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havin' my baby

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(Levi)

I paced back and forth in Nico and I’s shared home, occasionally kicking at the rug under my feet. The TV played in the background, a random talk show like The View or Ellen, I wasn’t really paying attention. I had the day off today, as I’d already worked 30 hours in the hospital, and the Chiefs decided I needed a break. I wasn’t complaining. However, I was a little worried. I had to have a serious conversation with my husband and, while I knew he wasn’t going to have a negative reaction to my question, I have still hesitant to ask.

It all started a couple of days ago when a pregnant teenager came into the ER. She had broken a bone in her calf and needed and orthopedic consult. Seeing as Nico and Link were the co-head’s of Ortho, and I was a newly appointed fellow, we were all assigned to her case. I wasn’t on her case very long, so I wasn’t able to get to know her, but she definitely had an impact on my life.

A couple of months ago, Nico and I humored the idea of us possibly having a child. Of course, being in a gay relationship, a baby half Nico’s and half mine just wasn’t in the cards. (Unless we pulled a Neil Patrick Harris/David Burtka and had twins). So, we talked about getting a surrogate. We wanted it to be somebody that we knew really well. I’d asked Taryn, but of course she said no (no shock there), and while Qadri wanted to do this for us, she ultimately decided that she couldn’t.

So, that left my sister. She seemed really excited about doing it, and we went through a couple tests with her to see if she was a good fit. However, when the OBGYN at Grey Sloan told her that she was infertile, we didn’t have anywhere else to go. My sister apologized, but I could tell how disappointed she was. I felt like shit, making my sister feel that bad.

Nico and I then got swamped with work, and my fellowship was getting harder and more demanding, so we decided to hold off on talking to potential surrogates or adoption agencies. I buried myself in my fellowship work and forgotten about everything surrounding babies for a little while.

Until that day.

I hadn’t known much about this girl, but I had heard she was putting her baby up for adoption. So the idea came back into my head. And here we are, waiting for my husband to come home so I could talk to him again about adopting.

I’d practiced what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it, what tone of voice to use to make Nico agree. So there was nothing else I could do but wait.

But the thing about waiting?

It sucks.

Luckily, I knew Nico would be home really soon, as he texted me a few minutes earlier saying he was walking back. Our space was only down the street from the hospital, which was both good as it was very hard to be late, but bad, seeing as we’re the first ones they call in an emergency.

Before I could overthink, I heard the door open and Nico walked in. He was soaked, and breathing heavy. His jacket slung over his arm, adn not on him.

“Why aren’t you wearing your coat, it’s pouring rain out there, Nico!” I said, rushing over to him and taking his sopping coat. “Jesus, it’s like you want to get pneumonia.” I muttered, pulling out the objects in his coat pocket before chucking it into a laundry hamper.

He smiled and leaned close, wanting me to kiss him. I rolled my eyes playfully. “I don’t want to get sick, thank you very much.” I said, but made no effort in stopping him. He pressed a gentle kiss on my lips, smiling into it.

“I missed you.” He said, fully coming into the house and closing the door behind him. “Took my coat off in the lobby, don’t worry. I’m not stupid.” He removed his skin tight shirt and ran his fingers through his dripping hair.

I scoffed. “You once walked outside, in a windstorm, and got blown into an ambulance.” I crossed my arms, giving him a stern look.

“And then I got blown in an ambulance.” He winked, walking into the bedroom, but not before slapping his hand on my ass.

I sighed and shook my head, but couldn’t get rid of the smile creeping up on my face. “Don’t be crass.” I followed him inside, where he was stripping himself of his other wet pieces of clothing. When he and I first started seeing each other, I would have blushed and backed out of the room, becoming a stuttering mess.. But that was two years ago. Nico and I were married now, have been for a year now. Sure, he’s hot, but he’s made me realize time and time again that I am too. So we’re even, I guess. “I wanted to talk to you about something.” I said, leaning against the door frame.

He turned around just as he was pulling up his sweatpants. “Oh yeah?” His eyebrows raised and he grabbed a t-shirt from the closet. He tossed the hanger on the bed and pulled on the shirt. He walked closer to me and put his hands on my waist, I put mine on his shoulders. “Gonna lecture me for walking in the rain?”

“Definitely. But later.” I smirked.

“You’re so hot when you lecture me.” He mumbled, leaning down to kiss at my neck. His hands slipped into the back of my jeans. I guess I could humor him a bit.

I leaned away and walked towards the bed. “Well, in that case..” I grabbed the hanger he’d tossed on the bed. “Hangers belong in the closet.” I started.

“Oh, don’t stop.” Nico moaned.

I walked closer to him and leaned up on my tiptoes, whispering in his ears. “Muddy shoes go on the shoe rack.” I looked at his face, and he was biting his lower lip, playing into the bit more and more. “The dishes need to be done.”

“God, babe, I’m on fire.” He whispered back, putting his hands on my shirt, slowly unbuttoning them one by one. “Let’s just do it.”

“As long as we put our clothes in the…” I craned my hand around the back of his neck and pulled his hair a little bit. He gasped, which I don’t think was part of the bit. “..hamper.”

Without saying anything else, Nico grabbed my waist and lifted me up off the ground, kissing me fiercely. He walked us to the bed and threw me on top, quickly climbing over me. “I love you.” He said, smirking at me.

“Love you too, baby.” I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him quickly again. “You know.. I did actually have something I needed to talk about.” I said as he moved his lips to my neck. “I was thinking..”

He stopped kissing and looked up into my eyes. This was going to be difficult. When he realized the effect he was having on me, he continued his kissing down my chest. Oh God. “I-I wanna.. Nico.. I- oh my god.” I blushed as he completely removed my shirt and then his. “As much as I love what’s happening right now.. I don’t want to talk about this while you’re sucking me off.” I said, making him laugh.

“Alright, alright. Later, though.” He winked and crawled back up, leaning on his side and he laid beside me. “What’s up?”

I turned on my side as well, and leaned forward to kiss the tip of his nose. “I know we’re really busy, and I know that it’ll be difficult but.. I want a baby.” I quickly said, his surprise very evident on his face. “I want to be a dad, and I want you to be one too, because I know you’re going to be an amazing dad.. And I know we’ve talked about all the ways it won’t work, but all I’m thinking about is the way that it will.” I rambled, sitting up on the bed. Nico didn’t say anything, he just let me talk. Let me get out what I needed to. “I love you. So much. I’m ready to take this next step with you, and obviously, you need to be ready too but.. I want to open this discussion again..” I finished. This wasn’t what I wanted to say. But at least I got the gist of it out. Nico remained silent. “Uh, your rebuttal?”

He smiled and sat up too. “I knew it.” He said, shaking his head.

“Oh God. Okay.. look, if you don’t want a baby anymore, that’s okay. That’s more than okay. We can manage. I just needed you to know where I’m at.” I turned away from him, embarrassed that I ever thought he’d be down for this.

