Mark and Lexie time. Takes place after the episode in which Jackson sends Lexie away when his mom visits. How I hope this season will (eventually) turn out!

Disclaimer: I own nothing; go on, rub it in.

Little Grey's Anatomy

Jackson Avery was any woman's vision of the perfect man. Lexie wasn't a fool; she had seen the looks of jealousy and envy, the death stares and the glared daggers, when she walked into a restaurant or bar with him on her arm. She had heard the muffled words of awe as she passed a group of women, huddled together at a table. She knew she was lucky to have such a man at her beck and call. Jackson was intelligent, he was funny, he was gorgeous; Jackson was perfect. So why did she feel this way all the time?

In the middle of the Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital cafeteria, Lexie Grey sat with her elbows on the table and her head in her hands. Jackson and April sat across from her, discussing Jackson's mom's surgery and all the ways they took part in it.

He hadn't even wanted her to meet his mother, what did that say about her? She knew she was emotionally stunted, she had daddy issues, she had sister issues, she had unresolved romantic issues with her own boyfriend's mentor, but did that mean she was completely and utterly incapable of any and every normal human interaction? Was Jackson embarrassed of her? Could she blame him if he was?

Lexie sighed aloud, why did everything have to be so hard? After a two day trip to Molly's home, and spending every waking second with her brother-in-law, her niece, and her (yet-again) pregnant baby sister, Lexie was starting to wonder if she was doing this whole thing right, if she was living the way she was supposed to.

She felt a strong hand on her forearm, "You okay, Lex?"

She opened her eyes and stared into the baby blues of the man she was supposed to be falling in love with. She offered a false and tired smile before pushing out her chair and intentionally but subtly moving his hand off and away from her skin, "I think I just need some air."

"Want me to come with?" Jackson asked, also beginning to stand up.

She tried to be overcome with gratitude or affection or any emotion at all, she tried to be overcome with something that would make her feel like this relationship was more than it actually was, but she was tired of pretending. So, instead she simply shook her head and said, "I think I just need to be alone."

He sat back down with a timid expression upon his face and watched her as she walked towards the stair well.

"She's mad, isn't she?" He asked April rhetorically.

"Yeah, I'd be mad too if I missed out on a groundbreaking surgery because my boyfriend had mommy issues," April scoffed, placing a forkful of salad into her mouth.

Lexie sat on a lawn chair, strategically placed to overlook the city, on the roof of the hospital. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Her scrubs were light and she began to feel the numbing cold pierce her skin. She wasn't concerned, it didn't bother her like it should of; nothing bothered her like it should of anymore.

She rubbed a plastic lighter between the fingers of her right hand, a rolled paper between the fingers of her left. Why was she feeling like this? Why was she so unsure of herself these days?

She heard the door behind her open and the drop in her stomach made her instantly aware of his presence. He sat down, in the lawn chair beside her, laying his feet out in front of him. She couldn't help the small smile that spread across her lips at his first words, "Party on the rooftop?"

She shook her head, avoiding his eyes, "Not exactly."

He nodded in her peripherals and laid his head on the top of his chair, "When did you start smoking?" He asked in reference to the lighter and cigarette in her hand, no judgment in his tone.

"I haven't yet," She spoke honestly, "I just, I just figured I was in need of a new bad habit."

He chuckled. It was ironic, funny even; the possibility of lying had never even crossed her mind. He asked a question, she had an answer. It was easy with him.

"Ouch," he chuckled again. "You cut me deep, little Grey."

Butterflies swarmed her stomach at the mention of her old nickname; she tried to play it off smoothly, "I'm not little Grey, you know. Not anymore."

He smiled, "You'll always be little Grey, to me."

She turned to face him, the question left her blunt lips before she had a chance to weigh the pros and cons of asking it, "Would you have introduced me to your mother?"

If Mark was surprised or even remotely hurt by the question, he didn't show it. It only took him half of a second to reply, "You have met my mother."

Lexie nodded, this was true. But while Mrs. Shepard was a mother to him in all ways but one, she couldn't keep herself from prodding further, "I know, I mean your biological mother."

Again, it took less than half a second for him to reply, "Oh, God no."

Lexie couldn't help but laugh a little at the quickness of his reply, but as the humor passed, her insecurities once again got the better of her. "Why? Why does no man dare let me meet his mother? Is there something that apparently wrong with me? Do they think I'll embarrass them? Did you think I'd embarrass you?"

Mark gave her his signature smirk and simply stated, "You're cute. Insane, but cute."

Lexie gave him a noise that was somewhere between a grunt and a whine, "So it's because I'm insane? Are we really back to that?"

Mark placed his hand on her knee, when she met his eyes, the smirk was gone, the sincerity of his expression matched that of his following words, "Lexie, not once, ever in my life, have I ever thought that you were even remotely insane. You may have had you little moments of—Lexie, but I've never thought you were crazy.

"The reason I would never, ever, in a million years ever let you meet my biological mother is because she is insane. She never loved me, Lex. My mother never loved me enough to care about my well being, much less my relationships. My mother is vindictive and heartless and cares about nothing but her self. I would never want to subject you to that, to introduce you to a woman, a human so cruel. You're too good of a person, Lex. Too good of a person for her and for me."

Silence followed his words. Lexie slowly melted back into her seat, after all this time she could still feel his love. He could still make her feel. And that's all she needed, for months that's all she's needed: to feel. She debated asking the question lingering in her head. In the end, her curiosity and insecurities got the best of her, "But what about—"

"Avery is an idiot." He stated simply, "His mother loves him, so he thinks that she'll hate you. He's trying to put it off as long as possible. He doesn't understand how much mothers love you. He doesn't get it."

"Get what?" Lexie asked softly, moving slightly off her lawn chair, closer to him, closer to his warmth.

Mark moved forward as well, their scrub-clad knees touched, neither moved to break the contact. As he spoke, his breath brushed his her face, his words lingering on her lips, "That you're perfect."

He leaned forward, their foreheads almost pressed against one another; he brushed a few fly-away strands of brunette hair away from her eyes. His eyes flickered to her hands, which were still clenching the cigarette and lighter.

He smirked, "You gonna light that?"

Lexie bit her lip and couldn't resist the urge to smile, she couldn't resist his temptation anymore, "Bad habits do die hard."

And with that she leaned in closer and brushed her lips against his.