Author Devylish
Title Aria and The Duet
Chapter 6/6 Living Fully
Fandom Grey's Anatomy
Pair Mark and Callie
Rating PG13
Words 2404
Warning/Spoiler/Summary None. None. Callie's sister Aria is in town, and she's about to mix things up. Response to Aclairec's wishlist request to see Aria in town with Mark and Callie during the holidays.
Disclaimer All publicly recognizable characters, settings, plot, etc. are the property of the creators of the TV show Grey's Anatomy. Any original characters, settings and plots are the property of devylish. devylish is in no way associated with the TV show Grey's Anatomy and no copyright infringement is intended. This work is an amateur fan effort and no profit is being made.


My name is Aria Marie Torres, and I lived a full life. Fuller than most.

I knew love.

I knew love.

And I knew happiness. And sadness…fear and excitement.

I had wonderful parents. Wonderful brothers and a beautiful sister.

And I had an amazing mate.

I had a good, full, true life.

But all good things must come to end.

***

When I first found out I was sick, I laughed. I laughed deeply, unbelievably deeply. The doctor must have thought I was insane. More insane.

But I wasn't…, I just found it… ironic that I was finally sick, sick with the same disease that had killed my beautiful Raff. I was sick, only I was sick three years too late.

During the two years that Raff had been sick, I had prayed – on knees, head bent -- for two things. One, for his cure. Two, to be allowed to go with him.

Neither prayer had been answered.

After his death, I took up smoking again; a slow, but effective, attempt to follow him to the grave. I took up dying – cigarette in hand; but at the same time I took up living. I traveled the world, I danced, and I sang. I studied, I taught. I surprised myself by how hard I tried to live.

I wasn't going to do surgery; surgery wouldn't have helped anyway, but I went for a second and a third opinion. I traveled across the U.S. for a third opinion… apparently, there was an inkling… a section… a small bit of me – the essence of humanity???? – that still wanted to live.

When I met with the third doctor, the expert in Seattle, I let go. I let go of that last little bit of hope. And instead of wanting to live, I simply decided to 'live fully' for as long as I could. No chemo, no radiation, just laughter, tears, dancing, alcohol, food, and sex. Yeah… I found and had one night stands -- beautiful men who for a while could give me pleasure; who I could make happy.

I had sex, and laughter and tears.

And then I slept.

And when I woke… Raff was there. And his arms were open.

***

The best part of finding out I was sick was renewing my relationship with Callie.

We'd always had a … strained relationship. Older sister, younger sister. Bad girl, not so bad girl. First born, last born.

Oh, we always loved one another. But for years we didn't talk; we didn't communicate. We spent all of our time learning about one another through the family grapevine. 'Your sister's living with a man'. 'Your sister graduated from Medical school'. 'Your sister's fiancé… he's not doing well.' 'Your sister is gay'….

We learned about one another and cared about one another, but we didn't talk to one another.

…. We talked when I came to Seattle for my final medical opinion.

We did the talking thing and the laughing thing. And the crying thing and the hugging thing. And it was good. It was good to get to know my sister again. To know her as a woman. A beautiful, intelligent woman. And the best part of knowing her at this time? I got to see her in love. It was a twisted, confused, not quite in place love, but it was love.

And pat me on the back, I helped her find her mate.

Oh, okay, they already knew one another, but they were only orbiting one another; floating around in the same atmosphere…. breathing different air.

So yeah, I helped her. Helped her see the man who was right in front of her. The man who had been circling her for years. The man she'd been circling for years.

I admit it, I didn't get why they weren't already living together. Why they weren't humping one another like bunnies. And, yeah, I'm going to say it…, and no, I'm not a pervert, but I bet the sex was hot.

Anyway, no, I didn't get it… when I met the two of them…? I didn't get why they weren't living together…, and humping…, and fighting… like lovers do.

I didn't get it.

I still don't quite get it. But that isn't really important anymore, because they are together…, now.

Thanks to me.

