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A/N: Emma and I have been friends forever and discovered our mutual love of Grey's and specifically Calzona recently, so we thought why not write together? We have discovered that we write really well together, and creepily add the same ideas to the google document at the same time. We hope you guys enjoy this little fic we've conjured up as much as we've been enjoying writing it!
Parkstone Preperatory Academy has certainly had its fair share of scandals in the past, but none of them compares to the one they were about to endure over the next nine months. The Prep, as they were more commonly known throughout the region, had recently fired John Hansen, one of the foremost musical directors in the country due to an elaborate embezzlement scheme and were bringing in a new woman straight off of Broadway. It made headlines across the country and was dubbed the 'scandal of the year' within the private school community.
Parents who send their children to private school expect a certain level of academic and athletic standards and anything less than perfection is simply unacceptable. So when the head of the Board of Trustees saw Mr. Hansen walking along a downtown street holding hands with his partner Brian on a steamy July evening, they immediately phoned the Headmaster and held a meeting the following day on how to disposeof the problem. They couldn't have their children being taught by a gay man no matter how extremely talented he may be. The following week, Mr. Hansen was called by the Headmaster to attend a meeting in the main conference room. He was told they were launching an investigation into involvement with a suspected embezzlement plot. After extensive searching into Mr. Hansen's history with the school, including emails, notes to the kids on their performances, and testimonies from fellow faculty, they finally provided the grounds to fire him. They had effectively produced falsified records of his bank statements and deposits into his personal bank account with numbers matching his musical production sales. Unbeknownst to him, he was pleading to the people who set him up to find the people who had set him up. They told him that if he left quietly, they wouldn't press charges so he forcefully pushed himself back from the table and left without looking back.
Arizona was the first person John Hansen called. She was devastated to hear the news since she was basically one of his only allies at the institution. Teddy Altman was the only other person that knew his secret, and she only knew because she overheard them talking. When he was alone one day, Teddy confronted him about it and told him that he had a friend and ally in her as well, and if he ever needed to talk, she would be there.
Arizona knew first-hand how hard it was to keep your private life private with the prying eyes of the parents always watching. Although all the faculty knew the truth about Arizona's so-called 'chosen lifestyle', they turned a blind eye because she won championship after championship for the school's field hockey program as well as the Athletic Department and that kept The Prep high in the rankings for prospective students. The school saw the athletic program as a top priority so they kept Arizona around. The Fine Arts, however, were at the bottom of the totem pole and as far as the Prep was concerned, Mr. Hansen's position could easily be filled. As soon as she received the call, Arizona was out the door on her way to John and Brian's house.
Using her spare key, she twisted it to unlock the door and ran right over to the couch where John sat, hurt and defeated.
"John I'm so sorry about what has happened. What were the grounds of your termination? It certainly couldn't be because you're gay." Arizona wrapped an arm around him as Brian walked into the room with two cups of coffee. He knew this was going to be a long night for the two friends so he made himself scarce.
John just stared blankly at the floor; the realization setting in that his life and career were pretty much over. "They told me that they had emails and bank account statements showing that I was embezzling money from the school's musical productions. I mean do they honestly think that I would do that? I know they can track the school's funds. I'm not an idiot!"
Arizona continued to rub his back and give him words of support and encouragement. "Can you fight them? Hire a lawyer and prove that the records have been falsified? I just don't see how they can win this!"
John shook his head, "They showed me the bank statements, the receipts from the deposits, they have it all worked out. It's air-tight. They wanted me gone. They're just using this as a cover-up for the real reason they wanted me out of there. A few weeks ago I spotted that snotty, pretentious bitch, Mrs. Roberts, and her husband walking down the other side of the street and as much as I tried to walk in the other direction I think she saw me. Brian and I were just enjoying a nice evening out but it turns out that it was probably the spark that lit the fire under this whole scheme. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise that I'm done with that place. I don't know how you can do it. Hiding who you truly are. There needs to be a change made at that institution before someone ends up getting seriously hurt. Those children are being brainwashed and we can't do a damn thing about it. It's about time someone cleans house and finds a way to get those lying bastards fired!"
Arizona felt John's pain. She hadn't done a great job at hiding how she was, but now with him getting terminated, it was a personal blow to her as well. She vowed to John and herself that before she left there, she would see to it that things would change for the better.
