I know it's been a while and unfortunately I have to tell you that this is the last chapter but it's an extra-long one.
Normally I only use phrases from other TV shows to incorporate it into my stories. But I used a whole scene in this chapter. It just fits so perfectly for Mark and Lexie. I only want to tell you that I'm well aware that I copied it (only the scene, not the words; well not all of them) and of course the producers and actors of the respective show deserve the credit. I'm sure a lot of you will recognize it. So enjoy!
Chapter 12: The proposal
"Hey, Mark. Do you have time for a drink?" Derek strolled into Mark's office, fulfilling his part of the plan Lexie and Meredith had explained to him just a few hours ago.
"Sorry, bro. But I have other plans for tonight. Lexie is picking me up every minute now. We are going out for dinner and I'll finally ask her about the ring." Mark put some papers back into the income folder to deal with them tomorrow and shut down his computer not even looking up at Derek.
"Not happening." Derek stated.
"What do you mean?"
"She told me fifteen minutes ago that I should bring you home because she needs to pick up her dad and drive him to the doctor or something like that. Not quite sure. She only told me in passing." Derek lied. They agreed that it would be the only way to keep Mark away from the apartment.
"Is everything okay with her dad?" Mark asked concerned, looking up at Derek with furrowed brows.
"She didn't seem stressed. So I think everything is alright. Probably only a checkup. By the way, since when do you let her drive your Porsche? I thought it's sacred. I remember you telling me that no woman on this planet will ever drive it. Never ever." Derek replied, folding his arms provocatively over his chest, raising an eyebrow in question, curious how Mark would explain it to him.
"Aehmm, ..." Mark stuttered and Derek could see that he tried desperately to find a way to explain why he let Lexie drive his car.
"How did she get you to cave in? What did you get in reward?" Derek asked. But before Mark could give him any answer Derek raised his hand to stop him. "Wait, don't tell me. Knowing you two it probably involves lots and lots of sex."
"Actually ... just to clarify, you know that Lexie is the love of my life, right?" Mark replied, shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot.
"I don't think there is anyone in this hospital who doesn't know that."
"Right. So ..." Mark trailed off and Derek smiled broadly, clearly enjoying Mark's squirming.
"You are enjoying this, aren't you?" Mark huffed, slightly peeved about Derek's obvious amusement.
"Of course. Dr. Mark Sloan letting a woman drive his Porsche? I might put it on the board for everyone to see." Derek joked lightheartedly.
"Don't you dare." Mark took one step towards Derek not sure if he was serious or not and Derek immediately raised both his hands in surrender.
"Relax. I'm not that mean. Though you wanted to tell me what you got in reward."
"Nothing." Mark mumbled almost inaudible.
"What do you mean nothing?"
"Nothing means nothing." Mark grumbled, turning around to get his jacket, hoping that Derek would just drop it. He should have known better.
"Woww ... you got it really bad."
"I know." Mark smiled happily, but his smile faltered a little bit when he heard Derek's next question.
"So how long did it take until she persuaded you into letting her drive?"
"You mean since we are together again?" Mark tried to postpone what would definitely enhance Derek's amusement even more.
"No, I mean when did she drive it for the first time?"
"It's a little embarrassing." Mark replied, still not willing to give in and tell Derek the truth.
"Why?" Derek asked curiously, seeing that Mark really didn't want to tell him. He could only think of one answer that would explain Mark's apparent discomfort and he opened his eyes wide in surprise. "No way. Don't tell me you already let her drive it after your first night together."
"What do you mean not exactly?" Derek asked and Mark realized that there was no way around it anymore.
"Not after the first night. But do you remember when I told you that I tried to resist her after our first night together and then I was just too tired to fight it anymore and I asked her to come to the hotel with me?"
"Yeah, I remember."
"That night!" Mark stated and Derek laughed out loud when he saw the sheepish look on Mark's face.
"She drove it already after only one night of sex? Woww, she really must have been good."
"She was fantastic. Not that this is any of your business. And just for the record. It had nothing to do with me letting her drive."
"Yeah, right. Mind-blowingly fantastic sex had nothing to do with it." Derek replied ironically.
"She just looked at me, Derek. Her eyes were sparkling with happiness because I couldn't resist her and then she gave me that cute smile asking me if she could drive to the hotel. And without even realizing it I gave her my keys." Mark said with a dreamy look on his face and Derek's smile broadened even more.
