Work Header

From the Beginning

Chapter Text

Her recently chopped hair feels weird against the pillow now. Maya keeps running her hand through it. It’s so light and bouncy. She isn’t sure if she likes it or not. Maya has had, at least, shoulder length hair her entire life. It’s a huge change for her.

She thinks about what Jack said about how sometimes an apology can go a long way. Maya has thought that too much time has passed for her to apologize. It’s been a week. She lays in bed awake all night. Her hand reaches out for the empty spot next to her that a certain Italian sometimes occupied. That spot has remained empty for a week now.

Maya sighs. She knows she fucked up. She’s well aware of that, but she doesn’t know what she can do to make it better. She doesn’t even know if she can make it better. Is it too late? Has Carina moved on? Like she told Jack, she ruined the best relationship she’s ever had, with anyone, in any capacity.

The thing is, Maya doesn’t want to give up. In the past, she would have just moved on. Gone on about her day, about her business, moved on to the next thing. Found somebody new to get physical with. But she doesn’t want to do any of that now. She can’t. She only wants Carina. And her heart breaks knowing that she might not get that chance ever again. And she beats herself up about that. She’s spent the last few days that she hasn’t been working just drinking, and slinking around the apartment, sleeping, wishing she didn’t have to deal with it.

She misses Carina. She misses her smile and her laugh. She misses her little Italian mumblings. She misses the way she smells. And tastes. She misses the way Carina holds her in their sleep. She misses how Carina can put a smile on her face just by saying hello. She misses how happy she felt with Carina.

And it hurts. It physically hurts. Her body hurts. It aches. It yearns for Carina.

And Maya is so stupid. The alcohol numbed that the past few days but tonight she swore she wouldn’t drink anymore. So, she’s not sleeping and is staring at the ceiling thinking about Carina. Trying to come up with something to do to apologize. Or to even get Carina to talk to her. Because she hasn’t. Carina has avoided all of Maya’s texts and ignored all of her calls.

There’s only one thing that Maya keeps coming back to that she thinks might work. Being honest. Being one hundred honest with Carina. Spilling her guts. Telling her all of her feelings, her thoughts, explaining why she did what she did.

That doesn’t make it better though. That only brings up the wounds again. But it’s the only thing Maya can think of. Nothing else has worked. She knows Carina doesn’t like attention or spotlight and a grand romantic gesture would be a huge failure, so that’s out.

Maya thinks about what to say; where to even find Carina and get an opportunity to speak with her. She looks at the clock. 3:43. She sighs. She’s going to have to wait until morning to do this though every bone in her body wants to go do it right now. She’s ready to do it right now. She could get up and go over to Carina’s place. But it’s the middle of the night, and that’s creepy, and she knows Carina wouldn’t even let her in. She’s thought of that one already too.

But Maya knows. She knows this is it. She knows she loves Carina. She’s known that for a while now but was just to scared to say it. She knows that she needs to get Carina to forgive her. And that if she does, she knows that that’s it. It’s a done deal. Maya is committing herself. There’s nothing else. There’s no one else for her. She knows that.

Is their relationship perfect? No. But who’s is? Does Maya have a lot to work on? Yes. She knows that now and she won’t deny it. Their relationship is young yet. That could worry Maya, but it doesn’t. It actually excites her. There is so much unexplored territory there. If she can get Carina back.

She just needs to explain and tell Carina she’s sorry and beg for her forgiveness. And Maya is more than willing to do that. Beg and gravel and do anything she needs to.

Sleep never comes for her. So, when Maya gets dressed and looks in the mirror, she knows she looks terrible. She rolls her eyes. “Very fitting.”

She drives to the hospital. Maya thought about running there but then she would be all sweaty and gross and that didn’t seem appropriate for what she needs to do.

Her stubborn determination keeps the anxiety at bay. Maya is determined as she walks on the sidewalk, well, more like stomps across the concrete. She’s going so fast that she almost doesn’t see her standing there. But, then again, she can’t miss the beauty that is Carina. She is standing at the coffee cart with Teddy Altman.

