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Remember Me

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"If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” – A. A. Milne

-

In all her 32 years on this earth, Maya had experienced it all. Pain, success, loss, failure, joy, but the one thing she had not yet to experience was love. A true undying, forever type of love. For the majority of her life, the thought of sharing her life with something felt like nothing more than an inconvenience, a setback, a hindrance that would only stop her from achieving greatness. This was all until she met Carina. The OB came in to her life when she was least expecting it, least wanted it. Thankfully, her opinion on love changed then moment she began to fall in love with the brunette. In all her success, her gold medal, becoming the first female captain of 19, Carina was her greatest triumph, her greatest achievement. The love she felt for her wife was unmatched and unending.

She was the happiest she had ever been. Until the night everything changed. Until she got the call. That call.

-

"You should go get some rest." A voice spoke from the doorway, disturbing the silence that had been present for the last hour or so.

"I don't want to leave in case..." Maya's voice broke, "I don't want her to be alone.

"I'll stay with her." She felt a hand gently grip her shoulder. "I'll be here the whole time."

"You promise?" Maya sounded weak and broken.

"I promise." Amelia Shepherd pulled up a chair next to the hospital bed. "I've got her."

"Thank you."

-

FOUR DAYS EARLIER.

"Chief, where do you need us?" Maya walked towards the Battalion Chief who was in the middle of briefing station 23.

"Captain Bishop, excellent responce time." He said in the way of a greeting. "I need your team on damage control. Begin stabilising the building and then help with any casualties."

"You heard the man," Maya turned around to face her team, "Stabilise the main frame and then report back to me." The Captain instructed her team, "And remember, stay safe out there."

A chorus of 'Yes, Captain' sounded around her. They were the last station to be called to the scene so most of the fire had already been put out, it was now a clear up mission. Maya began to help with triage when she felt her phone vibrate in the pocket of her turnout gear. She answered the phone immediately when she saw the name 'Teddy Altman' flashing on her screen. The two wasn't exactly friends so she was confused why the heart surgeon would be calling her.

"Altman?" She held the phone tightly to her ear.

"Ma..."

The chaos around her made it impossible to hear what was being said on the other end of the line.

"I can't hear you, hold on a second." Maya moved a short distance away from the scene, hoping to hear better.

"Maya, it's Carina. There's been an accident." The voice sounded distressed.

"What?" Maya's heart began to pound in her chest. "Is she okay?"

"You need to get here."

"I... I can't," Maya stuttered, unable to think clearly.

"Bishop, is everything okay?" Chief Gregory walked over to the blonde, his face clearly disapproving.

"My wife, there's been an accident." Maya was numb.

"Go. Aid Car 23 is headed to Grey Sloan, go with them." He instructed, his face softening as he did so. "I'll let lieutenant Herrera know."

"Thank you, sir." Maya ran in the direction of the aid car that was preparing to leave the scene.

They arrived at the hospital a few minutes after leaving the scene. She had messaged Altman to let her know that she was on her way, and the heart surgeon promised to meet her in the ambulance bay.

"What happened?" Maya asked as soon as the doors to the rig opened. "She was on her way home when I spoke to her."

"A drunk driver." Altman looked just as scared as Maya felt. "The drivers side was t-boned."

"Where is she?" The blonde was on the verge of a panic attack.

"The ER. They are working on her as we speak." Maya had heard all she needed to hear, she began to run towards the ER but was pulled back by the surgeon. "Maya, wait. You need to prepare yourself."

"Take me to her." The blonde tried to demand, but it came out more like a beg.

The surgeon led the blonde to the room when Carina was being worked on. The door was shut but Maya could see through the window, she faltered as Teddy opened the door. Inside the room was Shepard and Bailey accompanied by a few interns that she had never seen before. The energy in the room was chaotic. "You ready?" Maya barely registered that she was being spoken to. When they entered the room, the seriousness of the situation hit Maya like a ton of bricks, Carina was laying lifeless on the gurney while the doctors worked rhythmically around her.

"Dr. Altman. Please escort Captain Bishop to the waiting room." Bailey spoke sternly, refusing to look away from her patient. Maya could only focus on her wife, there was multiple tubes connected to her body and her neck was being supported by a brace. Bloody tissues had began to pile up on the floor around the gurney and an Intern was in the middle of intubating her wife.

"Chief," Ameila pulled the shorter women to the side of the room, "This could be the last time she gets to see her wife alive, we can spare her a minute." The neuro surgeon whispered to her boss. The chief's shoulders slumped in acceptance.

"One minute."

All three surgeons stepped to the far side of the room, giving the blonde as much privacy as they could without risking the life of their patient. Maya stepped up to the gurney, her chest feeling tighter with every step. She grabbed to hand of her lover and bent down so her forehead was resting gently on top of the unconscious woman's forehead. She placed a kiss on the exposed skin of her cheek and then pulled away.

"Hey, baby," She whispered, a tear falling down her cheek. "You don't get to die on me, you hear." Her throat felt tight and words were beginning to fail her. "This is not how we end." The sudden, aggressive beeping from a machine behind her caused her to stand up straight, she knew what the sound meant.

"We need to go, now!" Bailey shouted, causing chaos to erupt around her.

Her throat began to tighten and the room began to spin. "I've got you." She heard from somewhere in the room, and then she felt a pair of arms wrap around her waist. "Sit down." She felt her legs give way from under her.

Her world began to crumble around her.

-

The heart surgeon led the blonde to a nearby gurney. She placed the blonde on the bed and handed her the oxygen mask that was hanging on a hook on the wall behind her. "Breathe. In and out." The surgeon instructed.

Her breathing began to settle but she couldn't shake to overwhelming anxiety that had taken over her body.

"I need to call her father." Maya whispered.

"It has been handled, you don't need to worry about that." The surgeon placed a blood pressure band around the blonde's arm.

Maya nodded, a tear falling at the movement.

"I know it won't make you feel any better. But she has the best team with her right now."

-

Maya was laying in the hospital bed holding her phone tightly between her hands, Teddy had been paged away on a consult and had assured her she would be back as soon a possible. She stared at the screensaver on her phone, the photo was taken the day of their wedding, and stroked the smiling image of her wife.

"Hey," Maya looked up from her phone. Her bestfriend was standing at the end of the bed look shyly at the blonde."

"Hey."

"We heard what happened. We came as soon as we could."

"We?" Mayas throat was sore from crying.

Andy turned her head in the direction on the ambulance bay. The aid car was parked next to the door and the whole team was standing by the nurses station.

"We know you're probably not up for visitors right now, but we wanted to be here for you."

"Thank you." She smiled sadly at her friend.

"Is there any news?" Andy walked around the bed and sat on the edge of the bed. She wanted to comfort the blonde but unsure how.

"Not yet." Maya gulped, hoping to stop the impending tears. "It's pretty bad."

"Maya," Andy reached out to grab her hand but Maya pulled it away.

"It's fine." The blonde already knew what she was going to say.

"Bishop?" They both turned in the direction of the voice. A young intern was standing in the middle of the ER in a surgical gown. She walked over to the pair and closed the curtain around the bed.

"I'll be over there if you need me." Andy stood up to give her captain some privacy but Maya reached over to keep her from leaving.

"Stay."

Instead of answering, Andy sat back down and grabbed the reached out hand.

"Dr. Shepard is just finishing up. The surgery went well and they are now moving her to the ICU. I can take you to her whenever you are ready." The Intern spoke matter of fact.

"Please." The firefighter stood up and began to follow the intern to the ICU.

"We will be here if you need us." Andy assured the blonde before walking towards the rest of the crew.

-

Maya stood in the doorway of Carina's room unable to bring herself to walk in, there was tubes every where and the majority of Carina body was covered in bandages. "She had a pretty extensive brain bleed..." she noticed the neuro surgeon wast talking to her but she could only focus on her wife. She wanted to touch her so badly but she was worried she would break. "We won't know more until she wakes up."

"Is it okay if I stay with her?"

"Of course take all the time you need." Amelia patted her on the shoulder.

"Thank you."

PRESENT DAY.

"Thank you." Maya said from the doorway.

Amelia turned from her spot on the chair in confusion. "I thought I told you to rest."

"I couldn't sleep." Maya walked into the room and stood next to Carina's head. "Everytime I close my eyes I see..." Maya shook off the thought. "It's been four days, Amelia. Why hasn't she woken up yet."

"She suffered a pretty extensive head injury, these things take time. If she still hasn't woken up in a few days, then you can be worried." Ameila wouldn't tell the blonde this, but she was worried about her friend. The longer she stayed in a coma, the less chance she has of waking up at all. "Is there someone I can call, Maya? You shouldn't have to be here alone."

"There's no one." Maya knew that Vic or Andy would be here in the blink of an eye but it was late and she didn't want to bother them.

"Okay," She could tell that Amelia didn't believe her. "I'm needed on rounds, but i'll be back to check on her later, get a nurse to page me if you need anything. Anything at all."

-

4 DAYS EARLIER

Maya had been sitting by the brunette's side for the last 3 hours, just watching the rise and fall of her wife's chest. Nurses have been in and our routinely, but no words were spoken. There was another check due any minute now.

If on queue, a young latina intern walked through the door holding a small bowl and a sterile sponge. "I just need to clean her up."

"I'll do it." Maya held out her hand to take the bowl, the intern was clearly confused.

"Erm, I don't think-"

"It's okay, Dr Lance." Miranda Bailey spoke with authority. The intern handed over the bowl to the blonde and walked out the room with her head down.

The blonde sat on the edge of the bed, as close to the brunette's head as she could get. She dipped the soft sponge into the water and began to clean off the dried blood that was covering the majority of the left side of her face. "I'm so sorry this happened to you." She whispered. She had been handed Carina's wedding ring when she arrived at the hospital and she was wearing it above her own. "You can't leave me, Carina." A tear welled up in her eyes. If she could trade places with her wife then she would. "You don't get to promise me forever, and then just abandon me." Her face was now clean, so she placed the bowl on the small table next to the bed but she stayed seated on the bed.

Ameila Shepard and Miranda Bailey was watching the exchange from outside the window. Miranda knew both women quite well, she had attended their wedding only a month prior. "I thought you were supposed to finish an hour ago." Amelia broke the silence.

"I wanted to be here in case anything changed."

"Go home, Bailey. Go be with your husband." Shepard insisted. "I'll call you when we have news."

"You better. I can't have another one of my doctors die on me."

-

PRESENT DAY

Miranda Bailey was sitting in her office when she got the paged by the neuro surgeon, she ran from her office to the ICU until she was outside room '305'.

"You paged?" She asked when she saw Amelia Shepherd standing the middle of the room.

"She's beginning to breathe over the tube," Amelia was in the middle of putting on a pair of navy blue gloves. "I thought you would want to be here." She looked down at the bed, Carina was fighting the tube but was still unconscious.

"Where's Bishop?" It was an unusual sight to see the blonde absent from the room.

"Andy came by earlier and took her down to the canteen." Miranda was relived that the blonde was eating but she didn't want to face her wrath if she finds out Carina was waking up with out her here.

"Dr Lance, go and get Maya Bishop from the canteen." The Intern stopped what she was doing, but made no effort to move. "Now!"

"Yes, chief."

Miranda walked around the opposite side of the bed and grabbed one of Carina's limp hands. "Carina, its Miranda Bailey." She was unsure if the brunette could hear her. "I need you to stay calm and try to breath for me." The brunette calmed slightly in her movement. "Shepard is going to remove the tube."

"What happened?" Maya came skidding to a halt inside the room. She was breathing fast and was looking paler than usual.

"She's breathing on her own. Dr. Shepard is about to remove the tube."

"She's waking up?" Maya rushed towards her wife, replacing Bailey at her bedside.

"It looks that way." Miranda smiled for the first time since the accident. "Talk to her, she's going to be scared and confused. It will be good for her to hear your voice."

Amelia began to work around her, the tube was removed successfully but she still needed to do some checks.

"Carina, baby, its time to wake up now." The blonde spoke softly into her wife's ear. "I'm here,"

Carina's eyelids flicked. They were not fully open but at least it was something.

"Carina, can you hear me." Shepard pull her pocket light from her pocket and shined it in her patient's eyes.

"What happened?" Carina croaked out. Her eyes opening slightly. She looked around the room confused and disorientated. "Where am I?"

"You've been in an accident." Miranda stepped forward so she was in the brunette's line of sight. Carina began to panic, her eyes darting furiously around the room. Her eyes landed on Maya which subconsciously calmed her down some. "You're at Grey Sloan Memorial."

"I don't..."

Maya grabbed one of her hands and pulled to towards her chest, holding them close to her. "Carina, it's okay. You're okay."

"Who are you?" Carina spoke, her confusion turning to fear. She pulled her arm away from the embrace and Maya's heart dropped into her stomach.

"It's me, it's Maya." The blonde stepped back like she had been punched.

"I dont... I don't know..."

Miranda walked up to the blonde and pulled her away from the bed. Ameila jumped into action and began performing some basic tests on the brunette.

Chapter Text

"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love." - Washington Irving

-

Maya felt like the walls were collapsing around her. In all her excitement of her wife waking up, she failed to prepare herself for any potential complications.

Miranda reached for the blonde who looked like she was on the verge of collapsing, so she pulled her into her body and guided her out of the room despite the resistance of the blonde. "I've got you." Bailey whispered.

Once outside the room, Bailey pulled a chair out from behind the nurses station and sat the blonde on it. She then pulled out her phone and sent off a text to the one person that's she thought could help. After that, they waited in silence until Dr Shepard finished her check up.

The sound of the door opening broke the silence. Maya jumped up and rushed over to the neuro surgeon. "What's happening?" Maya asked, trying not to panic just yet.

"I'm hoping it's just retrograde amnesia," Amelia began to explain but Maya didn't let her finish.

"You hope?" Maya wasn't in the mood for a guess.

"There no medical way to know for sure," Amelia spoke calmly to the blonde. She has dealt with enough family members to not take anything too personally. "She wasn't conscious enough for me to do a proper neurological observation. I'll try again when she wakes up." Amelia watched as the Maya anxiously twiddled with the wedding band's around her finger.

"So what do we do now?" Maya asked, impatiently.

"We," Amelia pointed between herself and the chief, "Go check on our other patients. You, need to head home and rest."

"I'm not leaving her."

"This isn't up for debate, Maya." Miranda decided to step in. She understood that the blonde was hurting right now but she had to do what was best for her patient. "You're not in the right state of mind, Maya. You haven't sleep since the accident, you're exhausted. Go home." Miranda instructed. She didn't want to have the blonde escorted off the premises but she would if she had to.

"I can't leave her, Bailey." Maya argued. "I don't want her to be alone."

"She won't be." Amelia spoke softly. "As soon as she wakes up, you will be the first person we call. I promise." Amelia could feel the anxiety radiating off of the blonde.

"Fine." The blonde sighed. She knew this was a fight she would not win.

The two surgeons watched as Maya walked away and Amelia couldn't stop the wave of guilt that flooded her stomach at the sight. She began to second guess every decision she made in the OR, wondering if somehow she had somehow caused this.

"This isn't your fault," Bailey spoke, suddenly. "Don't blame yourself, Shepard." The shorter women turned to face the tall brunette. "She'll be fine. They both will."

-

"I didn't know you were religious." Maya heard a voice from behind her.

She couldn't bring herself to leave the hospital so she headed to the chapel to light a candle for her brother in law. This is where she had been for the last hour or so.

"I'm not." Maya said to her best friend. "How did you find me?" She wiped her eyes, hoping to wipe away any evidence of tears.

"Bailey asked me to come." Andy sat down next to her on one of the pews. "Thought you might like some company."

The two women sat in silence for a few minutes. It reminded her of the time her and Carina came down her to pray after Andrew was stabbed. She never understood why Carina found solace in this place. Until now. It's the one place right now where she doesn't feel judged.

"Carina, would come here every day after work. She said talking to Andrew would help her when she had a bad day." Maya smiled sadly at her companion. "I thought I would give it a try."

"Is it working?"

"A little." Maya shrugged her shoulders. The gravity of the situation weighing heavily on her chest. She just wanted to feel better, even if it was for just a moment.

"Do you want me to take you home?" Andy asked, she has never seen her friend so despondent and it was beginning to scare her.

"No, it's okay, I'm going to stay here for a little while longer."

"I can stay with you, if you need me to." Andy wanted nothing more than to ease her pain but she wasn't sure how.

"I'm fine, I promise." Maya looked over to her friend. "Go be with your husband."

Andy looked like she wanted to insist but thought better of it. "You will have to go home at some point, Maya."

"I'm not ready yet. We haven't spent the night apart since our wedding." Maya admitted. "I would rather stay here. I want to be close by for when she wakes up." She knew she was being silly but she couldn't deal with being alone in their apartment just yet.

"I understand." Andy stood up from the pew. "Call me, if you need me. I can be here in 10 minutes."

"Thank you, Andy." She smiled at her friend. "For everything."

"You're welcome."

Andy walked out of the chapel leaving Maya alone with her thoughts. She knew everyone was right, she did need to rest, but the thought of not being near Carina filled her with dread.

Maya stood up from her place on the pew and walked down the aisle towards the table lined with prayer candles. She pulled a small wooden stick from the holder and lit the end using the small flame from one of the already lit candles. Once lit, she held the stick over an unused wick and watched as the small piece of fabric began to burn. "Happy birthday, Andrew." Maya whispered while blinked away a stray tear. "I hop-"

Her phone started vibrating in her pocket causing her heart to beat faster, the message was from Amelia so before she had even read it, she ran in the direction of the ICU. Once she arrived at the room, she didn't think twice before entering the room. Once inside, she stood behind the neuro surgeon who was currently doing a reflex exam on the brunette. Amelia turned to address her, "Will you wait for me outside?" Maya looked over the surgeons shoulder hoping for a glimpse of her wife's face. They made eye contact but there was no sign of recognition in those beautiful brown eyes.

"Sure." She nodded, hoping that neither woman saw the tears in her eyes.

She waited barely a minute before the neuro surgeon exited the room.

"She doesn't know who I am, does she?" All the excitement drained from her body. She could tell by the look on Amelia's face that she didn't have good news.

"I'm so sorry, Maya." The brunette reached out to grab her shoulder but Maya took a step back.

"Will she ever-" Maya cleared her throat, hoping the lump would disappear. "Will she ever get her memories back?"

"I'm not sure." Amelia knew it wasn't the news she wanted to hear but she had to be honest. "Retrograde Amnesia in trauma patients is a lot more common than you think. The likelihood of her getting her memories back are extremely high, it's normally just a matter of when." Amelia hoped that the information would ease some of the blonde anxiety but it was clear it wasn't working. "For some patients, it's a matter of days, for others, a few months, worst case, a few years. You just have to be patient with her."

"Can I see her?"

"Maya, I don't think that would be good for either of you."

"Please, Amelia. Five minutes, that's all I ask." Maya begged.

"Five minutes."

Amelia walked away from the door, leaving Maya alone in the hallway. She was trying to build up the courage to walk in but was beginning to second guess herself. Before she could think to much into it, she had opened the door and but didn't walk all the way inside. The brunette was laying in the bed, looking a little bit better than she did earlier that day. The bruises were still present on her face but some color had returned to her cheeks.

"Hey." Maya whispered, hoping not to scare the brunette. 

"Hey," Carina looked at her curiously. Her voice hoarse from the four days she was intubated. "Do I know you?"

Maya stopped dead in her tracks, she was expecting the responce but wasn't prepared for how much it would hurt her.

"Erm..." She was unsure of what to say.

"Do you work here?" Carina spoke after a moment of silence. The brunette was aware of the accident that had happened, she was also aware that everyone was keeping things from her.

"No. I..., I work at the fire station down the street." Maya looked everywhere except for her wife. "I just wanted to see how you were doing."

"I-"

"Dr Deluca, I heard you were awake." Dr Bailey walked into the room, holding a chart. Maya was thankful for the interruption. "My name is Dr. Bailey, Chief of Surgery here at Grey Sloan."

"Andrea has told me so much about you." Carina smiled softly at the women. "It's nice to put a face to the name."

"Likewise." Dr Bailey walked towards the gurney. "I see Dr Shepard has informed you about what happened?" Maya noticed the abrupt change in subject, it was at that moment that she realised that Carina would have no idea about Andrew.

"Yeah." Carina looked down shyly.

"Bishop, will you excuse us please." Bailey looked at her apologetically.

"Of course," As heartbroken as she was, she knew it was for the best. "I'm glad you are doing better." The blonde turned to face the brunette. Her heart ached for the touch of her wife, she wanted nothing more than to tell her she loved her but she didn't want to make things awkward. She left the room feeling worse now than she did when she walked in.

"Thank you." She heard as she walked away.

She waited outside the room until Bailey joined her in the hallway. "I'm going, I promise."

"Maya," Bailey called out, stopping the blonde from walking away. "How are you holding up?" The surgeon regretted the question as soon as she asked it.

"I don't know how I feel," Maya decided to be honest, "I'm relieved she's alive but..." The blonde stopped herself from revealing to much.

"You're allowed to be angry," Bailey softened her tone. "And you're allowed to be sad. There's no correct way to deal with this, you have lost someone you love."

"She's not-" Maya held back, she didn't want to break down in the middle of hallway. "She's not dead."

"I know, but you are still experiencing grief. You don't have to feel guilty for that. You have been holding everything in for the last few days," Bailey held onto the blonde. "You dont have to do that anymore. She's alive." Bailey smiled at the blonde but Maya didn't return the gesture. "Go home, get some sleep, and then come back in the morning. Hopefully we will have better news."

-

Andy and Sullivan were snuggling on their couch, watching a movie when they heard a knock at the door. The couple looked at eachother confused. She looked over at the clock to check the time. '22.23'.

"Are you expecting someone?" Robert asked his wife.

"No." Andy replied as she lifted herself from the couch. She walked the short distance from the couch to the door and then peaked through to peephole. She opened the door immediately when she saw who was behind the door.

"Maya? Is everything okay?" Andy asked, concerned.

"Can I stay with you tonight?" Andy was shocked at how small and vulnerable the blonde looked right now.

"Of course," Andy ushered the women into her apartment.

"I'll go stay with Miller." Robert appeared behind them, holding a rucksack in his hand. He placed his arm on the blondes shoulder as a way of condolences. He then left the apartment.

"Want to talk about it?" Andy asked, already knowing what the blonde was going to say.

"Not yet," Maya fell on the couch and swung her arm over her eyes. She had a pounding headache and the lights were making it worse.

"Well I'm here when you are ready." Andy placed herself on the couch next to the blonde, lifting her legs and placing them over her own. "Anything you want to watch?" Andy turned to look at her friend, but Maya was already fast asleep. The brunette stood up and carried the sleeping blonde over to her bedroom, she laid the women down and pulled the blanket over her body. She was relived to see Maya finally getting some rest. "Sweet dreams, Maya." She whispered softly.

-

"Mornin', bambina." Maya woke to the sound of her wife's voice.

"Carina?" The blonde was surprised to see the brunette hovering over her. "What..." she was silence by the pressing of lips against her own. Despite being confused, she still melted in to the kiss. The brunette pulled back from the kiss and smiled down at her wife.

Carina then stood up straight and pulled the blonde with her. She was wearing her usual, light pink, scrubs and her hair was tied in a messy ponytail. "What are you doing here?" Maya whispered, confused about what was happening. She looked around their bedroom but something was strange about it, the room had the same structure as their bedroom but everything except the bed was missing.

Carina ignored the question and pulled the blonde into her body, hugging her tight. "I'm late for work," Carina whispered into her ear. "I have to go." Carina pulled back but Maya held on tight.

"Don't go," She panicked. "Don't leave."

"I have to." The brunette broke the hold but didn't walk away. She rested her forehead against the blonde and they swayed in eachothers embrace. "I'll see you tonight, right?"

Somehow they were now next to the door of their apartment. Carina grabbed her keys that where hung on a hook on the wall. She opened the door to the apartment and went to step out. "I love you." The brunette said, lovingly.

Maya felt her heart pound in her chest, she couldn't let the brunette leave yet. "Carina, don't go." Maya grabbed for her hand but some how couldn't seem to reach her.

"I have to." Carina whispered.

"No." Maya whispered, tears pooling in her eyes. "Please." Carina ignored the cries and walked through the door. "Carina!" Maya shouted and then tried to chase after her but her legs wouldn't move.

"Maya?" She heard from behind her. Andy had somehow appeared in the apartment.

"I need to stop her." Maya cried out, feeling helpless.

"Maya!"

-

Andy was awoken by the constant fidgeting from the body next to her. She turned over to look at the blonde who was sleeping beside her.

"Maya? Is everything okay?" Andy whispered, her voice hoarse from sleep. It was clear that she was having some sort of nightmare.

"Carina!" Maya cried out in her sleep. Andy's heart broke at the sight. The blonde was sweating immensely and her breathing was heavy.

"Maya?" The brunette tried to wake the blonde, but her movement became more and more frenzied.

"I need to stop her." Maya slurred, her words unclear.

"Maya!" Andy grabbed the blonde by her shoulders, gently pinning her against the mattress. Maya woke up immediately but was extremely disorientated, her heart was hammering against her ribs and she was struggling to take a full breath. "It's okay, you're okay."

"I'm...," Maya looked around the bedroom, not realising where she was. That was until she saw her best friend hovering over her. "I'm sorry," Maya gently pushed the body away from her. "Go back to sleep." She was clearly embarrassed at what Andy had just witnessed.

