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[ sunday morning coming down ]
He told Meredith, months ago, that his four-hundred-dollar-an-hour shrink said maybe he did these things because he was self-destructive and self-loathing to an almost pathological degree.
He´s pretty sure she was right, but she´d never gotten around to telling him what to do about it because before they got to that part he bent her over her desk and made her come so hard she forgot she had a PhD.
Why else would he be here, in this hospital, Addison down one hall, Derek down the other, and him stuck in the middle with nothing.
Knock it off,’ Derek says the second he opens the door. Stop.’
Mark just smiles and shrugs his shoulders. No.’
Derek´s mouth twitches on a smile and it´s the coldest thing Mark´s ever seen on his face. Stop calling. Stop showing up. Stop coming to where I work. I never want to see you again.’
Mark keeps the smile on his face because he´s never known how to say I´m sorry. Don´t be such a bitch, Derek. You sound like an ex-girlfriend.’
There are tears in his eyes and Derek´s always been the most emotional of all three of them. Mark still can´t quite believe that after all the years he´s spent beating the hell out of anyone that made Derek look like that, this time he´s the one that put them there.
Fuck you,’ Derek says, and then the door is staring Mark in the face like the worst metaphor for a cold shoulder ever.
He´s still living in the hotel and he keeps telling himself that it´s time to move out, but this is where Addison comes. This is where Addison shows up unannounced in the middle of the night, and if he moves, if he finds someplace else, he knows she´ll never ask where it is. If he lives somewhere besides right here, she´ll never come to him at two in the morning ever again.
His shrink said she didn´t think Mark ever loved Addison at all. She said she thought Mark wanted to, thought he did, but what he really loved was what Derek had with her.
His shrink said that Mark thought that he and Derek had the same taste in women, but really all they had was Mark´s desire to be, actually be, Derek.
There´s probably something to that, but Mark´s never been the type to take truth very well.
For two months he comes home to find Addison drowning herself in a bottle of wine.
When are you gonna get over this,’ he asks her, squatting down in front of her and putting his hand on her knee. We did it. We fucked it up, and we got caught. He moved on, we should too.’
She smiles at him and leans forward. I don´t know Mark. How about you plot it out for me. When should I schedule the end of my nervous breakdown? When should I be able to look in the mirror and not hate myself? When should I be able to look at you and not see Derek´s face when he walked in and saw us?’
He feels the weight in his chest and pushes it down, way down to the bottom of everything else he´s ever fucked up, and pretends this doesn´t bother him either. Got a calendar?’
All of his life, Mark´s been popular. He´s been the football star, the life of the party, the guy that kicked your ass. He walks these halls and he knows that will never be him here. This place will always be Derek´s.
The interns look at him like they think he can´t read their minds. Can´t hear their whispering, their gossiping.
His shrink told him once, right after he put the spent condom in the garbage can, that he needs to find a way to feel worth something without needing anyone to agree with him. He thinks her words probably would´ve had more of an impact if her underwear hadn´t been riding up her ass, his fingerprints already blackening her skin.
Before Derek left them, sometimes Mark would go sit on the porch of the Brownstone and not even bother to knock on the door.
He´d sit on the swing and smoke half a pack of Marlboros and think about what he could say to make Derek see that this wasn´t about him.
Sometimes he´d see Derek´s shadow moving in the guest bedroom and every time it terrified him that this would be the time that Derek would actually come outside and sit with him.
He never knocked because he knew he was full of shit. It was all about him.
When he and Derek are working on the same case they sit in cold silence when they´re not discussing it. Mark sits in the chair by the door and Derek sits behind his desk and stares at the medical charts. It´s probably the most painful thing in the world that the fact that it´s taking longer and longer for Derek to kick him out of his office is actually progress.
Derek had always been a scrawny kid and he´d had a lot of fight in him but he´d never used it. Derek had always been content to bitch and whine and get over it, but maybe that´s because Mark always did the dirty work for him.
Mark still does the dirty work for him because most of the time he´s the one that gets up out of that chair and leaves the office before Derek has to screw up the nerve to tell him to.
He wonders what his shrink would say about that.
I just want to know why,’ Derek asks the day he leaves, standing in Mark´s driveway and looking lost. I just you owe me that.’
Mark leans against the column behind him and looks up at the blinding sun so he doesn´t have to see Derek´s face. I don´t know what to tell you.’
You hate me, don´t you,’ Derek says, and he´s not being passive aggressive, he´s not trying to guilt trip him. He´s honest to god asking, and Mark feels like punching him, because how the hell can Derek think that about him? You hate me, and you want me to be miserable, so you took Addison because it´s the one thing I had that I loved more than you.’
I don´t hate you, Derek,’ Mark says, looking at the ground. I could never hate you. You´re my best friend.’
No,’ Derek says, and it´s the first time in months that Derek´s had any strength in his voice. No. A best friend doesn´t fuck your wife, Mark.’
Mark closes his eyes. I don´t know what you want from me.’
You know what the worst part is, man,’ Derek says, already backing away towards the car that´s packed with everything he´s taking with him. It´s not that I lost my wife. I love Addison, but we had our problems. We might´ve imploded on our own without your help.’ He opens the door to the car and Mark can look at him now because Derek´s not looking back. I lost you, Mark. You took away my best friend. That´s the worst part.’
I´m still your friend, Derek,’ he says to the taillights as Derek drives away.
He´s always done his best speaking to the people who aren´t listening.
It used to be the three of them against the world, and now it´s just him. The fucked up part is that he´d known it wasn´t worth it before he´d even done it. But that´s just what Mark is. Mark´s a fuck up.
It´s the only think his shrink ever said to him that he´d agreed with right from the start.