A/N: For the sake of this story, Callie never married George – which shouldn't be too hard to believe. Compared to my last story, this one will have a lot less angst and will have a happy ending (I promise).
'I don't understand why you don't want to go' Mark says as he throws clothes in Callie's suitcase as quickly as Callie removes them. 'It's in Vegas. And everyone wants to go to Vegas – especially when it's free.' Mark continues as he gets a dreamy look on his face as he imagines all the things that Las Vegas has to offer. The casinos, the women, the shows, the women – need he say more. Nobody turns down a trip to Vegas. Seeing the disinterest on Callie's face, Mark attempts to perk up her interest. 'Just roll it around in your mouth for a while, let it mature…Vegas' Mark ends with as excitement leaks into his tone of voice.
'I don't want to go to stupid Las Vegas' Callie snaps out as she tips the suitcase upside down, thwarting Mark's attempt to get her ready. 'And if everyone wants to go to Vegas – you take my place.'
'It's ped orthopaedics conference Torres. I don't think the Chief will let it slide if the Head of Plastics asks to go. And you are the key note speaker and there is no way that I can pull off 'they got the gender wrong' and act as one Callie Torres. And if you are so against public speaking, shouldn't you have thought about that before you created cartilage from scratch. But, I could take some time off and we could hit up the strip. Well, after you have presented anyway.' Mark says as the McSteamy grin develops as he thinks about what can be done in Vegas.
'It's the stupid Chief's fault. I don't see why I have to present. The research has been published and surgeons can read – so they know what I did. I don't see why I have to do this' Callie mutters out. Noticing the darkening mood in his best friend, Mark stops all joking as he endeavours to find out what the actual problem is.
'You really don't want to do this do you?' Mark asks in a slow voice and he watches a wave of emotions flitter across Callie's face.
'No, I hate public speaking' Callie whispers out as she moves to the opposite side of the room and begins to clean up the mess they have made. 'I locked myself in my lab for these past months to escape from all the prying eyes and gossip. I thought I was years away from making a break through. But no, I just had to be a genius. And now I have to go to fricken' conferences as I'm the Chief's new golden girl.'
'So do you want me to come?' Mark comes bringing the conversation back to the topic at hand as he wants to offer whatever support he can to Callie. To say that the last couple of months had been hard on Callie was a severe understatement. Any confidence that Callie once had – had been trampled on, squished on and then put through a wood-chipper for good measure. Callie Torres was a shell of her former self and Mark was unsure whether the real Torres would ever be seen again.
Looking for conformation at Callie that this is a good idea, he sees her standing still, holding a photo frame in her hands. Mark moves to stand behind her and sees Callie with her arms wrapped around that blonde surgeon. The photo had been taken months ago, before the relationship had deteriorated to the stage of non-existent. Mark silently fumes about how someone who claimed to have found the love of her life, could just walk away in such a public manner. 'Come on Torres' Marks says in a comforting tone as he lays a hand on her shoulder, 'You were too good for her anyway. She didn't know what she had. And for her to just walk away is inexcusable and it was about her own insecurities and had nothing to do with you.'
But it's all been said before and nothing really makes Callie feel better. Self-doubt has crept into her mind and she had begun to think that she really was unlovable. There's just so many failed relationships a person can have before there is no bouncing back. Callie chooses not to respond to Mark but instead throws the frame back into her closet, where the blonde and the frame will be staying for the indefinite future.
'So do you want me to hit up Vegas with you?' Noticing the hopefully look on Mark's face, Callie finally concedes that having a friend go with her may make the trip bearable. Hearing the good news, Mark shows his excitement with an energetic fist pump as he discusses plans for the upcoming trip. Callie decides that it's a good time to remind Mark that she is heading south for a legitimate reason.
'You do realise I am going there for a conference and not to party it up?' Callie comments, hoping to put a damper on Mark's mood.
'Torres, if I have learnt something in my years as a surgeon, it's to not let a little thing called work get in the way of having a good time. And this is the perfect opportunity to visit the epicentre of gambling, showgirls and sin?'
Callie has no response for Mark's excitement as he hurries back to his own apartment to pack and convince the Chief that going to Vegas for Callie's moral support is the best for everyone. Left alone again, Callie surveys her room, which is littered with clothes from her and Mark's failed attempt to pack. 'Stupid trip, stupid conference and stupid Chief' Callie mutters to herself as she begins to clean up the mess. The Chief said that she had to present her cartilage findings to her peers and had deemed this conference a suitable starting point. A firm hater of public speaking, Callie had been dragging her feet for days about attending this conference. But no matter how much begging or grovelling she did, nothing could change the Chief's mind. She was going to this conference.
