Set in my AU, a month after Amelia comes to Seattle with Ryan.
A small party Callie and Arizona had promised; a mask party.
Halloween wasn’t as close as Callie claimed it to be, but Amelia had only been
in Seattle for a month, so it wasn’t too late for a welcoming party. A
welcoming party it was, they decided, where you had to wear a mask. Except
Amelia hated being the centre of attention, especially for a party, but Arizona
had promised them it wouldn’t be a large thing. She promised it was just
something for everyone to get to know her better.
Amelia didn’t talk anymore. Not because she couldn’t, she
just didn’t. It was weird, seeing as she always had something to talk about, even when she didn’t. She didn’t talk the
entire week she spent at the hospital, after being extubated. She didn’t talk
through the physical therapy sessions that were required both in and, once she
was discharged, out of the hospital, mostly making faces when she felt pain
while walking. She didn’t respond when Owen had told her about the birthday party
he’d manged to scrap together for Ryan’s birthday, two weeks ago. She
especially didn’t talk to Derek. She wouldn’t even look at him.
“Owen, whatever your middle name is, Hunt!” Meredith said
through gritted teeth as she approached the nurses’ station, “What the hell is
wrong with you?”
Owen looked up from his chart and at Meredith, pointing his
index finger at himself. “Me?”
“Yes, you,” she growled, her green eyes staring menacingly
at him, “Is your phone broken or something?”
He pulled his phone out of his pocket and held it up for her
to see. “Not last I checked.”
“Then why aren’t you returning any of Amelia’s calls?” she
further questioned, arms folded across her chest. Finally realising the source
of her anger, Owen quickly put the phone away and turned back to his charts,
acting as if he hadn’t been asked the question.
“Owen!” Meredith hissed louder, pushing on his shoulder.
“Meredith, I swear to god,” he threatened as he put the iPad
back in its dock and walked down the hall.
“You swear to god what?” she challenged, following him straight
to the Attendings’ Lounge. Arizona and Callie seemed to be the only occupants resting
on the couch there, thankfully.
“It’s none of your business,” he declared, opening one of
the cupboards in hopes of finding some sort of coffee. Callie had to refrain
from rolling her eyes. She was beginning to wonder if God liked to
strategically place her in here whenever Owen and Amelia were having some sort
of foolish dispute.
“It becomes my business when I’m being called 2-3 times a day
and asked why the hell you can’t pick
up your own phone,” Meredith countered, her rage amplifying the longer she
watched how calmly Owen acted.
“Well don’t answer her calls,” he shrugged, ripping open a
pack of instant coffee, “That’s what I do.”
“Do you hear yourself right now?” she inquired, her skin hot
with rage. “Owen, this is your wife
we’re talking about here. The mother of your child. What is wrong with you?”
Owen slammed his hands against the table, startling everyone
in the room. He gripped the edges of the marble surface and tried to breathe
deeply. “What is wrong with me?” he asked, officially losing his cool. He
laughed hysterically at the question.
“I think it’s time to go,” Arizona suggested to Callie, who nodded
“My wife decides to hitchhike across the United States and
leave me here with our daughter and her son, and you’re asking me what is wrong…with
me?” He looked up at the ceiling,
opening his mouth to say something rude but then quickly closing it. He opened
it again and huffed in frustration. “I am mad, Meredith. My heart is not
broken, I’m not sad or depressed or grieving. I am pissed. And I know she’s…”
he sighed, looking down at the cup of dry coffee in front of him, “I know she’s
happy up there, with Derek, living the dream. And I’m glad, I am. It’s just…”
He sighed again, quickly glancing at Meredith before looking back at the cup. “I
have this energy consuming rage that thinks what she did wasn’t fair to the family
we started here.” Meredith observed as he frowned and lowered his eyebrows. “Sometimes
I wonder if she is happier up there with them, surrounded by things that I cannot
provide for her; working along so many innovative doctors, who are just like
her, just as crazy about brains, just as funny and smart and not boring trauma
surgeons. People who light up the darkness in one another like how she lights
up the darkness in me.” He turned around and leaned against the edge of the
table, crossing his right leg over his left as he looked around the now empty
lounge. “She’s someplace else and I let her go and…it’s better for her that I let
her go. I hope that it lets her get the urge, to be great and amazing, out of
her system. But for me…” He raised his right hand over the left side of his
chest and tightly grasped the fabric of his scrub top. His heart ached with
pain like nothing he felt before. “She saved me from drowning in that dark void
of sorrow I was in when Cristina left me and now I am heading right back there
again.” He could feel the edges of his eyelids stinging with fresh tears. “I
wake up every morning and she’s not…and I know that this is only temporary and
she’ll be back eventually, but sometimes I wonder what she’d do if they offered
her a permanent…” He stopped, a lump developing in his throat. “I know you’re
doing fine with Derek being up there permanently and only visiting once a week,
every month, but I don’t think our relationship would survive if she…I don’t
think I would survive.” He pulled his phone out of his lab coat pocket and
swiped through the 35 missed calls from her that had developed over the past
week. “I am not okay with her leaving, and I know that once I answer that phone
and hear her voice, I will want to support her and my anger will disappear, and
I don’t want it to disappear. I want to be mad at her; I want her to feel bad.
