It's later now/ Distance

Chapter 19

Imagine you're crawling in a dark hole, and the only thing keeping you from giving up, is the reassuring light at the end of it. The problem is, when you near the end, and it's only getting darker and darker, you begin to wonder if there's any light at all, or if it's all just an illusion, and if the light is there, if there is a happy ending, then is it worth it? Is it worth all this pain and sweat?

"Mommyyy!" Dania called loudly as she ran toward her mom and was picked up happily, "Mommy you're my extwa 'weal mommy today!" she threw her hands up in the air before wrapping them around Amelia's neck and hugging tightly

"The court order came out, you're her legal mother," Owen clarified as he walked over to the two girls

She grinned at him in gratitude as she took the paper and hid it in her purse after glancing at it, "Thank you," she mouthed

"Does that mean you sleep with us in big house now?!" the innocent question Dani asked was what Amelia had been anticipating all week.

They were good, they were like friends again, and Amelia has been patient, after she told him to ask her again –basically her proposing back- she was waiting, all the time. Every time he was in sight she wondered if this was it, but it never was. She didn't want to pressure him into sex or moving back in or anything at all, but she was starting to think that maybe he changed his mind.

Owen on the other hand was wrecking his head with ideas of the perfect way to propose. It needed to be special, not cliché, private- in case she wants to freak out a little, and not feel pressured, and something that would sweep Amelia off her feet, something special to them.

She looked at him, carefully inquiring what he thought about it. Owen did not disappoint, "I think you should come back home too, Mia," he softly requested

She surveyed his eyes, when she was they were sincere, she wasn't about to play hard, she immediately complied, "Okay then, my shift just ended, I'll take Dani here and we'll celebrate!" she grinned back happily at her daughter, "See you there?" she said in relief, and a gentle smile tugged on her lips when he nodded.

She entered their room tentatively. She had already tucked in the little excited girl to sleep, after she told her over and over how thrilled she was to have her be her extra super mommy. She looked around the room, a weird sense of nostalgia passing through her. She felt a sharp sting of wistfulness when she saw their picture together, still framed and set on the bedside table. She picked it up and yearned back to that day, it was a light day for the both of them, and with the rarity of those days in addition to the laziness that struck them to actually go anywhere fancy, they went to the trailer to reminisce and ended up lying together on the grass outside. She didn't know how long Owen had been standing at the door, but she put down the picture and turned around to greet him when he cleared his throat. However, his face was filled with dread and confusion, it seemed like his eyes are watery and he was holding back a wall of tears. "Owen, what's wrong, what happened?" the fear was contagious, she knew that face, the bad news face.

"I need to tell you something," his voice cracked as he said it

"You can tell me anything, whatever it is," she reminded him, she was his safe haven

"Can we.. can we lie down?" he implored timidly. Amelia nodded and he spoke again when they were each in their place on the bed, facing each other, with no physical contact, he bore his eyes into hers for what felt like an eternity, "I saw Cristina today."

Amelia swallowed hard, water filling her eyes quicker than she expected, but she kept herself steady, "I understand," she said quietly, "I'm giving you an out, you should go, be with the woman you love, you can keep visiting Dania if you want to, I won't hold it against you, I don't want you to stay out of responsibility or guilt."

"No, Mia, Please, don't freak out, don't leave me," he grabbed her hand and brought it to his chest as he continued the confession, "there was an emergency board meeting, some legal issues, she leaves tonight, it was brief, we barely talked, we hugged. I.. I love you Mia, that's why I'm telling you this. I won't lie to you because I can't lose you, not again, so I'm telling you, she's.. I choked her while she slept, and she stuck around. Fans were a trigger, it reminded me of the helicopter that crashed in front of our truck, and I lost everyone in my unit. I can't just stop caring about her after she helped me out of that. But that doesn't mean she's who I want to be with, because I'm in love with you," he scooted over and cupped her face so that she would look at him while he said it, "I want to be with you because you're perfect, and I'm in love with you, please stay with me, I need you to believe me."

Their foreheads were touching, her head cradled in his palms and his shirt clutched by her hands. Heavy breaths and sniffles were shared, before Amelia decided to take this risk, hoping it would be the last pitch before they got to be safely together. He noted that he was communicating, he was telling her everything.. ultimately, she was glad, maybe this was the push they needed to build a healthy relationship. She nodded against his head and whispered, "kiss me." so that she'd be absolutely sure of the feelings shared. He kissed her desperately, yearningly, and she reciprocated with just as much passion.

It was the end of an uneventful day, brain bleeds, aneurysms, she thought her first day back to operating wouldn't be as boring. She had imagined inoperable brain tumors to remove and impossible cases to solve, but she had a bigger thing waiting for her that night. Although she had stopped waiting for Owen, and was content with the stability and fun they were enjoying, she almost forgot about the beautiful ring he offered her a few weeks back. So she was very weirded out when Richard paged her for an emergency and promised greatness as he dragged her to the quiet X-Ray room in the basement when she told him she wasn't on call.

She was pushed into the room and the door immediately closed behind her without Richard entering. She was startled to say the least, when she saw Owen and the X-Rays all lit up.

"Hey, have a seat," Owen said with a sly grin as he watched her steal glances, trying to make sense of all the brains everywhere, "I know this is your favorite place in the hospital, where you can have some peace and quiet to admire brains and spines, so I wanted to have some peace and quiet for us."