"Like I said. She can get everything from you. Really! This woman can wrap you around her little finger any way she wants. It's pathetic." Derek couldn't resist to tease Mark a little bit but Mark didn't take the bait.
"Maybe. But I don't mind. I love her and don't tell me that you are any better."
"Nope. We are both under the Grey spell. I admit it. So can we go now?"
"Sure. Maybe I can make her dinner later at home."
"Yeah, maybe." Derek replied, smiling inwardly, knowing that Mark wouldn't cook anything tonight.
"Do you think it's okay now? Do we need more candles? Or should I go and buy some roses so that I can throw some petals on the floor. No, that would be too sappy, right?" Lexie raced through the apartment, kneading her hands in agitation and Meredith had to suppress a smile when she followed her sister with her eyes.
"Lexie, slow down. It's perfect. He will only see you anyway. You will knock him off his feet with the proposal."
"Are you sure?" Lexie asked and Meredith feared that Lexie could hyperventilate any second.
"Positive." Meredith and Derek had decided to not tell Lexie about the conversation between Mark and him. She knew that it was kind of mean because there was no reason for Lexie to worry about Mark's answer. Mark would definitely say yes. But Mark couldn't prepare himself either so it was only fair that Lexie was a little anxious about his reaction. But seeing Lexie like this Meredith almost regretted that she didn't tell her.
"Meredith, am I doing the right thing here?" Lexie stopped in front of the couch and plopped down on it, burying her face in her hands. Meredith walked over to her and sat down beside her. Wrapping an arm around Lexie, Meredith waited until her sister looked up at her again before she asked Lexie to clarify what she had meant.
"What do you mean? Propose to Mark?"
"I mean the whole marriage thing. Am I really ready to make such a commitment?" Lexie's voice was barely audible. Meredith pulled her around at her shoulders so that she faced her and almost couldn't resist to shake Lexie. Meredith would not allow her to turn away from this. Mark and Lexie belonged together and Meredith knew that Lexie knew it too.
"Don't get cold feet now, Lexie. Remember how miserable you were when you weren't with Mark. You made the commitment already a long time ago. The moment you gave him your heart you chose him, Lexie. What happened in the past should show you that no matter how hard you try your heart will always belong to him." Meredith told her emphatically, trying to show Lexie that she didn't even have another choice than to marry him. That it was the only choice that made any sense.
"It's just ... it's scary, Meredith. I'm terrified. What if he hurts me again?" Lexie asked with a small voice, unshed tears shining in her eyes.
Of course Meredith knew that Mark and Lexie had an extremely bumpy history. They had hurt each other more than once but she was still certain that they could make it work. They couldn't live without each other anyway.
"Lexie, he is definitely going to hurt you at one time or another. That's life. No one is perfect. You just have to try so that the good times outweigh the bad times. You can't avoid the bad times. They'll always be there. Marriage just means that it should be harder to bail the moment times are getting rough. So just ask yourself this. Do you want to bail again?"
"No way. I love him, Meredith. And I want all this. The good and the bad times. As long as it means that I can be with him." Lexie replied without any doubt in her voice and a big smile appeared on Meredith's face.
"So that's your answer."
"Thanks, Meredith. Apparently I just needed a pep talk."
"Any time, Lexie. That's what big sisters are for, right?" Meredith said, enfolding Lexie in an embrace.
"I guess." Lexie murmured into Meredith's shoulder and they remained in each others' arms for a few more seconds before Meredith released her.
"So let's see if we forgot anything before Derek drops Mark off."
When Mark entered the apartment and closed the door behind him, he already wanted to switch on the lights when he realized that the apartment wasn't dark. When he looked around surprised, he saw that there were candles on every surface and Lexie was standing in the middle of the apartment. Slightly confused Mark couldn't utter a word.
"I know you hate surprises but I hope that you don't mind this one. It was actually Meredith's idea. Not that she pressured me or anything like it. She just gave me the idea and told me that I shouldn't be such a coward." Lexie rambled away, barely taking in air between the sentences. "So I thought I just risk it and go with it. Hoping that you wouldn't mind. But maybe it was a bad idea. I should have ..."
"Wha...?" Mark tried to interrupt her but Lexie didn't give him a chance to speak.
"No. You know what? I'm not gonna chicken out here. So I just get it out and wait for your answer."
