Title: Sweet child of mine
Spoilers: Post 7x21.
Summary: Arizona has a heart to heart with her daughter. And her new wife.
Disclaimer: All television shows, movies, books, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libellous, defamatory, or in any way factual.
A/N: I've been thinking about writing again for weeks but this isn't at all what I expected to come up with. Mainly because at first I was very bummed with the whole baby with Mark SL. I even told a few of you that there wouldn't be any baby story for me. Can you say: 'only fools never change their minds'?
But I got sucked in the story again with time. Even if Mark's part in this story sometimes still makes me grind my teeth!
I'm aware there are a lot of stories out there with Arizona having a moment with baby Sofia, but I just think we fans really wish to see this on tv. So I couldn't resist putting down my own version.
Unbeta'ed. You are warned ;-)
English is a strange language, it uses the same word for things that comes to you unwanted, and sometimes unwelcome, while you sleep and for the things you want the hardest during every of your conscious moments.
Dreams can take so many forms, they can be conscious or come from your subconscious, they can be daydreams or nightmares, and they can leave you trembling in fear or give you enough hope to last a lifetime.
And sometimes your worse living nightmare makes you realize you almost let the most wonderful dream you didn't even know you had pass you by.
Arizona Robbins sighed as she accepted the fact that sleep would elude her, possibly for the rest of the night. Despite her long day at the hospital and the long session of sweet, tender lovemaking with her new wife, she was still wide awake at the ungodly hour of 3AM. Her mind was drowning in the ambivalent feelings the last few weeks events left her with.
Tired of lying on her back, looking for answers on the ceiling above their bed, she turned on her left side, wanting to check on her lover… her wife, she corrected herself and a bright happy smile lightened her face. Callie would be scowling at her if Arizona admitted that she was frequently, discreetly, checking on her during the night. How could she explain to Callie's that, despite her full recovery, the accident left her with a deep set anxiety about losing what they had?
The blonde allowed her eyes to roam over the olive skinned body sprawled next to her. With Callie lying on her belly, her scars out of sight, Arizona could easily put away her surgeon's persona and look at the woman only as her beautiful, radiant wife.
Arizona used her fingertips to tenderly push the hair that was obscuring her love's features away from her face. Letting the silky dark hair run through her fingers she chuckled as she suddenly realized how Callie's hairdo was now looking quite like her own when they first met. As her own blond hair was now flowing down her back. What a journey it's been for them before they managed to reach this point in life.
Straight teeth bit into a pink lower lip as the blonde debated about moving closer to cuddle against the hot woman at her side. She didn't want to wake Callie as going back to work and taking care of a baby was taking its toll on the taller woman.
Just as temptation was about to prove stronger than restrain a tiny gurgle came out of the baby monitor. Another bright smile, dimples included, appeared on the beautiful blonde's face.
Delighted at the chance to spend some alone time with the other love of her life; Arizona quietly stood and slipped into sweatpants and her new 'I got lucky; I got me two mommies' t-shirt.
"Hey there, my sweetness." Arizona whispered as she leaned to pick up the tiny baby. "It's you and me this time."
Settling the little girl in her arms she walked to the kitchen where she used her right hand to deftly prepare a bottle.
"What do you say, baby?" the blonde whispered to her daughter. "Should we feed you before you get real hungry and wake up mommy with your amazingly loud screams?"
The baby gurgled and waved her tiny arms at the sing-song, tender voice of her other mother, making Arizona laugh quietly.
"Yeah, I knew you'd see things my way, tiny one."
Arizona gathered baby, bottle and bib and sat on the closest couch to feed Sofia.
In the soft light filtering from the cooker's hood, huge curious brown eyes roamed over the face hovering above hers. A face shining with so much love and pride, and sporting such a happy and tender smile that the small child, equipped only with new tiny human's instincts, felt utterly safe and loved.
The real first meeting between mother and child.
Arizona swallowed her emotions as she felt a real bonding moment pass between herself and the tiny baby.
When Sofia was done drinking, the blonde put down the bottle and bringing her naked feet up on the seat she laid the baby on her raised thighs until the baby was facing her.
The change of position did its job and a loud burp escaped the tiny mouth.
"You're quite loud for such a small thing, sweetness." She chuckled.