She sat down reluctantly and kept her gaze on him as he moved from one scan to the other, pausing briefly as he moved to glance back at Amelia's face and sometimes chuckling in between as he walked her through how he fell in love with her

"This is Drew Hawkins, you gave him his sight back, you were having a tough day and I was clueless, that night at the chapel I felt incredible privilege to be let in on the memory of your son, I was already blown away by the strength you had, god knows when I lost the potential of having a baby I flipped out, I admired you and wished you'd never see a dark day ever again,

"This is Herman 's tumor, when I told you she flirted with me you low key asked me if I like short gals but it didn't matter because I liked you, then you showed up with a bottle of water and even though you thought you had no game I was never more drawn into someone, I couldn't help but give in to the nagging thought in my head asking what your lips would feel like between mine.

" This is ruby's mum brain scan, when we hugged that night, I knew it wasn't only thanking you for the case, I couldn't believe I was holding someone so beautiful and exquisite, I just couldn't let go, I told myself 'Owen, don't screw this up, this is it.', and then we couldn't keep our hands off each other and the pagers, oh god.

" This is my mum's scan, you liked each other right away, how convenient, huh? just don't gang up on me. That was the day I found out you had a big heart and I started to think maybe, just maybe she likes me as much as I do. That night was amazing, but it wasn't only the night, the morning after, I knew I was already falling hard. I was determined to memorize your raw face, your jasmine smelling hair that was so silky and a piece of art on its own that it was impossible to resist the temptation of my hand in it. The way you woke up and looked at me and that smile, it could light up the whole world, I thought how hard it would be to not have that every morning.

"These are the two cops that donated their organs, The night you came over and instead of having hot sex we talked all night, that's when I told you about a story in the army and you just listened and accepted me. Oh and the morning sex was life altering, that's when we were supposedly going to eat your waffles in the house after you shower and change, because I didn't have a waffle maker in the trailer, and we ended up awkwardly exposed to your Derek and Meredith instead.

"This is Marissa McKay, you fixed her spine, you were right, we are hardwired, when we fall for another person we make decisions whether we want to or not, I was just too dumb to not fight for you harder, but now I'm making the decision to fight to stay with your every single day for the rest of our lives. You said you didn't have anything more to give, but you don't have to give anything, just be you, just be with me, Amelia Shepherd, because I don't exist without you."

He came closer to the chair and got down on one knee so they were on the same level, that was how it finally supposed to be, equals, on the same page, happy. He got out the platinum ring with the big sapphire rock on it and held it between them.

Amelia's face was brighter than it could have ever been, her eyes twinkled and she could her pulse in her entire body, almost bursting of joy. She waited a few second before she made sure he was done with his amazing words and abruptly budged forward, pulling his face closer and tasting his smooth luscious lips, hoping to give him back all the crazy sensations he gave her.

He pulled away as a sweet simper caused the corners of his mouth to quirk upwards. He tasted a silent salty tear on her while he brushed his lips against her soft ones, in coy ending pecks. He backed away just enough to see her face, and he had to ask, realizing that he hadn't really 'asked' a question and she didn't say anything, "is that a yes?" he pleaded a little fearfully.

She chuckled and took the ring out of his hand whilst eagerly nodding and slipped it on her finger, "yes, yes, yes! Yes.." she could only say before she longed for him and touch of his stubble again, barely managing to kiss for a few seconds before both of them grin widely. She sighed with warm dear love before going home to further ravish each other with affection.

He woke up in alarming panic as he rolled over to feel an empty bed and vaguely remembered the sensation of something slipping from under his arms. He had ignored it for a dream as he was slipping into deep sleep, but now after frightful apprehension, he thought back to the young night. He got up as quickly as possible, almost tripping down as he rushed looking for Amelia. Of course, she did this with her last engagement, did she run away again? This time maybe to one of her sisters instead of her brother. Dismaying thoughts made their way first, racing through his head. He thanked the lord a million times when he found her on the porch, wearing only his dress shirt that covered almost half her thighs.

He walked heavily, letting her hear his steps so that she won't freak out when he touched her shoulders and rubbed them, "it's cold for you out here."

She made no notice of his comments, and Owen noticed she was staring at a men's watch she held dearly. "Do you know how my dad died?" she asked without looking at him in a vulnerable voice. He simply shook his head, and she could see it through her peripheral vision. He knew from Derek that he was shot, but he didn't go into details.

Amelia felt like she was 5 years old all over again, reliving the moment over and over again, holding on to the last memory of her father like it was the only thing keeping her alive, "We're at the back of the store, Dad has just given me two pennies, I like to hide them in this big crack in the floor boards, save them so I could buy a town, that's what I tell Derek anyway.

"Two guys come in. They'd already pulled a gun, they'd already taken the money and now they want the watch that my mum gave him. He wouldn't give it up. There was a gunshot. I remember I lunged forward, trying to get to him, but I couldn't move. It wasn't until later, that Derek told me, he was holding me back tightly, covering my mouth. All three of us who were in that store have been shot, isn't it a little funny and sick?

"My mum saved up for 3 years to buy it. The first time I got engaged, I was high, and I even though I was sober with Ryan for like 5 minutes, I think I loved him, and he loved me. I gave it to him, I thought he was the one to protect me and love me now.. then he died. The second time I tried to stick around, because James was by all standards the right guy, but.." she paused then, but he wasn't you, she completed in her moved her head, looking up at her fiancé at last, third time is a charm , she thought. "I want you to wear this watch, it's our engagement present. I love you." She said with a watery voice

He gently wiped away her fresh tears with his thumbs, and took the watch from her opening hands. He stared at it for a few seconds, he then took her small wrist and slipped it on. "I will love you, forever, Mia. I'm so proud of you, and your dad would have been too, he will always be a part of you."

She tilted her head shakily to allow him to take her lips in his, slowly and attentively, she admired this man and wondered silently what she has done to deserve him. He invited her back inside and she told him she'll come after him. She looked up at the stars one last time, doubting if her dead loved ones could hear her, she tried anyway, "You see that Derek? You'd be proud of me big brother, I'm not running, not anymore."

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