It's later now/ Distance

Chapter 10

The beach is one of her favorite places. She loves swimming, and she prefers it in the sea way more than in a shallow pool. Sometimes she'd just lay there enjoying all the waves rocking her back and forth, drifting her far away, until she'd lost track of time and she realizes she has to work her way to the shore and get back to reality one way or another. She liked the calm predictable waves, what she hated is the ones that she only notices after they've flipped her over and made her lose her balance, the ones that were clear to come if you pay close attention, but make her feel stupid for not noticing the signs while she was busy drowning in a hundred other thoughts in the water.

Everything came back to her as if she was watching the tape of all their interactions in fast forward mode. Now it made sense, all of it. The way he was freaking out, the way he was too attached, he was acting like a very typical Dad. Amelia was furious, mostly with herself for not seeing this coming, and rightfully on Owen for hiding this. She exhausted herself both analytically and emotionally staring at the papers and words in front of her, until the letters started to look meaningless. Owen froze, anticipating her reaction, bracing himself for the upcoming tornado. He switched his gaze between her and the floor, he wanted to feel ecstatic and proud for finally taking matters to his own hands and getting a kid, a family, that's what he always wanted, right? Then why was he feeling like he just committed a murder instead? He just stood, and waited.

"Oh, no." she mumbled incoherently, she then finally looked up and raised her voice with an underlying sense of condescendence , "What did you do?!"

"I wanted to talk to you about this but there was no right time, and today after the last of her family died, I had to do this before they discharged her, I couldn't let her go to the system, you have to understand," Owen defended through a plea

Amelia laughed humorlessly and then she scoffed, "Oh so now I'm right about the system?"

"Amelia, I look at her, and I look at us with her, you and I and Dani, and I can't imagine her with any other family, she's ours, can't you see? This could be our family," he tried again desperately

Amelia, however, was not giving in, saying she was apoplectic would be an understatement of how mad she was with him, "Right, so this was supposed to be what a two months anniversary gift of some sort? Were you going to hide her in a box and wrap my eyes, and surprise! How was that supposed to work out? I'm guessing you'd apply as a single father, maybe explain to the social worker about how the booty calls for the last two months weren't going to be a problem."

"Two months? You and I both know this is more, and it has been way more than two people who started dating two months ago, we've wasted a whole year, and I wasted 5 years before that, I'm done wasting my time!" He hadn't meant for it to sound like it did. He hated himself after seeing the frowning heartbroken look on her face after he said it, he wanted to take all her pain away, not cause her to be in any at all.

"So you moving to God knows what sort of warzone was your deceleration of love for me and I just carelessly wasted your time? Glad to know this is how much you care, I apologize about your precious time," she snapped. She chew on the inside of her cheek, hoping the physical annoyance would help distract from the mess she found herself in. She grabbed her purse and just tried to walk past him and simply storm out before any of them hurt each other any further.

Owen wasn't ready to give up just yet, he body blocked her from the door, and firmly yet gently held her by the shoulders. "Ok, stop, that is not what I meant. C'mon Amelia, you of all people should understand what it's like to lose your family at such a young age."

He thought it was smart, persuasive, but to Amelia, it was pure shocking, "You are NOT going to guilt me into having this kid!" She snatched he shoulder away from him, "Now get out of my way!" She said as she pushed forcefully to reach the door, where she said without stopping or turning around, "Actually, this makes it easier, I don't have to explain any relationship when I'm the next chief of surgery."

She wanted to get drunk. Maybe high. She wanted to forget. To stop thinking about him. To get wasted and have an easy one night stand with hot guys. All these cravings reminded her right where it got her when she complied to them, and it made her want to forget even more, it was a torturing endless cycle. She didn't know where to go, going back to that big haunting house was not an option, the last thing she needed was to watch Owen sadly walk in and end up sleeping on the couch, because there was no way she could even bare being near him right now. It was too late to go to Meredith, and she wasn't exactly as close to anyone here as she was with Addison or Charlotte back in LA. She tried crashing in an on call room but she couldn't sleep. She got up and decided to busy herself with anything she found in her way. After a while of wandering aimlessly around the hospital halls, she found herself in front of the newborns' NICU. She hadn't noticed the warm tears striding down her face, ruining her mascara.

"Are you okay?" A familiar friendly voice came asking from beside her

Amelia wiped her tears hastingly, and forced a fake smile at the sweet redhead, "Uh, yeah, I just, I'm fine." She nodded unconvincingly, trying to tell herself maybe if she said she was fine enough times she'd eventually be

April didn't push, she had no idea what would make Amelia cry while looking at a baby, so she simply approached the window and looked at the babies beside her. "I used to come here every day after Samuel died. I don't know why, maybe I thought it'd be a comfort that other babies are surviving even though mine didn't."

"It wasn't easy, you'll try to convince yourself that you're done, you don't want any more kids, but you come here, and you can't stop thinking about what your own baby would be doing if he was here now." Amelia replied helplessly full of melancholy, without looking away at from the window

April held the sob stuck in her throat and swallowed it hard, fighting the tears, dumbfounded at how accurately Amelia described what she was going through, "He would have been 1, taking his first steps," She couldn't help the break in her voice, and took in a deep shaking breath

"Mine would have been 4." The two women finally looked at each other, silently sharing a new but strong bond, it was a relief that someone understood, "at least you have Jackson, he's a good guy." This time it was Amelia's voice thickening, and she had to sigh heavily, and blink quickly multiple of times.

"He's perfect," April shook her head remorsefully, giving up against the tears, "and I was so ignorant and selfish, I wanted to find myself again after all of it instead of staying here beside him. This time I'm trying to do the right thing, maybe I don't need to go to war again, maybe being Chief here will be the thing I need to do."

"Wow, I'm sorry, I didn't realize.." Amelia didn't know how to comfort in such a situation, "Well, I'm sorry for being your competition, I can't promise I won't be brilliant." She tried to make light of the situation instead

April chuckled through the tears, "Wait, what?"

"Yeah, Owen adopted one of my patients and I'm pretty sure we just broke up and I'm running for chief now, so good life!" Amelia said like it was a hysterical joke, and started giggling sheepishly

"He's always wanted kids," April jested, joining the unexplainable giggling

The fell into frenzied roaring laughter for a few minutes until their stomachs hurt and they started remembering why they were laughing, and in a second, it wasn't so funny anymore. Their little manic session died down gradually, and the two women just stood there, looking at each other with sympathy.

"Hey, you should come over sometime, maybe we could put on fashion shows and make fun of the models?" April broke the silence

"Yeah, we could even dance it out," Amelia smirked

"What?" April smiled and raised an eyebrow curiously. Unfortunately her pager buzzed calling her to the ER before Amelia could try explaining

"Don't worry about it, we'll catch up later," Amelia excused her new friend as she nodded and jogged away. She took one last peek at the NICU before walking away, calculating that she may have around another hour or two to sleep before her new shift started.


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