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"What happened to your hair?"

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“What happened to your hair?" Carina hadn't realized how much shorter Maya's hair was until they kissed and her hand went to the back of the other girls head. So after a couple more kisses and Teddy mumbling something about leaving them alone she couldn't hold back the question any longer. She had meant it as a joke, but seeing the pain in Maya's eyes, even as she tried to laugh along, Carina suddenly realized that this haircut was probably related to whatever had caused Maya to come to terms with being abused by her father.

"Ok, let's go sit down," Carina said more seriously again and pointed to a bench further away from the coffee cart and the people around it. She would have preferred to go to her office, but didn't want to risk meeting anyone on their way there. So, a remote bench would have to do.

They sat down and Carina immediately folded one leg up on the seat so she was facing Maya directly, and grabbed her hands to urge Maya to look at her. The look in Maya's eyes made Carina want to pull her into a hug instantly. However, she needed the blonde to talk to her, so she gave her the most compassionate look she could and asked again.
"What happened?"

Maya's eyes filled with tears again, but not like those that had surfaced when Carina had said I love you. These tears were filled with grief and Carina was almost relieved that Maya dropped her gaze, because the hurt in Maya's eyes was breaking her heart. They were both still grasping each other's hands and Carina gave a little squeeze to try and show her support while Maya took a few deep breaths.

"He came to see me at work today," Maya almost whispered while still staring at the ground. Then she cleared her throat and looked up with a more determined look in her eyes. "I wasn't happy to see him." Carina wasn't sure if this was something she had noticed at the moment or if she had thought about it afterwards, but she didn't want to ask questions right now so she just waited, ready to listen to whatever Maya wanted to say.

"I know that's probably not a surprise to you," Maya gave a half smile. Trying to lighten the mood a bit. "But, you know, it was for me. And I thought at first it was just because it reminded me of my parents splitting up or something. But yeah. I thought about it, and seeing my dad has always been... I don't know." Maya looked up and behind Carina thinking how to phrase her feelings into words. Carina just kept holding her hands and waited. She could imagine what Maya was trying to say, because she never knew how to greet her own dad until she knew what mood he was in, but she didn't want to put words in Maya's mouth. Even though there might be similarity between their dads they were not the same.

"I just never knew whether he would be pleased with me or not." Maya continued after a while. "It became so natural to me, I think. I would always wait and see what he would say first before I did anything. I didn't even know I was doing that." Maya looked back into Carina's eyes. "Does that make sense?" The italian just nodded. "But today I didn't have time for that, because we were being called out. Which made me sit and think about it in the truck on the way to the scene. I just couldn't figure out what mood he was in and what he was doing there." Maya shook her head, seemingly at herself, and a piece of her hair came loose from behind her ear. "I didn't even notice I was doing it at first."

Carina smiled at her, and let go of one of Maya's hands to tuck the piece of hair behind her ear again. When she looked back into Maya's eyes, after focusing on her hair for a moment, there was so much love in them that Carina forgot how to breath for a second.

"Do you like it?" Carina had never heard the fire captain sound so shy, and it made her smile and put her hand underneath the other girls chin. Looking directly into those gorgeous blue eyes.
"You're beautiful." Maya sighed and leaned her forehead against the italian's. After staying in that position and drawing strength from each other for a few moments, Carina discerned that Maya needed some prompting to keep talking. "So, what made you cut it?" This compelled Maya to pull away again, but she kept her gaze down and seemed to be looking at their hands, fidgeting a little bit with Carina's fingers.

"He pulled it." Her voice was almost back to a whisper again, so Carina was not sure what she heard, or what that meant. "What?" Maya looked up with a small smile, clearly understanding the doctor's confusion. So, she elaborated.

"He came to scene and tried to order me around. He even went under the tape." Maya sighed. "So I told him off and when I turned around to leave, he grabbed my ponytail to stop me." Carina felt her jaw drop. "It didn't hurt too much 'cause I stopped the moment I felt him grab it, and the guys around me reacted and grabbed him, but yeah... It sucked."

"I'm so sorry," Carina didn't know what else to say.

"So, yeah," Maya continued. "We finished at the scene. And when we got back to the station I just cut it off." She shrugged. Carina just nodded and finally pulled Maya into an embrace and felt the blonde melt into it. Neither one of them knowing how long they sat like that, Carina stroking Maya's back as she felt silent tears fall on her shoulder, until the doctor's phone made a sound.

"Oh, fuck," Carina pulled away and checked her phone. She had honestly forgotten that she was still at work. Teddy must have let her resident of the day know that she was busy since no one had called her before now. "I'm so sorry, bella," Carina looked up from her phone and lifted her hand to stroke a few tears from Maya's cheeks. "I have to go. I have a couple of hours left of my shift. Do you want to come inside and wait in my office?" Maya grabbed her hand that was on her cheek, and rested her head against it while slightly shaking her head. "I think I'll just go home. I should probably call my mom."

Carina nodded. "I get that. Do you want me to come over after work?"
Maya's eyes glistened at that. However, she was uncertain if she could accept more goodness from Carina today. She felt horrible for what she did, and though she loved talking to Carina, she felt bad for dumping all this on her when she should be making up for her awful mistake. "Only if you want," she said carefully, but hopefully.

Carina just smiled and nodded. "I would love to."
"Ok," Maya straightened her back and let go off Carina's hand which fell into her lap. Carina could see the fire captain was putting her armour back on and she just hoped that it wouldn't keep her out again. This was just one conversation, and Maya had a long way to go, but being past the denial was one good step in the right direction.

Maya stood up, so Carina did the same and was surprised that Maya pulled her in for a proper hug. It gave her hope that even if Maya felt a need to look strong in front of everyone else she still wanted to let Carina in.

"Ok, I'll see you later then," Maya smiled and turned around to head home. Carina stood and watched her go for a little while and hoped again that the armour was just gonna stay on until Maya came home. She was a little nervous about letting this woman into her heart, but it was already done. Now she could only hope that Maya would do the work and keep her promise to get Carina to trust her again.