A/N I was really bothered where they left the season six finale. Mark never even knew his best friend was shot. So here's my take on the friendship between Mark and Derek.

Brothers

Mark Sloan had spent hours trying to stabilize his ex girlfriend's new boyfriend and he had no idea who was alive or dead and he needed to know. He needed to know that his brother, or best friend rather was okay. Not knowing if Derek was alive or dead was awful because Derek had been the one person who had stood by him since they were little kids. As soon as Lexie went in with Alex, Mark took off in search of Derek. He doubted that Derek was at Seattle Presbyterian so Mark ran. He ran all the way from Seattle Pres to the insanity that still surrounded Seattle Grace-Mercy West. Mark wasn't even sure how long or far he ran, he just remembered running as fast as he could. The first person Mark saw as he approached the hospital was Cristina. Cristina had just told Meredith that Derek was asking for her and she had been planning to head over to Seattle Pres to be with Owen. When she saw Mark, she realized that he didn't know what had happened to Derek. Mark had been trying to save Alex's life and so he didn't know that his best friend had been shot in the chest. Mark recognized that look in Cristina's eyes when she saw him approaching. That look that doctors had when they had to deliver bad news to the families of patients. Mark could feel his heart racing inside his chest.

"Yang, where is he." Mark demanded. Mark wasn't even aware of the sweat that was dripping off of him Mark Sloan wanted answers and he was not going anywhere until someone gave him the answers he was looking for.

"He was shot in the chest…"Cristina told Mark gently. She knew how much Mark needed Derek around. They were best friends and they had been through so much together including a betrayal and they were finally past that. Before she could continue her comments about Derek's recovery status, Mark was running as fast as he could. All he needed to hear was that his best friend had been shot. Now he needed to see Derek, to know that he was going to be okay.

His fingers shook as he punched the elevator's up button. He never admitted to being scared, but right now he was terrified of losing his best friend. Going on the very elevator that he had found Alex on was not a picnic either. When the elevator opened, Mark pressed the button for the cardiac floor. He didn't even know where Derek was, but Mark suspected that the cardiac unit was the best place to start. When the elevator landed on the cardiac floor, Mark waited for the elevator to open and when it did, he headed straight to the Cardiac ICU. It was dead quiet. No nurses were around and Mark was looking around desperately for some sign that Derek was there. Then he saw a flash of dirty blonde hair. He knew he had found Derek's room. That blonde hair was Meredith's, Mark was sure of it. Mark was getting tired of running but he needed to know that Derek would survive. So he ran in the direction of the blonde hair.

When he reached the door of room 2343, Mark opened it without even knocking. He knew that was rude and he also felt sure that Meredith would forgive him, just this once.

"How is he?" Mark asked in a low whisper as soon as he saw Meredith and a sleeping Derek. He knew Derek had been through a lot today and he didn't want to wake him right now. Meredith looked up at Mark, her eyes bloodshot from tears and lack of sleep.

"Stable. Cristina saved his life." Meredith whispered back. Mark's slate colored eyes fell to Meredith's hand clutching Derek's hand. Mark wanted to cry with relief, but right now wasn't the right time.

"Remind me to thank her." Mark murmured as he settled down in the other chair in Derek's room. It was very hard to see Derek like this. Mark wasn't used to seeing his best friend so weak and pale and hooked up to machines. Meredith knew that Mark loved Derek as not only a best friend but as a brother. She could tell how hard this was on him and she wished that she could do something for him.

"Who told you?" Meredith whispered.

"I ran into Cristina when I was looking for him. She told me he was shot in the chest. I didn't hear anything else come out of her mouth after that." Mark replied.

"He was awake for a bit when I came in here. He was asking for you right before he fell back asleep. I was going to have someone find you." Meredith answered.

"It's okay Meredith. I'm here and I don't plan on leaving anytime soon." Mark reassured her.

"I'm sorry about Lexie too." Meredith admitted. She knew how hard it had to be for Mark to watch Lexie move on with another man. Especially when everyone knew how Mark and Lexie felt about each other.

"It doesn't matter now. Derek is the one who matters right now." Mark told her. Mark wouldn't let himself focus on Lexie right now. Derek was the one who mattered to him. Meredith suspected that it did matter to Mark, but she respected his decision to not talk about it. She understood that Mark needed to put his focus on his best friend.

"Do you want me to call his family?" Mark offered. He wasn't sure if Meredith wanted to make the call herself or if she wanted him to do it. Meredith was still intimidated by Derek's big family so she nodded in Mark's direction.

"Would you mind?" Meredith asked as she nibbled lightly on her lip.

"Of course I wouldn't. I asked, didn't I?" Mark pointed out. Mark felt the bed shifting slightly and he looked at the bed and then at Derek's eyes which were finally opening.

"M…Mark?" Derek mumbled slowly. He was still hopped up on a lot of drugs so his speech would be slow for a bit.

"Yeah buddy. I'm here." Mark told his best friend. It was good to hear his voice again even if it sounded slurred because of the pain meds.

