It's later now/ Distance

Chapter 6

Owen and Amelia lay on their bed blissfully after an incredible night. She stared at the sky outside as Owen mindlessly played with her fingers. She never got it, why Derek had built the house with the all the walls basically glass windows. Until now that is, she marveled at the quiet night sky, moving her gaze from one star to the next, till she reached a group of stars who seemed to gather together closer than the others. She wondered if this could be all her loved ones now; Derek, Ryan, Mark, Michelle, her dad, her unicorn baby. She felt so alone, why did everyone just keep leaving her behind? She knew this was stupid, stars were merely balls of exploding gases, she was a scientist, but despite all that, the thought of all of them being together in another world gave her an odd sense of peace and comfort. Then there was Owen. Owen felt like her last chance of loving a man and keeping him close without him dying on her. After running away for so long, she was determined to try this time around. She turned in bed to face him more closely and planted a soft peck on his lips. She realized he was staring at her the whole time, which weirdly made her heart sing.

He propped himself up, supporting his head with his free hand and looked at her full of love and admiration, "What's going on in that mind of yours?" he asked, genuinely wanting to know.

She moved her hand to the back of his neck and made her way through his ginger curls, she loved how they wrapped around her fingers in perfect circles, "This place is so big," she said as she glanced around the room and then returned to his eyes, "It feels so weird for it to be this quiet, it has always been noisy when the kids were here," she loved her nieces and nephew so much, they were her little family

"I grew up as an only child, I've always wondered what it would be like in a chaotic house with many siblings," he said, subtly asking Amelia to tell him more about the topic

"Well, there were 5 of us, and I was always the black sheep among all the very put together golden children, but when we actually got together it was really fun, especially in Christmas or Thanksgiving," she elaborated, remembering all the memories, she remembered hating the holidays, but looking back on them now, she was glad she had all her sisters and Derek to share all these moments with, "Yeah, a big family can be really nice."

"You want kids," it wasn't really a question, more like a statement for Amelia to be verified, he tried to not get too excited about this as he was familiar with her past, though he couldn't help but be filled with hope

"I do," she frowned slightly as she realized how bad she actually did want to have a family of her own, and she wanted it with him. She rolled over on top of him and kissed him gently but passionately

"We're not having kids right now, are we?" he joked as he cradled her torso in his arms

Amelia laughed and added before continuing the kiss and deepening it, "Not the way I do it."

It has been a long day at the hospital, there was a car accident caused by a drunk driver on the highway, it was like a domino, after the first two cars crashed, 6 others followed. Some injuries were only slight burns and fractures but a lot were pretty extensive. The night fell and the ER finally became eerily quite as patients were either discharged, admitted or sent to the morgue. Amelia went to check on Owen after a busy day and found him sitting on a chair outside the ER with his head in his hands. She sat beside him and rested her palm on his shoulder softly. He knew it was her as soon as he felt her touch. He lowered his hands and forced a sad smile to settle the clear concern on her face, but it wasn't enough, who was he kidding? This was Amelia, a fake smile wouldn't do the trick.

"you okay?" she asked

"Yeah, yeah. It's just.. that's how my dad died, drunk driver. It just feels so unfair that he eventually lived and all these people, little kids and parents on their way to ballet recitals.." he sniffled, the understanding look in Amelia's eyes offered him condelence and calmed him down, momentarily at least. "I'll be fine," he assured her.

She half smirked and took his hand in both of hers, it has become their thing, their sign to tell each other they're there for each other, they're each other's people.

Suddenly, a car stopped abruptly in front of the ER and an old man came out of it with a little girl in his arms. Both Amelia and Owen rushed to see what the problem was. The man explained through heartbreaking tears about how his granddaughter has been quite sick for a while now, he thought it was just the flu but she kept vomiting and sleeping all the time, it wasn't like her, she's always been such an energetic 4 year old, he said.

Their shift was just about to be over, but both doctors felt sorry for the little exhausted girl, so they took them to an exam room and volunteered to take the case.

Amelia performed a basic exam on the girl as Owen asked about history and filled in her chart.

