Stepping Up

Mark hadn't left his daughter's side from the moment she had been taken from Callie's body. He couldn't believe that this was how the pregnancy had ended. It had been unspoken between him and Arizona that she would stay with Callie while he kept vigil over their tiny baby. Mark knew that the odds were against this baby but he also knew that his baby girl was a Sloan and Sloan's were tough. They never gave up no matter how hard life was. He knew Callie was going to ask to see her when she woke up. If she woke up. Mark wouldn't allow himself to think that way. Callie had to wake up. Mark needed her. Arizona needed her and their baby girl needed her.

Arizona was sitting at Callie's beside telling her about the baby and willing the woman she loved to just wake up. Arizona needed to see Callie's eyes again. She couldn't bear the thought that she might never get to see Callie open her eyes. Finally Callie's eyes opened and she spoke to Arizona. Arizona had never been more relieved than she was in that moment. Callie was awake and talking and right now that was all Arizona cared about.

Callie was pretty out of it due to all the drugs that she was on. The one thing that stood out in her mind was her baby. Was her baby okay? She looked at Arizona, hoping that her blonde girlfriend could read the question in her eyes so Callie didn't have to voice it. She wasn't sure she wanted to hear the answer.

"They had to take her out in order to save your life." Arizona whispered. Callie felt a trickle of tears run down her cheek and she winced as the salt hit her cheek abrasions. Then she realized Arizona had said "she" Callie attempted to smile, but the effort hurt so she stopped trying.

"Mark hasn't left her side since she was born." Arizona added trying to think of questions that she knew Callie would have. Again Callie attempted a smile but it still hurt so she stopped.

"She's tiny, but beautiful. She's a fighter Calliope." Arizona whispered. She was doing her best to be a mom and not a doctor ,but it was hard. She knew what challenges this baby faced better than either of it's other parents.

Callie wanted to see her more than anything. She knew that it would be awhile before she could hold her, but Callie just wanted to see her.

"Take me…To her." Callie pleaded. Arizona hated having to say no to her, but she knew that there was no way Callie was strong enough to get out of bed.

"You just had major surgery Calliope." Arizona told her as she shook her head.

"I need to be with my daughter." Callie begged. Arizona hated to see Callie getting so upset by this. She wished she had a magic wand or something to make everything different.

"Mark's with her." Arizona reminded her. Callie attempted to shake her head but that hurt too so she had to stop. She tried to move her legs to the edge of the bed so she could get up and out of the bed.

"Calliope lay down. I'll go check on her and I'll be right back." Arizona pleaded. The last thing she wanted was Callie to try to rush her recovery. Callie sighed, knowing that Arizona was right. She suspected that her adrenaline was kicking in and that's why it didn't hurt much to move her legs. She was glad Arizona was here to calm her down.

"Okay." Callie whispered as fresh tears slipped down her cheeks. Really she hated this. She couldn't even go see her micro-preemie. She needed to be there for her daughter. Right now though she needed to allow Mark to take care of things and Arizona would be going back and forth between the baby and Callie.

"Tell her…Tell her I love her." Callie whispered as she locked her dark eyes on Arizona's blue ones.

"I will Calliope. Promise." Arizona whispered reassuringly before she left the room.

Arizona stepped into the NICU and she saw Mark immediately. She recognized the back of his head and his graying hair before anything else. She had been right. Mark hadn't left the baby's side since she had been brought into the NICU.

"How is she doing?" Arizona whispered as she walked up to the baby's incubator. She could tell that Mark had been crying but she wasn't going to mention it to him. After all he had apologized to her for what he had said and Arizona knew that they needed to come together and work together. For the baby and for Callie.

"She's hanging in there." Mark told Arizona. Arizona was right. Mark had been crying and he was hoping that Arizona wouldn't mention it. He needed to believe that his daughter would beat the odds. Arizona moved to stand beside him and she looked at the baby for the first time as a mom and not as a doctor trying to get her to live.

"I'm a mom." Arizona whispered in wonderment. Finally she had a child. She and Callie and Mark were finally parents.

"And I'm a dad." Mark added. Arizona looked at him wondering if he was forgetting a vapid narcissistic teenager that he had been a part of creating nineteen years ago.

"You already were." Arizona reminded him.

"I was a sperm donor for her mother Arizona. And a cash machine for her." Mark told her. This time he actually felt like a father. This time he was going to do things right. Arizona nodded, feeling relieved that he finally understood what everyone else had seen when Sloane had manipulated him last year.

"She's beautiful." Arizona murmured as she looked at the baby.

"What are her chances?" Mark asked. He was scared to death of losing this baby. He hated this. He had wanted Callie to carry to term and then scream at him for knocking her up.

"I can't answer that. It's not up to me." Arizona murmured. She really hated when she was asked these questions.

"Please Arizona." Mark whispered. He needed to know what her chances were.

"It's up to her and God, Mark." Arizona told him. Mark hated answers like that. He already knew that his daughter was a fighter. Just by looking at her, he could tell.

"Arizona." Mark warned softly.

"50/50"Arizoana finally told him. Mark equated that to a coin toss. Heads his daughter lives. Tails she dies. That wasn't fair. It wasn't right. He fought the secret desire to just run. He didn't care where but he couldn't allow himself to get attached to this baby and then have her die. Of course he was already attached to his daughter and he couldn't just run out on another child. Even though watching her suffer was awful, he would not revert to the asshole he was twenty years ago.

"She looks like Callie." Mark finally commented softly. Arizona smiled, having noticed that herself.

