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Reuniting And Becoming A Family

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Chapter 1

It was bound it happen sooner or later.

It was inevitable, and she had been prepared for it for weeks-no, months now. It was about time, really, and she was as ready as she would ever be.

Or at least this is what Bernie was telling herself.

Serena stood, not three feet away, but it felt like miles between them. The other woman was dutifully examining Ric's patient, and if she noticed Bernie had just burst into the tiny side room to ask for a consultant's opinion on another case, well, she didn't acknowledge this added presence.

Bernie suddenly wished she had heeded Dom's and Charlotte warnings of waiting for Ric to finish with the patient before excitedly pointing out evidence of a condition she had earlier predicted upon first inspection of her patient. But no, in her hurry to prove Dom to be wrong, Bernie had ignored their protests and walked right on in.

She'd had two months to come to terms not that she'd been counting. In a hospital like Holby, they were bound to bump into each other again. To be honest, Bernie was surprised they had avoided the awkward reunion for so long.

"Earth to Bernie?" Ric's voice, tore Bernie from her thoughts. He stood with his arms folded, looking at her.

She swallowed hard and held the patient's notes up, her mind drawing a blank at the man's name-being close to Serena again had that much of an effect on her brain.

Bernie ducked her head as Ric flicked through the notes. She pretended not to see the occasional glances Ric would shoot hee as he turned a page-as though he was waiting on Bernie to say something wrong, to screw up like she had one time before, to make things with Serena even worse than the hospital rumours had portrayed them to be.

And she probably would have, if she'd been able to find her voice. Instead, all she could do was nod when Ric asked her a question she hadn't been paying attention to, and hope that perhaps Serena would take extra-long examining the patient so she wouldn't turn around and Bernie wouldn't have to come face to face with the woman she loves.

But of course Bernie did not deserve that sort of luck, and, because she was a total idiot, she lifted her head to sneak a look at Serena in the same moment she finally spoke.

"You can pull your shirt down, now," she told the patient. Bernie watched as Serena gifted her with a reassuring smile. "We'll be able to tell you a lot more when your scan results comes back." With her files tucked under her arm, Serena squirted her hands with the hygienic hand gel. After rubbing them together, she turned around, and slipped the files back into their place.

There was still a smile set on her face, and Bernie ducked her head again . "No sign of a tumor, but given the history I'd recommend further tests," said to Ric, and Bernie was too much of a coward to meet Serena's eyes, worried of the disappointment that may be reflected there.

"I'll page you," Ric said, shooing Serena away for what Bernie imagined was the sake of the patient, being trapped in such a tense atmosphere.

"Good," Serena replied, and then, without one word to Bernie, she was gone.

"Are you alright Bernie?" Ric asked, in a tone that suggested even if Bernie said yes, he did not believe for a second that anything was okay.

Bernie forced a wide smile, but he knew it was weak from the disorientation of being in the same room as her ex again. "Great."

"Do you want to talk."
Bernie shook her head and said" not right now but I may later".

Bernie let out the breath she hadn't realised she'd been holding. She told herself she had no right in the world to feel dissatisfied with any part of the last five minutes.

She walks out of the room and goes with Dom and Charlotte for coffee and to talk because they saw her reaction around Serena. She'd never regretted going downstairs for a coffee before. Especially not on her break, after a stressful morning of awkward encounters and pity glances from Ric and Hansen.

But seeing Serena standing at the counter, chatting happily to the woman serving her her espresso, Bernie found herself pressing the elevator button repeatedly.

"Not trying to avoid me, are you?"

Serena's voice made something lurch inside Bernie's chest. With some reluctance, she turned around to face the woman he had once imagined would be a part of her future and who she still wants.

She gave a smile that was sure to be shaky. "I didn't see you there."

Serena just smiled again she looks over at Charlotte who smiles and waves to her before turning back to Bernie, and that tightening in Bernie's chest continued. "Do you have a few minutes?" She held up her espresso. "We could talk?"

Bernie swallowed. "Uh, sure." Before the agreement was even out of her mouth, Bernie was wanting to take it back. Stop being an idiot, the rational part of her brain argued.This is Serena.