Maya stops and turns. She gets Carina’s attention, and she explains, and she begs, and says I love you, and apologizes, and asks for forgiveness. It’s all Maya’s got. She doesn’t have anything else. If this doesn’t work, Maya doesn’t know what else to do.

She can see that Carina doesn’t want to forgive her. She knows that Carina can’t do that so easily. Maya takes it standing still when Carina says that can’t just forget that she cheated.

“Am I supposed to trust you?”

“I don’t know.” Maya shakes her head. “I don’t know.” Maya shrugs. She’s not sure what she’s supposed to do. “But I’m okay spending every day trying to convince you to.” She says it with such conviction.

Maya means it. She means it a thousand percent. She will spend every day showing Carina that she can be trusted. She doesn’t know how, yet, but she’ll do it. If Carina will just give her a second chance.

Carina looks at Maya, looks into her eyes. Underneath the tears she recognizes the honesty, the sincerity, the absolute truth in Maya’s words. Something shifts in Carina.

Teddy looks between the pair as they look at each other in silence. “Forgive her.”

Teddy has to add her two cents. She can see that Maya truly means what she says. She knows that this might be the last opportunity for them, and if they don’t take it, they might regret it. She knows she shouldn’t say anything because, well, she’s not been faithful to Owen; but her past relationships, her relationship with Allison, taught her that life is short, too short. And sometimes, especially if you love someone, you need to make it work no matter what happens, no matter the transgressions, because life could be taken away from you in the blink of an eye.

Carina groans at that. She doesn’t need other people telling her what to do with her relationship.

“I’m sorry. If you love her, forgive her.” Teddy just doesn’t want them to miss this opportunity.

Carina is mad and angry still. She’s frustrated that Maya is even standing here right now. Part of her is happy to see Maya though. She looks at Maya and the pleading look on Maya’s face is heartbreaking. Maya is standing there in front of her raw, open, emotional, putting it all out there with the possibility of being rejected. Carina realizes this. And she knows Teddy is right. She stares at Maya, almost daring her to flinch, to flee, to run. But Maya doesn’t, she stands tall, firm.

Carina shakes, physically not able to hold it in any longer. “I love you, Maya.” It might be the angriest I love you in the history of I love you’s, but the timid hopeful smile it produces from Maya overshadows it. She can’t help but smile too. Carina growls in frustration. “Come kiss me.” She can’t wait any longer.

Maya moves forward and puts her hands on Carina’s cheeks and pulls her into a kiss.

She looks at Maya after they pull apart. “Your hair, bambina.” She fists her hands in Maya’s short hair. It’s hard to miss. It’s one of the first things Carina noticed when Maya walked up.

“I know.” Maya takes a step back from Carina. Carina’s hands stay on her shoulders. “I cut it myself. Can you tell?”

A smile slowly spreads across Carina’s lips. “Yeah.”

“I’ll have to get it fixed at some point but I just haven’t-“ She was going to say ‘had the time’ but that would be a lie. Maya is done lying. Even if it’s a little lie. Even if it’s to herself. Especially if it’s to Carina.

“I like it. It suits you.”

Maya ducks her chin to her chest, blushing. “Really?”

Carina removes her right hand from Maya’s shoulder to lift her chin so she can look in her eyes. “Si, really.”

Maya smiles shyly. “Okay.” She looks around and notices all the people around them for the first time. She was so in the zone that she hadn’t realized that Carina was standing in line for the coffee cart. “Can I, uh, buy you a drink?” Maya asks awkwardly. She wonders where Dr. Altman ran off to. She’s not anywhere to be seen anymore.

Carina smiles. “Okay.” She turns around and gets back into the line properly.

Maya stands next to her anxiously. “So, what now?” She doesn’t dare look over at Carina. She tucks her hands in the jacket pockets.

“Now we get coffee.” Carina knows what she is doing. She knows she’s driving Maya crazy by not answering the question. She’s going to make her sweat, wait it out.

