It's later now/ Distance

Chapter 14

An atypical long lost notion recurred to Owen. The vents. He suddenly sensed a peculiar urge to go there. He tried to think back to the last time he was there.. who was he kidding, he knew exactly when was the last time he stood there; it was right before things started with Amelia, right before he noticed the gift that was sent right in his hands and he was oblivious to. For a long moment, he felt guilt sink in him. He was remorseful he had wasted time not caring to notice the woman, who he was now certain was the love of his life, when she was right in front of him, how could he have wasted days he could have been happy with her? But that was not where the guilt came from. For the first time in a long time, he missed Cristina. The guilt was partially because he felt like he was cheating on Amelia (although technically, nothing tied him to her), and the latter reason was because he realized he hasn't remembered his ex-wife in so long, she helped him through the hardest part of his readjustment, and he didn't miss her anymore. All this confusion was what probably caused the unexplainable unforeseen need of going to the vents.

The first thing that nicked his focus was the sound of loud shallow breaths that was in rhythm with the tumultuous noise of the vents. He unfortunately knew who that voice belonged to too well, yet he walked in further just to see for himself, Amelia Shepherd, curled up against the wall, eyes wide and blank.

"What the hell happened?" she roared as she entered the room, Edwards was already performing CPR and DeLuca followed her in with a crash cart.

"Sudden cardiac arrest, is this because of the tumor?"

"Charge to 260," Amelia barked as she rubbed the paddles and ignored Edwards reasoning, "Clear!" the body jerked up lifelessly and the women flat lined again. "Charge to 300," she ordered, "C'mon Kerry, don't die on me," she muttered under her breath as she watched the monitor anxiously after the second shock.

"Sinus rhythm," the intern stated the obvious as the screens beeped normally again.

Amelia stood their sternly, looking at the unconscious body. She took out her penlight from her coat pocket and shone it on the woman's eyes. "She's brain dead, prepare the family." She said solemnly then walked out the room and her resident followed suit.

"Dr. Shepherd, I had some questions, did the acoustic neuroma cause this?" Stephanie hadn't realized that this was the worse time to approach her superior.

"No, Dr Edwards," Amelia snapped, dejected and unimpressed, "she was 59 and prone to blood clots, she had a heart attack which caused cerebral hypoxia, with the tumor, the brain didn't last without oxygen. You're supposed to be my fellow by next year, now I'm seriously reconsidering that."

"I'm sorry, if there's anything I could do-"

"No, there isn't. She's dead, she's gone, so you can go check if she's an organ donor, maybe save the next life and not screw it up." Her burst was uncalled for, she knew it, but it was too many things put on her plate and needed to be handled in one day. After the resident walked away half-running, Amelia realized Owen was standing behind her watching the whole thing. She rolled her eyes, remembering his disheartening proclamation of love. She turned away as he came over.

"That was a little harsh, don't you think?" his approach to her felt compulsive, he had little to no self control when it came to her

"She can take it." she couldn't get herself to look at him, not after what he said, not without falling apart, and she needed to keep it together today.

"Amelia, are-"

He was cut off by her looking anywhere but him and snapping indifferently as she ran away from him – both figuratively and literally, "I'm fine, Dr. Hunt."

"16 year old female, GSW to the chest and both legs, she twice on the way," the paramedic presented the incoming trauma

"Page Pierce and Torres," Owen ordered as he strolled the girl in.

She had to go straight to the OR, the shots on both knees were through and through but the bullet was still in the poor kid's heart. Owen and Maggie worked on the heart as Callie tried to salvage function with Jo.

"Our work here is almost done, how are you doing Dr Torres?" Maggie asked

"The patella is completely shattered, there's nothing much we can do," Callie shared as she cleaned the wound internally

"What about a knee replacement?" Owen tried

"The damage to the tibia and femur is too extensive, it won't work," disempowerment was clear in her voice, "I'll have to close her and wait for her parents to get consent for an amputation."

At the scrub sinks, Owen washed forcibly, he almost hurt himself.

