It's later now/ Distance

Chapter 17

Sometimes in life, when things get messy, you need to step back and take a look at the bigger picture. Of course, talking is easy, but when you're in the middle of the picture, it isn't so simple to step out of it. Some people are lucky enough to have someone to let them in on what they're seeing when they're 'out of it', but quite often, we don't listen, because what do they know? They're not the ones going through it. This is where you have a choice, to do what you believe is working, or to listen to the guiding voice from the outside.

They both fell back on their backs panting and sweating from the finally released pent up sexual tension. How could they have ever thought that they would manage being in a room alone and keep their hands off each other? They tried, really did (well at least Amelia tried) to keep it platonic, but that barely lasted for a day. After they decided to be friends, they also agreed they'd create the most possible normal environment for Dania, after all how bad could it be right? There are divorced parents who handled it perfectly, why wouldn't they –as friends- handle one little girl. Therefore, they tucked her in to sleep together, and she was on cloud nine, thrilled to have both of her new loving parents next to her. When they moved to the living room, Amelia wanted to say goodbye, the appropriate thing was to just leave, but the easier thing to do was to offer a friendlier goodbye. The palm she offered for a handshake made them both giggle, it was silly to be so formal now, so Owen had pulled her hand and turned it to a hug, friends can hug right? The missed sensation of their bodies so close to each other almost made him want to scream his lungs out. Amelia breathed in with difficulty and felt it natural to plant a small peck on the cheek as she pulled away from the hug. Again, totally platonic. The next move however, was not brotherly at all. He let his hand go lower down her back. There was no stopping after that, self control was something lost with the wind. Next thing they knew, they were on the bed, slick and giddy.

"Wow," was all she could manage, staring at the ceiling, still processing what happened and trying to catch her breath.

"Yeah," he chuckled in vain and return of appreciation to her as well.

After a few minutes of stolen glances and satisfied grins and giggles, they both caught their breathes, and it all started to sink in. Amelia rolled herself so she could face him better and was full of guilt as she carefully started, "Owen.."

"hmm?" he looked at her paying more attention

She started moving her fingers mindlessly, drawing random shapes on his bare chest, "are you okay with this?" she rested her hand after she asked, signaling seriousness.

"What do you mean?" a confused crease between his eyebrows formed

"with us, with this, friends.. I mean, I still don't think we can have a relationship, last time it blew up and nothing has changed," noticing the dismay appearing on his face, she felt a knife stab her heart, it was her fault for not having a little restraint, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have.." she trailed off

"No, no, it's okay," he corrected as quick as it soaked in, and he faked a happy face, "I get it, and I'm fine with it"

"Really?" she was extremely dubious

"Yeah, I'm not a little kid, we're still friends… just friends who sometimes help each other out with certain needs. I'm fine. This is great." His excited expression was too hard to believe, but despite it, Amelia wanted to believe it, so she told herself that he's an adult and he could handle it if he says he can.

"Thank you," the grin returned to her face, she gave him a quick but passionate kiss, and she started to get up. He pulled her back immediately and sadly inquired where she was going, when she said she wanted to go home to sleep, he instantly offered her to sleep over, after all, she always wore his shirts and they would save gas going to the hospital together. She let herself forget about Meredith, and agreed to sleep in, after all, she really was too tired to drive.

They were friends. Good friends. Best friends. Sexual favors friends. It wasn't much different than when they were together, only better. Because friends tell each other everything. Owen was frustrated a few times when he was about to cross his line and do something 'romantic', but he enjoyed 'casual' nights in just as much, sharing OR stories with Amelia, watching her laugh, and when things got hard and a case or a movie scene reminded him of the war, it was easier to be vulnerable with her. They grew more accepting of each other and they memorized everything about one another, hated foods, favorite types of coffee, and the best part of it all was they got to be a family to Dania, to make her smile and laugh and watch her play with other kids together without it being awkward

..

"Hey, Owen," she ran up to him in the hall, "there's an emergency," she said in a mixture of thrill and nervousness

"what now? I can't," he looked at his watch, "you know what, ok, I have 15 minutes," he started towards an on call room. They had their encounters at work restricted, wanting to let everyone who told them what they were doing was stupid over and over again to forget about them, plus, it wasn't easy for two busy doctors to disappear together without being interrupted anyway. But sometimes a day got too hard, and they just needed it, so they called them emergencies and slid to a quiet on call room.

"No it isn't that," she pulled his arm and smiled sheepishly, "we kind of have to stop that."

"Uhh..why?" he narrowed his eyes, this was all her idea

"Someone asked me out. A guy. Greg from oncology. He's nice. I mean, he doesn't shave often, but he's a good guy right?," she shifted gracelessly, "Anyway, I said yes. I just wanted a friend's input."

"You wanted my opinion?" he was not only surprised but also annoyed at the sudden change

"Um.. yeah, yes, you're my friend, my best friend," she punched his shoulder attempting to clear the uneasiness, "I value what you think."

"Well you already said yes, so good luck," he nodded formally, "Excuse me I've got work." He walked away as quickly as he could, leaving Amelia dumbfounded by his reaction.

They didn't talk or see each other until later that afternoon, she made up a lame excuse about not being able to pick Dania up to talk to him, figure out what his earlier attitude was about. He simply brushed her off and told her he'd handle it. She continued to walk beside him and was further puzzled when he grabbed her arm firmly.

"What's your mum doing here?" he asked under his breath as he slowed their pace down and forced a smile.

She turned ahead to see two older women walk out of the elevator and faked her best grin too, "Why is yours here?" she said through gritted teeth

"I don't know," he nodded as the continued their snail speed walk toward the mothers, "Mia.. I haven't told her we broke up." He admitted

She almost lost her smile as she quickly gave him a reprehending glare, and then she remembered and confessed, "Mine thinks we went on a couple of dates and doesn't know about Dani."

