|Pictures of You
Author: Skones PM
Seattle Grace assists when a huge hotel fire leaves many victims wounded. In the commotion, Arizona can't find Callie, but she does find someone else... What happens when she finds Callie? Can Arizona help her through this tragedy? COMPLETERated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Arizona R. & Callie T. - Chapters: 20 - Words: 58,174 - Reviews: 277 - Favs: 112 - Follows: 68 - Updated: 05-02-10 - Published: 12-29-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5620824
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Hi... :) So this is a story I started kind of randomly after I ended 'Escaping' so please tell me if you would like to read more. I have kind of an idea of where this could go, but it could stand alone as a one-shot if no one is interested in reading more. I know the beginning is kind of slow but bear with me :D All my stories are more angsty now for some reason...
Thanks for reading, tell me what you think, like, don't like...
Pictures of You
Triage, a medical emergency. A word that strikes the core of every doctor, firemen, paramedic or surgeon. It's a word that fills them with terror, sadness and even anger. People die, everyone knows it, but in some professions the reminder is inescapable. Some surgeons walk out of the OR and try to forget the patient whose heart stopped beating during surgery or the baby they failed to save. Firemen can save a huge amount of people from a burning building and try not to remember the screaming they heard from the floor above, the floor they couldn't get to. Paramedics find the living, they find the dead but they don't have to hear the fate of the one's they rescue. They hand them off to the doctors. Sometimes they succeed in masking death, but with triage, everyone is confronted with death. They catalogue it and assign it color-coded tags. Mass causalities, the dead and the dying all grouped together, needing immediate attention.
Arizona was no different, she hated triage, she hated to have to wait by the front doors of the hospital for dying children to show up. She hated wading through a sea of victims tagging them and moving on, when all she wanted to do is hold their hands and assure them that everything is going to be all right. It was leaving behind the patients that she couldn't deal with, tagging them then moving on, being unable to see them through diagnosis, surgery then recovery. On good days she hoped that she wouldn't have to cut anyone open, but on the rare occasion that shouts of 'get the triage kits' or 'the ambulances are arriving' were heard around the hospital she couldn't find that streak of optimism.
Today was one of those awful days, a triage day. It had been one of the rare sunny days in Seattle. The kind of perfect day with the totally clear, cloudless sky and a calming, warm breeze that gently stirred the leaves on the trees. Arizona had woken up late, delighting in having a leisurely morning alone with her girlfriend until they had to go into the hospital at noon. Callie had left at nine with some mysterious excuse, but promising to explain later. Slurping down another cup of coffee Arizona had walked into the hospital just after lunch, eager to see some of her long-term patients after rounds. But only a few moments after she entered the hospital a flurry of activity started in the ER and spread quickly through the hospital.
"Dr. Robbins!" Arizona spun around coming face to face with Bailey. The shorter woman was anxiously organizing her triage kit and slinging the bag over her shoulder.
"Dr. Bailey, what on earth happened? Everyone is running everywhere and getting triage kits but no one has told me what's happening." The blonde ran a hand nervously though her messy blonde curls as she attempted to analyze Bailey's expression to give her some clue to what was going on.
"A huge hotel fire at The Pavilion across town. It caused some of the floors to collapse and there are lots of burn and crush injuries that need immediate attention." Bailey explained shortly, scanning the ER floor for one of her elusive residents. "Most of the residents are already at the scene, it's mostly the new interns here right now so they'll have to grow up fast until we get back."
Arizona nodded intently, already losing any hope of having a leisurely slow day at the hospital. "So, what can I do?"
"The rest of the attendings are either at the scene or waiting for the ambulances. You should probably stay at the hospital with the arriving patients. Make sure someone is responsible for informing families and try to assign someone to get a list of patients from other hospitals because most of the families are being directed here. Karev's system worked a couple of years ago, have an intern take pictures of the patients and put them up on the board for families to identify." Bailey paused as Arizona furrowed her brow and strained to memorize all of the instructions. "Where the heck is Torres, you two are usually attached at the hip right now?"
