Title: Another Statement of Causality (30/30)
Pairings: Callie/Arizona, Cristina/Owen, Callie/Owen, Teddy/Owen, Amelia/Lexie. Basically if they look at each other something is going on. Except for Meredith and Cristina. Theirs is a deep and platonic love.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. It is a tragedy I suffer through daily.
Summary: If Callie is meant to be with Arizona and Cristina is meant to be with Owen but Callie and Owen are married with kids then something must change. The status quo must shift. A continuation of 8x13 "If/Then."
"It's a bicycle."
"It's a Trek hybrid."
"A two wheeled form of conveyance that you stop using around the same time you get your Bachelors."
"Twenty-one speeds. I switched the handlebars out for butterflies."
"The color is nice."
"I know how you feel about black and red. You're very dark."
"I am. But that is still a bicycle."
Callie was unamused with the gift. Arizona was exuberant. She would not be denied. She'd decided that they could spend more time together if Callie's workout of choice became bicycling and she'd arrived in Mark's SUV that evening with the bike resting in the back.
"There are some really laid back group rides we could do together. You could meet some of my friends. We could go bar hopping. The cops aren't nearly as likely to arrest you if you're doing your pub crawl in a group on bikes."
"So I'll just tell Owen I can't be with our children because my girlfriend wants me to do a pub crawl with twentysomethings."
"There are people our age there," she countered.
"The lawyer you had sex with." She would not be jealous. Her girlfriend regularly worked with her ex-husband.
"And some others. You'll like it Calliope."
Callie reappraised the bike. It did seem nice. Sleek. Shiny. And Allegra was wanting a bike for her birthday. They could do mother daughter rides through the park with the boys in one of those neon green trailers she always saw other parents using.
"I guess," she ran a finger of the cool metal, "it could be fun."
"Yay!" Arizona wrapped her up in her arms and smacked her on the lips. "You're going to love it Calliope."
The hugged turned more friendly as Callie dropped her hands to lie on Arizona's waist and turned a friendly kiss into something more heated. "You know," she breathed against Arizona's cheek, "the kids are busy inside."
"And it's dark out." Very dark. "And Mark's car appears to have a roomy back seat."
Arizona agreed with a murmur. "And tinted windows."
Not breaking their kiss Arizona walked them backwards towards the center of the car. She reached behind herself and pulled the door open and hopped back on the bench seat. Then she ran her tongue over her lips in the most erotic fashion possible. Her gaze was smoldering and she was looking at Callie less like a person and more like something to consume.
Callie leapt in next to her and shut the door. They stared at each other. Neither touching. The light above them was slow to turn off and only their breathing—a cacophony in the confined space of the car—could be heard.
Callie reached over and placed her hand on Arizona's thigh. Her girlfriend gasped as her fingers climbed upward. It was a long, laborious trail her fingers took. Her nails scraped against Arizona's jeans and the rough seam on the inside of her thighs.
"You know I don't think I've made out with someone in the back of a car since ever."
Arizona smiled. "Really?"
She nodded, "Big house. Lots of room. Dad who travelled and mom who worked late."
"Callie." She threw her head back—exposing her throat. Her trachea moved as she panted Callie's name. Her girlfriend was too easy. She leaned over and grazed Arizona's exposed throat with her teeth. Her fingers pressed against Arizona's jeans—against her hot center underneath—and Arizona groaned in satisfaction.
"Shut—" She blindly reached up and held Callie's head to her neck and bucked against her hand. "Shut up."
Callie started to straddle her but Arizona was like a spry little cat in the car. Nimble, able, and sexy as hell. She straddled Callie's legs with a little growl and kissed her—slipping her tongue into Callie's mouth and leaving her breathless. Hands played with buttons and garments were loosened. They were both wearing button down shirts, she a silk blouse from work and Arizona a rougher plaid shirt.
Soon there were two perfect bare slivers of skin meeting. Neither woman moved to take off their shirts. Just having them open gave them each enough access. Callie ground against the hand that had found its way into her pants and pressed her mouth against a soft breast she slipped from the cup of Arizona's bra.
Then light was flashing into the car and both women froze. "What was—" Arizona's question froze on her lips. They both looked towards the house where Allegra was peaking out, silhouetted by the hallway lamp light.
"Your kid is trying to watch us," she said, still against Callie.
She nipped at Arizona's nipple. "She can't see us."
