It’s been about two months since the pipeline explosion. Two months since Miller died. Two months since one day changed the stations’s entire life’s.
The first two weeks were especially hard on everybody. The wound Dean Miller left still fresh in their souls. Not to mention the little girl he left behind.
After Vic got released from the hospital again and the funeral was held, things have been tense for another two weeks until the team felt like breathing got easier.
And now, two months later, the wound still stung but they get around their days. Vic is working again, Maya heard from Andy that Captain Aquino is well too, Carina and Jack even got their idea about the clinic around again.
It’s a Wednesday and Maya’s shift has just ended. She’s on her way home to Carina and looks forward to a date night they have planed the weekend before. They weren’t able to celebrate their one year marriage anniversary the way they wanted to, so Maya thought it’s only clever to do it now.
Now, when everything feels okay again.
The air is cold and heavy, expected from a January night, and the blonde firefighter is glad when she unlocks the door to her apartment. The familiar aroma of carbonara fills her nostril the second she steps foot in. A heavy sigh escapes her lips and she smiles at the thoughtful gesture of her wife.
Maya sees her, briefly, dancing around their kitchen island with an apron on and hair tied into an elegant braid. She hums to the song that’s playing, unfamiliar to Maya but so very known to Carina. Her hips swing, her arms shoot up. Feet tap in a perfect rhythm.
All Maya thinks is that she wants to come home to this all the time.
She gets even more excited now, even more thrilled to tell her wife about the amazing day she just had. Her feet walk faster than she notices and in six big steps she has her arms wrapped around the thin frame of the person she calls home. The brunette yelps in surprise, as she didn’t hear Maya come in, but relaxes against her wife’s strong arms and melts when Maya gives her a light kiss on the cheek.
“Hello.” Maya’s voice is a little raspy from all the yelling she had to do as Captain Beckett is under investigation for disobeying the chief, but it’s welcome and all too familiar to Carina.
“Ciao, Bambina. I thought you’d be home earlier.” That is true. Maya’s shift was supposed to be over an hour ago, but she got caught up on paper work, then someone from the station needed her to go over a report and she forgot the time.
“I’m sorry, got caught up at work.” The brunettes body tenses for the littlest of seconds, so Maya furrows her eyebrows, but as soon as she wants to ask about it Carina relaxes again and lifts up a spoon for Maya to taste.
The mixture of parmesan and Italian spices fill her mouth and she lets out a delighted moan.
“This is amazing. I’m gonna change real quick and then I’ll help set the table.” She expresses, then kisses Carinas cheek once more before she disappears into their bedroom.
Carina, though, stays put on her place in front of the stoves and tries to control her breathing. Ever since their friend died, the possibility of Maya not coming home to her is stuck right at the front of her mind. That Maya will die at a scene and she doesn’t get to say goodbye. That the last thing she told her isn’t ‘I love you’.
Ever since Miller died she made sure to tell Maya she loves her whenever she leaves the house.
It’s not the first time Maya comes home later than she should, but each times she does, Carina’s whole body is filled with an uneasy electricity. Her nerves are making her move around because sitting still doesn’t make Maya come home faster. She feels useful when she moves, so she cooks, or cleans, or dances until Maya is back. Safe in her arms. Safe in their home. She hasn’t talked to her about it, feels selfish to even think it when one of her brothers just died and Maya needs to take on more responsibilities than before.
Carina knows Emmet has talked to Travis about it, as the two of them keep each other updated on gossip and their respective spouses, but she also knows that Travis didn’t take it well, so there is this possibility of it resolving into a fight and that is the last thing she wants.
The creek of the bedroom door opening pulls the doctor out of her mind and she turns to see Maya coming her way. It’s the first time she lays eyes on Maya since she got home and her eyes immediately catch onto the large bandage over her eyebrow and the dark purple bruise around the left side of her chin.
Carina gasps and let’s the spoon fall into the carbonara.
“You’re hurt.” She states and turns her whole body so she’s facing Maya completely. Her posture is a little stif, maybe even sore. Blue eyes that are usually filled with happiness are dull and tired, intense circles under her eyes.
