Chapter 9 – Extra Baggage

* Author's Note: Thank you for all the reviews. I am glad you liked the break-up between Mark and Julia. As much as most Slexie fans don't like her, Julia is actually a victim in Mark and Lexie's drama and I wanted that to play out rather than have her be the villain.

Writing this chapter, I finally realized what other authors mean when they say the characters took over the writing. In my case, Mark Sloan took over this chapter. I had a completely different outline planned but when I got to Mark's first scene, Dr. McSteamy took the reins and I couldn't tell him no. ;)


The drive back to Meredith's took forever because of the rain. The people of Seattle were accustomed to going about day-to-day life in the rain, but when Lexie left Mark's, it wasn't just raining - it was pouring. By the time they finally reached the house, both Emma and Kayleigh were crying. Lexie couldn't blame them. She felt like crying too. Throughout the entire drive, she had replayed the events at Mark's apartment in her head over and over again.

When Mark was about to kiss her, she could barely contain the beating in her chest. She had wanted to kiss him so badly. Being so close to him all day had just reminded her how much she missed him. When Mark had put his hands in her hair, she almost wept with joy and then Julia had walked in.

Oh, God, she thought just thinking about it. That poor woman. Lexie was always the good girl and she was never a cheater. But, there she was about to kiss someone else's boyfriend with no regard to the girlfriend. And then that girlfriend walked in on them. The stunned and hurt look on Julia's face haunted Lexie. She felt so damn guilty.

Even though this was Mark and those were his children in the back seat, she still did not have the right to be kissing another woman's boyfriend. Lexie was the one who never told Mark she was pregnant. Julia had started dating Mark thinking he was completely unattached and actually he was. Lexie was the one who was in the wrong. Granted, Mark had made the first move and he did have a girlfriend, but that didn't help the guilt gnawing at Lexie's gut.

She just sat there staring at the rain pouring down feeling sorry and cursing herself for the mess her life was in. Finally, Emma and Kayleigh decided they had enough of being in the car and their whimpering turned into full blown crying. Lexie whipped around when she heard her daughters and then she felt even worse. Great, now I'm a horrible mother too.

"Ok, girls. It's ok. Mommy's sorry. I know, I know. Your nap got interrupted and now you are starving," Lexie said trying to sooth the girls. She was bent over the backseat unhooking the car seats so all she would have to do is grab the girls and run into the house. But, even with Lexie's best intentions, by the time they got into the house, all three of them were soaked to the bone and the girls were screaming at the top of their lungs.

Derek was sitting in the living room playing with Zola when Lexie came stumbling into the house. He looked up at the noise and was shocked by the sight he saw. Lexie had a diaper bag barely hanging onto her arm, she was juggling the babies who were screaming bloody murder and there was a large puddle forming on the hardwood.

He must have made a noise because Lexie looked up at him. As soon as she made eye contact with Derek, she burst into tears. She had made it out of Mark's apartment without crying. She had made it home and through the rain with two screaming infants without crying. But, seeing that sympathetic look on Derek's face was the last straw and the dam of tears she had been holding back for the last hour came pouring out.

Derek jumped off the couch and came running over. "Here, Lexie. Let me help you," he said taking Emma and the diaper bag from her arms. She couldn't even say thank you because she was crying too hard but she was very grateful for Derek's assistance.

When Lexie didn't make any attempt to move, he put his hand on her back and led her into the living room. Zola was standing between the coffee table and the couch just staring up at her aunt and cousins. Despite the severity of the situation Derek had on his hands, he couldn't help but chuckle at the expression on Zola's face.

Derek guided Lexie over to the loveseat. "Lexie, sit down," he said gently at the same time rocking and trying to sooth Emma. Lexie just plopped down still holding a still screaming Kayleigh. Seeing that Lexie wasn't much help, he grabbed Kayleigh and laid both girls on the sofa. He quickly stripped them off their soaked clothing and covered them with a blanket from the back of the sofa. It didn't do much to stop their crying but at least they weren't screaming.

Lexie finally looked up and realized what was going on. "Oh, God," she said jumping off the loveseat. "I'm a horrible mother," she cried trying to hold back her tears.

"Lexie, Lexie," Derek said putting a hand on her arm. "It's ok."

"They are probably freezing," she said frantically. "And they have to be starving. It has been hours since they ate. I normally feed them after their nap, but Julia came in and, and…" She threw up her hands and starting crying again.