But apparently it was enough for Arizona. She climbed off and buttoned her shirt with shaky fingers. Callie sighed. "Do you want to at least come in?"
Arizona's jaw was tight and her eyes cool.
"The kids would love to see you. We were going to do ice cream and read a book before bed."
"That sounds fun." Only it was clear she was saying it sounded fun for them—not like it sounded fun for her to be apart of.
Callie continued, "Afterwards they'd be in bed. Asleep. And I bet we could figure out what to do with the left over chocolate syrup."
"Callie," she said warningly, "I…"
She said nothing. She was slowly starting to figure out that Arizona really, really didn't like to be pushed. She would say what she wanted when she wanted to. It annoyed the hell out of Callie but Arizona had been incredibly patient while Callie sorted through all her big gay feelings.
"I've got to get Mark his car back."
A very good reason not to stay. So why did it sound like such a big excuse?
Erica Hahn had a way of saying Cristina's name like an insult. She stood to attention anyways. The woman was the head of her department and the rare person it was sort of almost worth sucking up to.
"Peds is light on residents today. You're with them."
Her mouth dropped open and a cry of displeasure caught just before it could squeak out and irritate Hahn.
Meredith watched Hahn walked away and asked in a low voice, "What'd you do to piss her off?"
"Yang," Bailey said sharply, "stop whining and go pick up Robbins' charts."
She refused to vocally grumble, because she was an adult, but she did it in her head. At least she was working with Robbins. She usually handled all the kiddie interaction which meant Cristina didn't have to.
Bailey was called in on a trauma so it was just Cristina and Arizona on the consult before surgery. A concerned and tearful couple hovered over their infant daughter. She was plump, a good weight. Very healthy looking. She'd pulled both of her legs up towards her head and it took a second glance to see the problem.
"Yang," Arizona said expectantly.
She didn't have to look at the chart. "Sarah Pelton, fourteen months. PFFD has left her with a shortened left leg. Which we'll be amputating today."
The mother winced and started to cry again. Cristina didn't see that much of a problem. Compared to other birth defects the girl's was minor. She didn't have a knee and her leg was just a hip and a foot, but post amputation she'd be fitted with an excellent prosthesis. She'd learn to walk. Run. Ride bikes and do a great deal more than many other children.
Her father reached out to stroke the foot of the shorter leg. "Isn't there—I was reading in this forum for PFFD parents about this one kid. They made his leg longer."
Robbins was cool and confident, her skill with patients and their parents nothing short of outstanding, "We've discussed this Tom. Sarah's deformity is relatively severe. There's no lower leg. No knee. That procedure wouldn't work for her."
He shook his head, "But it's a perfectly good foot!"
It wasn't actually. It was missing a toe. But it was smooth and unblemished and the toes moved and curled. She delighted in her father's touch.
Robbins glanced at Cristina and sighed, "Tom, Miranda—"
"No," the woman cried. "We're not doing this today."
Cristina avoided peds cases, but she still knew a resolved parent when she saw one. The woman and her husband would not budge. They were not prepared. She looked down at the girl. Her surgery wasn't critical to her health. She would survive.
They exited the room quietly and Robbins smacked another chart down onto the nurse's station loudly. She looked up sharply and crooked her finger at Cristina who followed her into her office.
"What was that?"
"I've been trying to get them in here for two months to do this surgery. Why didn't you say anything?"
"Sarah's case isn't critical. She won't crawl like the other kids, but it's up to the parents—"
"That girl is going to get older Yang. She's going to reach a point where her self-awareness and her memory is quite capable and that's probably when they'll finally opt to do the surgery, because she does need it. And instead of doing it now when it won't be as painful for them or for her they're going to wait. They're going to postpone and in the end everyone will be hurt."
"I'd hope you'd be a voice of reason in there. I'd hoped you'd be smart enough to push them. Not just sit there inertly and stick your head in the sand. That's not what a good surgeon does."
"I had no idea you—"
She laughed bitterly and crossed her arms. "No, you didn't."
They shared lunch at a table. The early morning fog had disappeared as the warmth of spring settled over Seattle. It was pleasant. And Owen's company was even more pleasant.
For most people his relationship with Cristina was an open secret. They hadn't arrived at parties together and they were still low key enough that no one had asked about the relationship directly, but the slow burn of what they had allowed for early lunch outside.
Cristina stabbed at her lasagna.
"I'm on Peds today. Robbins is kind of a bitch most days."