"Is there anyone we should call Mr. Rafi? Her parents?" Owen asked the old man

"No, it's just me and Dania, her mum passed away while giving birth to her and her Dad died in the war last year," The old man replied with extra information as he looked at his granddaughter, worrisome evident on his face, "is she going to be okay?"

Owen excused himself and walked over to Amelia to get an update, Amelia informed him she wanted get more tests, "She's showing signs of increased pressure in her brain, she also said she's been having headaches, I don't know if she could be repeating something she hear her grandpa said or if a 4 year old is really getting headaches, but the symptoms are consistent with an ATRT, I don't want to finalize a diagnosis without an MRI," she filled Owen in, whispering so that it's only audible to him.

"Okay, let's not rush into anything, can you inform the granddad as I take this little beauty to MRI?" She nodded in agreement and walked with Mr. Rafi to the waiting area, taking a last glance at Owen who tried to play with the Dania and cheer her up as he carried her to take her scans.

After a few minutes, Amelia caught up with Owen in MRI.

"Hey, how's he holding up?" Owen inquired about the granddad

"He's doing okay, are the scans up yet?" Amelia replied

"Here they are," both of them stared at the screen as the pictures loaded

"Oh, no," Amelia whispered to herself, not particularly meaning for Owen to hear it

"What is it?" he looked back at Amelia, knowing what this meant, but not wanting to hear it until she said it.

"You see the mass right there?" she pointed on the screen, "that's her tumor," she explained sadly, she really hoped she had been wrong before, but it was unmissable.

Owen sighed heavily, how can a girl so small already have all these problems in her life? "Did you hear about her parents?"

"Yeah, it's so sad, she has her whole life ahead of her and she already has these tragedies," Amelia replied, equally exasperated with the universe, and feeling sympathetic

"Is it operable? You can remove it right?" he felt suddenly attached to Dania and her case already

"Yes, I can, but it's right on the cerebellum, which makes it a little tricky, but she's lucky, these tumors tend to be very fast growing through the whole nervous system, we caught it early enough," she tried to be cautiously optimistic, the little girl with her angelic face had charmed her as well.

"I'll come with you to talk to the granddad," Owen offered

"Thank you," Amelia's face relaxed, his company would surely make it a little easier

The next day, Amelia had early rounds while Owen had no scheduled surgeries, he woke up to an empty bed and a short sweet text from Amelia. He prayed for a slow day, his mind still occupied by Dania, and it had been enough mass casualty for Seattle the previous night. As soon as he reached the hospital, he searched for his other half, to find her grabbing some brunch at the cafeteria. He gave her a quick peck on her forehead, they had agreed to keep PDA to a minimum when they first got back together, but their blooming romance was no secret to the hospital. After some small talk about their mornings, Owen asked about Dania worriedly, he had the excuse that she was practically also his patient. Amelia knew how he could get attached to certain cases, like he did with Ruby, she found it endearing.

"You can scrub in with me if you'd like," Amelia offered

"Really? I mean I'd love to but I haven't operated on a brain since I was a 4th year resident," Owen was hoping she would insist anyway, and she read his face and did

"You can just enjoy the show, plus, she really likes you, it'll be easier for that sweet scared 4 year old about to enter surgery," Amelia herself has grown to love her

The agreement was made and they both met in the OR later that day. Owen came in just in time, as Dania was strolled in on a stretcher and positioned under the lights. Her tiny lips were quivering and tears fell down her olive skin. Owen's heart sank when he saw her like that, he rushed beside her and patted her raven curls softly.

"Hey, sweetie, it's gonna be okay," he whispered next to her ear

"I'm sca'ed," Dania sobbed out

"I know, but you don't have to be, I'm going to be here the whole time, and Dr Amelia is going to help all the vomiting and the headaches go away," Owen used Amelia's first name, figuring it would make Dania more comfortable

"Like Amelia Badelia?" the little girl suddenly stopped sobbing, though tears kept streaming down her face

He chuckled at her slight excitement, "Not exactly, but you can be just as brave as Amelia Badelia."

She nodded as Owen's words had calmed her down, "will it hur' me?" she asked innocently.

"No, not even a little bit, you just have to go to sleep for a little while, just think of the happiest thing you can imagine and close your eyes," he reassured

"I love unicorns!" she exclaimed, smiling as she sniffled cutely.

