“So, I heard you moved in with firefighter Barbie. How’s that going?” Amelia asks from the other side of the circular table. They are having a socially distanced lunch, trying to catch up a little since Amelia has been on maternity leave.
Carina nods. “There have been a few bumps in the street, but I think, good overall.” She stabs at her salad with her fork.
“How’s the sex? Still good? Cuz now the dynamic has changed. It hasn’t messed that up, has it?” Amelia is always asking about people’s sex lives; she can’t help it.
“It’s good.” Carina smiles at her food, thinking about the other day when Maya came home from work in the morning.
“Well.” Carina shrugs. “There hasn’t been much time for that lately.”
“Fuck Covid.” Amelia grumbles.
“Right.” Carina points her fork at herself. “Either I’m working longer or more shifts or Maya just isn’t home because she’s on her regular schedule. But I’m glad that we moved in together because I don’t think I would have survived if I kept isolating by myself. Going home to an empty apartment every day after being at the hospital all day dealing with this mess of a disease. Humans aren’t meant to be alone. It isn’t just Maya. It’s not being able to see friends or Andrew or go anywhere. I got so lonely. I didn’t realize how much I needed people and human contact. I’m glad I have Maya. She’s so amazing.”
“She’s a bit of an enigma to me. I haven’t figured her out yet.” Amelia thinks there something very mysterious about Maya. Maybe it’s her closed off nature when she doesn’t know someone, but it makes her mysterious and sexy.
“You just don’t know her well yet. You should come over sometime. Not anytime soon, of course. Once Covid calms down or when there’s vaccinations. And bring baby Scout with you. Link can come too if he wants.” Carina invites the whole family. She obviously hasn’t talked to Maya about inviting them over; but Maya was all for inviting Andrew over so what’s to say Carina can’t invite some of her friends over too. She really is at ease with living with Maya now. It took a few weeks. So comfortable now though. So welcomed and at home. That word keeps finding a way to repeat itself in her head and it feels good.
Amelia grins. “I’ll take you up on the offer sometime. I don’t know if Link would want to come though. But maybe if I tell him more about Maya he might be intrigued.” Carina raises an eyebrow at that. “He knows us. Thinks we’re boring. Getting to know someone new would be exciting to him. He’s like a social butterfly sometimes, it’s weird.”
Carina nods. She can see that in him. “What’s the rest of your day look like?”
“I have to check in on Meredith. Other than that, whatever comes in. I’m just getting back into the swing of things. I’ve never spent so much time at home. I was hoping to be back to work sooner but then everything happened with Meredith and her Covid. I’ve been looking after the kids mostly. It’s exhausting. I’m secretly hoping I get some good cases today. Something to boost my serotonin levels. Something that gets me back in the mood.”
Carina hums. She doesn’t know how she would handle a house full of kids in the middle of a pandemic. She applauds Amelia for what she is doing. “I hope your day is good then. I just hope I don’t have anyone that dies. I can’t handle that shit.”
“I would imagine not. That probably doesn’t make the happy baby doctor very happy.” Amelia grins.
Carina points at herself. “Not a baby doctor.”
Amelia waves a hand at Carina. “You know what I mean.”
Carina chuckles. She does.
Carina has been working all night. The hospital basically having all hands on deck as Seattle Pres was at capacity and sending their patients over to Grey-Sloan. It’s not the shift she envisioned but thankfully no one has died on her watch.
She comes outside in the morning, the sun slowly rising in the sky. It seems like it could be a beautiful day. Too bad she plans to go home and sleep and isn’t able to enjoy the day. Carina is walking to her car when she spots her brother.
He walks towards her, a bit frantic, as he tries to trail Opal without her spotting him. He fills Carina in on what’s going on. She agrees, reluctantly, to help him.
They rush over to Carina’s car. Andrew throws his bike helmet in the back seat and hops in the front seat. “Go. Go. Go.” He buckles in and leans forward in his seat.
Carina throws the car in reverse, backing out of her parking space before putting it into drive and pulling away. They follow Opal’s car at a good distance.
“Don’t get too close.” Andrew warns.
“But don’t loose her, hurry up.” He waves his hand as Opal turns a corner in front of them.
She glances over at her brother, annoyed with his contradictory remarks, her eyes returning to the road after a second.
The phone rings and rings and rings. Carina had texted her to tell her she was going to be stuck at the hospital all night but that she thought she would be done come morning. Maya thinks, as the call goes to voicemail, that Carina has probably gone home to sleep and that’s why she’s not answering her phone.
