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From the Beginning

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The alarm on Carina’s phone blares, waking her up. She shuts it off with a yawn. She looks at the time. They have to be to the airport in an hour.

One hour.

The alarm that Carina set was an emergency alarm. A just in case alarm to make sure that they hadn’t forgot the time and how much time they had left to get to the airport. Carina fully anticipated that Maya would have been awake long before, maybe even hours. She knows the anxiety would have probably gotten to her and that Maya would want to make sure she was well prepared to leave to go to the airport. So, when Carina looks at the time and then the blonde, she’s astonished.

“MAYA!” She yells and jumps out of bed.

“What?” Maya groans from her side of the bed. There’s no need for Carina to be yelling at such an early morning hour.

“Get up.” Carina pulls the blanket off of Maya and the cool room air makes goosebumps form on Maya’s bare skin. “We’re going to be late.”

“For what? Breakfast?” Maya rolls onto her back and yawns. She stretches her arms and legs out, content, happy, relaxed.

Carina stops and watches her for a moment. At first, just taking in the sight of the naked woman on the bed but then things click into place.

“For the plane.”

“What? No.” Maya pushes herself up onto her elbows. “It’s early yet.” She looks around the room for a clock but there isn’t one on any of the walls.

“No, Maya. You overslept.”

“Me?” Maya scrunches up her face. “I don’t sleep in. What about you?” She doesn’t believe it’s as late as Carina claims it is.

“My emergency alarm went off. Get up.” She tugs on Maya’s ankle. “And for the love of God, put some clothes on. We have to pack and go.”

Maya watches as Carina buttons her pants, having gotten dressed as they were talking, and then hurries into the bathroom. She comes out a second later with all their items from the bathroom and throws them into her suitcase. Maya furrows her brow together. She looks around the room once more before spotting her phone. She gets up and takes it from the table. “Holy shit.” The panic sets in.

“I told you.”

Maya paces the room for a second.

“Clothes first, then pack.” Carina instructs. For someone who is a fire captain, Carina sure has to tell Maya a lot of what to do in this sudden chaotic situation.

“I don’t sleep in.” Maya mumbles as she pulls a shirt over her head. “I don’t know what happened. I should have been up and have gotten showered and had breakfast and brought something back for you and woke you up and packed.” Maya starts shoving clothes into her suitcase, none of it folded or arranged. She closes the top and it doesn’t shut easily. She has to press down on it to pull the zipper closed.

“I know, Maya. I know.” Carina mumbles. They are both in their own little world as the grab up everything from the room.

Maya nearly runs to the front desk in front of Carina to checkout. Thankfully, it doesn’t take more than five minutes. They get in the cab and are on the way to the airport.

Maya sits forward in the back seat, on the edge of her seat. Her hands gripping the headrest of the seat in front of her. “I hope we don’t hit traffic.” She whispers as she looks out the window.

Carina hears it and rubs her hand over Maya’s back. There’s nothing they can do now. They probably should have left the resort about a half hour ago. Carina knows that they should be fine and not miss their plane but if there any unexpected encounters then they might be in trouble.

“I don’t know how this happened.” Maya turns her head to the left to look back at Carina. “I should have wrote an itinerary for this morning. I had one when we left Seattle. I should have thought about making one for going back.” She sighs and looks forwards again, out the front window.

“It’ll be okay.” Carina continues to rub her back. “Try to relax.”

Maya’s whole body stiffens. Carina even feels her muscles tense under her hand. “That’s the problem.” It dawns on Maya. “I was relaxed. Too relaxed.”

To rest and sleep and love in this life.

Carina reaches up and puts her hand on Maya’s shoulder. “Sit back.” She whispers sweetly. “There’s nothing you can do now. And sure, maybe we could’ve been more prepared, but we weren’t. It’s on me too, ya know?” She doesn’t get a reply from the blonde. “Maya, it’s out of your hands now. The driver will get us to the airport. We will check our bags and go through security. And we will make it on the plane in time.”

Maya slumps back in the seat. “You don’t know that.” She folds her arms over her chest.

“Oh, come on. Are you going to be all grumpy on me now?” She gives Maya a teasing smile.

“No.” Maya pouts.

Carina giggles and presses a kiss to her cheek. “If we miss our plane than we will just get on the next one to Seattle.” It’s not that big of a deal. She knows there will be other flights yet today.