"She ran off for some… mystery reason. She said she'd be back soon though. Thanks Bailey, I've never run a triage here before…"
"Good luck Dr. Robbins, keep those new interns in line for me!" Bailey called over her shoulder as she rushed toward the back exit to the hospital. Arizona stood stock still for a moment digesting the huge amount of information that Bailey had just given her. Repeating the instructions to herself in a low murmur Arizona straightened her lab coat in nervous anticipation and headed outside to wait for the incoming ambulances.
She was greeted by six, nervous but very excited, looking interns who stood by the ambulance bay fiddling anxiously.
"Okay, my name is Dr. Robbins, I'm head of the PEDs department. This is going to get hectic very quickly so when ambulances start arriving I need you to go where you're needed. I won't always have time to tell you where to go, but no matter what, don't get in the way." Arizona tried to act cool and confident in the face of such a huge disaster but inside fear twisted in her stomach. Truthfully she probably felt as nervous as the interns. "And I need one of you to be in charge of updating families," she continued as she observed the scared expression written across the intern's faces. "All the un-injured family members will be directed here since we are the largest hospital in the area. So one of you needs to contact other hospitals and try to find lost family members. Take Polaroid's of the unidentified survivors and post them in the lobby."
Six hands immediately shot up in the air, the interns looked hopeful of escaping some of the terrifying commotion.
"Look, your first triage is always scary but think of it as a very busy ER since you aren't being asked to go to the scene. So…" Arizona looked over the interns thoughtfully, "you." Arizona said, pointing to the third intern from the left, a taller, brown haired boy who was almost shaking with anxiety. "You can be in charge of the families, okay?" He nodded and Arizona turned around, trying to muster up a smile as she faced the rest of the interns.
"You know how this works?" She crossed her arms over her chest as the interns all nodded nervously. "Okay, so now we wait…" Fiddling with the fabric of her trauma gown, Arizona watched the street praying that the ambulance wouldn't bring in a child. Where was Calliope when she needed her? Normally when things got like this she would page Calliope. Her girlfriend would be by her side at a time like this, talking her through the tough situations and murmuring words of comfort in her ear. Granted this probably wasn't the time or place to be wishing for time alone with her girlfriend but Arizona couldn't help it. Calliope didn't usually run off like that. She loved sleeping in until the last possible minute, or engaging in less innocent morning activities with Arizona. On mornings they had off, Calliope never left early.
The blaring of sirens filled the air, effectively relegating any thoughts of Calliope to the back of her mind. Well, almost the back. She let a shaky sigh escape her lips before nodding to the interns. "Ready?" Not waiting for an answer, the blonde rushed to greet the paramedics motioning hurriedly for the interns to follow.
"Thirty five year old male, severe burns to the face and a crush injury to the lower leg." The paramedic jammed a folder into Arizona's hands and handed the stretcher off to her bewildered interns. "I need to get back," the paramedic yelled, as he jumped into the back of the truck. "You've got lots of trauma coming in!"
Arizona nodded briefly and handed off the folder to one of her interns. "Take him to trauma one, I'll be in after the next ambulance comes. Monitor his injuries; page me or another attending when you finish… Go!" The sound of sirens was already blaring from just around the corner; Arizona took a deep breath and steeled herself for the next patient. She tried not to be overwhelmed. Exhaling slowly, Arizona visualized Callie's clear brown eyes. She loved Calliope's eyes; they were always so focused and expressive. Every emotion that flashed across Callie's face Arizona could read in her brown eyes and the familiar image of them in her head was calming.
The ambulance raced around the corner, bringing Arizona back to the painful reality. "One at a time," Arizona muttered to herself under her breath. "Take them one at a time…"
"Fourteen year old girl, crush injuries to both legs and severe burns to her hands. She had a pulse in the field but we lost it about five minutes ago." Her eyes glanced quickly over the girl's small form. Taking the chart from the paramedic; Arizona grabbed the handle of the stretcher. Now her day had begun…
"I'll start with her. The rest of you wait here for the rest of the ambulances, and bring the patients into the trauma bay. And you," she brushed a stray hair away from her face and gestured toward the intern she had chosen to be in charge the families. "Get ready to start notifying families and helping with identification," Arizona yelled over her shoulder as she followed the stretcher into the ER.
