Author Devylish
Title Finding My Way Back To You
Chapter True Colors 3/?
Fandom Grey's Anatomy
Pair Mark and Callie
Rating PG13
Words 2621
Warning/Spoiler/Summary None. None. Sometimes you get lost on the journey. And it takes something, someone, special to help you find your way back.
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.


The discussion as to who would 'house' the baby while they worked out her future went something like this:

"She can stay with me."

"No way!"

"Why not?!"

"Yang."

"What about Yang?"

Chin tilted up and brow rose silently.

"She'll be fine with her."

"For all we know, she eats babies whole."

"She's misunderstood."

"My ass."

"Watch your language around Charlotte."

Growl; then: "I already have a crib."

"We can bring it over to my place."

"That's just extra work."

"You're a big strong man; you can handle it."

"I am a big strong man. But she's staying with me."

"She should be with me."

"Why?"

"I'm a girl."

"Are you kidding me? You just set back women's lib a hundred years with that statement."

Tongue stuck out and nose squished up.

"She's staying with me."

"Why?!"

"You'll get attached." Voice softened. "Don't get attached Cal."

Blink.

"Fine, she can stay with you. But I will be using my key and I will be spending all of my free time at your place."

"Like that's anything new?"

***

Day One:

"I'm here... I'm here!"

"This was your idea and you're 10 minutes late... this isn't going to work Callie!" He handed the crying Charlotte to Callie.

Callie, hugged the wiggling baby close to her, "I couldn't help it, I was caught by Arizona in Med Surg, she wanted to talk. And it's just the first day, we're bound to hit some bumps."

Mark sighed. "I fed her about an hour ago, I was just going to check her diaper..., but now that you're here..." he grinned happily, "I'm out of here!"

The door closed behind him and Callie looked down at the miserable baby. "It's okay sweetie, now that the big bad man is gone, we can change your diaper and spend some girl time together... 'k?"

Callie grabbed a blanket, a diaper, and some wipes in one hand and carefully worked her way to the couch. Tossing the goods on to the sofa she gently lowered Charlotte onto the couch and sat down in front of her. Removed from the succor of Callie's warm body, Charlotte's cries grew louder. And while Callie wasn't enthralled by the cries, she was in awe with them. It had taken her exactly 30 seconds to fall in love this baby; to see the possibilities represented by her. A baby. For her. For Mark. For them.... And now that she was so smitten with the little tyke, Callie found everything about her amazing. Her wails were great, irritating, but great...; she was speaking to them. Letting them know how she felt.

Of course, when she cooed and smiled, it was definitely nicer. With that thought in mind, Callie lifted the baby's bum and tucked the blanket beneath her. Unsnapping the sleeper she was wearing, Callie undid the diaper.

"Oh... wow! Stinky. Really really stinky." She started to clean Charlotte. "I'd be screaming my lungs out if I was this stinky too."

Finishing the changing, Callie carefully climbed off of the couch, and keeping an eye on the baby, dashed to the garbage can. Coming back into the living room she watched the baby who had her head turned and was looking at Callie. "So what should we do now Pumpkin?"

She knelt on the floor next to Charlotte who was moving her little fists in circles. "I know I told Mark I'd call Addy and ask her for the name of her friend who works in CPS, but... why don't you and I play for a little while, and THEN we can eat, and take a nap... and maybe then we'll call Addison? Sound good Pumpkin?" Callie picked Charlotte up and when the baby gurgled happily, Callie willingly took that as a sign of agreement to her plan.

***

Day 3

"Call her Callie!" Mark barked the order as he wearily left for work. And Callie in the most adult manner that she could, stuck her tongue out at his retreating back.

"Call her Callie!" She mimicked his voice as she bent over to make certain Charlotte was still asleep. Damnit... she was.

Moving reluctantly to the phone, Callie plopped her tired figure on to the couch and picked the handset up. She dialed... slowly.

"Dr. Montgomery please... Callie Torres... thank you." She hummed to 'Like a Virgin' in muszak fashion as she waited to be transferred.

"Callie, honey, how are you?!" Addison's bright, somewhat mischievous voice lit up the lines.

Callie smiled despite the not so fun conversation that she knew was coming up. "Good." She glanced at Charlotte's crib. "Tired."

