My Best Friends' Wedding
SPOILERS: Union Station
ARCHIVE: glad to, just let me know! ; )
DISCLAIMER: Unfortunately none of these characters belong to me, they are all property of Michael Crichton, John Wells, yada, yadayada.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is a different fic, it's more like a short tail, that has the intention of making the reader wonder and wonder..~I've used verses of two songs in this piece : "Don't say you love me" and "We've got tonight". Please, tell me what you think, your opinion is very very important! ; ) thanx for reading!
SUMMARY: Susan stops by Chicago to invite Mark to her wedding, but the encounter is not that simple.
County General Hospital - Chicago, IL
She walked down the hall, the smell of ether awakening her old senses of being there, the old painting of the wall, the sound of chaos around her, it was all strangely familiar. Suddenly she felt out of place .... no, it didn't have to be like that ... she didn't have to prove anything .... she was only there to run some errands. Anyway, it was a bitter-sweet reverie to be there again, to see the place she had once belonged to. She wondered if they would still be there... if they had changed, moved away .. she had, why wouldn't they?
However, she had always assumed she was the same inside. She had always hoped to be the same person after four years away from her hometown, away from her best friends and co-workers, away from everything she had known before Phoenix, St. Marie's Community Hospital and, mostly, before Anthony.
She had built a successful career in Phoenix, working as a emergency physician, and she was each day more satisfied with the results of her hard work. And for the first time in a long time she was happy with her personal life too.She had found someone, someone that made her happy, someone that was ready to comfort and console her at the end of a hard day. It had been a long time since she had had someone like that ... romantically, at least. But she was about to see a person that had meant a lot to her in the past ... no .. he still did. Thoughts of him still made her smile broad. It was to his memories that she would first turn to , whenever she felt homesick. What might had happened to Mark Greene in all those years?!
Susan Lewis reached the admission's desk and found it all different, the people, the atmosphere, everything ...
_Could I speak to Dr. Mark Greene please?
_I think he's in the doctor's lounge ... is it an emergency?
_Uh, no, but....
_I'll call him down for you. Wait a second... _Frank, the desk clerck responded.
While she waited for him to show up, her mind made a long trip to the times she used to work in that place. Great memories...
_Who is it? _ Mark hissed to Frank as he left the lounge.
Mark stopped dead in his tracks as he saw the woman standing next to the counter. Her eyes were scanning the place, almost as if she was lost or something. But she wasn't, she couldn't .... Before making any other move, he took some time to watch her. Still beautiful, of course, but she was different ... long hair with delicate curls on the end of each blond strand, strong gaze, serious features ...she was imponent, at least she seemed like it ... what could she possibly want? Why was she back after so long? He didn't knew why, but his body didn't feel the slightless urge to go meet her...no, no, c 'mon, it was Susan. It couln't be that bad!
He walked in her direction and paused before knowing what to say. She turned around and their gazes met. She smiled. Mark felt relieved ... it was still the same friendly captivating smile.
_Hey _ he said as he envolved her in a warm embrace.
_Hey. God, it's great to see you again.
_You too. _ he said, pulling back. _ How are you?
_I'm fine. You?
A moment of quietness ensued their conversation.
_I thought I wouldn't find you here ...
_Nah, I'm still here. Guess I always will ... you look great!
_Thank you! You don't look so bad yourself... _ she smiled. _So, did I interrupt you? Were you busy?
_ No, not at all....
She nodded akwardly and looked down for a second.
_So you're probably wondering what I'm doing here .... right?
_No, no. I always find it natural when some long time friend shows up like this _ he joked.
_Just trying to buffer the surprise ...
_I know. Uh, can we go to a place more quiet?
_Yeah. Let's go outside.
They walked to the ambulance bay.
_Alright, I'm here to give you this ... _ she said handing him a neat envelope.
Mark opened the envelope carefully, and retrieved the piece of paper inside.
" Anthony Walker & Susan Lewis
are honored to invite you to share their joy of celebrating their marriage. To be held on November 16th, 2000 at St' Jonh's church. Phoenix, AZ."