"I bet you got those burping talents from your daddy. But don't worry, your mommy and I will teach you how to be a real lady." Arizona added in a conspiratorial tone.
The baby happily grabbed and held onto a couple of her mother's fingers and put all her concentration at making bubbles at her.
"Yep, I agree, little one, we should do this more often. Just you and me. It's not that I don't want to, you know. I have to confess something to you, baby: I miss you terribly when I'm at work. And when I'm home…" Arizona sighed. This chat with a silent child was turning into something else and she felt the sudden need to say things she didn't know how to say to other people.
"Well when I'm home; let's say that between your mommy who has such a hard time letting go of you and your daddy who's snatching you the rest of the time, I don't have much chance to get to you."
"I can't blame them though, I mean; look at you."
The blonde ran her fingers lightly over the dark haired head.
"You look so much like your mom that if I wasn't already crazy about you, I'd just fall in love with you on the spot."
Arizona tried to keep a soothing tone of voice as she talked to the small baby but she couldn't quite keep the emotion out of it as she went on.
"You know, one day someone might tell you that I didn't really want you. I hope it won't happen but people are mean that way, so don't be too surprised. If that day comes you have to remember to come and see me and ask me so I can repeat to you how much I love you. And tell you that, even if I thought I didn't want kids at one time, your coming into my life was the best gift the universe ever offered me. You and your mommy are the two best things that ever happened to me and I love her even more for bringing you into our life."
Sofia's lids got heavier but her brown eyes stayed focused on blue ones as if she understood the sentiment behind the voice, if not the words.
"I promise to sneak around and grab you to myself more often, my sweetness." Arizona kept going after brushinging off a tear from her cheek. "I want to be close to you. As close to you in my own way than your two other parents. I want you to know I'm always here for you, even if it seems to you that I'm more in the background. It's not that I want to be; but there's just so many people who love you, baby. And let's face it, it's gonna be hard to squeeze between your mommy and your daddy to get access to you at times. But I'll be there, ok? Always. And loving you to death. Of that you can be certain."
"Oh! Also, don't get scared if your daddy and I get screaming at each other sometimes. You'll understand when you'll be older. And by the way, get used to that one too; you'll hear it a lot. Anyway; your daddy and I don't always see eye to eye. We're getting along and I'm willing to close my eyes on a lot of his antics because I love you and your mom so much and he's important for you. But at times, I swear….ugh!" The blonde dropped her head to the back of the couch making the baby fuss lightly at the loss of eye contact.
Arizona lifted her head again and chuckled.
"Oh you already don't like not getting all the attention, do you?"
The blond woman tenderly rubbed the tiny hands that were still wrapped around her fingers.
"Anyway, what I wanted to say is that your daddy and I might get into fighting because he's an as…tonishingly good at annoying me." Arizona corrected herself at the last second. "Even if that happens, you have to remember that we both love you very, very much and nothing is going to change that, ok?"
"You don't think she's a bit young to have that kind of conversation?" A sleepy voice asked from the bedroom's doorway.
Two heads turned toward the voice, both were sporting smiles. Sofia from hearing her mother's voice and Arizona from seeing how cute her wife was, standing there in just a robe, disheveled and her dark eyes full of sleepy mischief.
"You'd be surprised about what a great listener our daughter is, Calliope." Arizona quipped back with a loving smile.
Callie chuckled as she walked toward her two girls and took a seat next to her wife.
"Hey, you're ok?" Arizona asked with a scowl as she spotted the tears filling up Callie's velvet eyes.
"I'm fine. It's just seeing you with her this way." Callie explained as her hand moved to the baby's head to stroke the soft hair. "When you came back from Malawi and I realized I was going to have to tell you I was pregnant with Mark's child, I thought I was going to lose you again. For good this time."
Both women kept their eyes on their daughter, both aware of how close they've been to lose all of it.
"Then, you stayed but I kept worrying that I was going to mess this up somehow, or do something to mess up this little one in some way. I was such a bitch for a while, I'm sorry Arizona."
Gentle blue eyes looked into self recriminating brown ones.
"It was a hard and confusing time for all of us, Calliope."
The taller woman sighed, wondering why they never talked about all of this before. Maybe it was the low light and quiet surroundings giving up the perfect mood for that long overdue talk.