“And then?” Maya tries without having to actually ask what she and Carina are going to do moving forward.

“And then I go back to work.”

“Right.” Maya nods and looks down at the ground. She was hopeful that they could go somewhere and talk; but she knows, logically, Carina has work to do.

Carina turns to her and puts a hand on Maya’s forearm. “Maya, what you did was-“

“Terrible. I know. Selfish. Stupid. Idiotic. The worst thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.” She says quickly. Maya is still berating herself for it. She probably will be for a long time too.

Carina raises an eyebrow at her. “Okay, wow.” She can tell Maya is still beating herself up about it. “It’s going to take me time to get over that. To get past it. To forgive you and trust you.”

Maya turns to her now. “I meant what I said.” She needs Carina to know. “I will spend every single day proving to you that you can trust me. I’ll do whatever it takes.”

Carina hums. “Actions speak louder than words.”

“I know.” Maya nods. “I know. I know. I know. I’m so sorry.” She feels like she’s spinning out all of a sudden. The big speech is over and now she doesn’t know what to do or say or think. The panic sets in. “I’m sorry. I can’t-“ Maya starts to hyperventilate, looking around nervously.

“Hey.” Carina almost sees it before it happens. “It’s okay. You’re okay. Maya, look at me.” Maya locks eyes with Carina. “It’s going to be okay.”

“You don’t know that.” Maya whispers with shallow breaths.

Carina pauses for a moment; she turns to Maya and takes her shoulders in her hands. “Okay. Just look at me.” She breathes in and out slowly for Maya. Maya copies the action. “Listen to the sound of my voice. Let’s just go slow and take this one step at a time. First, coffee. Then I go back inside. And you go home, or you go hang out with Vic, or something. I will call you tonight. Okay?”

Maya nods. That reassurance lets her breath a little easier.

“I will call you tonight. We can talk. Or we don’t have to talk. We can talk about whatever. But I will call you.” Carina promises. She knows Maya needs to hear that.

Maya nods. “Will you come with me to get my hair styled?” She’s not sure why she asks.

Carina smiles at that. “You’re so adorable sometimes.” She whispers so no one else can hear.

Maya rolls her eyes. She panicked and freaking out, she doesn’t need to be called adorable right now.

“If you want.”

Maya sighs, relieved. “I love you.”

“I know you do.” Carina reaches down and takes Maya’s hand, pulling it from her pocket. She turns back to face the front of the line, but can feel Maya’s eyes staring at the side of her head. “What?” She asks without looking over.

“I just- I don’t know- I feel-“ Maya stumbles for what to say.

Carina squeezes Maya’s hand. “It’s a lot. I know. It’s okay.” It’s a lot for Carina too. She’s been preparing herself for this moment though.

Maya nods at that. She’s glad that Carina seems to understand that this is difficult for her. “Thank you.”

Carina looks over and tilts her head to the side. “For what?”

Maya shakes her head. “Everything. For listening. For not just saying it’s over between us. I don’t know what I would’ve done then.”

Carina chuckles. Maya sounds so dramatic.

“I’m serious.” Maya takes a deep breath. “I don’t want anybody else. I just want you.”

Carina sucks in a shocked breath. She knew Maya was serious, but she didn’t know that she was this serious. She knows that Maya means what she says. The look in her eyes is all she needs to see to know. “Really?” But she can’t help but ask.

Maya shakes her head and chuckles. “I was so dumb to push you away. I was scared. I had all these feelings for you that I didn’t know how to process or what to do with. And my dad-”

“Oh, Maya.” Carina sighs and leans in to kiss her. She just can’t resist any longer.

Maya smirks after a great kiss. “I’ve missed that.” She looks up at Carina. “I’ve missed you.”

“I’ve missed you too.” Carina wraps an arm around Maya as they get to the front of the line. “But this doesn’t mean I forgive you so easily. You are going to have to make it up to me.”

“I’ll do anything you want.” Maya says eagerly.

“Be carefully what you say.” Carina warns. “You might get stuck doing something you really hate.”