***

I left for Miami hours after breaking my bombshell over poor Callie's head. And after those tears and hugs I told you about, Callie went across the hall to bitch at a certain Dr. Sloan for not sharing my secret with her earlier.

At 1am, I went across the hall, looking for my errant sister. Knocking on the door, my roller luggage sitting in the middle of the small corridor, I waited.

I was about to knock again when a tired, sleepy looking Mark Sloan opened the door. Smiling slightly, he stepped aside and let me in. "She's in the bedroom; I'll go wake her up."

Curiosity – damn bitch that she is – made me quietly follow him down the hall.

I paused at the door and watched him sit on the bed, the bed that had clearly been holding two people. "Cal, babe?"

Callie wasn't a good waker-upper, she hated having her sleep interrupted, but for all of her moaning and groaning, she woke, fairly easily for Mark; only flailing out at him and whacking him on the shoulder once.

She groaned as he rubbed her arm and called her name again. "Calliope, baby, wake up. Aria's here." Her eyes flew open at the mention of my name, and the pain I saw in them, even from the distance that I stood, broke me. I turned away from the sight and pressed my back against the wall, listening to the sound of Mark holding my sister. Listening to her voice catch with tears….

"I can't do this Mark. I can't let her go."

"She's leaving whether you go or not. So you need to go. You need to hug her. You need to tell her you love her." He pushed her bangs out of her eyes, and rubbed his thumb along her cheek. "You need to go."

I could hear Callie shifting out of the bed, moving on autopilot.

"Will…? Come with?" Her voice was soft, almost as if she actually thought he wouldn't come; wouldn't say yes without even a second thought.

"Just need my shoes."

She glanced back at the mussed up bed. The bed they'd simply slept in for five hours; and it suddenly occurred to her: "I- should we leave a note for Lexie?"

He gave a short laugh, "She won't see it." Head down, he put on his tennis shoes. "We broke up."

Callie wrapped her arms around her frame. She couldn't process this; not now, not at this point. Later, when she'd come to grips with Aria's news; maybe then she could think about Mark and 'no' Lexie…. And what that meant to her. But for now, she simply nodded her head and whispered an "I'm sorry."

****

I won't bore you with the whole long story of the ride to the airport; of hugging Callie and Mark good bye. I won't even bore you with the details of finally sharing the news of my illness with my parents and my brothers.

I will tell you that I lived – fully – for a whole year. Long enough to see a couple of nieces and nephews born. Long enough to find out that my parents loved me as much as they loved Callie. It was a good thing to hear. A good thing to know. A good thing to feel.

But enough about me. What I really want to tell you about is Callie. And Mark.

It took Callie two weeks. Two weeks and four calls from me to get her to make a move. It wasn't a big move, but it was a move. And Mark didn't really need all that much encouragement… he was so close to the edge to begin with….

****

"Hey stop it!" Callie grabbed the spoon from Sloan's hand. "No cookie dough for you…"

Sloan groaned.

"Don't 'uggghhh' me! There's raw egg in there. It's not good for the baby."

Sloan looked down at her fully curved belly. "Can't eat pepperoni – heartburn. Can't eat cookie dough – food poisoning. Can't drink –"

"-- Underage." Callie finished for her. "The first batch will be done soon and then you and baby can taste the greatness that is the Torres Special Chocolate Chip Heavenly Cookie."

Sloan slouched on her stool and pouted.

Taking pity on her, Callie grabbed a handful of chocolate chips and placed them in front of her on the counter. "Here, chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better."

Fighting a smile, Sloan plopped a few pieces in her mouth and mumbled, "These better be great cookies."

Callie stared at Sloan, "great isn't strong enough of a word. Great doesn't even come close to describing how amazing these cookies are."

Mark pushed into the kitchen from the hall where he'd been eavesdropping on Callie and Sloan. Heading over to Callie, he jumped into to their conversation. "They are damn good cookies." He stood behind Callie and wrapped his arms around her waist. Whispering loudly in her ear he added, "They're not quite as good as Callie sex, but they're damn good."

Sloan, half grimacing half grinning rolled her eyes and offered, "I heard that."

"Mark!" Callie turned pink.

