A/N No excuses except life and the disappearance of my muse.
It seemed as though this day would never get here. It seemed as though the closer it got the farther away it seemed. In the last year there had been many changes and trials in Callie and Arizona's home. Irina had been hospitalized for nearly four months following her heart surgery due to several serious complications, two of which nearly cost her, her had started to feel as though, they would never get to leave the hospital. Irina missed her kitty so much. Mark and Lexie had snuck the white furball into the hospital to visit Irina several times and during the last time they snuck Fluffy in, they had gotten caught by one of the new nurses on the pediatric floor. Lexie had managed to make the complaint go away. No one was ever sure how she managed that, but the end result was that they were not punished for bringing in a non-therapy animal to visit a patient. Irina was used to the hospital because everyone she loved, except for her grandparents and Aunt Aria, worked there and she got to see everyone a lot. She did hate being a patient though. She hated the owes and the needles and she had even started hating white coats in general.
When Irina had finally gotten to go home with her moms, she had gone straight up to her bedroom and cuddled her white fluffball so tightly that Callie had to gently remind her to be gentle with the now full grown cat. Her room didn't feel like her room just yet and that was because she had spent four months in the hospital.
Shortly after Irina had gotten settled back into her house, Callie and Arizona decided that it was time to have a wedding. They had waited for so long while Irina adjusted to her new life with them and then her birthday came and then Callie & Arizona's accident and finally Irina's latest heart surgery. So the next several months were dedicated to planning a wedding.
All the wedding planning was put on hold one day when Arizona received the news that her father had, had a massive stroke. She hopped on a plane immediately to go see him but by the time she had landed, her father had passed away, while his wife of forty-five years held his hand. Callie and Irina were on the next plane out. Callie was worried about Arizona and Irina really missed her Mommy. They attended the funeral and the following day Callie and Irina went home. Arizona stayed for a few weeks to help her mother sort through her father's papers and other important items.
When Arizona returned to Seattle, Callie and Irina were there to meet her plane. When Irina saw her Mommy she ran to Arizona and threw her tiny arms around Arizona's waist. Arizona picked Irina up and held her close, burying her nose in her daughter's yellow hair, trying desperately to stop the tears that threatened to stream down her pale cheeks. Callie came towards them and wrapped both Arizona and Irina in her arms. Arizona was devastated that her father wouldn't be able to be at the wedding. Arizona knew that he had been looking forward to of postponing the wedding, Callie and Arizona agreed to go forward with the plans that they had for the wedding. Arizona knew that her father would want that and that was what encouraged her to go ahead with the wedding plans.
It was finally wedding day, just 3 months after Irina's fifth birthday and nine months after Irina's Fontan operation. The wedding was going to be outdoors if the weather cooperated. So far it looked good. No clouds in the sky meant that there would likely not be any rain either. There was no actual bridal party, there was just one witness for each woman. Callie had picked Addison for her witness and Arizona had picked Miranda. The wedding guests were made up of mostly hospital people. Callie's parents and sister and Arizona's mother were the only family members in attendance.
It was an outdoor wedding so Arizona had wanted the brides to be in white dresses with the witnesses in any pastel color they chose. Miranda had picked a pale lilac and Addison had picked a light blue. Irina had a pale pink dress on, though this had been a battle. She was starting to assert herself confidently and while Callie and Arizona were glad to see their daughter become more independent and confident, some of her color combinations left a little to be desired.
Currently their independent and spunky daughter was running around chasing thirteen month old Ryan Sloan while seven year old Tuck was chasing her. Ryan would lose his balance and fall to the floor and cry and then Lexie would rush over to him and remind Irina to place nicely with the toddler. There was a story in the news about a man going around kidnapping little kids so Lexie was being very cautious. She had nightmares about Ryan getting snatched up by this creep. It also didn't hurt that she was expecting again and thus very emotional. She was three months pregnant and a hormonal mess just like during the first pregnancy. The previous night at the loosely termed "rehearsal dinner" she had become convinced that Mark was off having sex with Callie's sister Aria. Despite several assurances by everyone around her, she still wasn't convinced. It wasn't until Aria emerged from her room this morning with a younger man beside her that Lexie breathed easier.