Andy thought about turning over and ignoring what had happened but she knew it wouldn't benefit the blonde. She had been in the exact same position after her dad had died. "I have an idea." Andy said suddenly, deciding to take matters into her own hands. The brunette jumped out of bed and threw a pair of sneakers in the direction of the blonde. "Come with me."

Maya looked at the alarm clock next to the bed, "It's 4 in the morning, where are we going?" Maya was extremely confused.

"Just follow me." Andy walked out the bedroom, expecting the blonde to follow her. "Don't make me carry you." The brunette joked.

Maya put on the sneakers and reluctantly followed the brunette out the apartment. They walked down four flights of stairs until they reached the ground floor. Maya watched as Andy walked towards a large metal door and used a key to unlocked it. Once inside, what Maya assumed was a small gym, Andy picked up a boxing glove and threw it in the direction of the blonde.

"What are we doing here?" Maya looked around confused.

"We are getting rid of some of that built up anger." The brunette said as she placed a sparring pad on her hand. "Hit me." She lifted up her hand for Maya to punch it.

"I'm not doing this." Maya turned away from her friend but Andy ran around her, blocking her path.

"Trust me." Andy smiled softly at the blonde. "Hit me."

Maya placed her hand in the glove, and  punched the pad on Andy's hand. She put hardly any effort into her strike, causing the younger women to laugh.

"Is that all you've got?" Andy mocked, "I thought you were supposed to be an olympian."

Maya winded up her arm and striked the pad as hard as she could. The impact was extremely satisfying. "You know, you're are extremely annoying." Maya laughed at her friend.

"I know," Andy smiled, as she dodged the incoming punch. "But you love me anyway." Maya began to feel her body relax. She normally preffered running but she doesn't know if her body could handle the stress of it. They sparred for a few minutes until Maya's arm began to tire. "It's okay to be angry, you know." Andy tried to keep her tone light. Maya looked more relaxed now that she has done in the last week and she didn't want to ruin it.

"I know," Punch, "Bailey said the same thing." Punch.

"Well, she is a very wise women." Andy laughed. "What's really bothering you?" Andy asked, not expecting a response. Maya was an expert at keeping people out.

Maya looked like she wanted to ignore the question but a part of her also wanted someone to confide in. "I should have been there." She admitted.

"What?" Andy was confused.

"She rang me earlier that day," Maya's removed the glove and dropped it on the floor next to her. "It was a coming up to Andrew's birthday and she was having a tough time dealing with it. She asked me to stop by the hospital but I was too busy at the station." Maya admitted. A part of her felt relived to finally get it off her chest.

"You were at work, Maya."

"I know, but she needed me, and I wasn't there." Her voice cracked.

"Maya," Andy dropped her arm. "You didn't..."

"She asked me to take one of my personal days, but after the investigation was dropped, I didn't want to give Chief Gregory another reason to doubt me as captain."

"You couldn't have predicted this, Maya," Andy walked towards her friend but Maya stepped back. "You are finding any reason to blame yourself. None of this is your fault." Andy was shocked by the confession.

"I should have been there." Maya walked backwards until she hit the wall behind her, sweat dripping down her brow. "Maybe if I had gone to the hospital that day, none of this would have happened."

Andy watched as the blonde slide down the wall and pulled her knees into her chest.

"Maya," Andy knelt down until she was face to face with the blonde. "None of this is your fault. The only one at fault here is the guy who decide to drive under the influence of alcohol. Don't beat yourself up over something that you have no control over."

-

"Morning, Bishop." Amelia was standing outside '305' updating one of her charts.

"How is she?" Maya asked, then handed the surgeon the cup of coffee that she had purchased from the stall outside.

"Better, she's recovering well. No sign of infection and her CT scan came back clear."

Maya smiled at the news, "That's good, right?"

"It's excellent," Amelia handed the tablet to the nurse that was sitting behind the desk. "I've requested a neurologist take over her case as she is no longer a surgical patient." Amelia took a sip from the coffee cup. "She should be here shortly."

"Dr Shepard." The two women turned in the direction of the voice.

"Dr Mason. Right on time as always." Ameila greeted her co-worker. "This here is Maya Bishop. Carina's wife. Maya, this is Abigal Mason, head of neurology."

The two shook hands.

"Nice to meet you," Dr Mason greeted the blonde. "I've read over your wife's case, it's not uncommon for someone who suffered a severe head injury to experience loss of memory. I just need to speak with her before suggesting a suitable course of treatment." The neurologist explained to the blonde.

"Sounds good," Maya already felt comfortable with the doctor. "I'll wait here." She said when the doctor hinted for her to follow.

Maya watched through the window as the neurologist introduced herself to the brunette. Carina looked withdrawn and tired but still made an effort to engage in the conversation.

Something drew Carina's attention to the window, which caused to Maya turned around hoping that Carina hadn't seen her staring. She walked away from the window and rested against the nurses station until, Dr Mason exited the room.

"How's she doing?" Maya asked, trying not to seem too hopeful.

"She still doesn't remember anything," Abigal wished she had better news for the blonde. "But, she did ask for you, which is a good sign." Maya's eyes lit up at the information.

"I thought you said she didn't remember."

"She doesn't," Abigal began to explain. "But she might be drawn to you and not know why. It's possible she recognises your voice," the neurologist went in to explain. "In some cases, coma patients say they can remember conversations that happened around them while they were unconscious. It's rare but it does happen."

Maya smiled thankfully at the doctor.

"Oh, Mrs Bishop," Dr Mason called out before the blonde could open the door. "Just so you know, I don't recommend you tell her about anything about you yet. We don't want to overwhelm her with information that she can't handle."

"Why?" Maya was curious. She thought the best way ro help her remember was to reintroduce her to the life she had before the accident.

"She is overwhelmed and scared. As far as she is aware, she doesn't know you. Don't make her feel guilty about that." Maya started to think this was a bad idea. "Be calm, be patient, and let her ask the questions." The doctor seemed to notice the change in Maya's demeanor. "It will benefit you both in the long run. We want her to remember you naturally."

Maya nodded and opened the door. Carina was sitting up in her bed, but looked lost in thought. "Hey." Maya stood shyly by the door.

"Hey," Carina responded, looking curiously at the blonde.

"Dr Mason said you asked for me." Maya felt uncomfortable, for the first time since they had met, Maya didn't know what to say to her.

"I did. I erm..." Carina stuttered. "Did we know eachother? I mean, before the... before the accident."

"We did." Maya smiled sadly at the brunette.

"I'm sorry," Carina looked genuinely sorry, "I don't remember you." Maya decided to walk closer to the brunette, in all her sorrow, she didn't think about how this was all affecting her wife. "Were we friends? It's just, I've seen you around here a lot."

"Something like that." Maya whispered. "My name is Maya. Maya Bishop." She reintroduced herself, hoping to relax the brunette.

"Carina Deluca." The brunette smiled her beautiful smile. There was an awkwardness in the encounter, but it wasn't a bad as she thought it would be. "Nice to meet you, Maya Bishop." The brunette reached out her semi-bandaged hand. Maya grabbed the hand and shaked it gently. It was the first contacted she has had with her wife since since she had woken up and she didn't want it to end.

 

-

Chapter Text

"I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with you." - Roy Croft

-

The two women spent the majority of their time talking about the little things; how long Carina had been living here, how long she had worked at Grey Sloan, but gradually, Carina began to ask more difficult questions. Maya did her best to divert the questions but she knew sooner or later,  Carina would start to get suspicious. With every question, came an undeniable guilt that began to eat away at the blonde. She hated keeping things from the brunette but she knew if would benefit her in the long run.

The conversation soon turned to questions about Maya, too which she was greatful for.

"So, you're a firefighter, huh?" Carina looked Maya up and down, trying to be as subtle as possible. Maya was wearing a tight fitted t-shirt and she knew her muscles were defined.

"Captain." Maya spoke proudly. "First female captain of 19." She bragged.

Carina seemed impressed, if the smile on her face was anything to go by.

Suddenly, the mood in the room dipped as Carina had a far away look in her eyes.

"Was you there?" Carina spoke after a moment of silence. "At the accident. I heard it was pretty bad, I just assumed a fire crew was present."

"No," Maya clenched her jaw. She had found out from Herrera that station 12 was called to the scene as they were needed elsewhere. A part of her was glad that they wasn't called. She didn't know if she would have been able to handle it. "No, I wasn't."

The blonde looked at her wife, trying to gauge a reaction. She knew how her wife was feeling by the way she crinkled her eyebrow, but this one was new, she looked withdrawn and uninterested. Despite wanting to pry, Maya knew it wasn't her place any more so she decided against it.

Maya noticed that Carina looked tired so she took it as a sign that she should leave.

"I'll leave you to rest." Maya said softly to the brunette. She wanted to stay with her wife but she didn't want the brunette to feel uncomfortable.

"Will you be here tomorrow?" Carina asked, her eyes full of hope.

"I can be?" Maya tried not to get excited. Her biggest fear through all this was that Carina wouldn't want her around.

"Please," Carina looked down shyly. "You're the only one who doesn't look at me with pity." She admitted. Ever since she had woken up, the doctors and nurses, avoided any conversation that wasn't about her recovery.

"Of course, I'll be here." Maya smiled and instinctivly went to grab Carina's hand but she stopped herself when she realised what she was doing.

"Are you sure your husband won't mind?"

"What?" Maya's heart dropped, confused why Carina would ask that. Instead if answering, Carina looked down at the rings on Maya's finger. "Oh... that," Maya whispered. She had completely forgot about them. She cleared her throat, and tried to think of a way to explain it. "I'm sure she won't mind."

"Oh my god, I'm so sorry I assumed," Carina fumbled over her words.

"It's fine," Maya laughed softly, putting the brunette out if her misery.

"Will you tell me about her?." Carina asked, curiously. She wasn't one to be instrusive but she need to hear something happy.

"Well..." Maya took a deep breath, trying to stop the inevitable tears. "She's kind, she's caring, she's funny and she is, so, so beautiful." Maya saw Carina's eye flicker shut.

"Don't stop." Carina whispered when Maya stopped talking.

"She's amazing," Maya felt the familiar sting of tears, "I sometimes wonder how I go so lucky." She said under her breath. Maya looked up at the brunette was glad to see her resting. It was the only time of day when she truly looked at peace.

Maya walked up to the brunette, bent down and dropped a gently kiss on her forehead. "I love you." She whispered, hoping one day she would hear it back.

Maya went to leave the room but stopped when Dr Lance walked in holding a zip lock bag filled with Carina's belongings.

"Morning, Mrs Bishop." The stuttering intern greeted. "Dr Shepard said you were here, so I thought I would bring you these." She held the bag out for her to take. "They were taken when Dr Deluca was brought in." She explained.

"Thank you." Maya said as she grabbed the bag hesitantly. Her stomach turned when she saw the belongings covered in dried blood.

The blonde left the room with the belongings and headed to her car. Once inside her car, she opened the zip lock bag and grabbed Carina's phone from inside the small plastic bag. There was people she needed to call but she didn't have their contact information. The screen was severely cracked in several places and splinters of glass were missing.

She pressed the screen gently, trying to avoid injuring herself on the broke glass.

She hesitated when a photo of her and Carina popped up on the screen. It was the same photo that she had on her phone, Carina had mocked her when she had seen the matching lockscreens. The blonde then unlocked the phone by typing in the passcode, she knew that code off by heart as Carina had changed it to the date of their wedding.

The phone unlocked and Maya was confused as it opened up on to a message thread between herself and her wife. She read the last message that she had sent to her wife and she now regrets not telling her she loved her, they always sign their messages off with an 'I love you.' but Maya was incredibly busy at work and had sent a half-arse, rushed response. If only she knew what was going to happen, she would have said so much more.

Maya began to read and was shocked at an unsent message at the bottom of the screen. The words were jumbled but it looked like Carina was preparing to say goodbye to her. It was at that moment that she realised that Carina must have tried to send her a message after the accident had happened. She had assumed that Carina had been unconscious the whole time, but clearly that wasn't the case. Her head began to swim with images of Carina alone in the car, crying for help and she felt herself gripping the phone as tightly as she could. The blonde took a moment to centre herself before closing the app, committing her last message to memory.

The blonde then opened the contacts app scrolled down until she found the name she was look for. 'Gabriella.'

She clicked on the contact and put the phone to her ear.

"Ehi straniero, come ti tratta la vita matrimoniale?" She heard cheerily on the other side of the line. Maya had been dreading this conversation, as much as she disliked the women, she knew that the doctor was her wife's bestfriend and she deserved to know what had happened.

"Gabriella?"

"Maya?" Gabriella's tone changed from delight to concern instantly. "Is everything okay?"

"There's been an accident." Maya stated, not want to reveal too much over the phone.

"È Carina? Sta bene?" Maya understood parts of the sentence.

"She's fine," Maya hurriedly explained. "But... she is suffering from retrograde amnesia. She doesn't remember anything from after she started working here." She made a conscious effort to keep the emotions out of her voice.

"Oh, mio, I'm so sorry, Maya." She could hear the sadness in the other women's voice. "I'll be on the first flight out."

"You don't have to do that-"

"She's needs me right now," Gabriella cut her off. "And by the sound of it, you do too."

Maya was glad to hear that. They had never really seen eye to eye but she needed someone here who loved Carina as much as she did. No one could truly understood what she was going through despite how much they tried to.

"Thank you."

-

Maya drove as slowly as possible to their apartment, Andy had offered her a place to stay for a few days but she didn't want her best friend to put her life on hold just because Maya's life was falling apart. She walked up the stairs, trying to prolong the inevitable. This will be the first time she had been here since the accident. She reached her apartment and stopped at the door, trying to delay walking in. All the memories of their life together came flooding back, their first kiss, their first night together, all their milestones happened in this apartment and it was weighing heavily on her chest. She thought about turning back around and heading back to the hospital but she knew it wouldn't be long before Miranda banned her from being there.

She unlocked the door, her hands shaking immensely, and walked in to their apartment. The first thing that she notice was the lingering smell of Carina's perfume. She walked further in the room and was taken aback by the feeling of peace. She expected to be overwhelmed with anxiety but that was not the case. She felt a sense of closeness to her wife that she hasn't felt since the brunette had woken up.

The constant ache in her chest lightened and she didn't know why, maybe it was the only place that was still the same, the only place that she could pretend that everything was still normal. Her phone buzzed in her pocket, so she pulled it out checked her notifications.

'Bailey: Just so you are aware, Carina is being transferred from the ICU to the recovery ward. Room 6A. '

'Thank you for letting me know.' She sent back to the surgeon.

Maya put her phone on the table and then walked into the bedroom to pack an overnight bag for her wife. She spent time going through Carina's clothes, looking for any piece of clothing that could trigger an responce, hoping somehow that's she would remember something. She packed all the things that the brunette could need for the remainder of her time in the hospital, hair brush, toothbrush, and a couple comfy tees.

She opened the top draw of their dresser, looking for her wife's favourite sweatshirt. She lifted the top layer of clothing but when her hand hit something hard, she faltered. Maya grabbed the object and pulled it out of the dresser. Her heart dropped when she realised what it was. A few days before the accident, Maya took it upon herself to book a two week vacation in Italy so that Carina could show her around the place she grew up. They had be planning a mini honeymoon for a while but life kept getting in the way, so the blonde took it upon herself to surprise the brunette. A small drop of water fell onto the box, the tears she had been keeping at bay finally falling. She was more angry than sad, she knew tomorrow wasn't promised, she should have told her sooner.

Maya stood from her place on the bed and walked over to the trash can in the kitchen. In anger, she launched the gift box inside the trash, not finding any good in keeping the tickets. The pain that had began to ease, came back with a vengeance.

-

After another restless night, Maya headed back to the hospital. She walked towards Carina's new room and stopped in front of Miranda Bailey who was chatting with a group of interns.

"You look terrible." Miranda said bluntly, once the group of interns had dispersed.

"You sure know how to kick a women when she's down." Maya laughed at the bluntness of the short women.

"Rough night?"

"Something like that." Maya answered honestly. "First night back home since... since the accident."

Bailey nodded her head in understanding.
"So," She changed the subject to which Maya was greatful. "We are tracking Carina's progress and apart from the amnesia, she is recovering very quickly. Shepard has already signed her off and I'm ready to do the same."

"What does that mean?" Maya asked.

"It's means she is ready to go home." Bailey answered like it was obvious.

"But," Maya didn't know whether to be happy or scared about the possibility of her wife coming home. "She doesn't know where home is."

"There's no medical reason to keep her here. I'm consulting with Dr Mason this afternoon to see what the best course of action is, but Maya, I can't keep her here. We need the room."

"Have you told her yet?"

"Not yet. I wanted you to know first so you had time to prepare yourself." Mirand said as they walked toward room 6A .

They walked in the room and both the Interns and Carina turned in their direction.

"Good morning, Dr Deluca." Bailey greeted her patient. "How are you feeling today?"

Carina looked straight past the doctor and tried to catch the eye of the blonde. Maya smiled softly at the brunette when their eyes met and Carina did the same. To Maya it looked like Carina relaxed when their eyes met but it could just be wishful thinking.

"Dr Lance, would you like to present."

"32 year old female," the intern begins to present but Maya was only focused on her wife. Over the last 3 years, Maya knew every thing there was to know about another person. The brunette was an expert at hiding her emotions but Maya knew the women too well.

"You okay?" Maya whispered, making sure not to interrupt the intern. Carina looked shocked at the blonde's perception.

"Why wouldn't I be?" Carina tried to lie but Maya saw straight through it. The blonde decided to drop it until after they were alone.

Once the intern was finished, Bailey instructed the interns to leave the room.

"Maya, if you would mind giving us a moment."

"Sure." Maya didn't argue.

"No, stay." Carina looked panicked at the prospect of her leaving.

"Are you sure?" Both Bailey and Maya were shocked. Maya looked at Bailey for help, she wanted to stay so bad but ultimately, it was up to the chief.

"Very well," The smaller women continued, "So, I've looked over your chart and have decided to discharge you. We advise an extra 24 hour supervision period but after that, you are free to go." Bailey informed the brunette.

Maya observed the brunettes reaction, but Carina's face didn't show much. At first she looked shocked but it soon turned neutral.

"Does Andrea know?" Carina asked hopefully. "Dr Shepard said he was unavailable but he must know right?"

Maya and Bailey looked at eachother, both unsure how to address the situation.

"Carina..." Maya began but Miranda cut her off.

"Dr Deluca is away at the minute, but yes, he's aware of the situation." Miranda felt terrible for lying but she didn't know how well Carina would deal with the news. Her patient was still high risk for infection and she needed to prevent any emotional distress.

Maya was mortified, if Carina found out that she knew and didn't tell her, there's no telling if she would ever forgive her.

"Dr Bailey, a word." Maya tried to keep her voice calm.

They both walked out of the room and walked a short distance away from the door. "What the hell was that?" Maya gritted, angrily.

"She is still in recovery, telling her something this traumatic could set her back completely." Miranda felt guilty but she knew what was best for her patient.

"So we just lie to her the whole time?" Maya was beginning to panic. "What happened in a few days and she asks for him again."

"Then we deal with it at the time." Miranda was beginning to get angry. "You don't get to tell me how to do my job. I have to put the health of my patient first."

"She's my wife, Bailey."

"No!" Miranda knew she was being harsh but she already felt terrible. "No. Not right now she isn't. Right now, she's my patient." Miranda watched as the blonde recoiled at the words. "I'm sorry, Maya, but you're out of line here."

"She will never forgive you for this." Maya whispered.

"That's the choice I choose." Miranda stated. Her voice lowering slightly. "I did so, so you didn't have to."

-

"Is everything okay?" Carina asked when Maya returned to the room.

"Yeah, everything is perfect." Maya put on her best smile, hoping Carina wouldn't see through it. "How are you feeling?"

"I don't know," Carina decided to be honest, she doesn't know why, but she felt a connection to the blonde. "I don't know where I'm going to go? No one will tell me anything?" Carina felt frustrated with the whole situation.

"Well, what do you want to know?"

"Where I go from here?" Carina asked, "Dr Bailey said I can go home, but I have no idea where home is." Maya kept quite, she wanted to tell her the truth but she didn't know how to explain that to the brunette. "And even when I do go home, what happens after that." It was clear that Carina was stressing about leaving the hospital.

"Carina, if you're not comfortable being alone, there are plenty of places you could stay." Maya felt sorry for the brunette, it was easy to forget what Carina must be going through right now. She is in a country she was unfamiliar with and surrounded by people she doesn't recognise. "There are people that love you and just want to do what's best for you." Maya felt brave. "You can come stay with me until you get yourself back on your feet."

Carina went to speak but was distracted by a voice coming from the hallway.

"Excuse me, I'll be right back." Maya stood up and headed for the door. She peaked out to see what was happening.

"Gabriella?" Maya called out when she saw the women hounding a nurse for information. "Is everything okay?" She walked over to the scared nurse.

"Maya! Grazie a Dio." The Italian women looked relived to see her bestfriends partner. "No-one would tell me anything."

"I'm sorry, Mrs Bishop. We can't release patient details to non family members."

"It's okay, she's with me." Maya saved the young nurse from the wrath of Italian.

"Any change?" Gabriella asked the blonde, while wrapping the shorter women in a hug. Maya was shocked at the embraced but responded in kind.

"Not yet." Maya answered. "Her doctor wants to discharge her but I think Carina is a bit worried about leaving. She doesn't know about us, yet."

"You haven't told her?" Gabriella was shocked at the information.

"The neurologist don't think it's a good idea."

"Well, they are probably right." Gabriella has dealt with similar cases during her 10 years as a doctor. It's common for patients to make up their own memories using the information they are given rather than remembering them naturally. "Can I see her?"

"Of course. I'll wait here."  Maya guided the brunette to room '6A'. She opened the door for her and then stepped aside so she could watch the reunion through the window.

"Oh, guardati!" Gabriella walked up to the brunette and pulled her into a tight hug. Carina winced at the contact but soon melted into the embrace.

"Gabriella!" Carina looked relieved to see her best friend and it broke Maya's heart. "Sono così felice che tu sia qui."

Maya walked away from the window, her heart couldn't take it. She wanted to be the women that comforted her wife, not Gabriella.

-

Maya and Gabriella were currently on their way back to the blonde's apartment. Maya had agreed to let the brunette stay with her until she headed back to Italy. The majority of the drive was silent, neither women knowing what to say.

The silence continued even after they arrived at the apartment. The blonde was too emotially drained to engage in conversation with the brunette.

"So, are we going to talk about this?" The brunette decided to speak up.

"There's nothing to talk about." Maya said bluntly.

"Are you always this stubborn?" Gabriella said as she removed her coat.

"Are you always this annoying?" Maya spoke under her breath, not realising that the brunette could here her.

"Wow, Carina always liked a fiesty women." Gabriella joked, not taking any offence at the blonde dig.

"Yeah, well, you would know." Maya began to regret her decision to let the brunette stay with her.

"You want to tell me what this is all about?" Gabriella stopped the blonde from leaving the room.

"I'm sorry," Maya really wasn't in the mood to argue. "I'm just stressed. This whole situation... its getting to me." Maya admitted.

"I get that, Maya, but I'm only here to help." The brunette put her hands up in fake surrender.

"I know. I know that," Maya sat on the couch in the middle of the room. "I just..." Maya hated that she was breaking down infront of the one person she didn't want to. "I feel so useless. I don't know how to help her. And then I saw you and her-"

"And you were jealous." Gabriella sat on the couch opposite the blonde.

"Yeah." Maya whispered, hoping that Gabriella didn't think she was a horrible person.

"She loves you, Maya." Gabriella felt bad for teasing the blonde. "She just doesn't know it yet."

"What if she never does. There's a chance she won't ever remember."

"Then make her." Gabriella smiled softly at her bestfriends wife. "You did it once, you can do it again."

-

Gabriella had been asleep for a few hours when she was awoken by a noise in the kitchen, she thought about ignoring it but her curiosity got the best of her.

"What are you doing up this late?" Gabriella asked when she saw the blonde sitting at the dinning table drinking a large glass of red wine. "Ah, I see." She joked before joining the blonde. She grabbed a wine glass from the kitchen and joined the blonde at the table. "Want to talk about it?"

"I'm sick and tired of people asking me that." Maya signed.

"So you thought you would drink away your problems instead?" Gabriella teased. "My type of women." She lifted her own glass and clicked it against Maya's. "Carina would always say 'Gabriella, you can't drink away your problems'," Maya laughed at terrible impression of her wife. "Clearly she had never tried."

"If only she could see us now." Maya joked before taking a swig of the drink.

"Se solo," Gabriella was glad to see the blonde so relaxed. "How many have you had?" Gabriella laughed when she felt how empty the bottle was.

"Not enough." This was her third glass. She had never been a big drinker but she needed something to help her forget. "What was she like?" Maya looked another mouthful of her drink. "Before she came here I mean."

"Ahh, well, she was very carefree, I can assure you of that." Gabriella laughed as she remembers the stories from their past. "But also very determined, she worked harder than anyone I knew. It was almost annoying how brilliant she was."

"She still is," Maya has always been in awe of the women. "She's one of the best people I know."

 

"I remember when you guys first met," Gabriella remembered fondly. "She called me everyday for a week, telling be about this amazing firefighter that she was seeing." The brunette lifted her glass to her lips. "It was infuriating."

"She did?"

"She did." Gabriella smiled at the blonde.

"Well I am pretty loveable." Maya spoke with false confidence.