Mark's eyes widened in complete astonishment when Lexie got down on one knee with the ring box in her hand and it took his brain a few seconds to process what he was seeing. When he realized what this whole setting was about his jaw dropped down.
"Oh my ..." Mark whispered, looking at Lexie in complete disbelief. Not sure if he could trust his eyes or if this was all a dream. But when Lexie started to speak he locked eyes with her, holding his breath in anticipation of what would come.
"We broke up twice and tried to live without each other. It didn't work. And when we finally realized that we can only live with each other in our lives, that we have to make it work, you had the accident. I thought I'd lost you forever... I ... " Lexie gulped hard to suppress the tears from rising, staring at Mark who was still standing dumbfounded in front of the kitchen counter. "Mark, you are the love of my life and ... " Lexie couldn't hold back the tears any longer and started to sob. "Damn, there is a reason why girls don't do this."
Lexie's tears set Mark in motion and he hurried over to join her on the floor. Tearing up himself, he took her hands into his and squeezed them tightly.
"Okay, I'll do it. You ... " Overwhelmed by emotions Mark had difficulties to hold the tears in check that threatened to spill over. "Wait, I can do this." He cleared his throat briefly and inhaled deeply before he could continue.
"You are the most extraordinary woman I've ever met. From the moment you rushed into my hotel room you never ceased to amaze me. You were the one who believed in me. You were the one who put me back together. You make me happier then anything I've ever known and if I can have a part in making you happy that's all I wanna do. That's all I wanna do for the rest of my life. Make you happy."
Lexie smiled happily up to him through the tears that were still falling down her cheeks and Mark paused briefly to pick up the ring box from the floor where Lexie had dropped it the moment Mark kneeled in front of her. He pulled the ring out carefully and held it in her direction. Taking in a deep breath Mark looked Lexie directly in the eyes before he finally asked the question. "I love you, Lexie. With all my heart. Will you marry me?"
"Yes. Oh my god, yes." Lexie replied enthusiastically and threw herself into Mark's arms. Mark wrapped his arms tightly around her, a big silly grin on his face. He would finally marry the only woman he wanted to share the rest of his life with.
Releasing her out of his arms, Mark bent down and kissed her slowly before he took her hand in his and slipped the engagement ring on her finger. Lexie gazed down at her intertwined hands, still a little overwhelmed by the fact that she was now engaged. Locking eyes with Mark, she leaned forward and sealed his lips with hers.
"I love you, Mark. You just made me the happiest woman on this planet."
"That's the goal."
Standing up he took Lexie's hand in his and pulled her up from the floor. Mesmerized Mark stood frozen in place for a few seconds as he looked at his soon-to-be wife. Her eyes were still glistened with tears, her cheeks still wet, but her whole face was split up by the biggest smile he had ever seen on her and he felt a tug where his heart was. He didn't deserve her but apparently he was the one who put that smile on her face by asking her to marry him. She chose him. Forever.
Trembling slightly Lexie lifted her hand and caressed Mark's scruff. She didn't deserve him but apparently he wanted to be with her for the rest of his life. Mark leaned his cheek deeper into her hand and closed his eyes for a few seconds, still a look of pure astonishment on his face. When he opened his blue eyes again, a big smile suddenly erupted on his face and Lexie's heart skipped a beat. He would marry her. He chose her. Forever.
Mark reached up with his hand and took Lexie's in his, turning his head to give her palm a brief peck before he walked towards the couch, taking her with him. When he sat down he pulled her down on his lap and Lexie leaned her head on his shoulder, beginning to draw random patterns on his shirt with her finger, feeling the warmth of his body through the thin material.
"So that's it? We are really doing this?" Lexie broke suddenly the silence, startling Mark slightly and he stopped trailing his fingers up and down her arm.
"What? Are you already changing your mind?" Mark asked only half-joking, still afraid that this all could turn out to be a dream after all. Lexie shifted her head so that she could look him in the eyes and the expression on her face made him sigh with relief. No. She wouldn't run.
"No. Of course not. It's just ... it's a little surreal, don't you think? It seems like yesterday when I told you that I would move in with you in about ten years and look at us now." Lexie explained hesitantly.
"Lex, you can never plan every little detail of your life. Of course you have goals and imagine ways to achieve them. But life isn't that easy. Life plans can change. I should know what I'm talking about. After all you were the one who turned my world upside down."