“That costs more money. And what if they are all full?” Maya worries.

Carina slips her arm around Maya’s shoulders, leaning in to put her mouth right next to Maya’s ear. “Don’t worry about it, bambina. The what ifs. And don’t worry about the moneys.”

Maya shivers involuntarily with Carina wrapped around her, whispering in her ear. And Carina has started using a different word during this trip instead of, or in addition to, bella. Maya knows what it means this time though. She’s heard Carina use it in reference to babies. She closes her eyes and tries to let Carina’s words calm her.

“We should be there in twenty minutes, ladies.” The cab driver informs them.

“Thank you.” Carina says with a smile to the man through the rear view mirror.

“How do you feel?” Carina asks and rest her head on Maya’s shoulder. They are sitting in their seats on the plane waiting for takeoff. She wants to check in with her after their frantic morning. Carina smiles as she thinks back over everything. It will be a funny story they can tell one day, but she’s hoping that all the progress that Maya made over the last five days isn’t erased because of this morning. She could tell that Maya was really truly enjoying herself. That she had relaxed after a stressful start to their vacation.

Maya thinks about it. Now that the anxiety of making it for their flight is over Maya can relax again. For the first time in a long time, she feels relaxed as a whole. Not just for a few minutes or hours or a day.  “I think vacation helped. I feel relaxed I think for the first time since before I was made captain.”

Carina hums. “Good.”

“And it’s crazy that I’m even going to say this but-“ She chuckles. “I don’t want to go back to work.”

Carina raise her head from Maya’s shoulder and looks at her. “Really?”

Maya shrugs. It’s not that she doesn’t want to go back to work. Not really. It’s complicated. “If I could just spend everyday on vacation with you, I think I would instead of going back to work. But maybe I’ll feel different once I get back to work. Maybe it won’t be so stressful now and I can enjoy work again.”

“I hope so, bella.” Carina lays her head back on Maya’s shoulder and wraps her hands around Maya’s hand.


“Just good?” Andy questions her. She knows her friend isn’t revealing all.

“Well, I mean it was pretty good.” Maya smiles a little. There was the panic attack so that wasn’t good, but she doesn’t know if she can say it was a great vacation. She was so stressed at the beginning, but it turned out to be pretty good and she got some rest and relaxed and doesn’t feel as stressed and exhausted as before. So that’s all good.

“Pretty good. Maya, you don’t do vacations. And you went on a vacation with your girlfriend, and it was just ‘pretty good’.”

“She’s not-“

“Yes, she is.” Andy nearly shouts. “Just admit it.

“Fine.” Maya rolls her eyes. “She’s my girlfriend.”

“Did you ask her to be your girlfriend?” Andy grins, ready to hear the details of how Maya asked.

“No.” Maya shakes her head.

“Wait.” The grin is wiped from Andy’s face as stares at Maya, not believing it. “You didn’t even ask her yet.”

“She knows.” Maya waves it off.

“Are you sure?” Andy puts a hand on Maya’s shoulder. “Cuz in my experience you need to be clear with the people in your lives. The people you love.”

Maya’s eyes bulge out at the L word.

“Oh my god, Maya. You need to tell her.”

“She knows.”

“That you love her?” Andy ventures.

Maya frowns. “Well, maybe not about that. But she knows she’s my girlfriend. We didn’t talk about it, but we just are. That’s the best thing. The greatest thing about her. We just are. It’s not difficult or complicated. We’re just together. It seems so simple and dumb when I say it but God, I’ve never felt like this. I feel safe and protected and taking care of and honored and cherished, valued, appreciated. Seen. I feel like- like-“ Maya shakes her head with a goofy smile. “And I want to do all those things for her. To protect her and take care of her and value her and honor her and do anything that I can to make her happy. She deserves so much happiness. Her broth-“ Maya clamps up at that. She looks over at Andy to see if she caught the almost slip up. “She deserves all the good things in life, and I want to give them to her. Oh my god, I sound crazy.” Maya takes a step backwards, trying to reel her feelings in. She backs up until her back hits the side of the fire engine.

Andy chuckles. “You sound in love.”

Maya groans.

“Maya, make sure she knows. Make sure she knows she’s your girlfriend. If you want to appreciate and honor her you need to make sure she knows. And I’m glad you had a great vacation. I’m sure it was filled with lots of amazing lady sex. If the dopey, satisfied look on your face is anything to go by.” Andy laughs at the scandalized look that Maya is sporting. “You think you don’t convey your emotions, but Maya they are always written all over your face. You’re not very good at keeping a neutral face.”