I could feel his weight lift off the bed as he walked in front of me. He kneeled on the ground and took my hands. “Levi, are you really saying that you’re willing to give up on having a baby just for me?”

“I love you.” I cupped his face. “More than anything.”

He leaned closer and kissed me softly. “You’re an idiot.” He said, in a joking manner.

I pulled away. “What?”

“Of course I want a baby, Levi.” He sat on the bed again. “I knew this conversation would be happening soon. And if you hadn’t of brought it up, I was going to.. So I talked to her.”

I furrowed my brows, confused at what he meant. “Talked to who?” There was still a bright smile of my face. “Nico..”

Nico grinned. “Her name is Melissa. She’s in her second trimester. She’s putting her baby up for adoption because she’s seventeen, and her scummy ex boyfriend knocked her up and then ditched her.”

“You talked to the ortho patient about us?” I blushed, the grin becoming even bigger on my face. “She probably thought you were crazy!” I laughed.

“We have so many people at the hospital who could back us up.” He hugged me, I felt like I could burst into tears. “I think we should do it.” He kissed the top of my head.

I looked up and kissed him square on the lips. “Me too.”

--

(Nico)

Nico walked down the hallways of the hospital, looking around for a certain doctor that he needed to talk to. He and Levi both had a task for the day. Nico would talk to Meredith Grey, and Levi would talk to Co-Chief’s Bailey and Karev. Eventually, as Nico turned a corner, he saw Dr Grey standing in the hallway, chatting with her sister, Dr Pierce.

“Zola threw up on me today.” Meredith said, looking down at her shoes. They were different than her usual footwear. “I had to wear my backups.” She groaned, kicking a bit at the ground.

Maggie laughed, endearingly. “Shut up, Mer, they’re cute.” She turned her head and saw Nico standing there. “Dr Grey, it looks like you have a fan club.”

Meredith turned and gave Nico a bright smile. “Dr Kim, hi.” She put her hand on Maggie's shoulder. “I’ll talk to you later?”

“Of course. Have a good day, Mer. Dr Kim.” Maggie nodded and excused herself, leaving the two doctors alone.

“What’s up, Nico?” She asked casually. They started walking down the hallway. “We never talk. How are you? How’s Schmitt?”

Nico blushed at the mention of his husband. “Good- great, actually. I wanted to talk to you about something.” He proposed, gripping the sides of his lab coat, needing something to fiddle with. Nico didn’t get nervous very easily, in fact, he was known for his confidence and bravado. “Your daughter, your oldest daughter.. You adopted her, right?”

What a dumb question. Of course Zola was adopted, but he didn’t want to make any broad assumptions just for Meredith to get mad at him or reprimand him.

Meredith smiled and nodded. “Well, I’m not black and neither was my husband, Dr Kim.” She teased. “Why do you ask?”

“Dr Schmitt and I are thinking about adopting.” He admitted. He hadn’t told anyone yet, as he wasn't close with his family, and he hadn’t seen Link all day, so there was nobody to tell quite yet.

“Congratulations.” She smiled. “Is there anything else?”

“Yes. How.. how did you know? Did you see her and.. Did you just know immediately? How did the process go?” He knew they were heavy questions, and that Meredith didn’t have to answer them, but he didn’t know anybody else who could help him with this. Chief Bailey had a natural birth, as did Alex and Jo, and Link was single as ever. He liked hooking up, but he hadn’t tried to get in a serious relationship since Dr Grey had turned him down for Dr DeLuca.

Meredith chewed on her lower lip. “My husband knew right away, but it took a little bit more convincing for me.. And the process of adopting Zola was different than normal adoptions.” She sighed. “I did something.. Kind of stupid, all for a good reason, but it put a rock in my marriage. My husband and I were separated, so it made the adoption process a hell of a lot longer and harder.. Eventually we got our baby, but it took a lot.” She stopped walking. “You and Schmitt.. You’re good?”

“Of course.” Nico smiled.

Meredith put her hand on Nico’s arm and gave it a gentle squeeze. “Then I wish you the best of luck. You’ll have a lot of people in this hospital to back you up.” She started walking away but before fully leaving, she turned around and gave me a smile. “Congratulations, again, Dr Kim.”

“Thank you, Dr Grey.”

--

(Levi)

Both Karev and Bailey agreed to write a recommendation letter, which was so nerve wracking to ask about, but I’m very happy I did it. There was nobody better to get a recommendation from than the chiefs at your hospital (aside from Catherine Fox, but I rarely talked to her seeing as she intimidated me to no end).

Nico texted me, asking to meet him, so I speed walked to the room he told me to go. He stood at the door, with a smile on his face. I rushed up to him, pulling him in for a quick kiss. “They said yes.” I said, excitedly. “Whenever we need the letter, they said to text them and they’d write it up. How was Grey?”

“Awesome as usual.” Nico smiled and took both of my hands in his. “I wanted to formally introduce you to someone, though.”

I was confused for a split second until Nico walked into the room. A young girl was sitting on a hospital bed. Her orange hair tied up in a bun, and her pregnant belly bulging out. “Hello, Melissa. You know Dr Schmitt?”

She smiled and nodded. “He was on my case for about 10 minutes. Hi. Melissa Stairmore.” She reached her hand out for me to shake. “Dr Kim has told me a lot about you two.”

I blushed. “All good things I hope.” I jabbed my elbow into Nico’s chest gently and smiled. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Is it true that your first time was in the back of an ambulance during a windstorm?” She asked, causing Nico to laugh. I stared at her, mouth agape. “What? I need to be able to trust you two if I’m considering giving you my baby.” She grinned. “And besides, it’s pretty badass.”

I turned to Nico and gave him a small glare. “No, no that’s not true.” I shook my head. Before Nico could step in to disagree, I continued. “We got together in the ambulance.. But I think it wasn't until we dated for a.. A month?”

Melissa laughed. “A month? How did you hold off for a month? Have you looked at your husband?”

“I know, I know. It took me a while to get comfortable, I guess.” The blush on my cheeks going deeper into my neck. I don’t talk about my sex life very often, especially not with patients who’s pregnant with my potential child.

“I wish I’d waited. I’m so happy you two might be able to have a child because of me but.. I don’t know. My ex sucks. I lost my virginity, and then wound up pregnant, and he left me to deal with it on my own.”

Nico sighed and shook his head. “He’s an ass.”

Things got quiet for a moment until I cleared my throat. “Well.. we’re here to help you out, Melissa.”

She smiles. “Thank you.. So.. how do we start the process?”

--

Later that night, Nico and I laid together in an on call room, legs tangled up in each others, his hand softly stroking my hair. Things were a little blurry as I set my glasses aside, but I could still see the huge smile on Nico’s face.

“I love you.” He whispered, kissing my nose.