Callie scowled at him when she noticed, "I never thought you'd be the passive aggressive guy."

"It's just.. how can someone walk in and shoot a girl for not going out with him? You don't hurt the people that you love, who does that?"

She nodded in compassion before replying calmly, "Someone sick, someone who needs to be punished for their actions, someone who thinks they could get away with anything."

"Well they shouldn't, no one should be able to get away with something like this, ever." He was reflecting his own fears of his new parenthood

"Owen, do you need a moment? Do you want me to take Sophia tonight?" Callie offered thoughtfully, she read his clear face expression and guessed correctly what this was about

"No, I need to be with her tonight, but thank you." He answered sincerely

She screwed it up. Of course she did, I can't do anything right, she reprimanded herself. She wondered where to go next. It felt too much to go to the house right now, she couldn't read Bailey a bed time story or play princess with Zola in this state. She couldn't go to a bar either, although it seemed like the only escape at the moment.

Kepner came out of the conference room elated, the biggest grin on her face. Amelia smiled softly at her, it was like her happiness was infectious, it was nice to see someone else who has been sad for a long while be content, it gave her hope.

April noticed that Amelia was still sitting there, outside the room, she was suddenly hit by how her new position meant her new friend lost something she wanted too. She looked at her with gentle compassion, grateful for the barely detectable smile on her face.

"Congratulations Kepner," Amelia tried her best to sound excited for her colleague

"I'm sorry, you really wanted this job.." April bit her lip, unable to balance her feelings between her personal feelings for wanting to help Amelia and being enthusiastic about her promotion

"No, you deserved it," the neurosurgeon told her profoundly, "I don't think it was even the chief position that I wanted so badly, I mostly just wanted something to be good among all this chaos, I need something good."

April had no idea what to say, she wanted to be there for her, but she didn't know Amelia long enough to know what to do, "I know how you feel," she started, "Do you want to go to the NICU?"

The suggestion sent a chuckle out of Amelia's mouth, the last thing she needed was to be reminded of how much she craved motherhood, or mothering one particular child at least. "No, I'm fine," it seemed like she was constantly saying these words that they would eventually become meaningless, "You should go celebrate."

"Wh- what are you doing here?" Owen himself was puzzled about his emotions, but the feeling that dominated them all was resentment. She didn't have the right to come here, this his place with Cristina, he hadn't shown it to anyone else, and he didn't plan to.

"Is there any place where you aren't there?" When she looked up, it was surprising to both of them that she wasn't crying. She only knew, however, that she wanted to cry, but it seemed like her tear ducts just wouldn't comply, she couldn't react in any way, it was like her bottled up emotions were drained and dried out. "I came here to vent," she chortled somberly at her own play on words

"How did you even find this place?" Amelia's hiding troubled him, but exasperation still overshadowed everything else.

"You know what, screw you! I don't have to tell you anything!" She yelled at him as she stood up, "You tell me that you love me and you're so sure I love you back, well that doesn't mean anything anymore because I let you in, I freaking let you hold me after my nightmares, I told you everything, and you gave me nothing! I don't even know you! It doesn't even matter that I wanted to adopt Dania too, because you're too freaking selfish!" she pushed his chest with her open palms and gave him a scornful leer

Owen felt suddenly overwhelmed by all the pent up feelings he was hiding behind the anger, like he was being punched again and again and the fists won't tire. He silently held her benevolently and watched her perturbed face as he led her over to stand directly over one of the vents. He then let her go and backed away.

"What are you doing?" her question was muffled by the unexpected forceful appeasing rush of air from underneath, causing her coat and hair to fly upwards, and her to instinctively close her eyes and clear her mind.

When the air stopped and she opened her eyes, she found her hands reflexively resting on Owen's arms. She glanced up to find him leaning in slowly and meticulously. She didn't object when his lips took hers in. He kissed her with yearning passion, and it felt like the butterflies in their stomachs took them back to their first kiss again, the memory was so vivid in their minds, it was a moment of heaven on earth, letting them go back to before things got so complicated.


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