A call over the speaker saves Maya from anymore embarrassment from her friend.

“Let’s go, dopey. Duty calls.” Andy smacks Maya on the arm before running off.


Carina is in her office at the hospital when there is a knock on the door. “Come in.”

“Well, there you are.” Amelia says loudly as she enters the room.

“Ciao, Amelia.”

“So, did you hear?” Amelia says of her Braxton Hicks.

“I read your file, si.” Carina looks Amelia up and down. “How are you feeling?”

Amelia rubs a hand over her pregnant belly. “Bloated, sore, nothing I can’t handle.” She tilts her head to the side. “How was the sex?”

Carina shakes her head. “I think you mean, how was the vacation? But it was good.”

Amelia laughs and flops down on the couch in Carina’s office. “It better have been cuz I was here freaking out about having contractions and going into labor without you.”

Carina gives her a tight-lipped smile. “Sorry. Next time I’ll schedule my vacation around your labor.”

“Next time. Ha.” Amelia doubts there’ll be a next time. There shouldn’t have been a this time, but here she is pregnant, about to give birth at any moment. “But you are going to be here, right?” Amelia worries now, serious again. She doesn’t want to have to have another doctor helping her through her labor. They have a plan, and that plan is for Carina to be there. “You don’t have any more surprise vacations planned?”

Carina smirks. “No.”

“Good.” Amelia nods once. “Good.” She stares down at the floor as she thinks about giving birth.

“You okay?” Carina sees the far away look on Amelia’s face.

Amelia looks up and nods. “I wish I could go on vacation right now.” She rubs her hand over her belly again.

Carina laughs.

“Tell me all the details. Did you ever leave the room?”

Carina shakes her head. “Si, we did. We went to the pool and laid in the sun. Maya actually got a little bit of a tan. She’s so white. We went on an adventure in town one day. We went to a wooded area and spent the afternoon between the trees. We did lots.”

Amelia laughs.

“We went to dinner most nights. It was lovely. I had a wonderful time. Very relaxing. And I got Maya to relax. She’s been so stressed out lately. So, it was nice.” She’s very coy about her the details of her vacation.

“Nice. You’re funny.” Amelia shakes her head. “I’ve got the orgasm doctor here and she won’t tell me about her amazing vacation sex.”

“Vacation isn’t all about sex.”

“No, but that’s a big part of it, right?”

Carina shakes her head. “No.”

“Oh, come on. I’m suffering here.” Amelia groans.

“You and Link aren’t-” Carina raises her eyebrows.

“No, he won’t touch me since the Braxton Hicks started. He thinks I’m fragile or something.” Amelia complains.

Carina hums. “Sorry to hear that.” She drums her fingers on her desktop. And then looks down at them, thinking of Maya. Slowly, a smirk pulls at her lips.

Amelia sees this and groans. “You’re thinking about her, aren’t you?”

Carina shrugs, guilty. “Sorry. Maya is just-“ She moans. “So amazing.”

Amelia raises an eyebrow in surprise. She didn’t think that was what was going to come out of Carina’s mouth. That it would have been something about how great the sex is or what she’s done with those fingers she’s just staring at.

“I know she doesn’t think she is. But she is. She’s amazing and wonderful. And not just about sex. Like all together. She’s so generous and caring. With everything with Andrea, she took time out of her hectic stressful busy schedule to come over and to make sure I was alright. No one has ever done that for me. No one. I’m always taking care of everyone else, it seems. Not even taking care of myself. But Maya- no one has ever done that for me. It just feels good. Amazing. Ya know?”

Amelia nods. “Your girlfriend sounds pretty amazing. Rough around the edges maybe, but it sounds like she’s got a soft spot for you.”

Carina grins wide. “Si, she does.” Carina’s phone buzzes in top of her desk and she leans forward to look at it. Her grin only grows wider when she sees that it’s a message from Maya. It’s a long message. Not something that she usually gets from Maya. Usually, their texts are short and to the point.

She opens the message and starts reading it. She furrows her brow as she gets through the words.

“What is it?” Amelia asks.

“It’s from Maya.”

Amelia raises and eyebrow and leans forward on the couch. “Good or bad?”