"Debateable." Gabriella teased.

Maya felt a wave of guilt run through her, Carina would have loved to have been here for this.

"Aye, none of that." The brunette felt the mood drop. "Drink up." She said as she poured more wine into Maya's glass. 

-

"Buongiorno."

"Is it?" Maya croaked from her place on couch. Her head was pounding and her throat was very dry. She couldn't remember what time they had gone to sleep last night but she was sure that it was late.

"For you." The brunette placed a glass of water on the table next to the couch, they both had way to much to drink last but it was clear Maya was the only one  suffering from it.

"Why is it so bright?" Maya squinted, look around the apartment for the source of the light. Gabriella had walked into the living room and opened the curtain causing a harsh stream of light to illuminate the room.

"Lightweight." The brunette teased, laughing as the blonde downed the entire glass of water. "What time are we heading to the hospital?"

"Whenever you're ready." Maya walked into her bedroom to grab some fresh clothes. "I just need to jump in the shower."

Maya took her time in the shower, the warm water helping to wash away some of the hangover. She didn't waste too much time before she was dressed and ready to go. She left the bathroom and headed back into the living room.

"What are you doing?" Maya asked, confused at what she was seeing.

"What does it look like I'm doing?" Gabriella joked, "I'm packing."

"Why?" Maya went from confused to angry in the blink of an eye. Gabriella was going through Carina's things and throwing her wife's belongings into a small suitcase.

"I'm taking Carina back to Italy with me." Gabriella said as if it was obvious.

Chapter Text


"There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it." - Shannon L. Alder

-

"I'm taking Carina back to Italy with me." Gabriella said as if it was obvious.

"What?" Maya's whole body went into shock. "You can not be serious?"

"Maya," Gabriella was confused by the reaction, "You can't expect her to stay here?" The brunette gestured around the room, pointing at all the pictures of the pair that lined the wall.

"That's exactly what I expect. You're talking about completely uprooting her whole life. How do you expect her to remember her life here if you take her away from it?" Maya laughed at the absurdity of the situation.

"It's not permanent, Maya. It's just until she recovers," Gabriella should have expected this reaction. "You haven't even told her  about her brother. Are you going to tell her or are you going to wait until she finds out on her own?"

"She's not ready-"

"No! You're not ready, Maya." Gabriella exaggerated. She had been following Maya's lead this whole time despite not agreeing with her because she knew that Maya was going through a lot. "I'm sorry, Maya, but it's best for-" She tried to explain but the blonde cut her off.

"For who?" Maya felt herself getting angrier. "Because it sure as hell ain't Carina."

"Think about this, Maya," The brunette didn't mean to upset the blonde but it was more practical to have Carina come back with her. "What happens when you have to go back to work? Are you just going to leave her by herself for 24 hours at a time? She is going to need someone here 24/7."

Maya felt the blood drain from face. She hadn't even thought about going back to work. "I'll figure something out." Maya spoke timidly.

"Maya," The brunette stepped forward slightly. "I know you love her, I also know she loves you, but think about this for a second. You know this is the right thing to do." Gabriella lightened her tone when she saw the look of anguish on the blondes face.

"I can't do that." Maya felt a wave of determination flood through her. "I can't let you take her. I won't let you take her."

Gabriella sighed deeply, "Maya," but the blonde had already grabbed her bag and was headed towards the door. "Can we please talk-"

"No." Maya said as she walked though the door.

"Maya!" Gabriella shouted.

-

Maya did what she had always done when overwhelmed, she went for a run. A long, 6 mile run. It was the only thing she could think of that would, not only realise some of her built up anger, but help her clear her head.

Carina had been the one constant in her life for the last few years and the thought of letting her go, broke her heart. She could see Gabriella's side but she also felt strongly that the quickest way for Carina to remember her, was to keep her close by. Ultimately, the decision would fall to Carina and if the brunette decided to go back to Italy, Maya would never stand in her way but she certainly won't let her go without a fight.

Maya ran until she couldn't physically carry on, until her lungs were burning and her knees were weak. The run did little to clear her anxiety but it did help her sort out some of her thoughts. She decided to head to the hospital, needing to see Carina before having to face the possibility of losing her.

-

Maya walked towards Carina's room, feigning her best smile, hoping Carina wouldn't suspect anything amiss. From a short distance away, Maya could see Gabriella in the room with her wife.

She thought about knocking on the door but decided against it. She instead watched the encounter through the window, watching the first genuine smile light up her wife's face. Carina made eye contact with her through the window and gestured for her to come in.

"Hey," Carina smiled widely at her as she walked though the door.

"Hey," Maya greeted. "How are you feeling?"

"Better." Carina admitted. "Have you met Gabriella?"

"I have." Maya said stoically, refusing to look at the other brunette. The blonde stood next to the bed as Gabriella was sitting in the only available chair.

"She told me that she wants to take me back to Italy," Carina smiled but her eyes didn't translate the same joy. "What do you think?"

Maya was shocked by the question. It surprised her that Carina wanted her opinion.  "I think..." She tried to think of a tactical way to answer. "I think that you should do what ever you need to do." Both the brunettes looked at her in shock. "But, it's not your only option. There are people here that love you, that care for you. We will do what ever you need to make you feel comfortable."

"It's true," Gabriella grabbed the hand of her bestfriend. "You have options here." Gabriella looked at the blonde in understanding.  "Whatever you decide, we will support you, one hundred percent." Gabriella began to realise that she may have overreacted.

Maya smiled, thankfully at the brunette. They both wanted to do what was best for their loved one and the only way to do that, was to be on the same page.

Now, Carina felt even more undecided than she did before the blonde had walked in.

"You dont have to decided right now," Maya spoke up when she saw the look on her wife's face. "You have time."

"She's right, you don't need to decide anything just yet." Gabriella agreed. "Our main priority is getting you well."

The trio spent the next few minutes talking about what they will do after Carina was discharged, Carina agreed to spend a few nights with Maya while she recovered fully.

"Good morning, Mrs and Mrs Deluca. Sorry I haven't been around recently," Dr Helm walked into the room holding one of the tablets out in front of her. "Bailey sent me in to check your vitals."

Maya froze, unsure of what to do. She looked at Carina for confirmation that she had heard but the women just looked confused. Helm looked around at the shocked faces in the room wondering what she had missed.

"Oh, I'm sorry, we haven't met," Gabriella held out her hand for the young resident to take. "I'm not Carinas wife, despite my many attempts." Maya felt her body relax as Gabriella feigned a misunderstanding.
"Dr. Gabriella Aurora."

"Oh, no, i was-" Helm looked extremely confused. She looked over to the blonde for help but Maya ignored the stare.

"If I could borrow you outside," Gabriella gently escorted the resident outside. "I have some questions."

Maya watched as Gabriella and Helm left the room. She didn't want to look at Carina incase she saw right through her.

"What was that about?" Carina asked. Her voice tight.

"I have no idea," Maya lied.

"I know when someone is lying to me, Maya." Carina looked at the blonde distrustfully. "You told me that you would be honest with me."

"I know," Maya had been dreading this moment. "But, maybe this isn't the time to discuss this, Carina."

"What are you keeping from me?" The brunette asked, betrayal in her voice.

Carina felt hurt, Maya was the only one she thought she could trust through this.

"Carina, please." Maya begged. "Now is not the time." The blonde whispered. "I'll tell you everything you want to know, just not right now." Maya was at a loss, she wanted to tell the brunette everything but she didn't want to risk the brunette shutting her out completely.

"There will never be a good time, Maya." Carina was beginning to get angry at all the lies. "All any one has done this whole time is keep things from me. You told me you were different." Carina saw a look of pain flash across the blonde's face.

"Non è così, Carina. No one's lying to you." Gabriella had watch the entire exchange from the door. "You're a doctor, you know how this works. We are just trying to help you." The brunette tried to calm the escalating situation.

Maya looked grateful for the sudden appearance of the brunette.

"Come home with me, I'll tell you whatever you want to know." Maya assured, prepared to deal with whatever consequences that come with it.

"Maya!"

The blonde ignored that proclamation of the brunette. And then she made eye contact with her wife. "No more lies." Maya promised.

"Maya, a word." Gabriella summoned the blonde to the hallway.

Maya excused herself and then followed the brunette out of the door.

"What were you thinking?" She could tell by her tone that Gabriella was angry.

"It's time." Maya asserted. Although a part of her was thinking she had made a mistake. "She deserves to know."

"You don't get to decide that. There protocols in place for a reason." Gabriella explained. The blonde had gone again all medical advise. "If this backfires, its on you."

"Tell me you would have done different." Maya stated. She was tired of people ignoring her importance in this situation. "I'm losing her Gabriella, and all I can do is watch it happen."

"You're not... Maya, I know this is tough-"

"You don't though." Maya had had enough of the constant belittling of her feelings. "You don't know what this is like. No one knows."

"We love her too, Maya. You're not the only one suffering right now. Remember that." Gabriella said as she stormed in to Carinas room.

-

Gabriella and Maya had long since left and Carina was left to make a decision. She wanted nothing more than to go back to Italy, to be back where she knew everyone but she also knew that she had made a life for herself here. Abandoning that life was only going to make things more difficult when it came to getting her memories back.

"So, you ready to go home?" Bailey asked as she noted down her vitals. The doctor had arrived a few minutes ago but Carina didn't feel like making conversation.

"Home?" Carina half smiled, half grimaced.

"You must be excited about leaving the hospital?" Bailey looked at the brunette confused.

"I guess." Carina just shrugged, not in the mood for small talk.

"You guess?"

"How well do you know Maya?" The brunette asked abruptly.

"She has worked along side my husband for years, so I would say I know her pretty well. Why?" Bailey sat down on the chair next to the bed. "Is everything okay?"

Carina thought about the best way to word the question, she wanted to trust the blonde but she could tell that she was keeping something big from her.

"Were we..." Carina stuttered. "Were we together?" She didn't know what she wanted the answer to be.

"That's not for me to say." Bailey answered, knowing that's not what the brunette wanted to hear. "All i can say is, trust her. What ever she chooses to tell you, just know it's because she cares."

Carina smiled thankfully at the doctor.

"She's one of the good ones." Bailey began to speak after a few moments of silence. "I don't say that about many people." The older women grabbed her hand and gave it a gently squeeze.

-

After the argument with Gabriella, the blonde had left the hospital feeling a mixture of anger and worry. Carina had agreed to stay with her for a few days before she decided if she wanted to go with Gabriella or not and Maya was anxious about it. She had agreed to tell the brunette everything she wanted to know, but now she was second guessing herself.

Maya began to clean up the apartment, taking down every pictures of them together and packing away Carina's belongings into boxes so there was no confusion when she arrived. The chore in itself was difficult, not physically but definitely mentally. The photos on the wall was almost a complete time line of their relationship. A photo from their first date, a photo from thier first vacation, all the way up to the photos from their wedding. 

She picked up the final photo, the one that Carina kept next to their bed, and held it up so she could view it better. She sat on the edge of the bed and reminisced about the moment the photo was taken.

It was a few days after the proposal and Carina had surprised the blonde by taking her to a jewelry shop near by. She never saw herself as a ring person but Carina was so excited about it so she was excited too.

"What about this one?" Carina called the blonde over to look into one of the glass cabinets.

Maya looked at the one she was pointed at and laughed jokingly at the brunette.

"Seriously?" The ring had a huge diamond in the middle, way too expensive for Maya with the jobs she did. "I thought we agreed, plain and simple."

"We did?" Carina teased. "I don't remember agreeing to that." The brunette feigned ignorance.

"You don't, huh?" Maya laughed at the brunettes childish antics.

Carina had an air of tranquility around her, like she didn't have a care in the world and Maya loved that about her. It balanced out the blonde's analness.

"All I remember is you saying I could pick." Carina examined the rings infront of her, looking for the perfect engagement ring for her fiance.

"I'm starting to regret that now." Maya said in fake seriousness while wrapping her arms around the waist of the brunette.

"I just want it to be special, to mean something." Carina looked at her fiancée lovingly.

"What ever ring you pick, ill love," Maya tightened her hold. "Because it's from you."

Maya felt her phone buzz in her pocket, it was from the station so she had to answer. "Bishop." She looked apologetically at her fiance.

Carina continued to browse while Maya took the call, she couldn't see any ring that stood out to her which bummed her out. A few moments later, Maya returned to her looking apologetic.

"You have to go?" Carina tried not to be mad but it was their one day off together.

"I'm sorry, it was Gibson. They need me down at the station." Maya apologied. "Level 4 fire, they are calling in everyone."

"It's your day off." Carina argued.

"I know, I said that." Maya fidgeted. "I promise I'll make it up to you."

"You better." Carina laughed softly at her fiancée. "Go save lives."

"I love you." Maya pecked the brunette gently on the lips.

"I love you, too. Be safe out there." Carina watched the blonde hurry away before turning her attention back to the cabinet.

-

"Ready to go?"

Maya had returned to the hospital later that day to pick up the brunette from the hospital. Gabriella had offered to join them but Maya had declined the offer, wanting to be alone with her wife.

Carina was sitting on the bed, wearing one the sweatshirts that Maya had brought in for her the day prior. It was unclear whether Carina was aware that the blonde was in the room as she appeared to be lost in thought.

"Is everything okay?" Maya joined the brunette on the bed.

"Yes, sorry." Carina stepped off the bed and grabbed the bag of her belongings. "I was just-"

"Carina, sit for a second." Maya had seen this look before. "Talk to me." The blonde stood up from the bed and grabbed the bag from Carina's hand. "What's going on?"

Carina stopped but refused to make eye contact with the blonde. 

"Carina, its okay to change your mind." Maya didn't want the brunette to feel presured into coming home with her. "I can call Gabriella."

Maya pulled her phone out of her pocket, ready to call the Italian women if needed.

"No." Carina grabbed the hand holding the phone, "I'm sorry." Carina sat back down on the bed, her shoulders slumped. "I just feel a little anxious about leaving."

"I have an idea," Maya jumped of the bed so she was standing infront of the brunette. 

Carina laughed at the excitement of the blonde. "What are you doing?"

"Do you trust me?" The blonde grabbed her hands and gently pulled her off the bed.

Carina looked at the blonde suspiciously.
"I don't know, yet." Carina teased, but followed the blonde anyway.

Maya led her down the hallway and through the fire exit at the end of the hallway.

"Are we supposed to be doing this?" The sign next to the door said staff only.

"Nope." Maya laughed and pulled the brunette up the first flight of stairs. "Let's just hope we don't get caught."

Carina stopped which caused the blonde to falter. Maya turned around, confused. She then laughed when she saw the look on the brunettes face.

"I'm joking." She wasn't. "Come on, we're almost there."

The pair walked up the remaining stairs until they came upon a closed metal door.

"Where are we?" Carina looked around the stairwell for any indication of where they were. Maya ignored the question and proceeded to open the metal door.

Carina was taken aback by they view. They were now on the roof of the hospital, overlooking Elliot Bay. The skyline was lit, causing an angelic glow to illuminate the city below.

Maya watched as Carina walked closer to the edge, a look of serenity on her face.

"Wow." Carina smiled back at the blonde. "This is..." The brunette was in awe of the view.

"Beautiful?" Maya said, looking only at her wife.

"I was going to say amazing, but that works too." Carina laughed softly. "Why did you bring me here?"

"You said you needed something to be good," Maya said, remembering the  conversation they had a few days ago. "It doesn't get much better than this."

Carina looked over at the blonde, the moonlight highlighting every detail of the blondes face. "You come here alot?"

"Sometimes." Maya smiled sadly. She would come her while she was waiting for Carina to finish her shift on the few times she had to work late. "It helps me think."

"I can see why."

They both went silent for a few moments, admiring the view infront of them.

"You ready to go?" Maya asked when she saw the brunette shiver.

"Can I ask you something?" The brunette ignored the question, she had finally built up enough confidence to ask the blonde what she wanted to know.

"Of course."

"Were we together before all this?"

Maya felt the smile drop off her lips, this was the question she had been dreading.

"Carina..."

-

"Carina?" Maya unlocked her apartment door and walked in expecting to see her fiancée sat on the couch. The call had lasted a lot longer than they expected which caused the blonde to be home a lot later than she wanted to be. She had messaged her fiancée to let her know but didn't receive a responce. 

The apartment was dark apart from the dim glow of the television. "Carina?" She called again, hoping her fiancée wasn't already in bed. 

She walked further into the apartment and dropped her bag on the couch before heading towards the bedroom. She stopped dead when she saw a path made of rose petals and some LED lite candles leading from the kitchen to the bedroom door.  

"Carina?" She smiled, rushing to open the bedroom door. "What is all this?" The blonde swoon at the sight, Carina was sat on the edge of the bed, wearing one of her fanciest dresses.

"Captain Maya Bishop," Carina closed the distance between them and grabbed for her hands. "I've thought about this for a long time," The brunette took a deep breathe before continuing, "You deserve the whole, romantic, cheesy, story book proposal-"

"I love our proposal." Maya joked, trying to hide the tears that were present in her eyes. No one had ever made as loved as she did in this moment.

"I wanted to try again," Carina pulled a small, velvet box from behind her back and held it between their bodies. "Maya Bishop, first female captain of 19, from the moment I met you, I knew that you would change my life. I wasn't sure at the time just how much, but I knew." Carina lifted her spare hand and wiped a tear from Maya's cheek. "I ment what I said the other day, you're my home, my partner and my person and I couldn't think of a single person who I would rather share the rest of my life with. So, would you do me the honour of being my wife?" Carina opened the little box and held out the ring for Maya to examine.

Maya smiled whole heartedly at her fiancée. "Yes."

Carina pulled the shorter women into her  body and kissed her firmly on the lips. As much as she didn't want to, Carina pulled back so she could place the ring on her fiancées finger. "Do you like it?" Carina whispered, a single tear falling from her own eyes.

"I love it."

Maya lifted her hand so she could take a closer look, the band was simple but elegant, the was a single red stone placed directly in the middle of the gold band and some smaller diamonds around it. Around the outside of the band read; Per sempre, mio capitano.

"What does that mean?" Maya asked softly.

"Forever, my captain."

 

Chapter Text

 

"The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie." 

- Shannon L. Alder 

"Carina..." Maya took a deep breath, trying to prepare herself. Her first instict was too lie but she promised she wouldn't. "Yes, we were." 

Maya looked towards the skyline, distracting herself from the piercing stare of the questioning women. 

"Why didn't you tell me?" Carina asked curiously. She had a feeling but it was never confirmed until now. She was not angry nor sad, just confused. 

"We didn't know how you would react," Maya explained. "With everything going on, I didn't want to burden you with my own grief." 

"Did you love me?" The question felt loaded, but Carina needed to know as the answer may complicate the decision she is yet to make. Her heart went out to the blonde, she would never wish to be in the women's shoes. 

"Carina, its complicated." Maya turned to face the brunette, her heart pounding heavily in her chest. There was nothing complicated about it at all. She loved her truely and she loved her deeply. 

The clouds above began to open, causing small droplets of rain to settle around them leaving shallow puddles on the ground by their feet. The air was brisk and the wind was loud but neither women noticed. 

"Uncomplicate it." Carina whispered. 

"I love you so much that it hurts," Maya finally admitted. Her throat was tight and her knees felt weak. "It physically hurts me everytime I'm with you." Maya whispered into the blistering wind, the words flowing out without thought or consideration. "It hurts everytime I look at you." 

"I'm sorry." The brunette looked struck by the words. 

"Don't apologise to me, Carina." Maya said pointedly. She was tired of the pity looks. "You have nothing to be sorry for. It won't change anything." 

"You said you were married? Was that a lie or...?" 

The brunette couldn't stop the question from leaving her lips. 

"Carina... please." 

"You said-" 

"I know what I said." Maya felt the built up anger in her stomach waiting to implode. "Why are you doing this?" 

The rain began to fall harder, and the wind became more boisterous. Carina's long flowing hair was sticking gently to the side of her face. 

"I want to know who I am now, I have no idea who you are, Maya. You're standing here telling me you love me..." Carina shouted over the rumbling of the wind. 

"You don't think I know that, I know that you have no idea who I am, I have to live with that every day. You think this is hard for you, imagine how hard it is for me." Maya unleashed all the feelings she had been burying for the last few days, her anger directed at the object of her affection. 

Carina recoiled, a look of shock on her face. Maya immediately regretted her words. "Im sorry. I'm so, so sorry."  Maya went to grab the women but Carina stepped back. 

"We should go." Carina looked like a shell of her normal self. The words hitting her like a ton of bricks. 

"Carina, please."  

Maya watched on in anguish as Carina walked away from her. She wanted nothing more than to chase her and beg for forgiveness but she knew that Carina would want space right now. 

The blonde pulled out her phone from her back pocket and sent off a message to the women's best friend. 

'She needs you.' 

'I'll be right there.' 

"Don't say it." Maya heard a door close behind her. Gabriella had met the pair at their apartment and immediately began to comfort the brunette. 

"What? I told you so?" Gabriella joined her on the couch. "I would never because that would be mean, but yes, I told you so." The brunette laughed softly to herself. 

"You couldn't help yourself?" Maya laughed at the women she was beginning to like.  "How is she?" 

"She's sleeping." Gabriella grabbed the glass of wine from the coffee table and laid herself out next to the blonde. "She'll feel better in the morning. So will you." 

"I didn't mean to snap. It just happened." Maya pushed away the legs that Gabriella had flung over her lap. "One minute we were talking, the next, we were shouting at eachother." Maya felt guilty, she knew the brunette would be curious and questioning but she did what she has always done; become extremely defensive. 

"It was bound to happen at some point, Maya. Maybe next time, try not to take it out on the innocent, injured women." Gabriella laughed softly. A look of mock judgement on her face. 

"Did she say anything to you?" 

"Not really. She just needed a moment to process everything." The brunette looked at the blonde, her mocking turning serious for a moment. "Maya, maybe it's a good idea for you to speak to someone." 

"I am." The blonde looked innocently at the brunette. 

"Oh, not me." Gabriella cringed at the idea. "I have enough of my own drama to deal with. I meant a professional." 

"I don't need some stranger to tell me how I feel," Maya laughed sarcastically at the suggestion. "I know how I feel. I feel like shit." 

"So, Captain, huh? It suits you." Maya leant against the doorframe of her office, admiring her bestfriend. 

"Maya? What are you doing here?" Andy walked towards the blonde pulled the shorter women into a fierce hug. 

"I was looking for Chief Gregory, Is he here?" 

"Is everything okay?" Andy asked, concerned. Maya had kept her up to date with how Carina was doing but they haven't spoke in the last few days. 

"I need to take an extended leave. Carina's home now and I don't want to leave her by herself." Maya explained. 

"That's good news right?" 

"Yeah, it is." Maya put on her best smile, even though she wasn't truly sure it was. 

"Captain Bishop, what are you doing here?" Battalion Chief Gregory walked in to the office holding a small coffee cup. 

"Chief, if you have a minute." 

"Of course. Herrera, if you could excuse us please." Andy left the office and closed the door behind her but Maya knew she would be standing close by trying to ease drop on the conversation. "How's your wife doing?" He asked, curiously. 

"That's actually what I need to talk to you about. I need to take an extended leave. My wife has just been discharged and she still needs me there until she fully recovers." 

"I don't know if I can do that, Bishop." The chief sat down behind the desk and looked at the blonde, apologetically. "Bishop, with Herrera stepping in as captain, we are down a firefighter. If you take anymore time off, we will have to recruit." 

"Three more weeks, that's all I ask." Maya begged. 

"Two." He bargined. "Two weeks, Bishop." 

"Thank you, sir." Maya was greatful for the leniency of the battalion chief. 

He walked up to the blonde and patted her on the shoulder, his authoritative figure towering over her. "I'm glad she's okay, Bishop." 

"Me too." She said as the man left the room. "You can come in now." Maya called out. 

Andy appeared behind her looking sheepish. "How did it go?" The taller women asked despite listening to the conversation. 

"It went well." Maya answered. "He granted me two more weeks." 

"It may not be my place but you don't seem too thrilled about it. Is everything okay?" The step-in captain enquired. 

"I snapped at Carina." Maya was expecting a look of judgment but thankfully it never came. "She didn't do anything, I just..." 

"You're angry." 

"I'm angry." The blonde confirmed. "I'm angry at her, I just don't know why." The feeling has been eating away at her ever since her wife had woken up. She wasn't angry at Carina directly, she was angry at what she represents. 

"Why don't we go out tonight, my treat." 

"I can't." The blonde smiled sadly at the brunette. 

"Carina?" Maya walked into their apartment holding a brown paper bag, "I brought you lunch." 

Carina lifted herself off the couch and rushed over to help the struggling blonde. 

"I got you a sandwich from that little deli you like." Maya put her keys on the table and removed her coat. 

Carina looked at the blonde confused for a moment before grabbing two glasses from the cabinet and placing them on the dining table. 

The two women sat down on the chairs and Maya handed the brunette her lunch. 

"I really am sorry about yesterday." Maya spoke up once they were settled. "I was overwhelmed with everything. I never should have taken it out on you." 

"That's okay. I understand." Carina was unsure of what to say, she was neither angry nor upset with the blonde. She didn't want to rehash the conversation as it had been playing over and over in her mind. She had plenty of time to think about it last night but she was still unsure of how she felt. A part of her felt obligated to stay for the sake of the blonde, but she also needed to be a bit selfish. "Did you manage to sort everything out at work?" Carina decided to changed the subject. 