“Oh yeah, it happened on a call we had in the afternoon.” Maya begins to explain, moves knowingly around the kitchen as if being hurt wasn’t something unusual. “I yelled out orders and this big, tall man decided he didn’t like the way I spoke to him. Turns out he has some anger issues he’s being treated for. He threw a ball at me and I crushed into the engine. It’s no big deal.”
Carina watches Maya’s mouth move but she fails to register the words that come out. All she knows is that Maya is hurt, in pain even, and she didn’t know.
She didn’t know.
Her wife got hurt and she didn’t know.
She sees red and continues to watch Maya talk about her day, excited gestures as she sets their dinner table. The blonde moves around as if she wasn’t hurt and that doesn’t stop the tightening in Carinas chest. She can’t concentrate, she can’t breath properly, her eyes struggle to stay open. She’s completely still though, if it wasn’t for the rapid rising of her chest, one could think she froze to a sculpture of shock and anxiety.
Unfocused eyes see Maya turning towards her again, beeping ears hear her come to a stop and she reaches out before she knows what she is doing.
“You’re hurt.” Is all that leaves her mouth when she catches Maya’s wrist to stop her fast movements. The blonde shrugs, shakes of the concern and continues to move closer.
“Yeah, I told you it’s nothing. Just a little cut.”
Carina doesn’t answer. Instead, she moves to take the bandage of and sees two stitches under it.
All air is knocked out her lungs.
“There are stitches Maya, this is not nothing!” Her voice is unsteady when she moves to the cabinet and searches for a fresh bandage. She knows there aren’t any, as she moved them to the bathroom recently, but the brunette needs something to ease the stinging in in her chest. She moves her hands, lifts up sharp objects, tries to steady her breath and shaking hands.
Maya got hurt on the job.
Maya got hurt and didn’t tell her.
Maya doesn’t thinks it’s a big deal.
How can she think it’s no big deal?
It’s too much for Carina. She hears the blonde’s faint voice that tells her to stop and to look at her, but she doesn’t listen. She doesn’t listen, isn’t registering the sharp object in the drawer until it cuts right from her thumb nail down to the base of her finger.
It’s too much.
She runs towards their bedroom, sprints into the connected bathroom and closes the door quietly as to not startle Maya, locks it and sinks down in the shower. Tears flow down her cheeks like leaves fall down a tree in autumn. She breathes heavily, can’t get enough air into her lungs to fill her body. The cut on her hand stings but that’s the last thing she notices while she tries to work though her anxiety attack.
When Carina cut her hand and ran to the bathroom without any words said, Maya can’t help but feel for her. She knows Carina has been extra carefully around her, tens when she comes home late, but they manage to work through it all the time. But now, with the beginning of what clearly looks like an anxiety attack to Maya, she’s worried about her wife. She runs after her, sees Carina closes the door and tries the knob, but it won’t turn. Carina locked herself, bleeding and barely breathing.
Maya feels her own panic rise inside of her.
“Carina!” She calls, desperate for her wife to open the door, but all she receives are shallowed breaths and whimpers of pain. “Carina please open the door!”
Nothing. She tries again, knocks helplessly against the wooden door, but Carina continues to stay put and doesn’t open. She feels blood dripping down her arm, onto her leg or tiles of the shower but all she can think about is that Maya got hurt and she didn‘t know.
She didn’t fucking know!
What if next time it isn’t just a cut on the forehead, but a stab wound to her abdomen. What if next time, Maya didn’t only get crushed into the engine, but died after a house exploded.
All the what if’s run through her head and she can’t get herself to think clearly.
To breath evenly.
To behave correctly.
It’s by far not the first attack she has. No, she’s had many, even began taking medication for it when she started medical school. Her father used to scold her for it when she had one, so she learned to take even breaths, focus on one thing in front of her, but she can’t for the love of god calm down.
“Non riesco a respirare.” She calls out but Maya’s Italian isn’t good enough for her to understand.
“Carina I… I don’t know what you’re saying. Please open the door. Please.” Maya’s begging fills the rooms but Carina can’t do it. She can’t do anything.