Mark held his breath for a long moment, before gathering the courage to look at her. She bit her lips and felt her stomach twist into a knot. He paused, like the words were trapped in his throat.
_Marriage .... Congratulations! This is .... _ he stuttered.
_I'd really love if you could come. _ she said reflexively.
_Uh .... ok _ he couldn't find the words to say anything else.
_I know this may sound a bit shocking ....me, getting married! _ she said nervously, trying to get him to talk.
_Not so much _ he responded simply.
_So, is he a doctor? _ he asked.
_No, he's an engineer.
_He's a very lucky guy! _ he said staring straight at her.
_Thank you Mark.... so are you going? It would make me happy _ she said with a childish smile.
He looked sadly at her for a moment, wondering if it would make *him* happy. Couldn't she just leave it alone, marry that damn guy and never letting him know she indeed had moved on?!
_I could never miss you dressed as a bride ... it's gonna be something.
She smiled, that same captivating smile. Yeah, it still had a deep affect on him! She had all the affects on him...
_I have one for Carol and Doug, are they on today?
_No, they moved away.
_Portland. A long story!
_So I guess i'll have to invite them over the phone ... they're still together right ?
_Yes, with two baby girls _ Mark smiled at the memory of the cute twins.
_Oh my God! That's so great! Wow!
_They are happy! It's great!
_What about you?
_I'm fine. Not getting married although....
Susan went quiet, not knowing how to react with his statement.
_Well, i guess I've kept you long enough. And I still have to go over my parents.
_Alright... _ he replied looking down.
_It was great to see you Mark! Really was!
_Thanks for the invitation. _ he smiled weakly _It was great to see you again too!
She nodded and smiled again.
_See ya_ she said giving him a quick hug.
He held her close for a few seconds, feeling the perfume of her hair turn his knees to water. And as she started to walk off, he struggled to go after her, held her once again, but this time he wouldn't let go. He missed her, he missed her like crazy!
_Susan! _ he called out suddenly.
She turned on her heels to face him from afar. He jogged to her direction.
_I just have one question _ he stated as he got by her side.
_Why in these four years, you never contacted me, and now you come all this way to give me your wedding invitation?! _he blurted out, his eyes fixed on her.
She let a big breath out, looked away and then looked at him again.
_ 'Cause I'd like to have you there for me in this occasion. It's gonna be one of the most important days of my life, and it wouldn't be right if you weren't there. It wouldn't be complete.
_My life hasn't been complete for four years Susan. It feels lonely without you here....
She felt her eyes water and her body weak.
_I'm so sorry! I'm sorry .... You might not believe it, but I feel lonely without you too. Maybe it was just the worst idea coming over... right? _ she asked, her eyes glued to the ground.
Mark took a deep breath and went quiet for a moment.
_No, at least I got to see you. And.... who knows... maybe I'll get your visit again with the invitation of your child's baptism. _ he said bitter and ironically.
Susan winced and took a step back, a single tear trying to fall out of her eye.
_That was a low shot Mark _ she whispered. _ I have to go now... bye! _ she spoke as she turned away from him.
He could only watch her disappear from his way. Mark closed his eyes for a long moment, refraining a desperate cry. Why, Why, Why?!
In the end of the afternoon Susan entered the automatic glass door of her 5 star- hotel more tired than never. She had spent the afternoon with her folks explaining all the details about the wedding and was pretty fed up with so many questions and complaints. She reached the reception to ask for a spare key since she had forgotten hers in her parents house when the gentle tall man behind the counter informed someone had dropped something off for her earlier that afternoon. And with that he handed her a white envelope with a red rose.
She smiled. It was probably from Anthony, he had such sweet manners to her. Susan took the envelope in her hands, smelled the rose and started to walk towards the elevator. Once inside her room in the sixth floor she retrieved the paper inside the envelope and hesitated for a second when she realized that handwriting wasn't Anthony's. She knew that handwriting so damn well. A doctor's handwriting....
" Forgive me. I know I was harsh and stupid this morning. It's just that seeing you makes me lose any reason. I never meant to hurt you, please meet me again so I can try and get my best friend back or at least look at you once again. I miss you like crazy!
Ps: please don't take it all away once again!"