“If it’s for you, then I won’t hate it.” The earnestness in her voice is hard to miss.

Carina smirks. “Such a smooth talker.” She rubs her palm up and down Maya’s arm.

Maya shrugs against her and orders their drinks when the barista motions to them.

A few days go by.

They talk on the phone every night before bed. Carina holds up her end of the bargain to call Maya that night after Maya came to the hospital to apologize and beg for forgiveness. Both were quiet at first, not sure what to talk about, but then Maya fell back on the good ole firefighter things.

“Did you hear about what happened at Pac-North?”

Carina tries to remember if she’s heard anything at the hospital about the other hospital. “No, I don’t think so.”

“We were called to the scene. There was a bomb inside. Miller and his bomb training handled it all smoothly. Him and Gibson. Or as smoothly as you can handle a bomb. PD wanted to take over and the bomb squad, but my team had the whole situation under control. Dixon got arrested too. That was the best part overall.”

Carina grins. “That’s cuz your team has a great captain.”

Maya is glad that they are just speaking on the phone so that Carina can’t see her blushing right now. She feels like a giddy little kid at the compliment.

“I knew you would be one day. You just had a few kinks to work out. I’m so happy for you Maya. Everything is working out for you.”

Maya thinks that not everything is working out for her, but she holds her tongue on that one. “Thanks. Not that long ago- I never would have thought- today-“ She sighs, not knowing exactly what to say. She changes the subject. “How are you?” Talking about her job seemed to be the perfect ice breaker.

Carina sighs. “I’ve been better. That’s for sure. There’s a lot going on. With you. With Andrea. It’s a lot.”

“I know it is.”

For a little while, Maya is glad that they aren’t talking about her and what she did. The focus is on Andrew and Maya tries to just listen and be there as a sounding board for Carina. Carina updates Maya on how Andrew is doing in treatment. That they’ve got him on medication and his mood has stabilized and that he is doing well.

Over the next few days, they talk over the phone. Maya apologizes over and over again.

It’s easy, the conversations that they have. But mostly they don’t talk about what happened. Maya tries to tell Carina what happened with Jack, but Carina doesn’t want to hear it, she can’t hear it. Not yet at least.

“I’m trying to be honest and open with you.” Maya sighs.

“I know you are. And thank you for that. But hearing about Jack, it’s too much. It’s still too fresh. It hurts too much.”

“I’m sorry.” Maya says for the millionth time.

Carina sighs. “You need to stop apologizing. I know you’re sorry.”

“I just-“ Maya wants Carina to believe her, to prove to her that she is sorry.

“Can we meet?” Carina changes tactic. They’ve been talking on the phone for over a week since the coffee cart. But Carina hates it. She hates talking on the phone to someone she has a connection with. She hates video calls too. That’s almost worst. She can see the person but not really see them. She needs to see Maya. She needs to see her even though she not forgiven or forgotten yet. She needs to be in the same space as Maya.

The surprise in Maya’s voice is clear. “Now?”

“Now. Or whenever you are free.”

“I’m free now.” Maya jumps out of bed and scrambles around the room to find something to wear. “Where should we meet?”

Carina chuckles. Even over the phone she can hear and envision a frantic Maya running around trying to find pants to put on. “How about I come over?”

Maya stops in her tracks. “Oh.” She wasn’t expecting that. “Are you sure?” She thought they would meet in a public place, Carina not wanting to be caught with Maya in private if things didn’t go well. Or Carina not wanting to come back to the scene of the devastation. Or a million things. She just never expected them to meet in her apartment. But if that’s what Carina wants then that’s what Maya will do.

“Si.” Carina gets up from her armchair. “I’ll see you in a little bit, bella.”

Maya runs around the apartment. It’s a mess. Not like a big mess because Maya would never let it get like that. But she hasn’t put any effort into keeping the place neat and tidy since she torpedoed her relationship with Carina. It wasn’t high on the priority list.

So, she cleans up the place as best as she can in the few minutes that she has.