Derek was getting the picture of what had happened and secretly cursed his friend. He should have known Mark would do something to mess up this situation. When it came to Lexie, Mark always had a way of screwing things up despite his best intentions.

"Ok, Lexie. This is what we are going to do. First, you are going to take off your coat and go upstairs and change your clothes." When she started to protest, he held up his hand. "You can't help your daughters if you are soaking wet." When Lexie nodded her head, Derek continued. "I will change their diapers which I sure haven't been changed since before their nap." Lexie nodded. "Thought so. Ok, once everyone is changed, they can eat." Seeing Lexie's hesitation, he pointed at the stairs and simply said, "Go," using the tone he would when scolding Zola. Lexie took one last look at her crying babies before rushing upstairs.

Derek turned and looked at Zola who still looked dumbfounded by the situation. "Zola," he said in an exasperated tone, "stay away from boys."

Mark didn't know how long he stood there staring at the closed door. He was still trying to process the events that had unfolded in the last hour. His girlfriend has just broken up with him because she realized he was still in love with another woman. Mark wasn't the type of person who usually dealt with his emotions and he had a bunch of them at the moment. So, he poured a glass of scotch and sat down on the chair. He didn't want to sit on the sofa where he had almost kissed Lexie.

Lexie. God, she went running out of this apartment AGAIN. He took a gulp of the scotch relishing in the burn. It felt better than the ache in his heart. He really hoped he hadn't screwed things up with Lexie. He had wanted the day to go so perfectly and it had. Until he had tried to kiss her. Mark knew he shouldn't have brought her back to the apartment. He wanted to take things slow with her. He should have just taken her home to Meredith's. But, he wanted more time with her and more time with their daughters. He really had thought he could keep his hands off her. But, being so close to her after so long, all he wanted to do was to pull her into his arms and carry her into the bedroom.

He had restrained himself all day from touching her, but when she was beside him on the sofa, he couldn't resist her. She looked so damn adorable wearing his sweatshirt. He just had to kiss her. And, then his girlfriend walked in.

His girlfriend. Yea, the one you ignored and practically forgot she existed. He honestly had not even thought of Julia all day, which had to make him the world's worst boyfriend. He really did care for Julia and he felt horrible for hurting her. She had been nothing but wonderful the entire time they dated and he had just forgotten her when Lexie showed up yesterday. Was it only yesterday? He couldn't believe how much his life had changed in less than thirty hours.

If Lexie hadn't shown up yesterday, he would have told Julia he wanted to have a baby with her. Instead, he confessed that he had two daughters and he had never stopped loving their mother. As guilty as he felt about hurting Julia, he couldn't contain the happiness he felt when he thought about Lexie. He loved her. He loved Lexie Grey! He had never stopped loving her. The only thing he wanted to do was be with Lexie and make a family with her and his daughters.

What the hell am I doing sitting here? The last time he let Lexie walk out the door, she never came back. He wasn't going to let that happened this time. He may have screwed up in the past, but he knew this was their last shot and he would be damned if he wasn't going to make it work.

He jumped up off the couch not caring about the remnants of their pizza dinner still sitting on the coffee table. In less than five minutes, he was in a cab on the way to Meredith's house.

When Lexie came back downstairs ten minutes later, she didn't hear any crying. She had changed her clothes as fast as possible, but she did take time to splash cold water on her face. Not that she needed to be any colder. Even though it was June, she was freezing. But, her eyes were puffy and she had mascara running down her face. She got herself somewhat presentable before heading back to her children.

She was shocked though to see the girls lying quietly in Derek's arms. "They aren't crying," she said shocked.

"You look better," Derek said, glad to see the tears had stopped.

"How did you get them to stop crying?" she asked walking over and sitting down on the sofa.

"I have a way with women," Derek said smiling. Seeing Lexie's confused look, he just laughed. "Lexie, I have four sisters. I know how to deal with crying women. Big and small."

Lexie blushed. "Thank you," she said quietly.

"It's ok, Lexie," he said. "It's not the first time Mark has made you cry."

Lexie looked at him, stunned. "How did….?"

"Hmm, let me see. You spent the entire day with Mark and came home crying. My money was on him doing something stupid."

Derek's words upset Lexie. He always seemed to expect the worst from Mark. Granted, he tended to screw up a lot, but she hated the way that people always thought so little of Mark, especially Derek. "Don't you think you are being a little hard on Mark?" she said. "You never give him enough credit. Mark was perfect all day long. This is all my fault," she exclaimed.

