A/N: I know this chapter is very short but I just wanted to get some dialogue and plot development out of the way, especially considering I didn't give you guys any in the previous chapter! Thank you for such a positive response to that one by the way, I always feel a little self conscious when writing the more smutty
The days that followed our first encounter after my meeting with Henry were spent in ignorant, sexual bliss. Tension still loomed in the air from the secrets left unspoken, but we chose to ignore it.
However, more than secrets contributed to the strain that was becoming more evident and harder to avoid with each passing day. There was also the matter of our inevitable departure from the city and what it would mean for us.
We both knew it was a topic that needed addressing, but neither of us was prepared to pop the pretty, pink bubble we'd been floating in. So we continued to dance around the subject, to the point where we were left with very little to say to one another.
Arizona was first to crack, over lunch on Thursday afternoon. It was bitterly cold and both our cheeks stung bright red, yet we had, for some reason or another, thought it would be a nice idea to eat lunch in the park, I was now beginning to seriously question the reasoning behind the idea.
"OK." She said decidedly, placing her sub carefully back in it's wrapping and placing it on the bench to her left, before turning to me demanding my whole hearted attention. "I - I can't just ignore the big, fat, ugly elephant in the room anymore!"
I sighed, knowing that eventually we would have to talk about it but knowing it was a loaded conversation. Yet I couldn't help the tiny smile that etched my features at how cute Arizona was when she got flustered. I remained silent though, waiting for her to continue, having no plan myself as to what direction to steer the conversation.
"We're both leaving soon and I'm just gonna say it… I don't want that to be the end of us" She emphasised by gesturing between each of our heavily layered bodies. "And believe me, I hadn't intended for this to become anything more than a vacation fling, but now, I have all of these feelings, feelings for you, and I know they're not just going to disappear once I hop back on a plane home, and truthfully, I'm not sure I want them to."
She paused, holding her breath; realising she was rambling.
I continued with my silence, feeling like a complete dickhead in doing so after she had just put herself out there like that, but I wasn't exactly sure what to say. I wasn't ready to say goodbye either but committing myself to her was terrifying as is, and this was our little vacation capsule, the thought of actually embarking further into a relationship back in the real world made me feel literally sick with nerves.
She must've taken my silence as a confirmation of rejection as she moved her body to face forward, plonking into position and sighing with frustration, muttering a barely audible "never mind."
The look on her face broke my heart. Her expression appeared torn, half fighting to be mad at me, the other half looking so lost and disappointed, I would have done anything to ensure I never saw her beautiful face so crestfallen again.
I instinctively reached for her hand, causing her to move her head so that her sad eyes met mine, eyes filled with unshed tears. I felt a lump form in my throat at the sight and brought my glove covered hand up to awkwardly cup her cheek.
"Arizona." I spoke softly, trying to fill my words with as much care and affection as I could, hoping to reassure her. "I do want that too! You have to believe me!" I willed the conviction into my voice but even I could hear the slight betrayal of fear that invaded it. The hopefulness that had skimmed over her face, fell almost immediately. She took the hand that still lay against her cheek and brought it down to her lap, focusing on something that was likely nothing more than a way to avoid looking at me.
"Then why do I feel like I'm getting dumped?" Her shoulders had slumped; she looked so childlike and innocent, nothing like the confident, bubbly woman I had grown to know over the past weeks.
I really didn't want this to be the end, I needed to reassure her that her feelings were reciprocated. I made my mind up.
Releasing a steady breath, I prepared myself to be brave. If even only for a second. I needed to do this. For her. And for me. I knew I cared very deeply for her, and while it might not be love quite yet, I saw potential for us. As terrified as I was about the whole situation, the re-evaluating of so many things I thought I knew, I was certain that if I were to lose her, I wouldn't last a day, and that scared me more than any of the unknown. If the past few days; Henry; this moment; everything, had thought me anything it was that Arizona Robbins was worth a risk.
She didn't look up from the hands still clasped in her lap.
"Arizona?" I tried again, more determination and confidence in my voice, but I knew it wouldn't last long, I needed her to listen to me now, before I lost my nerve. I'd never done this before.
"Arizona! Look at me!" The force of my words caused her to lift her head slightly, but not all the way; she looked up at me from under the curtains of her hair.
I guess this was the best I was going to get, and she was still unbearably cute, even while resembling a sulking child.
"Arizona Robbins… Will you be my girlfriend?"
She stared at me for a moment as though I had lost my mind or been replaced by a stranger. Disbelief switched to confusion which switched to skepticism and ultimately led to the obscenely large smile that now dominated her entire face. My heart swelled at the look of pride in her bright blue eyes. She leaned forward and placed her hand gently against the back of my neck, pressing her lips delicately against mine in a kiss that was in no way erotic, simply filled with the necessary emotions that mere words could not express.
Pulling away reluctantly, when oxygen became scarce, she pressed her cold forehead against mine, closing her eyes momentarily and nodding, before opening them again and looking straight into mine.
"Calliope Torres. I would be honoured to be your girlfriend."
A/N 2: hmmm left you hangin' there didn't I... let us all just say what we already know to be true... ain't no way this'll be a smooth sailing relationship! ha ... I'll try get another chapter up tomorrow. If not, it'll probably be after the weekend. Hopefully I'll have some days off next week and get to do a decent bit of writing, but I've also embarked on a few other projects outside the world of fanfiction that may prove to be time consuming, however I find I work better the less free time I have.
Don't be a stranger :)