But there is a knock on the door and Maya isn’t finished cleaning. She runs to the door though, not wanting to keep Carina waiting. She pulls the door open. “Sorry, the place is a mess. I haven’t- Woah.” She finally takes a look at her guest. Carina is even more stunning than the last time she saw her. “You look-“ That was at the coffee cart in pink scrubs. This is casual, comfy Carina in jeans and a t-shirt. It’s not a look she rocks very often but one she can definitely pull off.

“Thank you, bella. You too.” Carina sweeps into the room and presses a kiss to Maya’s cheek.

Maya looks down at herself, her tank top and shorts. “I do not look- I’ve been cleaning. It’s a mess. Sorry.”

“I don’t care what your place looks like or if it’s messy.” Carina backs Maya up with her right hand on the collar of her shirt. She closes the door with her other hand. It’s not until Maya bumps into the table that they come to a stop.

Maya’s mouth hangs open as she watches Carina. She’s not sure what to do. She’s not sure if she should touch her or hold her or kiss her. Maya doesn’t know what’s acceptable now or where the line between them lies.

Carina knows what she wants though. She presses her whole body into Maya’s, moaning at just being able to press up against Maya again. “I miss you so much.” She husks in Maya’s ear as the fingers of her left hand scratch over Maya’s abdomen.

Maya groans. “Are you sure?”

Carina leans back to looks at Maya. “Am I sure about missing you?”

Maya shakes her head. “No. Nevermind. I thought you wanted sex.”

Carina runs her hand up Maya’s neck to cup her cheek. “I do.”

“Oh.” Maya is confused now.

“I miss you, Maya. I miss your face. I miss your smile. I miss your laugh. I miss how you ramble when you are nervous or anxious. I miss the sound of your voice. I miss the way your hands feel in mine. I miss the way they know my body like they were made for that purpose only. I miss the way you moan when I have my head between your legs.” Carina smirks at that one. Maya rolls her head back. “I miss you. I miss all of you. In every way possible.” She kisses Maya finally, hungry.

“But I’m still mad at you. And sad. And disappointed. And I don’t trust you completely.” Carina adds.

“Okay.” Maya mumbles. It’s good to have some clarification. To know where she stands.

“Take me to bed, Maya. I need you.” She doesn’t want to waste any more time.

Maya slips her fingers into the beltloops on Carina’s jeans and pulls her through the apartment to her bedroom.

They go into the bedroom and Maya runs her hands up Carina’s sides before pushing her backwards, so she sits on the edge of the bed. She stands before her. The nerves that flutter in her belly are unusual. She’s never been nervous about sex before. She’s definitely never been nervous about sex with Carina before.

“Hey.” Carina looks up and sees the apprehension in Maya’s eyes. “It’s just me.”

Maya shakes her head. It’s not just Carina. There’s no just about it. Carina is everything. She scared she going to screw this up somehow. She feels the panic rising. “I have to- go to the bathroom.” She takes a step back. Carina reaches out for her, but Maya takes another step back. “I’ll be back.” Maya slinks away and ducks into the bathroom.

When Carina said she was coming over one of Maya’s first thoughts was about cleaning up her apartment. Her next thought was that they were finally going to sit down and talk about what happened. She didn’t expect this. She didn’t expect Carina to ask her for sex. Maya isn’t ready for that. She doesn’t know if she can go through with it.

She grips onto the edges of the sink with her hands and looks at herself in the bathroom mirror. Maya takes a few deep breaths getting the panic to recede. “You can do this.” She tries to give herself a pep talk. “You can do this. It’s just sex.”

Maya hangs her head because she knows it isn’t. Sex with Carina isn’t just sex. And it never will be. Maya thinks, maybe, it never has been. It’s always been more than that. It was always about more than just getting a need met.

But Maya takes a deep breath and looks back at herself in the mirror working up the courage to face Carina again.

She goes back out and Carina is sitting on the bed in only a pair of panties. Maya stands there, stunned, at the end of the bed. “You are truly magnificent.” Carina has to be the most gorgeous woman she has ever seen. Or maybe she’s biased because she’s thoroughly in love with her.

