~Usual disclaimers: own nothing, make no money, just have a little fun.

~I wrote this after the season finale but never posted it, don't know why. But I thought I should put it up before the new season starts and this is totally outdated

~My first Grey's Anatomy, so be gentle

~I just love Callie and Mark, IMO, they are perfect for each other, just wish the writers felt the same way…

~Takes place at the end of 'Now Or Never'

Callie lifted her head from her hands and looked up at the cross. She didn't come here often. The hospital chapel seemed just a little too non-denominational to her. Not that she ever went to church anymore. Hell, the Catholic Church scared the hell out of her. But still, there was that familiarity. Of course, her family felt it was more a genetic marker and when she told them she no longer attended mass there was a major melt down.

"What do you mean you're not a Catholic anymore?" Her father yelled. "You were born a Catholic; it's in your blood."

"Oh jeez, Papa, it's not like being born Jewish, okay? It's not like brown eyes or the genetic predisposition to cataracts. You're talking about a religious choice and I choose no."

Man oh man, she thought with a slight chuckle. She was sure her father would disown her then. She should've realized lesbianism would be the last straw.

Callie shook her head to try and clear her thoughts. To center. Her world has just been tilted to a dangerous angle and she was falling. And there was no one to catch her. Thusly, refuge in a chapel.

Right here, right now, she needed to be in this place. A place where people who were spiritual, who believed, congregated. A place where their energy just might wash over her. Just might stop the pain, the anger, the hate she was feeling.

George, her George, was gone. He hadn't been her George in a very long time, but still, he had been. She had loved him with all her heart. She had planned on spending a lifetime with him. Having his children. Growing old with him. He was possibly the best person she ever knew. Well, except for that time he cheated on her. Callie allowed herself the tiniest of smiles before the grief swept over her again.

Gone he was gone. It was so permanent, so final…

"Cal?" Arizona came up behind her, laid her hand on her shoulder. "Callie, sweetie? Can I…"

"Please Arizona, not now. I just need…not now. Okay?" Calliope Torres pleaded.

"But Callie, I understand. I can help." The pert blond smiled sweetly. "I know how hard loss can be, we're doctors after all. But you have to remember, he was doing something heroic. He gave his life to save another. That's all any of us can ever ask for. It was awesome…"

"Oh for the love of Buddha, could you please just shut the fuck up with all the positivity? I'm sorry, but this is not a good thing. No matter what you say, how you smile and claim this is 'awesome', it just isn't!" Callie was not in the mood for sunshine today.

Arizona was taken aback, but was not giving up.

"I understand, Callie…"

"Okay, fine, you understand. Please understand this. I need to be alone. And that means I need you to just leave." Callie was firm.

"I'll leave, but you know where I am. Just call me and I'll be here for you." Arizona held her hand for moment before turning away. Instead of leaving, she headed for an alcove at the side of the chapel, just in case Callie changed her mind.

Mark Sloan had been frantically looking for Callie as well. He knew his hot headed best friend was not going to handle this well and he also knew as much as she would protest, she would need him.

"Mark, really, I think you should probably just go home. I mean, Callie doesn't really have any sort of link to George anymore." Lexie sniffed. "If anyone should be upset, it should probably be me. I mean, he was my roommate."

"You moved out on him Lex. Now, just go home and console your sister, he was one of her best friends. And so was Izzy, she lost two of 'em today." He turned from the girl, deciding to try the chapel. Yeah, he thought, that sounds about right.

"Mark." She tired one more time as she watched him walk away. "Fine, whatever." She turned with a huff.

Mark opened the door to the chapel and saw his Callie in a pew up front. He shook his head and went to her.

"So, find any answers?" He softly asked.

She looked up at him, here eyes huge and filled with tears.

"Oh Mark, where have you been?" Callie held her arms out to him and he settled in next to her, letting her push herself as deeply into him as she could.

"Oh baby, I'm sorry, I had to take care of a few things. But I'm here now Cal and I won't leave you." He soothed her hair back from her face and kissed her forehead. "I'm not going anywhere you don't want me too."

Arizona sat back and thought on what Callie might be going through, but still found it difficult to relate. Okay, so he was her ex. But the key here was ex. They were doctors for heaven's sake. And doctors had to handle death on a daily basis.

She took a deep breath and waited. She just didn't realize she was waiting for Callie's ex-lover to show up and she certainly wasn't expecting her to fall into his arms. As quietly as she could, Arizona slipped out of the chapel.

"So sweetheart, do you want me to take you home?" Mark was still rocking Callie in his arms.