If I answer her call, it’ll only make her think that I’m okay with everything
that’s happening. So that’s why I don’t answer, that’s why I won’t answer.”
“Can I say something?” Meredith softly asked.
“I don’t really want to talk about it anymore,” he pouted.
“I think if you keep ignoring her calls, you’ll do the exact
opposite of bringing her back,” she explained, “I think you’ll push her away.”
She placed a hand on his shoulder and rubbed it.
“I don’t…I can’t…” he stuttered. His throat felt constricted,
as though someone was choking the words out of him.
“Give her a call, Owen,” Meredith insisted, “The worst thing
that could happen is that she doesn’t answer.”
“Or we end up fighting,” he added.
“And that’s already happening, so you have nothing to lose,”
she quirked with a snarky grin. Owen smirked at her.
“You look like you could use a hug,” Meredith finished,
holding her arms out.
“I don’t need…” Before Owen could end the sentence, her arms
wrapped tightly around his torso and her head rested on his chest.
“This is extremely awkward,” he disclosed, holding his arms
out weirdly, almost like he didn’t know where to put them.
“Just shush and hug me back,” she whispered. When he didn’t
respond, Meredith demanded, “Now.”
Obeying, Owen wrapped his arms around her neck and back and returned the
embrace. One thing was for sure, Meredith was right; he did need a hug.
Because, within seconds, he could feel warm tears rolling down his cheeks as
they remained in each other’s embrace. Meredith pretended to ignore the
tell-tale signs that he was crying and simply squeezed her arms tighter around
him. It was a bittersweet moment.
Being the light sleeper that she was, Amelia awoke only
moments after hearing her phone ring twice. Squinting, she noticed that it was
past midnight. Who could be calling her at this hour?
Her heart leapt into her throat when she grabbed her phone
and realised it was Owen calling. “Owen?”
“Hi,” Owen said, “Did I wake you?”
“Yeah, but that’s okay,” she assured him, sitting up in bed,
“Is something wrong?”
“I was just returning your call,” he told her.
“Which one of the 35 are you returning?” she lightly joked
as she slipped out of bed. Sliding the glass door open, she ended up on the
balcony outside her bedroom.
“Phone call number 29,” Owen played along, twisting the edge
of his jersey around his finger. Hearing her laugh through the phone almost
made him forget everything that had happened over the past two weeks. “So what
did you want to talk about?” he asked, hoping to fill the awkward silence that
followed her laughter.
“I’m not sure, actually,” she truthfully confessed, “I didn’t
think I’d get this far.” She sat on the floor of the balcony and brought her legs
to her chest, wrapping one arm around them as she stared out at the busy city. In
a small voice, she whispered, “I guess I just wanted to hear your voice.”
“Yeah, me too,” he agreed, sliding off his bed and onto the
floor. Slightly mimicking her, Owen brought his knees to his chest and rested
his arm on top of it whilst his head kicked back onto the edge of the bed.
“How is Ryan?” she asked, longing to be in Seattle, if only
for a moment.
“His hair has suddenly decided to grow ten times faster than
its normal pace,” Owen recalled, “I think I may have to take him for another haircut
a lot sooner than expected.”
“I hate when he gets his hair cut,” Amelia groaned,
recalling the select four times she’d taken Ryan to the barber, in his entire
life. To say he was a slow grower was an understatement.
“I know,” Owen chuckled, “On the other hand, Rosie has a
full head of red now. Her bed hair looks like mine when I wake up. I’ll send
you a picture.”
“I would love to see that,” she giggled, knowing how much of
a mess Owen’s hair looked in the morning.
“Yeah, it’s quite the view,” Owen agreed, joining in on her
laughter. Silence followed after the joke, neither one knowing what to say to
keep the conversation going.
“Tell me everything will be okay,” Amelia begged in a quiet
voice, revealing her vulnerability to him, “That we’ll be okay.”
He sighed. “Amelia, I…” She could suddenly hear the faint
sound of crying in the background and she knew that their conversation was about
to end here.
“I have to go,” Owen said.
“You didn’t answer me,” she pointed out, sensing he’d
purposely ignored her statement.
“Can we talk about this tomorrow?” he suggested, already on
his way to Rosie’s bedroom.
“Why can’t we talk about it now?” she defensively asked.
“Because I…” He picked up the bawling toddler and held her
in his arms, trying his best to soothe her loud, incessant cries whilst also
trying to balance the phone between his ear and shoulder as he spoke to her.
“I can’t hear you,” she said, pressing a finger to her other
ear so that she could try and hear him better. It didn’t work very well, as the
baby’s crying only got louder.
“Amelia I really have to go,” Owen insisted, trying to speak
over his daughter’s cries.
Sighing in defeat, she complied. “Okay, yeah, go. We’ll talk
tomorrow.” Without even saying goodbye, Owen hung up, leaving Amelia in a
sudden, deafening silence.
I love you, she
thought, wanting to say it over the phone, I
love you and I hope you still love me. Resting the phone at her side, she
wrapped her other arm around her knees and pulled them deep into her chest,
trying to physically hold herself together.