He was shocked by Lexie's outburst. After her crying spell, he expected her to be blaming Mark. He was actually very impressed. Lexie had really grown up since leaving Seattle.

"You're right. I'm sorry," he said quietly. "Do you want to tell me what happen?"

Lexie sighed. "Yes, but I need to feed Emma and Kayleigh."

"Ok. Let me go get Zola ready for bed and then we can talk," he said standing up and throwing Zola over his head who giggled hysterically. Derek was good with handling women after growing up with four sisters and then living with Meredith for the last few years. But, Lexie was his sister and as natural as it was, he didn't need to see her breast-feeding. He was glad he had an excuse to leave the room for a few minutes. He really did want to know what happened, for Lexie's sake and for his own curiosity.

Once Derek was upstairs, Lexie got Emma and Kayleigh settled into position. They didn't hesitate to latch on and suckled like they hadn't eaten in days. She started to tear up again when she thought about how she was neglecting her babies, but she managed to hold the tears in. Emma and Kayleigh had been through enough tonight. She didn't need to be crying all over them.

They nursed for a long time and as soon as she was done burping them, they were already falling asleep. She carried them upstairs and was able to put on their pajamas and putting them in the playpen without them even stirring. When she got back downstairs, Derek was already sitting on the couch.

Lexie sat down in the corner of the couch and covered up with a blanket. Derek didn't push her. He knew she would finally start talking when she was ready. She just sat there for a few minutes just staring at the blanket. She wasn't used to having someone to talk to about her problems. Since she had kept her pregnancy and the girls a secret, she had been dealing with her emotions all on her own.

Finally, she let out a big sigh. "Everything was going so perfect today." She looked up at Derek and smiled. "Mark and Emma and Kayleigh got along so well. It was like they knew each other from the beginning. He's such a natural father."

"He has a way with kids," Derek said. "I would have never expected it, but he's great with Sofia. She has him wrapped around her finger. And, Zola loves being around Uncle Mark."

Lexie smiled. "I could see that today." She sighed again. "I always knew he would be a great father, but I wasn't ready when he wanted me to be." She looked down at the blanket again as she was starting to cry again thinking about how great of a daddy Mark was. Through choked tears, she said, "It was like we were actually a family today. We talked and laughed and the girls had a great time. It was perfect."

"But?" Derek asked.

She looked up. "Then it started raining and Mark finally convinced me to go back to his apartment for dinner. I knew I shouldn't have gone, but he can be so damn charming when he wants something. We put the girls to sleep in Sofia's room and watched a movie until pizza got there. He was so nice. He gave me his sweatshirt to wear and passed on drinking wine since I can't." Derek smiled because the longer Lexie talked the higher her voice got and the faster she spoke. It had been a long time since he had heard a Little Grey rambling and even though she was upset, he was amused by her talking.

"And then, and then…. I don't know what happened. He looked at me. I knew he wanted to kiss me. He had been flirting with me all day. I tried to ignore it and deny he was doing it. But, I'm not stupid. I know when he's flirting. Then, he had his hands in my hair and he was about to kiss me. And, I was so happy," she said, her voice finally breaking. "And, then Julia walked in." She threw up her hands. "I grabbed the girls and got out of there as soon as possible."

Just thinking about it, she started crying harder. She put her elbows on her knees bending forward and crying into her hands. "I'm a horrible person. I kept his children from him and he moved on. I knew he had a girlfriend. But, I almost kissed him and he's someone's boyfriend. The look on that poor woman's face! She looked like someone had punched her in the gut. And, she's probably a really nice person. I don't know her, but yet I didn't even think about her since I showed up. I actually came because I found out she wanted to have his baby and I was jealous! So, in actuality, I came here to steal him from her. So, I'm a lying, cheating boyfriend stealer!" she cried, sobbing harder.

Derek moved closer and put his hand on her back. "That's why I never told him. I didn't want her to feel like I did when he chose Sloane over me. But, I forgot about all that today because I miss him. I mean, I really miss him. And, I have wanted to tell him for months about Emma and Kayleigh, but every time I tried, every time I wanted to pick up the phone, nothing came out. And now, everything is terrible."

"It's going to be ok," Derek said quietly, while rubbing her back. He just sat there rubbing her back as she continued to cry. After a few minutes her sobs slowed down into sniffles and Derek handed her a box of tissues.

"Thank you," she said softly. She sat back into the sofa and looked at Derek. "I've made a mess of everything."

