What Callie wanted more than anything was to find Cristina sitting on the sofa. As soon as she opened the front door of their apartment, she looked expectantly at the hideous red couch that Yang had found in the paper, and then groaned when she found it empty.
"Cristina?" Callie called, taking a few steps towards the other woman's bedroom. The door was open and the bed was made ... something Callie had done herself that morning. "I made your bed! Why aren't you here to destroy it!?"
Dropping her purse in a chair, Callie flopped back on the sofa and closed her eyes, shaking her head. Mortification was always painful, but being mortified in front of the person who haunted your every waking moment was a new kind of hell. Arizona Robbins had started it and finished it ... whatever *it* was. The 'it' in question had kept Callie on pins and needles for the past week. When she wasn't pacing the floor in the Orthopedics wing, she was lurking around corners in the Pediatric Department to get a good look at Dr. Robbins.
She had even *prayed* over the tacky butterfly scrub cap that the other woman tucked her blond hair under.
Another groan escaped her parted lips and she sat up, staring at the wine bottle on the counter. Getting to her feet, she helped herself to a generous helping and glanced down at the answering machine. It was lit up and flashing. Two messages. That was two more than it had ever had before. Callie pressed the button and lifted the glass to her lips.
"Hey, Calliope, it's me. Uh, Arizona."
Blowing wine through her nose was painful and Callie pinched the bridge of it, listening.
"Look, I wanted you to know that I'm ... happy that you ... uhm, hang on."
The message ended and Callie picked up the machine, shaking it like that would help. When the second message started to play, Callie stopped moving at all.
"Hey, Calliope, it's me. Uh, Arizona. Again. I know this is the pot calling the kettle black or whatever, but Calliope is a super strange name. Not that Arizona is better. I'm just ... well, I was named after a state and you were ... named after a muse or something. God, I'm rambling which I tend to do when I'm nervous or freaked out or ... sorry. And I am. Sorry, I mean. I wish I could tell you that in person, but it took me buying Mark Sloan four shots to get him to forget his phone on the counter long enough for me to scroll through it. I called some guy named Cal thinking it was you. You're listed as Torres. Did you know he got beat up? Wait, I'm sure you do. People talk where we work. A lot. I - I said that already. Uhm, call me. My number is -"
Callie slammed the machine on the table, pressing all the buttons in her haste to replay it. "No! No! What is your number!? Dammit!"
She was startled, holding the phone over her head and fully prepared to throw it, when someone knocked on the door. She dropped the phone back on the counter, picked up her wine glass, and trudged across the expanse of the living room. "Yang, if you forgot your keys again -"
Callie yanked the door open.
"I'm not Yang," Arizona said. "But she told me where you lived."
Eyes wide, Callie didn't move a muscle.
"Are you going to say something?" prodded Arizona, adjusting her purse strap. "Anything?"
"Your answering machine sucks."
Callie nodded. "Yeah, it does."
Arizona held up a brown paper sack, smiling in a way that showcased her dimples perfectly. "Uh, you - you didn't get to finish your Gin and tonic at the bar. I - I asked what you were having and I think I owe you a refill." One eyebrow lifted slightly. "You know, if you invite me in. Because I didn't buy a glass."
"Oh. Right." Callie took a step back, beckoning for the other woman to enter. "Come in."
"Thanks." Arizona moved past her, sweeping through the living room and going straight for the kitchen. She helped herself to the cabinets and found the glasses on her first try. She pulled two from the shelf and sat them on the bar before she retrieved an ice tray from the freezer and put three cubes into each glass. When she had mixed the perfect drink, she held up one of the glasses and grinned prettily. "So, Calliope, let's toast to how you ruined my date."
Biting her bottom lip, Callie shook her head. "Sorry. I didn't know that you were - and really, she wasn't cute. You can do so much better."
"Is that an invitation?" Arizona asked sweetly. "Because I could toast to *that*."
"Okay." Callie put her glass down, running a hand over her face. "You are officially as weird as your name. You - you kissed me. It took me a week to get the nerve to talk to you and you called me a baby after you made it clear that you weren't interested. And now you're here. They have medication, you know. For this."
"I did not call you a baby. I called you a newborn. There is a difference."
"Yes. When I call you 'baby' ... it will hopefully be in the bed."
Callie stood up a little straighter. "You actually just went there."
"Isn't that where you wanted to go?"
