A/N Just something I was tossing around in my head.
After losing the love of his life, there wasn't much that Mark Sloan was willing to stick around for. She was waiting for him on the other side of this life and he wanted nothing more than to join her, but he couldn't. There was a voice calling him back to earth. A voice he didn't recognize. A voice he wanted to ignore.
"Daddy, you have to come back. Mama needs you."
Mark had no idea who that was. Sophia couldn't talk in complete sentences yet and he hadn't heard from Sloane in about a year. Plus he doubted very much that Samantha Riley needed him for anything.
"Please Daddy." The voice begged.
Still Mark wanted to go towards that light that was often talked about when people recounted a near death experience. He didn't recognize the voice so he didn't understand why he was being forced to listen to it.
"Stay Daddy." That nameless, unknown voice was practically begging him.
Mark continued to ignore that voice. He closed his slate colored eyes and prayed for death. He prayed that he would be reunited with the love of his life. He prayed that death would come quickly for him. He couldn't imagine staying on this earth without Lexie by his side. He didn't want to stay on this earth if Lexie couldn't be by his side.
Mark wasn't sure how long it was before his eyes opened again. This time he wasn't seeing trees and pieces of airplane. He was seeing IV poles and heart monitors and hospital beds. He realized then, that they must have been found. That they were safe and healing. He blinked his eyes again and tried to move his hand.
"Wait, he's waking up." Came yet again another voice he didn't recognize. What was with these voices that he didn't recognize? Not recognizing voices was starting to really frustrate him.
"Mark? Mark, can you hear me?" came a second voice. Finally he recognized that voice. It was Meredith's voice. Where was Derek? Why wasn't he here?
"Mere…dith?"Mark mumbled. His throat ached and his chest hurt like hell.
"Yeah." Meredith confirmed.
"Where…Derek?" Mark asked, his voice at a whisper.
"He's in physical therapy." Meredith told Mark. She thought it best not to tell Mark exactly how long he had been out of it quite yet. At least she would be able to tell him that they had decided to wait on Lexie's funeral until after he had woken up.
"Dada!" Squealed a voice. A slow smile appeared on Mark's face. He may have still been out of it, but he did recognize that voice. It was Sophia. Then he realized something else. That voice. Sophia's voice had been the one begging him to stay on that fateful day. He blinked again and focused on Callie's face. She and Meredith appeared to have settled beside his bed. How long had he been out?
Sophia may have only been a one year old but she knew who the people she loved best were. She loved her Daddy and she had sensed the strain that this had caused between her mamas. She also knew that she hadn't seen her daddy in awhile. She held out her hands to Mark as Meredith slowly raised his bed to a sitting position. Callie put Sophia in Mark's lap, angling Sophia so that Mark's left arm, the least damaged out of everything, took the brunt of Sophia's weight.
"Hi baby girl." Mark whispered as he bent and kissed her head. He looked up at Callie and asked one simple word.
Callie's eyes filled with tears as she remembered all that Mark had missed in the nearly two months that he was put in a medically induced coma.
"Paralysis." Callie whispered. Mark didn't understand how that could happen. She had certainly been able to feel her legs the last time he remembered. He looked between Meredith and Callie, wondering who would explain.
"Surgeons here botched her surgery. Left her paralyzed from the waist down." Meredith continued as she took Callie's hand and squeezed it. The two of them had grown very close since everything had gone down. They both had people who they loved and who had suffered serious injuries. Sophia tried to break the sadness by putting her small pudgy hand to Mark's cheek. Mark sighed contentedly when he felt his daughter's hand on his face. That sigh caused a sharp pain in his chest and he winced.
"Need more morphine?" Callie asked. She wanted to keep Mark as comfortable as possible. She didn't want him feeling any pain.
"No…Cristina?" Mark was determined to find out exactly how everyone else was.