“We’re having a baby.” I said, pulling myself closer. “I love you so much.” I could feel myself welling up with tears. “We’re having a baby.” I kept repeating it over and over again, crying happy tears into Nico’s shoulder.

Chapter Text

(Nico)

Ever since Levi and Nico had decided they were going to adopt, it was like their sex lives had instantly gotten better. One night, when Nico had to work late, he came home to Levi laying on their bed, rose petals surrounding him. He had a box of chocolate over his private area, but he still wore a pair of black boxer briefs. His small chest matted with a thin layer of chest hair. He looked adorable.

“What's all this?” Nico asked, taking a small piece of chocolate from the box. He sat beside Levi, without interrupting the rose petals laid out.

Levi blushed. “Well, uh, whenever married couples decide they're having a baby.. the woman usually gets all dressed up and says the most cheesy thing and.. I don't know. I wanted to do that too.” He moved the chocolate and sat up. “I know, its dumb.”

Nico shook his head and put his arm around Levi. “No, it's cute.” He dropped a kiss on Levis lips. “what's the really cheesy thing you wanted to say?”

Levi laughed. “You're gonna laugh.”

“Probably. But it's because you're adorable. Out with it.”

“Alright…” Levi laid back into the position, promptly kicking Nico off. “Nico Kim…” he spoke softly, looking deep into his husband's eyes. “Put a baby in me.”

Nico grinned. “Gladly.” He basically attacked Levi with kisses, effectively tossing the chocolates everywhere on the bed. “You know that's not biologically possible though, right?”

Levi threw his head back and laughed. “And they call me the nerd.”

--

(Levi)

I sat in a chair beside Melissa's hospital bed as she laid down. She had her appointment that day to check on the baby, making sure she was okay. Oh, yeah, we learned that the baby is a girl. She seemed nervous over the phone when she told us about the check up, and because it was my day off, I decided to join her. I'd learned about her home life, and how her mom didn't fully support the decision of putting the baby up for adoption. Her father wasn't in her life, but her brothers had been there for her from the start. It was nice to get to know her.

“Look,” I started, breathing out a sigh. “I want you to know that Nico and I have talked about it and.. if you want to be, we’d love it if you were in the baby's life.”

She smiled. “That's sweet, thank you.” She took my hand. “But I think I'll have to pass. I mean, maybe I'll visit her and you guys every now and again but.. I don't want the constant reminder, that I'm giving her up, you know?” She groaned and laid her head back on the pillow, staring at the ceiling. “That makes me sound awful… doesn't it?”

“Of course not. There's a lot going on in your life, being a teenager, you don't need the added stress. I get it.” She still looked unconvinced so I held her hand tighter. “Hey, I get it.”

Melissa sighed and nodded, wiping away tears that had formed. “God, I hate pregnancy hormones.”

Before long, Chief Karev walked in with a smile on his face. “Hi, Melissa, I'm Chief Karev, but I'm also head of pediatrics. I will be taking care of you and your baby until she turns eighteen.” He put on a pair of rubber gloves. “How are ya feeling today?”

“A bit frazzled. Big exam coming up.” She said, looking at the ultrasound monitor. It wasn't on yet, but I could tell she needed something to focus on. “Hey, any chance I could go into labour before the 17th?”

Karev smirked but shook his head. “Sorry, your baby will still be cooking at that point. Not even this will get you out of your test.” He clicked his tongue and turned the monitor on.

Before long, the examination was over and everything seemed okay. I thanked Karev and tried offering Melissa an Uber ride (paid by me of course) but she refused. Her brothers were coming to pick her up, so I waited with her while they drove here. She seemed really nervous for some reason, so I stepped in front of her, my hands on my hips.

“You seem scared. What's up?” I asked, trying to stay reassuring but also trying to maintain a solid level of professionalism.

She sighed and crossed her arms, tapping her foot against the cement ground. “I don't know. Everything, I guess?” She wrapped her coat tightly around her body and looked at her feet. “This isn't… God..” She put her face into her hands and sniffled. “This isn't how my life was supposed to go. And- and I'm sorry to say that, but it isn't.” She was crying now.

I wasn't sure how to go about cheering her up, if hugging her was to personal or if playing it off seemed too heartless. I put my hand on her shoulder and squeezed softly.

“You can't change your mind, okay? Because I can't be a mom, and if you guys change your mind-”

Okay. Hug time.

I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her close, letting her tears stain the fabric of my shirt. “We're not going to.” I pulled her away just enough so she could look into my eyes. “Hey, we're not going to. We're all in this together.”

She gave a soft smile and shook her head. “Was that High School Musical reference intentional?”

“I mean.. You could.. Bet On It?”

She threw her head back in laughter and pushed me away. “Oh God, you're already making dad jokes!”

We spent the next few minutes joking around until her brothers showed up. They seemed like nice guys, supportive too.

--

(Nico)

Nico sat in the bay, waiting for an oncoming trauma to come. Link stood beside him, bag of chips in hand, waiting around. Even after all this time, Link still liked to stay relaxed when hanging out in the bay.

“So…” Nico started, realizing he still hadn't told Link the big news. It'd been a few weeks now since Levi and Nico decided to adopt Melissa's baby, and he was already beaming.

But, due to the amount of unforeseen circumstances, he didn't want to get his hopes up too high by telling too many people. Levi hadn't told many people either, opting to keep it a secret from the so called “B Team”. He couldn't keep it in anymore though. He had to tell Link. He and his husband could argue about it later, but right now, Nico was nearly imploding from excitement.

“I have something to tell you.. Sorry it took so long to tell you.”

Link noticed his serious expression and set the bag of chips down on a ledge. “What's up, dude? You haven't looked like this since you asked me to be your best man.”

It was true. Nico hardly did any big, astronomical things in his life. And when Link had accepted the role of Best Man at Nico and Levis wedding, it was a big deal. (Even bigger when they realized that Helm was Levis best man).

Nico smiled at the memory. “Levi and I are adopting a baby.” He said after taking a deep breath.

Link was quiet for a second before a huge smile broke out onto his face. “I'm gonna be an uncle?” Before Nico could respond, Link wrapped him up in a big hug. “Aw. Congrats, man. You're gonna be an amazing dad, you and Schmitt.” He cupped Nicos face, pressed a huge kiss on his forehead, and started laughing.

“Thanks.” Nico noticed the change of expression in Links face, and almost burst out laughing when he saw it. “Dude.. Are you crying?”

Link shoved Nicos shoulder. “Shut up, man, you know I love kids.” He wiped at the forming tears in his eyes and took a deep breath. “Okay. I think I'm good.”

“There's uh.. There's another thing.” Nico rocked on the heels of his feet, knowing this next question was gonna make Link cry even harder. “We want you to be a godparent. You and Helm.”

Tears, again, started streaming down Links face as he hugged Nico again. “Of course. Of course! Helm and I would be kickass godparents!” Without realizing he'd been holding back tears, Nico started to cry too.