Mark cradled her cheek in his hand and rubbed his thumb slowly over her smooth skin, smiling contentedly. Averting her gaze, Lexie started to fumble with the collar of his shirt, tracing a finger along the edges, feeling his pulse beating under her fingers.
"I was so sure that we aren't compatible because we are at different places in our life. But it turned out that being at different places isn't that important."
"How so? This argument is what has torn us apart twice. What has changed?" Mark asked her curiously, the last break-up still fresh in his mind.
"I realized that it doesn't really matter at which places we are in our lives because ..." Lexie stopped the movement of her fingers and stared up to him, her eyes full of love. "I love you, Mark Sloan. It's that simple. And true love conquers all, right?"
"Right." Mark leaned down and kissed her softly. When he released her lips he could see that Lexie was tearing up again and tried to lighten the mood. After all being engaged a reason to be happy not sad. It took them long enough to get to this point.
"Even me marrying a fetus." Mark joked, his eyes sparkling with mischievousness.
"Hey! Watch your mouth." Lexie giggled happily and smacked him playfully over his chest. But the moment her hand came to rest on his stomach all playfulness was gone in a second. When they locked eyes they both inhaled sharply seeing the hunger and desire in each others' eyes and Lexie leaned forward to press her lips on his, mumbling while her teeth nibbled on his bottom lip.
"Will this ever go away?" Mark swept his tongue into her mouth and gave her a toe-curling kiss that made her cheeks flush with growing desire before he kissed a path along her jaw line until he reached her ear.
"What do you mean?" Mark whispered, nibbling playfully on her ear lobe. Lexie inhaled a shuddering breath and it took her a few seconds until she remembered what they were talking about.
"This. One second we have a normal conversation and in the next second I want to rip your clothes off. Will we ever get enough of each other?" Lexie buried her hands in his hair and pulled Mark's head carefully back so that she could look into his eyes.
"Never." Mark answered determinedly before he captured her lips again to kiss her senseless. Before Lexie could lose every coherent thought she murmured between the kisses.
"How can you be so sure?" Lexie asked and Mark stopped kissing her when he realized that she wouldn't give up until they got this settled.
"Experience! We were never able to keep our hands to each other even when we had a big fight. Imagine all the great make-up sex." To prove his point Mark slipped his hand under her shirt, caressing her stomach.
"I know there is no reason to have make-up sex. But what do you say to normal sex?" Lexie smiled mischievously at him, already beginning to unbutton his shirt.
"Lex, we will never have normal sex. It'll always be amazingly, mind-blowingly fantastic. So there is your compatibility. We just fit." Mark replied smugly and Lexie looked up at him in feigned shock.
"That was dirty." Lexie scolded him playfully, suppressing a smile.
"I have no idea what you are talking about?" Mark replied sanctimoniously.
"Admit it. You are as dirty minded as I am and you were talking about the same place I'm thinking about right now."
"And which place would that be?"
"Hmm, let's see." Lexie stood up and straddled him, pressing herself against him. "You in me." She whispered just above his lips before she closed the gap and kissed him softly.
"I like this place." Mark mumbled under her lips. Cradling her face between his hands, he kissed her thoroughly until they both needed to come up for air.
Suddenly Lexie stood up and stretched out her hand. Pulling Mark of the couch, they walked to the bed room to celebrate the engagement in their own unique way. With mind-blowingly fantastic sex.
Mind-blowingly fantastic seemed to be not sufficient enough to describe what just had happened. When Mark was finally able to move again, he realized that Lexie most likely had difficulties to breath because he collapsed completely on top of her. He lifted himself up with some effort and looked down at her. She lay wide-eyed beneath him and a sudden fear rose in him that she had really stopped breathing but only a second later Lexie blinked and licked her lips, trying to say something but wasn't able to. She took in a deep breath and finally found her voice again even though the words only came out in a hoarse whisper.
"Wow ... that was ..." Lexie trailed off and stretched herself like a cat, a big smile on her face. Mark felt her body wiggle under him and if he wouldn't have been so exhausted he would have had sex with her again. Having sex with Lexie was like a drug and he was definitely an addict. But his body was spent, for now anyway, and reluctantly Mark slipped out of her and slumped on the bed beside her. Lexie immediately curled into his side and Mark searched with his fingers for the sheet to pull it over them.
