Thank you again to everyone who read and commented on this story. I'm sorry the ending was so abrupt! Real life got in the way! If I write in the future, I will stick to one-shots! Thanks, again!
Later that afternoon, Cristina made her way back up to Meredith and Derek's room. She found Meredith awake with a sleeping Zola was laying next to her on the bed. Cristina couldn't help breaking into a big smile.
"Heeey!" she said softly. "When did the pipsqueak get here?"
"This morning," Meredith said with a smirk. She knew something and Cristina was sure it wouldn't be long before she- "Alex and April brought her. They saw you and Owen macking down on a park bench right in from of the hospital."
Cristina chuckled quietly, then whispered, "I thought I heard somebody who sounded like Karev yell 'Get a room!'"
"You don't have to be too quiet. Zola could sleep through an air raid siren."
"Oh really? That's what you said about Derek, too."
Meredith shrugged and rolled her eyes.
"Where is he, anyway?" Cristina asked as she sat down on Derek's empty bed and put her feet up.
"Post-op scans. So, I guess you and Owen worked things out?"
"We're starting to."
"You forgave him?"
Cristina nodded. "And he forgave me." Meredith furrowed her eyebrows and looked down. Meredith didn't like to think that Cristina ever did anything wrong. Cristina appreciated that sometimes, but she knew that wasn't the most productive outlook.
"You were worried about the two of you not wanting the same things," Meredith said without looking up.
"We want to be together and that's the most important thing." Neither of them said anything for several moments. Cristina could feel Meredith's questions hanging in the air, but she was done answering them. She didn't feel the need to share every detail of her relationship with Meredith- a trait she wished Meredith shared. Finally, Meredith broke the silence.
"So, you're staying in Seattle?"
"I don't know yet." Cristina said resolutely. She saw Meredith frown out of the corner of her eye. Cristina set her jaw, daring Meredith to ask another question. Cristina and Owen had decided that they were not going to break up- ever- but they still had work to do and a lot of things to figure out. One kiss and one conversation didn't magically fix everything, but they were going to fight through it all. She didn't have any doubt that they could do it. It was going to be different this time. It already was different and it had everything to so with the two conversations they'd had in the last 24 hours, she thought- earlier on the park bench and the night before in bed, when Owen had finally talked about his time in the Army. They decided to talk about things even if it hurt, because putting it off only made it worse. They were also going to make major decisions together. Where she was going for her fellowship would be the first.
Meredith sighed in defeat, resigned to the fact that Cristina had shared all she was willing to for now.
"So," Cristina said, sitting up straighter. "How did you do?"
"What do you mean?" Meredith said suspiciously.
"When I was leaving earlier, I seem to remember Derek saying that the two of you needed to have a talk."
"Oh, right," Meredith sighed again. She looked down and started fiddling with the fringe on the blanket that was covering Zola. "Well," she said, "it turns out I have 3 people. You, Derek, and Zola."
Cristina smiled and settled back onto the bed. She turned to Meredith and said gently, "That's the way it should be, you know."
"I know," Meredith said sheepishly.
Five years later...
It was a typical rainy spring night in Seattle and Cristina and Owen were holed up in the firehouse. Owen was still the Chief of Surgery and Cristina was the head of cardiothoracics at Seattle Grace. Cristina had stayed in Seattle for her fellowship and had taken over as lead researcher on Teddy's stem cell study. The results of her work had been ground-breaking and now she was practically a household name. She had already been on the cover of a medical journal and she had been profiled in a feature in Newsweek about medical breakthroughs. She had always figured that she would make her name by fixing hearts rather than by growing them, but that was just one of the ways her life hadn't turned out exactly like she had planned.
The month after the plane crash, Owen had a speaking engagement at Northwestern to talk about the trauma certification and emergency preparedness program he had instituted at Seattle Grace. The presentation was very well received and he had another speaking engagement the following month and two more the month after that. Before long, he was in very high demand and traveling almost weekly until he realized all that time away was hurting the hospital. His realization just happened to coincide with Cristina putting her foot down about it, as well. Since then he had limited his travel to no more than one trip a month. He had done research and collected information from hospitals that had employed his methods and published a couple of journal articles. In a few months, he would be taking an extended leave of absence to work on writing a book that brought together all of his research. He would also be spending some of his time off focusing on a joint project he and Cristina had been working on, which they had found out earlier that day was a boy.
They went out to dinner then came home and celebrated getting the news. Owen was tired and ready to fall asleep, but he knew it might be a while before that happened. He was spooning Cristina and she was restless. He pulled her a little closer and mumbled into her hair, "What's on your mind?"
Cristina sighed, "Names."
"Oh!" Owen grinned into the back of her head. "Any in particular?"
Cristina paused for several moments. "I'm thinking...Ethan."
Owen chuckled. "Ethan?"
"Um, yeah. Why is that funny?"
"It's a fictional character."