Before long, the doors opened and Meredith Grey rushed outside. “Incoming trauma. Sixteen year old girl got into a car accident with her 2 year old sister. They're both in the same ambulance. It's bad-” Meredith looked at the boys, who now weren't hugging anymore, but who were still crying. “You boys okay? Oh god, you're not having an affair are you?” She said, jokingly.

Link, still a weepy mess, scoffed. “Please. He wishes.”

Nico rolled his eyes.

The sirens of an oncoming ambulance blared out, pulling the three doctors out of what they were doing. Paramedics loaded out of the ambulance, rolling out the two young girls from the back. The sixteen year old seemed to be okay, just a broken arm and a few scratches. She was hysterical though, crying about her sister, who wasn't moving. Her eyes were closed and she was covered in blood. Suddenly, she started seizing, causing the sixteen year old to start crying even harder.

“God dammit.” Meredith whispered. “Page Karev.” She helped take the toddler inside as the sixteen year old kept on crying. “Dr Kim, can you come with me? Link, you've got the girl?”

“Yes, Dr Grey.”

--

The two year old died after half an hour of being there. The blunt force of the hit was too much for her, and she wasn't strong enough to survive. Nico had lost patients before, but never one this young. That was the benefit of being in ortho.

Nico noticed the sister, whose name he learned was Kendra, sitting alone in an empty room. She had a cast on her arm and a bandage stuck on her forehead.

He swallowed dryly, and went to talk to her, but when she noticed him, she started yelling. Karev moved in front of Nico and put his hand on his shoulder. “Hey, Kim.. You've had a rough day. It's never easy to lose a kid.”

“She needs someone.” Nicos breath caught in his throat as he realized he was close to crying.

“I know. But she just lost her sister. Right now, she doesn't want to see you. Or Grey, or even me, quite frankly. I've already paged Lincoln.” Karev sighed. “I paged Schmitt, too.”

Nicos face crinkled up into confusion. “Wha- why?”

“He's been through this, remember? First year. Nicole Pavion.”

Nico did remember. When Levi was still an intern, he was assigned to peds, and lost a kid younger than the girl they lost today. He was a wreck for weeks after that, but what cheered him up the most was just being with Nico. That was a pivotal moment of their relationship. It was when they first told each other that they loved one another.

“No! Noooo! Oh God, no!” He heard crying behind him, so he turned around. Dr Grey was standing with a lady, probably around 35-40, who was breaking down in her arms.

It was the mother. Nico looked back at Karev. “Being a father now.. God, this is the moment you fear. I always worry that I'll get a call someday, saying something happened to James.”

Like magic, Jo Karev walked up to the boys with a baby in a stroller. “Hey, you. Mer called me. You okay?” She asked her husband, leaning forward and kissing him.

“I am now.” Karev leaned down and picked up James (aptly named after Alex's father). He kissed the toddler and his wife, again. “I should go. You okay, Kim?”

Nico sadly smiled and nodded. “Yeah.” His voice was dry.

Alex and Jo smiled and both left. Nico turned around again and saw Meredith explaining what had happened. Kendra ran out of the room from behind and ran over to her mother. It was heartbreaking. They'd both lost someone, and Nico couldn't imagine what they were feeling right now.

“Hey.” He felt a familiar tug at his lab coat. “You okay?” Levi was standing beside him. Nico nodded, but stayed quiet. “Look at me.” He whispered. Nico turned and saw his husband, wearing street clothes. “Let's go home.” Before they could leave, Levi wrapped his arms around Nicos shoulders.

--

(Levi)

Nico wasn't making any sense. As soon as we stepped inside our apartment, Nico started rambling on about how maybe having a baby wasn't the smartest idea. How maybe we'd have to go through what that mother had to today.

“Nico.. Take a breath, okay? Please.” I sat us down and cupped Nicos face. “We're gonna have a baby, and maybe something's going to go wrong, but is that small percentage really worth throwing all of this away?”

“I feel like.. I won't be able to breathe. Thinking about what could happen? It's not.. We're doctors, Levi. It doesn't make sense.”

I stood up and scoffed. “It made sense two weeks ago! What's changed? You've always known it was a possibility.”

“I guess I never took it into account. I can't, Levi, I can't lose our kid.”

“So you're saying we just shouldn't have one anymore? I promised Melissa!”

He sighed, frustrated. “You shouldn't have done that.”

“Hey, no, you don't get to lash out at me. I've been through this too, okay? This little girl was in a car accident. She couldn't be saved, it's sad. It sucks, but it happens, Nico! You can't let fear rule your life, if you did, we'd have never gotten together.”

Nico looked at me, like I was stupid, like I just wasn't getting it. And that was right. I didn't get how he could go from one to another so quickly.

“Sleep on it, Nico. Please. I.. I need to be a dad, okay? There's no way I can't anymore. I'm in too deep.”

“What.. What aren't you getting about this, Levi? I can't go through it. I-”

I snapped. “I have to! If we don't adopt this baby, we-” I stopped myself before saying anything I'd probably regret after. “Sleep on it.” I said, tears forming in my eyes.

“Levi-”

“Please.” I begged, voice full of desperation.

He sniffed and then nodded.

I needed this.

Chapter Text

(Levi)

I slept on the couch that night. I really didn’t want to lay in bed with Nico, especially after the argument we’d had. It almost seemed like it came out of nowhere, but the things he was saying, it was like he had been thinking that way for a while. By the time I’d woken up, Nico had already showered and left the apartment, leaving two pieces of French toast on the table beside a glass of orange juice and a note saying “see u at hospital. Love you. Xoxo.”

Sighing, I took the note and put it in my bag. This was tradition for us. Whenever one of us had an earlier shift, we’d make enough breakfast for the both of us, so that we could pretend like we ate together. Same went for dinner most nights.

Before I could dig into the food, my phone started ringing. It was a special ringtone I’d set just for Melissa, so I’d know it was her, and I could answer it quickly. I dug it out of my pocket and answered it.

“Melissa, hey. Everything okay?” I asked, as she hadn’t regularly called me this early.

“Uh, yeah. Sorry. Something just- ah! Feels weird.” She answered, clearly in pain or discomfort. “I feel.. Like something is wrong. Can you come over?”

Before I knew it, I was hanging up and ordering an Uber over to Melissa’s house. I got there in less than ten minutes, and once I reached her doorstep, I walked right in, per her instruction. “Melissa?” I called out, looking around for her.

“In here!” She called from a couple rooms over.

I found her sitting in the kitchen, a glass of water sitting in front of her, and her hands pressed against her bulging belly. I pulled up a chair beside her. “Can I?” I asked before placing my hands on her belly. She nodded, giving her permission to check her out. I felt something come from her stomach and smiled to myself.

“That was it. Is everything okay?” She asked, starting to panic.

I nodded and took her hand. “Everything's fine. The baby’s kicking.”