Robbins could be more frigid then Hahn when she wanted to be. She couched a venomous tongue in happy go lucky friendliness, but when she wanted to unleash it—Owen had only fallen victim once, that house party of Cristina's, but he was in no mood to meet that side of his ex-wife's girlfriend again.
"What's going on with Cardio?"
"Between Hahn, your wife and your girlfriend it's gotten a little crowded." She said "girlfriend" a little playfully. They hadn't broached the Teddy subject. He was friends with her. When he wasn't with Cristina or the kids he was out getting a drink with her. Cristina seemed okay with it…so far. Like the kids problem it was something best left tabled for another day. Or never addressed at all. Things were perfectly fine as they were and neither he or Cristina were in any hurry to change it.
"The department's just in a little bit of a flux. It'll smooth out."
"Maybe. Hey any cool cardio cases down in the Pit today? I'll even take Ped cardio cases."
He leaned over and gave her a peck on the lips, "Nothing so far, but you'll be the first doctor I page if that changes."
She smiled and a bit of warmth appeared in her dark eyes.
"Now," he said, dropping the timbre of his voice, "we're both done with our meals and I have twenty minutes before I have to be back down in the ER. Any idea how we could spend that time?"
Under the table her hand dropped onto his knee. "I've got plenty of ideas."
Just inside Callie was at another table with Arizona and snacking on some chips she'd stolen off her girlfriend's plate.
"Yang and Owen," she mused.
Arizona looked up from the newspaper she was reading. "What?"
"I just never would have seen it. I figured his rebound girl would be Teddy or Hahn or something."
"Well I didn't know that at the time. Wonder—"
"She's got that whole edgey thing you have Callie. Only dialed back to vaguely terrifying. And she's super taciturn like him and they're both in love with the one of the AC ducts in the basement."
Callie raised an eyebrow. "How do you know that?"
"One here's things."
Callie didn't buy it.
"Mark heard her talking to Webber. Now that's a friendship I never would have seen."
"They live together."
"With Lexie—who has all but moved into my apartment."
That shocked Callie. She ate a chip loudly.
"She and Amelia?"
Arizona made quotations in the air, "Just friends. Speaking of there's a ride on Saturday night you might like. If you're up for it. Most of them think I've made you up and have either gone crazy or bought a RealDoll."
"Right. That's the lesbian seen. We love a good drama."
"Mm hm. And a good stereotype."
Callie pulled her phone out and double checked her calendar. She and Owen had synced their schedules so each could see what the other's work load was like with a glance and arrange kid care. "Owen's working the Pit until nine and I've got a four a.m. call time Sunday."
"So you're saying you can do it if we leave after nine and are back before four a.m.?"
She hoped the look she was giving Arizona was indicative of her desire to not do that. She was tempted to ask Arizona to just come over to her place, but she'd already proven herself to be wildly reticent about the idea.
"How about I have Owen stay at my place and I come over to yours? It's an easy walk to the hospital and we can stay in and do things."
Arizona pouted, "I wanted to take you on a ride."
"Right. But I could come over and take you on a ride instead."
There. A goofy grin found its way onto Arizona's face. She was such a nerd when it came to sexual entendre. "Oh. That would be acceptable."
"And hopefully awesome."
It was not super awesome.
One day she was just a doctor making it through life hour by hour and day by day. There were no tethers in Seattle. She didn't have a best friend she'd never known she needed. An ex-girlfriend she was supporting emotionally and fiscally. A girlfriend who stole her breath with a smile, devastated her world and put it all together again.
There was the medicine. The hospital. Fleeting moments of human comfort.
And she had liked it. No. She loved her life. She loved being holden to no one. Getting up at five a.m. for a four hour bike ride before work. Not coming home at the end of the night. Traveling on a moments notice. Never having to answer the phone or a knock at the door because it wasn't anyone of note or worth.
But then…then Mark was sitting in her living room and looking a little uncomfortable—which was impressive because he was the most confident man she'd ever met. She poured him a glass of wine and poured herself one as well. They sipped the Chardonnay in silence. It was a rich one. Like cream on the tongue.
"Look Mark, as much as I love sitting here and saying nothing I actually have a crazy marathon surgery tomorrow and kind of need to sleep."
"You know Derek was my best friend right?"
Derek who refused to talk to Mark outside of work.
