It's later now/ Distance

Chapter 16

It was the toughest freaking surgery ever. Not already was the original plan the most complicated technique used, but to add to that, everything that could have went wrong, did. They faced several complications, at one point, it seemed like it wasn't going to work, like they put the girl through an unnecessary operation. Thankfully enough, it did work, they kept their calm and continued fixing everything one step at a time, and eventually, the teenager would be able to walk again, maybe even run and play sports in the long run.

After the exhausting long surgery, Owen and Callie sat in the empty OR and reveled their success. "That was almost better than sex," Callie quipped grinning, feeling more empowered than ever.

I gave Owen a fresh genuine chuckle, "That was.. sensational."

"Sensational? It was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"

He laughed tiredly as he retorted, "You and Arizona are that bad?"

Snapped back into reality, the toothy grin turned into a smaller smile, "I don't know where we are, it's all just aghhh."

"Yeah, I know how that feels." He sighed, holding on to the glimpse of hope Amelia gave him earlier

"Do you sometimes wish you could just be pretend happy for a moment?" the ortho surgeon pouted.

"Pretend happy?" he grimaced

"Yeah, like just for once, forget that you wanna strangle them and just.. have pretend sex, pretend kiss, pretend happy." Callie pondered out loud

"I like that, pretend kiss, pretend happy," he shared, unsure.

She looked at him, and they were both thinking the same –horrible, later to be regretted- thought. If they could for a second, just pretend, to be happy, to be kissing and with the person they love. They leaned in slowly, hesitantly, guilt already building up. After 3 seconds of their lips touching, they both pulled away at the speed of light. They bashfully shared a short glance before falling into laughter.

"Oh, let's never do that again?" Owen asked timidly amidst of the giggles

"Yes please, I thought it'd be like mark, but that was like kissing my brother," Callie admitted as the chortling died down and was quickly replaced by deep remorse and yearning.

"Oh god, I miss Amelia," he looked at the ground, ashamed.

"Then you better go after her and explain this," Callie said in a hollow whisper as she nudged her friend. His eyes shot up to catch her familiar figure, with a bottle of wine –actual fancy wine- run out of the scrub area.

He sprung up and immediately began running after her, but he didn't come close until she was outside the main entrance. He shouted her name over and over again as she kept her back to him. It wasn't until he yelled that he could explain that Amelia finally turned around and stomped her way back to him, placing the bottle of wine in his hands indignantly.

"I just thought of the times I relapsed or almost did, this isn't as big of a moment to me," she wanted to hurt him, to make him feel like she didn't care, but the fact that she was so obviously vexed gave it away.

"It's not what it looks like-" he tried to defend himself but Amelia was in no state for excuses or lies or feeble explanations, she was already walking away again.

"Save it. We're not even together, you don't owe me anything. Enjoy the wine." He watched as she got in her car and hated himself for hurting her. He looked at the fancy bottle of wine placed in his hands and almost cried.

..

Realizing she actually did get close to a relapse, she immediately went for a meeting, She remembered how he once saved her from drifting back to the tenebrous hole, he was now the reason she wanted to crawl to that hole and hide. By the end of the night, ultimately, she was proud of her reaction. She couldn't really sleep all that well, and the sudden call in the middle of the night didn't help. It was a cab driver telling her that the drunk man with him said to call her for his home address, and then she heard a distinct voice calling from behind "I love you Mia!". Helpless and lost as to what else to do, she lead the taxi to the house and received a drunken Owen at the door. His breath reeked of repulsive alcohol, and she didn't appreciate the irony of her other half getting wasted instead of her.

"Did you drink the whole wine bottle?" she scolded him as she helped him get to her room and warned him to be quiet

"First there was the wine.. good wine.. and then there was.." he held his fingers up and squinted as if counting, "a few glasses of scotch." Then he started hysteric hissing laugh while Amelia settled him on her bed and shushed him, "you know what's funny?" he asked in the most serious way a drunken person could and Amelia just signed and eyed him cynically, "I didn't tell you about me because I was scared you'd realize you were too good for me and leave me, and instead you left me because you didn't know me," he gawked at her glimpse of empathy and understanding, "I was thinking about you when I kissed her," he laughed so hard there was no sound actually coming out, "it's horrible actually, oh and worst kiss of my life, shh don't tell Callie that." She laid him down and took off his stinking shirt and said nothing as she listened to the maudlin truth. She watched his silent laughter turn into little sobs and his desperate eyes turn to her thoughtfully. "Don't leave me, Mia, please." He tried to sit up and hold her face, he scooted closer and begged, "I will die alone and miserable, I need you, please, I'll do anything." He locked his lips with hers abruptly and slid his tongue in. After a second of weakness, she pulled away quickly, not allowing herself to taste the alcohol she craved. She studied his honest face and pitied herself for believing him and wanting to comply and answer his plea. Though she couldn't manage to say anything, she allowed him to cry on her shoulder and fade away slowly.

..

He woke to find himself in a bed other than his, and freaked about the muddling memories of the previous night returning to him. He noticed the lack of clothes and was petrified of what might have happened that he was too drunk to remember. He looked around to recognize the room as Amelia's, and then dared to look at the door to see Amelia observe his every move. "Good morning," she said, worryingly calm and with a sly smirk on her face.

"Morning," he was still doubtful of what has happened, "Um.. did I.. did we.." he stumbled on his words for not finding a way to ask her why he was naked in her bed.

"Oh yeah, we were doing it but you kept repeating your ex's name and then passed out in the middle," she stated casually and was amused by the panicked expression on his face, "No, that didn't happen, but it'll come back to you," she elaborated, just in case he didn't get her sarcasm.

He felt humiliated, what had he done so that the night he kissed Callie, he ended up in Amelia's bed? After he cleaned up and put some clothes on, he went down stairs to find Amelia in the kitchen, she offered him coffee and was still confusingly polite. The first thing that worried him was his daughter and where she was in the middle of all this mess. Amelia reassured him and told him that Meredith took all the kids to daycare earlier, and that no, she didn't see him in the room. He quietly accepted the peculiar kindness and was mesmerized by her.

"I've been thinking," she broke the comfortable silence as she sipped the last of her coffee, "we have major communication issues," he nodded, still confused about where this was going, "but we don't have to avoid each other, we could be.. friends." She suggested it like it was an epiphany, the only logical solution.

"We could be," he said after a moment, he was thrilled to accept any sort of presence for Amelia in his life right now. Also not being able to say no to anything she says after this morning. Plus, she hadn't mentioned what sort of friends they'd be, and he still had hope.


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