"Welcome to the club."

Callie paused then added, "...extra tired."

Addison remained silent, knowing that Callie was working her way up to something.

"Mark and I kind of... found a baby."

"Huh?"

"We, found a baby." She repeated as if the statement was self explanatory.

Addison, ever so slightly morbid, asked, "Dead?"

"What?! No! Alive!" Callie lowered her voice. "In the hall, on our floor. By the elevators."

"Oh. You found a baby."

Callie rolled her eyes. "Which is what I said two seconds ago."

"I can hang up now."

"No! No. I, we, need your help."

"With..."

"We... I... want to keep her."

"What?!" Addison didn't screech, but... well, this was pretty close to a screech.

"So, yeah. She's adorable, her name is Charlotte, and I want to keep her. But, Mark... I... anyway, I want to make certain all the t's are crossed the i's dotted. And you know people, people in Child Protective Services. And in Child Welfare. So... can you give me some names of some people who could tell me how to do this? How to adopt her? How to keep her?"

Addison let out a low whistle. "Jesus Christ Calliope. You don't do things small, do you?"

"I don't think I know how."

"You do know, there are are easier ways for you and Sloan to have a kid. Easier more fun ways."

"Mark... I... I don't really know what Mark wants. I mean, I know when Sloan Sloan was around he wanted her baby. But, he's being a little reticent about Charlotte."

"And by reticent, you mean, realistic?"

"No, I mean pain in the ass, 'we have to give her away' reticent."

Addison gave a dry laugh. "So, Mark doesn't want the baby? And you do?"

"That seems to sum the situation up."

"And you're willing to be a single mom?"

Callie looked over at the sleeping baby and smiled. "I think so. Yeah. I mean, I wanted... I... the damn picket fence would have been nice, but, if I've lucked out to find Charlotte now... and I'm the only one who wants her...? I guess I'll go without the fence. Or maybe I'll build my own fucking fence."

Addison pulled up her contact list on her computer. "Okay Cal, I know one person in Seattle CPS, I'll email you her name, and I'll also give you my friend Jane Standish's contact information... she's here in LA, but, she should be able to point in the right direction for some other people in Seattle, and maybe give you some general rules, to do's, not to do's for this whole thing." Addison typed a few more lines into her computer and hit send. Settling back in her chair, she grinned. "So, I'm going to be an Auntie, huh?"

Callie grinned back over the phone lines to her friend. "That's the goal."

"Okay, well check your mail, and call me if you need me."

"When I need you."

"When you need me."

"Love you."

"Love you back."

***

Day Five

He looked down at the baby sleeping in the dark wood crib. She was on her back – recommended sleeping position – her eyes closed, her lashes long against her cheeks... she was beautiful. And he was in love.

He knew Callie was in love with her too. She'd been in love with her since moment one. He probably would have been too, if he hadn't fought the issue so hard. No..., he definitely hadn't wanted to fall in love with this little girl; this little girl that didn't belong to him... this baby who he was less than prepared to provide care for.

But two things were abundantly clear to him. One, it took less than a week for her to wrap him around her little finger. And two, he didn't have a choice about who he fell in love with.

With a quiet, half knock at Mark's door, Callie pushed in to the apartment, catching him, once again, staring at Charlotte. She hid the little smile that crept to her lips. "Ready Freddy?" Her voice was low, not wanting to wake the sleeping baby.

"Yeah," Mark bent down next to the crib, and picked up his work bag. "I'll see you later." he forced himself to not look at Charlotte. "I'll bring home Chinese?"

"I'm hungry already...!"

Mark chuckled as they switched places, Callie moving to the crib as he moved to the door, "Call me if you need anything."

Callie' attention was already focused on the baby as he pulled the door shut, her hand on Charlotte's cheek.

***

"Alisha Grant. Nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you."

"Hi." Callie motioned to the couch. "Would you like to take a seat."

"Sure, thank you."

Mark, Callie and the local representative of CPS, settled on the couch in Mark's place.

Callie nervously stood up again, "Can I get you some water, or soda, or something? Anything?"

Alisha smiled. "No. No. I'm good. I'm also curious. Jane Standish is a good friend of mine and she indicated you want to adopt an abandoned baby?"

