A/N: This takes place immediately following the SeaTac break up in Season 7. The rest of the season 7 does not happen, there is not Baby-Sloan (thank Jesus)
Chapter 1 : Sometimes I Call It Wrong
She didn't have to make it to Africa; it took her as long as her flight to New York to figure out that she had just made the biggest mistake of her life. If she was honest with herself she knew she was wrong the minute the words, "It's already over," left her mouth. Arizona Robbins did not often admit defeat. She very rarely admitted when her choices were less than right; but Callie Torres continued to have that effect on her. Callie continued to skew everything Arizona thought she knew about herself and how she wanted to live her life. The five hour flight from SeaTac to JFK on the first leg of her –their- trip to Africa solidified that point. The seat next to her was not supposed to be empty; but it was and it was her fault. And she was wrong.
It took Callie about three minutes to break down after watching Arizona completely walk away. She couldn't reconcile how yet another person –no, not just any person, the one; because Arizona was supposed to be it, THE ONE, the love of her life- could just leave here standing there with no explanation.
A frantic call to Teddy –not Mark, because Teddy wouldn't pry- and box of tissues later, Callie finally passed out on Teddy's couch out of sheer exhaustion. Teddy carefully covered her with a blanket, quietly cleaned up the tissues and sent a quick text.
Care to explain to me why your girlfriend is a crying mess on my couch? Where are you? Why aren't you on your way to Africa TOGETHER!
Stepping off the plane in New York, Arizona checked her phone for any communications from Seattle. She was expecting an angry voice-mail from Mark. She deserved it, she knew she did. She was hoping for something from Callie; even a desperate call for her to come home where she belonged. She knew that now; no matter where Callie was, that's where she belonged. The text she received from Teddy was far from what she was expecting. But she was almost thankful that Callie called Teddy; at least she wouldn't have to deal with Mark yet, at least she'd know where to find Callie when she was finally able to get back to Seattle, which she hoped would be just as soon as she got to New York.
It was 2:00 AM and Callie awoke to loud banging. At first she was disoriented and forgot where she was and how she had gotten there, and then she remembered. "It's already over," and the love of her life walking away. Picking up her phone to see what time it was, Callie was surprised to know that she'd slept for almost ten hours; she must have been exhausted. The banging on the door and Teddy racing into the living quickly brought her out of her thoughts and back to reality.
As Teddy swung the door open to quiet the banging both women's jaws dropped to the floor at the sight in front of them. Arizona stood on the other side of the doorway, eyes red from sleep deprivation and crying with brokenness written all over her face.
Teddy managed to remove herself from her sleep filled haze and began looking back and forth between the other two women. She wasn't sure what she'd expect to find written in their eyes but she could almost swear she saw hope. Realizing her presence was not needed she cleared her throat and excused herself.
"I'll let you two…talk, or whatever. Help yourselves to water, coffee, beer; and I guess, let me know if you need anything." Teddy said before retreating back to her bedroom.
Silence filled the room until Arizona finally found the strength to move closer to Callie.
"Arizona, what are you doing here? You should be halfway to Malawi by now."
"Callie, can we sit? Can we talk? I'm such an idiot." Arizona pleaded.
Reading the desperation on Arizona's face and knowing that she was still helpless against Arizona needing her, for anything really, Callie slowly backed up to the couch and braced herself for what was coming next. Her brain quickly caught up. Arizona had broken up with her in an airport, right before boarding their first flight on a slew of them from Seattle to Malawi, for one of the biggest achievements in a surgeon's career. And Callie left SeaTac. And Arizona got on that plane, about twelve hours ago. But here she was standing in Teddy's living room.
Arizona quickly moved to sit next to-but not too close to Callie- on the couch.
"Before you ask, because I know you want to, I can see it on your face; I knew I was wrong the minute I walked away from you. Teddy text me sometime after you called her and basically reminded me I was an idiot. As soon as I could I was on the next plane home."
"Callie, please just let me say this. I've spent ten hours on airplanes today after making the biggest mistake of my life and I'm really, really, really not okay with any of that but I just need you to let me say this." Arizona pleaded.
"Okay." Callie says and slowly takes Arizona's hand to assure her that she's really listening.
"I keep doing this wrong. I keep messing us up, because I'm never thinking about us together. I'm always thinking about us individually. In the beginning I was selfish and I was thinking about me, and how much you could hurt me because you were a 'newborn' and I almost let you slip away. And then with the baby thing, I was thinking about me, and how much I didn't see that for me, and I let you slip away. And today or I guess yesterday, I was thinking about you and how unfair it was for me to expect you to put your whole life on hold for me, and I walked away. And I was wrong, every single time. And you know I hate to admit when I call things wrong," Arizona smiles a little when she sees Callie roll her eyes.
"Calliope, this whole time, I've been thinking about how you affected my life, and how I affected yours; but I've very rarely thought about it as our life. And while I was seeing me and you in this relationship, you were seeing us. Walking away from you opened my eyes. I realized you weren't putting your life on hold for me; you were doing it for us. And you're like this enigma that keeps happening to me over and over and makes me rethink all the things I thought I always wanted and needed because none of it really matters if I don't have you to share it with me." Arizona stops to take a breath and wipes away tears that have trailed down Callie's face. "Calliope, you're everything I need in my life. Crap, sorry. There I go again; you're everything I need in our life. And I really hope that it didn't take me too long to realize that and that you still love me enough to try to make this work."
Arizona drops her head to remove herself from the depths of Callie's stare, fearing that their twelve or so hours apart may have changed everything, and that her being back won't matter because she left. She left Callie, like so many people had before her.
Callie tightens her grips on Arizona's hands and causes the blonde to look up. All she can see in Callie's eyes is love and hope.
"Arizona, I don't have anything to say that can nearly compete with the Gettysburg Address you just gave me," Callie chuckles a little. Arizona drops her head again, thinking that Callie's joke was a way of dismissing the heartfelt apology she just gave. Callie lifts Arizona's chin so their eyes meet again. "Hey, sorry, I was just trying to lighten the mood a little bit. Com'on most of our talks are you giving speeches, but it's cute and I love it, okay?" Arizona nods. "Okay, so what I was going to say was…" Callie was cut off by Arizona breaking down. She quickly pulled the blonde into her arms and held her.
"Baby, it's okay. We're here, together. We're going to be okay," she whispered into Arizona's ear.
"We are. Okay. Calliope, I love you." Arizona says so low that Callie might have missed it if they hadn't been so close.
Callie repositioned them so they were laying on the couch together, placed a light kiss on Arizona's forehead and whispered, "I love you too," before they both drifted off to sleep.