--

(Nico)

Nico walked down the hallway with one of the hospital tablets in his hands, checking out his latest case. A 60 year old woman with a broken shoulder, and an inner ear infection. As he looked through her file, he started reminiscing on the fight he’d had the previous night. He hadn’t meant to completely blow up at Levi, but he needed to get his point across.

Still, he hated seeing Levi upset, and knew that he’d have to make it up to him somehow. He just didn’t know how.

Lost in his head, he almost didn’t notice an intern running up to him. “Dr. Kim!” They shouted, grabbing his attention. “I, uh, Leia. I’m on your service today.” She had a grin on her face. Light blonde hair covered her head and tucked behind her ears. She had freckles all over her face, and very little makeup over her eyes. Leia. “I know what you’re thinking. My parents were huge Star Wars fans.”

Nico smirked and nodded, handing the tablet to her to look over the case. “Ms. Floyd. Sixty four years old. Broken shoulder. Easy case.”

Leia scrolled through and sighed. “No family?” She asked, looking at Nico with a slight frown on her face. “Sucks.”

“She could have friends.” Nico shrugged, turning the corner.

“It says she checked herself in.”

When they got to Ms Floyds room, the woman there was writing things down on a piece of paper. She looked up and smiled at the two doctors.

“Ms Floyd, I’m Dr Kim, and this is Dr..” Nico started, realizing that he hadn’t gotten Leia’s last name from her.

She quickly realized and filled in the blank. “Dr Jones.”

Ms Floyd blushed. “Call me Nancy, please? Ms Floyd makes me sound ancient.”

“You don't look a day over twenty, Nancy.” Nico winked and turned to Leia. “Says here you have an inner ear infection. How long has that been going on?”

Nancy sighed and scrunched up her face, thinking about it. “I'd say about a month, now. At least, since I noticed it. I've been too busy to get it checked out. I know, I know, that’s not good, but I had literally no time.”

Nico gave her a shake of the head but smiled at her sincerity. “I get it. No more of that, though, Ms Floyd.” He lectured a bit, but kept the smile on his face as not to scare her. “Let’s start your exam, shall we?”

--

(Levi)

I sat with Taryn, Qadri and Casey, as they blathered on about the drama surrounding the hospital at the moment, not really tuning into the full details. I heard things about Dr Grey and Dr Deluca, and their impending engagement (apparently Deluca had been going around, trying to get ideas on how to propose), and Dr Webber's retirement party, but no real drama. Aside from my own. And I hadn’t even told them about it. They knew we’d been starting the adoption process, but nobody knew about Nico backing out suddenly.

It sucked.

I drank down my glass of water and set it down, maybe a bit too rough as the rest of my B Team stopped talking and shot their eyes to me. “Sorry.” I muttered.

“What’s up with you?” Taryn asked, scooting closer to me. “You’ve been moping around all day. Trouble in paradise?”

I let out a frustrated laugh and nodded. “Nico and I had an argument last night. He basically said he wants to forgo the adoption.” Suddenly I felt tears well up in my eyes. I groaned and rubbed at them, not wanting to deal with the devastation at work.

Even with my eyes covered, I could hear the uncomfortable shifting and knew that they had no idea what to say, the awkward silence deafening. I looked back up, Qadri was looking at me like I was a sick puppy somebody just kicked. Casey was picking at his food and avoiding eye contact. Taryn looked pissed as she rrabbed my hand.

“I’ll kill him-” She started to say, calling back to when Nico and I’d first gotten together. When I told Taryn about the whole thing in the elevator, she was very supportive of me and wanted to, and I quote, “break the bone doctors bones”. (She may have been drunk).

“Don’t, T.” I sighed. “I think I can persuade him. He never even gave me a reason, so I think if I talk to him, maybe I could.. At least get him to consider it again instead of being so god damned brash and hot headed about every single thing-” I could feel my voice get louder, but it was like I couldn’t stop. I was angry. And I had every right to be.

“Whoa, okay.” Casey put his hands up to get me to stop.

“Violence isn’t the answer, and neither is getting angry.” Qadri reached over and grabbed my hands, giving me a small smile. “Talk to him, but don’t yell. And don’t resort to fighting. It’s stupid and juvenile, and it doesn’t get anything solved. Instead of telling him why he’s wrong, tell him why you’re right.”

I sighed again, nodding my head. “I know. I know, thanks, Qadri.” I ran a hair through my unkempt hair and noticed Casey and Taryn looking in another direction. I raised an eyebrow, turned around and saw Nico wheeling an older lady down the hall, a young intern bouncing along behind them. I briefly caught eye contact with Nico and waved, sadly. He nodded his head to say hi back, and was on his way. “He left french toast this morning. Maybe it’s a good sign.”

Casey nodded. “Yeah. Could be.”

“Either that or he’s trying to butter you up to agree with him.” Taryn mumbled, earning a glare from me. “Sorry.”

Later that day, I made my way to Nico. He was scrubbing in for his surgery on the older lady I’d seen him with earlier. Screw it. I didn’t want to be fighting anymore. I walked into the room, his eyes instantly looking over at me. He gave me a sad smile and turned off the taps. “Hey.” He said, softly.

“I love you.” I took a few steps closer, rubbing my hand up and down his back. “Just- before anything else.. I love you.”

He leaned his head close and kissed me. It hadn’t even been twenty four hours, but I was already missing him kissing me. I smiled into the kiss, it wasn’t anything too rough, but it was nice. “I love you too.” He replied as we split apart. “We should talk later. Hash it all out.”

“Agreed. Good luck with your surgery.” I smiled and kissed him again.

He put his hands on my waist, ensuring he’d have to scrub again, but with this patient, she wasn’t necessarily on a time limit. “Wanna scrub in? Room for one more.”

“You’ve got your perky little intern, you don’t need me.” I winked. “Funny. That’s what Link used to call me. Your perky little intern.”

Nico rolled his eyes. “Link has the tendency to put his foot in his mouth.”

“I know. I actually liked it. I wasn’t just an intern, I was your intern. It was a very real possibility that you and I wouldn’t last, you’d get tired of the bumbly nerd shtick, I’d get bored of the biceps-”

“You’ll never get tired of these.” He flexed ever so slightly, enough so that I took notice, but not exaggerating it.

I shoved his shoulder gently. “My point is.. Link knew I’d be around for the long run. I’m yours. You’re mine. He called it. He saw the butterflies between us.” I called back to the day of the overdose, when Link finally acknowledged Nico and I’s budding relationship, when I’d finally understood what an artist Nico was.

“Link is a good guy. I worry about him sometimes. That he’s never gonna have this, and I know that sounds arrogant and ignorant, like our relationship is the best ever but.. He deserves to be happy.” Nico leaned back on the sink, his hands gripping the edges.

“I have it on good authority that about half of the intern class has the hots for Link. And..” I looked around, even while knowing that Nico was the only one in earshot. “Qadri. She’s finally moved on from Jackson. Thinks Link is cute.”

