Hey guys! I'm so sorry this took so long, but better late than never? =/ Time got away from me, I had a bit of writers block, but here we are. This chapter is longer than the others, so hopefully that makes up a bit for the wait!? I'm going to try my hardest to update in a timely manner for the next chapter, I promise! Please let me know what you think!
Panic settled itself inside of Mark, as he carefully lowered a seizing Ali to the floor, rolling her on her side. He quickly scrambled out of his lab coat, rolling it up and placing it under her head. Lexie, also panicking, spotted Kevin the intern walking by through the glass wall of the conference room, and she hurried to the door. "Kevin," She barked, "Get a rush on the CTs for Alexa Reynolds, get them to me like, right now, and page Shepard and Robbins! Tell them I don't care who they are seeing, what is on their schedule, they need to be here an hour ago!"
Although Derek couldn't operate, he was still head of neuro, and still Lexie's mentor.
"On it!" Kevin called, running off.
"What's happening?!" Julie asked, scared.
"She's having a seizure," Lexie said, "I'm hoping the CT will tell us why."
Derek and Arizona arrived, with the CT, just as Ali stopped seizing a few minutes later, and began regaining consciousness. "What's going on?" Derek asked Lexie, worried.
"Who's Alexa Reynolds?" Arizona asks, confused.
"And why is she the most important person in this hospital?" Derek added.
"She's a fourteen year old girl, had a really bad head injury and she's had a seizure." Lexie said, hurrying them in.
"And she's the most important person in the hospital because she's your niece." Mark put in, kneeling on the floor beside Ali. "Derek, Arizona, this is Ali. She's my daughter."
"Long story short," Lexie began before they could ask questions, "Mark dated Claire about fifteen years ago, she got pregnant and left, her Catholic parents made her keep a kid she never wanted, she never told Mark, and the gross women has let her daughter be abused on many levels by her bastard husband for the past I don't know how many years, she came in because the bastard pushed her and caused a head injury, Avery gave her stitches and we had a CT, she just had a seizure. And oh yea, the mother was just arrested, and Mark and I are petitioning for custody." Lexie said quickly.
"Never a dull day around here, is there?" Arizona said. "Wow."
"What happened?" Ali asked, confusion and pain on her face as she sat up slowly with Mark's support. "My head hurts...a lot," She moaned, pushing her long auburn hair away from her face.
"You had a seizure," Mark said, talking softly, "Probably a result of the head injury. This is Doctor Shepard, and Doctor Robbins. Doctor Shepard's my best friend of a long time, he's basically your uncle since I don't have any siblings, he's a neurosurgeon. And Doctor Robbins is our head of pediatric surgery, and she's one of the mothers of your half sister, Sofia, the two year old."
"One of them?" Ali repeated in confusion, shutting her eyes at the pain.
"We can tell you the story later, once we get you feeling better, sweetie," Arizona said, "Mark, you need to go with the social worker and get her admitted to the peds floor," She said, "Lexie, Derek, and I can stay with her, while you go."
"Is that ok?" Mark asked her, reluctant to leave.
Still somewhat out of it, Ali nodded as Kevin came in with a wheelchair.
"I'll be back soon," He promised, and hesitated, before kissing her forehead, and getting up, hurrying with Julie to get her admitted.
"Ok, Ali," Lexie says, "Doctor Robbins and I are going to help you up into the wheelchair, ok?"
Ali nods, and Arizona and Lexie gently help her stand, supporting either side of her small frame, and help lower her into the wheelchair. "What's going to happen?" Ali asks, still kind of out of it, her head in pain and feeling dizzy as Arizona takes the handles of the wheelchair, and pushed her out of the room, Lexie and Derek following closely.
"Doctor Grey," Kevin said, running back up with a folder, "The CT for Alexa."
"Thank you," Lexie says in relief, "Hopefully this right here will tell us, Ali." She answers her gently, pulling it out. Arizona pauses in the hallway, and the three doctors all gather to look at the scans, Lexie holding them up to the light.
"There's a bleed and some swelling," Derek murmurs, pointing it out, "It's minor right now, it can be taken care of easily."
"By who, though?" Arizona asks, "There's no way Mark will let just anyone do it, and you still can't."
"I will." Lexie says. "I can do the surgery, I've done it before."
"Surgery?" Ali repeats, scared, "On my head? My brain?"
"Let's get you to a room, Ali, then we can explain better, ok?" Arizona asks, taking hold of the handles again, and they all head the remaining fifty feet to the pediatrics wing. Arizona leads the way to an empty private room, telling the nurse to alert Mark where they are when he shows up. Lexie and Arizona help her from the wheelchair to the bed so she'll be more comfortable, and by the time that she's comfortably laying down, Mark and Julie arrive.
"Ok, Ali, you're admitted as a patient," Mark says, "But I won't leave you alone, here, don't worry."
Holdings the bedsheets in her fists, pale and nervous, plus overwhelmed at all that had happened in such a short time she nodded. "Ok," she whispered.
"Ali, don't be scared," Lexie said gently, "I know that brain surgery sounds scary, but it's a really easy procedure."
"Wait, brain surgery? What's wrong?" Mark panicked.
"There's a minor bleed, and swelling," Derek asked when his best friend turned to him.
"How minor?" Owen asked the question on the tip of Mark's tongue, as he walked in.
"It's an easy fix." Derek said.
"Ok, I'll page Doctor Nelson." Owen nodded.
"No!" Lexie said, the same time as Mark.
"No?" Owen questioned, "Shepard can't do it, who else is there?"
"I don't know, but I barley know the guy, you think I'm going to let him operate on my kid?" Mark asks.