"No," Derek said. "Well, yes, technically you did. But, Mark did too. You both made mistakes, in the past and today. But, you are trying to fix your mistakes, Lexie. You came to Seattle. Mark met his kids." Lexie had stopped crying and was listening intently to Derek. Seeing her tears had stopped, Derek decided to be honest with her.

"Julia was always a substitute for you, Lexie." Her eyes went wide when she heard this. Seeing her shocked face, Derek nodded. "Really. Mark has never said it out loud, but actions speak louder than words. When he was with you, he never hesitated to do what he wanted. He went behind my back, risking our friendship, to date you. And, then he asked you to move in with him without asking anyone's advice. But, the entire time he has been with Julia, he is always asking other people's opinions of her. Do you like Julia? Should I move in with Julia? Should I have a baby with Julia?"

"Really?" Lexie asked. "He asked you if he should have a baby with her?"

"The day before you arrived actually. But, never once during the entire time he was with you did he ever ask my advice on you. You know why?" Lexie just shook her head. "Because he loves you, Lexie. You changed him. He became a better man with you. You are the one who made him whole and he never questioned his actions towards you. But, Julia? He was trying to fill the void you left in his life. Sure, he cares for Julia. But, not like he does for you."

Lexie just sat there in stunned silence taking in Derek's words. Finally, Derek said, "Why don't you go to sleep on everything and in the morning when you have a clear head, you can go talk to Mark?

She looked at Derek, gratefully. "Ok." She started to stand up, but stopped and turned to Derek giving him a big hug. "Thank you," she mumbled into his shirt. She pulled back and looked at him. "You are a really good big brother," she said smiling.

"You're welcome," he said smiling back at her.

Derek stayed in the living room after Lexie went up to bed. He decided to wait up for Meredith. She had gotten pulled into an emergency surgery but he wanted to fill her in on everything with Lexie and Mark. When he heard a car pull up, he thought it was Meredith until he heard the knock at the door. He looked at the clock and saw it was after ten o'clock and wondered who would be there that late. When Meredith's friends lived there, it was normal for people to show up at odd hours of the night. Now, since everyone had moved out, it was much quieter in the Grey-Shepherd household.

When he came around the corner, he was a little shocked to see his best friend pacing on the front porch, but happily surprised. For once, Mark had actually gone after Lexie instead of just letting her leave. It gave him hope for the two of them.

He opened the door and Mark turned. "Where is she?" he blurted out pushing his way into the house.

"Nice to see you too," Derek said, closing the door.

"Where is she?" Mark asked again.

"Lexie and your daughters…and my daughter, I might add, are upstairs sleeping," Derek said getting more amused at Mark's nervousness.

"Is she ok?" Mark asked, running his hand through his hair.

"She is now," Derek said.

"What do you mean, now?" Mark said concerned.

"When she came walking into the house, her and the girls were soaked and all three of them were crying."

"Shit," Mark said rubbing his hand over his face. "I knew I screwed up."

Derek folded his hands across his chest, smiling. "Actually, she thinks she's the one who screwed up."

Mark's head shot up. "What?" he exclaimed.

"To quote Lexie," Derek said, "I'm a lying, cheating boyfriend stealer."

Mark's mouth just dropped open. "Great," he said a minute later. "I upset two women tonight. Four if you count my daughters." Suddenly, he got even more concerned. "Emma and Kayleigh are ok, right? You said they were crying."

"Yes, they are fine," Derek said trying to calm the concerned father. "When they got here, they were wet, they were starving and their diapers needed changing. But, Uncle Derek came to the rescue and now they are content and sleeping."

"Thank you, Derek," Mark said, looking instantly relieved.

"There's no need to thank me. I was helping my family. Now do you want to tell me what happened with Julia?" Derek asked.

"She walked in on me about to kiss Lexie," he said. "And instead of turning around and leaving, she made me explain myself. I had to tell her about Lexie and the girls and, to do so I had to explain our past history."

"And?" Derek probed.

"And?!" Mark exclaimed. "I told her about my past with Lexie, which in the past year, I have never even mentioned to Julia and she figured out I was still in love with Lexie!"

"Well, at least she figured it out now before you did something stupid like have a kid with her," Derek said.

"Yea," Mark said quietly.

"Then what happen?" Derek asked.

"I told her I was in love with another woman. What do you think she did? She broke up with me!" Mark exclaimed.

"Good," Derek said.

"Good?" Mark asked.