Stepping off the podium in Las Vegas, Callie listens to the applause ringing through the room as her research is well received. Beginning with a rocky start with some minor stumbling, Callie had hit her groove and rocked the presentation. It was impossible for her not to considering she would be revolutionising the treatment of degenerative bone disease and sport's injuries with her synthetic cartilage. It was about time that the whole medical community realised that orthopaedics was not a soft profession and that they could make a difference. The applause from her peers lessens the perpetual bad mood that follows Callie everywhere as she steps off the stage. Nobody could deny that she was a rock star with a scalpel.
As the final presenter for the day, Callie is approached by a number of fellow surgeons that want to pick her brains about her break-through. After all, it's not every day that someone makes cartilage from scratch. Callie stops and discusses her research with her peers, keeping a light mood as she answers the questions. Two male surgeons also question her plans for later in the evening but Callie brushes them on saying that she already have plans and the words 'Maybe some other time.' Finally left alone, Callie runs her hand through her hair and lets any residual stress drain from her body.
Finally reaching the back of the room, Callie spots Mark flirting with a pretty brunette as Mark lets his McSteamy charm shine through. Why the Chief agreed to let Mark come to Vegas with her alludes her and he's clearly not going to pick up any medical knowledge. But Callie is grateful for his presence as he talked her down from the panic attack she was having pre-presentation. Considering that she didn't vomit, Callie begins to think that she is starting to become acclimatised to the whole public speaking ordeal. She's going to have to deal with public speaking as the Chief has already booked her in for half a dozen more conferences in the coming months. Grabbing her gear, Callie waits for Mark to stop flirting. Finally dragging himself away after getting her number, Mark and Callie leave the conference room and take a taxi back to their hotel.
'You were great in the presentation. Definitely a shoo-in for a Harper Avery nomination.' Mark comments as he saves the woman's number into his phone. 'I think it's time to party and celebrate your success don't you think?' He says as he lays his arm around Callie's shoulder.
Shaking her head to answer Mark's question, Callie adds, 'I think I'll call it a night. I'm pretty tired and we have an early morning tomorrow with the lectures we have to attend. Chief's orders after all. The last thing I need it to get on his bad side and he books we for even more conferences'
'What? Come on Torres, you only live once and we are in Vegas' Mark ends in a sing song voice. 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. And I plan on using that saying to its full potential.' Seeing the disappointment in Mark's eyes at her refusal to enjoy herself, Callie finally concedes.
'Ok – but only dinner and one drink.' She says in a firm voice, not wanting Mark to stray from her plan. Dumping their stuff in their adjoining rooms, the two surgeons head off to find a suitable restaurant. After much deliberation, the two surgeons settle for LAVO Restaurant as it was the only place Mark wanted to eat as he claims it's the place to be. Finally arriving at the place, the two surgeons wait in line to be seated. Waiting to be placed, the two surgeons hear a light cough coming from behind them, Callie turns to see a two women standing there.
'Hey, we don't mean to interrupt your dinner plans, but we saw your presentation at the conference and I was wondering if I could ask you some questions.' Callie remains silent as she takes in the appearance of the woman speaking. Wearing a form fitting blue dress the cut off tastefully just above the knee, her long, long legs are on display for all to see. The colour of her dress matches her eyes to perfection. With her blonde hair is straightened and with pumps on her feet, the blonde just oozes sex appeal. Stunned into silence at the blonde's appearance, Callie makes no attempt to respond to the question directed her way.
Lightly nudging Callie on the shoulder, Mark answers for the both them. 'Please, join us for dinner. I'm Mark Sloan, plastics, and you already know Callie.' Mark adds putting on his charm.
'Arizona Robbins, Peds' She says as she holds out her hand waiting for Callie to clue on that the gesture indicates that a handshake is required. Taking Arizona's hand, Callie feels a shot of electricity pass through her at the mere touch of this woman. Callie wonders if her reaction is all her imagination and licks her lips in nervously. As Arizona feels those soulful brown eyes on her, she feels herself becoming lost in their deepness. When Arizona had seen Callie present just a few short hours ago, she couldn't believe that she'd never heard of this surgeon before. Callie's breakthrough would revolutionise surgical procedures for years to come and as a surgeon, Arizona wanted to know more. It didn't hurt that the striking Latina also took her breath away which pipped Arizona's interest as a woman. So when spotting them at the same restaurant, Arizona had seized her chance to get to know the striking Latina further.