Toward the end of the day all Arizona wanted to do was curl up in an on-call room and cry herself to sleep. Patients had been flooding into the ER all day long. Nine children had been brought in and three had died under Arizona's scalpel. Three children who wouldn't get the chance to see their tenth birthdays had died in Arizona's OR and she was exhausted.
Arizona was terrified that the next ambulance would bring another child, and she would have to call time of death on another little human being who hadn't even gotten a chance to say goodbye to their family, to hug their parents one last time or wave to their friends. They wouldn't get to play on the playground again or swing on the monkey bars and Arizona hated taking that away from them. At least she felt she was taking it away from them when their heartbeats stopped or they ran out of air under her scalpel. She was supposed to heal, she wanted to heal but on days like this she couldn't help feeling like she was doing more harm than good.
In a rare moment of peace, Arizona waited at the door of the lobby trying to check on the intern in charge of the lost families. She fought to keep tears from pooling in her eyes as she was emotionally crushed by what she saw. Hundreds of people, were crying and searching out their lost family members as they desperately clutched at photos or frantically asked anybody close to them if they knew where their lost person was. Groups of people crowded around the bulletin board which was littered with hundred of Polaroid's.
Her bewildered intern stood at the front of the room addressing the entire group of people. "Okay!" He called hoarsely, looking slightly overwhelmed by his task. "Here is a list of identified patients that are at Mercy West, Seattle Presbyterian and here at Seattle Grace. On the board are Polaroid's of the unidentified patients that are here at Seattle Grace, and also… the…t-the deceased. In about an hour Polaroid's of unidentified patients at other hospitals will arrive. I'll be back with more information as surgeries finish." He paled as hundreds of voices started calling out questions at the end of his brief speech. His frantic gaze found Arizona who was still standing at the door and his pleading face roused her sympathy.
Reluctantly Arizona stepped foreword, her heart breaking at all of the desperate faces staring up at her. "That is all the information we have right now. If your missing person… Your family, friend or loved one is not on either the board or the list wait for the Polaroid's to come in from the other hospitals. Once all the information is in we can answer your questions… Just please… I'm so sorry, but we can't do anything else right now we have patients to get to."
The people didn't seem to hear her. As soon as she finished speaking hundreds of question flooded from the group of people. "I'm sorry…" Arizona mumbled as she pulled her intern aside. "Look, you have one of the hardest jobs. These people are lost and they are scared because they think some of their family members are dead. And the worst part is…the horrible, awful part is, some of them actually are and some of them will be. I know it's hard; it's overwhelming, but just try to be there for them. Give them information if you have it, and try to help them if you can. Okay?" The intern nodded, looking slightly calmer. As he walked away, looking marginally more confidant Arizona called after him. "I'm sorry but what's your name?"
"Dr. Mostow… It's my third day as an intern. The third day…"
"Well Dr. Mostow, welcome to the program. You're doing a great job, just hang in there…" She flashed him a small smile and turned away, walking down the hall. Before she got five feet out of the lobby her pager went off loudly at her hip. Running down the hall, Arizona mashed her hair into a messy bun and met Dr. Hunt in the trauma bay.
"Dr. Hunt, what do you have for me?" She felt slightly calmer now that the experienced trauma surgeon had returned from the scene. Now she would have some help organizing everything.
"Dr. Robbins, a five year old girl with severe burns to the legs and neck. I'm going to go work my way through most of the trauma patients, you're good here?" Arizona nodded and moved to stand next to the bed. Gazing down at the little girl lying in the bed she checked the monitors quickly.
"Hey, how are you doing? You're at Seattle Grace Hospital, I'm going to take good care of you okay?" The small figure in the bed moved slightly turning her face toward Arizona. The blonde sucked in a breath, staring down at the little girl in shock. Those eyes, those dark, painfully familiar brown eyes. Callie's beautiful eyes, this little girl had Callie's eyes. Arizona's gaze moved over her face, noticing many smaller similarities between this little girl and her absent girlfriend.