"Yea, now you can go fix things with the mother of your children," Derek said, the frustration coming through in his voice.

Mark just glared back at him. "Why the hell do you think I'm here?" he said gruffly.

"Chasing Lexie," Derek said smiling.

Mark just looked at Derek liked he wanted to punch him, but instead he started laughing. "Yea, yea, I guess I am." He put his hand in his pocket smiling. "As soon as Julia left, I realized I couldn't lose her this time."

"Well," Derek said, pointing to the stairs. "What are you waiting for?"

When Lexie had gotten back to her bedroom, Emma and Kayleigh were still sound asleep. They had been sleeping through the night for months, but after the long, tiring day, she didn't expect much would wake them tonight. She settled into bed but sleep eluded her. She kept replaying the events of that day in her head and repeating the words Derek told her. Her photographic memory was usually a blessing, but when it came to trying to forget painful or stressful things, it was a major pain.

So, she decided she might as well catch up on some reading since she wasn't going to fall asleep anytime soon. With work and the girls, she barely found time to read anymore. She had been carrying the same book around for the last two months. After the girls fell asleep, she tried to read a few pages to unwind before going to bed.

She had only read a few pages when she heard a knock on her door. She figured Meredith had gotten home and was coming in to check on her.

"Come in," she said, loud enough for Meredith to hear, but not loud enough to wake the babies. She couldn't have been more shocked when Mark came walking into the room.

Mark could tell she was surprised to see him. She was sitting in bed under the covers with a book on her lap. She had the lamp beside the bed on the lowest setting and it gave off a glow behind her. Her hair was flowing loosely around her face and she wasn't wearing makeup. Despite the slight puffiness in her eyes, she looked absolutely beautiful to Mark.

She was still staring at him with her mouth slightly open when he closed the door behind him. She was so surprised to see him there that she couldn't move. In the entire time they had been together, Mark had never come after her when they had argued. Granted, they really never fought, but the fights they did have ended their relationships. Even then, Mark had never gone running after her. But here he was, standing in her bedroom in Meredith's house in the middle of the night.

When Lexie didn't seem to protest at his presence, he quietly closed the door behind him mindful of his sleeping daughters. He took off his coat and laid it over the back of the chair before going over and looking down at Emma and Kayleigh. It warmed his heart to know that they were sleeping and safe. He had been very worried about them being out in this rainstorm. Ever since Callie's accident, he had become a very protective daddy with Sofia and he wasn't going to be any different with these girls.

Lexie was still sitting under the covers staring at Mark checking on their sleeping daughters. It made her heart melt that his first concern was making sure the girls were safe.

Mark looked up and saw Lexie staring at him and suddenly got nervous. He had rehearsed what he wanted to say to her during the cab ride but now that the moment was actually here, words eluded him. He motioned to the bed and said, "Can I sit?"

Lexie just swallowed and nodded her head. She didn't know why, but she had a feeling that something big was about to happen and her stomach tightened into knots.

Mark took a deep breath before speaking. "Lex," he said, "I'm so sorry for what happened tonight. I ruined a perfectly good day. Today, being with you and Emma and Kayleigh, was one of the best days I ever had, Lexie. They are amazing, Lexie. I can never thank you enough for giving them to me." Seeing Lexie's shocked expression, he smiled. "I'm still not happy about you not telling me about them, but I don't want to talk about that right now. I know you weren't ready to be a mother. I pushed you and that's why you left before. And, then against my best intentions, you became pregnant anyway. I hate that you have been raising them all alone, but they are magnificent, Lexie, and I am so happy you are their mother."

Mark had been speaking softly so he didn't wake the babies, but he voice started to break at the end because he was holding back tears while talking to Lexie. He and Lexie had been looking straight into each other's eyes the entire time he was talking and he could see tears running down Lexie's facing.

He reached up and brushed some of the tears away with his thumb. "Please don't cry, Lex. I can't stand to see you cry."

Lexie struggled to speak. She knew how rare it was for Mark Sloan to actually verbalize his feelings. She always knew he was a softy at heart, but he rarely spoke the words. When they had been dating, she knew how to read him so well that he didn't have to. Lexie couldn't help but cry at hearing him speak with such sincerity.

"I can't help it, Mark," she said. "When you say things like that, I just can't help it," she said, sniffling slightly.

"You're too beautiful to cry, Lex," he said, wiping away more tears. Lexie's brown eyes widened and the knots in her stomach almost disappeared. Mark wanted nothing more than to kiss her at the moment, but he knew he needed to finish what he came to say first.