"Yea, Sloan, I expect you to be like any other parent that brings their kid into this hospital. You think they're best friends with Derek, or Arizona, or whichever of our doctors operates on their child? No, they barely know them, and they trust them with their kid's lives!" Owen stated.
"Maybe so, Hunt, but I'm not like any other parent that brings their kid to this hospital! I know people here, and even those parents choose to bring their kids here." Mark said. "I just got her back, Owen," He said after a pause. "I can't trust her life to anyone."
"There's no one else that can do the surgery, Mark." Owen said, gentler.
"Doctor Grey can." Derek said. "I've been training her for the past five plus years, I know she's got the skill. She's done it before."
"It's a conflict of interest, and you know it," Owen said back, before Mark could voice his agreement.
"Yea, but technically it's not! Legally, at this point in time, Mark isn't even recognized as her father, which means I'm not her soon to be step-mother, so really, there's no conflict of interest!" Lexie says, quickly adding, "Sir," when Owen looks over at her.
Crossing his arms over his chest, Owen looked from Lexie, to Derek, to Mark, to Arizona, then back again. He was about to say no again, when from behind them, Ali's soft voice said, "I want Doctor Grey to do it." When they all turned to look at her, her face flushed. "A lot has happened to me in my life that I had no control over," She said softly, her head still aching, "And so if anyone is going to cut my head open and go inside my brain or whatever, I want it to be Doctor Grey if doctor Shepard can't do it."
"If possible, Chief Hunt, I want Alexa's choice honored. She is the patient, and she's been through a lot." Julie says. "Please."
"Fine. Grey, make sure she gets prepped for surgery." Owen sighs, "You can have OR three in thirty minutes."
"Thank you," Julie, Lexie, Ali, and Mark all say at the same time, and Owen just nods, leaving the room.
"How long will I be in the hospital?" Ali says quietly.
"At least five days," Arizona says, "So we can make sure you're really ok after the surgery."
"Will you have to shave my head?" She grimaces.
"A little bit, at least, where I have to go in," Lexie says gently, "But it will be in an area that's easy to cover, and I'll try to do as little as possible. I promise."
Ali gives her a small smile. "Thanks."
Lexie smiles and nods. "I have to go get ready for surgery. I'm going to send someone to get you ready, and I'll see you in the operating room, before you go to sleep, ok?"
Ali nods, "Ok. Thanks."
"I'll be right back," Mark says gently to Ali, before walking just outside the door with Lexie. "You're really sure about this, Lex? About doing this together?"
"Yes," She said firmly. "I promise, Mark. I'm not running, not this time. This morning seems like ages ago, but like I said this morning, we both almost faced not having one another. I know what it's like to not be with you, and I know I don't want that. I want to get married in two months and be with you forever, and I want to give Ali a chance to have a good family."
"I love you," Is all he can say, wrapping his arms around her, kissing her. "I love you, Lexie, and I don't know what I'd have done if you said no."
"I love you, too," Lexie says, hugging him back, kissing him back. "But before we can celebrate, I need to go make sure her brain stops bleeding. So once I successfully do the surgery, we'll celebrate and figure things out. Ok?"
"Ok." Mark nods, kissing her quickly again. "Make sure you fix her, ok? I need her to be ok."
"I know," She nods, "I will. I promise." She said, knowing she was never supposed to promise life.
He nodded, and snuck one more quick kiss, before letting her go. "Go be a surgeon," He said. "I love you."
"Love you too!" She called, hurrying in the direction of the OR. Mark turned and went back into the hospital room, where Arizona and Derek were finishing taking vitals, as Arizona was talking.
"...she's just started talking a lot now, she can say mama and momma, and dada, and a lot of other random words. She loves people, and I'm sure she'll love you," She was smiling, talking to Ali.
"I get to meet her?" Ali asks, and is met with a strange look from Arizona.
"Of course you will, sweetie, she's your sister."
"I-I know," Ali says, not noticing Mark still. "I just still can't believe that they really want me."
"Of course we do." Mark says. "I don't blame you, not believing it, with your past," He says, sitting in the chair by her bed, gently taking her hand. "But I promise, I will show you we mean it. I won't be going anywhere, Alexa. I'm your dad, and I'm going to be your dad. I'll be with you every step of the way in the hospital, and once the court says its ok, you'll come live with Lexie and I. We live in an apartment across from Arizona and Callie, Sofia's other mom right now, while we build a house. When we move to the house, you'll live with us there too, and you'll have your own room. The house is near Derek's, and his wife and Lexie's sister Meredith. They have a daughter, your cousin." Mark said, "You'll have a family, a real family, and I will always be there for you. I'll always protect you."
Mark was near tears as he rambled, and Ali was crying. "You promise?" She sobs, still in disbelief, but letting herself start to open up to the thought.
"I promise," He nods, sincerely. "Your life is going to be different from here on out. Way different. I'll take care of you, Ali, Lexie and I will. Try as best as you can to trust me, ok?"
"Ok," Ali said through her tears after a moment, reaching up to get the hug that got cut short by her seizure before.
He held her, hugging her for the full two minutes before Kevin came to get her to run a few tests, before taking her down to surgery. When he let go, he kissed her forehead gently. "I'll be here when you wake up, ok? We can talk more later."
"Ok." She nodded. "Do you think that I could meet her soon? Sofia, I mean. I've always wanted a little sister. I dreamed of having one, if I didn't live with who I did." She said, the truth.
"Of course," Mark said, a promise. "As soon as you feel up to it. Now go kill this surgery, and I'll be here after. I love you, Ali." He said. "I do."
She smiled, still crying as she was wheeled away, and Mark watched her go, overwhelmed, but sure that this was right.