"It was ... pretty intense?" Mark tried to come up with the right term, though he wasn't sure if you could describe with words what just happened.
"I don't even know if intense covers it completely."
"Not even mind-blowingly fantastic?" Lexie could hear the smirk in his voice and had to smile herself. She loved it when Mark called their love making like that. Normally it was a pretty accurate description but this time it had been different. Lexie propped up her head on her folded hands so that she could look into Mark's face.
"Nope. I never had such an intense orgasm before. I can't believe that there are people who think that you can have amazing sex without having feelings for the other person."
"Well, you can have amazing sex without feelings involved." Mark answered her.
"I agree, but not this kind of sex." Lexie insisted and Mark had to admit that she was right.
"I know, Lex. I don't know how to describe it either. A while back I heard some guy on a TV show explain it as making love. Breaking the laws of physics. The moment when two people become one. I think it's pretty accurate."
Lexie's eyes widened in surprise when she realized about which TV show Mark was talking about.
"Wow … since when do you watch Bones?"
"Bones? Never heard of it." Mark replied, avoiding her eyes. He didn't want to admit that he had already watched TV shows with the nurses more than once. He did it only when he had to stay at the hospital over night, so he was pretty sure that no one noticed it anyway and surprisingly the nurses had kept their mouths shut about it until now. Maybe because of the donuts and cups of Starbucks coffee he brought them on the mornings after they had watched an episode of some ridiculously sappy TV show together.
"Yeah, right. It was the speech Booth gave Brennan to explain to her the difference between crappy sex and making love. You can't fool me. The nurses love this show. I don't even know how often they already talked about this special scene. But I have to admit it's very romantic."
Mark knew he wouldn't get out of this one so he decided that it was better to tell Lexie a half-truth. Otherwise she would mock him for weeks.
"Well, I walked in when they watched the episode one day and I needed a break anyway and it was quite amusing with the whole role playing."
"Hmm, do you want me to play a slutty nurse?" Lexie batted her eye lashes at him and continued with a high pitched voice. "Of course, Dr. Sloan. Anything you like. I'm a great admirer of your work. The things you do with your hands. I heard so much about your success."
"Now you are talking dirty." Mark couldn't help to smile at Lexie's attempt to play a slutty nurse.
"What? You are great with your hands." Lexie replied innocently.
"You were not talking about my patients."
"No. Should I show you how good I can be with my hands?" Mark asked her, his hand already slipping around her waist. But Lexie stopped his hand with her own, looking up at him sheepishly.
"Is it embarrassing that I have to come back to your offer later? I can't move."
"Well, maybe I have to find a slutty nurse then."
"Don't you dare. The only people you are allowed to put your hands on are your patients and me. Your fiancée." Lexie lifted her head from her hands and wagged her left hand in front of his face. "See. I have proof. You are mine."
"Did no one ever tell you that you can't own people?" Mark shook his head slightly in disbelief.
"You are still mine. Want to deny it?" Lexie asked him provocatively.
"No. I would be lying if I would deny it. But it works both ways."
"Yeah, Lex. You and me. I'm yours and you are mine. Together forever. As husband and wife."
"Together forever." Lexie sighed contentedly and lay her head back on his chest. Listening to Mark's heart beat, she looked at the engagement ring on her finger until she couldn't keep her eyes open any longer and drifted off to sleep.
Mark lay his hand carefully on top of hers, feeling the ring under his fingers, listening to Lexie's even breaths. Closing his eyes, Mark wrapped his arm around her and dropped a light kiss on her forehead, murmuring just above a whisper before he followed Lexie into a peaceful sleep.
"I have everything I always wanted."
For those of you who didn't recognize the scene (though I'm sure most of you did), I used the proposal scene between Monica and Chandler from "Friends" as a guideline. And I couldn't resist to sneak in a Bones reference too. Well, I'm a TV addict. I can't help it. And of course there is a M-version of this chapter. :D
That's it. The end of my first Mark/Lexie story. I hope you all enjoyed the ride. I definitely enjoyed writing it. Big thank you to all of you who took the time to leave a review. It was very much appreciated. Hopefully I'll see you all soon with a new story. But I'm pretty sure not until next year. So...
To all of you who celebrate it, Merry Christmas and to everyone a Happy New Year! Hopefully the new year will bring us the Mark and Lexie reunion.