He removed his hand from her cheek and took hold of her hand which had been clenching the blanket. "I am sorry I made you cry earlier today, Lexie. I never meant for Julia to walk in on us. I didn't think it through when we went back to my apartment. I just didn't want the day to end. When I tried to kiss you," Mark said, pausing when he felt Lexie flinch. "When I tried to kiss you," he repeated, "I had completely forgotten about Julia. When you are around me, I can't think of anyone else, Lexie."

He paused to see Lexie's reaction. When she didn't pull away, he continued. "Julia and I broke up. She's a wonderful person. She never did anything wrong and I feel very badly for hurting her. But, I would have hurt her worse if I had built a life with her while I was still in love with someone else."

When Mark said he was still in love with someone else, she knew. Derek had told her, but she didn't quite believe it. But, Mark sitting there staring at her pouring his heart out to her, she couldn't control it any longer.

"I love you. Oh God, oh my God that just came flying out of my face. I love you. I just - I did it again. I love you. I do. I just, I love you. And I have been trying not to say it. I have been trying so hard to just mash it down and ignore it and not say it. I tried really hard to move on. I did, really. But, then the babies came along. I didn't want ruin the life you had created, so I tried to raise them alone and tell myself I could do it without you. But it was never gonna work out, because I love you. I am so in love with you. You're in me. You're like, it's like you're a disease. It's like I am infected by Mark Sloan, and I just can't think about anything or anybody. And I can't sleep. I can't breathe. I can't eat. And I love you. I love you all the time. Every minute of every day, I love you. God, that feels good to just say that. I feel so much better. I love you."

Lexie was laughing and crying at the same time. Mark just sat there dumbfounded. He had come here to tell Lexie he was still in love with her and she beat him to it. He would have laughed if her words hadn't touched him so much. In his entire life, no one had ever spoken to him with such loving words.

When Mark didn't say anything, Lexie started to panic. Oh, God. Maybe he was going to say something else. "Mark, I …."

"I love you," Mark said grasping her hand in both of his.

Lexie had actually stopped breathing for a second. When she could finally speak again, she said, "Mark, you don't have to say it just because I said it. Just because of the girls. It's…"

He cut her off. "That's not why, Lexie. I love you. I have always loved you. I am always going to love you."

Lexie looked at Mark and just burst into tears. Mark just wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against his chest and buried his face in her hair. They sat that that for a few minutes while Lexie cried out all the emotions she had bottled up over the last year and Mark stroked her hair.

When her tears finally slowed down, Mark pulled back and once again wiped the tears from her eyes.

"I love you, Lexie," he said smiling.

"I love you too, Mark. I'm always going to love you," she said, finally smiling.

Mark gave her a big grin. "Well, that's good because I'm not letting you go this time." He gave her another smile before getting up off the bed. He threw her a box of tissues and walked over to the chair where his jacket was laying. Lexie was confused as to why he was walking away. She had hoped he was going to kiss her, so she wiped her eyes and nose watching what he was doing.

He walked around to Lexie side of the bed holding something in his hand. She still wasn't sure what he was doing until he got down on one knee. Whatever she was expecting, it most certainly wasn't this. She quickly sat forward and looked directly at Mark.

"Mark, what…" she said, breathlessly. Mark just cut her off with a shake of his head. He took her hand into his and with a very firm voice started to speak.

"Alexandra Caroline Grey, I have been in love with you for almost four years. From the moment you walked into my hotel room and told me to teach you, my heart was yours. You changed me. You show something in me that no one else had. You made me want to me a better man. For the first time in my life, I thought of someone other than me. You made me start thinking about a future – a house, marriage, children - and I wanted it with you."

"Someone told me once that I skip steps and I do. But, when I know what I want, I go for. And, I want you, Lexie. I want you for the rest of my life. You once said we had a 3% chance of survival and twice now the other 97% has won. But, not this time, Lexie. This time those odds are on our side and I'm not letting you go. You gave me two beautiful daughters and I can never thank you enough for that gift."

Mark paused to smile at Lexie who had her other hand pressed to her mouth. "We're going to get married. And you are going to be an amazing surgeon." Lexie let a sob escape past her lips and a huge smile spread across her face. "We're going to have two or three more kids."

Lexie finally spoke. "So, Sophia, Emma and Kayleigh can have siblings."