Two o-clock was drawing closer and Arizona and Callie were growing more excited by the second. Both mothers had refused to allow Arizona and Callie to see each other before they met to walk down the aisle together. Both brides thought that was ridiculous but they humored their mothers because everything else had gone the way they wanted. They decided to allow their mothers just this one thing. Right now the main objective was to corral the now seven year old Tuck, five year old Irina and thirteen month old Ryan so that they could get settled down. That job had come to Mark only because he was truly the only one left without a job to do in all the pre-ceremony jobs. And because he was the only one that Irina in particular wouldn't argue with.
Tuck and Ryan didn't really have jobs in the wedding so Tuck would sit with Lexie and Mark and Ryan, who also didn't have a job in the wedding. Irina was going to be scattering rose petals down the aisle before she went to sit with the Sloan family. Both Addison and Miranda had the rings. Addison had Arizona's and Miranda had Callie's
It was 1:55 in the afternoon and all the guests sat waiting. Somehow Mark had calmed down all three kids without losing his temper. Ryan was sitting on Lexie's lap and Tuck was now on his other side. Irina was with Addison and Miranda, hopefully behaving herself.
At 2:00 exactly, both mothers walked down the aisle, Arizona's mother carrying two white roses: One for her deceased husband and one for her deceased son. Arizona and Callie wanted to acknowledge both Timothy and Michael when they committed to each other for a lifetime. Callie's father walked down the aisle next. Callie had made the decision that since Arizona wouldn't be able to have her father walk her down the aisle, Callie wouldn't have her father walk her down the aisle either. She had explained things to her father and he totally understood her decision.
Irina came next, scattering white and pink rose petals everywhere. She was actually listening to what the grown up had told her about this job. No one needed to know that her grandmother Robbins had threatened her with not getting any wedding cake if she didn't cooperate. That threat was serious enough to a five year old to make her cooperate. When she reached the end of the aisle, she turned towards her Uncle Mark and his family and walked towards them and sat down on Lexie's other side, closest to the aisle so she could watch her moms come down the aisle.
Finally the big moment had arrived. Arizona and Callie came out of separate rooms and they met at the beginning of the aisle. Both wore beautiful dresses and very minimal makeup and flowers. They joined hands as they walked down the aisle. They exchanged loving smiles once they reached the end of the aisle and faced Miranda who had had to fill in as the person marrying them. Miranda had a dual role in the wedding today.
"We are gathered today to celebrate the love between two people. These two have weathered storm after storm and yet they remain in love and devoted to one another and to their daughter. This love is real and lasting." Miranda started off. She wasn't sure how to do this. Surgery she could do. Preforming a wedding ceremony was a bit out of her element. She didn't do surprises well so she was having to think on her feet. Thankfully, that was something she could do. She looked at Callie as if begging one of the brides to please start talking.
"You kissed me in a dirty bar bathroom. From that day on, you have not left my mind. Even when you called me a newborn, I wanted you. Even when you ended up in screaming matches with the one guy who has stuck by me through all the crap that life has thrown at me, I wanted you. Aside from our daughter I have never loved anyone more. Watching you with our daughter makes me fall in love with you more and more every single day. The day we got engaged was a bit of an adventure but it's one that I would take with no one else but you." Callie told Arizona softly as tears shone in her eyes. She had sworn that she wasn't going to cry, but Callie knew she wouldn't be able to keep the tears from flowing much longer.
"I kissed you in a dirty bathroom and then I freaked out. I didn't want to date someone who had just realized they were a lesbian. I think I was just putting up walls that you had already penetrated. I wasn't expecting anyone like you to capture my heart. Yes we fight sometimes but honestly Calliope, I'd rather fight every day with you than make love with anyone else. Watching you with our daughter is the most amazing thing in the world. You know I never wanted kids, but I loved you and I knew how much you wanted kids. I didn't want to lose you. I knew I had to get on board with the idea of having kids or I would lose the woman I loved forever." Arizona whispered back.
