He wakes up in the middle of the night, with a start. Owen opens his eyes, checking for Cristina first. Her side of the bed is empty.
He hears Chloe crying in the baby monitor. He rolls over and listens for Cristina in the speaker. He doesn't hear anything but their daughter's cries.
Sighing, he sits up. He blinks and runs his hands through his scruffy hair. He scratches his bare chest and rolls out of bed. He pads off towards Chloe's room.
She's lying in her crib, crying and whimpering. He reaches in and picks her up, sniffing the air. The smell and the wetness of her bottom tells him everything he needs to know.
Chloe whimpers softly as he carries her over to the changing table. He smiles down at her as he changes her diaper quickly and neatly. Once she's dry and changed, she stops crying, eyes heavy.
He holds her in one arm, while he digs for a fresh outfit. Tired, she's almost asleep by the time she's dressed in a clean sleeper. He stands and rocks her a bit, until he's sure she will fall asleep again. He kisses her forehead and places her back in her crib.
He thinks about all of the therapy that it took for the nightmares to start subsiding. He walked through hell for a long time, to get to where he is today – simply a man watching his sleeping daughter. He reaches down and pulls Chloe's blanket up over her a little higher. He turns to leave, then notices that Cristina has put a new picture on Chloe's dresser. He picks up the frame and walks over to the night light, where he can see it better.
It's a picture of his mother, holding up Chloe so they are both smiling at the camera, wearing identical grins. He smiles. Something else he had to walk through hell for. Now, on the other side, he knows it was worth it. He carefully puts the frame back on the dresser, and looks for Cristina.
The faint light under the guest room door draws his attention. She's sitting on the floor of the guest bathroom, looking pale, eyes closed, back against the cabinet.
"Cristina? You okay?" he asks softly.
She opens her eyes and nods, looking tired. "I came in here so I wouldn't wake you up," she says. "I was feeling sick and had to throw up."
He crouches down beside her and puts his hand on her forehead. "I don't have a cold or the flu," she murmurs.
"Something you ate?"
She shakes her head and smiles quietly. "I took this fifteen minutes ago." She reaches into the pocket of her robe and pulls out a pregnancy test, handing it to him.
He smiles as he sees the plus sign. "Well, look at this. Another one of your schemes to surprise me?"
"No," she chuckles. "This one is a surprise for both of us. It took so long to conceive Chloe that I got complacent and didn't get a new birth control prescription. I kept meaning to, but I've been busy."
He caresses her face with one hand. "How are you feeling?"
"Tired. I could fall asleep right here."
"No, I meant, about this." He holds up the test.
"Okay," she smiles sleepily. "I really didn't want to have another right away, Chloe's only eight months old. I was thinking three or four years down the road, if at all. But what the hell. We make good babies."
"We sure do." They smile at each other. She doesn't need to ask if he's okay with another baby, she just knows.
"Think you can handle me being all bloated and cranky again?" she teases.
"I've been through worse," he chuckles.
She snorts, then her eyes widen as she makes a hiccupping sound and moves to lean over the toilet. He holds her hair for her as she is sick. She moans and leans against the cabinet again, as he gets her a glass of water and a washcloth.
"You're too good to me," she mutters, as he sits down beside her.
"There's no such thing as too good for you," he smiles. He gently rubs her belly as she sips her water. They sit in silence for a while.
"Can you walk?"
"Barely," she manages to say before he scoops her up. She smiles and leans against his chest, as he carries her back to their bed. He settles her in, getting her another glass of water from their bathroom. Then he gets her a basin and climbs back into bed. She turns her back to him, curling up so they can spoon.
He nuzzles the back of her neck. He is not a religious person, but he thinks it's a miracle that she is here with him now. He walked through hell for her, for them, for this life they've built together. He'd do it again in a heartbeat.