So the elevator scene... man it got me. And it kept bugging me so I decided to write about it :) Feel free to tell me what you think - that's right, take the two seconds to hit the "review" button and type in yay or nay. Much appreciated. Mark's POV is bold; Lexie's is plain.
It's been a long day. She can't wait to get home. Even though she knows it was childish of him to ignore her, to act as if she simply wasn't standing there in front of him, practically begging to fix their broken relationship, she feels guilty. She feels horribly guilty.
She should never have slept with Alex.
Never mind that, in her defense, she was drunk when it happened. Never mind that Mark had gone to L.A. to get help for his daughter only to end up sleeping with Addison, likely while fully sober, to boot. Never mind that she, herself, was the one who broke up with Mark. Never mind that Mark had chosen his daughter, a vapid and avaricious brat, over her, Lexie, his girlfriend, his roommate, his love - never mind all of that.
She blames herself.
And she misses him. Bad.
She had hardly been able to pay attention to Derek's nice long apology speech. He sounded sincere, and the genuinely heartfelt expression on his face had been somewhat touching. These days, though, she has nothing but Mark on the brain, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It is absolutely maddening.
She lets out a heavy sigh as she steps into the elevator and watches the doors close in front of her. She can't wait to get home.
Home. Home. Home.
Nothing else is on his mind as he hurries down the halls of the hospital. He doesn't want to think about being near Lexie, about imagining her with Alex's hands on her, touching her in places Mark once liked to imagine only he had ever touched. It makes him sick to his stomach. He doesn't want to see her. He has done his best, all day long, to avoid her. It's tiring work. And now he wants to go home, the one place where he knew he won't see her any longer. He can put his feet up, relax, and act as if this entire day never happened.
The idea is entirely all too appealing.
He plays with his phone distractedly, barely catching the chime that indicates the opening of the elevator doors. He is already inside when he finally looks up - right into Lexie's eyes. An electric shock courses through his veins.
He freezes immediately. Oh, hell.
The expression on her face is simply unbearable. There is no way he's going to be able to do this - he can't... But as soon as he turns to exit as speedily as he entered, the doors shut in his face. He is, in a word, trapped.
Okay. Okay. He can do this.
Her heart skips a beat when she looks up to see him stepping into the elevator. She knows there's no way he could have seen her, and the look on his face when he finally lifts his head confirms her suspicion. When his icy blue eyes meet hers, a lump forms in her throat, stubbornly refusing to allow her a breath.
He turns to leave, and her heart lifts slightly. Perhaps she might not have to suffer through an elevator ride with him. But the doors close before he has a chance to go. As the smooth metal doors slowly came together, she realizes what an affront his desperate attempt to flee had really been. He doesn't want to be anywhere near her. This should not come as any surprise, considering his recent behavior towards her. Yet it still hurts. Her heart plummets back into her toes.
He hates me. He absolutely hates me.
And I absolutely still love him.
He makes his way to the back of the elevator, away from her, safe in his little corner where he can't see her face. He can't watch those big, doe eyes staring up at him beseechingly, asking for his understanding and forgiveness. How can he forgive, let alone understand? She went back to Karev. Of all people, Karev.
Remembering the way he felt when she told him what she did - when she admitted to having sex with Karev... it feels like a punch to the gut all over again. All that they had, she had thrown away as if it had meant nothing, and then she had turned to another man. And then she had tried to say that they were even. How could they be even? He thinks it was at least understandable that he had slept with Addison. He was hurting, and he was missing Lexie, as much as it kills him to admit it to himself. After all, he's Mark Sloan, attending manwhore, incorrigible womanizer, and general ladies' man. He's not to supposed to need any woman.
But he needs Lexie. Heaven help him, he needs her, but he's too proud to openly admit to it.
He can't stop himself from glancing up at the back of her head, at the long, wavy, chocolate brown locks of hair, the same hair he had loved to run his fingers through as he kissed her mouth. The way she used to giggle against his lips always warmed him to the core, awakening something he had never felt before, not even for Addison. He couldn't define it, and he sometimes it scared him.
Guilt washes over him. Maybe he's being too hard on her. Maybe he really should just forgive. If she could get past what he had done with Addison, maybe he could...
No. He can't.
Pride stops him from speaking, from taking her hand in his and pulling her to him, pressing his lips to hers and taking her back into his life. He didn't do anything wrong. Or at least that's what he tells himself. He did nothing wrong.
She can smell him.
She can smell him, even across the tiny, claustrophobia-inducing elevator. It's unsettling - no. It's staggering.
It feels like just yesterday, even just moments ago, that he last ran his hands down her side as they lay in bed together. She shivered beneath his touch, snuggling in closer to him, breathing deep and savoring his heady, earthy smell. His hand settled on her hips, holding her in place tightly against him while his lips grazed her shoulder, then peppered her neck with light, sensual kisses. Just being near him, remembering, makes it hard to breathe.
She loves him dearly, more than she has ever loved anyone or anything in her entire life. And yet he chose a complete stranger over her. Yes, Sloan is his biological daughter, but blood alone does not make family. She knows this better than anyone, just from watching the way Meredith interacts with their father. It seemed like it had hardly taken any thought at all, the way he dismissed her as if she meant nothing to him. Like his daughter was more important than what they had and all that they shared. It burns her alive, inside and out.
Tears flood her eyes before she can stop them. She clamps her eyes shut and does her best to push them away, but only in vain. His smell surrounds her, pressing down on her and suffocating her. She wants to turn to him, to feel his arms around her just like before, to hear him say that it's okay and that he'll never leave her again.
She can't. She knows better. He obviously doesn't feel the same about her anymore. If she's totally honest with herself, she knows, deep inside, that he's probably disgusted with her. The very idea destroys her.
She silently begs the elevator doors to open. She doesn't care if it's her floor. She wants out. If she doesn't move soon, she's going to fall apart in front of him, and she can't - she just can't - do that. The ache in her heart is growing, building, and turning into an all-consuming monster that threatens to devour her whole if she doesn't get away from him.
Mercifully, the elevator chimes, and the doors slip open. She pushes her way through the doors and out into the hall, away from him, away from his scent, away from his memories.
He doesn't miss the catch in her breath as she hurriedly steps out of the elevator. She's crying. At the sound of her sobs, he responds instinctively, moving forward and reaching out to touch her arm, wanting to comfort her as he's done so many times before, brushing away the tears and tenderly kissing her forehead until all of her pain is gone. But she's gone before he can reach her, practically racing away from him.
He could follow her, but something stops him.
Once again, his pride gets in the way. He won't follow her; instead, he lets her go.
Though his pride is strong, the ache in his chest is stronger, and the guilt is beginning to be overwhelming. He clenches his fist at his side, casting his eyes to the floor of the elevator.
He's lost her.