'I'm Teddy Altman, Cardio' the other woman comment which drags Callie away from the those beautiful blue eyes that Callie could quite comfortably drown in. Spotting Marks smirk, Callie knows that she has been caught ogling. But seriously, who could blame her.
Once seated, the conversation soon shifts to safer topics as Arizona asks questions Callie about her research and Callie's confidence starts to increase. As the topic of conversation soon changes and the four surgeons are quickly chatting away like old friends. The harmless crush that Callie is developing was making her feel more alive than she had in months. Arizona was charming, funny and attentive and her company was far superior to Mark's. And to make matters better (or possibly worse depending on how this crush played out), Arizona worked at Seattle Presbyterian. Surprising the two surgeons further was that Teddy had been appointed as the new Head of Cardio at Seattle Grace. Teddy would be starting work once this conference had ended. Once Teddy had told this to the table, Mark had thrown a surprised look Callie's way. The silent conversation the best friends had had made Arizona wonder if there was some sort of scandal surrounding the previous Head of Cardio. Not wanting to invade their privacy, Arizona had simply filed this bit of information away.
'So, we'll let you to get on with your night' Arizona comments as she signals for the check. Throughout dinner, Arizona's gaydar was ringing and she was almost certain that Callie was gay and was at least partially interested in her. The way that Callie kept staring at her out of the corner of her eye and whenever Arizona turned to talk to her, a light blush would appear on Callie's cheek. Also, it was clear that Mark Sloan was no more than a friend considering the 'smooth' moves he was attempting to pull on Teddy.
'What, and leave me alone with him?' Callie asks in a half serious tone. The last thing she wanted to happen was for the blonde to leave throwing a pout Arizona's way. Mark mock offence with a 'hey', but even he doesn't want the two surgeons to leave. Callie was clearly enthralled by the blonde surgeon and Mark wanted her to have a good time and let her hair down.
'What were you guys planning to do?' Teddy asks as she's eager to see the sights. Also, Teddy could see that look in Arizona's eye and knew that in a couple of short hours, Arizona would be holed up in a room with Callie if Arizona's night went to plan. And Teddy didn't really want to be left alone in Vegas. Like Mark, Teddy was attending the conference because Arizona's presence was required. Mark quickly shares with the three other women the plans he has for the night. Clearly Mark has spent all his time planning for this since he was given the all clear to attend the conference.
Soon the quartet are on the Las Vegas strip as they hit the casinos and clubs, Callie's plan for just once drink is a distant memory. Bright lights and a pumping bass mean that inhibitions are lowered and Callie lets her hair down. Alcohol is consumed, and money is lost and gained but there's definitely more in the lost category. Sometime during the night, Arizona had taken Callie's hand. Neither acknowledged the physical contact, but both embraced it with open arms. Teddy and Mark seemed to be getting along just as well as they tore up the dance floor. Resting their sore feet, Callie and Arizona had snagged seats at the bar. Surrounded by empty shot glasses, the two women are chatting about the woes in their life as all filters have been removed.
'My boss is a jerk. I left John Hopkins to work with him. Gave up the fast lane in terms of promotions and the best surgeries to work for the demi-god of Ped's surgeons. But it turns out, he wanted me to work under him both figuratively and literally. Since I turned down his advances, he has had me on scut for the last eight months.' Arizona says as she takes another shot. Grimacing at the alcohol burns a track down her throat, Arizona dares Callie have a worse story.
'My fiancé broke up with me in public' Callie says as she lays a clumsy hand on Arizona's shoulder. Seeing Arizona's eyes widen in shock at this admission, Callie throws two shots down in succession. Callie's eyes cloud over, Arizona knows that there is a lot more to this story but doesn't push it further.
'You win' Arizona replies as she clinks their chaser glasses together as she leans closer to Callie to better hear her over the music. There was something about the Latina that just drew Arizona in and it definitely wasn't just the alcohol talking.
'Well that's one thing that I didn't want to win' Callie replies in a joking tone hoping to lighten the mood. 'And we clearly need to drink more.' Callie says surveying the empty glasses surrounding them. Laying a hand on Callie's upper thigh, Arizona leans closer to Callie's ear.