"Yes. Yes it sure was. So when I see you sitting here with our daughter in your arms… you have no idea what it does to me. You were right; this is my dream." Callie choked on the last words and had to clear her throat before concluding; "But I'm so very sorry it's not yours. That I couldn't allow you to have your own dream. "
For the first time Arizona saw a hint of the guilt that Callie was feeling about somewhat forcing this situation onto her, knowing it wasn't what she really wanted. Even if, at the end of the day, Arizona made the choice to stay.
"Calliope, how long have you been standing there before you showed yourself?" the blonde asked, looking at her wife with a scowl.
Callie was taken by surprise but answered instantly:
"Hum, since that little thing gave you the burp from hell." She confessed.
Arizona would have laughed if she wasn't so intent on showing to Callie how much in the wrong she was.
"So you heard what I said to our child, right? Or did you think I was lying to her all along?"
Callie stuttered but the blonde interrupted her.
"I meant it when I said she was the greatest gift I ever received, and that the two of you were the best things to ever happen to me."
Arizona's voice softened as she went on; "You, Calliope Torres-Robbins, made my dream come true, a dream I didn't even know I had."
"I did?" Callie asked in a tiny voice.
"Well you slapped it in my face at first," the blonde answered in a teasing tone, "but, yeah, you did."
Arizona picked up Sofia and brought her up between the two of them to the satisfaction of the tiny girl.
"This?" The blonde started, gesturing between the three of them. "This family? The three of us together like this? You and I, married, and loving this little treasure? This became my dream, Callie. And this is all your doing."
Callie narrowed her eyes at Arizona. "All of it became your dream?"
"Weeeeeell, most of it. There's still a small part that isn't and probably never will be part of my dream." The blonde admitted, lowering her eyes. She smiled when she noticed that Sofia had fallen asleep in her arms.
The taller woman nodded, this was a time for total honesty and she wasn't expecting anything less from Arizona.
"Hey, it's ok, baby." Callie whispered, trying to catch her wife's eyes again. "I think I can guess what that part is and I don't blame you for it. Really."
Arizona looked up, surprised; "You don't?"
"No I don't. Bailey told me some of the things that went on after the accident and I had more time than needed to think about all that happened. I started to understand your point of view better."
The blonde didn't hide her surprise.
"I wouldn't have pegged Bailey as the kind of people to tell you about that."
Callie had the grace to blush; "Aaaah, she didn't have a choice. I kinda blackmailed her."
Arizona laughed quietly, not wanting to wake up their daughter: "How could you blackmail her? She's like the most unblackmailing person I ever known."
The olive skinned woman chuckled, still slightly embarrassed about having to confess her actions to her wife.
"I… ah… It was after my last surgery. I promised her I wouldn't try to rush my recovery again if she was telling me every detail of what happened after the accident."
"Callie!" The blonde exclaimed more loudly than she planned.
"Shhhhhhh!" Callie stage whispered as she put a hand on the blonde's mouth.
"The baby's sleeping." She finished with a big smile.
Arizona glared at her wife before pulling her tongue at her.
"Oh very grown-up, Arizona." Callie quietly laughed.
The two women looked at each other lovingly for a while.
"The important part is that I finally see how unfair I've been to you and I can see why Mark will never be part of your dream."
Arizona felt tears filling up her eyes.
"We're doing better though. I mean he's still not the father I would have picked for our child but he's a good father and we're getting along now. It'll work out." The blonde admitted somewhat still reluctantly.
"I just wish he would stop saying some things, though, like the things he said that day, during the wedding rehearsal, you know?"
Callie frowned; "No, I don't know actually. What did he say?"
It was Arizona's turn to be embarrassed.
"You mean your dad didn't tell you?" the blonde asked in a tiny voice.
"Nooooo." Callie almost growled. "But you're going to tell me now. And also how come you know about this and I don't?"
Arizona sighed in defeat.
"Well my mother heard the whole thing and told me about it, she didn't really appreciate it herself and you know how easy going my mom usually is, in fact she was just relieved my dad didn't hear it too because he probably would have…"
"Arizona, you're rambling!" Callie snickered. "Just tell me, please."
The blonde looked into velvet dark eyes and didn't see any trace of resentment or anger, only love.
"Well you remember when your dad called Mark to his side because my father wasn't happy with him?" She waited for Callie's nod of acknowledgment before continuing; "Mark made a comment about being happy that at least one of his fathers-in-law didn't hate him."