"Dr. Robbins?" The nurse who was working with this little girl looked at Arizona questioningly. Apparently Arizona had been staring for quite a while.
Leaning down next to the little girl's bed Arizona placed a comforting hand on her arm. "Before we get started, can you tell me your name?"
"Ana," she coughed. "Ana Torres…" Arizona gasped quietly and the nurse continued to stare at her, with confusion written across her face.
"Torres, like Calliope Torres?" The small girl's eyes widened, but she winced in pain.
"She's my aunt," she answered softly. "My aunt…" Ana said before sighing quietly and closing her eyes. Arizona's medical instinct took over and she carefully dressed Ana's burns. She tried to keep her hands from shaking but horrible, terrifying thoughts were forming in her mind. Was Calliope in the hotel during the fire? Was she visiting with her family this morning and does that mean she's at the hotel?
Turning to the nurse distractedly, Arizona paused. "Take her down for a CT to check for lung damage and internal bleeding. If it's just the burns she isn't in need of urgent care so she can be moved out of the trauma bay, but because of the fire and the building collapses I want to check for internal bleeding." The nurse nodded and started wheeling Ana off down the hall. "Page me when you have the scans please." Arizona called after her.
Dashing down to the lobby Arizona tried to collect herself. It's just a coincidence, it has to be. Maybe Calliope didn't know her family was in town. I'm sure she would have told me… What if that's where she was this morning? In the hotel, did she get out in time? Entering the lobby at a run Arizona stopped at the huge mob of people that filled the small space. At the sight of a different doctor they all began crowding her shoving pictures into her face and asking desperate questions.
"Please, just wait! Give me space for just a moment, I'll be here to answer your questions just after I check something!" Threading her way through the crowd Arizona stopped in front of the huge bulletin board. Refusing to look at the side of the board that held the pictures of the deceased she anxiously scanned the Polaroid's, looking for Calliope's familiar face but praying that she wouldn't see it. She saw hundreds of faces, but none that resembled her girlfriend. Numbly Arizona shifted over in front of the next board, tears threatening to spill over onto her cheeks. She couldn't bring herself to look up at the board holding the faces of the dead…
I'm being ridiculous, Calliope's fine. Her appointment ran long, or whatever it was… Arizona tried to convince herself, but she couldn't. Fearfully Arizona raised her blue eyes to the board looking over the pictures quickly. She was relieved to find that none of photos resembled her Calliope.
Turning to Dr. Mostow, Arizona grabbed the sleeve of his jacket. "This is all the Polaroid's? From all of the hospitals?"
"N-No… The one's from Mercy West haven't arrived yet. Dr. Robbins is something wrong?" Arizona shook her head, scanning the lists of identified victims she found that there were no more victims with the name Torres listed. She couldn't check the photos for Ana's mother because she had no idea what Calliope's sister looked like.
"No, nothing's wrong," she muttered, defeated. "Keep informing the families" she finished before dashing out of the lobby, fending off terrified families. Leaning against the wall of the hallway Arizona gasped for breath, trying to contain the desperation and worry filling her chest.
Pulling out her cell phone, Arizona dialed Calliope's familiar number rapidly and held the phone up to her ear. "C'mon, pick up, pick up, pick up!" But as she waited Callie's answering machine started playing.
"Calliope," Arizona's voice broke. "I don't know where you are right now. There's been a huge disaster at the hospital and traumas are flooding in. Maybe I've missed you in the chaos or maybe you are helping out at the scene, I don't know… Just please, please call me. Let me know that you're okay, and your niece is here, Ana. I don't know if your sister and her husband were in the hotel, but it looks like Ana is going to be fine. It's just I don't know what to do, I don't know where you are so please call me back… I'm freaking out without you here." Sinking down into a crouch against the wall Arizona rested her head in her hands. The tears she had contained all day long slowly dripped down her cheeks and a long shuddering sigh left her lips as she felt all of her pent up anxiety flood out of her.