'If I didn't know you any better Dr Torres, I would be starting to think that you are trying to get me drunk so you could have your way with me.' Arizona says in a low whisper. Arizona's breath on Callie's ear causing her to shiver as a shot of arousal passes through her. Callie's mouth is suddenly dry as she signals to the barman for another round of shots.
'In your dreams Dr Robbins. I don't put out on first dates' Callie replies with her trademark smirk.
'Who said this was a date' Arizona queries. Noticing Callie blush at her blunder by defining their drinking session, Callie attempts a stammered back-track on her previous statement. 'But, I would like to think this is a date.' Arizona adds with a hopeful look. Hearing Arizona utter those words, the minor panic attack that Callie was experiencing subsides. The two women grin dorkily at each other at the new found date statues.
'And Callie, all rules were made to be broken.' Arizona adds looking directly into Callie's eyes, all innuendo put aside. Callie's eyes widen at Arizona's directness, but she doesn't refute Arizona's statement. The two women have been dancing around each other all night, and they finally seem to be on the same page. They both know where this night is going to end up. Leaning in, Arizona waits for Callie to make the final move, after all the ball is in her court. Callie moves in and lightly brushes her lips against Arizona's. Watching Arizona's face, Callie sees her eye lids to flutter open and a pout to develop on her face at the shortness of the kiss. Callie understands Arizona's look - all night they had been building up to this moment and it seemed to have been an anticlimax. Callie quickly erases that pout by leaning in for a second, and more passionate kiss. Running her tongue along Callie's lips seeking entrance, their tongues are soon tangled in an intimate embrace. Both women fight for dominance and neither concedes an inch.
After several minutes, the two women separate for air. 'Wow' Callie mutters as she attempts to collect her raging breath and libido. Arizona simply offers Callie her hand as Arizona drags them back out onto the dance floor as no more words are needed. Joining Mark and Teddy, the coupled-off group remain in their own little world. Mark glances over Teddy's shoulder and see's Callie tangled up in the arms of the blonde. Callie had always claimed that she didn't have a type, although from the looks of things Callie had definitely developed a taste for blue-eyed blonde surgeons. Mark was eternally gratefully that the Arizona had entered Callie's life. The carefree, bad-ass Callie Torres was definitely on show tonight.
'They are so going to sleep with each other' Mark comments as he points in Callie's direction. Turning to look in the gestured direction, Teddy sees the two woman dance practically dance on top of each other on the dance floor.
'Well of course' Teddy replies in a slightly condescending tone, as Mark's statement is clearly common knowledge. 'Maybe keep your mouth shut from now on' Teddy adds as she lightly pats Mark's cheek. Using Arizona's description of Mark from the beginning of the night, 'Eat it and then forget about it', Teddy would prefer it if Mark didn't make those painfully obvious statements. Looking back at Arizona and Callie, the two women are clearly the most attractive couple which is shown by the number of single men dancing around them as they attempt to cut in. But by the look of it, no one would stand a chance pulling the two women apart as it's impossible to tell where one body ends and the other begins.
The hours pass and soon the group finds themselves still on the strip in the wee hours of the morning. The need to attend the required lectures tomorrow has become a distant memory. Callie and Arizona have become inseparable both because of their attraction for each other and excessive alcohol consumption. Giggling away, the two women stumble off the dance floor and set up camp in a corner booth. Through the night, Arizona had slowly got Callie to open up about her failed relationship. Callie had also learnt that Arizona hadn't had a serious relationship since she'd been in Seattle and had become a serial bed-hopper. All the women Arizona dated got sick of her crazy hours she pulled because of her sexist boss and her own need to excel. Eventually, Arizona had got sick of the 'It's not me – it's you' and had given up trying. So Arizona settled for one night stands and short lived, sex driven relationships so she could break up with them before they had the chance to break her.
Sitting in the booth, both women are psycho-analysing all their failed relationships and short-comings and are offering words of advice and comfort to each other. 'What you need is someone who accepts you for who you are and doesn't try to hide you.' Arizona says as she attempts to be heard over the music.
'I agree, and you need someone who accepts that a surgeon's hours mean that sometime you miss reservations and don't come home for over 48 hours. Although, I think if you did something about your boss, you may have less of a problem.' Callie replies. 'I mean, scut for eight months is definitely worse than any intern's work load.'