Susan read the note once again. "Don't take it all away once again". What was he trying to say with that? Don't take our friendship away? Don't take my love away? Don't take us away? "C 'mon, *us*! There is no us!" she thought out loud.
What was she to do? Ignore that note and keep her pride, after all he had been pretty rude to her... but he had admitted his actions, and he asked for her forgiveness ... "oh what a load of crap! Just call him, say it's ok and hung up. There, done" she convinced herself. However she couldn't bring herself to dialing, not yet. She walked around the room, his note in hand. That was so Mark Greene: doing something stupid and then apologysing with some sweet action. She knew him so well still that it scared her.
But who was Mark Greene after all?! Her former best friend and co- worker, the ER attending, the most romantic and sweet guy ever, the man that could never do something spontaneous in his life, the guy who adored to wallow in self- pitty and do nothing about it, the guy who had run half-way across Chicago city to Union Station to plead her to stay and never leave for Phoenix 'cause he loved her and he couldn't bear to live without her.....
"Oh my God" she exclaimed. And mostly, was it worth to make contact to him again? Did she want? Yes, of course she wanted, but she was terrified with what could happen if they got close again. There was no doubt that she loved Anthony, her fiancÚ, but Mark Greene, well Mark Greene was her eternal sweety, as she liked to call him. It hurted to be away from him, and it hurted even more to know that he might have resentments towards her.
Anyways she would be living in two days to get marry and she would probably never hear from Mark again. This was her chance to make things right, or at least to explain her wrong past actions.
Without a second thought, she grabbed the phone and dialed the hospital's number.
"Could I speak to Mark Greene please"
Mark walked around in circles nervously in the park crowded with kids and their moms playing. In any other circunstance he would find that place strange to meet up with Susan. But it wasn't just a park, it was the park they had come lots of times to relax and play with little Suzie. It was their park.
// I've seen this places a thousand times
I've felt this all before //
He was glad she had accepted to meet him again, although he had no clue of what to do as soon as she arrived. For all he knew he could just stay there looking at her for the rest of the night and never get tired.
_Hi! _ her remarkable voice broke into his thoughts and made him smile sincerely.
He turned around to face her, but she wasn't smiling. Didn't matter, it was still her beautiful face.
// I know this face I'm wearing now
I've seen this in my eyes //
_Hey _ he responded walking towards her. _ Thanks for meeting with me _ he said politely.
_I'm truly sorry for the way I've acted this morning. It's been so long that I hope to see you that when you came with that invitation I sorta flipped. _ he smiled weakly.
_I know it wasn't really right for me to show up like this, just to give you that news. But I've always been so afraid of how you would react to see me that I ended up postponing this day for nearly four years. And then came the wedding and I knew there was no excuse to run away from you anymore. _ she explained calmly.
_ I understand _ he replied.
They started to walk around the park side by side.
_What were you so afraid of? _ he asked.
She stopped, taken aback by his question and her sudden lack of words. Just then her cell phone rang.
_Excuse me _ she said as she walked a few steps away and answered the phone.
"Hello... oh, hi honey! I know, things have just been busy around... I miss you too! .... Yeah... of course. Oh, I'm catching up with an old friend right now. How's everything around there? .... Good. Yes, I've talked to mom... as usual, you know..... ok, I'll call you back as soon as I get to the hotel. ... I love you too!... bye"
Mark tried to look uninterested while she talked over the phone but he couldn't help hearing her last words, and it ached, it ached deep down to hear her saying the last words she had said to him while boarding on that train four years ago. But this time she was saying it to somebody else.
Susan hung up her cell phone and put in on her purse more than a little embarassed. She looked at Mark, who had his eyes lost in nowhere and licked her lips nervously.
_I'm sorry for that. - she said.
_It's ok. Is he missing you already?
_So what were you saying? _ she tried to change the subject as they started to walk around again.
_I had asked what were you so afraid of. _ he responded simply.
After a long moment of quietness, she managed to reply, somewhat clumsy, somewhat nervously, but she did:
_I was afraid that you wouldn't care for me anymore. _ she smiled nervously_ I know it's pathetic and childish... how could I possibly want you to care for me after my departure, I mean the way I left. _ she stopped to look into his eyes.
