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Mark and Derek, aka McSteamy and McDreamy, from Grey’s Anatomy have had a tumultuous relationship. As childhood friends, the two have definitely seen their ups and downs, including an affair that ended in divorce. Mark even admitted to sleeping with all of Derek’s sisters at one point. But in the end, the two remained friends. 

Mark and Derek laughing on 'Grey's Anatomy'
(L-R) Eric Dane as Mark Sloan and Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepard | Eric McCandless/Getty Images

Some fans have speculated that perhaps they had romantic feelings for each other. There were certainly some scenes that would indicate some unexpressed feelings. Let’s dive into the dynamics of the relationship and whether or not there were some unrequited feelings between the two.

The ultimate power couple

If there was one person Derek could trust to always be there for him, it was Mark. Although their friendship was strained by the affair that Mark had with Derek’s wife, he was able to repair the damage and went on to become one of Derek’s closest friends. Owing to the fact that they had also pretty much grown up together, the two had a strong bond. 

It wouldn’t have been a total shock if the writers decided to pair them up because of this and their chemistry. If not for Mark’s womanizing ways, Mark and Derek could have been the ultimate power couple. The two were definitely a yin and yang. 

Fans were hoping they could hook up

Fans took to Reddit to express their approval of a Mark and Derek arrangement. One fan pointed to a scene in an elevator where Mark says, “I thought it’d just be me and you” and Derek responds with “having sex?” Clearly, those two had already considered the possibility and planted the seed in everyone’s head that it could happen with this comment.

Another fan remarked, “I like to believe Mark cheated on Derek with Addison rather than Addison cheating on Derek with Mark. Derek and Mark truly had the best bromance.” If the writers of Grey’s Anatomy ever thought of rebooting the show, this would be a great direction to go in since there seems to be the demand for a McSteamy/McDreamy romance.

How their stories ended

Alas, the fans didn’t get to see that relationship come to fruition. Mark was injured in a plane crash and eventually slipped into a coma. The creators used the finale of season 8 to introduce the plane crash and then waited until the premiere of season 9 to kill the character. In the premiere of season 9, he is then removed from life support after it was clear he wasn’t going to regain consciousness. 

Later, Derek died in a car crash in season 11. The writers said that they considered him leaving his wife, but thought that a sudden death would be a better way to end the character because they wanted to keep the relationship intact.

However, both characters make guest appearances in later seasons as dream sequences or spirit guides. Derek and Mark simply appear next to Meredith during a sort of dream sequence where she is remembering all the people she had lost. 


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Even though fans weren’t treated to a romantic relationship between McSteamy and McDreamy, the show undoubtedly had a huge fan base and still continued to flourish beyond the two characters leaving the show. Fans are having fun thinking of alternate universes where the two fell in love and married.

Who knows, perhaps some artistic fans may be inclined to create some steamy fan fiction and at least give fans a glimpse into the Grey’s Anatomy that could have been.