Callie settled back into her seat. "Yes, I do."

Alisha glanced quickly at Mark. "When and where was the baby abandoned?"

Mark responded, "Here. Less than a week ago."

"A week ago?"

"We took her to... a doctor and hand her checked out. She's healthy. No medical concerns."

Alisha made a small note on the pad of paper she'd magically produced. "And do you know how old she is?"

"Three months."

Another note.

Callie glanced at Mark, then back at Alisha. "So what I really want to know is how I can go about adopting her."

"Mmm hmm."

Callie was not liking this Alisha woman. At all. And she really wasn't liking her little pencil and her little notepad.

Silence filled the room for a few nervous seconds.

"Well there are a few issues here. We need to try and identify who the true parents of the child are."

"Why?" Mark asked the question for both him and Callie.

"Well, for one, if they abandoned a three month old child, they are liable for prosecution. For two, if someone wants to adopt an abandoned child, that child has to be listed as a ward of the state, and of course, we can't list a child as a ward until we are certain she/he has been abandoned." She smiled.

Callie shook her head in confusion. "So, for now, at least, we can keep her?"

"Well, at least for the next few days, I would, however, recommend that you look in to taking our foster parent classes, so that, should she be made a ward of the state, you can be considered as an appropriate temporary caretaker."

"So there's a chance she could be taken from me?"

Well," again with the smile, "there is, of course a chance. But your home is, on a quick, view, appropriate." She took a breath and added, "I do, of course have a few questions for you."

Callie nodded her head.

"But first, can I meet the baby?"

Callie glanced at Mark, who shrugged. "Sure, we, just need to go next door."

Ms. Grant frowned slightly but stood up and followed Mark and Callie, out of Callie's apartment, across the hall, and into Mark's apartment where Cristina was babysitting.

As they pushed the door open, Yang yelled out, "So how did the meeting withThe Man go?"

Mark stepped to the side and let Callie and 'The Man' into the apartment. "We still have the man with us."

Yang looked up from Charlotte and offered, "I of course meant 'The Man' in the most complimentary way possible."

Alisha gave a half smile, glanced at the crib, and then at Mark and Callie. "So is THIS your apartment?"

"It's his apartment. I live across the hall."

"And the baby is staying with him?"

"Yesss... but I'm here all of the time. I mean," Callie looked at Mark, "He and I... well he...."

Mark spoke with out realizing he was doing so. "We both want to adopt Charlotte."

Ms. Grant paused. "I... see." She verified, "are the two of you... engaged?"

"No! No. No..." Callie shook her head slightly frantically. "I mean, we're not together, we.. just, we'd make good parents... for her."

Another, "I... see." And another note in the note pad. And then Ms. Grant turned and walked over to Cristina and peered down at the baby. "She's a lovely little girl."

Alisha turned back to Mark and Callie and putting her pad into purse, she shook her head. "I'm going to be honest with you. Your chances of keeping her are slim."

"Why?"

"Why?"

Yang chirped in, "Why the hell can't they keep her?"

"You're single..., you're not even engaged. CPS and CW would have next to no problem giving a child, a healthy infant, to one of the hundreds of couples who are in our city looking for a baby. If you were married, or engaged, the fact that she was 'given' to you, might work in your favor, but regardless of your marital status, well... you're white."

"And?!" Mark stood taller.

"Well," she had the grace to look sheepish, "She's... the baby is black."

"What the hell does that have to do with anything?" Callie was glaring at the woman. Her dislike of her having now reached 'Izzie dislike' levels.

"Well, the courts, the public..., I mean...," Alisha Grant straightened her shoulders, and gingerly headed towards the door. "I'm sorry, I simply wanted to let you know, realistically, what your chances are." She opened the door, "I'll call you within the next two days with more information."

Callie, her voice icy, shared, "Ms. Grant, you might want to make a little amendment to your notes, "While Mark is 'white', I'm a Latina. Mexican to be exact. Since race is so important to CPS, I want to make certain your records are correct."

Alisha Grant had the grace to once again look embarrassed, but she only offered a faint..., "yes, well I'll be in touch." And she closed the door behind her.

Callie turned to Mark, her eyes large, and rimmed with tears.

He held his arms out to her and when she leaned in to him he simply held her close.