"She's fine. Well physically at least. Psychologically she's a mess." Callie told Mark. He vaguely remembered popping Cristina's dislocated shoulder back into place before anyone realized how badly he was hurt. Mark didn't even want to bring up Lexie. Just the thought of her brought more pain and he was already in enough pain.
"How long…was I out?" Mark asked next. He was getting the feeling that he had been out for longer than a few days.
Meredith and Callie looked at each other. Neither one of them wanted to tell him how long he had been out for. They knew he wouldn't take it well and they were trying to avoid getting him upset in any way. Mark may have just woken up from a coma but he knew that Meredith and Callie were keeping something from him. Question was, what was it?
"Seven weeks." Callie finally whispered. Mark hadn't expected that. He knew that Derek's hand injury had been severe and for him to already be doing physical therapy, it had had to have been awhile since the crash, but seven weeks? Instead of saying anything, Mark tried to hold Sophia closer without causing him any more pain. Sophia smelled like baby and right now he was seeking comfort in that smell.
"She told me…told me I couldn't leave. Told me…that mama n-needed me." Mark whispered. He remembered Sophia's voice trying to pull him back to life that day. He had wanted to join Lexie so badly but Sophia wouldn't let him. Callie and Meredith looked at each other confusedly. They had no idea what Mark was babbling about. Sophia was sitting contentedly in her daddy's arms babbling away.
"Mama, Dada." Sophia babbled. Callie smiled sadly at her beautiful little girl sitting on Mark's lap. She didn't know all the heartache that they had been through in the past seven weeks. All she knew right now was that she was safe in daddy's arms. Callie envied her daughter.
"That night…I heard a voice. I couldn't figure out who it was. But now…now I know. It was Sophia. Telling me…Telling me to stay." Mark whispered. He wanted to hold his daughter tighter, but he knew that he needed to take it easy.
"Lexie…"Meredith started off in a croaky voice. Meredith still could barely say Lexie's voice without crying.
"Don't… I can't." Mark pleaded. He couldn't hear Lexie's name. He didn't want to talk about her. Not now. Maybe not ever.
"Okay." Meredith whispered. Just then Derek appeared in the room with an orderly pushing Arizona's wheelchair right behind him. Behind that orderly came Cristina. Mark suddenly felt overwhelmed. He wanted to hide from the world. Here in this room were the five others who had lived through that hell with him. Callie and Sophia were added bonuses.
"This is what I like to see." Derek commented as he walked into Mark's room.
"Someone is happy." Arizona pointed out as she looked at her daughter sitting happily on Mark's lap. Arizona was doing her best to stay positive and upbeat. Particularly around her daughter. This paralysis sucked but she reminded herself every day that it could have been much worse. She could be dead. Like…like Lexie. Arizona forced herself not to think of Lexie. She couldn't let herself think about Lexie.
"What…what happened to the pilot?" Mark asked. He suddenly recalled that there had been a seriously injured pilot on that day as well.
"Died." Cristina informed him matter-of-factly.
"Mark, you should rest. We'll stay if you want, but you should get some rest." Arizona told him. They had bonded that night. He may have been half dead and she may have been in more pain than anyone could imagine, but they had bonded together that night.
"Wait…the funeral?" Mark finally managed to ask. He bit the inside of his cheek to stop the flood of tears from coming, but he had to know.
"We didn't do it yet. Derek and I insisted that we wait for you." Meredith told Mark softly. Mark closed his eyes and leaned back on the pillow. He was relieved that they hadn't put Lexie in the ground yet. He still longed to crawl into that casket with her, but he knew that he needed to stay here on earth. For Sophia.
There wasn't anyone else he loved as much as Sophia. As badly as he hurt, he wouldn't make Sophia go through life fatherless. He owed it to Sophia to be the best father he could be. As he drifted back to sleep, he felt his daughter's feather light touch on his face again and he smiled. Sophia was his everything and he was so glad he was getting this chance to watch her grow up. As much as he missed Lexie, he was determined not to let his relationship with Sophia suffer.