Her Calliope was missing, disappeared, and in her chest Arizona could feel dread clawing its way through her. Her girlfriend's five year old niece was hurt in the hospital, and that probably meant that Calliope's sister was somewhere, injured. But she had never met her girlfriend's sister so she had no idea what she looked like. Everything was crashing down around her, and she felt like she was drowning. Her fingers trembled as she clutched her arms around herself. In her mind Arizona saw Callie, broken and lying among the wreckage of the hotel, she couldn't breathe as that image flashed through her mind. And what about Calliope's little niece, Ana? Where was her mother, where was Calliope's sister? Where was Calliope?
Soon, sirens signaled the arrival of yet another ambulance and Arizona knew she didn't have time to break down right now. Brushing the tears off of her cheeks, Arizona took a slow, deep breath and headed back toward the ER. To get through the next few hours she needed to believe that Calliope was okay, that she had taken the day off or she was working at the scene and hadn't returned to the hospital yet. Yes, Arizona needed to think Calliope was okay so she could function. Because if she wasn't...
As she was walking past the lobby Arizona felt a small tug on her arm. Looking down hurriedly she sucked in a sharp breath when she saw that a young boy, his entire left side covered in blood, tugging on her sleeve. "Oh my gosh, are you hurt? Are you missing someone?" Arizona knelt down next to the little boy and glanced over him worriedly.
"My… m-mom, I c-can't find her anywhere," he stuttered.
"Okay…" Arizona said softly, relieved that the boy seemed to be un-injured. "Well, can you tell me your name?"
"Josh, m-my name is Josh Freedman… My mom was in the hotel eating breakfast, I was playing outside on the lawn… Now she's gone." Arizona stood up and grasped the boy's hand lightly.
"Let's go in here and I can try to find your mom. I might have to show you some pictures and you just tell me if any look like your mom. Okay?" Josh nodded and followed Arizona into the crowded lobby.
People were rushing everywhere, some were crying and hugging each other, others were clutching photographs looking completely lost and all of them looked extremely scared. The room was complete chaos as Arizona led Josh into the center of the commotion.
"Excuse me! Excuse me, does anyone know a boy named Josh Freedman?" Her voice was lost among the cries and scared babble of voices. "Josh Freedman?" Arizona yelled again but no one came rushing foreword to claim the little boy. Arizona's heart sank, and she turned to Josh. "I'm going to have to show you some pictures, just tell me if one of them is your mom. I know it's hard but if you help me I can help you find your mom." She forced a smile over her frantic expression and led Josh over to the bulletin board.
"Okay Josh look up here at these photos, do any of them look like your mom?" Josh focused intently on the board and smiled slightly as he pointed to one photo.
"That's her, the second one from the end… Where is she?" Arizona glanced up at the board and reached up to grab the photo that the little boy was pointing to. Her fingers trailed along the surface of the glossy Polaroid's as she counted down the row to the picture. Suddenly she stopped, her finger halting above one picture.
No. Ripping the photo off the wall Arizona brought it close to her face peering intently at the picture. Those lips, that dark wavy hair, even with her eyes closed in a fuzzy Polaroid picture Arizona could tell it was Calliope. Her Calliope… She felt like she couldn't breathe, like her world had been torn out from under her. Flipping the picture over desperately, she saw that scrawled across the back it read, 'Mercy West.' Kneeling down Arizona grasped Josh's shoulders as she failed miserably to fight back tears.
"I have to go… But Dr. Mostow is going to stay with you. You just hold this picture," Arizona grabbed the picture that Josh had pointed to of his mother, "and the doctor will help you find her."
"Dr. Mostow, keep this boy with you, he has a picture of his mother, his last name is Freedman and I have to go right now… So… Stay with him." Dr. Mostow nodded, taking the boy's hand.
"Okay Dr. Robbins, is something wrong?" Attempting to wipe the tears off of her cheeks, Arizona held back a sob as she clutched the photo.
"Just stay with the boy…" Arizona choked as she ran out of the lobby.
A/N: So... Want to read more? :D Comments/Reviews/Suggestions are loved. The next chapter for 'Quarantined' is finished and will be up in the next couple of days :)