Title: Our dream
Author: lilyme (aka. redslilstories aka. me ;))
Summary: How can you accept someone's comfort when you know that you're the one responsible for their pain? Takes place after 10x23.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show "Grey's Anatomy". They were created by Shonda Rhimes and belong to her and the ABC network. No copyright infringement intended!
A/N: A different take on what Callie and Arizona might do after finding out that Callie can't have any more kids. Arizona has an issue that might be addressed in the next season (well, probably not), but I had it on my mind. Note that this was written before I watched the final episode, so I had no idea what the writers had planned for them.
She sighed in her troubled sleep as her body turned for what was probably the hundredth time that night. She wasn't sleeping well. Hadn't slept well in the last three nights.
Not since life once again had decided to throw her... throw them a curve ball.
She wasn't the only one having to deal with this setback. She knew that her wife was trying to cope as well.
But they would make it. They had their little girl and they had each other. And life was good, even if at the moment it didn't necessarily seem like it.
She crawled a little more towards the middle of their now much larger bed and reached her arm out for the woman she had found comfort in so many times. Whom she had provided with so much comfort herself over the years. Needing to feel her solace once more.
But she felt... nothing.
Frowning, she opened her eyes to confirm what her hand hadn't detected.
Nothing to worry about, her wife probably just had to go to the bathroom. But when she waited several minutes for her return in vain, she became worried and decided to get up and have a look.
"Arizona?" she called, knocking on the bathroom door before opening it when she got no reply and heard no other sound. The room was as empty as the blonde's side of the bed.
Where was she? At three in the morning at that.
The hospital? She surely would have woken Callie to tell her if she had been paged in for an emergency. Or had left her a note on the bedside table. But she didn't find that either. And one look out of the window told her that Arizona's car was still parked outside.
She had to be in the house somewhere.
Sofia's room? It wouldn't be the first time. Ever since Sofia was born, there were times when Callie would wake up in the morning to find that Arizona had spend most of her night in their daughter's room. Not because they had had a fight or Sofia was sick. It was simply Arizona's motherly need to check in on her. And especially since Sofia was old enough to not sleep in a crib anymore, that from time to time resulted in the adorable image of Arizona and Sofia snuggled up in their daughter's little bed together.
Callie smiled at that picture displaying in her mind and went to get a glimpse of the latest snuggle party her girls were having.
Her two girls. Her little family. They were really all she needed. And eventually they would help her get over that aching feeling that something was missing. Missing in her heart and in her womb.
She opened the door to Sofia's room and found her sleeping peacefully. But the little arms she had expected to be holding on to her Momma were instead clutching her favorite teddy bear to her. Arizona was nowhere to be seen.
And Callie slowly became worried. She hated not knowing where her wife was. The four days she had spent in uncertainty if she, if Mark or any of their friends were still alive had nearly destroyed her. For as long as she lived, she would never forget that feeling.
And in moments like this it flared up inside her.
She hurried along the hall, intending to go downstairs to look for her before she fully started to panic. But a soft noise coming from behind a door to her right stopped her. Drained the panic from her body. But did nothing to relieve her.
Because what she heard were sobs. Sobs of a woman in pain.
She reached for the doorknob but then halted. Pondering if she should enter.
Arizona was obviously trying to hide away and keep her tears to herself.
No. Callie shook her head in resolution. They had done this too often. Hiding. Hiding their feelings from one another. But Callie knew what Arizona was feeling. What was going on inside her.
Arizona had been the strong one the last few days. Calming her with her words and caresses.
So, no, Callie wouldn't have this. She wouldn't have Arizona strong on the outside while silently falling apart on the inside.
She needed to be there for Arizona, just like Arizona was there for her.
With a soft tap she opened the door. The door to a room that at the moment served as an office, held just a desk, chair, couch and a shelf with some of their medical books, but had been planned to eventually be turned into a...
Her eyes searched the darkened room and finally found her wife. Sitting on the far end of the couch, quickly facing away upon hearing Callie at the door, a futile attempt to conceal her tears. There was no need to. And Callie wanted her to see that.
"Hey, you," she said gently as she slowly walked into the room.
"Oh, hey," the blonde looked at her for the fraction of a second, giving her a smile they both knew was not convincing. "I-I, uh, I couldn't sleep so I decided to read up on a procedure I have to perform next week," she added, reaching for a random book on the nearby shelf. A half-hearted effort to believably explain her being here in the middle of the night. Knowing she wouldn't fool Callie.
