So here it is. Finally. Chapter 12...and a pretty long one coming in at 2306 words.

I was a bit stuck on where I wanted this story to go and how I wanted to fit in the season five story lines with some of my own AU stuff. But I think I've got it all figured out now....mostly he he XD.

This chapter is set after Derek's mother's visit and before Addison's arrival with Archer and gang. This first chunk of the chapter is a bit Meredith/Derek heavy and the rest of it is a bit light on the Mark and Lexie interaction...just because I just like to paint a complete picture with every single character when I write.

I will be trying to incorporate some of the season five story lines into this fic (like Addison's visit, Derek's breakdown and Callie's relationship with Arizona) and some things will be completely different...obviously Mark/Lexie with the addition of Jamie. He was sort of an unexpected addition to this story.

Okay, long author's note aside. I hope you enjoy!

Any and all mistakes are mine. I do not own Grey's Anatomy.

---

Meredith smiled to herself as she spotted Derek standing near the nurse's station. For the first time in a long time, she finally felt at peace with her life. She was at the start of a promising surgical career and was in love with a man who loved her back. Despite her broken childhood of neglect and low self esteem (and the obvious daddy issues,) Meredith Grey's life was finally coming together. Her relationship with Derek was growing and moving on to a new level; a level she never thought would be possible for her...and meeting Derek's mother was a big part of that step forward.

Finally meeting Derek's mother was a fright fest filled with creepy smiles and impossibly high, pink ponytails. She listened to Izzie's advice because mothers always loved girls like Izzie. Bright and bubbly kind of girls that wore pink and baked cupcakes. She listened to Izzie because she really wanted Derek's mother to like her. In the end, she decided it was too exhausting to keep up with the lie Izzie created and came clean...and it all turned out okay. At least that's what Derek said. After Carolyn Shepherd had left, Derek had told her that his mother had actually approved of the dark and twisty version of Meredith Grey.

That hurdle behind her, Meredith was able to imagine all sorts of things. She was even daring to imagine babies and weddings in her future; a very unexpected surprise for her.

But even through the rose tinted glasses she was uncharacteristically wearing, she knew that Derek was having a tough time. The closer she got to Derek's spot at the nurse's station, the more she was able to notice the bags under his eyes. The past few weeks haven't been kind to him at all.

First he had to set aside his own personal feelings and help save the life of a serial killer...even though he wanted nothing more than to leave him to die.

Now, he was straddling two near impossible cases. One was a pregnant woman named Jen Harmon, who for some reason, has been having seizures; one which caused her to run over her husband with her car. Derek thought this, along with the high blood pressure, might be a sign of something more serious going on. He was still waiting for the scans to come back before going forward with any treatment.

The other patient was Archer Montgomery; his ex brother-in-law. Addison had called Derek in a panic when she found out her brother was suffering from seizures because of a tumor. Turns out, it wasn't a brain tumor but parasites. Parasites lodged in his brain that most doctors wouldn't go near for fear of rupturing the sacs. But Derek promised Addison he would try the best he could. That kind of determination and dedication to his job were just some of the reasons why Meredith loved him.

She was about to give Derek some more words of encouragement when she noticed her younger sister standing in the middle of the hallway...talking to some guy. Meredith watched as Lexie giggled at something Mystery Guy had said.

"Who's that guy talking to Lexie?" she asked Derek.

"I don't know" Derek mumbled.

"You didn't even look Derek."

When he showed no signs of putting down the file in his hands, Meredith took it from him.

"You need a break." She then smiled, "you're starting to get gray hairs."

"Ha. Maybe that's because I'm dating a Grey," Derek teased with a chuckle.

"Cute. And how long have you been waiting to use that one?" she teased right back.

Derek just smiled and snatched the file back from her grasp. "I don't have time for a break. Archer is getting here in a couple days and if I'm not prepared..." he let his sentence taper off. He didn't want to say anything to jinx himself.