Nico raised his eyebrows. “I’ll have to do some meddling.”

I smiled at him. “You’re such a dad.” I teased, quickly realizing how relevant that topic was right now. “Shoot. Sorry, I didn't.. I should let you get scrubbed.” I blushed.

“Levi. We’ll talk, okay?” He grabbed my hand and gave a half smile.

“Of course. Good luck.” I kissed him again and left before he could say anything. I walked down the hallway, feeling tears well up in my eyes again.

--

(Nico)

“Page cardio! Dammit!” Nico shouted. Nancy Floyd had taken a turn for the worse, and was having a negative reaction to being put under. What originally was meant to be an operation on her leg turned sour very quickly.

Leia was frozen on the spot, unsure of how to go about the situation. She kept looking between all the doctors in the room, finally landing on Dr Kim. “What happened?”

“She’s had an ear infection for weeks now. God, I knew we should’ve gotten that CT before the procedure.” Deluca said, frustrated with the outcome. “You bone doctors, think you have right of way just because-”

“With all due respect, Dr Deluca, I am the head surgeon in this case. Besides, this is a cardio issue, not a neuro one-”

“You put your medical prejudice as the frontrunner in making sure this woman makes it out okay. Everything is connected.” Dr Deluca snapped. “You don’t need to be here anymore. Leia, page Dr Lincoln-”

Nico shook his head. “You are not on Dr Deluca’s service, you don’t need to do what he says, Dr Jones.”

Before any more words could get thrown between the two doctors, Maggie Pierce ran into the room, already scrubbed in. “What happened? Catch me up.”

“Nancy Floyd, went into cardiac arrest during a surgery meant for her leg. She’s having a bad reaction to the anesthetic.” Nico answered before anyone could open their mouths. “She presented no symptoms of cardiac issues in our initial test, and only complained of her earache.”

Deluca rolled his eyes and scoffed.

“Is there an issue, Dr Deluca?” Pierce asked as her medical gown got tied behind her. “Because it doesn’t seem like there’s anything to scoff at. Thank you, Dr Kim. You’ll have to finish the operation on her leg later, I need to get in there.”

“Is it safe to keep her under? When she’s reacting like this?” Dr Jones poked her head in.

Pierce sighed. “It may be our only option. I won’t know until I get in there. Kim, you can scrub out. A couple of car crash kids just came in. See if there’s anything you can do in the pit.”

Nico shook his head. “Dr Pierce, she’s been my patient since she got here. I'd like to see her out. I can assist. Dr Deluca can handle the pit.”

“Whichever.”

--

An hour later, they had eventually gotten Ms Floyd’s heart back under control, but she was rushed to CT to make sure nothing was wrong in that sense. Nico sat in the radiology screening room as Ms Floyd was in the machine. Beside him sat Leia, who was chewing her thumbnail, nervous.

“This is my first patient.” Leia said. “She.. uh.. I started today. I was an intern at another hospital, got transferred. But Nancy- uh, Ms Floyd. She’s my first patient at Grey Sloan.” She sat on the edge of her seat, waiting for the results to come in. “What if she dies?”

Nico looked at the young girl beside him and took her hand. “Then we learn. Both you and I, we learn something from this.”

Leia sniffled. “She has nobody. No family. No friends. Who do we call if she dies?”

“We’re going to do everything to make sure that doesn’t happen. Until then, you need to try looking at things with a more positive outlook. She needs that.”

The computer in front of them processed the results, which made Nico sigh in frustration. He lowered his head and put it in the palm of his hands. “She has a brain tumor.” He looked back up at Leia. “We don’t let her know we’re scared.”

“You’re scared?”

“Can’t be a doctor without being scared, Dr Jones.”

“How do we tell her?” Leia looked worried. “I’ve never had to do that.”

Nico smiled, sadly. “Leave that to me. Get some rest.”

--

Nico walked into Ms Floyd’s room after the CT, X-rays in his hands. He’d gotten the tumor confirmed by Shepard before deciding to break the news to the patient. This was the hardest part of being a doctor.

It was easy to do mind numbing surgeries, to learn around a disease and create a plan of attack. But this was never easy, not to anyone. To tell a patient that they’re going to die. To tell family members that their mother, or son, or grandparent won’t make it out alive. When you have news like this, it will never get easier. Not with time, not with experience. It’ll always be hard.

He took a deep breath before heading in. Nancy was sat in her bed, bandages wrapped around her leg. “Ms Floyd.” Nico called out, getting her attention. She looked over, smiled, and looked at his hands. “I have your CT results back.”

Nancy looked him over and saw the expression on his face. She kept smiling, though. Never let up. “I’m not lookin’ so hot, am I?”

“I’m really sorry, Ms Floyd.” Nico sat in the chair beside her bed.

“Call me Nancy.” She urged. Tears welled up in her eyes. “I have a brain tumor. I know. My father had one, and then my brother. I know the symptoms.” She looked over at Nico, noticing that he still had a look of anguish on his face. “Oh, sweetie.”
“Is there anybody that I can call for you?” Nico grabbed her hand.

Nancy sighed. “Not so popular these days. I guess that’s something I regret in my life. Husband wanted kids, I wanted my career.” She felt Nico rub the back of her hand with his thumb, and laughed dryly. “You’re young. Are you with anyone?” Nico nodded. “Tell me about them.”

Nico wanted to tell her that they should talk about her tumor, but knew that wasn’t what she needed right now. She needed a distraction. “His name is Levi. He’s.. everything. We’re fighting right now, but I love him. We’ve been married for a little while now.”

Nancy beamed. “And kids? Do you..”

“We’ve talked about it. Even started the process but.. Well, actually, that’s what we’ve been fighting about.” He didn’t know why he was so keen on telling Ms Floyd about his business, but it kept coming out. “I’m scared, I guess.”

“Oh honey, if you’re scared, that just means it’s worth it.” She whispered. “My neighbour. Her name is Jessica. She was like a daughter to me. You can call her.” Nico nodded and stood up, but before he could walk out, Nancy spoke up. “Don’t let your fear block your dreams.”

--

After calling Jessica, Nico needed to find Levi. Needed to tell him everything. How he felt, what he was thinking, what he wanted. They met in an on call room on four, Nico was already sitting on the bed waiting. The door opened, shining the bright lights of the hallway into the room. Levi walked in.

“How’d your surgery go?” He asked, sitting on the bed beside Nico.

Nico enveloped Levi in his arms. Levi quickly reciprocated and held him tightly. After a couple of minutes of sitting in each others arms, they let go. Nico pressed his forehead against his husbands and took a shaky breath. “She has a brain tumor.” Nico pulled away. “My patient. She has an inoperable brain tumor and she knew about it.”

“Oh, Nico.. I’m sorry.” Levi held his hand and moved closer.

