Remix: Blinded By Your Love (The Confusion of a Conflict Remix) [Owen/Cristina, 483 words, rated PG-13], by little_missmimi
Trauma is messy. Owen's never had the time or equipment or place to do the best job he could. Patch it up now, and do it right later. Stabilize the patient and move on to the next. That's what he's used to, and that's what he's good at--calm under pressure, and resourceful,
That doesn't fly with Cristina. She likes her boundaries made clear, her work and personal lives separate, her problems compartmentalized. Nothing is messy. Her apartment is still her own, but she wakes up at his place, tangled in a mess of sheets and discarded clothes. One arm is slung over is chest, and the sun shines across messy black curls piled on the pillow.
There's a place for messes, sometimes.
Things are steady, at the moment. They have a truce. It's a little uneasy, and they're due for a fight soon, but for now, everything's okay.
Cristina doesn't fight fair. She probably never has. She brings up the bruises, his night terrors, things long gone when they're arguing about Meredith or the future or how he ignored her during surgery.
"You picked Izzie over me. What the fuck was that about, Owen?"
"I can't favor you just because we're..."
Cristina gets violent, too. Not often, but sometimes. She'll smash a glass, throw a stiletto across the room, punch him in the arm.
"You should just go, okay?"
Maybe he's not ready for a relationship. Maybe it's just too soon. Cristina has enough issues without him; with him, things are ten times worse. She won't allow herself to make mistakes, and he distracts her, makes her unfocused and off her game.
"I won't be Meredith Grey. This...us--you can't affect me at the hospital. I won't allow that to happen. This is not a game, and I won't have you treat it like one."
And he has his own issues to avoid. Owen closes his eyes and sees bombs going off, people screaming, open wounds. He was a witness of sorts. His memories records for the last breaths of far too many and someone should bear the cost of remembering. He'll carry the burden of it long after his scars fade.
PTSD is invisible; the bruises he left on Cristina's neck aren't. He can't just ignore them like he does with his own post-war problems. She's not fragile, but he touches her like she is; treats her like glass that'll shatter if he handles her wrong. He kisses her and she pushes for more--her nails leave crescent-shaped indents on his hips, and she bites down onto his shoulder when she comes.
Afterwards, Owen drifts into a restless sleep, worried that he's given her all he can, and it's not enough.