Word Count: 2,092
Pairing: Mark Sloan/Derek Shepherd
Summary: AU. Mark and Derek celebrate thirty anniversaries together.
Disclaimer: All television shows, movies, books, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual.
Nobody makes a big deal out of twenty-one years. That includes Mark and Derek. The couple have to spend all day working. Derek has three surgeries, and Mark has two. They don’t really have time to celebrate.
“You want to celebrate tomorrow?” Mark’s heading off into his next surgery while Derek’s just coming out of his second.
“I have to work tomorrow too!” Derek calls as his partner disappears from sight. He really wishes they could celebrate, but it’s not that bad if they don’t celebrate this year. They already hit several milestone anniversaries.
When Mark and Derek get the chance, they’ll celebrate their twenty-first anniversary the way they want to.
For their twenty-second anniversary, the couple heads back to Hawaii. This time, they bring their daughters with them.
“I love Hawaii,” raves fifteen year old Gillian. She hopes that she’ll meet some cute guys here. It’d be a wasted trip if she didn’t.
“So do I,” chimes in Kirsten, now seventeen. Unlike Gillian, she’s not looking for a cute guy. She has a boyfriend back home that she misses. But Hawaii’s amazing, and Kirsten won’t mind staying.
“I want to go have fun in the ocean,” whines twelve year old Jacqueline. She’s sick of just sitting on the beach and looking for seashells.
“You go ahead, Lin. Be careful, though.” Mark doesn’t want his youngest daughter getting hurt. He worries about all three of his girls.
“I can’t wait until our new little brother or sister joins the family,” Kirsten says. Her parents decided months ago they wanted a new baby. Like with Jacqueline, they went with a surrogate. The fourth Shepherd-Sloan child is due in six months. Neither Mark nor Derek care that they are sixty-one and they’re about to be parents again.
“It’s definitely going to be different,” Mark answers. He and Derek forty-nine when Jacqueline came into their lives, and they were able to keep up with her. They miss having a baby around the house.
“Can we name the baby this time?” Gillian questions. She loves her name and her sisters’ names (even if Dad and Papa didn’t choose Kirsten’s name), but she wants to help pick out the name.
“Middle name,” Derek automatically replies. He and Mark desperately can’t wait to expand their family. That’s one of the main reasons they decided to have another baby.
“Okay, I’ll agree to that.” Gillian’s already thinking up tons of perfect middle names. She has a list of favorite baby names. She’s not giving her little sibling her ultimate favorites, however.
About fifteen minutes later, all five Shepherd-Sloans head into the ocean. They have tons of fun just playing around with each other.
“You think next year will be just as fun?” Mark asks Derek later on. All three girls are fast asleep in their room, something the two men are happy about. They want some privacy.
Derek nods. “Next year we’ll have a six month old. It’ll be just as crazy as our eleventh anniversary. Gillian was only four and Jacqueline was ten months old. You remember that? We barely had any time to celebrate, but it was still fun.” He loves his crazy anniversaries with Mark. Derek wouldn’t change those for anything.
“I still can’t comprehend the fact that we have a seventeen year old, a fifteen year old, and a twelve year old. I still remember bringing Gillian home from the hospital. That was on our seventh anniversary,” Mark muses. He can’t help but get nostalgic today.
“You realize that a lot of good things happen near or on our anniversary, Mark?” Derek doesn’t know why these things happen, but he isn’t about to question it. He loves the good luck charm that their anniversary is.
“And a lot of bad things too,” Mark reminds his partner. He doesn’t want to think about Derek’s accident and his coma. He also doesn’t like to think about the PSTD he suffered from as a result of that.
“Don’t think about the bad things, Babe. Just remember the good times,” Derek encourages. He wants happy thoughts to be on the menu for today. It did go pretty well, after all.
“I love you more than you will ever know,” Mark says out of the blue. He doesn’t want to think about a life without Derek. He nearly lost his best friend after sleeping with Addison, but Mark’s so happy that they eventually made up.
Derek smiles at him. “You make me so happy, Mark. I love you too.” His love for Mark is something he never expected, but Derek’s glad he did fall in love with him.
Next year, for their twenty-third anniversary, Mark and Derek really don’t do anything. They’re busy with three teenagers and two six month olds. Turns out their surrogate was pregnant with twins girls. Mark and Derek have given up on having a son. They don’t care about the fact that they have five daughters. Their family is perfect exactly the way it is.
“Do you want me to cook you guys dinner?” sixteen year old Gillian questions. She wants Papa and Dad’s anniversary to be special, even though twenty-three years isn’t a milestone anniversary. They deserve to have a fun day.
“You want to?” Mark asks, sliding six month old Rachel Gretchen Shepherd-Sloan into her baby swing. He’s so happy that at least one of the twins is asleep. Two six month olds are hard to take care of. He and Derek haven’t had to take care of two babies before. By the time that Jacqueline came along, Gillian was three and in pre-school.
“Of course I do,” Gillian assures her dad. She just wants her parents to relax and not think about the twins for tonight. Since Kirsten is out with her boyfriend, she and thirteen year old Jacqueline are taking care of their baby sisters.
“Okay,” Derek agrees. He’s so tired and can’t wait until the twins start sleeping through the night. He and Mark really haven’t had too much problems with the girls, despite the fact that they are in their sixties. It’s the three teenagers they’re having a problem with, actually. Three teenage girls in one house is a bad situation. Mix that in with newborn toddlers, and things are even worse.
