Fandoms: Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice
Word Count: 2,278
Spoilers: Based on spoilers and speculation for season nine and based partially on the pictures Patrick Dempsey posted (and subsequently deleted) on Twitter.
Warning: Character death
Characters/Pairings: Meredith, Derek, Addison, Amelia, Mark, Charlotte, Arizona, Meredith/Derek, Callie/Arizona
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.
Summary: After Addison gets a phone call she's been dreading, she and Amelia head to Seattle to say goodbye to a loved one.
When the phone rang, the bad feeling that Addison had all day ratcheted up and her heart pounded as she picked it up. “Hello?”
“Addison, it’s Meredith.” Her voice cracked and she’s struggling not to fall apart. Meredith still can’t believe this is really happening.
“Is it Mark?” Addison has been worrying about him nonstop ever since she learned about the plane crash on the news. It had been as surreal as finding out about the shooting. And once again, she’s secretly glad that she escaped Seattle Grace Mercy Death, but that just makes the guilt kick in.
Meredith nodded, but then realized how stupid that was. “Yeah. We’re taking him off life support, and Derek figured that you and Amelia might want to say goodbye.” Derek was the power of attorney for Mark and thus, had been tasked with the decision. It hadn’t been an easy one – Her husband had been up all night crying over it. He didn’t want Mark to die, but he also didn’t want him to suffer either.
“Fuck. I’ll go see Amelia, make sure the nanny can take care of Henry, and then we’re on the next flight out.” Addison choked back tears because now was not the time to fall apart. She needed to be strong for at least a little while.
“Text someone your flight information and someone will pick you up from the airport. We’ll see you soon.” Meredith hung up and Addison followed suit. She stared at her desk in shock for a few seconds before pulling herself together. She then went to find Amelia.
When Amelia noticed the look on Addison’s face she panicked. “What is it?” She had a feeling she wasn’t about to like what she was going to say. And she knew who this was probably going to be about, too.
Addison choked back another sob. “That was Meredith. They’re pulling the plug on Mark, and they want us to go say our goodbyes.” Why was this happening? None of this was fair.
Amelia immediately crumpled and burst into tears – Her horrible year only seemed to be getting worse, and she wasn’t sure how much she could take. “Okay.”
Charlotte showed up in the middle of the breakdown. “What’s wrong?”
“You remember Mark?” At Charlotte’s nod, Addison continued. “My ex-husband is taking him off life support, and we have to go back to Seattle. Damn it, we’re going to need clothes for the funeral.”
“Well, how about I go help you two pack? Do you have a flight out yet?” When Addison shook her head, Charlotte promised to find the next flight for them so they could get ready easier.
Addison and Amelia did manage to pack faster with Charlotte’s help, and true to her word, she booked their flight for them. While Addison was making arrangement with Henry’s nanny, Amelia thanked her.
Charlotte just smiled. “Don’t thank me – Just go. And tell everyone that we’re sorry.” She hugged them both and then dropped them off at the airport.
As soon as their flight disembarked in Seattle and they got their luggage, Addison and Amelia met Alex Karev outside. He hugged Addison.
“Wish this was under better circumstances.” Alex still wondered what would have happened if he had just gotten on that plane instead of Arizona. She was still dealing with her injuries and he couldn’t shake the guilt.
“So do we. And Meredith said we could stay in their house?” Addison had wanted to check into a hotel, but Meredith had insisted they stay in her house.
“Yeah. She and Derek have moved into their dream house, and the old one is pretty much empty now. Just make sure to avoid Lexie’s room – Mer had a meltdown the last time anyone went in there.”
“Noted.” Addison was going to have to remember to hug Meredith because she had heard that she wasn’t doing so well without her younger sister. She wondered if this was going to set her back in her grief even further.
“So, what exactly are in his injuries again?” Amelia had heard them before, but she couldn’t remember them all. She had been lost in grief over her son at that time, and it had been one thing right after another.
As Alex explained Mark’s numerous injuries, Addison’s mind wandered to their time together. What would their life be like together now if she had chosen him, if they were together? It was a morbid line of thinking and she quickly shook herself out of it. She struggled not to fall apart again because it wasn’t the right time. When was the right time, though? Addison didn’t know.
They arrived at Seattle Grace Mercy West and headed to the emergency room first. Amelia had wanted to go straight to Mark’s room, but Addison needed more time to prepare herself before she came face to face with him and wanted to say hello to her old co-workers.
She squealed with Bailey over her remarriage – She and Ben hadn’t wanted to wait in case yet another tragedy occurred. Sadly, they were starting to get used to all the death and destruction that occurred at the hospital. They just hoped that nothing else as bad as this happened.
After Addison caught up with everyone else, she and Amelia reluctantly headed up to Mark’s room. Meredith was waiting outside his door and looked like she was ready to collapse. “Are you okay?” Despite being lost in her own head because of grief, Amelia was worried about her sister-in-law.
Meredith shook her head. “This isn’t very easy. Derek’s in there with him now, and I couldn’t take it anymore. It’s just so hard. And it’s nice to see you again, even under these circumstances.”
“Same to you.” Addison hugged her and it wasn’t even awkward between the two. They had other things to worry about.
“Do my mom and sisters know?” Amelia hadn’t called them because she couldn’t deal with them yet. It had been hard enough dealing with her son’s death and struggling to accept her family’s sympathy.
“No, not yet. Derek wanted to hold off on telling them until after he dies because there are already enough people here already. He doesn’t want to talk to them right now.” Meredith was worried about him, but had a hard time vocalizing it because of her own grief over Lexie’s death. Luckily, they had Zola and she was good at keeping them occupied.