"Yea, two boys and a girl," he said smiling. "You and me, Lexie, we're going to have the best life together. Because we're supposed to end up together. We're meant to be," he choked out, barely controlling the tears that were threatening to spill out.

"Meant to be," Lexie said, the tears now streaming down her face.

He let go of her hand to open the ring box he had been clutching in his left hand. Lexie gasped when she saw the size of the diamond ring in the box.

"I have wanted to propose to you for three years, Lexie." Her head snapped up from the ring to Mark's face. He nodded. "I bought this ring two weeks before Sloane showed up. I was going to ask you to marry me on Christmas morning in our apartment." Lexie's mouth was hanging open. She couldn't believe that Mark had wanted to marry her for so long. Knowing that she could have been Mark's wife the entire time almost made her start weeping again, but she controlled herself. Everything happens for a reason and without the rocky events of their past, Sofia, Emma and Kayleigh might not exist.

Mark handed the ring to Lexie and said, "Read the inscription."

Lexie took the ring from Mark with shaky hands and with an even shakier voice read, "To the one who put me back together." Lexie looked up and locked eyes with Mark, who was now crying too. "Oh, Mark," she said, grasping his hand in her.

"You put me back together, Lex. And, I will always be so thankful for that, Lexie. I love you so much. You are the best part of me. You are the mother of my children. Will you do me the honor and be my wife?" he said, reaching up and cupping her cheek.

Lexie was crying so hard she could barely speak, but a shaky "yes" made it past her lips. That was all Mark needed to hear. He took the ring out of her hand and placed it on her finger. Lexie just stared down at the ring in wonderment.

Mark stood up and sat beside Lexie on the bed. He wound his fingers into her hair and kissed her for the first time in over a year. It was everything he had imagined and more. Lexie wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him deeper into the kiss. Neither one knew how they made it so long being apart.

When they finally broke apart, Lexie looked at Mark and placed her hand on his chest. "I've missed you so much," she said, still choking back tears.

"I've missed you, too, Lex. Every single day," he said before leaning forward and capturing her in another kiss. The kiss quickly escalated. Mark couldn't keep his hands off her and Lexie wasn't stopping him. She hadn't been kissed since the night the girls were conceived and as soon as Mark's mouth touched her, it was like liquid heat running through her body.

She moaned into the kiss and Mark slid his tongue in to touch hers. He slid his hands down her back feeling the heat of her body through her thin sleep cami. Before either of them realized it, they were both laying down on the bed.

Mark's hands moved around to Lexie's front and his hand brushed over her erect nipple which was visible through her shirt. She moaned again and arched her back. Mark started trailing kisses down the side of her neck and Lexie almost came undone at the feeling of Mark's beard against her soft skin. He continued trailing kisses down to her breasts where he took a nipple between his teeth.

Mark could feel himself getting harder. It took all his restraint from ripping Lexie's clothes off and ravaging her body. He had been with many women, but none ever turned him on like Lexie. Her innocent enthusiasm always drove him crazy. He could feel her withering underneath and she thrust her hips up against his and he let out a loud groan into Lexie's stomach.

Lexie could hardly think. She wanted Mark to take her. It had been so long since their last time and she wanted nothing more than to have him in her. But, something was nagging at the back of her mind telling her to stop. She kept telling herself to be quiet until she heard a soft giggle from across the room.

Lexie's head snapped up. "Oh my god!" she yelled. Mark took that to be a good sign. He had slipped his hand under her shirt and squeezed her bare breast in his hand.

She looked down at him in horror and slapped him with her hand. "Mark, stop!" she cried.

Mark looked up at her clearly confused. He knew she wanted him as much as he wanted her and couldn't understand why she would want to stop. "Lex, what's wrong?"

She pointed across the room and he turned his head and burst out laughing. Emma and Kayleigh were both sitting up staring at their parents through the mesh of the playpen.

Mark looked up at Lexie, still laughing. "It's not funny!" she said. "They are watching us!"

"They're only six months old. They won't remember it," he said. Realizing his hand was still on Lexie's breast, he gave her nipple a quick squeeze and gave her a wink before removing his hand.

"You're terrible," she said, laughing.

Mark sat up and she moved to get out of bed. "Where are you going?" he asked.

"To get the girls," she said, obviously confused.

He gave her a look and pointed to his lap. "Could you give me a minute?" he said in an exasperated tone.

Lexie looked down and starting laughing. Mark's erection was still very evident against his pants.

"Yea, yea. Laugh it up," he said. "You're not the one being cock-blocked by his daughters."