The mums and their kids met halfway in the hall when there was no other way of escape or avoidance. Evelyn hugged her son and Carolyn gave her baby girl a condescending cheek kiss and she feigned obedience. Owen greeted Amelia's mum and the daughter was surprised to find out they have met before. Owen's mum also gave Amelia a warm hug, assuming she was her son's serious girlfriend. Evelyn said she wanted to see her granddaughter and Carolyn merely told Amelia there was a lot to catch up on. Both younger adults excused themselves by saying they had surgery and they couldn't just drop everything. Both mums acted very understanding, Carolyn being a former navy nurse and Evelyn have served in the Vietnam War, they agreed to wait together and talk while they waited for their kids. The idea was dreadful to Owen and Amelia, so they quickly each took their parent and offered to walk with them a bit before they had to absolutely go into surgery.

..

"Why didn't Amelia and her mum join us?" Evelyn asked her son as he rapidly walked her as far away as possible

"Umm, let's give them some privacy for now," he made up the lamest excuse, "what are you doing here now?"

"Well I wanted to see my granddaughter! And say hello to my future daughter in law," she teased Owen

"Mum, I'll get you Dania, but um, about Amelia.." he trailed off, having no idea how to explain what happened

Evelyn shushed him as they entered his office and he offered her some coffee, obeying his mum's orders to stop talking. She studied him cautiously while he shifted uncomfortably in his chair, sipping on his coffee to distract himself from the heavy silence. She silently took out a small black velvet box out of her purse and gave it to him. He took it, perplexed, and glanced at his mum before opening it to reveal a beautiful platinum ring with a big blue sapphire attached to it. His opened his mouth to say something but he was incapable of forming proper words. "Your dad gave it to me, it was from his mum, when everything was falling apart, this was the only thing they didn't sell. It's time you gave it to Amelia," she prompted.

"Mum, I.." he started wanting to tell her they weren't together, but an obvious question came to mind instead, "You didn't give this to me for Cristina." It was more of a simple observation rather than a question, but a clarification was in order.

"Honey I didn't know you were married to her until a week later, you told me she didn't want moms at her wedding. I barely knew her, but Amelia, you cannot shut up about that girl. Don't get me wrong, I was happy if Cristina made you happy, she got you back to me and I'll be forever grateful, but that's over now, and Amelia is perfect, she's warm and kind, the way you're beaming when you're next to her! It's long overdue if you asked me," she elaborated

Owen teared up slightly and sniffled, then shook it off and grimly told his mum about their break up, "You're right, but she's not with me anymore, I.. I hurt her, she forgave me, I think, but she's going out on a date with someone else tonight so.." he stopped and pursed his lips, stifling a cry.

"Oh that's nonsense!" Evelyn dismissed him, "Owen Hunt you go make it right with that girl, she's the mother of your child!" she scolded, "now get me my grandkid!" As if on cue, Amelia knocked the door and came in with Dani, Owen hurried to hide the little box in his coat pocket as the grandma showered the little girl with kisses and hugs. Amelia looked at Owen and he silently communicated that it was okay when his mother urged her to stay with them.

"Now that's a fine gentleman," Carolyn sneaked a look at Owen as he walked away, "tell me you're still dating him."

"Mum, what are you doing here?" Amelia asked as lovingly as she could manage

"I wouldn't have to come if you picked the phone instead of sending silly texts," the mother criticized, "now, my baby has never stayed single for as long as you claim, so spill it out"

"You never like anyone I date so what's the point?" she retorted

"I like Major Hunt," she replied immediately

"That's not.. We're not.." Amelia stuttered

"C'mon Amy, fess up."

"Well, one thing I have to confess is.. you're a grandma now!" Amelia blurted it out, rip off the bandage, she told herself. Unfortunately, it was harder than that.

"Yes dear, I have 14 grandkids, I'm aware I'm a grandma, I don't appreciate you pointing out my age," Carolyn retorted, it was clear where Amelia got her sense of mockery

"Mum.. I.. sort of have a daughter, she's 4, a ray of sunshine," she clarified as she led them to daycare. Noticing the sudden halt and angry expression on her mum's face, Amelia knew she had to do better, she sighed and struggled to explain, "Major Hunt- Owen.. he adopted her, and we're co-parenting, but we're only friends, in fact I'm going out with someone new tonight."

Amelia earned herself a patronizing hit on the head from her mother, she was as embarrassed as she was when she was 16 and was caught sneaking out at night. "Young lady, we're going to need to have a long talk about your poor decisions. Right now, show me my newest granddaughter." As visiting time at daycare was over, Carolyn was ready to give her daughter a long painful lecture about having to get her head out of her ass. Amelia however, found the perfect reason to dodge the situation and told her Evelyn had a right to see her grandkid as well, promising she won't take long.

Gratefully, both doctors got paged for an emergency and had to flee their mothers and meet in surgery, where they both shared the exhausting conversations they had to have, both however, leaving out sensitive parts. Conveniently enough, each one of them loved the other's mother.

Amelia got off her shift early so she could get ready and go out on her date. Owen, accepting any diversion of thought than the image of Greg's hairy hands all over Amelia, took an extra night shift. Luckily for him, an ambulance called only a few minutes after she left and his shift started. He waited outside the ambulance bay, amped up, with Edwards

"30 something, Jane Doe, GSW to the shoulder bleeding profusely," the paramedic informed as she opened the back door.

"It's not Jane Doe, It's Dr Amelia Shepherd!" Greg yelled while pushing the gurney out.


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