"Kind of." Maya took a bite of her sandwich. "The chief granted me an extra two weeks leave." 

"You didn't have to do that for me." The brunette smiled awkwardly. 

"I didn't," She cleared her throat. She knew that was a lie. If it was up to her, she would be back at work as soon as possible, trying her hardest to distract herself from her new reality. "It's for me, too. I won't be much help if my mind is elsewhere. In my line of work that could get someone killed." 

Carina picked her up sandwich and examined it for a moment, 

"Hey, Bella, what are you doing here?" Carina smiled lovingly at the blonde who had appeared in the doorway of her office. The blonde was dressed in her uniform, and was holding a brown paper bag. 

"Shepard called, she said you have had a difficult day so I thought I would join you for lunch." Maya walked into the office and places the bag directly in front of her before walking around the desk and placing a gently kiss on her wife's lips. "You want to talk about it?" 

"Not yet." Carina was greatful for the distraction. She had lost a young mother this morning and like always, the loss was always hard to shake. Shepard had been present at the time and had obviously let the blonde know. 

Maya sat down on the chair opposite her and began to dig through the bag. "Long day?" Carina asked. 

"The longest." Maya breathed out. 

"Want to talk about it?" 

"Not yet." Maya laughed softly. They had a unspoken agreement that they would cherish the moments they had together and avoid talking about work. They both knew they could confide in eachother but just being there was soothing enough. 

"Thank you so much by the way," Carina took a bite from the sandwich which Maya had brought in for her. It was from a small deli a few blocks away and the brunette couldn't get enough. It was one of the first places she had took Maya after they met. "You know me so well." She smiled softly at her wife. 

"That I do." Maya laughed and leaned over the desk to gently wipe away a small smudge of mustard for her wifes lips. 

"Are you okay?" Maya asked after Carina had been silent for too long. She had a spaced out look in her eyes and she was frowning slightly. 

Carina cleared her throat. She wasn't too sure what had just happened. "Yeah... I'm fine." She put of her best fake smile but avoided eye contact with the blonde. 

"Are you sure? You don't look too good." 

"I said, I'm fine." Carina snapped but immediately softened. "I'm fine, I promise. I just..." 

Maya looked at her expectantly. 

"I remembered something." Carina said, an air of ignorance around her. 

"What!" Maya felt a mixture of joy and anxiety at the news. There was still so much she hadn't told her yet. 

"It's nothing." Carina didn't really know what she remembered. It seemed pretty irrelevant and she didn't want to get hers or Maya's hopes up for it to just be nothing. 

"It's not nothing, Carina. It's huge, you're starting to get your memories back." 

"Can we speak about something else?" The brunette begged. "Please."

"Sure." The blonde relented, feeling slightly rejected. 

"Hey," Gabriella let herself in to the apartment and headed towards her best friend, pulling her into a tight hug. "Maya." The Italian women nodded at the blonde with less enthusiasm. 

"Oh great, you're here." Maya greeted. 

"Nice to see you, too." Gabriella pulled the unwilling Maya into a brief hug. 

"Carina remembered something today." Maya couldn't help herself, it had been bugging her all day and Carina adamantly refused to take it seriously. Carina sent her a pointed look but Maya ignored it. 

"Wow, that's great!" Gabriella smiled at her friend but Carina looked at her annoyed. "Not great?" Gabriella was confused. 

"Carina doesn't think its a big deal." 

"Because it's not." The brunette exclaimed to the two women. "Drop it." 

"No." 

Gabirella found the interaction mildly amusing. She left the two women to it while she went to grab a glass of red wine from the kitchen. 

"Okay lovebirds, enough." The two women looked at her shocked. "Sorry, too soon?" Gabriella cringed, forgetting for a moment. 

"Is she always like this?" Maya asked her wife, genuinely confused why they were friends. 

"Yes, pretty much." Carina answered, honestly. "You learn to love her though." 

"Rude." 

Carina looked around the room, enjoying the first taste of normality since she had left the hospital. Gabriella was sitting next to her in the couch and Maya was sat on the chair directly opposite. 

There was a feeling of familiarity at the scene and she began to wonder why. She was pretty sure it was just a moment of deja vu. 

Carina and Gabriella were sitting on the leather couch, looking at an old photo album filled with pictures of their past. She felt great sorrow but also great pride when she looked at the photos before her. 

"Is that the week he came to visit us at school?" Gabriella asked while looking down at a picture of Andrew. 

Carina felt herself tear up at the question, "Yeah." She breathed out over the lump in her throat. 

Carina felt herself tense. The air around her thinning. 

Garbiella was telling the two women some story from her time in France but Carina was too distracted to focus on anything but the memory. She must have been quite for too long because Maya realised there was something was wrong. "Carina?" The voice snapped her back to the present. "Are you okay?" The blonde asked her softly, a soft smile on her face. 

Carina observed the blonde for a moment, trying to figure out what to say. 

"Where's Andrea?" The brunette whispered. 

The smile that had been present on both, Gabriella's and Maya's face for the majority of the night, immediately faded. The blonde looked shocked while Gabriella looked guilty. She had never truly believed the lies she was feed at the hospital but she didn't feel the need to question it. Andrew was a free spirit, he lived to travel, and would barely stay in one place so it wasn't out of the ordinary for him to be unavailable. They had never been close, the distance prohibiting them most of their lives, but she loved him. And she loved him dearly. 

"What ain't you telling me?" Carina asked when she didn't receive a reply. 

"Carina," The Italian women was the first to speak. "I just want you to know, this decision had nothing to do with Maya." Gabriella turned so they were face to face. "A little while ago, there was an accident..." 

 

Chapter Text

"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light." - Aristotle 

She had been through this once and she sure never thought she would have to live it again. The helplessness, the guilt; the anguish of it all. Grief is all she felt, a deep, nagging, persistent feeling of guilt that was eating her up inside. 

She had expected tears, she had expected anger but she sure as hell didn't expect this. The silence. The calm. 

Maya was sitting on the same seat, in the same room as she was when she was last in this position. The feeling was the same but the fear was new, because this time, there was nothing she could do about it. No way to comfort her. 

"... there was an accident..." Gabriella looked at the blonde for support but Maya kept her head down, not wanting to see the look on her lovers face when she was told. "He was tracking down a known child trafficker and," Carina was hanging on her friends every word, hoping for some answers. "He was killed." Gabriella whispered. 

Maya felt herself tense, waiting for the reaction. The wailing; the anguish. 

After a moment or two of complete silence, Maya lifted her head to look at the two women. Carina's face went through an array of emotions: shock, horror, sorrow, until finally, her face showed no emotion at all. 

"How?" Carina asked, emotionless. Her face completely blank. 

"That's not important right now, Carina." The Italian women answered. She didn't want to go into too much detail about the how or why of it all. 

Maya knew what it looked like when a person went into such shock that they feel nothing at all. She has seen it in fire victims and she has experienced it herself. Sometimes the pain is so painful that it's easier to shut it out completely. Ignore it. 

"Carina," Maya whispered, hoping to get the brunettes attention, "Don't do that. Don't shut us out." 

Carina was looking at her but she could tell that she wasn't actually looking at her. 

"I didn't get to see him." The brunette whispered, not talking to anyone directly. "He needed me, and I wasn't there." As far as the brunette was aware, she hadn't seen her little brother for the past few years. 

"That's not true." Maya left the chair so she could sit on the coffee table, directly infront of the women. "You were there. You were there the whole time." 

Her first instict was to comfort her but she wasn't sure if it would be welcomed. Gabriella had stood up and turned her back to the pair, clearly trying to hide the tears that Maya had noticed a few moments before. 

Carina felt like she couldn't hear anything but the sound of her beating heart. The sensation was strange and new. 

"Come back to me." Maya placed her hands on either side of her wife's face, trying to prevent to incoming panic attack. Carina tried to fight the hands but Maya didn't budge. "It's okay. You're okay." 

The blonde stared deeply into the eyes of her lover, hoping to inherit some of the pain and grief. She felt her wife relax slightly but a panicked look was still present in her eyes. 

"I need to go." Carina said abruptly, causing Maya hands to drop from her face. 

"Go where?" Gabriella asked softly. She was just as confused as the blonde was. 

"Anywhere. I need to get out of here." The brunette stood from the couch and began to pace in front of the two women. Her movements hurried and uncoordinated. 

"Carina, its late." Gabriella checked her watch for the time, it was nearing 23:30. 

"I don't care." 

Carina began to put on her coat, not taking any notice of the confused duo that was standing close by. Gariella looked frightened while Maya had a look of understanding. 

"Carina, stop." Gabriella went to grab for the pacing women but Maya stepped infront of her and placed her hands firmly on her shoulder. 

"It's okay, I got this." Maya said softly to the Italian. Maya then grabbed her coat from the hook and followed Carina into the hallway. 

"What are you doing?" Carina turned angrily but Maya ignored it. 

"I'm coming with you." Maya said like it was obvious. 

"I don't need-" 

"Yes you do." 

"Where are we going?" Carina asked a short while later. 

Maya had led the brunette to her car and told her to get in. The rain was falling hard over seattle and she didn't want Carina to get a cold on top of everything that she had going on so she suggested they go in the car instead. Carina had seemed reluctant at first but Maya had managed to convince her. 

"I have no idea," Maya said honestly. "Let's just drive, see where it takes us." She smiled softly at the brunette, trying too lighten the mood in the car. 

They had been driving around Seattle for the last hour or so but the journey did nothing to ease the brunette's anxiety. 

"That place there," Maya pointed at a small restaurant that they were about to pass, "it was my first offical day as a firefighter. We were called here for a small oil fire in the kitchen area of the building. It seemed routine enough. The owners were living in the apartment above with their two young children. We managed to subdue the fire but by the time we realised there was a family above, it was too late. The smoke had traveled up through the vents. I was supposed to do a sw-" 

"Why are you telling me this?" Carina asked rudely, not wanting to engage in small talk. 

"I may never know what it feels like to lose a brother, Carina, but I know what it fells like for the guilt to eat you up I side." 

"I don't know how I feel." Carina admitted, after a few moments of silence. "There a pain inside of me, but I can't feel it. I feel-" 

"Empty?" 

"Lost." Carina whispered, sadly. "I feel like I'm living in someone else's body." Carina turned to face her for the first time since they had left the apartment. "It's like the world continues turning but it's leaving me behind. I want to cry, I want to scream but I can't. I don't have the energy." 

"Carina," Maya pulled the car over to the side of the road so she could give the brunette her undivided attention. "I know you feel like it now but it will get-" 

"Better?" Carina laughed sarcastically. 

"You don't believe it will?" Maya asked, a look of concern covering her face. 

"I don't know if it can." The brunette admitted, her words solemn. "What happens if I don't remember anything? Do I just stay here and start again? Do I go back to Italy and pretend none of this happened?" Carina asked rhetorically. She had been having this same argument with herself since Gabriella suggested taking her back to Italy. 

"We will deal with that when the time comes." Maya stated, trying to hide to fear in her voice. 

"I just want my brother," Carina choked. "I want him, but he's not here. You all kept it from me." She spit, her words lasted with resentment. 

Maya wanted to argue but she knew that Carina was right. Right or wrong, they all had an active part in keeping the news from Carina. She tried not to take it personally but the words stung. 

It was clear that Carina wasn't going to open up any further so she pulled the car back onto the road and began to head home. 

Maya returned to the apartment with Carina following solemnly behind her. They hadn't spoke a word to eachother since the incident earlier and Maya wasn't about to push her. The brunette looked drained and distracted and there was nothing Maya could do to help her. 

When they entered the apartment, Carina headed straight for the bedroom and Maya made no effort to stop her. It was clear that Carina wanted to be alone right now and if she was honest with herself, so did she. 

The blonde resigned to the couch, feeling emotionally drained but way too anxious to attempt to sleep. All she could think about was Carina, how was she feeling? What was she thinking? Was she okay? She felt like knocking on the door and asking her if she needed anything but the fear stopped her so she instead, turned on the television and began to flick through the channels hoping for something to distract her. 

She heard the door opened behind her but she didn't turn around despite the need to check to see if her wife was okay. She assumed that Carina was grabbing a glass of water or needed to use the bathroom. 

"Maya?" Carina called timidly from behind her. 

Maya turned to look, but the room was too dark to make out the other women's face. The brunette stepped forward, her face now lit by the dim glow of the television screen. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were swollen. 

Maya jumped up from the couch and made her way over to the brunette, "Is everything okay?" She asked anxiety lacing every word. 

Carina tried to speak but no words would come out. She felt her knees buckle from under her but thankfully Maya was there to catch her. "I feel it now." Carina fell into her arms and held on as tight as she could to the blonde. Maya heard a slight whimper in her ear before Carina crumpled even further causing Maya to have to brace to keep them standing. "I can't get it to stop." She wept. 

"I've got you." Maya tried to lead her over to the couch but the brunette was like deadweight in her arms. The blonde instead, adjusted the brunette in her arms so she was almost cradling her. "I've got you." Maya whispered, tears filling her own eyes. "I won't let you go." 

The sheer weight of the brunette was too much for the blonde so she gently guided them to the floor, Maya laying on her back with Carina slightly on top of her, slightly on the floor. Carina breathing relaxed some but her body was still shaking, wrecked with grief. "What can I do to help?" Maya asked gently while stroking the hair away from Carina's damp cheek. 

"Just stay with me." Carina whispered tiredly. Carina had tried to sleep but everytime she closed her eyes, Andrews death would flash behind her eye lids. It was at that moment, the empty feeling inside of her turned to sorrow and pain. 

"What ever you need." Maya assured while trying to keep her own emotions under control. 

Carina held on tight to the women under her, it was the only thing that was keeping her grounded. "I can't stop thinking about how it happened. Was he alone? Was he in pain? Was he-" Carina tried to wipe away the fallen tears but it was no use, they just kept falling. 

"He died a hero." Maya hoped the words brought comfort but it was clear it didn't work. "He saved so many lives that day." The blonde spoke with admiration. There wasn't many people in the world who would have done what he did that day. While it was incredibly stupid, it was also incredibly brave. 

The brunette sat up slightly so she was leaning over the blonde, "Yeah?" Carina asked, weakly. 

"He was a good man, with an even bigger heart. It was an honor to have got to meet him." Maya admitted, sadly. 

"You ever wonder if you take the people you love for granted?" Carina wondered out loud. She and Andrew had been extremely close when they were children, but as they got older, they drifted apart. The distance didn't help matters but wished she had done so much more while he was still here. 

Maya looked down at the women on her chest, "Yeah," She breathed out. She never realised just how much she needed her wife until she wasn't her wife any more. She wished she had done more, said more, worked less, embraced ever single moment she had with her wife. "Always." 

There was a moment, just a moment, when Maya felt whole again. All she had dreamed of since the accident was to have her wife back in her arms, she just wished the circumstance was different. 

"I imagine you and Andrea got on well." Carina said, sleep lacing her voice. 

"Yeah," Maya laughed at the memories. They had a rough start to their relationship but she grew to love him like a little brother. He was very protective of his big sister and after he had found out about the whole 'Jack situation' he wasn't best pleased with her. It took him a while to trust her again. "I remember when we first meet," Maya looked up at the ceiling before recounting the memory. 

Maya and Carina had been dating for three months at this point and Carina was desperate for her two favourite people to meet. One night when the two women were off work, they agreed to meet with Andrew after he had finished his shift at the hospital. They had planned to go to a nearby restaurant but his shift ran a little longer than he had expected so he came to Carina's apartment instead. 

"Nice of you to finally show up," Carina jokingly taunted when he finally arrived. 

"I know, I know, I'm sorry." He held up his hands in fake surrender. "But I brought wine and chocolate."  He held up an expensive bottle of red wine and a large selection box of chocolates. 

"Chocolate?" Maya suddenly appeared from behind her girlfriend. Carina laughed at the women's love for the candy. 

"Carina said these were your favourite," He said as he handed her the box. "Nice to meet you, properly this time." They had seen eachother in passing but they had never stopped to chat. 

"You too. Carina has told me so much about you." Maya beamed. 

"Hopefully not too much." Andrew laughed while giving his sister a warning stare. 

"Who wants wine?" Carina swiftly changed the subject, not wanting to admit the exact stories she had told her girlfriend. 

The night was filled with joy, laughter and a few too many glasses of wine for Carina. Maya and Andrew were getting on like a house on fire much to the amusement of Carina. She never thought she would see the day that Andrew actually liked one of her girlfriends. He has always been very judgemental, but she knew it came from a place of worry and caring. 

The trio had settled down for a game of poker, not that Carina knew the rules all that well, and was sharing horror stories from their worst cases at work. Maya told the siblings about the time she got trapped in someone's garage while the house was on fire, much to the chagrin of Carina, while Andrew shared the story of when he first started at Grey Sloan and everyone thought he was a resident. 

Carina excused herself from the table, leaving her girlfriend and brother at the dining table. "No cheating." She warned, looking directly at her girlfriend. 

"Never." Maya looked insulted by the idea of cheating. 

Andrew began to deal the deck while Maya watched in awe at her girlfriend as she walked away from her. "I'm going to marry her one day." The blonde said under her breathe, unaware that Andrew could hear. 

"I hope you do," Andrew said while smiling softly at his sisters girlfriend. "I've never seen her this happy before." 

Maya looked at the man with wonder. Carina had always seemed happy and lived her life without care or regret. "No?" Maya asked curiously. 

"She's always been a protector, looking out for others and never herself. Sometimes she forgets that she matters too." Andrew had a look of guilt on his face. "After our mother died, Carina took on the parental role and did whatever she could to provide for us. She never had the time to be a little selfish." 

"What are you guys talking about?" The brunette returned to the room, looking at carefree as always. 

"We were just talking about how amazing you are." Maya laughed. 

Carina look suspicious but didn't question the blonde, instead, she walked over to her girlfriend, placed herself gently on the lap and gave her a brief but loving kiss on the lips. 

"I don't need to see this." Andrew said while walking away from the table. 

"He loved you deeply." Maya finished, the memory bringing back her own grief at the lost. 

When she went without a reply, she looked down at the brunette who was now snoring softly on her chest. She thought about staying on the floor for the night but her back was already protesting the idea. Maya gently scooted out from under the body and then she, very carefully, picked up the sleeping woman up and began to carry her into their bedroom. She placed her gently on the left side of the bed and sat with her for a few minutes. She had always looked so peaceful when she slept, it was almost infuriating how beautiful Carina looked while she slept. 

Just as she was about to walk away, Carina sleepily grabbed for her shirt, keeping her in place. "Stay." The brunette slurred. Maya smiled sadly at the desperate plea. 

"Okay." Maya grabbed the hand that was gripping her shirt and placed it gently against her lips, kissing each knuckle one by one. Maya then laid down next to brunette making sure to keeping a respectable distance between their two bodies. "I'll stay." She whispered. 

-

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Carina felt like she was drowning. Her head was spinning and her lungs felt tight. The darkness around her seemed to be swallowing her whole and no matter how hard she tried, it was hard to focus on her surroundings. 

Suddenly a blinding light appeared in front of her and she is awoken in an overturned car. Smoke was billowing out from the inside of the bonnet and she could see gas begin to puddle next to the drivers side window. She tried to call for help but her lungs wouldn't fill with air. She looked out of the smashed window, in search of what she did not know, and she could see a pair of legs slowly approaching the car. 

"I'm here." The shadow whispered but she was unable to see the face. "Come with me." 

A hand reached through the window but she was unable to move to grab it. The figure bended down and she could see the blurred face slowly begin to come in to focus. 

"Andrea?" She whispered out. Her brothers face looking peaceful and angelic. 

"You're okay. I'm here."  He whispered before everything went black. 

"It's okay, you're okay." Maya whispered softly, not touching her in fear of scareing her. 

Carina's eyes opened widely, the women clearly disorientated. There was a look of confusion in her stare as she looked around the darkened bedroom room. She made eye contact with the concerned blonde and relaxed slightly. "Sorry." She whispered breathlessly before taking a deep breath to center herself. 

"Bad dream?"  Maya whispered, trying to hide her concern. 

"Yeah." Carina answered simply, not wanting to explain any further. 

"Want to talk about it?" The blonde asked already knowing the answer. Nightmares were a common occurance for Carina, even before the accident, but this was a different situation because Maya had no idea how to comfort her. The brunette would always say she was fine then roll over and go back to sleep. She would say it was common among surgeons and Maya would just accept it. 

Carina's right hand was lying prone in the middle of the bed, in reaching distance from the blonde and Maya want nothing more than to reach for it. More so for her own comfort. 

"Not yet." Carina turned her head, meeting the concerned eyes of the blonde. She tried to smile reassuringly but both women could tell it was forced. "Go back to sleep, I'm okay." The brunette stated, not wanting to trouble the blonde. 

Maya turned to look at the alarm clock that they kept on their bedside table. The bright red numbers reading 3.01am. She had been awake the whole time, just watching the rise and fall of Carina's chest, not that she would tell her that. 

"It's fine, I can stay awake as long as you need me to." Maya reassured, hoping Carina never thought her issues were a burden. 

"You don-" Carina began to argue but Maya insisted. 

"I want to." Maya said as she finally built up the courage and grabbed for the hand of her lover. Her anxiety decreasing as the brunette intertwined their fingers together. 

"I saw him." Carina spoke, the sound echoing around the silent room. 

"Andrew?" 

"Yeah." Carina answered, her voice breaking. 

"Carina..." Maya's pulled their intertwined hands to her face and placed a gentle kiss on the finger where her ring used to be. 

"I'm afraid to close my eyes. Afraid to sleep. Is that normal?" The brunette asked, a lonely tear rolling down her cheek. 

"There is no normal in a situation like this, Carina. There is no right or wrong way to grieve." Maya lovingly squeezed the hand she was holding. "Wait here," Maya instructed before leaving the bed and walked over to the built in closet adjacent to the bed. Carina watched on curiously as the blonde opened the door and reached for the top shelf. 

"Do you need some help?" Carina asked after a few moments of the blonde struggling to reach what she was looking for. 

"Nope." She breathed out, her voice straning as she stretched. "Got it!" She mentally cheered as she grabbed the old shoe box. 

Carina watched on in confusion as Maya walked over to the bed, holding the shoe box out in front of her. 

"What is it?" Carina asked while leaning over to switch on the lamp. 

Instead of answering, Maya removed the lid from the box and placed it down on the table next to her. 

The rectangular box was full of photos; the ones she had removed from the walls and some more they had kept in the box for memories.  Maya began to rummage through the box until she came upon the photo she was looking for. Before she could regret the decision, she handed the small polaroid to the brunette and began rummaging for another.

The photo she had handed to Carina was of the day that Maya had invited Andrew and Carina to the station to meet the rest of her crew. Andrew was sat in the drivers seat of the engine wearing Maya's gear despite the fact it was way too small for him. Andrew was smiling proudly in to the lense while Carina looked at very bemused. 

"He looked so proud of himself." Carina laughed softly at the image. 

"Like a child on Christmas." Maya stated, remembering the day fondly. Andrew got way too excited when Maya turned on the sirens. 

"He always was a big kid." Carina laughed softly. The brunette then leaned down to look through the box but Maya subtly pulled the box away, not wanting Carina to see the photos of the pair just yet. 

"Here's another one." Maya then handed Carina another photo. This one was taken on the day that Andrew found out he had passed his boards. Maya and Carina had planned a surprise gathering for him to celebrate the occasion. Carina had done the classic big sister duties and embarrassed him with old baby photos and videos. 

The photo was of Andrew standing in front of a huge banner reading Congratulations while holding out his pass certificate. His cheeks were blushed but his eyes were joyous. Carina and Maya was holding him tightly from each side both with humongous grins on their face. 

Tears began to settle in the brunettes eyes but this time not because of sorrow. "Thank you." She whispered. 

"You're very welcome." 

"Do you mind if I keep hold of this?" The brunette asked hopefully. 

"Of course. It's yours." Maya answered immediately, shocked she was even asked. 

Carina placed the small photograph on the table next to the bed, leaning it's against the lamp. She then laid down on her side so she was facing the photograph. Maya watched on thankfully as Carina's body began to relax. Her eyes began to droop and her breathing began to even out. As she watched the rise and fall of the brunettes chest, Maya felt like she could breathe again.

Maya woke up the next morning with the overwhelming feeling of determination. She had not been raised a quitter, she didn't quit, she didn't give up. Not in her work. Not on her friends and certainly not on her love. She was a born and raised fighter so that's what she was going to do; fight. She didn't want Carina to decide to leave had she not done everything in her power to prove her otherwise. She was done feeling sorry for herself. She had to look at brighter things in life, Carina was alive, she was still here. They don't end like this. 

"Morning." The blonde heard a hoarse voice coming from the doorway to the bedroom. 

"Good morning!" Maya beamed cheerfully at the barely awake women who was rubbing her eyes as she walked towards the kitchen where Maya was currently working. 

"What are you doing?" Carina questioned. Maya was darting carelessly around the kitchen grabbing multiple jars and pots. 

"Making breakfast." The blonde spoke proudly. 

"You know the flour is supposed to go in the bowl, right?" The brunette teased as she spotted the mess that was the kitchen. 

Maya was standing behind the kitchenette wearing a pair a black cycling shorts and a tight grey vest, covered by an white apron that had 'Sous Chef' written in bold, black writing across the chest. Most, if not all, surfaces were covered in flour; including Maya. 

"Ha ha." Maya laughed sarcastically at the brunettes attempt at humor. 

"What are you making?" The brunette laughed as she made her way over to the already heated coffee pot. 