“Aunt Izzie and Uncle Alex are coming over tomorrow,” Gillian reminds Mark and Derek. She isn’t sure if they’ve remembered or not, but it doesn’t hurt to tell them again.
“We know,” Mark murmurs. He’s tired too and just wants to go to sleep. Unfortunately, Rachel’s twin sister Julie Marie Sloan-Shepherd is still wide awake. The baby swing is not helping her go to sleep.
“Lin, why don’t you take Rach and Jules in your room for a little while,” Gillian says to her younger sister. She’s trying to make this the perfect day for her parents, and nothing is going to ruin that.
“Okay,” Lin replies. She hurries to get the double stroller currently in the hallway and walks back to the living room. She places Rachel and Julie in the strollers and heads towards her room.
“Just remember that you two will have eighteen months old next year instead of six months old.” Gillian’s trying to help out as much as possible.
“They’ll be walking by then, Gilly,” Mark can’t help but point out. He and Derek had twelve years in between Jacqueline and the twins, so they forgot all about baby-proofing everything and getting up so many times in the middle of the night. Luckily for them, Rachel and Julie are now on a schedule that works.
Soon, dinner is ready. Gillian leaves her parents alone and bolts towards Jacqueline’s room to help her sister with Rachel and Julie. She figures that Jacqueline is probably in over her head by now. Gillian actually expects to find three crying sisters when she goes in there. She is pleasantly surprised to find all three of her younger sisters asleep. Gillian falls asleep herself a few minutes later.
“We have some wonderful kids,” Mark says to Derek in between bites. He’s so grateful for his five daughters, and wouldn’t trade them for anything.
“We definitely do. It’s so hard to believe that our oldest is going to be heading off to college soon and our youngest are still babies. Do you regret waiting twelve years?” Derek asks. He loves that he and Mark waited twelve years after Jacqueline to have another baby (two, actually). They got to enjoy time with their oldest three before family dynamics changed.
“I’m actually thinking that I want another baby,” Mark sheepishly replies. Who cares if they still have two babies? They can add to their family if they want.
“You’re thinking about it too?” asked a surprised Derek. He’d love to adopt again. Kirsten and Gillian were adopted, and that process went smoothly.
“Let’s do it. We’ll go to the adoption agency in the morning,” Mark decides. He can’t believe he and Derek just decided to adopt again. This is a really big step. Are they ready for six kids?
Derek laughs. “I can’t believe we’re discussing this when Rachel and Julie are only six months old, but I don’t care. Let’s put our name on the list.” Their family is going to be nuts and they’ll probably need another house, but that doesn’t matter at the moment.
Everything is going the way the Shepherd-Sloan family wants it to. They couldn’t be happier.
On their twenty-fourth anniversary, Mark and Derek head out to California with their family. Kirsten is away at college and can’t make it, however.
“I can’t believe you two actually made it out here this quickly,” says a surprised Addison. She didn’t think they were going to make it, actually.
Eighteen month olds Julie and Rachel are crawling around in their portable playpen and babbling. Eighteen year old Gillian is talking on the phone to her boyfriend, while fifteen year old Jacqueline is trying to find something to watch on TV.
“We had some help. Gilly drove for a little while so Mark or I could take care of Julie and Rachel,” Derek explains. He loves being in California. It’s a nice change from Seattle for the moment.
“When do you bring your little girl home?” Pete questions. He knows that Mark and Derek are adopting again, and he couldn’t be happier for them.
“In three weeks,” Mark excitedly answers. They recently adopted a five year old little girl named Caroline. Caroline grew up in the foster care system. She adores her adoptive parents, and can’t wait to go home with them. She also loves her older sisters.
“Can you handle three teenagers, a five year old, and two toddlers?” Addison really doesn’t think she’d be able to handle it, even with Pete’s help. She’d go nuts if she was in Mark and Derek’s family.
“Kirsten’s away at college and Gillian’s going to college soon. I think we’ll be able to handle it. Caroline is our final kid anyway. Six is enough.” Derek really hoped that Beth would fit right in with their family.
“So what do you want to do for your trip this week?” Pete questions. He loves having the Shepherd-Sloans around. They make everything seem more interesting.
Mark shrugs. “We can stop by your work, I guess. Maybe the beach. Beyond that, Derek and I have nothing else planned. Neither do the girls.” He and his partner really should have thought this “anniversary trip to California” thing through. They have nothing to do!
“We’ll decide later,” Derek declares. He just wants to enjoy his first day in California. That’s all he wants. He doesn’t care about tomorrow just yet. He’ll worry about that in the morning.
“We should watch TV,” Addison suggests. She finds the remote and turns the TV on. After a few minutes of finding nothing on, she hands it to Gillian.
“Thanks, Aunt Addison.” Gillian finally finds something she wants to watch in less than ten minutes. Derek, Mark, and Pete groan when they see that she chose a romantic comedy.
“Do we have to watch this, Baby Girl?” Mark loves his daughter, but he really doesn’t want to watch a chick flick. They always get him emotional for some reason.
“Yes, you do. And no complaining.” Gillian settles in to watch the movie. Jacqueline wanders in and joins her older sister a few minutes later.
The Shepherd-Sloan trip to California isn’t dictated by plans. Instead, they are spontaneous. It’s more fun that way and everyone but Julie and Rachel like it.