Irina was already bored. She was swinging her legs back and forth very impatiently. Ryan had already fallen sleep, probably because of the soft harp music that was playing right now. Tuck was clearly bored too. He had that expression on his face and his eyes looked glazed over. The two older kids were waiting for cake.
Callie knew that Arizona had taken at least one line from The Wedding Date. Callie didn't mind because that line was her favorite part of the movie. Arizona was missing her brother and her father so badly right now. She wanted them both to be here and she hated that war and medicine had stolen the most important men in her life away from her and her family. She looked at her mother and saw that her mother's smile. A smile so much like Timmy's smile.
"Callie, do you take this woman to be your wife, for better or worse. For richer or poorer as long as you both shall live?" Miranda asked the bride.
"I do." Callie murmured.
Miranda turned to Arizona and repeated the same question to her.
"Arizona, do you take this woman to be your wife, for better or worse. For richer or poorer as long as you both shall live?"
"I do." Arizona whispered. Miranda gave Callie's ring to Arizona and Arizona's ring to Callie. Both women had decided against saying the traditional words that usually accompanied the ring. Callie took Arizona's hand and slipped the ring on her finger with trembling fingers.
"I love you." Callie told Arizona simply. Arizona took Callie's hand next and slipped the ring on her finger. Unlike Callie's fingers, Arizona's hands were steady as if she was doing surgery on a baby.
"I love you Calliope." Arizona whispered.
"You may now kiss your wife." Miranda told both women simply. There was no reason to drag this out. Smiling both Callie and Arizona leaned in for a soft PG rated kiss. When they pulled away, the guests stood, clapping and in some cases crying. Callie and Arizona kissed again before they made their way up the aisle.
"Can we have cake now?" A very impatient Irina demanded to no one in particular.
"Patience." Mark reminded her. Irina grumbled under her breath. Why was everyone always telling her to have patience? She was five. She didn't need to worry about that yet.
Like the wedding, the reception was simple. Appetizers, a chicken or vegetarian option and then of course wedding cake. The cutting of the wedding cake went smoothly even though Mark tried to talk Callie into shoving cake into Arizona's face as a joke. No one else thought that was very funny. That probably explained why people kept glaring at him. Irina was happily munching on her piece of chocolate cake that she had been waiting on not so patiently all day.
The first dance was beautiful. Both women didn't take their eyes off one another through the entire song. Arizona had talked Callie into having their first dance song be Lonestar's Amazed. Neither woman was a big country music fan but this song was so perfect, that they had to use it.
Another rough moment in the reception was when it came time for the father-daughter dance, which Callie and Arizona had scheduled for the final dance of the night. Callie would be able to dance with her father but not Arizona. Arizona didn't even have her brother to dance with. She was prepared to grit her teeth and just watch her wife dance with her father. Out of nowhere a man's hand was extended to her. She looked up and it was Mark. She didn't want to be at the mercy of Mark's pity, but she also didn't want to hurt Callie's feelings if she was the one who had set this up with Mark's help.
"I know I'm not your father or Timmy but I'd like to do this. For you, because you deserve this." Mark told her quietly. Slowly Arizona took his hand and stood up. She still wasn't sure if Callie had arranged this or what. One look at Callie's face told her that Callie had not had anything to do with this. Arizona and Mark slowly made their way onto the dance floor to join Callie and her father.
"I miss my brother and all day I haven't had a moment to just miss him." Arizona whispered as she slowly looked up at the man who had been the reason for several fights between herself and Callie. She missed her father too but at least if her father was here, he'd be keeping everyone busy and Arizona would have been able to just focus her energy on something else.
"It's okay to miss him Arizona. If you need this minute to just miss your brother, take it. I don't mind." Mark told her gently. Two seconds later, he was surprised to see the usually calm Arizona dissolve into silent tears. Mark held her and shielded her tears from everyone else. He knew that she wouldn't want to feel as though she was ruining Callie's day.