'I know right. It's like the ped God is playing some cruel joke on me. Maybe I'll become the cat lady that everyone's scared of in their local neighbourhood. Except instead of cats, I'll be the chicken lady because they are so much cooler than cats'
As the two women continue to talk, they realise they have a lot in common other than the fact they are surgeons and their obvious physical attraction towards each other. Callie can cook and Arizona likes to eat, both woman enjoy watching movies although their tastes vary. Arizona spends a good ten minutes discussing the superiority of Disney films over all over varieties. Callie doesn't have a rebutting argument as she's too busy staring at Arizona's mouth and concedes defeat. Arizona had also been taken by Callie's full name of Calliope and decided that that was what she's now call Callie. Callie didn't argue and when it came out of Arizona's mouth, it just sounded sexy. The joking and sexual innuendos are freely flowing in preparation for what is to come later that night. Eventually, a tipping point is reached when the excessive alcohol consumption means that all common sense has been thrown out the window.
'We are so perfect for each other' Callie says as she sneaks another kiss off Arizona. 'You know all my weakness and I know yours. And you are hot.' Callie adds because that just seals the deal.
'I know right, and you aren't too bad yourself Calliope' Arizona replies. 'It's as if we were destined to meet in Las Vegas even though we both live 2000 miles away in the same city.'
'We should get married because we are clearly so perfect for each other.' Callie says, excitement lacing her tone at her apparently brilliant idea. 'Because I won't care about your long hours and because you are gay, you won't hide me. It will be perfect.' Callie continues with as she waits for Arizona's approval of her suggestion.
'We so should' Arizona affirms with a furiously head nod. 'And we are in Vegas so we can get married now. And then we can be together forever.' Arizona adds as she loops her arms around Callie's shoulders pulling them closer together. The slight tipsiness means that Arizona's attempt for a kiss ends up with the knocking of heads, but that just results in the women cracking up in laughter.
Neither woman know how they ended up there, but they are soon standing in front of the White Chapel, waiting for their turn before the officiator. Who would have thought that you would have to line up to get married in the middle of the night in Vegas. Somewhere in their minds, the two women have convinced themselves that this union isn't a brash decision born out of the need to be loved and to have someone to call their own. It was undeniable that Arizona and Callie had a connection and they were just rolling with what their alcohol hazed minds told them to do – although lust is also been playing its part to perfection. Before arriving at the Chapel, they had made a slight detour to pick up wedding rings – as no real wedding would be complete without them. Leaning against the chapel wall, Callie pulls Arizona into her as they get better acquainted with each other. As Mark and Teddy are no better off, no one questions the monumental decision the couple are making.
'We're getting married' Callie mumbles more to herself than to Arizona, who's lips are assaulting Callie's neck and pulse point. Hearing their names called out, the two women are ushered into the Chapel along with Teddy and Mark who will be acting as their witnesses and best man and maid of honour respectively.
'Yes Calliope, we are getting married' Arizona replies throwing a dimpled grin Callie's way. Lifting Callie's hand to her lips, Arizona lightly kisses the hand in an attempt to calm both their nerves. Even drunk, there are still nerves when you are about to tie the knot.
Standing at the altar of the chapel, Arizona watches a goofy grin develop on Callie's face as the officiator utters the legal mumbo-jumbo required before she can kiss the bride. When Arizona had arrived in Las Vegas just over 24 hours ago, the last thing she had expected was to score herself a bride. With the alcohol and a large shot of lust, Arizona hadn't thought twice about the situation she now found herself in. After all, who wouldn't want to marry this beautiful Latina. Arizona felt she could quite comfortably spend the rest of her life in bed with this woman. With a nudge from Teddy, Arizona says 'I do' in the appropriate place as Callie slides the ring onto her finger.
'…You may kiss the bride' As those words are uttered, Arizona's ears prick up and she can't help but develop a matching goofy grin to Callie's. And with that, their marriage is sealed with a kiss along with the inappropriate wolf whistle Mark adds from Callie's side. The married life of Drs Robbins and Torres commences as they stumble out of the chapel into the brisk Las Vegas morning. And suddenly not everything that happens in Vegas will necessarily stay there.
A/N 2: I've already written most of the next chapter as it finishes the setting up of the story so I'll post soonish depending on how this chapter is received. Hopefully this didn't appear too rushed as the actual ceremony isn't really the point of the story. So I would love to know what you think. And I also need to study for my finals which should probably take precedence over posting.