She rambles on the voicemail. She knows she’s doing it. Maya just wanted to talk to Carina. To hear her voice. For her to say ‘you’ve got this.’ Her confidence in her decision making is shaken after yesterday and last night. Maya wonders if she should have let Dean go into that house and not wait for the police to arrive. And then when they did arrive, they didn’t do anything to help. So, she’s a little rattled.
Carina sees the phone light up out of the corner of her eye. It’s on silent. She focuses back on the road and the car that they are tailing.
Maya groans as the voicemail cuts her off. Yesterday didn’t end well and today isn’t starting off very well either. She tries to focus on the task at hand, getting everything ready for the inspection. It annoys her that Sullivan had to remind her that it was today. It makes her seem like she doesn’t know what is going on. She knew the inspection was today but with everything going on and having to spend the night at the police station trying to get two of her firefighters released from jail, it slipped her mind. And Sullivan being the one with the remind makes it worse because he was the one locked up. Maya wonders if, because he didn’t have anything else to do but sit there, that he was hyper focused on the inspection.
She clenches her jaw and gets out of the chair. Her anxiety is bubbling just below the surface. She knows that next unnecessary or bad thing to happen today is going to make it skyrocket.
Maya start worrying about the inspection. There’s so much they need to get ready before the battalion chief shows up. She makes a mental checklist.
Andrew and Carina call Maya asking her to get the police involved. That anxiety, it’s skyrocketed, it sets everything in Maya body on high alert.
Maya works her magic and calls Carina back and says that the police are coming. But Carina hangs up on her when Opal gets out of her car at the transit station. Maya panics and tries to call Carina back, but it goes to voicemail.
“Damn it.” Maya slams the phone down. She clenches her fists. Andrew is a good man. She just wishes he didn’t have to have a hero complex on the day that she’s got inspections. How is she supposed to focus on that when Andrew and Carina could be walking into a dangerous situation?
Carina for her part remains calm, she knows they shouldn’t be doing this. She knows it could be dangerous. She grabs her phone and keys and gets out of the car to follow Andrea. She just hopes that the police can help when they get here.
Maya can’t leave the station though. She paces her office trying to think of anything that she can do to help them from where she is. She’s already sent Warren and Gibson. The police are on their way as well. There’s not much more she can do.
Maya goes into her bunk and puts her dress uniform on.
It’s on and she’s dressed, and she looks in the mirror. It’s wrong. It looks wrong right now. Maya tugs at the tight collar, the tie. It’s all wrong. Maya goes back into her office and logs out of her computer and straightens up her paperwork.
Andy walks in. Maya takes her uniform jacket off. The decision to leave has been made.
Andy talks about inspection day, but Maya isn’t focused on that anymore. She tells Andy she has to go. She gives her reasons and she’s fine if that means it’s her last day as captain. She’s going to follow her gut, do what’s right. She didn’t do that yesterday with those girls and look what happened. She didn’t help those girls then, but she can help them now.
She puts on her boots, ties them, up and leaves Andy in charge. She grabs the keys to the station truck and hurries off to the train station.
Carina sees him lying there. She doesn’t believe it’s him at first. But the closer she gets the more it sinks in that it is in fact her brother lying on the hard floor of the train station. She has no idea what’s wrong or why he’s lying there. Things aren’t adding up.
What her eyes see when she finds them it not what she wanted to see. Maya blinks rapidly as she wraps her arms around Carina, pulling her back away from Andrew so Warren and Gibson can work on him, get him onto the gurney and on the way to the hospital.
They hurry behind the gurney as Ben and Jack quickly get Andrew out of the building. Everything a confusing swirl.
Maya briefly wonders how this can be happening. They get into the back of the ambulance. It’s been a long time since she’s been in the back of an ambulance. Maya looks around, getting her bearings before assisting Ben in treating Andrew.
It’s hard to watch as Andrew lays on the bed in the hospital groaning in pain. It’s harder to watch Carina and see her fear and panic. Maya holds onto her, tight, trying to keep them both grounded.
It seems like it was just yesterday that they had Andrew over for dinner. And that they were telling stories and laughing and eating. That wasn’t that long ago and now here he is laying on a hospital bed with an abdominal stab wound.
Carina begs to go with them. Maya holds her back as Andrew and Owen tell her no. They go in the hall and watch as Andrew is taken away.
Maya looks around as Carina starts crying harder. She needs to get them out of the hallway. “Is there somewhere we can go?”
Carina doesn’t answer her. She feels herself shutting down though. She hears the question but can’t come up with a response even though it’s a simple question.
“Okay.” Maya wraps her arm around Carina’s back. “Come on.”