“Non riesco a muovermi, Maya. Non ci riesco.”
Maya’s mind races, she doesn’t know what to do. Her wife’s helpless cries run through her head but she can’t understand a word she is saying. She does the only logical thing.
“Move away from the door. I’m gonna kick it in.” The blonde waits a few seconds until she’s sure Carina can’t possibly be in front of the door, takes several steps back, then crushes against the door until it opens.
Thanks god she is a firefighter.
The sight in front of her breaks a her heart into a million little pieces. Carina sits there, against the shower walls, a pool of blood around her, gasping for air. Her face is red and puffy, filled with so much pain Maya doesn’t know how she is capable of feeling it from several feet of distance.
It doesn’t take long for her to crouch down in front of Carinas heaving body. Maya wraps her arms around her, tightens her grip when she feels the brunette cling to her shirt like her life depends on it. She rubs a hand up and down the doctors back, tries to give her some of the comfort she probably lacked on before.
It stings and hurts, to see Carina like that.
“It’s okay, I got you. I got you, I’m here.” She whispers in soothing tones, variations of those three phrases filling the shower until Carinas chest doesn’t hurt anymore when she’s breathing. She’s still sobbing, angry tears running down her face and landing inside the pool of blood that’s been building on the floor. Her left hand hurts, a reminder of what happened only five minuets ago, but she continues to cling to Maya’s soft shirt until her hands shake from the strength she’s mustering rather than the pain radiating through her body.
“Mi dispiace.” She whimper against heated skin, but Maya assured her everything is alright. So she loses her grip the tiniest bit and slumps completely against the strong body awaiting her.
“It’s okay, it’s okay.” Maya repeats it like a mantra to the point where words flow out of her mouth without her noticing.
“No, it’s not. I… I- I’m sorry.” Words are whispered as Carina falls back against the shower wall, eyes puffy and vision blurry from all the crying she as done. She feels relieved, sort of, to have it all out now, but knows there’s a talk awaiting her now.
“Hey, what are you apologizing for? It’s okay, it happens.” The brunette shakes her head heavily, receiving pain from the headache that built up.
She feels Maya’s body move, so she reaches up again, whispers “don’t leave me.” Like a curse that follows her through a terrible nightmare.
In a way it is, she remarks.
“I’m just going to turn on the shower. I’m not going anywhere.” It’s a promise filled with more promises, the words sticking to Carinas skin like they did when she first heard them after Andrea died. And Maya holds her promise when the water has reached the perfect temperature and she is back to holding Carina, tuck her under the stream while also removing both of their clothing. When they’re naked and only droplets of water separate them, Maya moves so that Carinas back is against her front and she leans them away from the blood that’s going down the drain. Her hands come to rest around her wife’s shoulder, Carina’s hands holding on to her tight. She encourages her to speak with silent caresses and soft kisses.
“You didn’t call.”
“You didn’t call. After you got hurt. Or when you got stuck at the station. I was worried.” Her raspy voice is barely loud enough to cover the water but Maya hears her anyway and it breaks the pieces of her heart into more and more with each word that Carina speaks.
“I’m afraid you won’t come home to me at the end of the day. I- I’ve been living with it since we got together but ever since Dean died I can’t wrap my brain around anything but the possibility of you never coming home again. It scares me and it gives me nightmares. Sometimes when you’re working overnight and I can’t feel you next to me I get all scared until I remember you’re just at the station.” Carina takes a deep breath, the emotion overwhelming her in every possible way. “I can’t loose you, Maya. You’re the only family I have left. I can’t loose you.” She starts to cry again, but this time Maya is there to catch her.
The blonde has been so caught up in her own grief that she didn’t notice what it took from her wife. She doesn’t blame her for bottling it all up, she did the same once, but it pains to think Carina went through all of this alone. Maya knows Carina needs her now, though, so she does the only thing she can think of and comforts her in a way only she knows.
“I’m sorry. I promise I’ll come home to you, everyday. And if I don’t, remember that I fought to come home, for you. Everything I do, I do it for you.” The promise is sealed with a kiss to Carinas head and nodding of her own.
It’s going to be okay.
They are going to be okay.