"Uh, no." Callie put her hands on her hips, glaring across the counter at the shorter woman. "I asked you on a *date*. And maybe I'm old fashioned, but that's ALL I wanted. Dinner? A movie? Maybe a goodnight kiss. That was enough. Well, you know, for the time being."
"So, you do want to have sex with me?"
"What the hell, Arizona? Is there some kind of Lesbian Questionnaire that I don't know about? A gay twenty questions?"
"Are you? Gay? Because I heard rumors that you broke Sloan's penis and -"
"OH MY GOD! THAT WAS TOTALLY NOT ME!"
"But you were recently having sex with him? Right? That's why Erica left you?"
Callie exhaled and her shoulders slumped. So much for walking tall, she thought. "That was part of it. I - I wasn't what she needed. I couldn't be what she ... deserved."
"Because I was scared, okay? I was terrified. Maybe *you* have always known exactly who you are and that you are gay, but that wasn't the case for me. I didn't even fall in love with anyone until I was over thirty and George O'Malley happened."
Arizona, who had sipped her drink, choked on it. "George O'Malley! That little ... boy? With the doe eyes like Bambi? You ... oh my god ... is that who you were married to?"
"Yes," Callie growled through gritted teeth.
"And *that* didn't prove you were gay? Honey, you have a lot of issues."
"You think I don't know that?" Callie drained her own drink and refilled it with straight gin. "I had never been attracted to a woman at all until Erica. And it happened so fast. One day she was my best friend, the best friend I've ever had, and the next day I was kissing her in front of the hospital. We went on a few official dates and then we had sex and it was awful at first, but then ... then it just ... clicked. You know? We figured out what we were doing and I - I loved her."
"Then why did you sleep with Mark Sloan?"
"Erica said she was gay and I didn't think I was. I wanted to know. I needed to ... test a theory and see if I still liked men, too."
"They do have a name for that. It's called bisexual."
Callie downed the gin and took a deep breath as it burned to her stomach. "Well, I don't think I'm bisexual now, Arizona. I may be a newborn at this, as you so rudely put it, but I don't want a man in my life. Since Erica left ... I've had a lot of time on my hands to think about what went wrong, how I screwed up, and who I am. I'm thirty two years old and I've been married, divorced, miserable, gay, and - and *found*. Erica may have been my *first*, but she won't be my last. I - I want to be with a woman. It's not an experiment or a game or anything else. It's me. This is me."
Arizona put her hand out, stopping Callie from refilling her glass again. "I don't like to date, Calliope. I hate it. Especially first dates. I hate the nervous conversation. I hate the overpriced dinners that no one enjoys because everything is so tense. I hate movie theaters and worrying about whether or not a goodnight kiss is going to happen. And - I hate that I would rather go through that than be alone. So, if you ask me to go on a date with you again ... I'll say yes, but there's no reason we can't let this be the uncomfortable first date and just ... move on from that."
Callie smiled. "This first date sucked. I really don't think I want another one."
"Well, Julie liked you. I can give her your number if you want. She said you were hot right before she told me she wasn't interested in me.."
"Ooooh! Now you know how it feels. Burrrrrn," Callie chuckled. "Julie, huh? I don't like girls with common names."
Arizona moved around the island and stared up at Callie, then lifted her hand and touched her cheek. "I like you. I really, really like you."
"I'm not sure that feeling is mutual at this point. You really hurt my feelings."
"What if I said I'm sorry and would love to try your chicken piccata?"
"I'd be forced to ask you why you changed your mind?"
"You're not a newborn, you're a late bloomer," Arizona replied. "You were in the Peace Corps. That screams gay."
Callie laughed. "Nice. Suave."
"You're nice." Standing on her tiptoes, Arizona kissed her, tangling her fingers in her hair. "You're also very tall."
Slumping down on the stool behind them, Callie shrugged. "Now we're even."
"Not yet." Arizona kissed her again, deepening it this time, letting her tongue trail over the other woman's. When she pulled back, they were both breathing hard. "How's that for an apology?"
"It's a start." Giving into temptation, Callie reached up and touched Arizona's hair. It was just as soft as she imagined it would be. "So now what?"
"You have a DVD player, right? You wanted to take me to the movies and here I am. But, I don't watch anything where animals die. Got it?"
"You have no idea, but you will." Arizona grinned, stepping back so that Callie could stand.
They put a movie in the player.
But ignored it.
Because Arizona wanted to hear all about Botswana and the Peace Corp.
And Callie had never really had anyone listen so intently to her before.
So she talked for hours.
-The End -