Sometimes he wondered if he had gone off of his rocker. He wondered if he was getting senile in his old age, or if Derek had just punched him one too many times and it had shaken a few screws loose in his brain. What was he doing tying himself down to one woman? He'd tried that once before with Addison and the entire hospital knew how that had ended. He was Mark Sloan and she was Lexie Grey. Little Grey. Lexipedia. All nicknames that clearly stated that she belonged with someone better then him.
He was a member of the dirty ex-mistress club. She was brilliant and innocent. Of course she was also the girl that broke his penis...but that was a different story and he'd been enjoying himself up until then. But then it came back to that, she was just a girl. He was too old for her and he was constantly waiting for her to wake up and realize the age difference between them, to realize that she was beautiful and smart and could have anyone she wanted. He wasn't blind, he saw the way the guys at Joe's looked at her.
He'd thought about ending it, a million times. He really had, about cutting his losses and ending it before he got too involved. Addison had done a number on him and he may never admit it but he didn't want to go through that again. He felt like a pussy for thinking that, but better to be the pansy that bails before he'd get his heart stomped on again then the heartbroken asshole that Addison had left behind in New York.
So he'd convince himself that ending it was necessary,, that it must be done. He would end things and send her to move back in with Meredith or Derek or to get her own place. Anything but living with him and being Lexie in his space. He'd risk ruining his relationship with Derek, again, over a girl, again. All of this he'd push aside and do what needed to be done. He would be determined, a man on a mission. He'd walk in their apartment ready to end it all but then, she'd be there and he couldn't actually bring himself to do it.
Because she was Lexie, and she'd have dinner waiting or she'd be curled up on the couch with a book and she'd smile at him and it would all be over. He'd have no hope. Because he, Mark Sloan, was domesticated. There was no other way he could phrase that. He loved coming home to her. He loved that she smiled at him. Greeted him with a kiss and asked how his day was. Hell, he'd admit it he was becoming Derek. He wanted all of those things that he'd secretly (and maybe sometimes not always so secretly) mocked Derek for.
He never saw himself married with kids before, not even when he'd known that Addison was pregnant with their baby. He'd said the right words, told her she wanted the baby and wanted to have that family but she'd seen through that, she'd known that he was Mark Sloan and had aborted the baby and moved across the country. He couldn't blame her, when she'd told him he'd tried to picture himself with a child and the thought had been laughable; except now when he thought of himself with kids he didn't laugh.
Now when he tried to picture himself with kids he could see himself with his arm wrapped around Lexie's waist watching their children run ahead of them to the playground. Could see them tucking in their children. Could see them at graduation and their own weddings, he could see it all and that's how he knew that he was not the same person that had gotten off of the plane to follow Addison. He'd told Addison the words to convince her to stay but the words he was prepared to say to Lexie he was going to say because he couldn't see his life another way.
He'd thought about this night for months, tried to talk himself out of it. Hell, he'd even tried to convince Derek to convince him that he would make a lousy husband to his sister-in-law but he'd refused. So when he'd officially given in he'd spent hours picking out the ring that he would slip onto her finger (a simple three stone setting that Meredith had reminded him Lexie would prefer over the rock he'd originally wanted). He'd thought about going all out for the proposal so that she could have the wedding proposal story to beat even Meredith and Derek's but then he took a step back and remembered that they were who they were.
He had every intention of walking through that door (of course he was going on about 5 minutes standing in the hallway) and telling her that he loved her, that she made him a better person, a person that may actually be worthy of her and then he was just going to ask her to spend the rest of her life with him. Even as he thought the words over he knows they are true, there was no way in the hell that the man that had first arrived in Seattle would have deserved her but he wasn't that guy anymore.
The thought alone carries him through the doorway and she's standing in the kitchen with take-out menus fanned on the counter in front of her a smile across her face. In a matter of moments he's in front of her, on his knees in a pose nobody would have expected of him a few short years ago. This was how he wanted to spend the rest of his life and the words came easily.