“She doesn’t have anybody. No kids, husband, family, friends.. The only person she has is her next door neighbour, who doesn’t even know her first name, and-”

“Nico, take a breath.”

He hadn’t realized his breath had become shallow. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, shaking his head. “That can’t be me.”

Levi got off of the bed, and kneeled in front of his husband. “What do you mean?”

“I mean.. I can’t die without someone by my side. And I know I have you, but if I decide I can’t have kids.. I lose you. I want you to have kids, I want you to be a father, so badly. I want to be able to give you that.. But I’m scared.” Nico admitted, looking up with tears in his eyes. “I didn’t grow up with a good father.. What if I fuck this up? What if I fuck up our kid, because I have no clue what I’m doing.”

“Nico..” Levi pulled Nico up onto his feet and wrapped his arms around Nico’s shoulder. “You are not going to mess this up. I didn’t have a father for most of my life, either. You are not alone in feeling scared, okay, I’m terrified. Melissa called me earlier today because the baby was kicking, and I almost had a heart attack because of it.” Levi looked deep into his husbands eyes. “It’s all part of being parents. But I have no doubt in my mind that you’re going to be an amazing father.”

Before Nico could respond, Levi reached up and kissed him. He poured everything into the kiss. Everything he had. When the parted, Nico pressed their foreheads together again. “I love you so much.”

“I love you too.” Levi whispered as they stayed in that moment. It could go on forever, Levi wouldn’t have minded. But unfortunately, both of their pages went off, and they had to go.

--

(Levi)

Nico and I made our way to the pit, wanting to treat the car crash victims that we could help. Apparently there was a pileup, so a lot of people were affected. However, when we walked in, I noticed a familiar face.

Sitting in a bed was Dillon, one of Melissa’s older brothers. I rushed over to them with Nico’s hand encased in mine.

“Dillon.” I called, causing him to jump slightly. He laughed it off. “Sorry. Is everything okay?”

“Dr Schmitt, good thing you’re here.” He said, still casual. “It was crazy out there.” Dillon looked over at Nico and smiled. “You must be Nico. I’m Dillon, Melissa’s brother.”

Nico looked at me and then back at Dillon. “Nice to meet you.” They shook hands.

I started looking around as the two of them chatted. Doctors assigned to multiple cases were running around. “Somebody page Peds!” Somebody shouted from the corner. I started walking forward, fear running through my body. It couldn’t be.

Once I made it to the bed, my breath caught in my throat. Laying on the bed, there she was.

Melissa.

Chapter Text

It had been a tough couple of months. Melissa had recovered from the accident, but it was difficult. Physiotherapy, counselling, constant overnight trips in the pediatric ward. After the accident, there was no denying that the baby needed to come out. As young as she was. She was so tiny, so fragile. It was utterly heartbreaking seeing this small, tiny person, hooked up to all sorts of tubes and wires. 

But, things were getting better. Nico and I came up with a list of names, we baby-proofed our apartment and bought everything there is to buy when it comes to a new born baby. She wasn’t able to come home yet, as she was still too small and unstable, but as soon as she got discharged, we were ready. She doesn’t have an official name yet, it hasn’t felt quite right to slap on a name, when he didn’t really know her. 

There was a moment there, where we thought all hope was lost. Karev told us that it’d probably be smart to come up with a name, something to put on both the birth and death certificate. Of course, he didn’t word it like that, he was very comforting. But Nico and I weren’t just the worried parents, weren’t just the patients family. We were doctors. We knew the ins and outs, and even if peds wasn’t either of our specialties, we still knew the basics. 

But we still didn’t name her. We weren’t ready yet. It almost felt as if, if we gave her a name, we’d be agreeing that her time with us would be short and limited. We didn’t want that. We wanted to hold onto hope. 

Melissa, now discharged, rarely comes by anymore. She did at the start, but something about the situation made her uncomfortable, and she couldn’t do it anymore. Dillon, her brother, comes by a lot. Gets updates, checks on her, he even stays in the room with her when Nico and I have to run off somewhere. I don’t blame Melissa for not wanting to see Baby. It’s hard. Being in the pediatric ward, with sick babies, is pretty depressing and it’s not how I want to spend most evenings either. But I do. This is my family, and I love my family. 

“How is she?” Nico came up from behind me, pressing a kiss on the top of my head before residing in the seat beside me. Baby was laying down, fast asleep, the quiet sounds of EKG machines and blood pressure monitors were the only things disrupting the peace. Nico held my hand in his and stroked the back of it. We were good again. Things were rocky for us near the start, but I couldn’t be happier to be on this journey with the love of my life. “Any change?” 

I shrugged and sighed, leaning forward to look at Baby. So small. “Karev came by the check her vitals. No change. He said he may be able to do the test again.” Nico looked at me, conveying that he didn’t understand what I meant, and before he could speak, I cut him off. “You know, the one where he takes out the tubes and wires, to see if she’s strong enough on her own.” 

I didn’t get much sleep lately, the days seem to be blurring together, so it makes me not as sharp or bright as I usually am. I’m not too focused on my job right now, and as frustrating as I know it must be, the Chiefs have been pretty understanding with it. 

“Right. And he thinks she’ll make it through?” 

I nodded, taking another deep breath through my nose. He tightened his grip on my hand and leaned close, letting my head fall on his shoulder. I close my eyes and just take in the early hours of the morning. Felt like the quiet before the storm. Before the overnight patients wake up, and before new patients realize they’re sick. This is always my favorite time to be in the hospital. Before the hustle begins. 

We stayed like that for a few more minutes before a knock on the door interrupts us. I turned around and saw Qadri and Casey standing there, an excited look on both of their faces, and a file in Casey’s hands. They looked like they were close to detonating if I startled them, so I gave them a soft smile and let them give their speech. 

They’d been trying to get me into surgery for weeks now, attempting to get my mojo back, and distract me from the baby drama. I’ve always said no, that no surgery would be able to take me away from Baby. No illness or procedure could ever make me feel calm for long enough that I’d approve of Baby being watched by somebody else. Taryn usually joined them, but she was probably leading rounds with her batch of interns. She was appointed Chief Resident, and didn’t have much free time anymore. But she still makes it a goal to visit Baby, and I appreciate it. 

“Alright, give it to me.” I said, allowing them into the room with their files. 

Nico kissed the side of my head and again and excused himself to get a cup of coffee (and tea, for myself). Once he left, Qadri immediately snatched his chair while Casey stood behind her. Casey watched as Nico left the room, and the minute he was out, proceeded to slam the door shut and rush over to us. “Okay, so..” Casey started. Here we go. Nico agreed that I should be getting back into surgery, but we both knew that if both Nico and I were in surgery, nobody would be with Baby. Not nobody, of course there would be doctors, but we both didn’t want to miss anything. 

I listened to Qadri and Casey list off a bunch of case files for the day, not naming names due to confidentiality rules in place. They were just standard cases, a whipple at 2:00, an appendectomy in an hour, a hip replacement. Nothing really stood out. They were really scraping the bottom of the barrel, trying to get me on a case. 