"Pancakes." The blonde said like it was obvious. 

"Do you need any help?" Carina asked as she sat on one of the stools infront of where Maya was working. 

"Nope, I got this." She smiled softly at her wife, leaning over the bowl to grab the nearby pot of sugar. 

"Thank you." Carina spoke after a moment of peaceful silence. 

"What for?" 

"This." She said as she pointed at the bowl. "You didn't have to do this." 

"You might not be thanking me after you have tasted it, cooking is definitely not my forte." 

"It's the thought that counts." 

Maya continued to mix the mixture until smooth while Carina read the newspaper that Maya had collected this morning on her daily run. She then poured the mixture into the pan and waited patiently for the mixture to cook. 

"Breakfast is served, my lady." Maya announced after she had finished plating the pancakes. 

"I could get used to this." The brunette said as she walked over to the dinning table. Maya had beaten her to it and pulled out one of the wooden chairs for Carina to sit on. It was at that moment that Maya realised how little she had done this before. Carina normally made the breakfast and after the third or forth time, it became routine. Maya never thought to turn the tables and surprise Carina. 

"What time is your check up today?" Maya asked subtly while cutting into her breakfast. She knew exactly what time it was. 

"Mid-day." Carina answered while checking her watch to see what time it was. 

"Do you want me to take you?" Maya asked, trying not to get her hopes up. 

"Si, if you don't mind." Carina wasn't familiar with the area and the last thing she wanted was to small talk with a taxi driver. 

"I would be happy to." 

Carina was waiting in one of the examination rooms when Dr Bailey appeared at the door. Carina was expecting Dr Shepard so she was a bit shocked to see the chief. "Dr Deluca, It's good to see you." The doctor greeted cheerfully. "How are you feeling today? Any dizziness? Nausea?" 

"No." Carina answered immediately. "A slight headache, but nothing unmanageable." 

"That's to be expected after a traumatic head injury." Bailey replied. "Any swelling around the incision site?" 

"No." The brunette shook her head, hoping to get this over with as quick as possible. 

"Is there anything you want to tell me? Any concerns. Anything I can help you with?" The chief asked professionally. 

"Nothing I can think of." Carina answered, not making eye contact with the doctor. 

"Carina..." Bailey pulled out one of the visitor chairs and sat down next to the bed. She had always had a soft spot for the young Italian and it pained her to see the OB in such a vulnerable state. "I'm here for you." 

"Are you?" Carina asked coldly. 

Maya had dropped off the brunette not ten minutes before and was already working on the plan she had thought of the night before. Before she could chicken out, Maya pulled out her phone and called her friend Andy. 

"Herrera." Andy answered the phone quickly and professionally. 

"Andy, I need a favour." Maya said as a way of greeting. 

"Anything for you, Cap. What is it?" The stand in captain laughed at the abruptness of the call. 

"You and Vic meet me at Joe's in ten minutes. I'll explain it all then." Maya kept her tone light so they knew it wasn't serious. 

"Very cryptic. Is everything okay?" Andy asked, half worried, half amused. 

"Just meet me there, I'll explain everything." 

"Whatever you say, Boss." Andy agreed to the weird demand. It wasn't out of the ordinary for Maya to call with orders or demands. 

"Thank you. You're the best." Maya cut off the call before Andy had a chance to reply. 

"What's with the secret meeting?" Vic asked as soon as she walked into the bar, Andy not far behind her. 

"I need you guys to help me with something." Maya began to explain but was cut off immediately by the curious firefighter. 

"Are you doing a runner because I don't know how I feel about that." Vic said seriously. She had a habit of jumping to conclusions before getting the full context of the situation. 

"What? Vic, no." Maya answered immediately, shocked that Vic would even suggest that. 

"What?" Vic held her arms out innocently. "What else was I supposed to think?" 

"Not that, Hughes." Andy said while looking disapprovingly at the firefighter. 

"I'm going to..." 

"Are you?" Carina asked coldly. 

Bailey had been waiting for this moment ever since she had lied about Andrew. Despite knowing it was the best thing for her patient, she knew it wasn't the best thing for their friendship. 

"Carina, you're a doctor. You know how this works." Bailey calmly explained. "I have to make the decision that best protects my patient." 

"Medical. Medical decisions." The OB corrected. "You didn't make an professional decision. You made a personal one. You lied to me." Carina kept her tone low, trying not to lash out at the shorter women. 

"I diverted. There's a difference." Bailey shot back quickly, lowering her eyebrow slightly. 

"I can't forgive you for that." 

"I'm not asking you too. I just hope you one day understand why I did it." The chief showed no remorse for what she did. Guilt, but not regret. 

"How did it go?" Maya asked a little too excitedly as they got into the car. 

"Good." Carina answered shortly. 

"You sure?" Maya pressed. Carina's mood had changed dramatically since her check up. 

"I saw Chief Bailey today." 

"I thought your check up was with Dr Shepard." Maya turned in the car to look at the brunette. As far as she was aware, Dr Bailey had signed over her case to neuro. 

"Me too." Carina's answer let Maya know all she needed to. "I think she wanted to talk to me." 

"About Andrew?" Maya was worried that Bailey had upset her. Bailey had no idea that Carina had been told about Andrew so the whole situation made her nervous. 

"No." Carina followed Maya's lead and turned around in her seat. "About why she lied." 

"You're not ready to forgive her?" Maya phased it as a question but she already knew the answer. 

"No." 

"But you forgave us." Maya was confused. Of course Carina was mad at her and Gabriella for lying but the resentment was temporary. 

"I did." The brunette nodded immediately. 

"Why?" 

"Because you guys didn't have a choice." 

Maya could see by the look on Carinas face that she didn't want to continue the conversation so Maya didn't push her on it. 

They headed home in complete silence, Carina spending the entire journey deep in thought while Maya listening intently to the radio. 

Once inside the apartment, Carina headed straight to the bedroom while Maya stayed behind to finish up planning for the evening. She had decided she would take Carina on a journey through their entire relationship to, hopefully, trigger some of Carina's lost memories. She had asked Vic and Andy to help her set up the bar tonight so it resembled the night they first met. She also had the two firefighters talk into closing the bar for the evening so that Carina didn't get too overwhelmed by the crowd of drunk people that would undoubtedly be there. 

"Where are we going?" Carina asked, not really wanting to go out tonight. She was still mad about the encounter with Bailey. 

"It's a surprise." Maya tried to be excited about the evening but the mood had been dampened by the check up. 

"I hate surprises." Carina shot back, almost whining. That was a lie and Maya knew it but she decided to play along. 

"I know you do." Maya laughed while rolling her eyes at the sulking brunette. "We won't be out long, I promise." 

Just as she had finished speaking, Maya pulled into the parking lot of the bar. There was only a couple of cars parked so she managed to park near the entrance. Andy had let her know that the owner had agreed to 'close' the bar as long and a few regulars were aloud to resume their night as usual. 

"We are here." 

"A bar?" Carins looked sceptical at the idea of going into the bar. The last thing she wanted is to socialize. 

"Sound more excited, please." Maya replied sarcastically. The blonde then grabbed the arm of her lover and pulled her towards the entrance. She was met with the slightest resistance but nothing that would suggest that Carina really didn't want to do this. 

Maya opened the door and held it open for the moody brunette to walk through. 

"Why are we here?" Carina asked while checking out the surroundings. The bar was empty apart from a few patrons in a booth at the back of the bar. There was neatly placed lights handing around the bar and soft music playing gently in the background from the nearby jukebox. 

"I know I can't get you to miraculously remember who I am and what we were but I have to at least try. So let's go back to the beginning, let's start again." Maya spoke with honesty and hope. "You only have a few weeks before you need to make a decision. If you want to go back to Italy, I won't stop you nor convince you otherwise. All I can do is help you, in the short time we have together, remember me." 

"This is where we first met." Carina said with realisation. Her face softening by the second. 

"Yeah." Maya smiled lovingly, remembering the encounter fondly. "No obligations. No expectations. If you want to leave, we can go back to the apartment and carry on as we were. All I'm asking for is a chance. For you to get to know me again." 

Carina smiled softly at the vulnerability of the blonde, there was no denying that she had put her heart on the line here. 

"Okay," The brunette smiled at the smaller  blonde. "But you're buying." Carina joked, easing some of Maya's anxiety. 

"Of course," Maya laughed thankfully. "But no alcohol." The blonde said seriously. Carina was still on heavy pain medication so it was irresponsible to drink. 

"Buzz kill." The brunette quipped. 

"Responsable." Maya corrected, before leading the brunette to the row of stools in front of the bar. 

They sat in silence for a few moments as both women looked over the plastic menu. Maya was very familiar with the bar so she already knew what she wanted but she didn't want Carina to feel rushed. 

"Evening ladies, what can I get you?" Asked the male waiter that had appeared infront of them. 

"I'll have a soda and lime." Answered Maya, not wanting to drink alcohol knowing Carina couldn't. 

"I'll have a Diet Cola and some mozzarella sticks." Said Carina with a smile and a 'Thank you'. 

The blonde smiled softly at the familiar order. They would often come here after work to relax, and without fail, Carina would order the same everytime. 

Maya paid, despite protest from the brunette, and both women waiting in silence for their drinks. The silence wasn't awkward, it was in its own way, familiar. 

"So, who made the first move?" Carina was first to brake the silence which took Maya by surprise. 

"You did."  Maya answered smugly. 

"Classic me." Carina joked. She had never been shy about talking to women, especially after some liquid courage. 

"I turned you down." The blonde shot back, mentally laughing at the brunettes shocked look. 

"Really?" Carina exaggerated the word. It wasn't very often that she was turned down. 

"Yep." Maya popped the 'p' and laughed as Carina turned to face her. 

"I don't believe you." Carina challenged. Lowering her eyebrow at the blonde. 

"What makes you so sure." The blonde turned on the stool so she was fully facing the brunette. They had just received their drinks and Maya was twiddling the straw in the glass. 

"The accent has never failed me." She had visited her mother and brother is the US before and her accent had always worked a charm. 

"That is very true." Maya laughed at the odd statement. She's right though, the accent never fails. Even now, after a year of being together. 

Maya took a long sip of her soda, remembering the encounter like it was yesterday. The night has always stood out to her. Carina was different, different to all the women she had met before. She took Maya off guard that night, she always had the mindset of; work first, herself later but Carina changed that. 

-

"I'm sorry, I'm drinking alone tonight."  Maya stated, not in the mood for small talk. As beautiful as the women was, she has had a tough day and wanted to drink away her sorrows. Alone. 

"Okay," Carina said, her voice clearly disappointed. "Are you sure?"  The attractive women pressed. 

Maya turned to look at the women, ready to rejected her for the second time but there was something about the women that grabbed her attention. Maybe it was the fact that she was incredibly aluring or maybe it was the fact that Maya needed a distraction. "Maybe not." 

"Do you come here often?"  Carina asked, innocently while taking a long draw from her straw. 

"Is that your go to pick up line?" Maya laughed at the cheesy pick up line. She expected the brunette to be more original in her flirting. 

"No. I'm just sure I would have remembered you."  Carina answered smoothly, subtly moving her stool closer. 

"Oh yeah, why is that?" Maya drawled out, pretending to be uninterested. 

"I remember pretty faces."  

"Is that so?"  The blonde snorted at the second cheesy pick up line. 

"Si, its one of my many talents."  Carina said seductively, hoping Maya picked up on the implications of her words. 

"And what are your other talents?"  Maya challenged. 

"That's a conversation for another time."  Carina answered with a wink. 

"You know," Maya pulled her stool even closer and placed her hand lightly on the women's trouser-clad thigh. "If you want to take me home, all you have to do is ask." 

"Where's the fun in that?" Carina shuddered, debating wether to take the women up on the offer. "I like a challenge." 

Carina leaned closer to the blonde, tempted to invite her home and not bother with the small talk. "Dr Deluca, what can I get for you?"  The bartender apperaed infront of the women unintentionally interrupting the moment. 

"A glass of white wine and whatever the captain is having."  Carina answred, keeping her eyes firmly on the blonde. 

"A scotch, no ice."  Maya answered, while reaching into her purse. 

"This one's on me." Carina smiled while handing the bartender a 20 dollar bill. 

"Coming right up." 

Once they had received their drinks, Carina convinced the blonde to join her at a booth at the back of the bar. Maya agreed instantly despite knowing it was late and she had work early the next morning. 

"Thank you, I needed this."  The blonde said after an hour or so of talking. 

"You're very welcome, Captain Maya Bishop."  Carina smiled softly at the blonde. Even if they never see eachother again, she was glad that she had managed to cheer up the captain. 

"I'm sorry but it's getting late..."  Maya announced sadly, not wanting the night to end just yet. 

"Early morning?" 

"Yeah."  Maya answered regretfully. 

"Can I walk you out?"  The brunette asked hopefully. She would have tried to convince the blonde otherwise but she knew what it was like to have a highly stressful job. 

"Please do." 

The two women left the bar, both walking as slow as socially acceptable to delay the inevitable parting. Carina guiding the blonde around the crowd by the low of her back and Maya tried to ignore the sensations that was running through her body at the contact. 

Maya had requested a taxi and despite it only being two minutes away, Carina waited with her until the car arrived. 

"Well, I'll see you around, Captain Maya Bishop."  

"Yeah, see you around, Dr Carina Deluca."  The blonde whispered as she walked over the cab waiting nearby. 

"Wait, I think you forgot something."  Carina called out, stopping the blonde in her tracks. Maya turned around abruptly, looking at the brunette in confusion. 

Carina walked hurried towards her holding out a small white card with her number on it. 

"Very presumptuous of you."  Maya mocked as she read the card. 

"Yeah, well, you owe me a drink."  Carina winked. 

"That I do."  Maya smiled at the doctor as she entered the cab. 

"So, tell me about yourself." Carina probed. 

"What do you want to know?" Maya asked, happy that Carina was making an effort. 

"How about you tell me about the gold medal you have framed on your bedroom wall." Carina had noticed it as soon as she had walked into the bedroom for the first time. She had been waiting for the right opportunity to ask the blonde about it. 

"It's a long story." Maya answered, shyly. Not wanting to go into detail. As proud as she was about winning, there was always a lingering resentment due to how her father had treated her during that period of her life. 

"We have all night." Carina shot back. 

"Let's make a deal, I'll tell you one thing about me, but you have tell me something about you." 

"You already know..." 

"Fresh start remember." Maya reminded, she didn't want Carina to feel pressured into remembering her. "One question each." 

"Okay. So gold medal, what for?" Carina accepted the terms without argument. 

"100 meter sprint." Maya answered simply. "What made you pick OB?" 

"Vaginas." Carina joked, causing Maya to chock on the drink she was sipping. "I'm joking." Carina laughed as Maya began to clear her throat. "During my first year as an intern, we lost a young women due to the lack of trained of OBs. No-one wanted to be an OB, everyone wanted to be in cardio or neuro as it was 'cooler'." Carina answered making air quotes as she said cooler. "What made you pick firefighting?" 

"I needed my life to mean something." Maya answered honestly. Carina was clearly waiting for the blonde to explain further so Maya decided to expand. "I needed something more from life, something bigger than just me." 

"That's very honourable." Carina spoke proudly, clearly very impressed by the answer. 

The questions continued on for another thirty minutes, Carina asking Maya about her family, her work and her aspirations while Maya asked the same. It was clear that Carina was beginning to tire so Maya ordered one more drink each before she decided to call it a night. 

"Thank you," Carina grabbed the hand that was holding on the the icy glass and give Maya pale hand a gently squeeze. She really appreciate the thought and effort  that Maya had put into the evening. 

"What for?" 

"This," The brunette gestured around the bar. "For everything. For staying. You've been so understanding, so calm and collected. I don't know if I could have done this without you." 

"You don't ever have to thank me for staying." Maya was shocked at the suggestion. "Leaving was never an option." 

"Wasn't it?" Carina couldn't even imaging being in Mayas shoes right now. To have the person you love most not even know who you are. 

Maya thought about it for a moment. The Maya of years ago probably would have run. Ignored the problem and ran and probably never have looked back. But she couldn't, the thought had never even crossed her mind. Was it growth? Was it Carina? Carina had changed her for the better. 

"Never." Maya answered with certainty. 

Carina looked a little put out by the answer which brought Maya to a sad realisation. 

"You've thought about running, haven't you?" Maya asked curiously.  

"I have." Carina nodded shyly, worried about making eye contact with the blonde. 

"Why haven't you?" Maya asked, not upset, not mad nor worried, just curious. 

"I... I don't know." Carina honestly had no idea why she hadn't left. She had multiple opportunities to leave. Gabriella had a hotel room where she could stay but she never thought to ask. "Something feels familiar here. You feel familiar. It's like I know you but I don't." 

"Don't over think it. It's a unique situation, the brain is an incredible thing." Maya said, remembering the conversation she had had with Amelia and Bailey. 

"How are you so calm?" 

"In not." Maya answered honestly. "I'm scared, I'm angry, but acting on it doesn't help you and it certainly doesn't help us. I just want to be there for you, in any capacity that you'll allow." 

"And who is there for you." Maya had been by her side since the very beginning. She had been keeping a brave face but Carina knew it must be hard for her. 

"I have... people." She had many people she could rely on, many people who loved her but the only one she wanted right now was Carina. 

"You have a hard time letting people in." Carina surmised. 

"Is it that obvious?" Maya laughed awkwardly. 

"It's written all over your face." 

"You always were intuitive." Maya deflected, not wanting Carina to analyse her just yet. She has never been confident when it came to her love life. Her biggest fear is that Carina will realise that she's not worth it this time around. Maybe she'll realise that she deserves so much better than her. "It's one of them many talents of yours." 

"Ah yes, my many talents." Carina smiled. 

"You really to go?" Maya asked subtly. Carina looked very tired and she didn't want to push her. She had really enjoyed the night and by the looks of it, Carina has aswell. 

"Si." Carina smiled softly at the blonde. "Thank you." 

"Anytime." 

Maya paid the tab and then led the brunette to the car. She opened the door for the women and grabbed the brunettes left hand to help her step into the car. 

They drove home in a comfortable silence while Carina admired the moonlight reflecting off the river that they could see in the distance. 

"We are here." Maya whispered, knocking the brunette out of her trance. The peacefulness of the evening sky causing an angelic glow to illuminate the street. 

Maya escorted Carina to the door and unlocked the door before waiting for Carina to enter. 

"What are you doing?" The brunette asked, confused when the blonde didn't enter after her. 

"I'm going to stay with Andy." Maya tried to smile reassuringly but she was beginning to regret the decision. 

"What. Why?" Carina sounded panicked at the thought. 

"Just for tonight." Maya reassured. "I want to do this properly. I do the whole chivalrous thing, drop you off, tell you that you look beautiful and then go home regretting not making a move." The blonde joked. "I'll be five minutes away. If you need anything, literally anything, I'll be here immediately." 

"Such a gentlewoman." The brunette teased, leaning on the opened door. 

"I'll see you tomorrow." It took all she had to walk away from the door but she knew it was for the best. "Remember, call me for anything, even if you just want to talk." 

Maya then began to walk away from the door keeping eye contact with her lover. This was the hardest thing she had ever had to do; walk away. 

"I promise." She heard as she reached the elevator door.

 

 

Chapter Text

Maya arrived at Andy's apartment building around twenty minutes after she had left her very own apartment. It was hard for her to leave Carina but she knew they both needed a little space from eachothe. The living situation was heavy and at times a little daunting. There have been moments when everything felt normal, routine almost, but Maya was living with reservations. She didn't want to lose everything that made them so compatible, so unique but at the moment it felt like they were just co-existing together. Carina was feeling much better; heath wise anyway and Maya didn't want to coddle her too much. As much as she wanted to be close to her wife at all times she also wanted to give her space, give her time to figure things out. 

Maya decided to walk the long way round as she wanted the extra time to think about things. She thought the night had gone well, and she believed Carina had an equally enjoyable time but her mind was filled with doubt. Was Carina just going along with it all as to not hurt her feelings? Was she present in the moment? 

"You know, a watched phone never rings." Andy said in mock annoyance. After Maya had arrived, they sat down to eat a small dinner and then settled down to watch whatever trashy movie was currently playing on Hallmark but ever since the blonde had arrived, all she had done was obsessively check her phone. 

"You mean a watched pot never boils." Maya deflected innocently. 

"It all means the same thing." Andy looked at the blonde with part annoyance, part concern. "She's fine." She reassured gently. 

"I know she is, I just..." 

"Miss her?" Andy understood the blondes hesitance completely. 

"Yeah." She breathed out, trying to hide her embarrassment. 

"You've been away from her less that two hours." Andy joked while bumping her shoulder against the blondes slightly lower one. 

"Well when you put it like that...." Maya blushed, feeling a little ridiculous. 

"She will call you if she needs you, Bishop. Anyway, maybe a little space will do you both some good. Reliance isn't healthy. For either of you." 

"She was involved in a near-fatal car accident, Herrera. I have my reasons for being a little worried." Maya stated gently. She knew Andy was right but she also had her reasons. 

"I'm sorry. You're right. Carry on." 

-

This was the first time Carina had been alone in the apartment and she wasn't sure how she felt about it. As far as she was concerned, this was Maya's space; not hers. 

The firefighter had been nothing but welcoming and supportive since she had left the hospital but a little part of her felt like she was intruding on Maya's life. As much as Maya tried to explain that this was the place they shared together, this place didn't feel like home to her. Nowhere did. 

The doctor had been alone now for less than a hour and she was struggling to find motivation to do anything. She couldn't concentrate on the show that was currently on nor could she find any solace in any of the books Maya had laying around the apartment. The apartment was too quite for her liking. To still. She liked the company, she enjoyed the noise and she appreciated the conversation but right now she was left alone with her thoughts and that was the last thing she wanted. 

She opened her phone for the third time in the last 10 minutes and stared at the open text thread between herself and the firefighter. She began to type but immediately deleted the sentence. She didn't want to bother the blonde. This was the only time since she had left the hospital that Maya had actually done something for herself and Carina didn't want to guilt the women into returning home. She thought about inviting Gabriella over but she wasn't in the mood for the energetic energy that the Italian women expelled. 

After much thought, she threw the phone on to the cushion next to her and propelled herself off of the couch and over to the bedroom. It was way too early to sleep and she had too much anxiety to even attempt it. Instead, she walked over to the dresser and pulled out the old shoe box that Maya had placed in one of the drawers. She then sat down on the edge of the bed and opened the lid, exposing over a hundred photos that she had yet to see. 

The first one that caught her eye was a photo of the pair dancing in white, tight-fitted dresses. She assumed that this was one of the photo of their first dance. In the photo she was holding the blonde tightly in her arms as Maya gently caressed her face. She felt a tightness in her chest at the image. The love shared between the pair was obvious for all to see. She stared at herself in the image and it was like staring at a stranger. She didn't know this person. This wasn't her. She envied the Carina in the photo, so happy, so inlove.  

Before she could fall any further into the black hole she was fighting against, she pushed the photo back in the box and began rummaging for another one. She came across a photo of Maya posing in her uniform. Maya was staring straight down the camera and the word Captain was sown neatly over her chest. The blonde was beaming with pride, despite her face being completly neutral. Carina smiled gently at the image and rubbed her thumb slowly over the name tag. She then placed the box gently on the floor but kept the image of Maya firmly in the grasp. She wasn't entirely sure why Maya kept this photo hidden in a box. She felt the picture should be framed neatly on one of the walls for all to see. 

Maya had decided to call it a night and now found herself lying on the bed in Andy's spare room. There was a television across from her but she couldn't bring herself to turn it on. Instead, she scrolled through her social media in hope of something catching her attention. 

'Hey.' 

Maya sat up straight as she saw the text notification from Carina. She opened the thread and was both, delighted and worried at the simplest of words. 

'Hey, is everything okay?' Maya responded immediately. 

'Si,' Came the simple reply. Maya was unsure what to message back. 

'Are you sure?' Maya typed but hesitated to send. She knew that Carina would let her know if something was wrong. Instead she typed, 'How was the rest of your evening?' 

Carina stared at the message for a moment. Should she tell the truth? 'Unproductive. Boring. Lonely.' She wanted to say but she knew Maya would feel bad about leaving. 'Fine. Just some light reading.' She decided instead. 'Yours?' 

Maya felt relief at hearing from the brunette but as she stared at the thread she felt a great sadness at how unsure she was at speaking with Carina. Conversations, text or otherwise, used to be so easy, so fluent but now were formal and hesitant. 

'Same here.' She replied simply. 

She saw the text bubble appear and then disappear a few times before finally her phone buzzed again. 

'I just wanted to say goodnight.' 

'Goodnight, Carina.' 

Maya smiled sadly at her phone before locking it and placing on the dresser next to her. She hoped sleep would come quick but with her mind going 100 miles per hour she doubts it would. 

Maya woke up bright and early the next morning and decided to leave as soon as she was ready. Andy had already left for work and so she didn't have a valid reason to stay any longer than she needed to. 

She arrived at her apartment shortly after leaving and knocked loudly on the door just so Carina was aware that she was coming in. 

"Good morning." Maya announced as she saw the brunette sat on the sofa. 

"Mornin'." Carina greeted mid yawn. 

Maya smiled softly at the disheaveled women. It was very clear that the brunette had only just awoken. "Wow, you look like crap." The blonde teased jokingly. 

"Thank you for that." Carina mumbled in reply. "I haven't had my morning caffeine."  

