Disclaimer - Grey's Anatomy belong to someone else, but Owen Hunt seems to have taken up temporary residence in my head (which is a bit worrying)
A/N - Time to hear from Owen (I'm not sure about how it turned out, so any comments very welcome).
Owen woke slowly, gradually becoming aware that there was something off about his surroundings.
A faint click roused him further. As he levered his eyes open a crack and licked his lips he noticed that a small animal had apparently crapped in his mouth and then crawled in and died; and a marching band was thudding its way across his temples.
His foggy brain took a few moments to actually process that he was in an unfamiliar bedroom, naked and roughly tangled in expensive, but equally unfamiliar sheets.
But when he finally made the connection between his unfamiliar surroundings, the all too familiar symptoms of too much to drink the night before and the delicate, feminine scent that lingered on the pillow, his eyes flew open and he sat bolt upright.
"Shit!" He exploded, eyes darting around the dimly lit room.
Despite his spinning head, he rapidly confirmed that there was no sign of her in the room.
His eyes closed and his head sagged, chin dropping to his chest.
This was not the plan.
Okay, well waking up in her bed did feature in the most optimistic version of the plan, but she was supposed to be lying next to him, nestled on the green pillows.
And it was fair to say that the events that he had intended to precede them waking up in bed together were rather different to what had happened the night before.
Dinner. Conversation. Seeing her smile.
Trying to fathom the depths of her gaze without drowning.
A starlight stroll along the waterside.
Kissing. Feeling. Touching.
He pressed his fingers into the bridge of his nose as he tried to get his mind to focus on what had actually happened.
During the day at the hospital, he'd whiled away the quiet moments planning the evening. Planning the date.
He was positive and was optimistic. He'd been coping.
Well he'd thought he was coping.
But he'd found that he wasn't coping at all, or rather that the thin line between tentative normality and not being... was a lot thinner than he'd realised.
All it took was a single enquiry about his stories and his fragile equilibrium was shattered.
But he'd stuck to the plan.
He'd gone home. Got flowers. Showered. Shaved. Taken out the suit. Put it on.
And he'd been ready early, not wanting to be late, so he'd sat on the edge of his bed, watching a man in a suit staring at him in the mirror, thinking.
The thinking had definitely been a mistake.
In the peaceful warmth of her bedroom he couldn't rationalise how staring at his own hollow-eyed, strangely unfamiliar face had uncorked a vortex of fears for the future and fear of the past.
Just one drink to steady the nerves had seemed like a good idea.
And one more to block the memories.
And another to ease the shaking in his hands.
A quarter of a bottle of Glenrothes later, the fear had numbed and so had the anticipation.
He'd had enough sense to get a cab, but the vision she presented as she greeted him at the door had suddenly made his abject failure starkly real.
Late. And drunk.
He remembered his rambling apology. The memory brought out prickled gooseflesh on his skin as he fought embarrassment and frustration over his behaviour. That wasn't who he was, or at least who he should be, had been. Now it seemed he spent half his days feeling as though he was observing a stranger inhabiting his head and his body; a stranger determined to send him hurtling, lemming-like, over a cliff.
He should have turned and walked out the door then, but the fear - or was it self-preservation - had kicked in again. Only her, or the intense focus of surgery, seemed to bring him the clarity that reminded him of who he really was. Who he was determined to be.
Walk out the door and that man would be lost again.
So he'd headed for the shower, somehow managing to make the decision to jump in the shower fully clothed, including shoes, seem logical.
He winced involuntarily, recalling her irritation about the shoes, then he shook his head. The shoes were just the the next stage of deviation from the plan; and it had got worse.
He'd wanted to answer her question from earlier but as he spoke he found his soul pouring out with the water that soaked his clothes and chilled his skin.
She had heard him. Heard what he said and what he didn't.
He could only watch, mute, as she stepped forward and cupped his face, then slowly unwound his tie.
As each button on his shirt was undone in silence, he felt the tight knot in his chest loosen, one twist at a time.
Her touch was intimate but neutral, soothing. It was neither a detached doctor undressing a patient nor a woman undressing a potential lover.
He hazily recalled her gently towelling him dry and leading him, by the hand, to bed. Her dark eyes brimming and watchful the whole time.
Oblivion had come quickly and was dreamless. And now it was the morning after.
He slowly swung his legs out off the bed and stood, muscles flexing as he stretched.
He had to face the day; and face her.
Apologies he could do - as a rule he had always confronted failure, made amends and moved on.
He shook his head angrily, recoiling from memories that slipped away like smoke when he tried to confront the failure they represented and where there was no-one left to make amends to.
He forced himself to focus on what he could do. Trauma had given him that discipline.
He and Cristina could move on from the night before and, with her at his side, he thought he might be able to move on from more than that.