"I came out here to be with Addison. She was pregnant and it's my kid and I wanted to be here. I wanted to make this work. Only in the process I lost my best friend."
She said nothing. She knew the story.
"I asked him to be Abigail's godfather."
That was…a surprise.
"We've been best friends since we were kids you know? And I know he's pissed, but I really think he likes her," he said with a grin. How could you not? "Addison told me I was nuts but I asked him."
"How'd that work out?"
"He told me to go to hell." Mark seemed almost…stunned by the response. As though he hadn't realized the depth of Derek's contempt. He finished off his glass and poured another. "So I'm asking you."
"Abigail needs a godparent and we can't ask Amelia because she's still kind of psycho and none of Derek's sisters will talk to either of us. I asked Addison. She's okay with it."
"You want me—"
"To be Abigail's godmother."
She shook her head, "Mark I…" She what? Didn't want the responsibility? True. But she was doing a lot of things she hadn't done before. "I'm flattered."
"Robbins," he said all too patiently, "this is where you say yes and we start planning the baptism or whatever."
"Don't you think it's too fast?"
"It's too fast Mark. We've only known each other a few months and you want me to be the godparent to your daughter?"
"I thought I knew we were friends. I thought I knew you well enough—"
"You have a kid. Callie—Callie has kids. I spend every day with my hands in kids. Talking to kids. Comforting them and manipulating their parents. And now suddenly it's not just work. It's ice cream sundaes and bedtime stories and baby showers and being a godparent. That's not what I want."
The words had been building up. Slowly. Grain by grain a pile of concerns forming inside of her and now they were all out there. Spilling from her mouth like sand through fingers.
Mark set his wine glass down and stood.
"Where are you going?"
He looked like he wanted to walk away. He sucked on his cheek and narrowed his eyes as he weighed whatever words he was about to speak.
"You like my daughter?"
"You like me?"
She said nothing. They were friends—best friends.
"You and me being friends, that isn't going to change. You being the godmother to my daughter? Doesn't alter what you and I have. It's not some new responsibility. Addison and I are WASPs for God's sake. My godparents were an uncle who tried to have my dad committed and an aunt who still thinks I live in New York. Godparents are just—it's what we do."
Okay. Okay. She nodded. She could handle that.
"But Robbins, Callie has three kids and you knew that going in."
She had. She'd babysat them so she could see their mother. Comforted them so she could sleep in her bed. She understood—intellectually—that they existed and were important. But she and Callie had built up a bubble over the last few months. A little pink bubble where they could fall in love and smile coyly and kiss like the world wasn't moving all around them.
He was stooping down to look her in the eye. She looked away.
"You love her right?"
She'd been in love with Calliope Torres for years. And Calliope—she'd somehow found a way to love her back.
"They're not your kids."
Of course they weren't.
She stood up too and moved mechanically to her bike. Her thumb dug into the rubber of the tires. There was enough air. She rolled the bike off its stand.
"Are you going for a bike ride? It's ten o'clock at night."
It was. It was ten o'clock and she was suffering a revelation. "I need to go for a ride."
Mark came around the couch and blocked the exit. "Hey," he said, "don't do anything stupid."
"I'm not Mark. I just—I need to think."
"She's worth it right?"
She definitely was.
It was like there was gum in her eyeballs. Callie was seriously having trouble opening them. Was that her pager? She'd trained herself to pop up quickly when her pager buzzed.
No. A phone. Her phone. She rolled out of bed and crawled across the floor to where her phone rested in a basket charging. The bright light of the screen was abhorrent at—two in the morning?
Arizona. Adrenaline surged through her—clearing the gum from her eyes and waking her immediately.
"Nothing—can you come downstairs. I was going to knock but I know Angus is a light sleeper."
A dog fart would wake up Angus.
She hung the phone up and crept down the stairs. Arizona was standing on the porch. Her hair was wet from a late night fog and her cheeks and nose were rosy. It was chilly, even for early spring.
She tugged Arizona into the house and ran her hands of damp arms. "What are you—you're freezing."
"Did you ride over here?"
"I went out for a ride. And I was going to go home and get some sleep, but the Colonel says if there's a bandaid that needs ripping do it fast and do it clean."
Her girlfriend had gone off the deep end. "Do you want to sit down? Go upstairs?"
"I love you Callie."
Now the bottom was dropping out. The churning in her gut worse than when she had to get up and speak before a group of strangers.
"But I can't do this."
