Christmas at Seattle Grace. Owen and Cristina work side by side, as the patients from a major pile-up pour in. He notes how composed and efficient she is, how she's trying harder to talk with the patients, now that the pressure of the solo surgery is off. She even passes off a patient to her interns and calls it a Christmas gift.
At the end of their shift, he silently walks her across the street to her building. At the steps, she turns and looks at him, waiting to see what he will do next. "Thank you for your hard work today", he says. Then he leans in and kisses her softly.
He's struggling, fighting, hearing wounded voices around him. He thrashes and feels his left hand connect with something hard and sharp. "Damn it!", he swears, sitting up, waking out of a nightmare.
Gulping for air, he looks around, rubbing his hand – he must have hit it on the corner of the night stand. Cristina's night stand. He's in her bedroom, he's sitting up in her bed, where they made love for the first time earlier. She's not in the bed. Wild-eyed, he looks around, spots her standing in the doorway, watching him with concern, wearing his t-shirt.
"Oh Christ, did I hit you?" he gasps. "I'm sorry, I-"
"You didn't hit me", she says quickly, coming over to him and taking his head into her hands, gently rubbing his temples with her thumbs. "I got out of bed for a glass of water, and I was texting Meredith in the other room when your nightmare started. I'm okay, and you're safe here, you're in a safe place, Owen."
"Thank god I didn't hurt you", he mumbles, as she climbs back into bed with him, pulls him down into her arms, and strokes his hair. They lie there, her fingers moving through his hair, as his breathing returns to normal.
"Do you have nightmares a lot?" she asks, running her fingers along his cheekbones as he turns to gaze at her.
"Off and on. I'm so sorry, I –"
"Don't be sorry", she whispers, leaning in to kiss him.
"Thank you", he whispers back, reaching under the t-shirt she's wearing.
Cristina Yang with the flu is one stubborn woman, Owen thinks. And cranky, too.
"I can do this, Owen. I can go to work. I'm over the worst of it. I can't miss any more work, I need to cut something."
"You can barely walk, you're still shaky. Get back into bed before I put you there."
She sets her mouth in a firm line as she struggles to pull on a pair of jeans. He sighs and grabs her hands.
"Dr Frost will be here next week for that cardio procedure, the one you're going to scrub in on. You won't be able to scrub in if you go to work today and exhaust yourself."
She pouts, but stops trying to get dressed, and feebly kicks the jeans off. He picks her up and carries her back to their bed.
"Will you please relax and let me take care of you for one more day? I'll bring the laptop in so you can do some more research on next week's procedure."
She permits herself to smile softly as he props her up against the pillows and tucks her in. "You're a good man, Owen Hunt, to put up with me."
"Thank you. Now go back to sleep, woman."
It's been a few years, but Owen can still be triggered. He's walking through The Pit when a car backfires outside. His face goes white and his eyes darken and he starts to breathe heavily and he stands still. Cristina hands her chart to her newest interns without a word and walks over to him, and grabs his hand. She pulls and tugs him along with her, down two flights of stairs into the boiler room. She moves him onto the vent. Gusts of air wake him out of his panic attack, as she gently rubs his temples, murmuring soothing words.
He finds her sitting on the bathroom floor, surrounded by charts and holding a white, stick-like object, with tears in her eyes.
"Cristina – what is going on?"
"It's negative, damn it", she mutters.
Owen exhales softly as he crouches down next to her and looks at the papers scattered on the floor, including a calendar. He looks at the object in her hand. "You're – you're trying to get pregnant?"
She nods sadly, unable to look at him. "Every time I see you playing with Robbie Shepherd, I think about what a good father you would be. I want to see you with your own children."
He silently strokes her hair.
"I've been trying to get pregnant for six months. I've been tracking my temperature and ovulation cycles and nothing is happening. My stupid fallopian –" she falters.
He pulls her into an embrace. He knows about the ectopic pregnancy in her before. That's why he's never brought up the topic of children.
"I didn't realize until now how much I want a baby for myself too" she mumbles against his chest.
He tilts her face towards his and wipes away her tears. "Thank you for doing this", he whispers. "We'll keep trying."
He gets out of surgery to find Derek waiting for him, smiling broadly.
"Cristina wouldn't let anyone page you while you were working on the patient", Derek grins.
"She's in labour?" Owen gasps, trying to remove his gloves and his surgical gown at the same time and getting tangled.
"Is she ever. She just started pushing, Meredith is with her", Derek laughs, grasping Owen's shoulders before reaching behind to help him untie the surgical gown.
Owen rushes to Cristina's room, where she's snapping at everyone and Meredith is rolling her eyes. Cristina looks up and when she sees him, she visibly relaxes, and so does everyone else.
Four hours later, it's just the three of them in the hospital room. He's holding their sleeping daughter and marvelling at her damp, black curly hair. Cristina watches him with a contented look. "She's perfect, isn't she?"
"Just like her mother." He gently kisses their baby's forehead before handing her back to Cristina. Then he tilts Cristina's face towards his and kisses her. "Thank you", he whispers.