Their time apart felt like years. Long, torturous years, in which he walked through hell, sitting in Dr Wyatt's office. At first, he only did it for her. And then a little bit for him. And then mostly for him.

And finally, for them.

And then Bailey insisted, no, demanded, that he get back together with Cristina. A chance opportunity to scrub in together led to an amazing night of talking, and hand holding, and finally, she made it quite clear that she needed him back into her life. And there was more talking, and holding hands, and quite a lot of kissing, and the walk through hell was worth it.

**

Owen planned everything for their second attempt at a real date. He carefully worked out a menu, bought everything he needed to prepare a nice meal for Cristina, including new dishes, and even signed out surgery videos from the hospital library for her to watch. He obsessively planned the timing of everything, and went over the details many times in his mind. This date has to go right. Confident that he thought of everything, he threw on his workout clothes and went for a run to work through his nervousness.

**

It'll be fine, he tells himself. She wants you back in her life. You're not getting drunk and making a mess of things this time.

He's surprised to see Cristina sitting on his stoop as he returns to his building. She smiles and nods in greeting. "I know I'm really early," she says, standing up and moving in for a quick kiss. "I couldn't wait."

He smiles at her. She holds up a box. "I brought dessert!"

"Well come on in then," he laughs nervously. Shit, he thinks. I didn't anticipate this.

He takes off her coat and hangs it up for her, while she puts her dessert box in his fridge. "You look beautiful," he tells her. She's wearing a lilac sweater and tan slacks, and her hair is pulled back into a clip.

"You look hot," she purrs, moving in close and ruffling his sweaty hair, before kissing him again. He smiles.

"Want a tour?"

"Okay!" Owen shows her around his small and neat apartment. He cleaned it this morning and even changed his sheets just in case.

"Nice place," she says. "You really like Ikea."

He laughs. "Well, I have simple tastes."

"Let me guess - you put all of your furniture together yourself?" she teases.

"Of course," he says. "That's the only good part of buying furniture."

She smiles.

"I need to start getting supper ready," he says, going into the kitchen and turning on his oven.

"Is there anything I can do to help?"

"No," he shakes his head. "Listen, I also need to take a shower after my run. You can watch TV if you like."

"Are you sure I can't do anything to help?"

"I've got it under control," he says, a bit more grumpily than intended.

She looks at him curiously. "Are you okay?'

"I'm fine," he says, mentally trying to revise his schedule with her early arrival.

"Talk to me," she says, drawing him into her arms.

"I'm just –". He sighs. "I want this date to go well. I've got everything planned to the last minute."

She responds with a kiss. "It will go well. Relax."

He smiles and kisses her again before going into his bathroom. He quickly strips down and steps under the warm spray. He's lathered up when the door to his bathroom opens. He raises his eyebrows. Through the distorted glass of his shower stall, he can see Cristina's shape. Her nude shape.

She opens the door of his shower stall and with a sexy smile, steps in, under the spray, her loose hair instantly getting soaked. His mouth falls open, in surprise and desire.

"I think I threw you off by showing up so early," she murmurs, kissing his neck. "Terribly rude of me. Allow me to make it up to you."

He laughs, instantly releasing all tension. "I can't believe you're doing this."

"When I said I needed you back in my life, I meant I needed all of you," she murmurs, as his arms go around her.

Soon, they're slick and soapy and wrapped up in each other. He buries his hands in her wet, heavy hair, as their tongues get reacquainted. This is where I belong, he thinks. With Cristina.

He gently guides Cristina against the back of the stall, his hands on her breasts, his thumbs teasing her nipples. She moans and pulls him closer, sliding her hands down his back, squeezing his ass. He chuckles, kissing that spot below her left ear that he knows that she likes, slipping one hand between her legs.

She gasps and scratches his back when he gently inserts a finger into her. She's hot and wet and that just turns him on more. He inserts another finger and puts his thumb on her clit. Her body bucks a little and she whimpers as his fingers find that sensitive spot inside. He kisses her while his gentle fingers work their magic and slowly tease her. His free hand cups the back of her head as her hands grip his waist.

Just as he's sure she is near her climax, she breaks the kiss. "In me. Now, Owen," she groans. He nods, withdrawing his hands so he can lift her small slick body up against the wall. She whispers encouragement as he grips his erection and slowly presses into her, his blue eyes watching her brown eyes. She wraps her legs around his waist while he starts thrusting up into her, holding her waist with his strong hands.

Her eyes are warm and glowing, and she cups his face with her tender hands, while her hips match his movements. The warm water cascades around them as Owen is awash in emotion. He walked through hell for this, to have Cristina back in his arms again. He wonders if she can see all of the love inside of him – for this is love, he knows it as surely as he knows he wants to be around in 40 years and beyond.

"I love you," he blurts out, then kisses her. She moans and grabs fistfuls of his hair as her legs start to shake and she clenches, and they are both carried away with their shared pleasure. When he's spent, he gently lifts her up and helps her stand again.

"Thank you," she says shakily. "Thank you for getting help so we can be together again," she whispers, reaching up to kiss him. "And I love you."