“Come on, Maya.” Carina is not really in the mood for overwhelming praise.

“No.” Maya moves to the side of the bed. “You are beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.” She puts her hand on Carina’s waist and leans down to kiss her. A long, slow exploring kiss. “And sexy.” She mumbles against Carina’s lips.

Maya shifts, sitting at Carina’s hip, on the edge of the bed, her legs dangling off. Her hand moves from Carina’s waist up to cup her breast gently, her thumb swiping over the nipple once. She watches her hand make the movements, mesmerized. It elicits a gasp and then a breathy moan from Carina and Maya looks up to catch her eyes, but Carina is watching Maya’s hand. Maya strokes her thumb over the nipple again before pinching it between her thumb and finger.

Carina groans, grinding her teeth together.

Maya moves her hand and gives the other nipple the same attention.

Carina tips her head back against the headboard and closes her eyes. “Maya.” She moans.

Maya moves her hand down and dips her fingers into the pair of black lace panties that Carina is wearing.

Carina moans and sits up away from the headboard. She wraps a hand around Maya’s neck and pulls her into a heated kiss, slipping her tongue into Maya’s mouth, stroking at Maya’s tongue before flicking her tongue against the back of the top row of Maya’s teeth. She takes Maya’s bottom lip between her teeth, tugging on it, before letting it go; and then pressing her lips to Maya’s firmly, before pulling back with a pop, and looking Maya up and down.

She reaches down for the bottom of Maya’s tank top, grabbing it, and trying to pull it up and off of the blonde.

Maya pulls away from her, removing her fingers from Carina’s underwear. She gets up, off the edge of the bed.

“Where are you-“ Carina watches completely perplexed as Maya moves away from her to the end of the bed.

Maya kneels on the end of the bed. She reaches up and hooks her fingers into the side of Carina’s panties. Carina assists in lifting her butt off the bed so Maya can pull the garment down her legs.

Maya lays down on her stomach between Carina’s legs, a hand on her stomach to get her to lay back again. Carina does. She reaches down and tangles her fingers in Maya’s hair. Maya reaches up and pulls Carina’s hand from her hair, holding it tightly with her own hand.

She licks through Carina. The long loud moan is enough to let Maya know that she still has the magic touch, or tongue. And while that’s encouraging, Maya zones out. She focuses on the task at hand.

Completing the task, Maya wipes the back of her hand across her mouth and gets to her knees. She shuffles back to get off the bed before moving to the side. She lifts the edge of the covers and, as quietly as possible, slips in underneath, curling into the fetal position.

Carina is too busy trying to catch her breath after an earthshattering orgasm that she doesn’t recognize what is happening right away.

“Maya.” She rolls her head to the side to see where Maya is at. Carina reaches out trying to find out where Maya went. She’s surprised to find her under the covers. Carina pushes herself up onto her elbows and glances over at the lump under the blankets. “Maya?” She puts a hand on the blonde’s shoulder, but Maya tries to shrug it off. “Do you want me to-“

“No.” The words are muffled. “You can go now, if you need to.”

“What?” Carina is thoroughly confused. “Maya, no.”

“Isn’t that what this is about? You came over for some sex and now you’re going to go home.” Maya’s voice is so small as she speaks.

“Hey.” Carina tries to roll Maya onto her back, but Maya holds her ground.

Carina sighs and runs her hands through her hair. She gets out of bed and finds her shirt, slipping it over her head quickly. She goes around to the other side of the bed and kneels on the floor. She grabs Maya’s wrists and pulls her hands away from her face, but Maya hides her face in the pillow instead.

“What’s wrong, Maya?”

“You don’t want to talk to me. And just want to use me for sex now. Is that all you see now?”

“Is that what you think?” Carina’s heart breaks for the blonde.

“That’s why you came over.”

Carina takes a deep breath. “Yes. It is but-.”