"Yes she does." Arizona agreed. The two of them had finally put their differences aside to help the two girls who they both loved.

Lexie had gone home with Jackson but no sooner had she got home, than she realized that she needed to be at the hospital. She had apologized to Jackson who seemed to realize that he wasn't who she wanted to be with and then she had hurried back to the hospital. Lexie knew that Mark was in the NICU and likely hadn't even left his daughter's side. For the first time, Lexie wasn't sure where she should go. She didn't want to interrupt Mark's time with his daughter because no one knew if that baby would defy the odds. If she went to Callie, she knew she'd have a lot to say to her and she really didn't think Callie needed to hear her crazy rant right now.

Somehow Lexie had found herself sitting on the same stairs that just hours ago she had found Mark sitting on. Lexie was exhausted. Emotionally and physically. She dropped her head in her hands and exhaled a huge sigh. Jackson was right. Lexie was in love with Mark and Lexie was so tired of trying to deny it. She wasn't about to drop it on him now. He had more important things to think about right now. She only looked up when she heard a door open. She saw shoes first. No one she knew wore those shoes. They were way too fancy.

"Lexie?" The voice asked confusedly. Lexie looked up and froze. It was the redhead who had been a sore point between her and Mark. Lexie had been hoping she wouldn't have to see her while she was here taking care of Callie.

"Dr. Montgomery?" Lexie greeted her politely.

"Why are you hiding?" Addison asked. She knew that things weren't great between Lexie and Mark and that they hadn't been for about a year, but why was she hiding and what was she hiding from?

"I'm not." Lexie insisted. Which was true. She just wasn't sure where to go.

"If the worst happens, he's going to need you." Addison pointed out. She knew that Mark didn't show his vulnerable side to a lot of people, but she did know that he loved Lexie and would need her if his daughter didn't make it.

"I don't know if I'm ready for all of this but I know how I feel about him." Lexie whispered. It was ironic that she was talking about this to one of the women who had come between her and Mark. Addison was glad that Lexie was willing to admit that she was still in love with Mark because Addison knew that Lexie would make Mark happy and Addison wanted that for her old friend.

"Then you need to tell him." Addison told her.

"Not when he's got so much else going on. I don't want to put this on him." Lexie insisted.

"You aren't putting anything on him. You are confessing your feelings for him. You are telling him that he's the one for you." Addison insisted. Addison wished she had more comforting words to speak to the younger woman, but she couldn't think of anything.

"I'm going to go find him." Lexie announced as she stood up and swiped at her tearstained cheeks. Addison smiled, glad that Lexie wasn't done fighting for Mark. Lexie was good for him and he was good for her. Addison had never thought that they would last, but Addison was realizing now that they would.

"He's in the NICU. He refuses to leave her side." Addison told Lexie. Lexie nodded. Her suspicions had been confirmed by the tall redhead. Addison watched as Lexie left the stairwell and then Addison left and headed to Callie's room to check on her.

Lexie hoped that the tall redhead was right. She knew that she loved Mark and it had taken something like this to make her realize that she could handle being a mom and that she was ready for that. She was ready to be one of three moms for this tiny baby. She made her way to the NICU. Once she got to the doorway, she just stopped in the doorway and watched Mark.

"Mark?" Lexie whispered. Mark turned away from his daughter for the first time to look at Lexie. He knew what she was thinking just by looking at her. The two of them often had this unspoken communication and now it was being used. Lexie crossed the doorway and made her way to Mark's side. Arizona had gone back to Callie only minutes before and Mark had been having a discussion with his daughter.

"She's beautiful." Lexie whispered, for the first time getting a closer view of the baby. She was so small, but Lexie knew that she was a fighter.

"She looks like Callie." Mark commented with a small smile as he looked at her. He wanted to hold her, protect her from the world, but he couldn't do that and he hated knowing that.

"I see you in her too." Lexie told him. Mark was surprised because he thought she was all Callie.

"Right now. This baby is my priority Lex." Mark informed her. Lexie nodded. She understood. After all his baby was just barely a pound.

"That doesn't change the fact that I love you." Lexie told him quietly. Mark loved hearing that come out of her mouth.

"You…You're it for me Mark." Lexie whispered. She hated that he hadn't said anything yet. She was starting to feel like she was mistaken and that the tall redhead was mistaken as well.

"Oh Lexie." Mark murmured. He couldn't believe that he was hearing this. On the day his daughter was born he was being told that the woman he loved, loved him too. This day really had the makings of the best and worst day of his life.

"I love you too." Mark told her. Lexie moved closer to him and he put his arms around her and held her as they both watched the baby.

"I'm sorry for everything Lex." Mark murmured into her chocolate brown hair.

"Don't apologize. We're here now together." Lexie told him. She didn't want him to focus on the past. She wanted to focus on the future. Their future.

"Thank you." Mark told her softly. Mark had no intention on leaving the baby. His job was a father was to be there for everything and he wasn't leaving his daughter.

"Now go eat something, shower and take a nap." Lexie told him. She knew that Mark was going to run himself ragged and Lexie knew that would help no one.

"I have to stay here with her. I don't want her to be alone." Mark argued. Lexie shook her head. She was not going to let this baby be alone.

"I'll sit with her. She needs to get to know Mommy Lexie." Lexie whispered. Mark looked at her, willing himself not to cry. He had spent more time crying in the last twenty-four hours than in his entire life. Lexie was stepping up and she wanted to join this real life modern family.

"Thank you Lex." Mark whispered as he stood up. He touched the incubator one last time before he left the NICU in search of food, a shower and a bed though not necessarily in that order.