"Mer?" Derek asked again. Meredith squeezed his hand gently and smiled at her post it husband. She had made the decision that they would make the marriage legal as soon as Derek was fully healed.

"I'm here." Meredith assured him.

"Who…died?" Derek murmured. Mark looked at Meredith as he did not know the answer to that question. Mark hoped that Meredith knew.

"Um.. It doesn't matter now Derek. Please we can discuss it later." Meredith pleaded. She really didn't want to recount the people who were dead. Mark knew that Derek was not going to let it go.

"Mere…dith." Derek murmured. He was still relying very heavily on oxygen right now so his voice was muffled and his words were coming slowly.

"Dr. Percy, Dr. Adamson, a security guard, a couple of nurses and Mr. Clark." Meredith whispered. Mark couldn't believe it. One week he was suggesting a threesome with Teddy and Reed and the next week Reed was dead. Mark wanted to know who else was hurt, but he knew now was not the time to bring it up.

"Meredith why don't you go shower and lay down in an on call room for a bit." Mark suggested. He knew that getting Meredith to leave could be impossible, but he needed time with Derek too.

"I can't leave Derek." Meredith protested. She really didn't feel like leaving Derek though she knew she ought to check on Alex. The fear that she had felt today was unlike anything she had ever felt before and she never wanted to feel that again. She also wanted to check on Owen. Owen had taken a bullet for both her and Cristina today and Meredith was so grateful to Owen.

"Go Mer. Mark will get you if I need you, but I want you to rest." Derek told his post it wife seriously. Derek could feel his voice returning with more strength each time he spoke. He had a feeling he would tire quickly and there were things he felt he needed to say to his best friend without anyone else around. Meredith frowned but then nodded in agreement after realizing that Mark was important in Derek's life too and he needed time with Derek. She kissed Derek on the lips, squeezed his hand once more and then left the room. Mark exhaled the second she left the room.

"Don't ever think about dying on either of us again." Mark warned seriously. Mark never wanted to go through the fear that had gripped his heart today again.

"I'll do my best." Derek promised with a small smile.

"So really how bad is the pain?" Mark asked. He could tell that Derek was in more pain than he had let on to Meredith.

"Nine." Derek admitted. Mark had been right that Derek was shielding Meredith from the degree of pain that he was feeling.

"I would have been here sooner if I knew." Mark told Derek. He felt awful for not being here when his best friend was in surgery to save his life.

"I know…You saved Karev." Derek murmured.

"I had to…You would have done the same thing if it was you." Mark pointed out.

"Different…You know." Derek pointed out. Even in Derek's weakened state he knew it was different. He was not sure he would have been able to do what Mark did if one of Meredith's exes was bleeding from a gunshot wound.

"Why don't you get some sleep Shep." Mark suggested. He hated seeing his best friend in pain and he knew that Derek needed sleep.

"Wait…"Derek mumbled. He needed to tell his best friend something. Something that when he was lying on the linoleum floor he had been convinced that he wouldn't get the chance to say.

"After he shot me…my thoughts, well they went to Mer first and…then they went to you." Derek admitted. Mark was surprised by Derek's admission. He had not expected to hear that from Derek. He could feel Derek's hand tightening around his hand as he waited for Derek to finish.

"You're a good man Mark and I'm sorry I don't tell you that enough." Derek confessed. Mark was stunned. He had no idea what was possessing Derek to say all of this. He had never heard such sincerity from Derek before and truthfully it frightened him. He was sounding like Addison's brother had sounded when everyone though he was dying and he was trying to atone for his mistakes.

"You…should have…been Chief." Derek muttered before he sucked in some more oxygen through the nasal cannula. He was in pain, but he was doing his best to mask it because there were things that Mark needed to know.

"The right man was picked Shep. I never would have made a good Chief." Mark insisted.

"You…don't have a family…I do and Mer…she doesn't deserve the way I've been treating her." Derek insisted. In Derek's mind, the person who did not have a family would be perfect for the job because they would not have to divide their time between family and work.

"She loves you and she'll forgive you." Mark insisted. He knew how scared Meredith must have been when Derek had been shot. He knew that Meredith loved Derek more than anything.

"I am…naming you…interim Chief." Derek mumbled. Mark was shocked by Derek's statement. He knew that someone had to be Chief while Derek recovered but he had no idea Derek was going to name him as interim Chief.

"We can talk about that later Shep. Get some rest. I'll stay if you want." Mark told Derek. He really didn't want Derek taxing himself so soon after heart surgery.

"Call Mom?" Derek murmured.

"I'll do that in a little while." Mark promised. Derek nodded ever so slightly before he nodded off to sleep. Mark's hand held onto his best friend's hand and he wept with gratitude. He didn't cry much, but knowing that his best friend was going to be okay was enough to let his tears fall onto his scrub pants which he now realized were still covered in Alex's blood. Mark didn't want to leave Derek so he promised himself that he would shower in a little bit. He smelled like blood and sweat from the run from Seattle Pres to Seattle Grace-Mercy West, but right now, none of that mattered. Right now he was going to stay with Derek while Meredith got some time to herself.