It's later now/ Distance

Chapter 18

"What the hell happened?!" Owen asked in rage and worry

"I was being safely mugged until Greg came," Amelia was conscious and disapproving of how everyone was handling her wound

" I yelled at him to back off, I guess he was scared, he fired the gun and ran away," Greg explained, drowning in his sweat

"I'm fine!" she winced as she tried to sit up and still denied her pain, both men made sure she lied back down. The gun shot was through and through, not hitting any major arteries, she was lucky, some would say.

As they neared a trauma room , several doctors were already all around the wounded neurosurgeon, she hated the attention, this kind of attention anyway, she wasn't okay with everyone seeing her hurt. Owen was stopped at the door by Callie and told he couldn't enter. "What do you mean, she was shot, get out of my way!"

"You signed a document so you wouldn't have to deal with the non-fraternization policy, you can't go in there Hunt, I'm sorry," Callie told him as a professional board member

" C'mon you know we broke up, this doesn't apply!" he defended feebly

"Oh yeah, I know all about you two, that's why you can't be her doctor," she scoffed.

Owen was feeling defeated and helpless as he watched his fellow surgeon enter the room and shut the blinds.

..

After shooting her up with antibiotics to prevent infections, they let her know that she was lucky as the bullet didn't hit any major arteries or any bone. She was prescribed rest to let the muscle heal, and had to deal with the excruciating pain without any help, she knew she needed to get to a meeting the second she left the room.

Uncomfortable stillness raided the room, and the air was filled with harsh unspoken words between the previously close friends. It was Amelia who broke the silence with a quiet question while Callie finished up cleaning the injury, "Do you love him?"

The skilled doctor's gaze shot up quickly to meet her patient's, she raised her eyes and examined Amelia carefully, but still couldn't figure out what was asked, "I'm sorry, I'm a little lost here.. we're talking about..?" she left the sentence open for Amelia to complete

She hoped this would sound like a simple casual conversation between two girlfriends about their crushes, but the way she asked and the way Callie was slow to understand only increased the heaviness of the atmosphere, after a moment of silence and hesitation, she sighed and answered, "Owen."

As soon as she heard the name, Callie chuckled involuntarily. She gathered herself and noticed that Amelia's expression was still serious and expectant, she couldn't help but laugh harder, "I'm sorry, you think that Owen and I are..?" she stopped to stifle another wave of giggles

"Why not? We're friends and dating other people, you guys should too," Amelia smirked and lied

"Cut the crap, Shepherd, Who, Greg? Please, you can lie to the nurses but don't tell me you're into an oncologist, save yourself the trouble." Now she was straight out mad. Watching Amelia pout and look away, she remembered, " Oh god is this about the kiss? I thought he explained that to you, it was horrible. Even if I did love him, even if every woman was all over him, it wouldn't matter because he loves you, you know that right?"

She did. She knew it, but she was an idiot for not being able to admit it out loud. She cleared her throat and nodded. "Okay," she smiled genuinely, "Thank you," she didn't know what she was thankful for, but it felt like the right thing to say.

..

After some time, Owen returned to the room to visit as family, the contract had given him that privilege. He was internally grateful that Callie didn't let him enter at the time, guessing that he would have probably been agitated and annoying and cross a line trying to boss people around about how to treat her. He had time to calm himself down, he was still worried, but found comfort in how Amelia was conscious. He was later relieved in the update that it was nothing life threatening.

"Hey," he greeted like he was just talking to her at the nurse's station, she appreciated calmness in situations like this, "How are you doing?"

"Hi," she beamed as soon as he came in the room, a million puns about being shot, but she surprisingly suppressed them down and simply replied, "I'm not going to be able to operate for a few weeks, that sucks, but I'm fine."

Owen sat down and held her arm to offer support. "Where's Greg?" He didn't really care about him in particular and was uncomfortable thinking about him, but the question felt obligatory.

"He went to get some water, I think his sweat glands dried up," Amelia mocked her own date

"Marry me," the whisper shocked Owen himself as he heard what came out of his mouth. He saw Amelia mirroring his own expression with unbelieving widened eyes and parted lips. He shook his head and secretly pinched himself, quickly realizing this wasn't a dream, he continued, "I- I love you. I love that little vein that sticks out the side of your forehead when you're mad or concentrating. I love how you're staring at me right now wishing I'd just shut up. I love your morbid sense of humor. I imagined I'd ask you in a more special way, or something.. not a cliché because you hate that, but you got shot, and life is too short, and I love you," his smooth improvised speech left Amelia even more speechless and jaw dropped. He remembered the ring given to him earlier and clumsily opened the box in front of her.

In the worst moment possible, Greg walked in and interrupted, "Hey, I brought two bottles of water, one for you and one for me, because we're two, obviously," he was charmless, completely the opposite of the hot trauma surgeon. "Dude, I thought she was okay, is there something else you're here for?" the poor guy seemed to be one of the few people left who haven't heard about Owen and Amelia's history.