Carina goes with her, out of her own control, she’s glad that Maya is there to guide her. If she weren’t Carina would probably just collapse on the floor and crumple into a little ball. This pain and uncertainty are unbearable.
She doesn’t know how but she is sitting on the couch in her office. Maya is kneeling in front of her, taking her shoes off.
Maya runs her hands up the outside of Carina’s calves until she reaches her knees. “Is it okay if I look for some different clothes in your-“ Maya points over to the little standalone cabinet in the corner of the room that she knows Carina keeps a few spare changes of clothes in. Things happen in a hospital and bodily fluids sometimes get on clothes. It’s good to have a few options.
Carina nods. The tears have stopped. She thinks she might be done with them for now. Maybe it’s just the shock. She watches Maya move about the room, gathering things before coming back to stand in front of her.
“You don’t have any comfort clothes here.” Maya chuckles trying to lighten the mood.
“I’m a professional.” Her voice coarse, stiff.
Maya nods. “I know. How about jeans and this loose blouse?” Maya holds them out. “Maybe we can find a sweatshirt somewhere. I think that would be more comfortable.”
Carina stands up on shaky legs.
“Woah.” Maya grabs her by the elbow. “You okay?”
Carina nods and unbuttons her pants and slips them down her legs. Maya holds up the jeans and Carina slides them up her legs. She takes her coat off. Maya holds her arm out and Carina lays it over Maya’s arm.
Maya takes the coat over to the coat rack and hangs it up as Carina changes her shirt. She comes back over and sees Carina looking down at her feet. “There’s sneakers under the left side of my desk.”
Maya goes to retrieve them. “Sit.” She brings them back over and has Carina sit down on the couch again. “Where can we find you a hospital sweatshirt or something?” Maya knows there must be some somewhere. They have Station 19 t-shirts and sweatshirts in the storage room at the station.
Carina hums as she watches Maya put her shoes on. She feels like she could do that herself but lets Maya do it anyway. She’s feeling a bit better. Things aren’t as chaotic in here as they were downstairs in the ER. She’s still worried about Andrea but she knows Owen will do everything he can to treat him and make him all better.
“Carina?” Maya sits up in her kneeled position a little when she doesn’t get a response from the doctor.
“Your shirt, bella.” Carina reaches out at the red spot on the left breast of Maya white dress shirt.
Maya looks down and shrugs.
Carina doesn’t know when Maya took off the gown or gloves or googles that she was wearing downstairs. It must have been between then and now though.
“It’s just a shirt.” Maya mumbles. That’s not what she’s worried about right now. She looks down and finishes tying Carina’s shoes.
“Did I do that?” Carina wonders out loud.
“Probably.” Maya doesn’t really know. She thinks its probably a smudged handprint of Carina’s. A lot happened so fast. She gets up and sits on the couch next to Carina. She folds Carina’s clothes and stacks them neatly on the arm of the couch. They can stay in her office for now. “Now, about a sweatshirt.”
“There’s some in the storage room on the first floor.”
“Perfect.” Maya hops to her feet. She holds out Carina’s phone that she took from her coat pocket and her mask for her to take. “Lead the way.” Maya opens the door and waits for Carina to exit first. She hurries out after her and finds her hand, taking it.
They go down and get a sweatshirt and Carina throws it on over the shirt she is wearing and zips it up, putting her phone in the front pocket. “I need an update.” Maya just nods and follows Carina through the hospital.
They go to the surgery board and see that Andrew is in surgery. Carina has the urge to go and watch. To go sit up in the gallery and watch as they work on her brother. She looks down the hallway in the direction that the gallery is.
But Maya tugs on her hand. “Come on.”
“Where are we going?” Carina asks.
Maya doesn’t say anything. She’s never been a religious person. She wasn’t raised in a particular religion. Maya remembers her mother going to church when they were little, but they never went with her. She remembers her father yelling at her mother before she would leave the house to go to church. She remembers her mother stopped going at one point. Probably because she didn’t want to get yelled at about it anymore. Maya wonders if her father really prevented her mother from participating in the religion that she practiced.
They get to the chapel doors and Maya pushes the right door open. She doesn’t know what religion Carina was raised with. Italians are Catholic, right? So maybe this is the right place for them to be right now while they wait on news of Andrew’s surgery.
Maya feels her phone buzz in her pocket. They walk to the front of the chapel. There’s no one else in the room. Maya doesn’t know if that’s good or bad. Good, she thinks, no one else’s family members are dying.
Is Andrew dying? Is it that bad? Maya isn’t sure. She could asks Carina. She knows Carina knows. Maya doesn’t know all the medical terminology and how bad the condition is to know if what happened to Andrew is critical or not.