_It's been four years, and I haven't forgotten about that day Susan... in fact, I can remember perfectly every single breath of our last conversation _ he started.
Susan looked down in shame and he continued.
_But I never stopped caring.
// And though it feels so great i'm still afraid
That you'll be leaving anytime //
She looked at him, breahing deeply, not knowing if she would laugh or cry.
_Thank you _ she whispered through a sweet smile.
He smiled and nodded.
_So, are up for some pizzas? _ he offered.
_So, I guess that's it. _ he said as they reached the front of her hotel on downtown.
_It was a great pleasure. _ he said politely.
_For me too. And listen Mark....
He raised his eyes to meet hers, his heart racing suddenly.
_I wish I could say "we should do this more often", but ...
_I never forgot you and I'm sorry if all I've left for you were bad memories...
_Don't say this. *You* are my best memory...
She smiled mischieviously.
_ ... af all my life. _ he completed, totally swept away by that moment.
Susan took a deep breath in order to clean up her "dirty"thoughts of him at that moment. She looked deeply into his eyes, that look that only she had, that look that melted his heart everytime.
// I know it's late
I know you need me
I know you're plans don't include me //
Mark gasped inside, God her presence was so intoxicating... in a good way of course. She then got close to him and kissed his cheek slowly and tenderly, the warmth of her breath and lips awakening something inside of him. He closed his eyes, enjoying that fast moment of bliss, maybe the maximum closeness that he would get from her.
_Goodnight _ she said softly when she pulled away.
He smiled enchanted, his feet flying above ground.
And she turned around and started to walk away, the burden of leaving him again crashing on her mind.
_Wait! _ he called out. _When will you be leaving?
_Tomorrow. 5: 00 pm ... _ she replied with half a smile.
He nodded wishfully and walked away.
// Still here we are
Both of us lonely
Longing for shelter
For more that we see //
The next day, Susan was seated on the waiting room for her flight when she was startled by a voice behind her.
_I'm sorry. I just had to see you again... _ Mark hissed.
She turned to face him, who was knelt behind her chair. She smiled sincerely.
_You didn't have to... but I'm glad! _ she replied inclining her body to be closer to him.
He paused for a moment when he went serious.
_What? _ she asked out in concern.
_What if I told you that I'm not gonna go ... to your wedding?!
_I can't Susan.... I really can't see you get married.It's gonna hurt like hell.
She looked down.
// Don't let me fall again for nothing more
(...) Don't give me this feeling I'll only believe it //
_Ok _ she said weakly _ It's ok. I'm just afraid...
_Afraid of what?
"The passengers of flight 328 to Phoenix, Arizona must be boarding right now. It's the last call for Flight 328 to Phoenix on gate 13."
_I gotta go! _ she said grabbing her handbag.
Mark held her arm and looked into her eyes.
_Afraid of what?
_Afraid of falling for you again! _ she confessed, her voice trembling.
He reached for her hand and interlocked his fingers with hers.
_I'm afraid as well. More afraid than never.
She swallowed hard and he started to get close to her.
_You know we can't... _ she whispered
_I know _ he replied before pressing his hungry lips against her.
She kissed him back, massaging his lips with hers, slowly and lovingly, trying to make time stop. There was no need to think, no need to be rational. When they pulled away she had tears streaming down her face, he had them too. No regrets, no sorrow, just the best memory ever and the unforgettable taste of that inexplicable feeling they two shared.
Susan smiled quickly and walked to the boarding gate, he watched as she entered the plane and waved goodbye at him. He stood there until the plane had taken away and only then he returned home, alone but totally intoxicated by her, by all of her.
// Make it real or take it all away //
Susan Lewis got married to Anthony Walker on November 16th in a beautiful ceremony with friends and family. While she walked down the aisle, dressed in a beautiful white dress she thought she had seen his face among the many others. She froze for a second, her eyes scanning around the church for him but she couldn't find him, she couldn't even be sure if it was indeed Mark. She thought she felt his eyes on her as she said "I do", but that was only it. She never heard from him again.