Maya growls and rolls over onto her other side, away from Carina. She feels Carina’s hand on her back. “Don’t touch me.” She mumbles.

Carina removes her hand and sighs sadly. “Maya, I love you.”

“That’s great.” Maya has turned passive aggressive, and Carina isn’t sure how to deal with it. “You got what you needed. I’d like to go to sleep now.”

Carina hangs her head, resting it against the mattress. She might have messed this up. Carina never thought about the possible ramifications of coming over tonight. She honestly didn’t know there would be any. She knew Maya was torn up about what happened with her and Jack, but she didn’t know that there was this much damage. She doesn’t really know what the problem is since Maya won’t talk to her about it, but she knows it has something to do with sex.

She gets up and finds a pair of shorts in Maya’s dresser and goes to the bathroom. Carina needs a moment to think. She’s not leaving. She knows that much. She knows Maya wants to be alone though. Carina finds her toothbrush. A little smile on her face at the fact that it’s still there in Maya’s toothbrush holder.

After she brushes her teeth, she returns to Maya’s bedroom. She sits on the edge of the bed so she’s facing Maya. “I don’t know what’s going on. I’d like to know but it’s okay if you can’t tell me.”

“I want to talk about what happened and you don’t want to hear about that, but you want to hear about this.” Maya scoffs. “Why? Cuz I’m some weird sex case to you now? Part of your brain orgasm study.”

“No. Maya.” Carina tries not to get defensive but it’s hard when Maya is accusing her of things that aren’t true. “Look, I’m not going to leave tonight. Do you want me to sleep in the other room or on the couch?”

“Whatever.” Maya mumbles. She doesn’t really want Carina sleeping in the spare room or on the couch. She either wants her to be gone or sleeping in bed with her but she’s not going to say that.

Carina crouches down to try to look in Maya’s eyes. But Maya closes them when she sees what Carina is doing. Carina sighs. She knows it’s risky, but she leans in to press a kiss to her forehead. Maya reaches up and waves her hand next to her face, trying to shoo Carina away as if she would be shooing away a fly. Carina catches Maya’s hand in hers. “Stop it, Maya.” She’s acting like a child. Maya tries to pull her hand out of Carina’s grasp, but she can’t, the hold is too tight. “Stop.” Carina whispers.

All the fight leaves Maya’s body as the flood gates open. Carina lets go of her hand and Maya covers her eyes with her hands to hide the tears.

She doesn’t get any closer, but Carina puts a hand on Maya’s arm, rubbing it gently. “Shhh. It’s okay.”

“No.” Maya sobs. “It’s not.”

“Okay.” Carina whispers. She lets Maya cry for long minutes, just rubbing her arm, and trying to soothe her without getting any closer. Maya ends up crying herself to sleep.

Carina gets out of bed and goes to get two glasses of water and some ibuprofen for when Maya wakes up. She brings the items back to bed, shuts off the light, and climbs into bed. She doesn’t know if it’s the right move. She told Maya she would sleep in the other room or on the couch, but she doesn’t think Maya should be alone right now. So, she lays on the right side of the bed as far away from Maya as possible while still being comfortable and not right on the edge of the mattress. She wants to respect Maya’s boundaries right now. It seems like that’s what she needs, what she wants.

She thinks back to earlier. How Maya seemed hesitant to kiss her. How Maya didn’t want to be touched. How Maya wouldn’t let her take her shirt off. It seems like Maya either doesn’t want to open up emotionally during sex or there’s a disconnect there now. Like she’s just going through the motions. Doing what has to be done to achieve a goal. Either way, it’s a problem for them.

Carina doesn’t know what to do either. She folds her hands over her stomach. She glances over to see Maya sleeping there. “I’m sorry, bambina.” She whispers. “I didn’t want to make you feel used. I wanted to make you feel good too.” She reaches over and pets her hand over the side of Maya’s head. “I’m so sorry.” She knows Maya can’t hear her, but she needs to say it. She doesn’t know what’s going to happen in the morning or whenever Maya wakes up. She needs to at least be able to say it right now.