Life Starts Now

Disclaimer: I don't own anything

Rating: M

Summary: Teddy is in an accident and it brings her and Mark closer

Phoebe equals win.

Mark was flirting with Lexie at the nurses' station when two interns came up to turn in charts. They were talking about a car accident and Dr. Altman.

"What about Dr. Altman?" He asked them, wanting to get it sorted about before he worried.

"She was in a car accident, came into the pit and just got back from CT, I think. She's unconscious and it sounded like she has a leg fracture," the first intern explained.

The second intern piped in, "It sounded like Dr. Shepherd said she didn't need surgery but she's in a room on the surgical floor anyway."

Mark took off to find the room she was in, not really sure what he was going to do when he got there; all he knew is that hearing she was hurt made his heart race and he had to be with her.

He got to the room and the intern was just finishing the sutures on the right of her forehead. He noted the light purple cast on her left leg which went from her foot up past her knee and stopped halfway to her thigh.

"Get me another suture kit," he told the intern.

"What for?" She looked up confused.

"I'm redoing your sutures," Mark answered as if it were obvious, moving closer to the bed.

The intern looked at her work then back at Mark, "But my sutures are fine."

"And I'm the head of plastics," he gave her a stern look. "Get me another suture kit now or you'll be on scut for a month."

The intern got up and hurried off to get him a suture kit. Mark cleaned up the intern's kit, put on gloves, and sat on the round wheel-y chair the intern was using.

He started removing the sutures that were there. He clipped the last one when the intern came back.

"Thank you," Mark started, setting out the kit, and sensed the intern still standing behind him, "You can go now."

The intern left and Mark got started on re-stitching Teddy's forehead.

Mark got a coffee from the coffee cart and turned around, coming face to face with Lexie.

"Why are you spending so much time with her?" Lexie asked.

"What?" He headed back towards the elevator and she was following, "You and I are not dating, Lexie. It's not your concern."

"I think it -" He cut her off.

"I'm not talking to you about this right now." He got on the elevator and the doors closed.

Lexie, annoyed, headed to the resident's locker room. She threw her stethoscope into her cubby.

"What's wrong?" Meredith asked.

"Mark's been spending all his free time for the last four days in Teddy's room," Lexie ranted.

"You guys broke up. You told him to leave you alone," Meredith pointed out, "You don't really have any claim over him."

The coffee did nothing to make Mark any less tired. He had been off work since Teddy's accident a few days ago but he hadn't left the hospital. He sat down in the chair next to her bed again.

Arizona and Callie were still in Africa. Owen and Cristina had stopped by a couple times to see her but Mark was a constant fixture in the room.

It was the fourth day and he had plenty of time to think about things. At the end of day one he realized he was in love with Teddy. He loved her and he had just been trying to distract himself with Lexie. Day two he had a surgery in the morning then asked the chief for time off after that to spend his time in Teddy's room; he knew he wouldn't get any work done anyway. Day three he ran home, showered, changed and was back in 20 minutes.

Not having slept much since Teddy's accident, he fell asleep.

Teddy woke up to the sound of a beeping heart monitor and someone replacing a bandage on her forehead.

"How do you feel?" The nurse asked softly.

"Sore," Teddy groaned.

"You were in a car accident. I'll up your pain meds and page Dr. Shepherd. He can fill you in on everything," she told Teddy before doing just that.

The nurse left and Teddy looked to her right and noticed Mark asleep in the chair next to her bed. How long had she been out? Her left leg was immobilized and she felt a bandage on her forehead probably covering stitches. Why was Mark asleep in her room?

Teddy was interrupted from her thoughts when Derek came in. He did a quick neuro exam and filled her in on the details of her accident and how long she'd been out.

"I've been here four days?" She asked making sure she heard him right.

Derek nodded, "and with the exception of a surgery, he has too," he gestured to Mark, "He redid your stitches."

"No kidding," Teddy said, more to herself.

Derek moved to wake up his friend and Teddy stopped him.

"No, let him sleep," she told him, "He'll wake up later."

"Alright. I'll be back to check on you later," Derek smiled, "Feel better."

"Thanks," she replied before he left.

Her gaze fell on Mark again. Four days and he'd been there the whole time. The thought made her smile. She let herself feel what she'd been hiding from and she knew that she loved him. And that scared her. She wasn't supposed to be in love with him! He was...whatever he was with Lexie. She couldn't be in another triangle. It had been hard enough with Owen.

"Stupid," she mumbled to herself.

"You're awake," she heard the groggy voice beside her say.

She smiled at him, "Yeah."

"How are you feeling? How long have you been awake? How's your head?" He started checking her forehead, peeling off the bandage. "Should I page Derek?"

"He just left," she replied, watching him, "He says I'm fine. I'm just a little sore but the pain meds are kicking in."

Mark gently replaced the bandage, happy with what he saw and sat on the edge of her bed on the right side.

"Derek filled me in on everything. He said you've been here the whole time," she said.

He gave her a small smile, "Yeah."

"Thank you," she smiled back, "It's nice to know someone was here."

"I love you," he blurted out. A moment passed in silence and he started to panic, "I know I hurt you and I'm sorry, it was stupid. I was stupid. And you probably want nothing to do with me in that way again and I don't blame you -"

Teddy put her hand on his, cutting off his ramble and she looked right into his eyes and smiled, "I love you, too."

Mark was a slightly shocked for a second as his brain processed her confession and he smiled back, "You do?"

She nodded, the big smile still on her face. Mark leaned down, his right hand resting on the left side of the bed to support his weight and he kissed her softly. Teddy returned the kiss, her right hand going to cup his cheek as his lips lingered on hers.

He pulled away and gently stroked her cheek.

"Is there anything you need?" He asked.

"We need to have a longer talk about everything but that can be later," she grinned, "Right now I just want you to lay with me."

"I can do that."

He helped her shift over to her left a little. Her right side was conveniently free of obstacles. He carefully laid down beside her, sliding his left arm under her neck and draping his right arm over her middle. Mark placed a light kiss on her bandage then rested his forehead against her temple.

Teddy soon fell asleep again, warm and secure in Mark's arms.