For the third night in a row, Cristina went to bed by herself. Part of her was annoyed that Owen was once again helping Derek build his stupid deck. Part of her was relieved that he wasn't there, so that they weren't awkwardly being over-polite and courteous.
She took out her frustrations on the pillows, as she arranged them. Everything that was unsaid between them was wearing her down. She hated that they weren't talking. She hated that she didn't know how to start the conversation.
Sighing, she slipped under the blankets. She was wearing one of his t-shirts, she loved stealing his clothes. Everything he owned was comfortable and smelled like him.
Cristina closed her eyes and tried to ignore the empty spot beside her. They hadn't made love since the day she discovered she was pregnant. She missed his tender caresses, she missed him pounding into her, she missed how he kissed her like it was the last thing he would ever do in his lifetime. She just missed her husband, period.
It felt like she couldn't fall asleep, but she must have, because Owen was gently shaking her shoulder. "Wha?" She looked at the clock. 2:15 am. "What's wrong?"
"I held Sofia," he whispered, in the dark.
She blinked. "What?"
Owen sat down beside her. "I held Sofia tonight. While Mark and Derek were arguing. I took her in my arms and we went off to the side and I held her while she looked around and tried to play with the truck. There I was, holding this beautiful baby, who had so much curiosity about the world."
"And what, she peed on you?" Sleepily, Cristina struggled to comprehend where he was going with this.
"We have to talk," Owen said.
"Now?" Fear lashed through her veins. She tried to forestall the inevitable pain. She was too groggy to do this. "Owen, it's late."
In the dim light, she could see his eyes blaze with intensity. "I will always love you," he said gruffly. "But if we don't talk about this now, I'll probably pack some clothes in a bag and leave you."
"Don't!" Heart pounding, she sat up. "Talk. I'll listen."
"It hurt," he growled. "Holding a child. It was fun to hold her, because she's cute and she's at an age where she wants to explore, but it also hurt, because it reminded me that I'm not going to be holding a child of my own, and I'm not going to help my child explore the world, because I stood there and I held your hand while ..." His words were cut off by a sob. He shook his head, unable to speak further.
Cristina took his left hand. Her fingers touched his ring.
"I tried to make myself want it," she whispered. "It would have solved so many things if I had wanted to be a mother. But I couldn't ... I'm so sorry."
His hand gripped hers as he leaned against her for strength. Huddled together in the night, they began to speak.