“Alright, guys, I appreciate how much you’ve been-” I started, but Qadri shoved her hand out and over my mouth, successfully stopping me from continuing. She was staring at a piece of paper with a huge grin on her face, her eyes beaming. “What?” I asked, almost afraid of how excited she seemed to be. 

“I found it. It’s perfect. Trauma from Seattle Pres is coming in, a woman was trapped in her basement for days. Complete medical miracle that she’s alive, but she is. Possible amputation of her left leg, and a definite liver transplant.” She read the case file right from the paper, as if this was her first time reading it. Casey checked out the file as well and nodded his head. 

I shook mine. “Guys, seriously, I-”

Qadri stopped me again. “That’s not it. She doesn’t remember a thing. She’s a possible psyche candidate too. She’s got all the stops on her. Levi, come on, you have to do this. For us.” She gestured toward Casey, and then herself. “Look at us, Levi. How can you say no to us , of all people?” For added effect, she jutted her lower lip out and pouted. Casey just laughed. 

“I don’t know. What about Baby?” I looked at her, her small chest rising and falling with every struggled breath she took. “I can’t just leave her. What if something happens?” 

Casey sighed and put his arm around my shoulders. “Nothing’s going to happen. Qadri and I will stay here the whole time, Nico will come by after his hip replacement, and there are peds doctors swarming the area. Hell, Arizona Robbins is here for the week. If that doesn’t assure you that Baby will be fine, I’m not sure anything will.” His voice got quieter, and more serious all of a sudden. “I get it, Levi. It’s scary. But she’s been okay these past two months. She’s going to be okay for a couple of hours. Trust me.” 

And I did. I trusted Casey, and I still do. So, I agreed. I scrubbed in with both Owen and Link, as well as a couple of interns who wanted to observe. Meredith Grey was currently retrieving the liver from elsewhere, and was on her way to deliver it. Maggie Pierce was also there, assuring that there were no cardiac problems, and if there were, she was there to immediately help. A few other doctors were there to assist and observe, but for the most part, this was our team. 

The woman, her name was Patty. She was 45 years old and had a tattoo of a duck on her ankle. Unfortunately, it was on the leg she was getting amputated. Up in the sanctuary sat Arizona Robbins with her daughter, Sofia, and wife, Callie Torres. They both wanted to observe the surgery as this exact situation happened to Dr Robbins a few years back. Sitting with them was Altman, the Karevs and Webber. 

It made me nervous that Alex was watching the surgery instead of Baby, but I couldn’t focus on that right now. I had to focus on the procedure, which I’m lucky I was able to get on considering I waited until the last possible moment. (And considering Hunt wanted Qadri in on the surgery, she’s always been his favorite, he wasn’t too keen on switching her out for me). 

“Schmitt, need your assistance down here.” Link said, taking my attention away from the doctors observing. I shuffled over to Link and looked at the work he was doing. Patty’s leg was blue, and had cuts all up and down her shin. “You’ve assisted in amputations before, yeah?” 

I nodded. “A few, with Nico, but I’ve observed tons.” 

Link grinned and grabbed a scalpel. “Looks like I’ve found my right hand man. Well, my second right hand man. Nico would kill me if I replaced him.” 

The whole surgery took six hours. And by hour three, I wasn’t even thinking about anything except for the thrill of it all. She almost died on us four times, but we managed to save her every time, and she’s out of surgery now, better than she was earlier. Shepard wanted to take her in for a CT as soon as possible, as she needed the emergency surgery immediately when coming in. But for the most part, Patty was going to make it. Her family was all there, waiting for her, crying and hugging when I told them that surgery was a success. Of course, the amputation and transplant was really hard on the family, and would be an even bigger hurdle for Patty, but that's what kept her alive. 

I needed a shower. As I climbed in one of the showers in the lounge, I let the water calm me down, and I let everything sink in. I was back. I was able to leave Baby for hours, and I was okay. Nothing happened, everybody lived, I was okay. As I lathered soap on my body, I began thinking about Melissa. Maybe I could call her. Let her know about everything that’s been going on, invite her to come visit. If Baby gets discharged soon, we could even meet at Melissa’s house. Or ours. It was completely up to us, we had a child. Nico and I were parents, and I couldn’t be more grateful. 

I stayed in the shower for a few more minutes before rinsing off and towel drying. I slipped on a fresh pair of scrubs and left the lounge, only to see the hectic, middle of the day, hustle and bustle that I’m used to. Doctors running from here to there, wandering patients and family members, sporadic beeping filling the halls. Through the rush of everything, I caught eyes with Alex Karev. He had a grim look on his face, and when he looked into my eyes, that’s when I knew something was wrong. 

He looked like he wanted to say something, but he just couldn’t. He ran. Panicking, I followed. My head felt light, my heart sinking to the pit of my stomach. I didn’t even have time to think of anything, not before I reached Baby’s room. Qadri and Casey were standing at the door, tears running down Qadri’s cheeks. Casey had an arm around her, comforting her. He looked at me, and offered a look of remorse. 

What was going on?

Nico was leaning against the wall, his body slumped over, his expression full of worry and guilt. He looked up, his eyes looking deep into mine. There were tears filling his eyes and he was chewing deep on his lower lip. He shook his head in disbelief and rushed over, taking my hands. 

“Hey- Nico, what’s going on?” I asked, needing to hear it for myself. This couldn’t be happening. 

Nico sighed deeply and sniffed, trying to calm himself. “She, um, started getting worse.” Oh God. Really quickly. Karev thinks there was an infection that we didn’t catch in time.” No. “He tried everything he could.” Please, no. “She just wasn’t strong enough.” This isn’t happening. “I am so sorry, Levi. I'm so sorry.” Before I knew it, I was being wrapped up in Nico’s arms as he kept apologizing into my ear. 

I didn’t wrap my arms back around him. I stood there, listening to everyone crying around me. It didn’t feel real. It isn’t real. I’m still in the OR. I’m still operating on Patty. I’m not in my baby’s hospital room right now. 

My baby isn’t dead. She can’t be. 

On instinct, I started pinching myself in the arm, harder and harder each time. Trying to will this nightmare away. But no matter how hard I pinched, everything was still happening around me. Nico must’ve noticed, as when he let go of me, he took my arms. “Levi,” he started, seemingly unsure of what to say. “they need a name.” 

A rush of everything hit me at once, and I found myself on the ground, gasping for air, sobbing and reaching out for Nico. I curled into a ball, screaming out in pain. I could see everyone staring at me, watching as I broke down in Nico’s arms. But I didn’t stop. Screw everyone for staring. Qadri cried even harder and hugged Casey, who had a few tears under his eyes as well. Why are they crying? She wasn’t their baby. She was mine. She was my baby, and she’s gone.