"You're very welcome." The blonde laughed. "But I come barring gifts." Maya announced as she placed a hot cup of coffee on the table in front of the brunette. 

Carina almost pounced on the cup before Maya had even managed to move her hand away. "Thank you." Carina said mid swig. "What's got you in such a cheerful mood?" 

"The sun is shining, the birds are singing, What is there not to be happy about." Maya sang as she removed her jacket. 

"It's seven in the morning." The brunette said like it was obvious. She had never been a morning person which had surprised the blonde considering that the doctor worked such unpredictable hours. It took some getting used to in the beginning as the sweet, cheerful Carina was so grouchy in the mornings and Maya was the complete opposite. She loved the morning. 

"Still not a morning person I see." Maya chuckled while removing her shoes. 

"Nope." 

"Well, I'll leave you to brood in peace. I just came by to grab my running gear." Maya said as she walked into the bedroom. 

"Gross." Carina mocked. "Mornings. Running. And we were together, why?" 

"Because I'm a firefighter and you thought it was sexy." Maya bantered back. "Why don't you come with me?" 

"Running?" Carina looked genuinely repulsed by the idea. "No, thank you." 

"It might do you some good to get out of here for a while. Nothing is fresher than the morning air." 

"I don't know if I like morning you." The brunette retorted. 

Maya perked up at the responce, she was expecting a firm no so the joke was a good sign. "I'm not above begging." She pleaded while leaning on the door frame. 

"You don't have to beg but an incentive might work." She reasoned. As much as she hated any form of exercise, she agreed that the fresh air might do her some good. 

"I'll buy breakfast." 

"Deal." 

"You do this every morning?" Carina questioned while trying to catch her breath. They had barely reached a mile before Carina needed to stop but Maya was extremely proud of the brunette for agreeing in the first place so she wasn't about to complain. 

"Yes." The blonde responded, trying not to laugh at Carina who was hunched at the waist. 

"Why?" She wheezed through labored breaths. 

"My job demands it mainly." Maya replied while holding her hand out for Carina to take. "Back straight, hands behind your head." She instructed. Carina followed the instruction and eventually her breathing evened out. "It also helps me think." 

Carina studied the women in front of her.  Despite all that was happening, Maya always seemed composed and in control. "You need to think often?" She probed. 

Once Carina had recovered, they carried on there way, this time walking instead of jogging. "Not as much anymore." Maya answered honestly. Ever since they had met, Maya had used more healthy ways of dealing with her problems. As much as she loved to shy away from talking about her feelings, Carina always managed to get her talking. "Someone special to me taught me that talking helps just as much." 

"She right. It's also less painful." 

"Debatable." The blonde threw back. 

They continued on their way down the footpath until they reached an opening. Maya would normally avoid this route due to the sheer amount of people that visited national park but she opted for it today as it was a much shorter route. 

"Wow, it's so really pretty here." Carina announced while looking around at the scenery. In front of them was a huge water fountain surrounded by miles and miles of greenery. There was benches at every point but they were filled with families who were also admiring the view. 

"Nationl-" at first, Maya was amazed at the reaction. They had visited here countless times during there four year relationship. And then it hit her, this Carina had never been here before. "Yeah, it is." She agreed. 

"Hey, wait up." 

Maya came to a halt when she heard the faint call from behind her. 

"We need to work on that, we have barely run a mile." Maya laughed as the brunette struggled to catch up with her. She would normally be mad at the break in her stride but with Carina looking all hot and bothered in her running gear, she realised she didn't want to. 

"And that's bad because?" Carina breathed out harshly. 

"My average is ten." 

"Miles?" Carina looked both concerned and impressed at the omission. 

"You sound surprised?" The blonde asked curiously. 

"Not surprised. Impressed." Carina made no effort to hide her obvious attraction. "No wonder I can't keep up with you." The brunette finished with a wink. 

"We will work on that too." Maya blushed. "Thank you for doing this, it really means a lot to me." 

Carina nodded but thought about broaching the subject they had discussed earlier that day. Carina had finally met Maya's mother but Maya had been short and blunt with the older women. The brunette wasn't one to pry but as she watched the blonde fight with the women, she wanted to know if there was anything she could do to help. "I thought you could do with the company after," 

"Can we not talk about that right now." Maya asked politely. Their relationship was still relatively new and she didn't want to let Carina into the disfunction that was her family. 

"Of course, Bella." Carina agreed rather reluctantly. "But just know, I'm here in case you did." 

"It's comp-" Maya stopped in her track and turned to face the taller women. 

"Complicated. Yeah, you keep saying that." 

"He's my father, Carina." 

"Father seems like too nice a word in my opinion." The brunette shot back hoping she hadn't overstepped. 

"He wasn't always... bad." Maya softened slightly but Carina could still see that Maya was being extremely guarded I'm her approach. 

Carina grabbed the hand of her lover in an attempt to reason with her. "Positives don't weigh out the bad, Maya." The blonde looked like she wanted to argue but Carina held her hands up as if to say this isn't an attack of his character. "I'm not going to tell you how to feel, or how to act when it comes to your father but from the outside looking in; maybe you should listen to your mother." 

"She's not innocent in all this." Maya said while intertwining their fingers together. While her mother was an victim in all this, she had always dismissed his anger for love when it came to the way her treated them. 'He just wants you to succeed.' She would argue. 

"Maybe not, but you have to remember; he wasn't only your monster." 

Maya thought about that for a second. She had dealt with spouses of abusers throughout her entire career and one of the most common links between all of them was that they never realised they were being abused until after the fact. She loved her mother but she always through of her as weak. Too weak to stand up to her father and too weak to leave but now, as she stands before her girlfriend, she realised that maybe that was a belief that her father had installed in her. Another way he manipulated her. Like many times in her life, Maya thought that the only way to deal with the issue was to ignore it altogether. 

"Race you to that tree?" Maya announced abruptly. 

"Ahh, avoidance 101." Carina teased gently, a part of her glad Maya hadn't dismissed her completely. "This conversation isn't over." The brunette stepped into the blonde's personal space and laced her arms around the shorter women's neck. 

Maya shut her eyes at the contact and pursed her lips expecting to meet to soft lips of her girlfriend but all she felt was the cool air around them. She opened her eyes and was shocked to see that Carina was already jogging towards the large tree a few metres ahead of them. 

"Hey, that's cheating." Maya shouted before sprinting to catch up. 

"You deserved it." 

"Breakfast, as promised." 

Carina was sitting crossed leg on the marble ledge of a beautiful stone fountain when Maya returned holding two paper bags filled with what she assumed was their sandwiches.  Carina was so in awe of the structure that she was completely unaware that Maya had returned. "It's beautiful, right?" The blonde smiled softly at the peacefulness on Carinas face. 

"I had no idea this place even existed." Carina breathed out. She then reached for the paper bag thanking the blonde in the process. "When Andrew would speak of Seattle, he would always make it seem so... dull." 

"I imagine compared to Italy... it is." 

"There is beauty everywhere, you just have to open your eyes to see it." Carina quoted softly. 

"Shakespeare?" 

"My mom." Carina laughed, softly while turning to face Maya fully. There was a sadness in the way she spoke, the same sadness that was always present when she spoke of her mother. "She had a beautiful soul. A beautiful vision. She saw the positive in everything. Andrew used to be the same but my father knocked it out of him." 

"That must be where you get it from." Maya remarked nonchalantly while taking a bite of her breakfast. 

"What?" 

"The innocence." Maya had always wondered why Carina was always so positive. After learning about her family, Maya never understood how someone could still see the beauty in living. The world was cruel and dark and in effect it changes the way we see it. With the devastation they both witness on a daily basic it was hard not to. "You see the light in everything, even when there is none left to see." 

"Life's too cruel if you don't." Carina replied sadly. 

"Are you ready to head back." 

"Not yet." 

They had returned to the apartment a few hours ago, and unlike every day since the accident, Carina spent most of her time conversing with Maya. She appreciated the effort even though she could see that Carina was tired. 

As they settled down for dinner, Maya felt a gentle buzzing on her leg. She recognised the sensation immediately as her phone ringing. She thought about ignoring it but when she saw it was the station she knew it must be serious. Andy doesn't normally call outside of work hours, especially from the work phone. 

"Excuse me for a moment." Maya excused herself from the table. "Bishop." She answered professionally. 

"Maya, I'm so sorry for calling this late but we have been called to a four alarm fire downtown. Three connected apartments blocks. It's all hands on deck. I could really use your help." Maya could tell that Andy was flustered. Her voice was strained and she was breathing heavily into the speaker. 

"Andy-" 

"You know I wouldn't have called unless it was serious." 

Maya thought about her responce, normally she wouldn't even consider saying no but with everything that had happened recently, the fought of tackling a four alarm fire made her nervous. "I'll be there in 10." She reluctantly agreed. 

"I owe you one." 

Maya cut off the call and anxiously made her way back to the dinning table. Carina had clearly over heard the conversation but she looked more concerned than angry. 

"I have to go." Maya said apologetically. 

"Now?" Carina looked down at the wrist watch checking to see what the time was. "It's late, is everything okay?" 

"I know. That was the station, they need me." 

"Of course. Do what you need to do, I'll be fine." Carina reassured her but Maya still wasn't sure. A call like this could last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. "Are you sure?" Maya asked, a small part of her hoping Carina would say no. 

"Of course. Go." Carina lifted her hands and placed them gently on to Mayas shoulders. The gesture meant the world to Maya as it was the first contact that Carina had initiated. 

"I-" 

"Go." The brunette pushed firmly on her shoulders. "Just promise me you'll stay safe." 

"Always." Maya then turned and grabbed her go bag that she kept next to the door for when she was on call. She then grabbed her coat and hurried towards the door. "I love-" she managed to stop herself from saying the three words that at one point felt so natural but the words lingered heavily in the air. She couldn't bring herself to address it as she couldn't handle the rejection on Carinas face so instead she kept her head forward and opened the door in front of her. 

"Bye Maya." She heard faintly behind her. 

"Herrera, where do you need me?" 

Maya walked into the station with purpose. She had to forgot everything that was going on at home and focus solely at the task at hand. 

"Aid car with Warren." 

At the instruction, Maya jogged over to the Aid car where Warren was frantically pilling medical equipment into the back on the rig, "Nice to have you back, Bishop." He said with a smirk adorning his face. 

"I'm not back, Warren." She replied shortly. 

They arrived at the scene exactly four  minutes after they had recieved the first alarm and the scene in front of them was complete and utter chaos. Firefighters were frantically running into the blazing building while multiple paramedics were hunched over injured civilians. Andy was first to react, barking orders at her crew. 

"Stucture fire staring on the tenth floor, all we know so far is a group of teens removed the smoke alarm from their apartment so they could smoke inside. Fire was out of control before a neighbouring apartment became aware of the situation. Bishop, Warren, station 23 has already started triage, jump in where ever you can. Montgomery, Hughes, assist with evacuation. Sullivan, you're with me." 

She received a chorus of 'Yes, Boss' from the team and they immediately jumped into the action. "Bishop." She called out before the lieutenant could get too far away, "Don't do anything stupid." 

"Yes, boss." 

Maya hurriedly joined Warren in the triage area and began to assist one of the many victims that were lying on the ground. 

"Can you tell me where it hurts?" Maya asked the middle aged women. The patient was conscious and fully alert but it was clear she was in some distress. 

"My neck." The women stuttered out while trying to point to the affected area. 

Maya grabbed a near by brace and began to strap carefully around the women's neck. "And how did you hurt your neck?" 

"We were evacuating, but there was too many-" the women began to cough violently causing a crimson red liquid to coat the inside of her mouth. "I fell." 

"Okay, it's okay." Maya immediately reached for her radio, "Herrera, I have a forty-four year old crush victim here, hypotensive, possible collaped lung, how long for an aid car?" 

"All available aid cars are currently on route to Grey Sloan, Bishop." 

"ETA?" 

"Six minutes." 

"She doesn't have six minutes." Maya looked down at the older women, who was losing conciseness by the second. She was using her last remaining strength to reach into her pant pocket clearly looking for something. "Try and stay still, okay." The blonde reached down and grabbed the reaching hand hoping to bring her some comfort. "My husband," The injured women, whispered, "I have to call... I have to call him." 

"Then move on to someone who does." Came the short reply from the radio. 

Maya felt herself tense at the reply. She knew it was a hard call to make but with the lack of personnel and facilities, she knew that waiting on the inevitable was not reasonable. There was many people here who she could save but how could she just leave this women all alone. 

"Let me," Maya adjusted the women carefully so she could reach into her pocket and grab the phone. "What's your name?" 

"Lucy." She gritted out. 

She placed the phone gently in Lucy's hand and watched as she dialled the number of what she assumed was the women's husband. 

"Hey..." The women started but another violent cough took over her body. "I'm o... okay." 

Maya watched in anguish at the phone call, this wasn't a phone call any one should ever have to make. She thought about the night of the car accident, how Carina had tried to call her. It warmed her heart that even in, what she thought was her last moments, Carina wanted her voice to be the last one she heard. 

"I love you, too." 

Was the last words spoken between the two lovers. 

Maya watched as Lucy's eyes closed and her chest fell still. The phone had fallen down next to her head and for the first time in her career, she felt broken. This, like many other, was a tragedy that was preventable. The simplest of things causing such devastation and loss. It made her angry. 

"Fall back." She looked up at the instruction. Herrera was running towards the structure clearly in distress. "FALL BACK!" 

"Have you seen the news?" 

Carina had invited Gabriella to the apartment to keep her mind distracted while Maya was out on a call. As much as Maya tried to hid it. It was clearly a serious one. 

"No," Carina replied. 

Instead of answering, Gabriella turned on the television and turned up the volume so that they could both hear what was being said. 

Behind the reporter was a raging inferno tearing apart a 16 story apartment building. She knew nothing about fires but from the looks of things, this one was pretty horrific. 

"Maya." Carina whispered, her whole body turning cold at the sight. 

"No casualties, as of yet." Gabriella read from the bottom of the screen. "That's good a least." 

Carina barely registered the words being spoken. There was no denying that she cared deeply for Maya, that was evident from the day she woke up in hospital but this was different and she couldn't pin point why. At no point in the last few days had she thought there was ever a possibility that she might lose her. 

"We are hearing reports that there are still multiple firefighters and civilians inside the building but..." The report spoke almost too matter of fact considering there was multiple lives in danger. 

"Fall back." Could be heard in the distance and many of the first responders in the background began to run in the opposite direction of the building. 

Almost instantly, the building that was billowing clouds of black smoke turned a violent shade of orange and red which completely took over the majority of the upper building. The screen went from complete chaos to black in the matter off seconds with a 'No Signal' warning taking over most of the screen.

Chapter Text

Carina had never felt this level of angst before. Her head was fuzzy with worry and her chest was feeling tighter than usual.

There was no reasoning in her mind to make her think such things but the thought of Maya being injured or worse was weighing heavily on her chest. 

Immediately after the explosion had happened, the live news report had cut off leaving in it's wake a screen filled with nothing but black. This did not sit well with the OB. 

Soon after, Gabriella had been called into Grey Sloan to help with incoming casualties and despite not wanting to go - Gabriella felt she had little choice in the matter as once she had confirmed that she would be staying in Seattle for the foreseeable future, Chief Bailey had so graciously granted the Italian privileges at the hospital as long as she be available when needed. 

She wasn't sure how long she had sat infront of the blank television but before she knew it, one hour turned into two, two turned into five and five then turned into ten. 

It was now 4.30 am and she hadn't heard or seen Maya until she left this afternoon. It had been ten whole hours with no contact. The longest they hadn't seen or spoken since she had came home from the hospital. 

Gabriella had called multiply times but Carina had refused to answer incase of bad news. Instead, Carina dialed Maya's number for the umpteenth time in the last few hours but was met once again by the dreaded voice mail recording. The worry she was feeling was very slowly morphing into anger. Anger at whom she wasn't so sure. Angry at Maya for leaving? No. Anger at Maya for potentially putting herself in danger? Again, no. All she knew for sure was that anger was much easier to deal with than dread. 

One thing Carina prided herself on was understanding and dealing with her emotions but this was all new. Did she love Maya? Subconsciously the answer was probably yes but it was a different sort of love, one she hadn't felt before. Was she in love with her? That was the question she had been avoiding thinking about. A part of her felt like she had  known Maya for years. The connection between them was undeniable but she was struggling to figure out if her feelings were true or if she was pushing herself into believing she was. Was the feeling of love real or was it subconscious. She was a doctor, she knew how amnesia worked. People have woken up not knowing a single thing about their lives but somehow remember how to drive; or remember they lyrics from thier favourite song. Some even knew their route to and from work despite never having been. Was love the same?

She was brought out of her thoughts by the familiar sound of keys jingling and immediately jumped to her feet in anticipation of what was about to happen. Every bit of her hoped and pray that it was Maya. 

Just as she had hoped; In walked Maya looking a little worse for wear. 

Carina felt herself breathe for the first time since she had left but now that the blonde was standing infront of her, she couldn't help but feel hurt that the firefight hadn't let her know she was safe. All it took was a message or a simply call. All of which only took a few seconds. "You didn't think to call?" The brunette couldn't stop herself from snapping as soon as soon as the blonde stepped through the door. 

"Why are you still awake?" The blonde asked softly, clearly not having registered the remark.  

"A simple message wouldn't have gone a miss." Carina cringed as the words left her lips. She knew she was being harsh but she couldn't help herself. 

Maya's face dropped almost instantly as she knew what was about to happen. This wasn't the first time in their relationship that Carina had dealt with her angst by lashing out. Clearly that was what was happening now. "I'm too tired for this right now, Carina." Maya responded sharply hoping that Carina would just let it go. 

"You left over twelve hours ago, Maya. I've been sitting here-" 

"That is normal for a job like mine, Carina." Maya knew that Carina was worried, it was written all over her face but Maya had had a terrible day herself and with with stress and adrenaline still running through her, she was just as on edge and looking for an outlet. "Just be thankful it wasn't longer." Maya shot under her breathe before walking towards the bedroom. 

Carina managed to stop herself from snapping back at the blonde. This isn't how she wanted this to go, "Maya," The brunette grabbed for her arm but the firefighter just brushed it off and continued on her way. "I'm-" 

"I can't do this right now, Carina." Maya  stopped but did not turn around. It was at that moment that Carina noticed just how worn down and defeated the blonde looked. "You can shout at me in the morning." She whispered, sounding just as defeated as she looked. 

"I..." Carina didn't know how to respond. She didn't want to start a fight with the blonde but it was the only way to stop herself running into her arms and telling her not to leave her again. 

"I'm tired; I'm hungry and I desperately need a shower. Sorry for not wanting to do this right now." Maya stated before disappearing behind the bedroom door. 

A few hours earlier. 

"Bishop, go home." 

The blonde was standing in one of the hallways in Grey Sloan Memorial when Miranda Bailey approached her from one of the nurses station. 

"I'll wait." Maya said firmly. 

"I'll handle it from here, Maya. Go be with your wife." 

Maya's chest thumped at the word wife. Normally, she would jump at the chance to go home to Carina but something had changed for her. 

"I would rather stay if that's okay with you, Bailey." Miranda looked ready to argue but Maya was quick to shut it down. "I was with her when she... I would like to be here when her husband arrives." 

Miranda didn't think it was a good idea but she knew that Maya was set in her ways and arguing wouldn't get her anywhere. "Are you sure?" The surgeon asked sceptically. 

"I think it's only right." 

Just as Bailey was about to reply, a young resident approached them holding out a clip board for the chief to take. "Doctor Bailey. Mr King is here. He is waiting in the waiting room." 

"Thank you, Schmidt." After taking the clip board, Bailey turned to address the firefighter, "You sure you want to do this?" 

Instead of answering, Maya began to walk in the direction of the middle-aged man and stopped just short of where he was standing. "Mr King?" She heard from behind her. "My name is Doctor Bailey and this is Captain Bishop with the Seattle Fire Department. If you would like to follow me." The shorter women said while addressing the widow. 

"Lucy? Is she okay?" He hurriedly asked, ignoring most of what the surgeon had said. "I spoke to her a little over an hour ago, she said she was fine." 

It was clear to Maya that the man was confused as to why he had been told to come here. 

"Mr King," Bailey said softly while taking a seat on one of the uncomfortable plastic chairs. The man followed suit but Maya decided to stay standing not wanting to overwhelm the man by interjecting her self into this particular moment. "Unfortunately, Lucy suffered extensive internal bleed at the scene and despite Captain Bishop's best efforts, she didn't make it." Bailey spoke professionally. 

"Wait. I don't understand... I talked to her on the phone, she called me." Mr King stood up from his chair and looked around the area in shock. "This must be some kind of mistake." He pleaded. 

Maya felt an overwhelming need to run. She felt it was her duty to be present but now she felt like she made a huge mistake. This very easily could have been her. The scripted words spoken by Bailey could have very easily have been spoken to her. How meaningless and emotionless those words were in heinsight. No amount of sorry could ever cover what this man had lost today. The whole situation felt way too informal; like she was delivering news that didn't just shatter this man's world. 

"...She was all alone."  He cried. 

"She wasn't alone," Maya interjected. "I was with her the whole time..." 

Maya stood motionless as the boiling hot water from the shower head pelted down on her shoulders. The pain briefly distracting her from the memories of today. This wasn't her first rodeo, she had lost people before but with the years and years of experience, she had managed to numb herself to the loses. Not that they didn't affect her at all but it was a very real part of the job. For every life she couldn't save, she could save ten more and that's what helped her cope. But, in the same breathe, she had never lost someone she had loved before - never even come close. Until Carina. Until she was faced with the real possibility of losing her. Death was no longer inevitable to her - it was scary and it was daunting and for the first time in her life; she was afraid of it. 

Maya managed to pull herself together long enough to leave the shower and get herself dressed. She tried to disguise the tears and puffy cheeks but after a few attempts with no success, she gave up and just hoped Carina had gone to bed. 

No such luck. 

Carina was standing infront of the kitchen island with her back facing the bedroom door. "I'm sorry." Maya whispered, unsure whether that Carina heard or not. 

"It's fine." The brunette responded not turning to look at her. 

"It's not fine." Maya whispered, walking forward slightly so she was standing a foot or so behind the brunette. "I should have called. With everything going on... I didn't even think." Maya explained. 

She was lying. It wasn't that she had forgot or didn't want to. A part of her felt like Carina wouldn't care either way. 

After a few moments with no response, Maya felt rejected and defeated so she turned slowly hoping that the tears present in her eyes wouldn't be noticed. 

"I was scared." She heard from behind her. Carina sounding just as small and defeated as Maya felt. Maya then turned around only to find Carina now facing her. Her face was red and her cheeks were tear stained. Maya's heart fell at the sight. 

"You were?" Maya asked, not truly believing her. One of her biggest fears in all this was Carina feeling nothing but indifference towards her. The love she used to see in Carina's eyes had left the moment she woke up in the hospital. 

"I was." Carina nodded, shocked that the firefight thought any different. "I made you something." Carina the reached behind her and grabbed for the plate of food that she had prepared while the blonde was in the shower. 

Maya looked at the plate in confusion. "Why?" She asked dumbly. 

"You said you was hungry." 

This was the Carina she had married - so thoughtful and kind. As insignificant as the gesture was, it meant so much to the blonde and it all become clear to her why she was fighting so hard for them. It may seem like such a small thing but to Maya it was everything. Carina did care. 

Maya felt her knees buckle as the weight of today finally disappeared from her body. She reached out blindly for some sort of support but all she could feel was air. 

Carina could see what was about to happened and quickly placed the plate back on the table and hurried over the where Maya was standing. In pure instict, she grabbed for the blondes slim waist and pulled her gently into her own body. She felt the blonde resist some but soon enough the body in her arms relaxed so she tightened her grip around her. 

Maya was shocked at the sudden embrace and after a moment of fighting against it she grabbed on with all her might and gripped hard at the back of Carina's low hanging t-shirt. 

She felt her wife hug back with just as much force and Maya, in a moment of weakness, let her face fall into the crook of the brunettes neck. Not worrying about the consequences of her actions she ran her hands up the brunettes back until her hands were entwined behind Carina's neck and then she pulled her head back so she was resting her forehead against her wife's. 

Both women refused to let go of the other as they just lived in the moment. Both needing it for different but very real reasons. 

"I never should have gone." The blonde whispered, tearfully. "I wasn't ready to go back." 

"Oh, Maya." 

Carina pulled Maya's face away from her own and gently wiped her thumb over her cheek catching one of the many fallen tears. 

"It was too soon," Maya repeated over and over to herself. 

Maya reveled in the embrace, taking in the scent and the feeling of being in her wife's arms again as she had no idea when she would be able to feel this again. But when she realised just how long she had been held, she picked herself up, wiped her face and began building up the wall that had protected her for so many years.  

"Don't do that." The simple sentence caught her off guard, she thought Carina would step back and pretend that nothing had happened. "Don't pretend you're okay. You don't have to pretend with me." The brunette whispered. 

"I wasn't ready to go back to work." 

"What happened out there?" 

"Fall back!" 

Maya looked up from where Lucy was laying and was shocked to see Andy running towards the blazing building frantically waving her arms in the air. 

Floods of first responders began to run in the opposite direction of the building and the crowd that were standing behind the barrier began to disperse. 

"Fall back!" The stand in captain shouted, her voice drowned out by the cries and shouted of fellow fightfighters. 