A second buzz pulls Maya from her thoughts. She pulls her phone from her pocket as Carina goes over to the stand with all the candles on it.
Maya reads the message and sends out a reply.
Carina lights a match and lights a candle for Andrea with shaky hands, saying a little prayer that he’ll be okay before shaking the match out. Which was a dumb move know that she thinks about it. She wants to light a candle for her mother too. She’s not really thinking though. She gets another match and tries to light it, but the match won’t light.
“Warren got called to a four alarm downtown.”
Maya’s words float into her brain. Carina strikes the match against the box. Why won’t it light?
“Do you have to go?” She breathes out shakily. She’s ready for Maya to leave. Carina thinks maybe Maya would rather go back to work than deal with all of this hospital stuff. It’s not really Maya’s cup of tea. Maybe it’ll be better that way. Carina can take care of Andrea herself. She’s been doing it her entire life. Why would today be any different?
“Carina. I’m not going anywhere.” Maya watches Carina strike the match aggressively against the box. “Hey. Hey.” Maya wraps her hand around Carina’s wrist. She takes the match from her hand before something happens. They don’t need to start any unnecessary fires in the chapel. Let the firefighter light the match. She strikes the match on the box lighting it and then lighting a candle.
Carina starts talking about her mom as soon as Maya touches the flame to the wick.
Maya listens intently, watching Carina’s face the entire time she’s talking, seeing her eyes light up at the memory of her mother and of her and Andrew when they were little. They sit and Maya smiles at the cute memory with Carina.
“Two parts of one whole.” And then Carina is crying again.
Maya rubs her hand up and down Carina’s thigh, hoping to comfort her but she isn’t sure if it’s working. Maya doesn’t know what to say. She doesn’t know if Andrew is going to be alright. She doesn’t want to make false promises.
They sit there for a long time. Carina tells more stories about Andrew from when they were little kids. That seems to be the place Carina is stuck in. Those memories seem to be the purest. They seem to be what Carina remembers most fondly of her years with Andrew. Maya knows it’s because they were split up for much of their lives after that. It’s nice to hear about Carina and Andrew’s childhood memories. Maya wishes the circumstances were different when she got to hear about them though.
Carina feels tired. It’s been a long exhausting day. She lays her head on Maya’s shoulder. “Is it okay if we just sit here in silence?” Carina doesn’t want it to be weird.
Maya squeezes her thigh. “Whatever you want.” She whispers and rest her head on top of Carina’s.
“Grazie.” She stuffs her hands into her sweatshirt pocket and tries to think positive thoughts. Things to help her stay positive and to let the universe know that she is positive and that she’s not giving up on Andrea. She knows he is a fighter and that he’s fought through so much already he can get through this too.
Teddy and Owen come in to say that Andrew pulled through surgery.
“He’ll be okay.” Maya whispers, still holding onto Carina. She rocks them back and forth.
“I hope you’re right. I’m so scared right now.”
“I know you are. I know.” Maya leans back, her hips still pressed to Carina’s but her shoulder pulled back so she can look at the sad beauty in her arms. Maya reaches up and pulls Carina’s mask down so that it sits on her chin. She wipes the tears from her cheeks.
“Devo vederlo. Andrea.” Carina sniffles. “I have to see him.”
“Okay, we’ll go. Or do you want to go by yourself?” Maya second guesses herself. She’s not sure what the correct action is here. She wants Carina to do what she wants but she also doesn’t want her to be alone or in need of anything right now. It’s not a situation Maya has ever found herself in before.
“You come with me.” Carina mumbles and turns away from Maya to leave to chapel.
Maya grabs her hand just before Carina can get out of her reach. She squeezes Carina’s hand. Carina looks down at their hands and then up to Maya’s face. Maya gives her a soft sympathetic smile. “Pull your mask up.” She whispers.
Carina smiles in thanks, pulls her mask up, and leads Maya out of the chapel.
Her heart pounds loudly in her chest as the walk the halls of the hospital. Carina doesn’t know what room he’s in but knows where he’ll be. It’s only a handful of rooms that he could be in. They get to the area and her palms are sweaty, her stomach gurgles, the anxiety present in every tense muscle of her body. The only thing keeping Carina still, present, grounded is Maya’s hand in hers.
Owen is standing there with a nurse. He leads them to the room. He starts talking but Carina can’t really focus on his words as she sees her brother lying in the hospital bed. She goes to his side and takes his hand in hers. She smiles through her tears. Her brother is alive. He’s safe. He’s here.
She tells him that they arrested Opal and the man who stabbed him and that because of his actions many children will be saved. She scolds him but is just happy to see his eyes open.
