Disclaimer: I don't own them.
Summary: Post-Ep for "The Self Destruct Button." Cristina is facing some complications.
I'm a listmaker; I make lists. They're a way to keep organize. I rarely write them down; it's better to keep them in my head to compartamentalize the tasks. I have Grocery Lists, Life Goals Lists, Things to Do Today Lists, and several What If contingency plan lists. I know what I'm going to do if I ever get in a car accident and lose my hand, (get a Master's in Public Policy and work on healthcare policy for the government.) where I would stay if my apartment ever burned down and I was left with only a pair of underwear and scrubs(Meredith's couch, but lately Preston's place would do really well.) I know what I'm doing if my father would die and my mother would potentially have to move in with me, if I won the lottery, and what sort of dog I would get if I wanted a dog.
Never in my lists of What Ifs did the possibility that I would get pregnant a few months into my surgical internship program, unmarried, with a boyfriend I'd been sleeping with for less than a month and been dating less than two weeks. Who also happened to be my boss. And absolutely nobody knew we were dating. That was a little too far out there even for my what iffing.
I threw both tests in the garbage, and covered them completely with paper towels and toilet paper. Why the hell had I been stupid enough to take the tests at work? I shook my head. That was the least of my dumb mistakes right now.
"Cristina?" Dammit. That was Preston.
"Yeah—I'm just washing up." I made a huge, noisy show of turning on the faucet, pumping the soap dispenser, flushing the toilet, cranking the paper towel machine. "Yeah," I said, stepping out.
"I brought you soup." He smiled tentatively. "Vegetable beef."
"My favorite," I smiled.
"Yeah. I saw you eating it at dinner a few nights ago, plus I figured you were more vegetable beef than chicken noodle."
"Noodles in soups taste funny." I sat crosslegged on the lower bunk, and he swung down to sit next to me. "Thank you."
"You should go home." He said.
"I'm fine." Briefly, I contemplated telling him, but shot that down. I needed to figure out what I wanted to do first, and then discuss it, calmly and rationally, with him.
"Are you running a fever?" he held the inside of his wrist to his forehead. "You're a little warm." He sounded so concerned.
"I'll be fine. It's just stress. I run fevers when I get stressed." I leaned against the wall and yawned.
"When do you get off?"
"No fair. You've only been working since noon." I kidded. He just raised an eyebrow.
"When are you working tomorrow?"
"Six AM, again. I think it's horribly ironic how doctors work themselves sick." This, in my case, was completely true. If I hadn't started working here and hadn't met Preston, I wouldn't be sick. Well, not sick. In this predicament.
"Do you feel like coming over after shift? It's closer."
"Yeah, that sounds great. Whatever bed is closest. I could collapse right now." For the past two weeks, we've been tentatively trying to have a relationship, so it's not all about sex. We try to dinners when both of us aren't working,(so we've done about two) DVD rentals, coffee shops, nights together without sex, and breaks at work. He's great to talk to, funny and smart but not over-the-top show-offy. He's kind. He's compassionate. We just couldn't tell people we were dating. Look at Meredith and Shepherd. Damn. This was too complicated. I rubbed my eyes and yawned.
"I brought you coffee, too."
Coffee. Even people without MDs know that coffee for pregnant women is like the kiss of death. How was I supposed to make it through these next eight to nine months without coffee? I'm a medical intern. "No, thanks." I said, "Trying to cut back."
"Cristina, you're in an internship program. Now isn't the time to act like you've got genes of steel and the concentration of God."
Could I even make it? I contemplated. I'm a medical intern. I know the decision to have an abortion is weighty and serious, and even I've been opposed to it, on a personal level, unless there's a medical reason. Right now, though, is the worst possible time to have a baby. I wouldn't be able to complete my internship, I wouldn't be able to be a doctor, I would probably lose Preston in the fallout. Nobody even knows that we're seeing each other; hell, we've only been seeing each other for a month. I have a quarter of a million dollars in debt that I will have to pay off whether or not I complete my internship. I live in a tiny apartment. I work eighteen hours a day, on my feet, sometimes 80 hours a week. I hardly eat. Caffeine counts as one of my food groups. I can't take care of a cat. Unfortunately, an abortion could be a very real possibility.
"No, thanks. Right now, all I can take is this soup." I took another sip. It really was very good. For hospital food.
"Three more hours," he said helpfully.
"Four whole hours of sleep after that," I replied sardonically. I stood up and stretched. Every joint hurt. "I should get back."
"Kay," he said and put his hand on the small of my back to guide me to the door. Suddenly, he stopped and turned as we stood in the doorway. "Take it easy, okay? Don't work yourself to death." He touched my cheek as if to bring his point home."
"Got it. I'll be fine," I smiled. "You shouldn't worry too much." Inside, my emotions were gnawing me up. We shared a quick, chaste kiss before going out into the bedlam of the hospital.
Three hours and some minutes later I found him wrapping up charts at the nurses' station. I walked up next to him and say, "Hey."
He turned to me. "You look dead, Yang."
"I feel dead," I shot back tiredly. I did—I was exhausted, my feet hurt, my back hurt, my breasts hurt, and I felt nauseated. Again. "I'm about to leave—need anything else done?" This was our way, secret double-meaning communication in front of everyone else. A private joke. Like coffee, and dogs dressed in little mink coats, and old Saturday Night Live tapes. I rubbed my eyes again. Those things only made my decisions—to keep or not to keep, how to tell, when to tell—even harder.
"Well, I'm done, too. You should go home. Get some rest and if you're sick don't come in tomorrow."
"Right. Totally." We both knew that wasn't going to happen. I shuffled towards the locker room.
Meredith was still in there. "Izzie and George leave without you?" I said, opening my locker and taking off my shoes.
She rolled her eyes. "Yes. Izzie's really mad at me, about—" She waved her hand to articulate her point. "And I don't know where George is. Actually, I think he might be with De—Dr. Shepherd." She eyed me critically. "You look like hell. Do you need a ride home? You shouldn't drive."
"Nah, it's taken care of. I'll be fine."
"Who are you getting a ride from?"
"Dr. Burke. He—apparently—lives near me. I almost got sick when he was nearby."
"Do you want us to pick you up on our way in? Your car will be here."
"Nah. It's taken care of, too."
"Dr. Burke?" she said questioningly.
"Yeah." I said. I slammed my locker shut. "See you tomorrow."
"Night," she said.
I schlumped towards Preston's car. He was waiting for me. He helped me in, catching my elbow and smiling at me. "Thanks," I said. "Totally unnecessary, but thanks."
"Somebody's got to take care of you." He replied smoothly, good-naturedly. "You might be a good doctor, but you sure as hell don't take care of yourself."
"Oh, and you're the self-appointed Cristina Caregiver?" I said as soon as he had buckled up.
He looked at me seriously. "If you'll let me."
Damn. He was complicating it; I was falling for him.