"Can I go home with you?" She looked up at him. Even with her mascara smudged eyes she was still the most beautiful woman he had ever met. He had to shake his head to dismiss that thought.

"Of course. Do you need to pick up anything?" He asked.

He felt her shake her head. "No, could I just sleep in something of yours?"

Mark chuckled and got up, bringing Callie up with him. "Well then, darlin', let's go."

She stopped for moment and looked up at Mark. "Thank you, Mark. Thank you so much for always being here for me."

"I'll always be here for you, Callie." He took a strand of her hair and tucked it behind her ear before he kissed her on the forehead. "Always."

Callie woke up and sighed as she felt the familiar warmth of Mark Sloan spooned up behind her. She supposed she should feel guilty. After all, Mark was with Lexie Grey and she was dating Arizona, sort of.

But she didn't. As far as she was concerned, Mark should never have taken up with that little, skinny pale person. Mark was hers, and no matter what she could never really think of him as anything other than hers.

Which really made her relationship with Arizona all that much more wrong. Not because

Arizona was gay, but because Callie herself should never have allowed herself to screw with other people's lives the way she had. First Erica and now Arizona.

She had to get her head together, her head and her life. George brought that home. Izzy brought that home. Like was too short to fuck around and play at being something one wasn't just to make sure that same person never got hurt again.

She loved George and she honestly believed that for a space in time, he loved her back. But she had loved him more and she had loved him longer. And once it was over, she decided she was never going to feel that pain again. Callie never realized that she was going to be the cause of that same kind of pain.

Callie sighed.

Mark's arms tightened around her. Yeah, he thought, this is what a woman should feel like. All soft and curvy and hot. And her smell, like rain and spice and woman. God, he missed this.

"You awake, baby?" He whispered in her ear. Mark felt her shudder and smiled. Yup, he thought, she still feels it.

"Yeah." She rolled over and looked at him. Jesus, did he have to look that good first thing in the morning? And his breath, what was that about? She reeked with morning breath but he smelled so…so right.

"You doin' okay?" He ran his finger over her cheek. Jesus, he thought, her skin was as soft and as smooth as he remembered.

Why, he asked himself, was he banging Lexie Grey instead of Callie Torres?

She took a deep breath. "Yeah, I'm better. Thanks." She tried to push away from Mark, but he held her in place.

"Mark, come on, I really gotta go." Her eyes remained on his neck, refusing to meet his eyes, afraid he'd see what she was trying to hide.

"Are you on this morning? I mean, I'm pretty sure the chief's having someone fill in for you and Meredith and Alex." He pulled her into his arms. "Just relax; we'll have a day off."

"Mark…" Callie bit her lower lip before lowering her head to his chest. "I can't do this."

"What Callie, you can't do what?" He smiled into the top of her head.

"This, this! George just died. He died and he shouldn't have. He had so much…he should've…god Mark, he should not be dead. If I had been able to keep him with me, if I had been able to make him love me, he'd be alive." The sob came up and all Mark could do was hold on.

"Baby, baby." He smoothed her hair back and peppered small, light kisses on her forehead, then her eyes. "Baby, please."

"Please what?" she hiccupped.

"There was nothing you could've done. Your marriage ended, he moved on, you moved on." Mark kissed her cheek, moving down to her jaw.

"But I shouldn't have moved on, Mark. I loved him. I still love him, not in the same way I did when we married. But still, if I had been there for him, if…"

"Baby, he decided to end it. He decided to get together with Izzy, even if it was short-lived." He shushed her before she could respond. "No, of course neither he or Izzy deserved to die for that, but baby, you couldn't have stopped what happened to George any more than you could've saved Izzy. You're a powerful, strong woman, but even you don't have that kinda clout."

Callie's bottom lip quivered as she took in all that Mark was saying. She knew the truth of what Mark was saying, her intellect knew this. But her heart, that was totally different. In her heart she wished she had had a small bit of power to somehow influence George. But she didn't. Not then and not now.

"I know, I just wish…" She allowed herself to relax in his arms, allowed him to comfort her. There was really no one else that knew her like Mark and she allowed him to have complete control over her.

"I know you do honey, but if wishes were horses…" He smiled into her hair.

"Yeah, I know, beggars would ride." She chuckled.

"That's my girl." Mark took a deep breath, taking in all things Callie. Fuck it all to hell, he thought, she's mine. I totally wimped out when I pushed her towards Hahn. I should've fought for her.

"Baby?" She looked up at the sound of his voice.