"With the lights off?" Callie chuckled. "You know that moonlight reading is bad for your eyes, right, Dr. Robbins?" she tried to lighten the mood with a little teasing. And Arizona's lips pulled into a brief smile as the brunette sat down beside her.
If the sobs she had heard and the wetness the moonlight shining in allowed Callie to see on her wife's cheeks weren't proof enough, the small heap of tissues in between Arizona's thigh and the armrest were a clear indicator of the blonde's distress. And the leg that lay neatly on the floor nearby told her that she had been sitting here for a long while and possibly would have for the remainder of the night if she hadn't showed up.
Arizona's hands nestled at the lid of the book she hadn't been reading, the motion intending to distract her mind from the thoughts that had been plaguing her.
And for a moment it even worked. Before Callie's soft voice reminded her that she wasn't alone anymore. That her beautiful wife was here now. That she wanted, needed to share the pain Arizona was feeling. That she was looking to assuage it.
"Is it... Is it about my...?" the brunette trailed off as the picture of her wife breaking out in tears again brought forth her own once more.
"Yes... No..." Arizona shook her head. At Callie thinking she knew the answer to her own unfinished question. And at Callie's arms reaching out to pull her into a soothing embrace. "No!" She pulled away, making her wife release a startled and hurt sob.
No. Callie didn't know the answer.
She wasn't crying because Callie couldn't have any more kids.
She was crying because she was the reason why.
"It's m-my fault," she spoke more to herself than to Callie. It was a thought that haunted her ever since her wife had told her. Callie had told her about the adhesions she had developed. That they made it impossible for her to carry another child.
And Arizona had known the reason for these complications without Callie even having to voice it.
"It's my fault," she repeated. "The car accident. I... I ran us into that truck. I almost got you and Sofia killed. I... you had to have all these surgeries. They are... I am the reason you can't have any more kids!" her voice rose in anger at herself and her hands roughly wiped at the tears running down her face in hot, desperate streams.
She had wrecked Callie. More than once.
She had stomped on her dream of having kids at all, she had let her deal with the death of her best friend by herself... too caught up in her own hatred at her wife for having made the impossible decision to cut off her leg to save her life... and she had cheated on her with someone else.
But every time this miraculous woman had taken her back, had been willing to work and forgive her. Something she wasn't always sure she deserved.
And now when they were finally in a good place again and had decided to once more delve into the adventure of having a baby, her most fatal mistake from years back – that moment she hadn't had her eyes on the road – had robbed Callie of her dream.
And the only way Callie's dream... their dream could still come true... was something that seemed out of the question for her wife.
"I ruined your dream," she said, doing her best to avoid Callie's eyes. The eyes she loved so much. The eyes that – now that she had reminded her of the role she played in her inability to give birth to any more tiny humans – probably held nothing more than hatred and resentment.
She couldn't bear that look. The look she knew she deserved.
Callie sat in silence, Arizona the very focus of her eyes. Eyes that shone with pain and anger.
Pain at the thoughts that were troubling her wife.
And anger at the circumstances of life that put them in this situation.
She had left out the car accident as the reason for her condition on purpose. Because she had known it would eat Arizona up.
Of course she had been silly enough to believe that Arizona wouldn't figure it out anyway. And wouldn't still struggle to deal with the immense guilt she felt.
She bent her leg so she was looking at her wife more directly before she softly spoke "Look at me," her voice having to fight to even be heard through the lump in her throat. Thus coming out harsher than intended.
Arizona didn't act on this request. Did everything to not do as Callie asked her to. Her lips were set tight, her eyes fixed on the firm grip her hands were having on the book.
But eventually another hand invaded her line of sight and attempted to take the volume from her, and the blonde hesitantly gave in, heard as the book was placed on the ground before the hand was back to tug on hers. "Look at me," the plea was repeated and Arizona released a sigh and finally turned.
Callie smiled gently at her small success, an action that obviously confused Arizona as her tear-stained eyes showed. "It is not your fault," she started out slowly, anticipating the blonde's move to pull her hand away and therefore holding all the more tightly with her own. "It's not," she continued as Arizona shook her head in refusal as new tears formed in her eyes. "You hear me, honey? What's going on with me... it's... it's bad luck," she said for a lack of better wording. "Yes, the car crash was most likely the reason... but it's not like this is the case with every woman who's ever been in an accident like that," she shrugged her shoulders with a sad, teary smile as Arizona just looked on with a disbelieving expression. Not grasping what Callie was saying. Not wanting to. "So, please, baby, stop blaming yourself for this. You as well as I know that I played a role in that car accident as well. I distracted you. I distracted you so much that you went and proposed to me," she quipped as one of the best memories of her life came back to her. A memory far outweighing the uglier ones that followed this special moment.
