Epilogue

Five Years Later

Lexie stepped through the door, shutting it quietly behind her. Dropping her purse and shrugging off her coat, she glanced into the living room, but didn't see them. She knew exactly where they would be.

Lexie made her way through the dark house and climbed the carpeted staircase, making sure not to make too much noise. When she reached the top of the stairs, she turned to her left and walked down the hallway. She could see the faint glow of a small light coming from the last room on the right. Lexie slowed as she approached the room. She smiled when she saw him. He was sitting with her back towards him, his head bent forward. She leaned against the doorframe and simply watched him.

"I know you're there," he whispered.

She smiled. She could never watch him like he watched her. He could stand behind her and watch her for an hour and she would never notice. He, on the other hand, always seemed to know she was there.

"How are we doing?" She asked, starting to tiptoe into the room.

"We," he answered, "are doing just fine."

Lexie walked around the rocking chair he was sitting in and kneeled down in front of him. A small bundle, wrapped in a pink cloth was in his arms.

"I forgot how beautiful she was," Lexie said quietly. She ran her fingertip over her daughter's cheek.

"Just like her mother," Mark commented. Lexie leaned over the baby and kissed him lightly on the lips.

"How long as she been asleep?"

"About twenty minutes," Mark answered, staring down at his gorgeous baby girl. He never knew he could love someone so much. He fell in love with her the moment Lexie had burst into the on call room he had been sleeping in to tell her she was pregnant. His love only grew the moment he had delivered her and saw her face for the first time.

"You know we agreed she needs to start sleeping more in her cradle," Lexie said.

"But she likes sleeping here," Mark said, meaning his arms.

"I know, but we don't want to start any bad habits, do we?"

Mark knew she was right. The baby had to get used to sleeping in her cradle and not in one of their arms, but it was so hard to give her up. Having a sleeping baby in his arms was one of the best feelings Mark had ever felt.

"I guess we know who's going to be the disciplinarian in this family," Mark said.

Lexie smiled. "And we know who's going to be the softy."

"Meanie," Mark joked.

"Cradle. Now."

Mark sighed and looked down at this sleeping daughter. He knew Lexie was right. He should put her down. And besides, as much as he loved his daughter, he hadn't seen in Lexie in a good ten hours and he was ready to give her a proper welcome.

Lexie stood up as Mark scooted to the edge of the rocker. He stood up slowly, being careful not to jostle the baby. As he was about to walk out of the room, Lexie put her hand on his arm.

"I'd like to hold my daughter."

"I thought she needed to be in her cradle," Mark teased.

Lexie rolled her eyes as Mark skillfully transferred the baby from his arms to hers. Lexie cradled her in her arms against her chest. She folded the blanket down slightly so she could take a better look at her face.

"I can't get over how much she looks like you," Lexie commented.

"Well, if she looks like me and has your brains, this girl could take over the world."

Lexie playfully hit his arm.

"And what would be so wrong with her looking like me?"

"Nothing. Except for the fact that if she looked like you, she'd be so beautiful, we'd have to beat the boys off of her with a stick."

Lexie smiled. "Something tells me you'll be beating the boys off of her with a stick no matter what."

"She's not dating until she's thirty. Make that forty."

"You're just afraid she'll meet a boy like you."

Mark snorted. "It's not her being like me that I'm worried about. Need I remind you that you're the one who came waltzing into my hotel room repeating 'teach me' over and over again."

"That was the best decision I ever made," she said.

"I'll second that," he replied, leaning in for a kiss.

The baby wriggled in Lexie's arms before settling down again. Lexie focused her eyes on her beautiful baby. She still couldn't believe that she and Mark had created something so beautiful.

Mark watched Lexie hold their baby. Just as his heart had grown when he saw his daughter for the first time, it had grown insurmountably when he saw Lexie hold her for the first time. She was an incredible mother.

"She is perfect, isn't she?"

Mark nodded. He put his arm around Lexie and kissed her hair. They both couldn't take their eyes off their little girl.

"Come on, let's put her to bed."

Mark leaned over and turned off the small lamp next to the rocking chair. He put his arm around Lexie and they walked down the hall together and entered their master bedroom. The cradle was right next to the bed. Lexie carefully placed the swaddled baby into the cradle. She leaned over and kissed her lightly on the forehead.

"I love you," she whispered.

Mark bent over and kissed her as well. "Love you, baby girl."

Lexie walked over to the bedside table and switched on the baby monitor. As Mark took one last look at his daughter, Lexie reached for his hand. They walked out of the room and went down the stairs.

"Are you hungry?" Mark asked, turning on the baby monitor in the kitchen so that they could hear her if she cried.

"I'm too tired to be hungry," Lexie stated as she flopped down on the living room couch. Mark made his way over to her and sat down on the opposite end. Lexie kicked off her shoes and rested her feet on his lap. Mark took off her socks and began massaging her feet. "Mmm…that feels good."