Bishop and Warren stood immediately and hurried towards the entrance of the triage tent but just as they stepped out, a blinding shade of orange lit up the sky and they both fell backwards protecting their faces. The explosion was over just as quickly as it happened but there was clouds upon clouds of smoke and dust filling the air causing them both to cough. 

"What the hell was that." Warren exclaimed while dusting himself off. 

"Captain Herrera, what's the situation?" Bishop hurriedly asked through her chest radio. 

"Gas leak on the tenth floor." Herrera answered, her voice strained and panicked. 

"And no-one knew nothing about it?" Warren's voice echoed through the radio. 

He looked angry at the news and hurriedly began to gear up. 

"Where the hell are you going?" Bishop asked as she grabbed for his arm. 

"They need us out there." He stated like it was obvious. 

"And they need us in here." Bishop argued while pointing to the dozen of injured civilians laying on the floor. "We are about to get an influx of more casualties in her-" 

"We have two firefighters trapped on the fifth floor, update on evac?" Came a male voice over the radio. His voice echoing just how dire the situation was. "It's only so long before the whole building comes down." 

"Still need me in here, Bishop?" He asked with an edge to his voice. Almost like he was daring her to argue. "Thought so." 

Maya watched as the firefighter stormed out of the tent. He was right, there was more than enough medical personnel here already but something stopped Maya from following him. Normally she would be the first one to run towards the fire but something had changed for her and she wasn't sure what that was. 

"Bishop, we need you out here." Millers deep voice came over the radio. She now didn't have a choice. 

Once geared up, Maya left the triage area and headed over to her team that was huddled up next to the engine. Piles upon piles of debris lined the floor but that looked that the extent of the damage.

"Where do you need me?" She asked, her voice quivering slightly. 

"Gibson, Hughes and Bishop, I need you to take lead with search and rescue. 23 have cleared a path to the forth floor but unable to make access to the fifth. You guys are tagging in." She said with authority. 

"Yes, Captain." 

Gibson and Hughes hurried off towards where 23 were standing but Maya couldn't get her legs to move. 

"Bishop!" Herrera called, breaking her out of her daze. "Everything okay?" 

"I-" Maya stuttered. 

"If you can't do this, I'll swap you out." She asked looking more understanding than annoyed which eased some of Maya's anxiety. 

She felt her pride take a hit but she knew how serious things could get when a firefighter didn't have their head in the game. She had seen it happen with Rigo. That slightest lack in concentration could potentially become fatal. 

"Montgomery!" Andy shouted over the chaos. "Swap with Bishop." Andy took the lack of responce as all the confirmation she needed. 

"Yes, boss." He nodded, throwing a concerned look at his former captain. 

"Maya, stick with Warren on wet down." Andy placed her hand softly on to the blondes shoulder before leaving to guide her team. 

"I froze." Maya answered, hiding her face I'm embarrassment. The pair was now seated on the couch in the living room. "That's never happened to me before." 

"Have you thought about talking to someone?" Carina asked softly. 

"A therapist?" Maya asked weakly. For the first time, the idea didn't seem so stupid anymore. 

"Or a guidance Councillor." Carina gently suggested. She knew from experience just how beneficial talking and processing your emotions can be. 

Instead of answering, Maya pulled out her phone and opened up her contact book looking for the name she never thought she would need to contact - Diane Lewis. 

'Are you free at any point this week?' Maya wrote simply. 

Almost instantly she received a reply, 'Does tomorrow sound good?' 

'Tomorrow is fine.' 

Before locking her phone, Maya checked the time and was shocked to see it was almost 6 am. Another wave of guilt hit her at keeping the brunette up so late. 

"It's late, you should head to bed." Maya tried to muster a smile but it was half hearted and weak. 

"Are you going to come with me?" Carina asked hopefully. She wasn't about to leave the blonde alone. 

"I'll sleep out here." Maya gestured towards the couch that they were currently sitting on. 

"No." Carina shook her head at the thought. "There more than enough room in there." The brunette stated before pulling the blonde up and dragging her towards the bedroom. 

The pair got ready for bed in complete silence before Maya pulled back the covers and layed as close to the the edge as she could get without falling off. "Turn over." She heard as she felt the bed dip next to her. 

She looked confused for a second before Carina pushed gently at her hip and then slotted herself behind the blonde. Carina then snaked her arm under Maya's and pulled at her hip so that her front was pressed completly against the blondes. Maya went stiff at the contact but very quickly settled. Maya then grabbed the hand that was by her chest and pulled it up so she was cradling it under her chin. 

"I like to be spooned when I'm sad." Carina whispered into the darkness. "I thought that might help you too." 

Maya smiled at the gesture and nodded despite knowing the the brunette couldn't see her. She felt herself doze off but not before feeling a pair of soft lips press firmly onto the back of her shoulder and a simple, "Goodnight, Bella." 

 


 

 

Chapter Text

It was currently 10.51 am on a miserable Thursday in Seattle and Maya found herself sitting on an uncomfortable leather chair outside of a generic office in an even more generic building. To say she would rather be anywhere else right now was an understatement, but as suggested; here she was. 

The blonde checked her watch for the forth time in the last 10 minutes and was once again annoyed that Diane hadn't arrived yet. They had agreed to meet at 11 am but like always, Maya arrived in plenty of time and was a little annoyed that the therapist didn't share the same mentality. 

Maya had thought about finding an excuse to leave but knew that it would be counterproductive, not only for her; but Carina aswell. 'I might as well get this over with.' She thought. 

A few minutes later, she heard the opening of the large wooden door and in walked Diane holding a large takeaway coffee cup in one hand and a rather small briefcase in the other. 

Maya stood in acknowledment and without any words being spoken, followed the women into her office. 

"Captain Bishop. I'm glad you called." Diane was first to break the silence. "I heard about your wife. I'm sorry-" She continued once settled behind her desk. 

"She's not dead." Maya answered swiftly, almost annoyed at the sentence. 

"And for that I can't be sorry?" Diane looked questionably at the blonde. "It's a common curtsey." The older women stated. 

"It's annoying." Maya shot back instantly. 

Diane just smiled at the blonde and held her hands up in fake surrender.  "I take it you being here wasn't your choice?" 

"What makes you say that?" Maya challenged almost petulantly. She then resigned to the fact that she had to lose the attitude and concede defeat so she sat on the chair opposite Diane. 

"You don't hide the fact that you don't want to be here, Bishop." The therapist stated while observing the blonde's demeanor. "I get it. It's out of your comfort zone. The last time I was here, it was on your order because you felt like it would be beneficial to your team. But now..." She paused for effect. "I'm here to see you." 

Maya felt herself shrink at the observation. It made her feel uncomfortable and exposed. She had had a previous encounter with Diane before and she had managed to read her like a book. It was unsettling to say the least. 

"Let me tell you how I work. You talk; I listen, it's as simple as that. I won't force you to talk and what ever you do decide to share today is totally up to you." The women surmised hoping to ease some of the blonde's discomfort. "Now tell me, why did you call me?" 

"My w- Carina thought it would be a good idea." Maya explained simply.  

"Carina being... your wife?" 

The hesitation of the word wife did not go unnoticed by Diane. She knew the bullet points of what happened but she liked to keep an unbiased opinion so she would wait until Maya was comfortable to share the full story with her. 

"Yes." The blonde nodded but was quick to continue. "After I got home from a call-" 

"Wait. Who signed off on you being allowed back to work?" Diane asked while flipping through some of the paperwork she had laying on the desk infront of her. As far as she was aware, Maya was signed off of duty and was due an evaluation before being allowed back on duty. 

Maya thought carefully about how she responded as she didn't want to get the current captain in to any trouble. 

"It was an all hands on deck situation. Herrera needed all the help she could get." 

"But you wasn't ready?" Diane asked rhetorically. There was protocols in place for a reason and she was not surprised that Maya hadn't been able to adapt back into work as quickly as she had expected. 

"I have been off for a few weeks. It takes a while to get back into things." Maya defended, hoping that it wouldn't come back to bite her or Herrera in the ass. She knew that she would need a physical before returning to work but she never predicted that she wouldn't have been able to handle it. 

Diane decided against focusing on the poor call as it was clear that wasn't the main issue at hand. She instead decided to approach from a different angle. "You've taken mandatory time off before, what made this any different?" 

"I froze." 

Both Maya and Diane was shocked at the honestly of the statement. Diane had predicted that it would take a little time and potentially a few sessions before Maya opened up but it was now clear that Maya wanted to get some things off her chest. 

"Why?" 

Maya paused briefly. She knew why she froze but admitting it would make her weak. "I was scared." 

"Of?" Diane pushed. 

"The what ifs." Maya answered immediately. It was almost as if she was thinking out loud. She spoke clearly and she spoke with honesty. "What if something were to happen to me? What if something was to happen to my team because of me. What if..." 

"What ifs are a part of life, Maya. You were a firefighter before the accident. What's changed? There was always risks, that hasn't changed." 

"Now I know what it's like to be on the other end of the call." 

She would never forget that day for as long as she lived. The words are a bit of a blur but the emotions that they provoked was anything but. She wouldn't wish the anguish on her worst enemy. 

"Before Carina, I knew that if anything were to ever happen to me, people would grieve for a time and then everyone would eventually move on. My brother, Mason, he has been MIA for the past few years. My mother contacts me when it's convenient for her and my dad... my dad only cared when it benefited him. This whole time, I never had to worry who I was leaving behind because I knew that no matter what happened to me, my family, my team; they would all be okay. But now..." 

"You have Carina to think about." Diane finished the blonde's thought. "But again, I ask, you had been married for almost a year before the accident happened, why now are you worried about death?" 

"I... I never want her to feel what I felt that day." 

"That day being the accident?" 

Maya squirmed in her seat. She had tried her very hardest to erase that day from her memory but she can remember every little detail; from the smell of the ER to the sweat on her skin. The days leading up were hard on the pair but all in all their love was ever present. 

"I never said I love you that day. We had a rule, never leave without saying I love you. I always thought it was ridiculous but Carina was adamant that it be said; so everyday, without fail, we said it. I would asked her why and she would just say; 'perché non sai mai quando sarebbe l'ultima volta.'" 

Because you never know when the last time would be. The word's rang around Maya's head every since that day. 

"She had her fears over my job but she would never outwardly show it. Whenever I would speak of a particularly dangerous call, she would smile and act engaged but her eyes wouldn't light up like they normally would. Or, when I would come home with a bruise or a burn, she would play her part as the concerned wife and then excuse herself to the bedroom and would come back moments later with glassy eyes. I would try my best to reassure and comfort her but... She knew that danger was inevitable." Maya had never really thought about that constant fear of sending your love off to work never knowing if they would come home at the end of it. "I never had the same worry and the one time I forgot to say it; I might never get the chance to say it again." 

"If there's one thing I've learned from this job, Maya, is holding onto regret; burdens us with guilt. The way you speak of your wife, she knew - she knew you loved her." 

"I don't know how to stop it; the anger; the guilt. It's been present for so long I've forgotten what it's like not to feel it." 

"You need to grieve for the old Carina and start learning the new one. When we hold on to the pieces of someone that may not be present anymore, we start to lose sight on the what's right in front of us. She is still the person you married, Maya. She's grieving just as much as you; help her heal." 

"What if I can't?" 

"You can." 

"Doctor Shepard?" 

Carina was at Grey Sloan for what she assumed was her final check up and this time she was meeting with Amelia Shepard rather that Miranda Bailey. Maya had dropped her off at the hospital before making her way to Diane's office. 

She knocked gently on the open door and waited for acknowledgement before walking in. 

"Carina," Amelia smiled widely at the appeared of her former college and stood up to greet her. "Long time, no see. Come on in." The neuro surgeon greeted while pulling out a chair for the OB to sit on. She then returned to her own chair behind her desk. 

"Dr. Bailey sent me over your files." She began to explain while pulling out a file from one of the metal drawers on the side of the desk. "We both agree that while you should still take it easy, as of today, you will no longer need to come by for check ups." The shorter women announced as she signed the bottom of the paper and held it out for Carina to take. 

Carina took the piece of paper hesitantly. "Are you sure, I mean... its only been a few weeks." 

"You're a doctor, Deluca. You know what signs to look out for, any persistent headaches, swelling around the incision... you know, the basics." 

Carina still looked unsure at the idea. While she felt a lot better physically, she wasn't quite there mentally. As a doctor she knew that amnesia could last anywhere from a few hours to a few years, but she wasn't convinced that there wasn't something wrong with her. 

Amelia must have noticed the far out look in the brunette's eyes because she was quick to reassure her, "You're free, Deluca. Go explore. Travel. Enjoy the rest of your leave. And when you think the time is right, come back to work. I think it goes with out saying; your job is here waiting for you." 

Carina laughed at the enthusiasm of the surgeon and immediately felt at ease around her. "I'm not so sure about that, after my last check up with Bailey..." 

"Oh yeah, I heard about that. Well, you're braver than me." Amelia laughed softly to herself. She had heard from Bailey what had transpired between the pair and while she understood Carina's point, she also sympathised with her chief. "But, she's a big girl. I'm sure she didn't take anything personally. Or maybe she did, who knows?" 

"Helpful." Carina shot back, sarcastically. 

"You know me." Amelia jested before realising her poor choice of words. "Whoops." She laughed awkwardly which in turn made Carina smile. 

"Are you always like this?" The taller brunette asked, semi concerned; semi amused. 

"Yeah a little. So how are things at home?" Amelia asked softly, going from professional to curious in a matter of seconds. 

Carina was unsure what there relationship was like prior to the accident but she had an inkling that they were close. Amelia had all the characteristics that she enjoyed in a person so she didn't feel to shy about sharing. 

"I don't know, there are moments that feel familiar; like a distant memory but they are all... fuzzy." 

"Well, it's something to be positive about." Amelia reassured. "Soon, all those memories will become clearer but its about all about triggers. A certain smell or sound or even sensation will trigger a reaction. Just be patient and it will come back to you." Amelia was now standing infront of her and patted her gently on the shoulder. 

"I know." Carina then stood from her chair and turned towards the door. "Thank you Doctor Shepard." She smiled greatfully at the surgeon. 

"Amelia. Call me Amelia. And anytime. Day or night, I'm here or on days when I'm not, here's my card. Dont be afraid to give me a call if you have any questions or concerns." 

Carina took the card and placed it into the back pocket of her jeans. "Where we friends before?" Carina asked shyly. 

"I would like to think so. I mean, you did deliver my son." 

Carina smiled softly at the information. 

"Hey, me and Doctor Altman are heading to a local bar after our shifts tonight. You and Bishop are free to tag along. It was a fortnightly thing before the accident, maybe it will help." Amelia called out before Carina was too far away. 

"I'll ask her." 

"Okay, let me know." 

Carina had offered to meet the blonde after her session as the hospital was only a few blocks away from Diane's office but Maya had insisted they meet at a nearby coffee shop instead. Carina arrived first so she ordered them their drinks and waited at a table by the window. Maya arrived shortly after and took a seat opposite the brunette and with a thankful smile, took a sip of her freshly made latte. 

"How did it go?" Carina pried gently. She totally understood if Maya didn't want to share but she wanted the blonde to know that she cared. 

"Good..." 

Carina watched as the blonde sank in to herself, the question clearly taking her off guard. 

"Is that a question or..." Carina laughed gently in hopes that it would encourage Maya to explain. 

"It went well," Maya said after she took a large swig of her coffee. "It helped." She continued, knowing her answer was vague. 

She wanted nothing more than to tell Carina how it went but this felt a little too personal. She needed this to be the one thing that was just hers. She wasn't embarrassed nor ashamed at seeking help but there was somethings she didn't want to share with the brunette. Not yet anyway. 

"I'm glad." The brunette stated while giving Maya's free hand a gentle squeeze. All she really wanted to know is whether it was beneficial or not. 

"How was your check up?" Maya asked swiftly, hoping to change the attention off of herself. 

"All good, Dr Shepard gave me to all clear." Carina said nervously. 

"Wow, Carina. That's great news." Maya said excitedly but was quick to catch the fallen expression on Carinas face. "That's great new, right?" 

"I thought I would have my memories back by now. Amelia giving me the all clear means everything is okay but... I'm not okay." 

"Carina, you're a doc-" 

"I know, I know; that's what everyone keeps saying but it just feels like..." Carina paused to think of what she wanted to say. "somethings wrong." 

"What would you say to your patient if they were in the exact same situation as you." 

Carina knew she was being irrational and that forcing herself into remembering would do more harm than good but she was becoming impatient. This was the longest she had gone without working since graduating from med school and it was driving her insane. On top of that, she was feeling guilty about the whole situation with Maya, she knew that it was affecting Maya more than she was letting on. 

"To give it time." She answered honestly. 

"Then that's all you can do. We wait it out." 

"And what if they never come back?" 

"Then we go from there." Maya really did feel for the brunette and it was hard watching her beat herself up over something completely out of her control but she had to be supportive and understanding. "Carina, this shouldn't hinder you from doing the things you love. You can still work. We will figure this out." 

"Together?" 

"Together." 

That was all the confirmation Carina needed to realise that she wasn't fighting this battle by herself. She had people who cared and loved her. At first, Carina pushed again the idea that she had family and friends here in seattle but with every day, her life here was becoming clearer and clearer. She was loved here; she has built a life here. 

Carina and Maya finished up the last of their coffee before getting ready to head back home, that was until the vibrating of Carina's phone echoed from the table. 

"Everything okay?" Maya asked after Carina stared at the screen for a few seconds to long. 

"Amelia and Teddy are heading to Joe's this evening, she wanted to know if we wanted to join them." Carina read from the screen. 

"Do you?" Maya asked while holding the door open for the brunette to walk through. 

"Maybe? I mean... it wouldn't hurt, right?" 

"It might do you some good to go." Maya said as she unlocked her car door and got in. "You guys were close before." 

"Won't it be weird?" Carina said nervously as she, too, entered the car. 

"Probably, but it might also trigger something. Go, take the night to enjoy yourself." 

Carina thought about it for a second. She didn't have anything to lose by going out with the doctors so, why not go. 

"Wait, are you not going to come with?" Carina asked semi panicked at the idea of going alone. 

"Do you want me to?" Maya asked, not taking her eyes off the road. 

"Always." Carina whispered while replying to the message from the neuro surgeon. Maya turned her head to smile at the women but Carina was too busy on her phone to notice. The choice of word caught Maya off guard and in turn made her chest feel lighter. 

"Then let's do it." 

"This is a terrible idea..." Carina said as they got closer to the bar. "Let's go home." The brunette stated while turning on her heels. 

"No no no, no backing out now." Maya was quick to react and gently grabbed for the brunette's arm, turning her forward in the process. "Come on, it will be fun." Maya smiled reassuringly. 

"What if they don't like me." If it wasn't for the genuinely scared look on Carina's face, Maya would have found the childlike admission adorable. 

"Hey, they already love you." Maya tried to reassure but Carina still didn't look sure. "Look, just say the word and we can leave." 

Carina thought about bailing but she knew she didn't have a valid reason to cancel. Maya was excited for the evening and in a way, Carina was too, but this was a big step for her. She liked to pride herself on being social but she didn't feel the same confidence anymore. It was unnerving. 

"I can do this." Carina siked herself up and tried to smile confidently at the blonde but she wasn't fooling anyone. 

"Remember, just say the word and we go home. At any point." Maya said as they walked towards the entrance. 

"Well look who it is. My favourite firefighter and my first lady crush." Ameila cheered as the couple approached the table. It was clear to all parties that she was well on her way to being tipsy. 

"Wait what?" Maya squinted her eyes at the shorter brunette but decided it wasnt important enough to address. "Nevermind." She laughed as she pulled out a stall for Carina to sit on. "First rounds on me, what's everybody having?" 

Everyone placed their order with the blonde and despite not wanting to leave the brunette on her own, she thought it might help to let them get reacquainted. 

Carina needed to learn how to be confident on her own when she didn't have Maya there as a back up. Even as they approached the table, Carina had walked in slightly behind the blonde and had waited for Maya to initiate conversation. 

Just as she placed their order, Maya heard a voice from behind her, "Hey." 

Maya turned around to the find a tall, slightly tanned, brunette women holding a glass of what she assumed was red wine. 

"Hi." Maya smiled but then turned back to the bar. She knew where this heading. 

"Can I buy you a drink?" The brunette persisted, this time moving so she was standing on the left of the blonde. 

"Sorry, I'm not interested." Maya said tactfully. She didn't want to be rude to the women but she wanted to make sure the message got across. 

"If you give me five minutes, maybe I can change your mind?" The drunk women slurred while standing a little too close for Maya's liking. 

"You see that women over there." Maya turned around and pointed at Carina who was laughing at something one of the surgeons had said. "That's my wife." 

"Wow," The brunette said clearly noticing the beauty of the mentioned women, "She is one lucky women." The women continued to flirt, either being too drunk to care or just being completely ignorant. 

"I'm the lucky one." The blonde whispered before grabbing the drinks from the bar and turning to head back to her party. 

"What took you so long?" Teddy asked as she saw the blonde squeezing through a group of men who had gathered around the dart board that was just off to the right of their table. 

"Does it have anything to do with that gorgeous brunette who keeps looking over here." Amelia shouted over the noise of the now busy bar. All three surgeons turned to look in the direction of the bar making the drunk women blush and turn to face the other way. 

"She wanted to buy me a drink." Maya said while handing all three women their drinks. 

"Oh." Carina whispered, while the other two began to laugh at something that Ameila had said. 

"Don't worry, I put an end to it real quick." Maya whispered back, hoping Carina knew that she didn't encourage the encounter. 

Carina looked over the blondes shoulder at the brunette who had turned back around to look at Maya. In a moment of jealousy, Carina put her hand on the small of Maya's back and leaned in towards the blonde to whisper in her ear. The blonde tensed up at the contact but quickly relaxed into the touch. 

"I don't think she got the message." Carina laughed as Maya blushed. 

"I told her I was ma- that I wasn't interested." Maya exaggerated her word, clearly annoyed at the continuous attention. 

As the night drew on, the atmosphere became more relaxed and the blonde watched as Carina conversed and laughed with her two former friends. All three surgeon's were now tipsy while Maya stayed relatively sober due to the tiny bit of worry she still carried over Carina's health. She wanted to be in complete control had she be needed at any point throughout the night. 

It was almost half past 9 at night and Carina looked about ready to pass out; from tiredness or alcohol wasn't so sure. It was at that moment that Carina offered to buy the last round and then call it a night. Maya once again offered to pay but the brunette was quick to shut it down. "Let me get this one." She whispered and then patted Maya gently on the thigh. 

Carina made her way to the bar, this time the bar being less packed as it was, after all, still a weekday, and waiting until the bartender asked for her order. 

"You're one lucky women, you know that?" 

Sitting by the bar was the same women that had approached Maya a few hours earlier. 

"Excuse me?" Carina asked, confused by the statement. 

"The way she looks at you." The women slurred, not turning her head to look at the OB. "That sort of love is rare." The women uttered before taking her drink and walking towards a group of women at the far end of the bar. 

Carina stood shell shocked at the encounter and then turned around to face the table where Maya was sitting. As she did so, she made eye contact with the one women she was looking for; Maya. The blonde was staring at her and when they made eye contact, Maya gave her the warmest smile to which Catina reciprocated immediately. She felt her heart beat faster at the smile and she felt herself unable to look away. She knew in her heart that Maya loved her, she could feel it in the way she acted around her. 

"You okay?" Maya asked as they walked home from the bar. The temperature had dropped once again causing the air to become bitter and Carina, who wasn't use to the seattle weather hadn't dressed appropriately for the weather. 

"It's so cold." Carina uttered, her teeth chattering with every word spoken. 

Maya stopped in her tracks and began to take off her coat, "Here." She said while holding the coat out for Carina to put her arms through. Unlike Carina, Maya had prepared for the weather and was wearing a sweatshirt under her coat offering better protection from the chill. 

"What no, you'll be cold." Carina initially rejected the clothing but Maya refused to take no for an answer. 

"I'm not as sensitive to the Seattle air as you are. I'll be fine." She laughed softly as Carina instantly relaxed as the warmth took over her body. 

"Thank you." Carina smiled thankfully at the blonde thoughtfulness. They walked in silence for a few minutes before Carina took initiative and reached for the blondes hand. Outwardly, Maya didn't make a big deal out of the touch but on the inside she felt whole again. Just the simplest of gestures was enough to ease all the stress and worry that had been bestowed on her for the last few weeks. 

"You're welcome." 

"This one's on me." 

Maya reached across the small wooden table and grabbed for the wallet that contained their bill. 

The pair had met a few weeks back at Joe's bar but due to conflicting work schedules, when they meet up it was for one thing and one thing only so Maya had finally took the leap and invited Carina out on a date. The restaurant was a cozy, little, cafe in the middle of the city but despite the location, the place was relatively empty. The blonde was never much of a dater but something was different with Carina. There was an ease and lightness to her. She was easy to talk to and very perceptive, which kept Maya intrigued. 

A few days ago, Carina had walked into Maya's office with lunch for the pair but Maya panicked at how domesticated it felt and almost made the mistake of pushing the brunette away so as a sorry, Maya had invited her out on a date. Carina made her intentions clear before she said yes and Maya was happy to agree. She didn't want them to just be casual and neither did Maya. 

"Let's split it, it's only fair." Carina said while putting her hand over Maya's. 

"You can get the next one." Maya reasoned  hoping Carina would let her pay this time. 

"What makes you so confident there will be a next one." Carina teased. 