Unexpectedly, Arizona released a small laugh and Callie's heart leaped as she went to cup the fleeting hint of a smile in her hand. The blonde didn't flinch away from the touch, and Callie continued. "Do you know how happy you made me back then?" she smiled genuinely. "Just the prospect of being your wife... It made me fight so hard to stay here on this world with you," she quickly wiped at the fresh set of tears that sprung to Arizona's eyes as she was surely going back to seeing Callie on the verge of death.
She knew that she had almost died twice in the aftermath of the crash, for days only barely hanging on. And she could only imagine how awful this experience must have been for Arizona. Feeling like she had put her in this situation.
Like she was responsible. Like she had nearly killed her and their baby that was still supposed to be safe and sound in her mother's belly.
"It was you who made me recover this quickly. And it was you who watched like a hawk over Sofia to make sure she was doing okay – it's no wonder she is such a momma's girl," Callie laughed and returned her hand to the one still holding Arizona's when she was certain that the smile on the blonde's face would remain.
"My big girl," Arizona nodded with her dimples popping. "She's just... amazing".
"I know," Callie did not hesitate to agree. "And this is despite everything that's happened. It all turned out okay. And we're gonna be okay. We have each other, and we have our wonderful daughter. It's... It's more than I could have ever asked for. So, please, promise me you won't blame yourself for what happened any more. Because I never once did," she repeated her statement from before to make it sink in.
She searched Arizona's eyes for acknowledgment. She had seen the previous smile lessen a little and now worried that she hadn't been able to convince Arizona that she was not to blame. And, more importantly, that their little family could really be enough for her. Even if right this moment it didn't yet feel like it.
Arizona finally nodded but failed to provide a smile or any other positive facial expression. She loved this incredible woman so much. Callie was providing her with so much support and comfort when she was actually supposed to be Callie's shoulder to cry on.
She was so strong.
And she had her believe that their life was perfect the way it was now.
"What is it?" Callie asked softly when she noticed that Arizona was thinking about something. Something it seemed the blonde wasn't sure she should say out loud or not.
Arizona opened her mouth and closed it again, not sure how she should start. She once more mulled over everything Callie had said, considering how their life was now and comparing it to how it could be.
Because she knew that they could be happy the way they were now. That they could never be more thankful for their little family, for their little girl.
But deep down she knew that Callie still wanted more kids, and was afraid that if she asked and it once more didn't work... it would destroy them irrevocably.
And it saddened Arizona that her wife thought like this. That she thought that they weren't strong enough to survive any more complications. And once more she felt responsible for this.
She... both of them hadn't handled the miscarriage in the best way. Had failed to really sit down and talk about it. Arizona not willing to, needing to deal with this by herself, and Callie too distracted with other things going on to really notice that her wife was drifting away.
Arizona would never forget the consequences this had eventually led to, and she would never stop regretting them for as long as she lived.
With her betrayal she had nearly destroyed them for good, she knew that she had left a deep scar on Callie. Not one of the ones that was visible on her body. But an invisible one that probably would not fade away like the others did.
"Do... Do you trust me?" she therefore asked and looked at Callie uncertainly. She knew this wasn't a question to be answered easily. She wasn't even sure how she would answer it.
And it took long moments before her wife answered and Arizona was nearly convinced she would hear a 'no' coming from her beautiful mouth. But instead Callie returned, "More than anyone else in my life", and squeezed Arizona's single hand still safely held in both of hers with a affirmative, albeit questioning smile at this unexpected question.
Arizona returned it with an astounded, yet relieved sigh and went to mirror Callie's position with her leg bent, for the first time since Callie had found her actually fully facing her. "So, I wanna tell you something, and I want you to hear me out, okay?"
"Okay," Callie nodded in agreement, wondering what was about to come.
"You know... that I never wanted kids. They've never been part of my plan. And I've never planned to get married one day either, never thought I would ever find someone I would want to commit to like this. All I've ever wanted was to become a good doctor and dedicate my life to medicine and to helping people. No wife. No kids. Just my work."