"Yeah, from TV and movies."
"Oh," Cristina said. "Huh. Well, that's kind of appropriate, actually."
"Heeey," Owen gently scolded her.
Cristina turned around, took his face in her hands, and gave him three quick kisses. "I'm sorry," she said as she snuggled into his chest.
"It's okay," he said. Pregnancy had done nothing to dull Cristina's wit. He wasn't too bothered by the joke. He knew she had made it because she was scared and having your first child was a special kind of scary.
Owen held his breath and waited to see how she was going to react to what had just happened. After a few moments, he was sure she wasn't going to cry, so he relaxed a bit. Cristina's pregnancy hormones made her very sensitive when it came to him. He had to be careful not to make mountains out of molehills, because everything seemed like Everest to her lately, particularly when it came to his well-being. A few weeks ago he had sneezed a couple of times while he was working on the nursery and she had called their G.P. after hours and convinced him to call in a prescription for Owen for antibiotics. A week ago, Owen had gotten a minor cut from a stray scalpel during surgery and Cristina had cried for the better part of an hour and read the poor intern involved the riot act. He kissed the top of her head. "Are there any other names you like?"
"Oh," she said, "I don't know."
"We could name him after your dad."
Cristina was silent for a moment. "Daniel," she said, trying it out. "Daniel Hunt...I don't know. The kid is already going to have Yang as a middle name. I think that's tribute enough." Cristina and Owen had gone round and round about the last name issue. Cristina didn't like the way their names sounded hyphenated. She had said it would either sound like the kid was going on a Yang hunt or that they were going out to hunt Yang. She found it incredibly distracting that Owen's last name was a verb. In the end they had decided Hunt would be the last name and Yang would be the middle name. "Do you like the name Daniel?" she asked.
"I like Daniel, or Dan," Owen said.
"Do you want to name him after Dan from your unit?"
"No" Owen said honestly after a moment. "It's just a good name. And your dad's name."
"Well," Cristina said, "we can put it on they maybe list."
"There's a maybe list?" Owen said incredulously.
Cristina nodded. "So far it includes Daniel and Ethan."
"Cristina, I just-" Owen sighed. "We can put Ethan on the maybe list if you watch the Mission Impossible movies. You should at least know who people are going to think we're naming him after."
Cristina considered it for a moment. "How many movies are there?"
"3 or 4," Owen replied. Cristina had probably watched a total of 3 or 4 non-surgical movies in the whole time he's known her.
After a few more moments of consideration, Cristina grunted, "uhgh, what's the big deal, anyway?"
"I knew a guy in the service whose name was Jason Bourne and he never heard the end of it."
"Who's Jason Bourne?"
Owen groaned, but then scooted down so he could kiss her twice. "We have got to get you out more!"
Cristina smiled. "Whatever." She kissed him back then snuggled back into him like she had been before.
"So, what is it about Ethan, anyway?" Owen asked.
"I don't know," Cristina said. "I mean, I like the sound of it."
"Well, then we ll find something else that sounds like it. How about Ian?"
Owen wracked his brain for something that sounded like Ethan, but wasn't Ethan.
"Wha-? It's a real name!"
"I know, but- are you serious?"
Owen chuckled. "I suppose not." He couldn't see her, but he knew Cristina was rolling her eyes. He continued, "At least with Ephraim, there wouldn't be twenty other kids in his class with the same name."
"Hmph," Cristina said. "I want our son to be exceptional because of who he is, not because of what he's named." Owen felt a lump form in his throat. She has said 'our son,' like it was the most normal thing in the world, like it was real. It was real. He didn't dare speak, for fear his voice would break. He closed his eyes and rested his cheek on the top of her head.
"I remember!" Cristina said suddenly, jolting Owen out of his revere. She laughed heartily.
"What?" Owen said finally.
"Ethan was one of the boy scouts!"
"Ahhh," Owen chuckled. After some time had past, Cristina had regaled him with stories about the boy scouts that aided in the rescue after the plane crash. The way she told it, they were a modern day version of the seven dwarves. "Which one was Ethan?"
"Doc, of course!" They both busted out laughing.
"Well," Owen said after they were finally breathing normally again, "we don't have to decide on a name tonight."
"I know..." Cristina said.
Owen sighed, "But?"
"But, I don't know if I'll be able to sleep until we get this settled."
"Why don't you just try," Owen said. "Please? Give it five minutes."
"Ok," Cristina said reluctantly.
Owen knew it was a long shot. He knew it, but he closed his eyes anyway. About 30 seconds later he felt himself start to drift off.
"Nope! Not working!" Cristina blurted out before reaching over to her beside table and grabbing her phone.
Owen groaned inwardly. "What's that for?"
Cristina sat up and turned on the light. "I've got some baby name sites book marked."
At just before 3 o'clock in the morning, Cristina and Owen named their son Nathan Yang Hunt.