When the song was over, Arizona slipped away before Callie pulled away from her father's embrace. Mark wasn't sure what to do here. Maybe Arizona just needed to be alone for awhile. Maybe he should get Callie and tell her what was going on. Those questions stopped abruptly when Callie turned to him.
"Where's my wife?" Callie asked. She could see the wetness on Mark's grey suit jacket and she was worried about Arizona. She hated not being with her wife right now.
"She's taking a moment to miss her brother." Mark murmured so no one else would hear. He gestured in the direction that Arizona had gone, knowing that Callie would want to be with her right now. Callie took off in that direction without saying another word to Mark. As she ran towards the room, she realized that running in a wedding dress was virtually impossible.
When she reached the room that Arizona was in, she opened the door and just went straight to Arizona's crumpled frame and hugged her. Callie hated to see her wife like this. Especially on a day that was supposed to be a happy one.
"Mark told me." Callie whispered just in case Arizona hadn't wanted her to know what was going on. In that case, they could blame Mark for it.
"I miss my brother Calliope." Arizona murmured.
"I know you do babe and I wish he was here with us. Celebrating with us." Callie whispered.
"I'm sorry." Arizona whispered. She felt awful for ruining the wedding.
"Don't apologize. You can stay in here as long as you want." Callie reassured her. She was not going to rush her new wife.
"No I'm ready." Arizona whispered. All her makeup was gone but she didn't care. The wedding was nearly over anyway. They just had to say goodbye to Irina before they headed off on their honeymoon.
"Okay." Callie agreed. She took her wife's hand and walked with her back to the reception. Mark shot both of them concerned looks. He was surprised to see them so soon. Arizona released Callie's hand and walked up to Mark. She hugged him and then spoke.
"Thank you. I needed that more than I realized."
"Don't worry about it. You and Callie just enjoy your honeymoon and don't worry about Irina." Mark told her with a smile.
"We won't." Callie assured him as she walked up to Mark and Arizona and wrapped her arm around Arizona's waist.
"Where is she anyway?" Mark asked as he looked around for that blond haired little girl. Callie's stomach tightened as she recalled that kidnapping story. One look at Arizona and she knew her wife was thinking the same thing. Just then Lexie came into view with Ryan and Irina. Mark. Arizona and Callie all exchanged relieved glances and let out a collective breath.
"Callie, Arizona that wedding was beautiful."Lexie told them with a smile. It had really seemed like the perfect wedding. That made Lexie want to get married right away. A date had finally been set for their wedding, six months after the latest addition to the Sloan family arrived. They had started planning the wedding before Lexie found out she was expecting again so they had had to change the wedding date.
"Thank you Lexie."Callie told her with a smile.
"Are we ready to go?" Arizona asked Callie.
Irina knew that her moms were going on a trip without her. She should have been mad but she wasn't She got to stay with Uncle Mark & Aunt Lexie. She was excited about that. She had gotten over her jealousy that she felt towards Ryan. He seemed like her little brother now.
"Yes, let's go." Callie told Arizona with a loving smile. Both moms held out their arms for their five year old. Their five year old ran right into them and hugged them tightly. The three of them exchanged "I love you's" before Callie and Arizona headed to their car. As they were walking to their car, the few guests that were still around showered them with bubbles. The bubbles had been Lexie's idea so that the kids could get involved. Callie and Arizona waved to their daughter and all their friends as the car pulled away from the celebration.
Irina was halfway to Uncle Mark's car before she realized no one was coming with her. She turned around and smiled when she saw Ryan and Mark running to catch up with her. Aunt Lexie followed them, carrying a few things that she had brought to the wedding to keep Ryan occupied. Climbing into the car, both kids were chattering away. Granted Ryan's was more like babbling, but Irina was quite the little chatterbox. Mark and Lexie sighed as they realized that both kids would likely not go to bed that easily. It would likely be a long night for all four of them.