The bleeding stopped. The tightness in my chest became looser. The numbness in my limbs slowly subsided. But my fight was far from over. We were still stranded in the middle of the woods. Our flares burnt out. Our food and clean water supplies were dwindling. Staying warm was nearly impossible. We spent each night huddled together in a giant clump, in an attempt to share body heat.
The days and nights became a blur. I had no idea how much time had passed when the rescue helicopters dropped their ladders down. I was barely able to stay conscious long enough to feel relieved. I was only vaguely aware of Mark explaining what happened to me, then I was being strapped to a backboard and lifted onto the waiting helicopter.
My eyes blinked open, slowly. The harsh fluorescent lights overhead were a reminder of our rescue. Relief instantly flooded my system. Even the incessant, steady beeping sounds of the machines attached to my body was music to my ears. I let a small smile crack across my lips before looking down to study the damage. My right arm was wrapped in a white cast and being supported by a sling. My right leg was in a splint. There was a map of tubes and wires sticking out of my body. A few black and blue marks dotted my pale skin. I could feel a bandage taped to the side of my chest underneath the pale green hospital gown I was wearing. It was probably covering the hole Meredith made with the makeshift chest tube.
"Lexie?" Mark's deep voice asked from across the room. I rolled my head to the side and saw him sitting in an armchair by the door. I smiled and watched as he stumbled through the room in an effort to get near me. He grabbed my hand once he was standing beside my bed, then bent down and placed a gentle kiss to the skin on my forehead.
"What's wrong with me?" I asked.
Mark began to list my injuries: broken radius and ulna in my arm, infection from the MacGyver chest tube, sprained spine, concussion, bruised ribs, my right fibula was chipped, and some internal bleeding. It sounded as though he had been studying my chart. I nodded. They were all treatable injuries, I was going to be fine.
"How's everyone else?" I questioned. Mark's face fell slightly and my heart sped up in my chest. It was made obvious by the heart monitor near my head. My cheeks turned red from embarrassment, but I didn't care. I continued to stare at Mark, waiting for an answer.
"Arizona..." He said letting his voice trail off. My eyes grew wide with shock and my mouth dropped open. I tried to picture a world without Arizona, but failed. She was bright and shiny, always smiling and offering optimistic advice. Poor Callie would never be the same... "She lost her leg..."
I looked up at Mark, his face twisted into confusion when he saw the relief in my expression. My heart started to slow down and I was breathing easier. She was still alive. I whispered over and over again. Mark was still standing next to me, waiting for an explanation. "I thought she died..."
Mark shook his head, but his beat up expression did not change. "She's not taking the amputation well."
I let out an incredulous laugh and looked up at hm like he had grown seven heads. "Who would?" I asked, simply. Arizona is a surgeon. Her job is to spend an inhumane amount of hours on her feet. They took away her leg. Right now she's probably wondering how she still practices medicine. How does she do the thing she loves? "She's scared, Mark. That her career is over."
In the woods, when I was lying under the plane my limbs were numb. A million scenarios went through my head. Would I ever be able to walk again? Was my arm still attached to my body? Losing limbs and being wheelchair bound weren't the scariest thoughts, though. Not being able to operate was what made me want to die. I understood why Arizona wasn't taking the amputation well. I understood completely.
Then I remembered the moment on the plane before we crashed. Mark's proposal. I looked down at my left hand. It was bare. I patted the sheets beside me, hoping it hadn't fallen off in my sleep. They were empty. I silently cursed myself for leaving it behind in the woods. Mark pulled the glistening ring out of the fresh pair of scrubs he was wearing. "Looking for this?" He questioned and slipped it onto my finger. Apparently, they had given it to him when I went into surgery for the bleeding in my abdomen.
The light outside my window became dimmer and dimmer as the sun began to disappear behind the horizon. I yawned and struggled to keep my eyes open. Mark laughed. He pulled the sheets back and climbed into bed beside me, being careful to avoid jostling my casted arm. He pulled my body against his chest and slowly stroked my hair. "Get some rest," He prompted.
"I can't sleep. I'm so happy to be awake," I explained, saying the words into his chest. It felt good to have his arms around me again. It had been too long.