They sit together for a few minutes before Andrew gets sleepy.
Carina tells him it’s okay to have a rest. She sits there after he falls asleep, still holding his hand.
“He has the best sister.” Owen says at Maya’s side.
Maya jumps a little. She forgot that she was in a hospital. Or that Owen was standing at her side.
She had just been standing in the hallway. Letting Carina go in and see her brother by herself. Maya doesn’t need to be in there. She’ll give them time and then maybe go in later to sit with them. So, she stays silent in the hall.
Maya glances over at him. Looking him up and down. Her eyes come to rest on his forehead, just above his eyes when she speaks. “He does.”
Owen smiles his half smile. A little lift of one side of his lips.
Maya looks up at his hairline. The orange-red patch of hair that sticks up on the top of his head. She wrinkles her brow together before turning away from him and looking back through the window and Andrew and Carina.
It’s weird. Standing here next to Owen. She’s grateful for him and everything he’s done to get Andrew to where he is right now, but there’s a little bug in the back of her brain that screams “Carina slept with this man” and she can’t quite put it out of focus right now. She’s not threatened by him but it’s still awkward. She has no idea if Owen even knows who she is or her relationship to Carina and Andrew. She doesn’t have anything else to focus on at the moment so that’s the thing that sticks with her as she watches Carina and Andrew.
Carina comes out into the hallway after about fifteen minutes. She yawns. “Let’s go get a coffee.” She holds her hand out for Maya to take. It’s been a long day. It’s dark outside when they exit the hospital. The little coffee cart is closed so the go down the street to the nearest café.
“Go sit. I’ll order.” Maya tells her and presses a kiss to Carina’s cheek.
Carina thinks about her day. Well, today and yesterday. And how she was up all night last night because the hospital was crazy busy with all the extra patients coming in from Seattle Pres. And tonight looks like it might be another sleepless night.
Maya comes over with the coffee.
“Thank you, bambina.” Carina wraps her hands around the warm mug as Maya sits across from her.
“How are you doing?” It seems like the obvious question.
Carina hums. “I feel like all my nerves are fried. Everything is sensitive. Any touch, smell, taste has a sensation of too much.”
Maya nods. “Is there anything I can do to help?”
Carina smiles sadly. “Maya, you just being here helps tremendously.”
“Good.” Maya nods. “Good.” She takes a sip of her coffee. “I’m guessing you want to go back to the hospital after this.” Carina nods. “Okay, that’s fine. I can bring you back and then maybe, if it’s okay, I’ll go home and change my clothes.” She looks down at her blood stained shirt, her tie, the jacket.
“That’s fine. Will you stay there or come back?”
“What do you want?”
Carina wants Maya by her side. It’s selfish. She knows Maya needs to sleep. She knows Maya has a job to go to in the morning. But she can’t help it right now. “Come back to the hospital. I’ll have them set up a cot in Andrea’s room for you to sleep on.”
Maya nods. She’s not worried about sleep right now. She’s worried about Carina. She’s worried about Andrew. She can get sleep some other time. Maya is used to being up all night and pushing through the lack of sleep the next day. She’s already thinking about calling into work and having Andy take over for her again tomorrow. Maya looks down at the time on her phone. 10:24pm
“I’ll be right back.” Maya goes over to the counter and orders two croissants and two muffins. They need to eat something. Maya isn’t hungry and she knows Carina won’t be either, but she knows they need these at some point. She gets them to go and the café worker puts the pastries in a paper bag for her. “Grazie.” Maya says to the woman without thinking about it. She turns away from her, stops and looks back. “Thanks.” She says in English.
Maya shakes her head. She thinks it’s just the long, exhausting day that has her doing that.
She comes back over to the table and sits down.
“Food.” Maya reaches up and loosens the tie around her neck and unbuttons the top button of her dress shirt. “I just thanked that woman in Italian.”
Carina grins, proud.
They finished their coffee before heading back to the hospital. Ready to go back to Andrew’s room, and then Maya to go home and change and come back. But all of that changes when they get back to the room and it’s empty.
Carina tries not to panic and go to worst case scenarios. She goes to the nurse’s station. “Did they take Andrea for another CT or something?”
The nurse looks up at her and Carina can see the fear in her eyes.
“No.” Carina shakes her head.
Maya wraps her arms around Carina.
“They had to take him back to the OR.” The nurse explains.
Carina’s knees buckles. “I shouldn’t have left.”
Maya guides her over to the chair in Andrew’s room. “You didn’t know what would happen.” She reminds Carina. She knows logically Carina must know this.
“No, but I shouldn’t have left.”