"Tough day?"

"Who knew going back to work would be so hard."

"It was your first day back. It'll get easier."

"I missed her so much."

"That'll get easier, too."

"I hope so. I missed you, too. It was so…different not seeing you there. I missed being able to talk to you or even just see you."

"Or grab a quickie in the on-call room?" He asked, as he continued to rub her feet.

"That was always a welcome distraction to the day," she replied.

"Well, any time you want to come home for a quickie, I'll gladly accept."

"I'm sure you would."

"Well, besides the fact that you missed me and our baby, was everyone happy to see you?"

"Oh yeah," Lexie replied sarcastically, rolling her eyes. "The first thing Bailey did when she saw me was tell me that I had a lot of work to catch up on. Meredith and Derek bought me a welcome back cake, but were too busy with the six traumas we had come in, all of which needed surgery, to eat it with me. Callie was too busy asking about you and Arizona was too busy asking about the baby to care about me. And Christina, forget it. She started the day by asking, 'how's the kid?' and pretty much ignored me the rest of the day."

Mark laughed. "Seattle Grace at its finest."

"They all want to know when you're coming back."

"Did you tell them that I'm a stay at home dad now?"

"They think we're joking."

"Why?"

"Well, according to Christina, no surgeon can give up surgery."

"That's because Christina's never had a reason to give up surgery. I have a reason."

"Are you really ok with this? With being a stay at home dad, I mean?"

"Lexie, we've talked about this."

"I know. I just want to make sure you're happy."

"I'm happy." He stopped massaging her feet and scooted next to her. He lifted her onto his lap and wrapped his arm around her waist. "I am more than happy. I never imagined I could be this happy." Lexie wouldn't meet his eyes. "What?"

"Nothing."

"I know you too well to know that it's not nothing. What?"

"I don't want you to regret your decision to stay home. I don't ever want you to resent me for making you stay home."

"Look at me," Mark said, tilting her chin up so she was looking into his eyes. "First of all, I will never resent you. Second of all, I volunteered to stay home, remember?"

"Yeah, I remember."

"I lived my dream. I was an exceptional surgeon and I will be again. I'm not giving up, surgery, Lexie. I'm just…putting it on a hold for a while because my dream, my dream has changed. My dream now is to be a good husband and an amazing father. That's all I care about. Being married to you, having a little girl…Lexie, it's more than I ever dreamed. Now it's your turn. It's your turn to follow your dreams, to be the exceptional surgeon we both know you are and to be an amazing mother."

"Thank you for being you," she whispered. "I love you."

"I love you, too."

He kissed her lightly, letting their lips fall into the comfort of over five years of love, joy, sweat, and tears. Their relationship hadn't always been perfect, but they both had everything they ever wanted. Lexie pushed against his chest and fell on top of him giggling. Their kisses grew in intensity as Mark pulled her hair out of the ponytail it was in. Lexie's hand reached for the waistband of his pants when they heard the quiet cry of their baby. Lexie collapsed on top of Mark, laughing.

"I'll get her," Mark stated.

"You've been with her all day," Lexie replied. "I'll get her."

"You've been working all day. You rest. I'll be right back." Lexie pushed herself off of him and sat back against the couch. Mark leaned in for one more kiss before standing and disappearing out of the room. Lexie propped her feet up on the coffee table and leaned against the armrest. She closed her eyes, letting the events of the day sink in. She knew it was going to be difficult. It was difficult to leave her baby and the man she loved every day, but she knew it was worth it. Surgery was a part of who she was and she wasn't ready to give that up. It would be difficult, but she and Mark would make it through.

Upstairs, Mark picked up his daughter and cradled her in his arms. The moment she was snuggled against him, she was quiet. Her eyes began to droop and, as Mark rocked her in his arms, she fell back asleep. Mark knew that he should probably put her back down so that she could get used to sleeping with the cradle, but he wasn't quite ready to let her go. Mark carried her carefully down the hall and down the stairs. When he walked into the living room, he saw Lexie asleep on the couch. He smiled. He walked over to the couch and sat down beside her. It was the perfect moment. Having his baby girl in his arms and the woman he loved next to him.

"Your mommy's tired," he whispered, being careful not to wake either of his girls. "She works very hard. She's an amazing surgeon. I'm in awe of her every day." He looked over at Lexie and smiled. He put his arm around Lexie's shoulder and pulled her towards him. Closing his own eyes, the three of them fell asleep in perfect happiness.

Author's Note: Well, I hope you enjoyed my story. Writing this story was really a therapeutic journey since I've been so disappointed with the show recently. I had fun writing the scenes with the baby because I recently became an aunt and I have to say that having a baby fall asleep in your arms is one of the best feelings in the world. And I intentionally left out the baby's name to keep everyone guessing. Again, thank you for reading and I'm sure this won't be the last Grey's Anatomy story I write!