Disclaimer: They are not mine.

Spoilers: Your dinner.

A/N: I love them.


Susan Lewis sighed and blew a strand of blonde hair off of her forehead. It was hot outside, even hotter in the hospital, and running from trauma to trauma was exhausting. Life as a Chief Resident was not all it was cracked up to be. No wonder Kerry Weaver had such an abrasive personality.

"Derek," she muttered, tossing a chart on the counter, "any luck getting the A/C guys here?"

"Are you joking?" he asked, hanging up the phone. "Being an A/C repair guy in Phoenix is like being an intern in DC. Everyone wants you."

"Lovely, Derek."

"Oh by the way, some guy called for you about an hour ago when you were in that meeting."

"A guy? Was it Joe?"

"Nah, a doctor. I don't remember his name and he didn't want to leave a message."

"Was it about a patient?"

"I think he was just seeing if you were here."

"Great, so now I have a stalker. Wonderful."

"I'll walk you home."

"Derek, get a life."

"Come on, you want to give me a noogie. You know you love me. Like a little brother."

"I sold my little brother for three bucks, Derek."

"Feelin' the love, Dr. Lewis."

She smirked and checked the board, then her watch.

"I think I'm going to sneak out for lunch. I'll be back in a little while."

She walked down the white hallway and into the doctors lounge. She shed her stethoscope and lab coat and rolled her neck, wishing her break was long enough to take a nap in one of the plush gray chairs. Instead she rubbed her eyes and walked back out into the hallway. There was a café across the street, kind of like Doc Magoos, and she usually went there for lunch. It was interesting how hospitals attracted the same kinds of businesses.

"Dr. Lewis, want to bring me back a lemonade?"

"No, but I will or you're going to give me that wounded puppy look all day long."

"I make your life interesting."

She gave him a fake laugh and headed down the hallway for the outside doors. She was halfway there when, like a mirage in the desert, she saw him. Dressed in khaki's and a polo, wearing new glasses and a huge smile Mark Greene stood before her. She stopped in her tracks for a moment, breathed his name and ran like a little girl after the ice-cream truck.

She crashed into him and his arms wrapped around her, lifting her off the ground and spinning her in a circle. She giggled as her feet met the floor again and their eyes met.

"What are you doing here?"

"Getting a tan."

"For serious."

"I was out visiting my parents and I decided to detour on the way back."

"Really?"

"Yeah. I'm here for two days."

"How did you know that I have the next two days off?"

"I was on the phone with Derek for a long time."

"So you're my stalker!" she said, giving him a playful punch on the arm. He chuckled and grabbed her into another hug.

"I've missed you," he said, his lips close to her ear.

"I've missed you more."

"Not possible."

"I've been worried about you, Mark."

"About what?"

"I think you know."

"But how did you find out?"

"Carol called. Doug called. Carol called again. Then there was the documentary."

"You never called me."

"I was afraid you would get moody and yell at me or something."

"Susan."

"Let's not talk about this in the hallway. Come on."

She took his hand and led him outside.

"You haven't been okay, have you?"

"I've been getting there."

"Mark, you were almost killed."

He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck.

"I know."

"I would have been there if I could have been. Carol called me a week later and… Mark, I wanted to be there."

"I think it was better that you weren't."

"How's that?"

"Everyone saw me broken, Susan. I hated it. You are the only person that I could bare myself to like that, and you're the first person I wanted to protect from seeing that."

"You know you don't have to, right?"

"I know."

She squeezed his hand and smiled, dragging him down the sidewalk.

"Come on, there's a taco stand around the corner that you need to try. It'll make your chrome dome sweat."

"I love you too, Susan."

She giggled and walked faster, forcing some spring into his step. He'd forgotten what that was like; he'd missed it almost as much as he'd missed her.

"Hey Mark?"

"Yeah?"

"Did your girlfriend really cry at her desk clerk interview?"

He laughed and pulled her into another hug, then planted a kiss on her cheek.

"Leave it to you to put things into perspective."

"Yeah, I was always the reality to your insanity."

"Speaking of, how's Chloe?"

"You're hilarious, and she's good. She got a promotion last month, she and Joe are disgustingly in love, and little Susie is taking ballet lessons and talking the ear off of anyone who will listen."

"I'm glad. And how are you?"

"I am currently rethinking my hatred for Kerry Weaver in light of all the administrative crap I'm stuck with."

"Heavy is the head that wears the crown."

"And my crown doesn't even have sparkles."

"Do you at least have a scepter? You have to have a scepter."

"I've been working on it. The closest I've come is a toilet plunger."

"Do I want to know?"

"No. You don't."

"Where is this taco place?"

"Just a little bit further. Where are you staying?"

"Hotel."

"Nonsense."

"I figured you would say that, which is why I didn't get a hotel at all."

"Great minds. We can stay up all night watching crappy movies and eating junk food."

"It will be like we were never apart."

Her gaze fell from his and her smiled faded a little.

"Yeah. Never apart."

"Susan."

"I'm okay. Sometimes I just…"

"What?"

"Your face. When I told you I was leaving. You can't fake it with me, Mark. I saw how upset you were. And I love you for trying to hide it, but every time I think about it, I start to hate myself."

"Don't."

"I left you."

"No. You needed to go. And yeah, it hurt and I miss you, but you're happy here. It would be selfish of me to want you to come back."

"Thanks."

He kissed the top of her head as they turned the corner and found the taco stand.

"However, I do reserve the right to beg you to visit every once in a while."

"And I reserve the right to whine a lot before I agree."

"Shake on it?"

"Nah, we can split a taco."

"Works for me."


Two weeks later, a package arrived at the hospital for Susan. She didn't have to look at the return address to know it was from Mark; she just had a feeling. She stood at the admit desk and opened it, Derek and the nurses peeking over her shoulder the whole time. The first thing in the box was an envelope. She ripped it open and found a short note from Mark.

Susan,

Found these pictures a while back. I don't know when they were taken. Is it just me, or do I look really fat in them? I guess that's okay. I also included the drawing Doug did of Kerry that one time. Yes, the one that made you laugh so hard you had to run to the bathroom. Enjoy.

Mark

She giggled and looked through the pictures. The two of them at the Fourth of July softball game; dirt on their clothes and smiles on their faces. A few from Christmas parties. One of Mark and little Susie. He was holding her and making a goofy face and she was grinning right back at him. Both of them sitting on the admit desk, their chins in their hands, looking like they hadn't slept in days. Both of them with Susie, smiling in front of the Christmas tree. She grinned at every picture, then tucked them back into the envelope. She'd give them a better look later.

The second thing in the box was wrapped in paper and bubble wrap, and it took her a few moments to get it free. It was a plastic crown, covered in glitter and fake jewels. It even had a button on it that made it light up.

"What in the world?" one of the nurses asked with a laugh. "That thing is gaudy."

"That's the whole point," Susan answered, putting it onto her head and picking up the phone. She dialed the long distance number quickly and after a few minutes her smile brightened even more.

"Hey court jester. You forgot my scepter."

"Kerry is using it for a crutch."

"What happened to hers?"

"It's a long story involving a slow night, waxed floors, and a game of limbo."

"All good stories do involve those elements."

"I take it you liked the package."

"I am wearing the crown as we speak."

"I can just imagine."

"And Mark?"

"Yeah?"

"I love you too."