He smiles and turns her around so she can get cleaned up under the full spray, caressing her. They manage to get clean and stumble out of the stall, damp and unable to stop touching. Between kisses, they manage to towel each other off.

"I really have to start dinner," he finally says, wrapping a towel around his waist.

"Okay," she murmurs, rubbing her hair dry. "Can you bring me my purse?"

He nods and retrieves it for her, then goes into the kitchen and starts preparing the food. Once everything is in the oven, he goes into his bedroom and gets dressed. Wearing a fresh pair of khakis and a dark blue shirt, he goes into the living room and sees Cristina examining his DVD collection. She's dressed again with a fresh application of make-up, and her damp hair is pinned up.

"Anything you want to watch?" he asks, hugging her from behind.

"Plenty," she says. She pulls out a copy of The Great Escape. "I hear this is a great movie. Can we watch this after supper?"

"No war movies tonight," he says quietly, resting his chin on her shoulder.

She squeezes his hands briefly, then pulls out The Philadelphia Story. "Now this surprises me. I've wanted to see this for a while, but I wouldn't have thought this would be in your collection."

He smiles. "That's my mother's favourite movie."

"Sorry," she sighs, turning around in his arms and kissing him.

"Don't be sorry," he says. "My mother knows everything now, remember? I last spoke with her this morning."

She smiles and kisses him again.

"She wants to meet you," he adds.

"Oh, I never do well meeting the mothers," she sighs.

"You don't have to meet her right away," he assures her.

She sniffs the air. "That smells good – what are you cooking?"

"Rack of lamb."

Her eyes widen. "Rack of lamb? You can cook?"

"Nothing to it," he says, nuzzling her hair. "I just whipped up a marinade this morning and then threw it in the oven."

She laughs. "'Just whipped up a marinade', he says. To be honest, I was expecting spaghetti or mac and cheese."

He scoffs. "I learned how to make mac and cheese when I was twelve. My mother was working to support us and taught me how to cook as part of me helping around the house. I discovered that there's a lot of science in cooking, and that made it fun for me."

She shakes her head in amusement. "Are you sure there's nothing I can do to help?"

"You can help set the table," he suggests.

"Works for me."

He shows her around the kitchen and they set his small table together. It feels – domestic, passing plates and utensils to each other. She raises an eyebrow when he gets out wine glasses.

"I suppose you expected beer with your mac and cheese," he smiles.

She chuckles. "Yes, actually I did. But I'm not complaining that you're going to wine and dine me."

He looks at her sideways. "Actually this was Bailey's idea."

She snorts. "Do you know what she did a few days ago? She came charging up to me and yelled at me to get back together with you, because of some nurses trying to get into your pants."

"She told me the same thing," he laughs. He gets a bottle of pinot noir from the fridge and pours the wine. Cristina picks up her glass for a toast.

"To Bailey," she says.

"To Bailey."

**

The lamb, supplemented with crusty bread and glazed vegetables, is a big hit with Cristina. The chocolate cheesecake she bought – "I don't cook" - for dessert is delicious. After supper, Cristina gets to decide if she wants to watch a surgical movie or one of his DVDs. She opts for The Philadelphia Story. They settle on his couch with their wine.

He ends up watching her as much as he watches the movie. The way she laughs, the blackness of her hair, the curve of her fingers around her wineglass – these are fascinating things to observe.

He had feared that she would keep her distance physically, but she surprises him by snuggling up to him without hesitation, sometimes stroking his hand or thigh or giving him a kiss. He attributes her easiness to her own sessions with Dr Wyatt, and the fact that they are now intimately familiar with each others' bodies. And then resolves not to worry about it any more tonight.

"That was a great movie," she sighs as she stretches, after Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn deliver one last laugh. "Your mom has good taste."

"If you let her, she'll sit you down and make you watch all sorts of old movies," he chuckles, picking up their glasses and going into his kitchen.

"I think I might," she says sleepily, watching him clean up.

He smiles at the thought of his mother and Cristina together. He suspects that they will get along, sharing many qualities like stubbornness and intelligence and a sarcastic sense of humour.

After he puts the last of the dishes away, he looks over at the couch and chuckles. Cristina is curled up on the couch, asleep. He quietly grabs a blanket from a closet and covers her with it, bestowing a gentle kiss on her forehead.

He stands there for a few minutes, watching her sleep. He knows that they need to take small steps in some parts of their rekindled relationship. It doesn't feel right to pick her up and carry her to his bad so they can sleep next to each other. But he doesn't want to lie in an empty bed while she sleeps alone in the living room.

Owen walks back to his bedroom and strips down to his underwear. He pulls on a t-shirt, then scoops up his blankets, plus a pillow. He goes back into the living room, and settles himself on the floor beside the couch.

He lies there and listens to the sound of her breathing for a while. He smiles to himself. I think we're going to make it work this time. He stretches out, preparing for one of Dr Wyatt's relaxation exercises, feeling confident that tonight, his dreams will definitely be good.