Mark nodded and let out a slight chuckle. Then I got comfortable and listened as he retold the story of our week from hell. I had been asleep in the hospital for almost two days. Owen had sent out a search party for us when we were four hours late for the surgery we were assisting on. Meredith and Derek were already back in Seattle with Zola. They were getting the top surgeons to look at Derek's hand. It had been badly injured in the crash. They're hoping to salvage the nerve so he can continue to operate. Callie, Arizona, and Sofia were all here. Callie was upset about Arizona's depressed mood after waking up with no leg. Cristina and Owen were both here, too. Cristina hadn't said a word since we were rescued. Owen was fighting the hospital's choice to put her in the psych ward. Meredith and Mark were the only ones who got out unscathed. How they did it will always be a mystery to me.
Nurses came in and out of the room throughout the whole story. They offered me food and checked my vitals. My doctor, Dr. Hooke, came in to examine me as well. They all claimed that I looked good and once the infection cleared up I could go home. I shook at the idea of getting on a plane again, but Mark promised that Seattle Grace Mercy West was arranging a car service for the long journey back. Meredith and Derek had already taken a car home because they refused to board a plane again.
Mark helped me sign my discharge papers and change into the pair of fresh clothes that Bailey brought for me from Seattle. A shiny black Escalade with a driver was waiting for us in the hospital's parking garage. We said goodbye to Arizona, Callie, and Sofia. The doctor's did not want Arizona to leave until after she was fitted for a prosthetic, so the three of them were going to stay here for a few more weeks. Then we stopped by to sit with Cristina and Owen. She still wasn't talking, but Owen talked to her and encouraged us to do the same. He still had hope that she would snap out of this funk she was in. We all had to keep hoping because it was the only thing we had left.
Mark wheeled me down to the lower level. He helped me into the backseat of the car, then we were on our way. The car ride was long. My injuries made it uncomfortable and forced us to stop a lot. I was shifting the entire car ride and felt terrible every time I woke Mark up, but he assured me he didn't mind.
Mark insisted that I stay at his apartment so he could monitor my condition. The night we came home we were both exhausted from the long drive and sleepless nights. Mark didn't complain once. I was still sore and had trouble moving around. It didn't matter what I needed help with, even the simplest of things, Mark was there.
The familiar scent of his apartment hit me as soon as I made it through the door. I leaned into Mark's chest to hide my growing smile. It felt nice to be back. Especially after everything we've gone through in the last week. Mark helped me onto the couch, then rubbed his growling stomach.
"Hungry?" He asked, reaching for the remote and switching on the TV. He flipped through the channels before landing on some murder mystery show. They were his favorite. My growling stomach answered for me. Mark flipped open his cell phone. "Chinese?" It was my favorite and he knew that. "Chicken and broccoli with pork fried rice?" I licked my lips in response. Mark placed our order then sat down on the couch next to me while we waited. I leaned into him and got lost in the twisted plot unfolding on the show we were watching.
After we finished dinner Mark helped me get ready for a shower. He wrapped my cast in a plastic bag and used I.V tape to secure it around my arm. Then he took my splint off and helped me out of my clothes and into the shower. Standing was still difficult because of the chipped bone in my leg, so Mark held me upright while I showered. The warm water beating down on my body felt amazing. It relaxed my tense shoulders and neck. I spent the last four days holed up in the hospital and the clean feeling I felt after climbing out of the shower was unbeatable.
I changed into a pair of Mark's old sweatpants and baggy t-shirt. His clothes were swimming on my body, but they always felt like they were made for me. He helped me get tucked into bed then retreated to take a shower. I discreetly pressed my nose to his t-shirt and breathed in his familiar scent. By the time Mark got out of the shower I was only half conscious. The bed shifted under his weight. Then his arms were around me. I laid my head on his bare chest, which smelled like his Axe body wash. The soothing scent helped me drift off to a deep sleep. Being here in his apartment... in his bed, and wearing his clothes was the perfect ending to a relatively good day.
I have been meaning to put this up for a while now. I'm sorry it took so long! Enjoy the chapter and let me know what you think!