"Not confident; just hopeful." Maya laughed at the empty threat. 

After paying the bill, the pair put on their coats and headed towards Maya's car, thanking the staff as they went. 

The drive to Carina's apartment was mostly silent except from the low humming of the car radio. The silence was not awkward nor alarming but there was a sadness that hung in the air, Carina didn't want the night to end just yet but they both had early shifts in the morning so they agreed that Maya would drop her off home and then head to her own apartment. About half way home, Maya reached over and placed her hand on Carina's lower thigh and gave a gentle squeeze to which  Carina smiled at the ease of the gesture. When they met, Maya avoided non sexual intimacy so that she didn't give off the wrong impression and Carina never pushed her. At the time, she also was looking for a causal encounter but the more she got to know the firefighter the more she wanted something more. They had yet to talk about labels but as far as she was concerned, she wasn't interested in seeing anyone else and neither was Maya. 

"We're here." Maya whispered, pulling the brunette out of her thoughts. Carina looked out the window and was disappointed that their night was about to come to an end. 

"You want to come up." Carina asked. It wouldn't be the first time she had gone to work tired and she was sure it wouldn't be the last. 

Maya looked like she was considering it but quickly declined the offer, "Not tonight." She whispered, softly. It wasn't that she didn't want to, but she wanted to take things slowly. She already knew Carina on a physical level, now wanted to know her on a personal one. 

"When will I see you again." 

Carina decided that she wouldn't push the subject as she understood why the blonde was so hesitant. 

"Soon," the blonde answered with a smile. "Good night, Carina." 

"Guida sicura, bella." Carina replied while leaning over and pecking Maya firmly on the cheek. 

"Why are we stopping." Maya asked when Carina starting slowing down. They were almost home and Maya was in a hurry to get out of the cold. 

"No reason." 

Carina said while Maya still looked confused. This was the first memory that had felt clear to her. While she couldn't tell you the whys or how's, she knew that it was a turning point in her relationship with Maya. She thought about asking Maya about the date but she wanted to remember them herself. So instead of explaining, Carina pulled Maya into her body, giving Maya time to pull away if she wanted to. When she did not pull back, Carina lifted her hand and moved a fallen lock of golden hair to behind Maya's ear. Her hand then falling in to place on Maya's neck while her thumb gently caressed at the blonde's rosy cheek. 

"What are you doing?" Maya whispered, her voice catching in her throat as she gripped softly at the brunettes waist. 

"May I?" Carina asked as her eyes fell to the blondes lips. 

Instead of answering, Maya pulled the hips closer and gently pressed her body flush against the brunettes. She thought about making the first move but, ultimately, it was up to Carina how they proceeded so the blonde just stood there, her face an inch or so away from Carina's. 

Carina looked down at the blondes lips and moved in just a tiny but closer until her foreheads was resting on Maya's. Maya didn't dare move, instead soaking in the tiny bit of intimacy that Carina had shown. 

When it was clear that both women wanted the same thing, Carina made the move and very slightly pressed her lips against the blonde pursed ones...

Chapter Text

When it was clear that both women wanted the same thing, Carina made the move and very slightly pressed her lips against the blondes pursed ones. 

The kiss was tentative at first, both women too scared to deepen the kiss any further. There was a familiarity to it that both surprised and fueled Carina. It didn't feel like the first time, it felt like she had been doing this her whole life. 

Carina turned her head slightly, giving Maya the option to deepen the kiss if she wishes. The firefighter immediately takes the hint and decided to deepen the kiss earning a slight moan from the brunette in return.  

Carina found herself pulling the blonde in even closer to her body and gripped tightly at the shorter women's hips. She felt the body in her arms relax slightly but there was thought and care in every movement. Carina went to deepen the kiss even further, but as quick as it started, it was over. 

The brunette's joy quickly turned to fear and confusion as the blonde stepped back from the kiss and put some distance between their bodies. 

"You're drunk." Maya whispered. Not accusingly, more of an observation. When she smelled the alcohol that was lingering on the OBs lips, doubt began to consume her. 

"This isn't what this is, Maya." Carina clarified as she reached out a hand to stop the blonde from moving too far away from her. 

Maya relaxed at the touch but still felt the need to protect herself from getting hurt again so she kept the brunette at arms length. "I get it, Carina, it's been a long, emotional day..." 

"This is what I want, Maya." Carina whispered, her hand reaching to stroke the shorter women's cheek, "You are what I want." Carina spoke with nothing but certainty, hoping her words would ease the doubt that was written all over the blonde's face. 

"You don't know me." The blonde shrugged sadly, looking down at the pavement under her feet. "Not really, anyway." 

"I know enough," Carina stated. "Your loyalty, your devotion, your bravery; I know you." Carina listed. Despise only knowing the firefighter for a short amount of time, Carina knew exactly who Maya was. 

"Carina..." Maya whispered, her voice weak yet determined.  "I can't let you do this and then regret it in the morning. I don't have it in me. This right here," She gestured between them, "is all I have wanted since..." Since the accident. 

"You told me today; this fear shouldn't stop me from living. The same applies to you. It's a very real probability that I will never fully get my memories back. I can't live, waiting for the inevitable. We can't live like that." 

Maya looked like she wanted to argue but she was holding back and Carina noticed it immediately. She knew Maya well enough to tell when she was overthinking but, Carina also knew that pushing her, wouldn't get her to reveal anything. So the brunette stayed silent while the blonde processed what she was thinking. 

"Maya..." Carina whispered, her body aching at the sight of the blonde looking so broken, "What are you so afraid of?" Carina asked curiously. Maya's concerns were valid and she will treat them that way. The only thing she can do is try to ease them. 

"I'm worried that you'll wake up tomorrow and realise this was a mistake." Maya revealed, the whole time not making eye contact with her lover. "I'm afraid that you will change your mind and go with Gabriella to Italy and I'll never get to see you again. I'm scared that you think that being with me, loving me, will make help you recover your memories but what if-" 

"What can I do to reassure you that that won't happen?" Carina wanted nothing more than to reach out and comfort the distress women but right now, the blonde needed words and actions. "My life is here; with you. Not in Italy, not with Gabriella; with you. Maya, I'm sure I'll make a few mistakes along the way and I'm also sure it won't be easy. But, I have to try. I might not remember what we had but I feel it; I feel it whenever you look at me. I can't give up on that." 

Maya wanted to believe the words that Carina was saying but with all the hurt she was holding on to, it was hard to let it go. 

"I understand why you are hesitant, Maya." Carina whispered. She wanted the blonde to know that she understood the fears that Maya had listed to her. "I understand why you might think I'm being rash but, this isn't something I'm taking lightly. My feeling won't change. I won't hurt you, Maya." 

"Are you sure I am what you want?" For the first time, Maya felt sincerity in the words. "This is your out, Carina." 

"I've never been more sure of anything." Carina said sincerely while holding out her hand for the blonde to take. 

Maya paused before taking Carina's hand. This was the moment that Maya had to knock the walls down and let herself live without fear. Was it a risk? Sure; but to live a life with Carina, the risk was worth taking. 

"Let's go home," Maya whispered. For the first time in a long time she truly believed they would be okay. 

"Let's." Carina smiled as she watched Maya's shoulders untense for the first time in weeks. She knew that it was going to take a while before Maya truly trusted her not to leave but she will do whatever it takes to reassure her. 

When the pair returned home, Carina decided to hop in the shower and change for the evening ahead. She knew that Maya needed a moment alone and the brunette was more than happy to give her that time. 

They hadn't spoke a word to eachother on the way home which had the brunette worried but Maya had held her hand every step of the way. 

Once Carina had walked into the bathroom, Maya took the time she had on her own to reflect on what transpired this evening. Overall, Maya was over the moon with the progression. She never expected Carina to stay, she had hoped, but not expected. 

Maya made her way to the bedroom and too, changed into nightwear. It was just before 11pm and she was about ready to call it a night. She then sat on the edge of the bed and flinched when her leg hit something cold on the floor. She looked down and panicked when she realised it was something she had been working on for Diane. She picked up the small object, admired it and then placed it under the pillow behind her. She was unsure wether she wanted to share it with the brunette or not but after the recent events, she was edging more towards yes. 

Ten minutes later, the firefighter heard the shower turn off and prepared herself for when Carina walked out. 

Maya smiled, as Carina entered the bedroom. Her body was covered in a pair of Maya's old pyjamas and her hair was wrapped neatly in a hair towel. "Hey," Carina said warmly before grabbing a bottle of moisturiser from the bedside table. Maya put down the book she was reading greeting the brunette in kind. 

"I have something for you," the blonde announced out of the blue. "I started this this morning so its not finished yet. I didn't plan for you to ever see this but..." Maya took a deep breath before inviting Carina to come sit with her. 

"Oh, yeah?" Carina smiled as she sat on the bed opposite Maya. 

"I know you're worried about your memories so I thought," Maya reached under one of the pillows and pulled out a glass Mason Jar that was half-full with tightly wound pieces of paper. "Whenever you feel overwhelmed, you open this and written on each piece of paper is a date or event that is significant to us." Diane had suggested the idea as a means for Maya to heal; To remember why she was fighting so hard for her and her wife. The idea seemed a little ridiculous at first but once she started writing, it was hard for her to stop. She had never planned for anyone to ever see the jar but now, Carina needed it more than ever. "Whatever date you get, ask me about it and I'll tell you whatever you want to know." 

"Maya..." Carina was lost for words. "You didn't have to do this." 

"I wanted to." Maya smiled as Carina admired the glass jar. "Think of it as a 'remember me' jar." 

"Can I open it?" The brunette asked, her fingertips already tightening around the cap. 

"You may." Maya answered as she moved so her body was behind the brunettes. She wanted to be able to see the paper as Carina unwrapped it. 

The brunette pulled out one of the little scrolls and held it out for both of them to see; "04.02.20?" Carina looked at the blonde hoping for clarification to which the blonde just smiled, remembering the date fondly. 

"It was the date of our very first vacation." Maya smiled softly. While it might seem insignificant to anyone else, taking time off work to relax was a big deal to the blonde. 

"Maya Bishop on vacation?" The brunette teased. It was no secret at all that work was the main priority in the blonde's life so the thought of her taking time off for herself shocked her a little. "So you do know how to relax." 

"Relax is too strong a word." Maya teased. "You're the first people I've ever met where the thought of a vacation actually seemed relaxing." 

Carina leaned back so her shoulders were resting gently against Maya's chest. The blonde repositioned to take the weight and took a deep breath before retelling the story of their first vacation... 

Maya had just gotten of the phone with her team and after hearing the reports of a four alarm fire, Maya began to panic. She had been captain for less that 3 months and this was the first four alarm call within that time. Not only would her not being present reflect badly on her to the chief but if anything happened to one of her crew while she wasn't there, she would never forgive herself for it. 

"Eyes only on me." Carina appeared infront of her but Maya could barely focus.  "Breathe." Carina kept repeating until Maya started to calm down. "Good." 

"I'm sorry." Maya whispered, a little embarrassed by the attack. She had yet to show Carina this side of her and was worried about how she would respond. 

"Don't apologise to me." Carina reassured. "I understand you want to be there. But, Maya, there's nothing you can do from here." 

"It's my team. I should be there." Maya reasoned. Her whole body still feeling stiff at the thought. She knew Carina was right but it didn't make it any easier to take. 

"If they need you; they will call and we will head straight back to Seattle." Carina gently rested her hand on the side of Maya's face hoping that the promise would ease some of the worry. Carina knew how passionate Maya was in her profession and if driving the 8 hours back to Seattle would ease that tension then that's what she'll do. 

"Thank you." Maya said sincerely. At first, she thought Carina would be mad at her for ruining the last day they had here but Carina was nothing but understanding which shocked her a little. They had agreed to not talk about work while they were here but it is all Maya could think about. "I didn't mean to ruin-" 

"Hey," The brunette knew exactly what Maya was going to say so she didn't allow the blonde to finish. "You haven't ruined anything." Carina was still kneeling down in front of her so she made it clear that she wasn't at all mad at her. "You're passionate and driven; I lo- like that about you." 

Both women took note at the word that almost slipped out but neither was brave enough to address it. Their feelings were clear as day but they hadn't even spoke about being official yet so declarations of love were certainly off the table. "Even today?" Maya asked softly. 

"Especially today." Carina stated before sitting next to Maya on the queen-sized bed, "Plus, I know what it's like. Amelia might be in labour and I promised her I would be there to deliver." The blonde could hear the slight guilt that laced the brunette's voice even though she didn't outwardly show it. 

"I'm sure she'll forgive you." Maya smiled and then grabbed the hand that had found it's way on to her knee. 

"You clearly don't know Dr Shepard very well." The brunette teased despite knowing Maya was right. Ameila was the first one to encourage Carina to go with the firefighter. 

"We should change that." Maya said hesitantly. They hadn't spoke about meeting friends and family yet and Maya was afraid to approach the idea but it was time. Travis and Vic had been teasing her tremendously about her 'fake' Italian girlfriend. 

"Yeah?" Carina was surprised by the suggestion. Maya had never seemed interested in meeting any of her friends as she wanted to keep their relationship under wraps. 

"Yeah. I'm mean, it's only fair. The station is dying to meet you." The blonde shrugged like it was no big deal to which Carina beamed. 

"Let's make it happen. But, for now..." Carina grabbed the robe from Maya shoulder and began to pull; clearing suggesting what her intentions were, "where were we?" The brunette leaned down and placed soft kissed from the bottom of the blondes ear to the top on the blondes shoulderblade... 

"It was at time that I realised I had fell in love with you." Maya whispered, placing a soft kiss behind the brunette ear. 

"Really?" Carina asked, embracing the intimate contact. 

If Maya really thought about it, she loved her long before that but it was at that moment she let herself truly feel it. Like most things in life, Maya weighed out the pros and cons of love and had long ago decided it wasnt for her. The expectations? the dedication? She didn't have the time. That was until a certain, brunette, Italian doctor walked into her life. 

"Yeah. You saw me for who I was and loved me because of it, not in spite of it." Maya knew she was flawed; she had been told it here whole life but Carina never made her feel any less worthy of her love. 

"And you loved me the same." Carina stated. Maya looked confused at the statement so Carina continued, "I'm stubborn, hot-headed, sometimes unreasonable; we all have our issues but they're the things that make you uniquely you." 

"Hot headed? You?" Maya teased while breathing in the moment of having her wife back in her arms. "Never." 

"Always have been; always will be." The brunette stated. 

"Do you want to open another one?" The blonde asked while looking at the jar that sat horizontal in Carina lap. 

"Not yet. I want to save them for when I need them." The OB announced. She then turned her body so she was facing the blonde and admired the beauty of this moment. As scary as the commitment was, she knew she had done the right thing. Not only for herself, but for Maya aswell. There were moments In the beginning when all she wanted to do was run but there was a pull that kept her here. Maya. Maya was that pull. And if one thing was for certain, nothing was going to keep them apart. 

Chapter Text

 

-

1 Year Later. 

In all her 33 years on this earth, Maya really had experienced it all. Pain, success, loss, failure, joy, and most importantly, Maya had finally found the love she never truly believed she deserved. That true undying, forever type of love. 

That love was Carina. 

Maya had never believed in the whole soulmate thing that everyone dreamed about, but if she did, Carina would be hers. That, she has no doubt. For she knows, no matter what happens in this life, they willl always be connected to eachother. They would always find eachother. Their love is inevitable. 

"Carina, are you ready?" Gabriella called out. "We are going to be late." The Italian yelled in annoyance. 

Carina walked out of the bedroom, grabbed her coat of the back of the couch and then sat down to put on her boots. 

"Almost." Carina stated while looking around the apartment one last time, making sure she hadn't forgotten anything important. Everything she needed had been packed the night before but you can never be too cautious. 

When she was sure she was ready to go, Carina picked up her luggage and headed towards the door, Gabriella following behind her. 

"You sure about this?" Andy asked softly from behind her blonde best friend. They were currently standing on the lawn of small town house that wasn't too far from the station. Maya had brought her along as a second opinion but she already knew Maya had decided. 

The realtor was standing next to their car while speaking enthusiasticly with whoever was on the other end of the call. 

"I've never been more sure of anything." Maya smiled excitedly. 

"Fresh start?" Andy stated, the excitement radiating from the blonde was contagious. 

"Fresh start." 

"I'm proud of you, Maya." 

"Yeah, me too." 

For all that they had been through together, Maya couldn't imagine her life without Andy. Even through the difficult times, Andy always had her best interest at heart and that's all she could as for in a companion. 

"We should head out." Andy suggested while checking her watch. "Wouldn't want to be late." 

"Last chance to back out." Gabriella stated, seriously. 

Carina, who was busy applying her mascara, didn't appreciate the comment made by the Italian, "You're the least helpful person I know, you know that?" 

"Si, just doing my best-friend duties." Gabriella stated softly. "You look beautiful, Carina." The taller women stated as Carina stood from her chair and walked towards the floor length mirror. 

"You sure?" Carina asked, shyly. The brunette was wearing a blush-coloured maxi dress that elegantly wrapped around her slender form. Her lushous brunette hair fell in waves around her face and her make-up was simple but striking. "You think Maya will like it?" 

"She'll love it. Maya is one lucky women." Gabriella reached out her hands and placed them gently on the arms of her dearest friend. "I'm glad I'm here this time around." The Italian stated before leaning in and placing a loving kiss on her cheek. 

"Me too, Gabriella." Carina responded in kind. With Andrea no longer with us, Gabriella is probably to closest thing she had to family. 

"Let's hope this one ends better than the last one." Andy teased once she had finished straightening Mayas blonde hair. 

The blonde cringed at the reminder of that unfortunate event but laughed softly at the joke. 

"Nothing could bring me down today." Maya stated honestly. 

"It's almost time," Andy smiled at the blonde through the reflection in the mirror infront of them. 

"How do I look?" Maya asked while flattening out the imaginary creases from her black dress pants. 

"Like a million bucks." 

Maya had opted this time around that she would wear a tight-fitted pants suit with and neatly pressed white shirt instead of a dress. Her wavy shoulder length hair was now straightened and the heels she was wearing added an extra feel inches to her height. 

"You ready?" Andy asked softly while lifting her elbow for Maya to link on to. 

"Let's do this." 

The walk from her office to the barn was a short one but to Maya, it felt too long. Carina and Maya had decided to spend the night apart to follow the age-old tradition of not seeing eachother before the big day. Carina was super excited about it but the past 24 hours had been agonising for the blonde. They were use to spending time apart but Maya always had other things to distract her from missing her. Not that she would ever admit it outloud but Maya hated not being around Carina. Maybe it was fear; she doesn't know. 

She waiting with Andy by the entrance for her cue and as soon as the soft melody of their song began to play, Maya stepped through the door. 

On either side of the barn, half a dozen rows of chairs, the majority empty, filled the floor until they faded off where Ben was standing at the end in a light grey suit. While the decorations were sparse, the love in the room was evident.

Vic, Travis, Emmett and Jack were standing up, camera's in hand, smiling at the blushing bride. While Bailey, Jo, Teddy and Amelia stood on the opposite side with wide, proud smiles on their faces. 

As she walked through the door, the blonde was greeted by the sight of little Pru Miller wearing a blush coloured dress, holding a small basket of flowers in her hand. "You look like a princess." Maya whispered while grabbing the tiny hand that was offered to her. It was clear to all that the little girl was nervous but she put on her bravest face and began to walk ahead of the duo. 

Once she reached the end of the make-shift aisle, Maya bent over to kiss her little bridesmaid on the cheek and then stood tall, waiting in anticipation for Carina. 

She didn't have to wait long before Carina appeared with Gabirella by her side. In front of them walked Scout Lincoln wearing a tiny light grey suit looking extremely uncomfortable at all the people looking at him. 

Maya could not take her eyes off her soon to be wife. She was, like always, a vision of beauty. 

A tear welled up in the blonde's eye at the sight. This was almost taken from her, and for that, the sight was even more beautiful. 

"Hey," Maya whispered when Carina reached her. 

"Hi." Carina smiled, shyly. "You look..." 

"...Stunning." They said at the same time. 

"You ready?" Ben whispered, before waiting for confirmation. He received a nod of the head from the blonde by the women didn't take her eyes of the brunette. 

"Maya," Ben started off. "Would you like to start with the vows." 

"Carina," Maya said before grabbing for the hands of her lover, "if this past year has taught me anything, it's that no matter how much we plan or prepare, tomorrow is never guaranteed. My father always told me, 'eyes forward', and all my life, I've followed that mantra without question or thought. But, in doing so, I've never slowed down enough to clearly see what was happening around me. That was until I met you. You taught me to live in the present and to take each day, one step at a time. And, most importantly, to enjoy it. You have taught me that life was for living. Life before you, wasn't living; I was solely existing. I never understood why so many people yearn for love, but now, with you; I understand why. So, if I can promise you anything, I'll love you, care for you and cherish you, fully and completely until my very last day on this earth." 

Carina gently grabbed for Mayas cheek and softly wiped away the tear that had fallen while she was speaking. 

"Carina." Ben smiled at the brunette to let her know it was her turn to say her vows. 

"Maya, there is only two people in this world that I've loved unconditionally. Andrea; and you." Carina took a shaky breath as she mentioned her baby brother. "I may not remember what we had before but what we have now is... wonderful and so very beautiful. All my life I thought home was place, but now I know, home is a person. You're my home Maya. You'll always be my home. I'll love you, care for you and protect you; for as long as I live. Without question or doubt. You saved me, Maya. In more ways than you will ever know." 

Maya was speechless and humbled by the words spoken to her. She knew Carina loved her, she showed it every day but, to hear just how much she loved her, especially after everything that happened, was overwhelming. 

"Maya Bishop, do you take, Carina Deluca to be your wife?" 

"I do." 

"And do you, Carina Deluca, take Maya Bishop, to be your wife?" 

"I do." 

"I now pronounce you, wife and wife. You may kiss your bride." 

The celebration, while short, was filled with nothing by joy and love for the pair. With everything that had happened, it was evident to all that knew them that true love will always succeed. 

"Can I have this dance?" Maya looked up from her conversation with Miranda and Jo to see Gabriella standing by the side of her, holding out her hand for Maya to take. 

"Of course," Maya smiled and then excused herself from the table. 

"Welcome to the family." Gabriella whispered as she spun her around then pulled her into her body. Over the last year, Maya had enjoyed getting to know the Italian better and she would actually consider them friends. 

"Haven't I always been?" Maya asked nervously but kept a smile on her face the whole time. 

"Not officially." Gabriella had a look on her face that Maya couldn't quite place. "I always thought you would break her heart." She whispered honestly. "But, with the way you were with her after..." Gabriella welled up at the thought. "I couldn't imagine someone I trust more with her heart. All you ever want for the people you love is someone who worries and cares as much as you do. You would die for her, I see that now." 

"In a heartbeat." Maya said honestly. She then looked over at her wife and laughed as Carina gently lifted little Pru in her arms and spun her around causing the little girl to scream in excitement. They had never really spoken about children but there is nothing she would love more than seeing the same excitement on their own children's face. 

"Excuse me a moment." Maya said politely before heading over to her wife. "Can I steal you for a moment?" 

"Sure?" Carina announced while handing Pru off to Amelia who was dancing with Scout. "Where are we going?" The brunette asked as Maya led her towards the exit. 

"Just come with me." Maya grabbed Carinas hand and led her towards their car. "I have a surprise for you." 

They drove silently towards their destination, Carina excited and intrigued; Maya excited yet nervous. 

It was a few minutes later when Maya pulled up on the side of the road. "We're here." Maya announced before leaving the car and heading around to open Carinas door. 

"In the middle of nowhere?" Carina mocked gently. 

"No," Maya laughed. She then stopped on the walkway. "Our new home." 

"Wait, what?" Carina looked at the house infront of her in amazement. 

"I wanted to start fresh, in a place that is ours. I know living in that apartment is a constant reminder of what you've lost so, I thought we could make some new memories rather than focus on the old ones. Here, we can start planning for the future. It has three bedrooms, a back yard..." Maya began to list off all the perks of the house. 

"Maya..." Carina uttered. "You love you're apartment." 

"It shouldn't be mine. It should be ours." Maya exaggerated. Carina had always called it Mayas apartment and the thought didn't sit well with her.

Maya watched the brunette for any sort of reaction but the lack of one filled Maya with doubt "Did I overstep? I should have asked first-" 

"No, Maya. I just can't belive you did all this for me." Carina reassured quickly. 

"For us." Maya corrected. "I want a family, a dog... a place for us to grow old together." Maya explained. "Do you want to see inside?" 

"Lead the way." Carina said excitedly. 

5 Years Later. 

"And then they lived happily ever after." Maya smiled softly as she looked down at her daughter who was fighting sleep. 

"Mommy?" The little brunette whispered as she felt her mother leaving. 

"Yes, bella?" The blonde laughed softly as she gently moved the little girls curly hair away from her cheek and pressed a loving kiss against her forehead. This wasn't unusual for Gio. No matter how tired she was, Gio would always find any reason not to sleep. 

"Will I marry a princess one day?" Gio asked innocently, her eyes now shut. 

"Of course you will bambina." Carina whispered from the door way. She had been admiring the mother and daughter for the last few minutes. "Or a prince." She said as she laid down on the other side of thier daughter. "And you'll live you're very own happy ever after." 

"Is mommy your princess?" The little girl asked sleepily, before turning and snuggling into her mama's stomach. 

"Yes, she is." Carina answered, her eyes never leaving the eyes of her wife.