“Understandable.” Addison took a deep breath before opening the door and stepping inside. Derek was holding Mark’s hand and murmuring something to him. He stopped talking and stood up when he saw his sister and ex-wife.
“Hi.” Derek didn’t know what else to say. He couldn’t handle losing Mark, but he had to face the fact that his best friend was going to die.
“Hi.” Addison stood around awkwardly, unsure of what to do. Amelia had no such qualms and went over to Mark. She started talking to him.
“You want to see pictures of Zola?” Meredith broke the awkward silence and changed the subject rather fast – It was something she had been doing a lot lately.
“As long as you don’t mind me showing you pictures of Henry!” She, Meredith, and Derek oohed and awed over the pictures of both babies and ignored the elephant in the room. However, they couldn’t do so for long.
Derek, Meredith, and Amelia filed out of the room and left Addison with Mark. “We’ll be back soon,” Meredith informed her as she went out the door.
And that’s when Addison finally broke down into tears. “Oh, Mark. I’m going to miss you so much. I’ll always love you, you know?” She waited for an answer that never came and just felt worse. After she said her goodbyes, she wiped the tears off and went back out into the hallway.
Callie came up and after she hugged Addison, went into Mark’s room where she talked to him about Sofia and other assorted topics.
Arizona soon showed up, and she limped into the room with Derek by her side. Derek had asked to be in the only one in the room when the plug was pulled, but Arizona had talked him into letting her stay for just a few minutes afterwards. She wanted to say a few things to Mark before he died.
Derek let out a sob after the nurse turned off life support and left the room. “I’m right here, Mark. Okay, don’t you worry. I’m not leaving you alone right now. I just want you to know that I completely and totally forgive you for what happened with Addison. I’m not sure if you ever knew that, but I wanted you to know. And I love you, okay? You’re my one and only brother. I’m not sure how to get by without you, but I’m going to try. I have Meredith and Zola and our family, but I’m going to miss you so much. I’ll be there for Sofia and Callie and Arizona. I’ll tell Sofia all about her daddy, so don’t you worry about that.” He broke off there because he couldn’t talk any longer over the sobs that were overtaking him.
Arizona took over. “I’ll be there for our girls, too. You remember you telling me that in the woods? I’ll be there to take care of them. Sofia will know that her daddy loved her very much and tried so hard to live for her. But it’s okay now, Mark. It’s okay.” She sniffled, patted Derek on the back, and then left the room.
Derek leaned down started whispering in his ear. “Arizona’s right, Mark. It’s okay to go now. I love you, brother.” He continued to grip Mark’s hand and closed his eyes. Tears leaked out and his heart shattered when Mark died only a few minutes later. This moment was going to haunt Derek for the rest of his life.
Funeral arrangements had been made ahead of time – Meredith had pushed for him to do that so he wouldn’t have to worry – so all he had left to do was drown in grief. And that’s exactly what Derek did. He rushed to a bathroom and locked himself in, then threw up whatever he had eaten for lunch.
When Derek refused to open the door, Meredith threatened to have Alex kick it in. He was two seconds away from doing so when the door latch unlocked. She quickly rushed to her husband’s side as he continued to cry. “I’m here. You don’t have to be alone in this, right? We’ll get through this together. That’s what you told me after Lexie died and I’m not forgetting that.” The numb feeling she had experienced in the days after the plane crash was creeping back in now and she welcomed it. This was good right now because Meredith could work with numb. This way, she didn’t have to deal with her own grief while helping Derek through his.
“I don’t know what to do now.” He and Mark had been briefly estranged after he and Addison had slept together, but that was the longest they had ever gone without talking. He was never going to see Mark again and it was just so surreal.
“That’s okay. Remember how I fell apart planning Lexie’s funeral? You were there for me even though you were worried. And you don’t have to call your mom and sisters – Amelia’s taking care of that for you. We’ll just have to get through the next few days.” Meredith wasn’t sure how they’d manage, but she’d give it her best.
“Maybe you should get up off the floor and go home.” Alex didn’t think either of them should be at the hospital right now.
“It’s a good idea. Let’s go.” Derek had a hard time getting off the floor, but he managed. On their way home, he and Meredith dropped off Addison and Amelia at their house and promised to call them later.
Derek had hoped that it’d be easier to grieve at home, but it just made things worse. Now, there were no distractions aside from his daughter. And as much as he loved Zola, he wasn’t sure she could bring him out of this. He cried himself to sleep that night and woke up feeling horrible the next day. Derek had actually managed to make himself sick, but he pushed through his illness to deal with other, more important things.
The Shepherds arrived flew in around 11:00AM, and Carolyn immediately went to work on making food. She figured that neither her son nor her daughter-in-law would have the energy to cook during the next few weeks.
The viewings for Mark were held the next day. Derek managed to wind up in the emergency room after he ignored his illness for far too long and protested the entire time. The doctor reluctantly left him sign out and made him promise not to push himself too hard the next day. In fact, Derek took it one step further and asked to be sedated during the funeral. Meredith was initially against it, but Derek, Alex, and Arizona had talked her into sedating him.
There wasn’t a dry eye at all at the cemetery when Mark was buried. Even out of it due to the sedation, Derek couldn’t stop crying. Meredith held him steady so he wouldn’t collapse again – She was going to be keeping an eye on him for the next few months so this didn’t happen again.
His friends and family would grieve for Mark Sloan for a long time. Recovering from this was not going to be easy.