As though she was being controlled by someone else, Bernie quickly paid for her coffee and sat down across from Serena at a table by the entrance. It was a small comfort knowing the elevator was only a stone throw away if she needed to make her escape.

For a long moment, they just stared at each other. "Your hair's grown," Bernie blurted out.

It was a subtle difference, one Bernie only noticed because she'd spent so many nights running her hands across soft hair, always kept tight.

"Listen, Bernie, about earlier," Serena began, and she looked as uncomfortable with all of this as Bernie expected her to be. Was this a good sign?

Maybe she'd realised that their relationship meant everything to her in maybe she'd decided they deserved another chance, after all; maybe some time apart had opened Serena's eyes to see that Bernie belongs with her always.

"I shouldn't have pushed you away." Wait, was Serena apologising? Seriously? Why? "It was...childish of me. To be honest, I didn't know what to say."

"Me neither," Bernie admitted. Another painfully silent moment passed, and she'd never imagined being with Serena again would be this awkward.

Determined not to allow the conversation to lapse into silence yet again, Bernie swallowed hard against the lump in her throat and finally looked up to meet Serena's eye.

"I called," she said, the words tasting like regret on her tongue. It was true- she had called Serena.

She had planned to show up at Serena’s doorstep tonight after coming back last night and after leaving her first shift back at Holby. She would beg and plead and tell her how she loves her until the other woman gave in and took her back.

"I know," Serena replied. "I didn't really want to talk I couldn't after hurting you the way I did and I didn't want you giving up your dream job to then resent me later for making you do that I love you I just could not do that to you."

She didn't have to say a thing: Bernie could hear the words.

She couldn't tear her stare away from Serena's eyes. For the first time since they'd sat down, she caught a glimpse of just how much Serena wants her and how much she misses her.

"I shouldn't have said that," Serena looked back down at her coffee, breaking whatever spell was between them. "Forget I said that."

I love you too, Bernie wanted to cry out. I still do. I never stopped.

"I didn't think you'd want to be around me after...everything," Serena said, forcing a grin.

Bernie didn't look up. "We work at the same hospital again even though I didn't know you were coming back. We couldn't avoid each other forever."

"Exactly. I've been thinking a lot lately, about us, and you know-"

"-Me too," Serena cut her off.

Bernie thought she would have to suggest they get back together, but it sounded like Serena wanted to be the one to do it. Because she knew Bernie well enough to know that she would be uncomfortable making the first step. But before she could do or say anything their was a cough and they both looked up to see Cameron standing their,Charlotte walked up and pinched his arm and says"What the hell Cam".

 

To Be Continued

Chapter Text

Chapter 2

Cam? Cam what are you doing?" Charlotte wasted no time in warning him.

Cam just stood there looking at all 3 of them not understanding what the problem is until Charlotte drags him with her and as she is pushing Cam out the door she says to her mom and Serena that they will give them some privacy to talk on their own without interruptions". She leaves closing the door behind her as she goes.

Unable to look at each other without a smile despite the apprehensions about the sudden change.

They both relaxed, but both still wanting to talk about everything..

"Have you eaten yet Serena". Serena shakes her head as Bernie says" shall we go and get something I know I'm hungry". Serena just nods at Bernie.

"Excellent.

Taking a couple steps closer to her before looking over her shoulder to be sure no one was listening, she asked, "Why did you leave me why did you not fight for me?"

Tensing up, Bernie answered, "I almost did… but I thought it might be better not to."

Before Serena could ask why again, footsteps sounded from behind her. Sure enough, it was Donna.

"Telephone for you, Serena."

Letting out an audible groan, she turned to Donna and said, "Tell them to wait. I'm busy and will be leaving with Bernie in a moment."

"I'm afraid it's urgent"

Glancing at Bernie she could see she was equally as irritated but motioned for her to go. "I'll go and start the car and wait in the car come down when your finished."

As Donna started back toward the nurses station, Serena took hold of her wrist and discreetly brushed her lips against her temple. "We'll talk this evening. I still want to know why."

Bernie nodded, feeling embarrassed as she watched Serena walk away.

 

To Be Continued