"Mark?" Callie's face was so open, so vulnerable and Mark knew he was going to use that same vulnerability to get her back.

"Let me make you feel better. Let me help you to forget, even for just a little while." He ran his lips over her neck, settling on her clavicle.

"Mark." She whispered. "I don't know if this is such a good idea." Her voice was weak, unsure, he knew he had her.

"It's a good idea, baby. It's always been a good idea." He pushed back slightly to look into her face. "Erica, Arizona, Lexie, all bad ideas. Mark and Callie, good idea, excellent idea." He lowered his face to hers and kissed her softly.

"Don't say no Callie, let me love you." He whispered against her lips.

"Love me?" She questioned.

"This whole tragedy with George, with Izzy, it's made me face up to the fact that I need to go out and grab life with both hands. And you Callie Torres, you are first and foremost who I want in my life." He looked deeply into her eyes, hoping to see her reaction before her fear and insecurity spilled out of her mouth.

Callie bit her bottom lip, her mind going a mile a minute. She lifted her hand to his cheek before she let her fingers lightly run over his lips. Oh my god, she thought to herself, I really do love him. How is it I didn't see that before? How did I miss it so completely?

"Do you love me, Mark?" She asked in a small voice.

"Yeah, I do." She felt him shrug. "Thought I could keep you as my best friend, that way I could never risk losing you. But there are other ways to lose people. And I want you with me for as long as we have. Cal? Do you think you might be able to love me?" Mark never felt so unsure, so scared in his life as he waited for his answer.

"I think I may have loved you for a very long time." Callie lifted her face to his, taking his lips in a soft kiss.

Much, much later…so much later, you can call it an epilog...

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Sloan, get the lead out. This baby isn't gonna wait until you've called every, single person you know." Callie Sloan groaned as another contraction hit her. "Your son wants out and if you don't get me to that damned hospital you'll be doing the honors here!"

"We're gone." He grabbed her bag and led her to the garage. Opening the passenger door, he helped her in. "The doctor will be waiting for us."

"Yeah, good." Callie clenched her jaw as another contraction hit. "Whoa, that was a good one."

"Okay, just hold on. Just a few minutes. I promise, baby." Mark was the epitome of the harried father to be. Callie looked over at him and had to roll her eyes at the fact that he could roll out of bed at 3:30 in the morning, throw on a pair of sweats and a t-shirt and still look like he fell out of an ad for Abercrombie and Fitch. But that was okay, 'cuz he was hers. And her baby daddy, smiled despite the pain

Callie lay in the hospital bed, sleeping the deep sleep of a woman who'd been in labor for the past 12 hours. Mark held his son in his arms, marveling at his tiny fingers and tiny toes. He was perfection.

How was he ever gonna top this? He looked back over at his wife. Oh yeah, he thought, he got to be with Callie everyday. Life really didn't get much better.

"Hey." Derrick popped his head in. "How's momma doing?" He whispered.

"She's out. I don't know how she did it, Derrick. I mean, the pain she had to endure. I swear, I'm getting myself snipped, I'm never putting her through that again." Mark shook his head.

"You get anything done to that dick without my okay, I'll chop it off myself." Callie croaked.

"Hi sweetheart." Mark went to her. "Go back to sleep, you had a long labor and you need your rest."

"Mark, I just had a baby. It's what women do." Callie looked over her husband's shoulder. "Derrick, will you tell him it's not a big deal?"

"Don't look at me. It looked pretty intense from my end." He smiled. "I'll let you get some rest, but I'll be in to check on you later."

"I'll be going home sometime today, so don't dawdle if you want to check out the little guy." Callie said. "Here, give him to me. I didn't get a good look before. What with having to do all that pushing." She took him in her arms and looked up at her husband. "Wow, look what we did."

"Yeah, babe, we did real good." He chuckled.

"And you are not getting the baby maker snipped. I want a couple more of these little puppies." She quipped.

"Really? After all you went through?" Mark was surprised.

"Baby, it wasn't that bad. I mean it hurt, obviously, but look what we got." She rubbed her nose against his soft cheek. "I think we make really excellent babies and figure we can do one or two more. Eventually." Callie paused and looked up at her husband.

"It's strange, Mark. We came back together because of loss, because of death. And here we are creating life. This is what it's all about, Sloane. I'm just so happy I get to spend whatever life I have with you. And with this little one." She kissed her son.

"Me too, Cal." Mark Sloan looked at his family and thanked whatever gods may be for his life. And for Callie.