Amelia realized her hand was now instinctively covering Owen's and hiding the box and the alluring ring in it. She moved her eyes between her innocent cringe worthy date and the dreamy man who happened to be the love of her life. Owen glanced down at her hand covering his and faked a cough. "No, she's alright.." he stood up and turned around just before he left the room, "Let me know," he said shortly with a hoarse voice.

Joy filled her heart, most people would love having a week off, but Amelia Shepherd was dying to get back to work. She still wasn't cleared for surgery and told to only offer consults, but she figured she'd maneuver her way around that judgment. She waited for the elevator eagerly, like a little kid on Christmas morning, waiting for the first case like waiting to open up the gifts.

"Hey!" she greeted Owen enthusiastically as he stood nearby and awaited the elevator. He said nothing and pressed the button repeatedly like it was going to make it come faster. "I already pressed that." Amelia half smirked

"You're not supposed to be working, " he scoffed dryly, keeping his eyes fixed on the elevator light and avoiding eye contact at all costs

"I'm just here for consults, but I'm sure we'll figure something out with you being the ex-chief and all," she flirted.

He sighed, not caring to mask his exasperation, "I'm taking the stairs," he said under his breath as he walked away leaving Amelia guilty and unnerved.

Later in the day, Owen had to page neuro for a consult, hoping it'd be anyone but Amelia. Predictably, she was the one with the most free time so he was stuck with her. There was an 8 year old boy who was injured while hockey training and required immediate surgery for his spleen. However, they had to make sure he was clear of any head injuries as well. When the scans came back, they revealed an arachnoid cysts. The doctors delivered the news to the distraught mother and her boyfriend. She seemed young, no older than 25. They watched as they fought over the options.

"So we leave it, it might resolve on its own, right? Better than slicing open her brain," The mum shared her thoughts out loud

"The surgery on her spleen might cause the pressure in her brain to increase, all brain surgeries have risks, but Dr Edwards is very well trained and Dr Shepherd is the best, she'll be watching the surgery step by step," Owen reassured both young adults

Seeing the mum is completely lost, the man tried to comfort her, "Lily, trust your gut, it's probably better to wait for it to resolve like you said."

"Shut up George! We're talking about my son here, you can't decide this, you have no relation to him!" the aggravated mum scolded in a watery voice, "You're the doctors, I trust you, do what you need to do."

The surgeons nodded and ran to prep for surgery. Amelia tried to strike up friendly small talk while they scrubbed, but Owen ignored her like a ghost. It seemed fair to him when he thought about her ignoring his calls and not giving him an answer and then acting like nothing happened. He was hurt and humiliated.

Amelia's phone rang in the middle of the operation, so she told the nurse to answer and put it on speaker for her, an irritating voice spoke, "Hey bae! It's Gregory." Amelia immediately told the nurse to hang up in a hushed embarrassed voice. Owen chuckled under his mask, "Dr Hunt?" she urged him to speak up

"No, nothing, but you're still seeing Greg?" he chaffed, "I get it, he's such a bae."

"I am not, I don't know why he called. It's brave that he didn't run away after he saw the mess I bring about though," she replied, feeling at fault

A second later, the monitors started beeping turbulently, "Everything is in order here, what have you done Dr Shepherd?" Owen yelled

"Give us a second!" Amelia shouted back and continued to guide her student through the next steps.

"Don't screw this up Edwards!" he added angrily

"Shut up and let her concentrate!" Amelia barked. A little later, the complication was resolved and the monitors returned to the steady assuring sounds and everyone sighed in relief.

After the surgery, Edwards couldn't wait to get out of the tensed environment and run to the bathroom to puke. Amelia and Owen left alone again in the scrub area, she decided to give him a piece of her mind, "You realize that was reportable sexual harassment right? Yes, I was a bitch who didn't answer you, but at work I'm not your soldier and you're not even my superior, so stop with the immature silent treatment! At least look at me!" Owen stopped his rough scrubbing and glared at her. She reflexively bowed her head down, knowing she was blame worthy. Her voice softened, "I'm sorry that I hurt you, but I need some time. I miss my friend, Owen."

He shook his head dismissively before returning to washing his hands, "I miss my Amelia too," she heard his voice muffled by the sound of the running water

"I want shared custody of Dania," Her words deserved his full attention, "Right now I'm even less than that equally worried boyfriend right there, I don't have any legal rights of her. I know you're mad at me, but you once told me I was her mother, so I want to be her mother on paper too."

He pursed his lips and slowly processed her vital confession, "I'll get the paperwork tomorrow," he nodded and answered calmly for the first time that day.

"You get to be mad at me, you get to want to shoot me again. You're hurting, and I can't stand to see you like this, you're my best friend, so let me be your safe haven." She suggested optimistically

"So there's this total psycho who I asked to marry me and she didn't answer yet," Owen shrugged nonchalantly

She laughed with the sensation of eventual ease and fell into his embrace. "Ask her in a non cliché way again then," she whispered into his ear and hurriedly walked out.


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