Meredith placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "You're more than prepared Derek. You're the best neurosurgeon in the world."

Derek's smile was tiny and didn't quite meet his eyes, but Meredith didn't mind.

She knew when there was a time to smile and when there was a time to be dark and twisty.

---

"James Florence from Virginia."

His smile then turned very warm, "But you can just call me Jamie."

Lexie stuck out her hand and introduced herself, "Lexie Grey."

Jamie smiled and shook her hand, reminding Lexie how warm and sturdy his hands were.

Lexie then tilted her head inquisitively, "You're pretty far from home James Florence of Virginia."

Jamie smiled and adjusted the pack on his back Lexie had originally overlooked. "Just visiting. Ah'm part of a volunteer group called Habitat for Humanity. We go around the country and help build or repair buildings for those who need it."

Lexie couldn't help but feel a little more friendly towards him. Anyone that took time out of their own lives to help others was more than okay in her book.

Jamie then pointed in a direction that Lexie could only guess was East. "Right now we're building a house for an unemployed single mom with three kids not far from here."

"Wow" came Lexie's amazed response. "That sounds amazing. I'm sure that family really appreciates everything you're doing."

Jamie turned a slight pink from embarrassment and rubbed his left earlobe. "Thanks. There are a lot of other people helping out so it isn't like Ah'm building it by myself."

Lexie smiled "Still, I think it's really selfless what you're doing. Not many people would help complete strangers."

When she realized that her praise was making him even more embarrassed, she decided to change the subject.

"How are you liking Seattle?"

"It's beautiful. Whenever I get a chance, I like to go in the woods."

"So if I were to tell you to take a hike..."

"...then I would literally take a hike." Jamie said with a warm smile.

Jamie then shook his head and laughed, "Although the rain is slowly driving me crazy" he said, causing Lexie to laugh along with him.

"I know the feeling."

"So what brings you to Seattle Grace Hospital?" Lexie asked and noticed Jamie started rubbing his earlobe again. She was beginning to think that was something he did when he was either nervous or embarrassed.

"Just visiting" he said cryptically.

Lexie sensed that he didn't want to talk about his real reason for being here so she let it go. People were entitled to their secrets...and she definitely already had her share of them. Just yesterday, Dr. Shepherd had showed her and their patient Jen Harmon the ring he was going to propose to Meredith with. It took all of her self-restraint to keep from giving it away whenever Meredith entered a room.

This time it was Jamie's turn to ask a question, "So I'm guessing by the scrubs you're wearing you work here?"

Lexie nodded and pulled the lapel of her jacket across the front of her body, "I'm actually Dr. Lexie Grey."

Jamie's eyebrows went up in surprise"You're a doctor? No kidding. You can't be more than nineteen years old."

Lexie giggled a bit as she placed a piece of hair behind her ear. "I'm actually twenty-four...but most of my fellow interns are twenty-five." She then leaned forward as if disclosing a secret and Jamie leaned towards her. "I skipped third grade."

Jamie leaned back away from her impressed. "Wow. That's a mighty big accomplishment. I would have skipped too if it weren't for those damn multiplication tables" he said while rolling his eyes.

The soft sounds of their laughter traveled all the way down to the end of the hall, filling the ears of a certain irritated attending watching on.

--

"This friends without benefits is hard," Mark whined to Callie. "All I want to do is bring her back to my hotel room and-"

Callie held up her hand without looking up from the chart in her hands. "Too much information Mark. We've talked about this...I don't need the details of your sex life."

"What sex life?" Mark groaned as he leaned against the nurse's desk next to Callie. "I mean who am I kidding. There is no way I'm gonna be able to just be friends with her."

Callie continued writing in her patient's chart "Sure you can. Look at us, we're friends."

Mark raised an eyebrow "We've already slept together Torres."

Callie shrugged, "Yes, but we're not sleeping together now."