Lexie swatted at him again. "You. Are. Horrible," she said laughing again.

"Yea, that's why you love me," he said, giving her his signature smile. She was standing in front of him and he pulled her in giving her a deep kiss and grabbing her ass. He heard two giggles coming from behind him. Not letting go of Lexie, he turned and looked at Emma and Kayleigh. "Oh, you think that's funny, do you?" he said smiling as he turned and pulled Lexie into his laps for another kiss. Lexie broke away laughing, but she couldn't be mad at Mark. He was so damn charming.

She sat there for a few minutes just content to be with Mark. Finally she said, "Is it safe to get the girls?"

"Yea, bring them over," he said standing up. He kicked off his shoes and stripped down to his boxers and his t-shirt as Lexie carried the girls over to the bed.

Mark climbed into bed beside Lexie and stroked her hair as she nursed the twins. She turned to smile at him and he leaned in to kiss her.

"You look beautiful like this, Lex," he said. She looked over at him surprised. He nodded and smiled. "There is something so primal about you nursing my children. I feel like a proud papa watching," he said with a chuckle. Lexie laughed too. "It's always incredibly arousing," he added, giving her a dirty smile.

"Well, that's too bad. Nothing you can do about that tonight," she said. "Unfortunately," she added, giving him a sassy smile.

Mark laughed again. "That's ok. We're parents. They come first," he said pausing to brush his hand over Emma and Kayleigh's heads. "But tomorrow night, we are staying at my place and they are sleeping in Sofia's room," he said and leaned into kiss Lexie to emphasize his meaning. She pulled back breathless. "Ok," she said flustered.

The babies were done nursing, so Mark took Emma and helped burped her as Lexie burped Kayleigh. She loved how great of a dad Mark was. For such a touch guy, he was a big teddy bear around his children. Lexie settled back against Mark's chest each still holding Kayleigh.

Mark softly talked to the girls as they drifted back to sleep and Lexie once again had tears in her eyes. "Guess what?" he said in an excited tone. "Mommy and Daddy are finally getting married. We should have gotten married a long time again, but if we did, you might not be here. Or your sister's Sofia. You have to meet Sofia. She's your big sister She's going to love you and you are going to love her. You have an even bigger sister named Sloane but she lives far away and we don't see her very often. We're going to get a big house and we are all going to live in it together. It's going to have lots of room full of lots of children. Mommy and Daddy are going to work on getting you a baby brother," he said, winking at Lexie causing her to break into a big smile. "We are going to be so happy, all of us," he whispered to the now sleeping babies.

Lexie started to move and he shook his head no. "I got this," he said, getting out of bed and carrying Emma over and placing her in the playpen. He came back and took Kayleigh out of Lexie's arm and settled her beside her sister. Lexie watched as he stood over the playpen just watching their daughters sleep. She didn't think she could be any happier than she was in the moment.

Finally, Mark came back into bed sliding in beside Lexie. She reached over and turned the light off before settling into Mark's arms laying her head against his chest. She sighed in contentment and Mark hugged her tighter. She ran her fingers over the band on her left ring finger and smiled. She could hardly believe she was engaged to Mark Sloan. Tonight felt like the best dream ever and she didn't want to wake up from it.

The last time that Mark had been this happy was the night before he found out about Sofia. They used to fall asleep like this all the time. She fit perfectly into his arms and that's where he wanted her to always be from now on. But, tonight, he was happier than he had ever been. Not only was Lexie finally wearing the ring he had bought so many years ago, their amazing daughters were sound asleep across the room. Mark Sloan figured he had to be the luckiest guy on the planet.

Lexie moved her right hand onto Mark's chest and he laid his hand over hers.

"I love you, Mark," she whispered.

"I love you, too, Lex," he said, squeezing her hands and they both drifted to sleep wrapped in each other's arms.

*Author's Note: I hope you liked it. I am really happy with this chapter. I planned on it being about 3500 words. It's almost 8000. I blame Mark and Lexie. :) I did not plan on the proposal happening for a few more chapters, but like I said, Mark took over and I just couldn't say no. I think they have spent way too much time apart. It was time for it to happen. Besides, Mark and Lexie don't do anything conventionally anyway.

I hope the way I incorporated Mark and Lexie's "I Love You" scenes worked with this story. I really did love the words written for the show, but I hated how it turned out. Slexie should have gotten their proposal and their happy ending. So, this is my little "shove it" to SR. ;)

Please review! I would really love to know what you thought.