“Hold on.” Carina is just about finished reading the long rambling message.

I just thought I’d send you a message. We are on our way to a call. And I just have to tell you this before that because Andy said I had to. Well, and because I feel like I have to too. I just want you to know that I think of you as my girlfriend. And we just went on vacation together and that’s what couples do. I know I should say all this in person but it can’t wait. I feel like you probably feel the same way. I mean I don’t know for sure. You could feel a different way about it but I want you to be my girlfriend and I want to be your girlfriend. So what do you say?

It’s Maya rambling in text form and it’s just as cute as Maya’s rambling in person.

Yes. Carina sends back. She knows Maya’s probably not going to get the message until after she’s finished with the call, but she smiles as she thinks about Maya’s face when she reads the simple one word reply.

“What’s going on?”

Carina sets her phone down. “Just Maya being Maya.” She shakes her head.

“What does that mean?”

“Oh, ya know, she just basically asked me to be her girlfriend in a long rambling text.”

Amelia laughs. “Really? I thought you two were together.”

Carina shrugs. “We are. I guess nothing was said or discussed or official until now though.”

Amelia laughs again. “Ridiculous.”

“I know we are. It just feels so natural with her. It felt like we were a couple, together, girlfriends from the beginning. You Americans and your silly labels.”

Amelia nods. She hates putting labels on things and putting everything into little boxes too.

“I don’t know. Maya just feels different.”

“Do you love her?” Amelia braves the question.

“I think I do.” Carina sighs.

There’s a simple smile from the neurosurgeon. “Then there you go.” Amelia pushes herself up from the couch with a grunt. “I have a surgery in a little bit. I’ll see you later. Or whenever this baby decides it’s ready to make an appearance.”

“Bye, Amelia.” She gives her friend a small wave and sits back in her chair thinking about Maya.


They meet at the park where they met up to watch the sunset. Carina suggested it. She said she wanted to see Maya before the day was over. And Maya had a short shift today, so it all worked out.

She teases Maya a little about the girlfriend thing.

“So, I got this text message today. Someone wants to be my girlfriend.” She raises an eyebrow at Maya.

“Shut up and watch the sunset with me.” Maya grumbles but takes Carina’s hand and holds it in her lap.

“Of course I’ll be your girlfriend.” She rubs her nose against Maya’s shoulder.

“I said shut up.” Maya mumbles. It’s quiet for a moment. “I’ve never had a girlfriend before.” She admits. “Sure, there were girls but nobody I was serious about or with or whatever.” She shrugs.

Carina grins like an idiot and leans into Maya’s side. She loves Maya’s little admission but needs to change the subject. Carina also knows Maya is telling her this and basically saying don’t make a big deal out of it, so she doesn’t. “Are we recreating our first date?”

“First date?”

Carina rolls her eyes. “Fine not our first date, but I think about it sort of being like our first date. But are we going to have sesso in your car again?” She’s excited about the prospect.

Maya furrows her brow and glances at Carina quickly before looking at the sunset again. Sesso.

“No.” Maya says resolutely.

“No?” Carina pouts.

Maya shakes her head. She looks straight out over the water. “You deserve so much more than cheap car sex.”

Carina hums. “Nothing is cheap with you, bella.”

“Even so.” Maya shrugs. “Unless there’s a rush- I thought we could go back to my place and have a glass of wine and just see what happens.”

Carina laughs lightly. She tucks Maya’s hair behind her ear, exposing it. “Whatever you want, bella.” She breathes into Maya’s ear, her lips brushing against it lightly.

Maya shifts as Carina’s lips tickle her ear. She shrugs. “Watch the sunset.” She instructs.

Carina rests her head on Maya’s shoulder and watching the sunset. They sit quietly as the sun sets. It’s as beautiful and amazing as the first time. Better this time than last time, Carina thinks. She knows. She knows it’s because of how her relationship with Maya has grown since that time.

“Let’s go home.” Maya says quietly after the sun had dipped past the horizon. She gets to her feet.

Home.

Carina wonders about that word and what it actually means. Home. It’s not about a physical structure to her. She’s lived a lot of places and they were technically her ‘home’. Sure, home is a place. Or it can be a place. But Carina thinks it’s more of a feeling than anything else.

“Let’s go home.” Carina whispers and takes Maya’s hands and Maya pulls her to her feet.