"Well no. Not since you started batting for the other team." He then got a thoughtful look on his face, "Unless you count the time I tried teaching you The Sloan Method for E-"

"SSH!" Callie placed a hand over his mouth. "Don't say her name."

"FFhne" came Mark's muffled response.

Callie removed her hand, satisfied with his compliance. She then laughed as she closed a patient's file in front of her. "I never thought I'd see the day when Mark Sloan worked hard to make sure a woman's pants stayed on instead of, you know, charming them out of 'em."

"Hilarious Torres," Mark said while giving her a glare that said how unamused he actually was.

He waited for Callie to deliver another snarky comment when she suddenly became eerily quiet. Mark turned his face to look at her and noticed that she looked like she was frozen. He followed her line of sight and chuckled when he noticed what she was so mesmerized by.

"Speaking of charming the pants of women, how's it going getting into Dr. Robbins' pants?"

Callie sighed, "Not good." She then leaned forward and rested her chin on her hand. "Being a lesbian is hard" Callie said, blowing her hair off her face with the side of her mouth. "Ever since she kissed me in the bathroom, it's like she's disappeared off the face of the earth."

Mark frowned, "Didn't you just tell me this morning that you followed her for about twenty minutes before your rounds?"

Callie waved her hand in the air like she was brushing his words aside. "Whatever. She hasn't talked to me at all and I don't know what to do. Should I make a move? Should I wait for her to make a move?"

"You mean another move?" Mark teased wickedly.

Callie glared at him, "You're. Not. Helping."

Mark then smiled genuinely, "Charming a woman is easy. Just be yourself. If you have confidence and believe you're the best; every woman will believe that you really are the best. You need to-" Mark's voice trailed off as his attention was suddenly pulled somewhere else.

Callie turned her head to look at Mark. It seems that this time, Mark was the one that was frozen solid.

"Hello?" Callie said while waving a hand in front of his face. When he didn't respond Callie followed his line of sight and her eyes widened. She had a bad feeling everything was about to go very, very wrong.

Looking back at Mark's face, Callie could see the signs of anger beginning to show. His jaw tensed, the skin around his eyes was very tight and she could see a vein in his neck pulsing rapidly. Not a good sign.

Callie looked down the hallway at Lexie and her mystery man. He wasn't someone she recognized and if she was being honest, which she wasn't about to be in front of Mark, Mystery Dude was pretty cute. She might be playing for a new team but that doesn't mean she can't admire the other players.

What she wanted to know was who the hell was Lexie talking to?

And why did they look like they were flirting?

Callie looked back at Mark and wondered whether she should just leave now and keep herself out of the inevitable shit storm that was about to pass.

Or stay and try to keep Mark out of trouble.

---

After leaving the interesting Dr. Grey, and receiving some odd glares from an older doctor, Jamie walked down a couple more a hallways before reaching an information desk. A nurse directed him towards a set of glass doors and told him he would be able to find what he was looking for in there.

At first glance, Jamie hadn't recognized the man beside the incubator. But when he finally did recognize him, Jamie was shocked...and sort of confused. He never thought the man in front of him would ever be working near children, let alone look like he was enjoying it.

Jamie Florence took a deep breath and adjusted his backpack before opening the sliding doors.

---

At the sound of doors opening up behind him, Alex Karev began spouting off the vitals of the premature infant in front of him.

He then excitedly added, "Bailey, his color is finally coming back."

"I'm not Bailey" said a rough voice behind him. A voice that caused every cell in Alex's body to freeze.

Alex slowly turned around and immediately felt panicky. Standing in front of him was a man he never expected to see again.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Alex said through gritted teeth.

Jamie shook his head in disappointment, "I thought you'd be happy to see me."

"Why would I ever be happy to see you?" Alex spat out.

Jamie was offended by Alex's statement.

"Because I'm your brother."


So? Like it?

Please review, I really appreciate the feedback I get from this story!