Callie fought hard with herself to not pull away her hands at this. Hearing what sounded like regret at letting herself be tied down by a family was something she really didn't want to hear right now.
"But then...," Arizona quickly continued, noticing the shift in emotion in her wife. This time it was she who held to Callie's hand and did not allow her to retreat back into herself. Because what she wanted to say now was what Callie needed to hear. "But then... then I met you. And you changed my view on life. My view on what I wanted. I was ready to marry you pretty much after our first date," she laughed and Callie raised her eyebrows in surprise.
She hadn't known that, and given Arizona's initial reluctance to go out with her in the first place had never thought that Arizona might have felt that way about her so soon. Then again, she herself had been pretty much a goner ever since that bathroom kiss.
"But I didn't want to scare you away," she quickly added before becoming more serious. "And... I was stupid when I first shot down your desire to have kids. Now I can't see my life without Sofia and you in it," her tears welled up once again. "And... I can't see her growing up alone anymore, Callie". she took Callie's hands in hers and put them on her belly.
"I know you're afraid that it might go wrong again, and so am I... but we can do this. We're better than we were before. We're better prepared for what could happen. And I don't want 'what if's' stopping us from our dream. Our dream, honey. Because I want this too, Callie. I want to carry our baby so much. I want Sofia to have a little brother or a little sister. So, please... let's try again. Let me give you our dream. Please..."
The room fell silent as Arizona looked at Callie with imploring eyes. Portraying how much she wanted and needed this, that she wasn't just offering it to make Callie happy.
But Callie... avoided her gaze. Looked down at the four hands resting on Arizona's stomach. And when the blonde saw her wife shaking her head with her lips pulled into a tight grimace, she was sure she knew what Callie was going to say. She was going to say no, and for the first time she could comprehend how the brunette must have felt all these years ago when Arizona had said no to her baby wish.
And when Callie finally pulled her hands from hers, she was ready to run. Instantly cursing herself for having taken her leg off when she had come here.
However, before she could think about getting away from this hurtful moment, from sitting here with Callie any longer, a tiny laugh brought her back to the brunette, just in time to see the freed hands wiping away at new tears that had sprung to her eyes before they reached for her face and pulled her in for a loving kiss.
And although she had not been prepared for this, Arizona returned it and held onto Callie's arms, suddenly feeling a bit of hope come back to her. "Yeah?" she asked when the kiss eventually came to an end. She needed to hear it. She needed to hear that the smile she could now see on her wife's tear-stained features really meant what she wanted it to.
"Yes. Yes!" Callie nodded vigorously and once again pressed her lips to Arizona's. "I love you so much".
"I love you too," Arizona whispered in relief as they gazed at each other in happy anticipation.
They stayed in this special room for the rest of that night. Lying on the couch, cuddled together under a warm blanket and just looking around the room that would eventually be turned into a nursery if things worked out the way they planned.
"So, you think tiny you will also be into all shades of beige or will they actually prefer something that's more like a real color?" she teased her her blonde as she looked at the walls of the room, which currently were still a neutral white. But some color was certainly in order to fit the room's final purpose. And once their child was old enough, he or she would decide about the style themselves.
Not surprisingly, Sofia's new room was indeed beige, combined with some patches of pink and rose here and there. She took so much after Arizona it was almost frightening – yet so, so adorable at the same time.
But maybe this time it would be the other way around.
When the blonde failed to reply for several moments, Callie lifted her head from where it had been resting in the nape of the neck of the woman lying before her. "Baby?" she asked and saw that she had fallen asleep with a soft smile playing on her lips.
The bad feelings of guilt that probably hadn't let her sleep properly in days were finally forgotten. And were giving way to sweet dreams about a tiny human that might complete their little family in the near future.
Callie combed her fingers through the soft blonde hair and just watched her. She loved her so much. And now that she was certain that Arizona wasn't just offering to carry a baby because she herself couldn't but that the blonde herself wanted it so much as well... she couldn't be happier.
They both knew there was a possibility things might go wrong again – and especially Callie's fear had not entirely dissipated. She knew she was right in saying that it could break them for good if things went wrong one more time. But Arizona's words and the prospect of one day having a tiny version of the blonde enrichen their lives by far outweighed her anxieties.
She moved her hand to Arizona's stomach to hold her more securely as she leaned down to softly kiss her cheek before she lay back down to join her wife in her happy dreams.