Owen laughed and nodded, staying beside her as the mask covered almost all of her small face. Amelia walked in and greeted everyone, asking if they're ready for the operation, and warning them that it won't be a short one.

About an hour into the surgery, Amelia was faced by an expected minor complication.

"VP dropping," the nurse informed

"What's happening? What's wrong with her?" Owen demanded to know

"Push 100 grams of 20 percent mannitol!" Amelia ordered over Owen's voice

"Do something! What's going on?!" Owen stood up and shouted, he was agitated

"Dr Hunt respectfully shut up!" Amelia snapped as she tried to focus, "there, bleeding under control."

"VP returning to normal," the nurse restated what the rhythm on the screens made clear

Owen sighed heavily and sat back down as Amelia returned to resicting the tumor. After a few seconds, she blinked slowly and calmly ordered, "Dr Hunt please step out of my OR."

"What? Amelia what the hell?" Owen refused to get out

"Dr Hunt," she began sharply, letting him know this wasn't about them anymore, "that was only a bleeder, there are going to be a lot more, I can't have you here, I'm sorry but please, step. Out." It was more firm this time, clearly not negotiable, forcing him to storm out.

Owen first updated Mr. Rafi that Dania was good, and then he moved on to take care of the few patients who came to the ER and busied himself with some paperwork, which he ended up staring blankly at it because he couldn't keep his mind off the unidentifiable feeling he had in that OR. He's never been one to get to triggered by a patient's bleeder, and he knew Amelia was more than qualified to pull this off flawlessly, he couldn't reason what caused his reaction. While he was lost in his thoughts, Jackson Avery knocked on his office door and let himself in.

"Hellooo," Jackson snapped him out of his daydreaming

"Oh, hi, I'm sorry, I didn't notice you come in," Owen acted like it was because he was absorbed in whatever paper was in front of him, but it wasn't fooling anyone, "Did you need anything Avery?"

"Yes, actually, I wanted to talk to you about.. policies," Jackson cleared his throat awkwardly

"Policies? You're aware I'm not a part of the board anymore.." Owen raised his eyebrows, still not getting what Jackson was hinting

He cleared his throat again, a little harder, "Well, there has been some rumors, going around, about you being involved with another co worker."

"Oh," Owen remembered he still hadn't given Amelia the stupid consent paper, "Yeah, it's not really a secret. I just forgot, I'll get you the signed document soon," he deliberately didn't identify a date, a little intimidated by the possible reaction Amelia would have.

"Then we can stop pretending that not everyone knows this has been going on for quite a while now, I'd appreciate it if you could get me the paper this week?" Jackson grimaced. Owen just nodded, already calculating how he was going to have to bring this up tonight.

Eventually, he found himself waiting in front of the OR door. Luckily enough, Amelia had been just finishing off, she went out, still in her scrub cap and gown, to find Owen leaning against the door, staring at the floor. He approached her nervously and asked how the surgery went.

"It was brilliant, I was brilliant, actually," she started with a smile, but her expression quickly changing to a more serious one, "I got technically all of the tumor, we're gonna have to do a repeat scan to determine whether she'll need a few sessions of chemotherapy," she said as if she was updating a parent, professional and informative

He breathed in audibly and decided sooner was better than later, "I believe I owe you and apology.. I have no idea what happened in there, I freaked, I'm sorry, truly."

She had wanted to stay mad. She planned to lecture him and give him a piece of her mind, but he was being attentive and his apologetic tone sounded sincere, so she stopped fighting the smirk that was tugging her lips, "Okay."

Owen's eyebrows were brought closer together in minimal confusion, "So.. we're okay?"

"Yeah," her answers were kept short, but the growing smile on her face gave him comfort, "I'm just tired," she ripped off her scrub cap, releasing her silky ponytail.

He silently placed his hand on the small of her back, and walked with her into an on call room. She crashed on the bed and he followed behind her, massaging her tense shoulders with his strong hands. She let herself enjoy it for a few minutes and relaxed under his touch. Then she reached out for one of his hands and pulled his arm around her waist, letting him know that she just wanted to sleep, besides, she just loved curling up with him behind her, the single arm thrown over her made her feel protected. They closed their eyes and fell into deep restful sleep.


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