"I'm just saying."

"Well don't say it in front of Sloan!"

"I pretty certain Sloan knows about sex."

"Not about our… your… I mean, she might know about…"

Sloan climbed off of her stool, "Okay guys, you can just call me when the cookies are done… and when you're done talking about your sex lives, cuz while I do 'know' you have sex… I really don't want 'know' you have sex."

As she waddled out of the room Mark yelled out to her. "That feeling of 'ick' that you're experiencing? That's exactly how I feel about your s e x life, so, I don't want to hear about you, and Eddie, or Freddie, or… anyone else anymore!"

"Did you just use our sex life as a lesson for your daughter?"

"I did."

"Kind of sneaky of you."

"True. And it actually served a dual purpose. I made my point, telling her I didn't want to hear about her escapades with past present or future boyfriends… ever. AND," Mark slid around to stand in front of Callie. "I got us some alone time."

Callie slipped her hands around Mark's shoulders and let him press her against the kitchen counter. "You, Dr. Sloan, are a sneaky man. Sneaky but smart."

He gave a quick smirk then his face straightened and he lifted one hand to her cheek. "I missed you."

His sincerity, when he got emotional like this, took her breath away, but she played it off, as much as she could. "You were only gone for three hours.

"Still missed you."

She pouted, almost imperceptibly, "you were with your other favorite person: Derek; you didn't miss me."

"I did miss you; Derek doesn't share my bed." He paused and at the sight of the smile on Callie's face added, "And don't say 'that would be hot', because it wouldn't be hot."

Callie broke into a peal of laughter, only stopping at the sound of the oven beeping its happy warning that the cookies were done. Her eyes widened, "Cookies!" Ducking under Mark's arms she grabbed a pot holder and headed to the stove.

Mark leaned against the counter she'd just vacated and watched Callie futz with the cookie sheets. As the scent of baked goodness filled the air he took a deep breath and asked, "Marry me?" It was his third time asking her since they'd become a couple. The third time in as many months.

She froze, almost undetectably then she turned off the oven. "Marrrrrk…" She didn't face him.

'Well at least her first word wasn't 'no' this time.' "Callie."

"Mark," she turned around, "why can't we just do what we've been doing? Enjoy being together?"

"I 'enjoyed' being together with Little Grey. I enjoyed being together with Montgomery. I want to 'marry' you."

"So you're saying you don't enjoy being with me?" She offered this question with the faint hope of starting an argument – distracting him.

Mark shook his head. "Not going to fight with you over semantics Torres. I'm saying I love you."

He counted himself lucky that she didn't flinch this time; this time she simply looked sad… and a little scared. Good, that was two of them.

"Mark…we've only been together for three months… it's too soon."

"Three years and three months. We've been friends and lovers for three years and three months." He'd learned to remove the Lexie year from all calculations; he lost all arguments that included the Lexie year. Moving closer to her, slowly… afraid her skittishness would make her leave the room. "I want to marry you." He cornered her against the stove. "Say yes."

"But…"

"You know you want to say yes."

"I hate it when you do that."

He raised his brow questioningly.

"When you try and tell me what I want."

"You only hate it because I'm always right."

She buried her head against his shoulder. "I love you."

He held her closer. "Marry me."

"If this ends with you cheating on me and us divorcing? I'm going to take you for every penny you have."

Closing his eyes and kissing her forehead with a faint, heartfelt smile on his face he responded, "I'll sign it away to you in blood in the prenup."

"I might ask for your gonads in the prenup too."

Bending down and lifting up Callie on to his shoulder he chuckled, "You can have my gonads anytime you want them Torres."

.

.

.

Look, I'd love to stay and tell you more about Callie and Mark…. About Sloan and her little girl Abigail…she'll be around in about two months. Ohhh! And I really want to tell you about Aria Iphigenia Torres Sloan. I'd love to tell you about her and her arrival in about seven months, but… Raff just came in… and he's got two glasses of Shiraz in his hands… and a look in his eye.

I love that look.

And yes… there is sex in heaven.

Thank God!