There was white noise raging between her ears.
"I wanted to just keep going you know? Stick my head in the sand and ignore the problems."
"You're breaking up with me." Her skin was tingling.
"You deserve someone who can love you-"
"You love me."
"Who can love your kids—"
And just like that the shock was gone. The dismay rushing through her and violent meeting with a rage she did not know she was capable of was silenced. She shook her head, "No." Swallowed. "You knew I had kids. You knew I was confused about my sexuality. You knew about Owen." Almost a whisper. "You knew everything."
Arizona looked like she wanted to cry. "I know."
Press your advantage Callie. If she's ripping your heart out know why. Maybe then it won't happened again. She stepped close. "Why now?"
"Because I love you too much to push this further."
In the OR they had choices. There were a million ways to save a life in some circumstances. Paths that could be taken. Some fraught with difficultly and some so easy nothing could possibly be earned.
She and Arizona had made a choice. They'd chosen a path. She'd kissed her and said she would try and Arizona had agreed.
Truth be told she thought that had meant Arizona was all in. That she was as committed to this as Callie was. With her calm assurance and her steady heart. She had become a buoy in a sea of chaos. Something to cling to while weathering the storm.
"No," she said. "No, don't give me that. Because you don't love me." You didn't hurt the people you loved.
Her voice was harsh. Part a plea and part chastisement. "You made me fall in love with you Arizona. You were here and wonderful and now you're throwing it away because what? You suddenly realized I have children? That you might need to have a relationship with them?"
"Bullshit. You ran. But that's what you always do isn't it?" There was bitterness, but Callie didn't even bother to temper it. She moved into Arizona's space. She wasn't wearing shoes but she still had a few inches on Arizona. She peered down. "I loved you." Her voice was cracking. Breaking.
And Arizona was breaking too.
In the grand scheme of lovers Arizona had known Callie would always be the best. The closest to the elusive perfection she sought. Her parents…her parents were perfection. Tim and his wife—they'd been perfection.
But Arizona never found it. There were all the women. There was Amelia sneering on her living room floor and riding a high bought by stolen drugs. And there was Calliope Torres. The woman she'd loved from afar. The woman who fit so perfectly against her but whose life was so at odds with her own.
"I loved you," she said. And Arizona noticed the use of past tense. Callie's capacity for love was remarkable. She and Owen—he'd nearly killed her and she still cared.
But it was a neat confirmation of what she felt. They weren't each other's great loves. They couldn't be. Callie couldn't love a woman who couldn't find it in herself to love her children.
Arizona could still love her. She'd love her forever.
"I should go." Her voice was nearly a whisper. A hush tone. She didn't want to wake the kids.
Callie barely acknowledged her words. She was looking away. Waiting for Arizona to leave.
It was the right thing right? Callie needed someone who could care for her kids. Be a parent when they really needed one. She needed someone that was more than a great doctor and an amazing lay.
She reached out to open the door and Callie's hand suddenly latched onto her wrist and spun her around. A warm hand on her waist pushed her back against the door. The knob bit painfully into her back.
Callie's lips were on hers. Hungry. Angry. Arizona closed her eyes and tried to savor every sensation. The hard hands on her wrist and waist. The nails that dug pleasantly into her skin. The smell of Callie. The faded freckles on her nose. Her lips, soft and moist but so very unyielding against her own. Perfect long lashes.
She was stuck. Incapacitated by Callie's caress. The desire to reach up. To touch her dark hair once more. Feel her skin and the goose pimples that always seemed to rise with Arizona's touch. But if she touched Callie the spell would be broken. The kiss would end. The pink bubble would pop.
Arizona didn't pop it. Callie did. She pulled away and Arizona pushed forward and Callie—for a fraction of a second did too. Her lips so close there seemed no line between imagination and touch. She nuzzled Arizona's nose ever so lightly with her own.
The hand on her wrist was almost soothing now. The one on her waist still immovable. "You're going to regret this," not a threat. Just the truth. Fragile on Callie's lips. "And I can't promise I'll be waiting when you do."
Blind optimism. Callie's hallmark. Hope that one day something would change. Arizona could change.
"I'll see you at work," she managed to say. God her tongue was heavy in her mouth. Not her own. None of her was. She'd fallen in love with Callie and everything had changed.
The story will continue in Causal Fallacy in mid-July. Thank you so much for your support, praise and criticism and please don't murder me in my sleep via the internet!