"I'm so sorry this has happened to you. If you need anything at all you know I'm always here to help in any way I can." Arizona quickly kissed his cheek and gave him a hug before leaving. Her heart broke for John and Brian. She didn't know what they were going to do now. Brian had a job where he barely made ends meet and now with John not working, they were going to have to move someplace less expensive where he wasn't well-known.
That proved to be more difficult than originally thought. The scandal made national news and for the next two weeks, John Hansen's name was dragged through the mud. Everywhere he went to look for a job he was turned away without a second thought. After looking for a position for almost a month, he called Arizona and Teddy to let them know he had found employment as a mailman in a small county the rural Midwest. They could tell he wasn't happy at all but it paid the bills and kept a roof over his and Brian's heads and that's what mattered. Arizona missed her friend terribly but knew this was the best move for him right now. This was the power The Prep had over people's lives. One wrong move and they had the resources and connections to ruin someone's life.
By mid-August, the fall athletic season tryouts were in full swing and aside from being an accomplished French linguist during the school year, Arizona Robbins was also the Varsity Field Hockey Coach. Choosing girls for her team was always a daunting task because the majority of them, aside from their privileged lifestyle, were actually amazingly gifted athletes, but there were only so many spots on the Varsity squad.
Riley Banner had been the captain of the team and Arizona's star player for 3 years now and was about to begin her senior year as a Parkstone Panther. As she watched Riley effortlessly swerve and dodge the other girls while dribbling the ball down the field, Arizona knew she would never coach another player as talented as that. She valued Riley's input on each of the players knowing that although she was coaching them, Riley was the one guiding them on the field, and if she couldn't trust her fellow team mates, they wouldn't be a cohesive group and they could kiss the championship title goodbye.
Arizona cheered as Riley dribbled to her left only to fake a dodge and psych out her opponent, scooping the ball smoothly over the goalie's outstretched arm. Riley's dirty blonde hair bounced behind her as she went to accept the hugs and high fives from her teammates. Smiling, Arizona thought how much Riley reminded her of herself at that age. Riley was generally cheerful and optimistic on the outside, a fearless leader to her team, and an intelligent, outspoken student, but there was always something lingering just beneath the sparkle of her hazel eyes.
Callie Torres set her bag down in a plush chair in the front row of the auditorium and sighed contentedly. Being in a theater, whether it was a newly renovated high school theater or a historic Broadway one, made Callie feel at home. She inhaled deeply, taking in the heady scent that was unique to the theater, while she ran her hand across the ornate wooden proscenium to the side of the stage.
As she closed her eyes, she let her mind wander back to the exhilaration of starring in a hit Broadway show. Absolutely nothing could compare, but she was ready to move on. Sure, she would miss the adrenaline, the lights, the energy, but when she had received the offer from Parkstone Prep, she had accepted it without hesitation and had walked away from the Great White Way without one backwards glance. Callie was tired of the drama, the cut-throat nature of those involved in the musical theater world. She thought that moving to rural Virginia would be the right choice for her; she wanted to settle down, start a family. Little did she know that the preparatory school world was just as full of unnecessary scandals and competition as the Broadway world.
Many of the teachers milled around the large classroom, catching up with each other after summer vacation, asking how spouses and children were, and predicting that this year at Parkstone would be the best yet. Being new, Callie kept to herself, happily sipping some ice water in the corner. She was generally an outgoing person, but this was an entirely new situation for her. She watched as the teachers animatedly greeted each other and smiled; this was obviously a close-knit family.
Callie was pulled from her thoughts when she felt a hand on her shoulder and heard a chipper "hi!" She jumped back slightly and turned to the source of the perkiness.
"Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to startle you. I'm Arizona. Robbins. I'm a French teacher here and the Varsity field hockey coach," the blonde woman said with a dimpled grin, while she held out her hand.
Callie shook the proffered hand with a bemused smile. "I'm Callie Torres. I'm the new theater teacher."
"Oh," Arizona replied, pulling her hand back immediately. Callie furrowed her brow and was about to question Arizona's demeanor, when the blonde's mood suddenly shifted right back to cheerful. "Well, we're super excited to have you here, Callie!"