on Mark's face, or Callie biting her lip to keep from letting out a laugh as angry as she was. Still, Lexie showed no signs of stopping her ramble anytime soon. "But you were already up, well, down I guess which, oh my god, is totally none of my business. I'll just…" and she gestured with her elbow awkwardly to where she remembered the door being, and began stepping backwards. "I'll be, um, outside if you, you know, get a chance, Dr. Sloan."
With that she swiftly turned around, hands still clamped firmly over her eyes, and promptly smacked face-first into the edge of the door frame.
This time, Callie couldn't help but snicker out loud, and Lexie blushed a deeper red behind her hands.
"Shit! Ow, sorry, sorry" she apologized again, realigning herself and retreating this time with the combined laughter of Mark and Callie at her back.
Ten minutes later Lexie found herself leaning against the wall, a safe distance from the door to the on-call room, gently prodding her nose. She could feel a bruise forming, and cursed once again her bad luck; like all she had needed was for this day to get any worse. Lexie was so involved in her thoughts, that when Mark exited the room (Callie after him, although she immediately took off down the hall instead of opting to stay for what was sure to have been an awkward conversation), his voice startled her.
"Has anyone ever told you your timing is impeccable, Grey?"
She jumps, and thinks back to the last time something like this happened, back in med school when Lexie walked in on her roommate and her boyfriend doing things that made her wish she'd never even heard of a photographic memory, let alone have one, and shrugs her shoulder noncommittally. Lexie, for reasons she's not sure she can explain (and yeah, maybe the fact that she just caught him in one of the most compromising positions he could have been in was a factor) doesn't want to look him in the eyes. So she keeps her head down, and why hadn't she noticed before how interesting the floor tiles were?
"I mean," he continued, "not that we're talking me specifically here but some guys just don't dig the whole silent observer thing, you know? I've always kind of found I perform better with an audience, though" He kind of chuckled, and Lexie could tell he wasn't mad, but with the whole… thing with George, and now Mark apparently busty with Dr. Torres (Lexie would have time, later, to examine the small stab of jealousy she felt on realizing that), she was rapidly losing people to turn to. She briefly entertained the idea of confiding in Christina (they'd sung "Like a Virgin" together, after all, and doesn't that count for something?) but a barrage of possible insults that Christina was sure to hurl back at her came rushing to her mind. The thought makes Lexie want to laugh and cry at the same time so she settles for a strangled kind of sob, and by now Mark knows there's something wrong.
"Hey, I didn't mean you're not welcome, Grey. Just… lay off the water works will you? I don't do crying girls." He awkwardly laid a broad palm on one of her shoulders, still trying to lighten the mood the only way he could think of. "I mean, there was that one time, but something tells me that's not what you're looking for." She shrank a little under his touch (which made him frown without realizing), so he continued on, not realizing why she'd come here in the first place, and trying in vain to crack a joke or make her smile again. "O'Malley's probably done some crying girls. He seems like the weepy type himself, if you know what I mean. I still don't get why you're so hung up on the little man, but…"
He stopped suddenly when he realized Lexie was crying.
He wrapped a shoulder around her wordlessly, guiding her back into the on-call room before anyone noticed (which was a miracle in itself with the way some of the nurses were around here), sitting next to her on one of the bottom bunks. The lights were still off, so they sat there together in the dark, Lexie taking short, hiccup-y breaths (not sobbing, but Mark was not that guy who was really comfortable with any kind of weepy girls, and there was a definite, if not delicate, trail of tears working their way down her cheeks), with Mark waiting, unsure of what to say.
She looked over to the still unmade bed he'd occupied not too long ago, and sniffled. "I really am sorry I interrupted". He sighed, and she watched his chest rise and fall.
"Its fine, Grey, but that's not what you want to talk about is it?"
Lexie seemed to hesitate for a moment, looking down at her hands folded smartly on her lap before exhaling heavily. "No. It's not."
Mark shifted his weight, his arm settling more comfortably around her shoulders as he pulled her into a sort of sideways hug. "What did he do this time?" he asked, letting her lean against him.
"He doesn't notice me."
She looked up at him when she felt him shrug. "I told you, he's an idiot."
"I mean, I decorated his stupid locker, you know, because that's what you do! And I got streamers and balloons, right? And those candles, so his locker would smell like cinnamon apples, because I got one for our apartment once and he said he liked it so I thought…" and just like that Lexie's rambling ended. Mark, whose arm had slipped off her shoulders, his hand now smoothing out (what he hoped were) comforting circles on her lower back because he was at a loss to do anything else, didn't know if that was a good thing or not. When she started to cry again (still not quite bawling, but her eyes definitely had a watery sheen to them) he decided it probably was not.
"Oh my god, our apartment! How am I supposed to go back there? He lives there and I just told him… oh no! I can't go back there and face him! I'll have to live in the hospital, like in a supply closet, and I'll need to steal pillows and live off of vending machine food. But I'll run out of quarters so that won't work so then I'll be hungry all the time, which will be really embarrassing because my stomach growls really loudly and people would hear and know…" She kept talking; a rush of words, and Mark could barely keep up with her disjointed speech.
"Hey, that's not the end of the world, you know" he tried, using a thumb to brush away an errant tear slipping down her cheek. She leaned into his touch (eyes closed, and the way her eyelashes, wet with tears, fanned out against her skin was almost poetic) and he smiled a little. "We'll find you a place to stay."
She looked up at him then, doe-eyed and so full of belief in him (and he cursed O'Malley a thousand times over for whatever he did to her, or more likely, didn't do that made her break like this), and asked, as if it was the most natural thing in the world: "And you promise you won't laugh at my growling stomach? Or tattle when I take the pillows? Because I need them to sleep, you know, and who's really going to miss a pillow?" She stops and thinks for a moment, and then her expression changes again, turning to one of mild disgust. "Oh gross, I need to use and on-call pillow tonight, and who knows how you've violated them!"
He laughed quietly to himself, a deep rumble that she could feel vibrating in his chest, and leaned them back against the wall behind the bed, resigning himself to spending another night sleeping in the on-call room (not like he hasn't done it before, but he wonders when the littlest Grey became so important to him anyways). He guides her head into the crook of his shoulder, smoothing over her hair, and in an unusual display of affection brushes his lips against her forehead (but she's already so spent, physically, emotionally, from her ranting that her eyes have slipped shut and she's well on her way to full-fledged sleep). "I'll be your pillow, Lexie", and the dark, silent room is the only one to bear witness to the statement.