It took a moment for Callie to comprehend the meaning behind the comment and a wave of jealousy washed over her.
"He said what!" The dark haired woman exclaimed loudly, making Sofia wake up with a start.
Arizona quickly started making soothing noises close to her daughter's ear before she started crying in displeasure while Callie got up and started pacing in front of the couch.
"Your dad isn't… Or mine! I wasn't getting… And you're definitively not his…"
Callie raised both hands and took a deep breath.
"This is it! I need to have a serious talk with that man. If he really thinks he has any part in this marriage just because he's Sofia's father; he's in serious need of a reality check. You're MY wife and he has definitively no right to imply he's such a part of our relationship. To my father or to anyone else. Hell! He has no right to even 'think' it, period!" the tall woman finished with a shudder.
Arizona watched her wife pacing and rambling with a smirk on her face as she kept rubbing Sofia's back soothingly.
"Having a hard time with the suggestion you're sharing your wife with Mark?" the blonde teased.
When she saw the look of shock her words brought on Callie's face, though, her own rarely forgotten feelings took over and her voice took a darker tone.
"Welcome to my world." Arizona whispered to herself. But Callie caught it too.
"Is this how you've been feeling all this time?" the dark haired woman asked, sitting back on the couch, even closer to her wife, her hand unconsciously joining Arizona's against Sofia's back.
Callie felt nauseous as she finally understood her wife's feelings about their unusual situation, and the way herself and Mark had acted all that time.
Arizona shrugged noncommittally. She wasn't one to enumerate the many occasions both Callie and Mark made her feel like the third wheel in their little family unit. She was pretty sure it had been unconscious on Callie's account. She couldn't say the same for sure about Mark.
Callie rubbed her forehead, unable to believe she had been so blind to the feelings of the woman she loved more than anything. Something Arizona said to their daughter earlier came back to her.
"Do you really feel that you won't be allowed to be as much of a parent to Sofia as Mark and me?" Callie asked hesitantly, afraid that her attempts at including Arizona hadn't been enough.
Arizona looked at her wife with a loving but sad smile.
"It's bound to happen, Callie. You two are her biological parents. Even if you both make extra effort to include me, the fact that I have no biological link to her will always floats around between all of us. It will always be you and Mark walking side by side and me following behind."
Callie felt a pang of guilt as she recognized what was supposed to be a figure of speech for what it was. She remembered the look on Arizona's face when the three of them left the hospital after their shift but before she could ask, Arizona went on.
"If it was just you and me raising her, I probably could forget about it and think that the love I feel for this little girl is enough to make me an equal, as a parent. But I had to listen to Mark claiming he was the father too often to…"
Arizona suddenly realize what she was saying and tried to back pedal; "No, forget I said that. It just slipped out, I didn't mean…"
"No! No, Arizona, it's ok. I want to know how you feel." Callie interrupted before pressing her forehead against Arizona's temple.
"I just don't want you to think I'm blaming Mark for everything. Or that I want you to boot him out of your and Sofia's lives."
Callie smiled; "I know, baby. I know."
Arizona turned her head until their foreheads were pressed together and their hands met and held over their daughter's chest, each lost in their own thoughts.
Callie was the one to put an end to the comfortable silence.
"Arizona, take your shirt off." She whispered unexpectedly.
The blonde laughed quietly; "Callie! There's a baby in the room!"
"It's not A baby, Arizona." Callie answered. "It's your daughter."
The look of confusion on the beautiful face so close to her own pushed the dark haired woman to explain.
"I want you to share skin on skin contact with her. I want her to know the smell of your skin as well as she knows mine and I want you to feel her warmth against your naked chest like I get to. Because she's your daughter, Arizona. And I'm going to show, both to you and to Sofia, that you are as much her mother than I am. And I'll make sure to show to Mark that even if he's this little one's father, YOU always will be the one coming first and YOU are the one I want walking by my side. He can walk behind with the diaper bag."
She raised a hand to brush away the tear that was running down the pale face of her wife; "OK, mommy?"
Arizona nodded with a happy smile; "OK."
"Good. Now take off your shirt."
A/N: I'm really not sure what to think about this one. What do you think? Should I stay away from baby included stories.